An anonymous white supremacist recently caused a stir in Harrison, Arkansas, by leasing a 12’ x 24’ billboard in order to display the racist phrase “Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White.”
This is not a random slogan but rather a strategy that has emerged in recent years on the part of white supremacists to try to reverse allegations of racism by implying that anybody who speaks out against racism is somehow therefore “anti-white.”
The proponents of this strategy are followers of elderly white supremacist Bob Whitaker, a former Republican congressional aid and minor Reagan administration appointee in the 1970s and 1980s who embraced white supremacy and began writing for neo-Nazi publications.
Whitaker’s followers consider him an “expert” on political propaganda and have adopted his belief that the key to successful propaganda is to come up with simple slogans and endlessly repeat them. To this end, in the mid-2000s Whitaker devotees such as Timothy Murdock, who under the pseudonym “Horus the Avenger” runs the White Rabbit Radio website, came up with what they call the “Stop White Genocide Mantra” or simply “The Mantra.”
The “Mantra” is a short, eight-paragraph statement based on Whitaker’s racist views that claims that concerns about racism are essentially camouflage for the “ongoing program of genocide” against the white race. It ends with the phrase “They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.” From the “Mantra,” Whitaker adherents developed the shorter phrase, which they endlessly repeat, “Anti-racist is a code for anti-white.”
Whitaker and Murdock followers plaster this slogan everywhere they can—across the web, in banners over freeways, as signs or stickers, and more. Every month, white supremacists create petitions with this slogan on the White House’s “We the People” petition Website. “Mantra” fans have littered the white supremacist website Stormfront with the phrase so often that it has irritated even other white supremacists on that site.
The Harrison billboard is simply the latest effort in this white supremacist rhetorical strategy, one that has no more chance of mainstream success than any previous white supremacist slogan has ever had, from “White Power!” to “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” However, as the billboard has been leased for a year, Harrison residents may have to put up with this ugly racist slogan in their midst for some time.