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On the front lines fighting fascism:
an interview with Daryle Lamont Jenkins of One People’s Project

The North Jersey based One People’s Project has recently celebrated its five-year anniversary. The group has been fighting fascism through use of counter demonstrations, flyers, leaflets, and its website. Among other things, their website provides information on important racists, homophobes, and various hatemongers, provides up-to-date news on their main page, and also has a discussion board with several political topics on it. OPP has most recently been keeping an eye on the immigrant reform group The Minutemen Project while continuing to provide daily news on its front page. Daryle Lamont Jenkins is one of the driving forces behind OPP. Jenkins has gotten enough attention that some prominent right wingers have done all they can to denounce him, but Jenkins continues to fight against intolerance in our country, particularly racism. In August, I conducted an e-mail interview with Jenkins.

STEPHANIE: Could you give a brief history of One People's Project?

DARYLE LAMONT JENKINS: One People's Project started when a white supremacist decided he wanted to hold a rally on July 4, 2000 in Morristown [NJ]. We originally wanted our counterdemo to be more of a rally to celebrate us as a united people and to that end we named it the One People's Rally. We developed a GeoCities website that provided information on the rally and what our intentions were. We also provided a Rogues' Galley of those that we expected to march on the other side. At the time I was in the New Jersey Freedom Organization and producing a public access television program through my production company Flashpoint. Both were among the endorsers of the One People's Rally. After the rally, we needed to maintain the coalition we built, not to mention the website, to not only support those that eventually were arrested on the Fourth, but also to keep people informed about those elements in our society that promote hate and fascism. Because of that, we were able to shut down an "awards ceremony" from the same white supremacist in Manville a few months later. I left NJFO, and worked full time on what was then the One People's Coalition. It became One People's Project a few months later, after many of the others that were with us in those initial stages moved on and we figured that it wasn't much of a coalition anymore. Soon we started going after other groups and individuals, and the Rogues' Gallery, which was originally just paragraphs talking about certain people on the Flashpoint website, ended up going over to OPP's site and becoming even more extensive - and a bit more aggressive since we found out that anti-abortion activists were allowed by the courts to publish personal information of abortion providers on their websites. We decided that we should do that as well, and that was where things became a bit notorious for us.

S: Currently, what is the main focus of OPP?

DLJ: The main focus of OPP is to fight fascism. The way we do it is by showing where it is, who is responsible for it, and what we can do about it. As I noted earlier, that has meant us to be rather aggressive and controversial in some areas, such as when we publish the home addresses of neo-Nazis and even mainstream conservatives, like Sean Hannity, who lives at 27 Seacrest Drive, Lloyd Harbor, NY. I had to get that in there! Seriously, I think that we simply needed to force some hands out there. Fact of the matter is there are far too many people (I am not going to get into if they are in the majority or not, because in the end it doesn't matter) that do not want to live in the kind of world the right wants for us, but they have no clue in how to beat them back. We give them the clues.

S: How do you collect your information on some of the people on your site?

DLJ: That is something in the interest of maintaining confidentiality I shouldn't answer, but I can say that a lot of the info we have can be obtained through public channels.

S: Do you think displaying their personal info infringes on their privacy?

DLJ: No. Let me refer to Neil Horsley, the particular anti-abortion activist that was providing the personal info on abortion providers. He was allowed to do this by the courts saying that not allowing him to do so would be an infringement on his First Amendment rights. If that is the case, information on them is also allowed to be published. Back in Oct. 2003, some of the guys from Freak Republic asked me that and I told them the same
thing. True to the conservative mantra of not allowing the same freedoms they enjoy to others that they don't agree with, they thought that a conservative winning the right to do so did not mean that I had that same right, [and that] especially in their minds, I advocate violence. Ironically, while OPP has never advocated violence or participated in it, Horsley crossed out the name of one of the providers in his lists when he was shot and killed.

S: Because you reference Horsley, you've been accused of advocating violence, and according to Hal Turner, promoting the murder of white activists. The only thing used to back this up is your mention of Horsley. Do you think they're blatantly lying, or do they actually think you're violent?

DLJ: They're lying. They know that there has been no acts of violence committed against them by anyone in OPP, nor would there be. Turner is someone who tries to promote himself with a lot of things said for shock value. Ironically, Turner is among those who openly advocates violence against others.

