On June 12, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who has a history of making inflammatory and xenophobic statements, re-tweeted an anti-immigration post written by a man named Mark Collett. This left a lot of people wondering: Who is Collett?
Short answer: A British white supremacist. Longer answer: Read on.
Mark Collett is a British white supremacist with an active social media audience across the English-speaking world. Collett became active in the British far right in the early 2000s when, in his 20s, he joined the fringe British National Party (BNP) and soon became its “Director of Publicity.”
Collett was a prominent BNP activist and propagandist, gaining a reputation for hate-filled statements against Muslims, people of color, and other minorities. He was finally kicked out of the BNP in 2010 in a factional power struggle.
More recently, Collett turned to social media to promote himself and his views, aligning himself with the alt right in a clear bid to attract the attention of other young white supremacists. Collett hosts a variety of white supremacist podcasts on YouTube, including The Mark Collett Podcast, This Week on the Alt Right, and Alt Right 101.
Collett has a number of ties to American white supremacists, many of whom now know him through social media, but America neo-Nazis followed his activities as far back as 2005, when Collett and other BNP leaders were charged under British hate laws (but later acquitted).
Throughout the 2000s, Collett maintained ties with American white supremacists. In the mid-2000s, for example, Collett was a guest on the internet radio show of white supremacist shock jock Hal Turner; that same year, Collett actually traveled to the United States to attend the annual conference of the white supremacist American Renaissance, where he mingled with other speakers and attendees, such as former Klan leader David Duke and Don Black, the man behind the white supremacist website Stormfront.
David Duke and Collett increased their ties in later years, appearing on each other’s shows and cross-promoting. For example, in March 2018, Duke featured an audio “panel discussion” with Mark Collett and “Eric Striker” (the pseudonym of a writer for the white supremacist Daily Stormer), promoting it with the headline “Terrific Trio Duke, Striker & Collett Together Exposing the Zio Drive to Destroy European Mankind!” According to Duke’s website, the three talked about “the based Negro gentleman Louis Farrakhan,” the “Russia Hoax,” the alleged Jewish role in immigration, the “Muslim problem in Britain” and more. (“Based” is a term of praise used by the alt right to describe someone who has escaped the pressures of so-called “political correctness” and/or “Jewish influence.”)
Because of Collett’s appearances on the shows of other white supremacists, as well as his own many efforts, he has garnered a large and appreciative audience of racists in Great Britain, the United States and elsewhere. His comments on Twitter are frequently retweeted by other white supremacists. White supremacist and Wisconsin political candidate Paul Nehlen, for example, has retweeted Collett several times over the past year. In February, Dayanna Volitich, the Florida teacher fired after her white supremacist activism was revealed, also retweeted Collettt.
Collett makes no attempt to hide or sugarcoat his anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-black, and other racist views.