Bob Whitaker, a curmudgeonly segregationist who penned a 221-word racist “Mantra” that became a rallying cry for racists the world over, has died.
Whitaker, 76, died in his sleep on Saturday, his website announced yesterday.
“His passing is going to leave a hole in so many people’s life [sic]. But he has given the world the tools we need to expose this anti-White system and it’s [sic] program of white genocide. We will keep on using what he has taught us,” the announcement on Whitaker’s website read.
Whitaker’s fame on the radical right stems almost exclusively from his “Mantra,” a blunt attack on multiculturalism that blames immigration for a “genocide” facing white people. Such a notion has inspired racists to hang the final words of the mantra –– “Anti-racist is code word for anti-white” –– from Interstate overpasses and has even motivated some to commit heinous acts of violence, including the 2011 terrorist attacks in Norway that left 77 people dead.
But in life, Whitaker claimed to have been much more than a racist writer and managed to build a vocal and devout following. To his disciples, in fact, Whitaker was nothing short of a propaganda “genius,” a word that could be found more than 600 times on his blog.
“There is not a modest bone in my body,” Whitaker wrote in 2004. “I AM a genius. I was born with one hell of a brain, and I scare our enemies because I am so smart I can laugh them to shame. I am at so high a level that a PhD or a big-time news anchor doesn’t mean a thing to me.”
A far-right propagandist for more than a half-century, the former economics professor and Reagan appointee to the Office of Personnel Management was linked to radical, often racist, populist campaigns for most of his career. He once claimed to have had a swastika poster on his wall when he was young to protest desegregation. In fact, his advocacy of segregation and racist ideology seems rooted in his opposition to America’s early civil rights struggles.
According to Whitaker’s followers, he’s a former clandestine CIA agent and mercenary in Rhodesia who helped craft the propaganda message that ended the Soviet Union — claims for which there is no known historical record.
The Mantra first appeared in 2006 on Whitaker’s blog and on the internet forum for National Vanguard, a breakaway group from the neo-Nazi National Alliance. Unlike David Lane’s succinct “14 words” (We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children), the Mantra reads like a rambling tirade on U.S. immigration policy.
All the same, his many followers quickly voiced their sorrow with word of his passing on racist Internet forums such as Stormfront.
“Perhaps his most important, and most lasting, legacy is that his incessant promotion of the term ‘anti-white’ is now slowly but surely going mainstream,” a commentator using the name “Bellatrix” said on Stormfront. “A very important corner to turn indeed, as it is the rebuttal of the accusation of racist.”
In recent years, Whitaker attempted to ride the fame that found him late in life toward political fortune. In 2015, he joined the American Freedom Party (AFP) ticket as the party’s candidate for vice president. “I’m running for vice president because I know a lot about vice,” Whitaker said in an audio interview about his candidacy posted online.
While his candidacy excited the radical right, it paled in comparison to then candidate Donald Trump’s electoral efforts. In April, Whitaker resigned from the ticket after conflict erupted over William Johnson, AFP’s chairman, and his efforts to aid the Trump campaign rather than support his own party’s candidate.
Johnson spent thousands to generate robocalls ahead of state primaries across the United States that supported Trump, not his own party’s candidate, Whitaker.