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From: Wolfgang Zernik
Sam Francis' article about "European American Heritage Month" was generally well written and I agree with just about everything he said. However, he does miss this one vital point. It is perfectly true as Governor Gilmore said that his proclamation was made (apparently inadvertently) at the initiative of a David Duke organization - specifically the National Organization for European American Rights (N.O.F.E.A.R).
There is nothing at all wrong with having a celebration of European American Heritage - in fact it is badly needed - but no state in America should appear to endorse a David Duke organization no matter how well reasoned its program. That was the problem, the unacceptable sponsorship of the proclamation not the content of it.
I took a look at the N.O.F.E.A.R. website. There is not a thing wrong with it, in fact I could agree with every word. Unfortunately, I remember who David Duke was not so long ago and so should you. He was a fanatical NAZI, an admirer of ADOLF HITLER who strutted around in a NAZI uniform with a SWASTIKA armband. A vicious, genocidal anti-Semitism was of course a major part of his program in those days. There is no indication that Duke has changed this or any other part of his program. However, he has obviously decided to change the emphasis in order to improve his political prospects in the present climate of opinion. Thus there is no hint of anti-Semitism on his website, the word "Jew" does not even appear. However, those of us who are of Jewish descent have long memories. My mother and half my family were gassed in Auschwitz and if any American politician were to appear to endorse even if indirectly any organization lead by David Duke I and many others who are not Jewish would just go ballistic. That is why the proclamation was rescinded obviously - the Governor had no choice.
That leaves us with a very important dilemma which I would hope that your website and the many intelligent people who contribute to it should at some point address.
Yes, we do desperately need to encourage a sense of pride and a feeling of solidarity in the much maligned European Americans in this country. A European American Heritage Month would be a splendid idea and not just in Virginia. So I ask myself this question - WHY is it that the LEADERSHIP of a racially conscious European American movement is being left BY DEFAULT to scum like David Duke? Why are there no decent respectable people who are not Nazis, neo-Nazis, or miscellaneous fanatics who will step up and take leadership positions? That is the question you should address. It is in my view the central question of our times, and not just in this country but also in England and in Europe generally. We must have an answer and soon, there is not much time left.
VDARE comments. Hmmm. As Sam Francis pointed out, a similar proclamation in California instigated by Lou Calabro's quite unexceptionable European-American Issues Forum met an equally hysterical reaction last year.
We asked Mr. Zernik  is there anything David Duke could have done to prove that he had really changed his spots;  did he consider Patrick J. Buchanan an acceptable leader of "European-Americans" (we prefer plain old Americans)?
I do not consider Buchanan beyond the pale at all. He is certainly not in the same class as Duke, not even close despite the fact that he has irritated a lot of people. All the same, when I called for decent respectable people to lead a European American movement Buchanan is not whom I had in mind. He simply carries too much baggage. As far as Duke changing his spots, no I do not think that is possible. Anyway, I don't believe he has ever claimed to have done so.
May 23, 2001