Hate groups tie monetary policy to propaganda By KEVIN PLUMBERG
NEW YORK – Wall Street bankers and politicians around the globe were not the only ones nervously watching late last year as the U.S. dollar plunged.
Using a Web site as their forum, white nationalists, unlikely champions of the greenback, hurled racial epithets at “Zionists” in the Federal Reserve and savaged the Bush administration as the dollar rapidly sank to nine-year lows against other major currencies.
The barbs reached a feverish pitch as 2004 drew to a close, but when the dollar continued its decline this year, white nationalists resumed their Internet campaign on sites such as www.stormfront.org.
The falling dollar has become a rallying symbol and a recruitment device for white nationalist groups, which broadly seek to separate themselves from non-white people.
People purporting to be white nationalists interviewed for this story declined to be identified.
Some white nationalists said in e-mail interviews and in correspondence with each other that they are concerned that increasing U.S. indebtedness to foreign interests has knocked the dollar down and caused negative perceptions of American economic might, threatening their keystone beliefs.
“America is still a great White Nation, created by white men and women, and many white nationalists either reside in or have relatives there,” said an Eastern European using the screen name “fdtwainth” on the Web site, a chat page for white nationalists and supremacists.
Hiding behind the cloak of anonymity provided by the Internet, the writer continued, “Their survival and advancement partially depend on the ability to forecast correctly the actions of the current U.S. democratic government and U.S. currency trends.”
Others have used the Web site for anti-Semitic vitriol against Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, bankers on Wall Street and members of the U.S. government, while at the same time discussing whether gold and real estate are good personal investments in the face of the falling dollar.
One person interviewed by e-mail said, “I don’t need to remind who’s in charge of the FRS (Federal Reserve System) right now — a Zionist Jew, Greenspan.”
“From their perspective, everything great about American society is because of white people, and that is being threatened,” said Carol Swain, a law professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and author of The New White Nationalism in America.
“The bigger issue for them is that they believe Western civilization is threatened, and the currency of the nation is changing, and it’s all part of a Jewish conspiracy,” Swain said.
The three-year decline of the U.S. dollar accelerated in the last three months of 2004.
The greenback’s fall is partly owing to concerns in the foreign exchange market that the United States would not attract enough foreign investment to finance the widening U.S. trade deficit, which hit a record $617.7 billion last year.
Foreigners buy U.S. debt
Americans buy imported goods faster than U.S. businesses can export goods and services overseas. To offset the trade deficit this creates, the United States raises cash by selling government bonds, widely held by foreign investors and foreign central banks.
“The foreign holdings of U.S. government securities is a very sad thing and an important threat to the national security of the U.S. and the White World as a whole,” fdtwainth wrote.
Analysts say that sounding off on the dollar’s decline is one way white nationalists and supremacists, a group that seeks to dominate non-white groups, drum up support for their causes.
“The less skilled and less educated part of the work force feels vulnerable these days to foreigners, and this is another way of engendering support from them,” said Peter Morici, a professor of economics and business at the University of Maryland.
All eyes on China
White nationalists have targeted China as one of the main causes for the dollar’s weakness.
“One big reason the dollar is falling is our record trade deficits. And the biggest offender in that arena is China,” said a stormfront member from Minnesota using the name Aragorn.
The Chinese currency is pegged to the dollar, meaning that even as the U.S. currency weakens, Chinese businesses can keep prices on their exports low, enticing American consumers to buy their goods and causing U.S. factory jobs to move to China.
“Charlie Chan just doesn’t get it,” said another stormfront.org member from Michigan. Nearly a quarter of Michigan’s residents are employed in the manufacturing sector.
“What most people don’t want to happen is to have their lifeblood literally yanked out from under them, mainly due to corporate greed.”
Vanderbilt’s Swain said white nationalists are trying to draw support not just from the working class. Over the last decade they have sought to recruit younger and more educated supporters aggrieved over U.S. immigration policy and racial entitlements.