We all know how it goes: The right will pull out all the stops to deflect charges of racism coming their way. No matter how valid they are or how often they come, there will always be a reason why no one should ever hold them accountable for the hatemongering that they peddle. It has become such an art for them that these days even white supremacists will try to tell you that they are not racist. They are "race-realists" or "racialists", but not racists, no siree! Add that to a media that doesn't want to address the issue of racial conflicts, opting instead to ignore them in fear of "stirring up" something, and you have a society that is still fighting to keep this garbage from polarizing everyone without any help from anyone.
When the late Dick Barrett of the white supremacist Nationalist Movement announced in the Spring of 2000 that he was going to have a rally in Morristown, NJ on the Fourth of July, it was yet another thing that threatened to cause upheaval in a rather tense society. Just a few months before, New York City saw only its second Ku Klux Klan rally in its entire history. Rudolph Giuliani was Mayor of New York and with that his attempts to stifle free speech and rampant police brutality and overreaching fights that he would directly pick with the black community. The presidential election of 2000 that would ultimately see the selection of George W. Bush as President was underway. The explosive WTO protests in Seattle just took place, and in the same week in April Barrett announced his rally, the IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington DC was blowing up just as much. Racial profiling was being discussed for the first time, thanks to two New Jersey State Troopers shooting six black college students on their way to a basketball tryout, and their boss Police Chief Carl Williams making remarks that seemed to endorse racial profiling. The controversy that ensued and his subsequent firing is what prompted Barrett to call the rally in the first place, and folks knew right away things had gone far enough. A coalition of activists, workers, youth and people of color decided there will be an opposition to Barrett's little rally, and it will be called the "One People's Rally", a name that recognized that we are all one people.
On July 4, 2000, the rally took place and we saw physical flare-ups and arrests, but those that came out felt satisfied that it was right to oppose Barrett and his paltry number of followers. He made a return visit to Morristown a year later, but with fewer people and society recognizing him as the laughing stock he was. But on that first visit, something formed out of the coalition to oppose him. Recognizing that Barrett was small time to the racists that are more respected, more entrenched and more of a threat to today's society, something needed to be created that will provide society with the necessary tools to combat that hate before it caused any real harm. So the One People's Coalition was formed, only to change its name months later to One People's Project.
OPP's mission is simple: to research and report on who's who and what's what regarding right-wing groups, individuals and activities, and encourage society to be vigilant against them in an effort to diminish their ability to function and cause that society harm. We have been a go-to source for anyone wanting to learn more about the hate politics in today society. We have appeared on the Montel Williams Show, A Current Affair, Fox News' The Big Story, the Rachel Maddow Show, AM Joy, the MSNBC doumentary Erasing Hate and various local broadcasts as well as publications. We are also referenced in Gwen Ifill's book The Breakthrough.
Since the inception of OPP, a number of major white supremacist groups have fallen apart, some of it due to our work. Dick Barrett meanwhile was eventually forgotten by pretty much everyone until April 2010, when he was found beaten to death and set on fire, allegedly by a black man who used to do yard work for him, and said he killed Barrett after the white supremacist made sexual advances towards him. None of this means that the hatemongers have thrown in the towel just yet however. They simply decided to change tactics. They are not too interested in being completely open about their beliefs because that makes them instant pariahs. Instead they cozy up to the anti-immigration campaigns, the teabaggers, the Ron Paul acolytes and every now and then, when they feel it is safe for them to do so, the anti-war, anti-Zionist left. But none of those areas will be safe havens, not as long as good people remain vigilant. One People's Project is dedicated to that vigilance.
ONE PEOPLE'S PROJECT
PO Box 42817
Philadelphia, PA 19101