Newest members of Palm Beach County's Republican Executive Committee is a 'white supremacist'
WEST PALM BEACH — — Derek Black says "of course" he will attend a meeting Wednesday for new members of Palm Beach County's Republican Executive Committee. Never mind that the party chairman says Black's "white supremacist" associations are not welcome and he will not be seated.
"I was elected," Black, 19, says.
Sporting a black hat, the son of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Don Black was seated last week in a restaurant off Southern Boulevard. Sitting next to him was one of his supporters: David Duke, former Louisiana state legislator and another former KKK grand wizard.
"We're going to fight," Duke said. "I know Derek Black is going to fight for his constitutional liberties. That's why I'm here, because I want to assist Derek."
Sorry, says county GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein. In the qualifying period in June, Black didn't sign a loyalty oath pledging he would not do anything injurious to the party. And that's not the only problem.
"He participates in white supremacist activities," Dinerstein said. "We're the party of Lincoln. We're the party that says we don't judge anybody by the color of their skin."
Derek Black's response: "I've told (Dinerstein) I'm not a white supremacist; that's an insult. I would describe myself as a white person who is concerned about discrimination against white people."
A community college student who was home-schooled in West Palm Beach, Black once contributed a kids page to his father's Stormfront Internet forum around the time he was 12. The page included puzzles, games, animated Confederate flags and white-pride songs. He has since helped with his father's Internet audio broadcasts.
But did voters really have any idea who he is?
Duke leaned in.
"Irrelevant question," Duke said. "He got the votes. He won election."
Black says he campaigned around the district for the seat. Executive committee members elect the county party chairman and help determine where the party spends its money.
He said he answered any questions voters asked, but mostly talked about issues.
"I talked about immigration," he said. "I talked about the presidential campaign. That was the biggest issue. This was back in August, July. Most of them weren't happy with (Sen. John) McCain turning out to be their candidate. It did come up a few times that I didn't like McCain."
He continued: "A large part of the district, the Republican part of the district, is Hispanic, Cubans. They're the ones I've gotten the most public support from. Walking down the street, going to Publix, it was old Cuban men who slapped me on the back and told me to fight the system."
Duke, who lives in Louisiana, said he won't be in West Palm Beach for the Wednesday meeting, but he conducted an Internet broadcast with Don Black from the restaurant. The Grateful Dead's Truckin' blared over the eatery's music system in the background. In the broadcast, the men took Dinerstein to task: He has "chutzpah" to take an "anti-democratic" position, Duke said.
It's a line Duke has used before on his Web site: "Sid Dinerstein, a Jewish-extremist loyalist to Israel, has the chutzpah to think that he has the right to deny Derek Black his legally elected office because he doesn't like Mr. Black's views."
At least four books and dictionaries have defined Stormfront as the Internet's first "hate" site dating back to 1995. Stormfront's site link on a Google search comes with this description: "Racialist discussion board for pro-White activists and anyone else interested in White survival."
Barack Obama's election has helped drive up Stormfront traffic to record levels, Don Black said.
Duke said the historic election has helped galvanize support for the causes he believes in: "Obama enables people to see more clearly. It makes it clear we're losing control of our country."
But Don Black said press reports of threats against Obama on the Stormfront forums have been exaggerated. He said he suspects one contributor, who hadn't posted in six years, was deliberately trying to stir up trouble for the site recently. He said he does not condone violence and wants a "peaceful revolution" that ends racial preferences for minorities and promotes the civil liberties of whites.
Echoing what Duke and his father say about themselves, Derek Black says he never uses the term "white supremacist."
His case goes like this: He says he won 62 percent of the vote in his district (published reports put it at 58 percent at the time). The oath is a technicality that should not overturn an election, he contends. He says he is prepared to hire a lawyer to explore legal options if he is not seated.
When party leaders realized who he is, they scrambled to bar him within days of the August vote. Dinerstein said he has the backing of the state party.
"The loyalty oath is very important, and folks do need to sign it on time," said Republican Party of Florida spokeswoman Erin VanSickle.
But Derek Black said he'll keep up the fight for the seat, even if his opponents want to shun him as viper's brood.
"I thought it was amusing. I'm accused of having a past when I'm 19," he said.