National States' Rights Party

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National States' Rights Party
Founded 1958
Headquarters Knoxville, Tennessee
Ideology States' rights
White supremacy
Racial segregation
Political position Far-right
Politics of the United States
Political parties
Elections

The National States' Rights Party was a far right, white supremacist[1] party that briefly played a minor role in the politics of the United States.

Foundation[edit]

Founded in 1958 in Knoxville, Tennessee, the party was based on antisemitism, racism and opposition to racial integration with African American people.[2] Party officials argued for states' rights against the advance of the civil rights movement and was dismissed by opponents as a Nazi party.[citation needed] The national chairman of the party was J. B. Stoner, who served three years in prison for bombing the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.[3] The party produced a newspaper, Thunderbolt, which was edited by Edward Reed Fields.[4] In 1958, the party's first year, five men with links to the NSRP were indicted for their participation in the bombing of The Temple in Atlanta.[5]

Development[edit]

During the 1960 presidential election, at a secret meeting held in a rural lodge near Dayton, Ohio,[6] the NSRP nominated Governor of Arkansas Orval E. Faubus for President and retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John G. Crommelin of Alabama for Vice President. Faubus, however, did not campaign from this ticket actively, and won only 0.07% of the vote (best in his native Arkansas: 6.76%).[7] The party also ran in the 1964 presidential election, nominating John Kasper for President and J. B. Stoner for Vice President, although they won only 0.01%, i.e. less than 7,000 votes.[8]

The party began to expand its operations and moved to new headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama in 1960. Supporters were soon kitted out in the party uniform of white shirts, black pants and tie and an armband bearing the Thunderbolt version of the Wolfsangel.[4] Thunderbolt itself gained a circulation of 15,000 in the late 1960s and the party became active in rallies across the United States, with events in Baltimore, Maryland in 1966 particularly notorious with five leading members imprisoned for inciting riots.[4] The Federal Bureau of Investigation targeted the NSRP under its COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE program.[9]

The party attempted to gain international contacts, and during the 1970s took part in annual international neo-Nazi rallies at Diksmuide, alongside such groups as the Order of Flemish militants and the United Kingdom–based League of Saint George.[10] Before that the party had been close to the British extremist leader John Tyndall and his Greater Britain Movement after Tyndall had failed in attempts to forge links with George Lincoln Rockwell.[11]

Decline[edit]

The party saw its influence decline in the 1970s, as chief ideologue Fields began to devote more of his energies to the Ku Klux Klan. As a result, in April 1976 U.S. Attorney General Edward H. Levi concluded an FBI investigation into the group, after it was decided that they posed no threat.

The 1980s saw the terminal decline of the NSRP, beginning initially with Stoner being convicted for a bombing in 1980. Without his leadership, the party descended into factionalism, and in August 1983 Fields was expelled for spending too much time on the KKK. Without its two central figures the NSRP fell apart, and by 1987 it had ceased to exist altogether.[4]

Similar groups[edit]

The group had no specific connection to the less extreme States' Rights Democratic Party, although it did share some of its views. Similarly, the party has no direct connection to the group of the same name set up in June 2005 in Philadelphia, Mississippi after the conviction of Edgar Ray Killen for his role in three 1964 murders (although this group consciously picked the name to evoke Stoner's defunct movement).[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]