S: Who are some more famous groups and/or people who have racist ties?

DLJ: Well, there's the aforementioned Sean Hannity for one. I was interviewed for the Nation Magazine about him because five years ago he was good friends with a local boy named Hal Turner. Turner has an internet radio show where he goes on the usual White Power mantra of hating Jews, yada yada yada, but he also has that shtick that he curiously gets away with where he calls for someone to kill someone that he is in disagreement with. Sean apparently broke off their friendship in 2000, and he won't even mention the Nation article today. Ann Coulter is another one. She is friends with Joe Sobran, who is a big time white supremacist and anti-Semitic writer. Actually, he calls himself "counter-Semitic," whatever the hell that means. It is him that Ann Coulter is quoting when she blames blacks for slavery by saying that slavery is the only thing from Africa that we exported. The best place to find racist ties with the lunatic fringe racists and the mainstream conservative is in the anti-immigration scene. They are all over the place there.

S: Since you mention the anti-immigration scene, I was hoping you could fill us in a bit about the Minutemen Project and what role OPP has played in exposing their racist ties.

DLJ: The Minuteklan Project is a group of right-wing zealots who decided that the border patrol isn't doing enough to keep Mexicans from crossing the border into the U.S. They won't say that exactly though. They say that they are concerned that our country's security is weak at the borders and it needs to be tightened up. So what they decided to do is camp out along the border and “observe” those crossing it, at which time they notify authorities. Now they say they aren't about racism, and they discourage those with racist views from participating, but they have been more than open about the fact that they are involved with racist groups. Even the founder of the Minuteklan Project, a retired CPA named Jim Gilchrist, joined the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR), which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. It is also not lost on us that the Minuteklan Project was modeled after the Klan Border Patrol that made David Duke famous back in the seventies.

What OPP has been doing is going out there and showing people exactly who the Minuteklan Project is comprised of. We have gone to their meetings, hit their websites, held our noses and watched Fox News and we have been able to determine who were the "dirty folks" in the group. We then put all that information on the website and throw it back in the faces of those trying to pretend that they are this non-racist, all inclusive group that just happen to go after Mexicans a lot.

S: What do you think leads people to adapt racist views as strong as some of the people OPP has dealt with? Are there any characteristics that a lot of these people share?

DLJ: When I first got into learning about these folks, it was almost twenty years ago. Back then, you were talking about folks who either lived in the days of Jim Crow or the transitional period from that in the seventies. You were dealing with folks who wanted to preserve what they knew. It was still bullshit, but there was a little more grounding for them. Today, almost all the Nazis I come across are for the most part no older than 25, and have so much personal and mental baggage in their lives. They know nothing about life under segregation, and many of them even have friends of color! The thing is their lives are fucked up, and they want to make it matter somehow. Unfortunately, the wrong group got to them first, and while they think they are making some sort of difference, in the end they are killing themselves. No one is going to go back to the days of Jim Crow, and society abhors anyone that works to bring us back to those days. It doesn't matter to these cats because in the end they need to feel comfortable in their own skin somehow. Now those that are older than 25, they can possibly be someone who grew up in the WP circles or it has worked for them for now. They are more of a lost cause than the younger ones, because you can pull the younger ones out before they fuck themselves up. As you get older though, you lose more and more, and soon being a hatemonger is all you have. That's a shitty existence.

S: What are some ways you suggest for people to fight fascism in their everyday lives?

DLJ: We are not the problem. For the most part, we are in good shape. We get along relatively well. There may be a few questions about each other that we have to have answered, but at least the questions are being asked. For us on a personal level, we just have to keep ourselves in check and not let our misunderstandings morph into prejudice.

Every now and then, however, there are those who try to exploit the concerns and turn them into fear, which turns into anger, which turns into hate. That's where the Minuteklan Project comes from. That's where the calls for racist profiling comes from. That what not only the neo-Nazis do, but also mainstreamers like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, Michelle Malkin and other conservative individuals do. What we have to do is recognize the game when it is being played. We have to reject this kind of campaign when we see it and stop allowing these scumbags to polarize us.

S: As it says on your website, Pat Robertson recently commented that we should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. It seems that some figures can make the most absurd statements and just apologize and be done with it. Why are people so accepting of this?

DLJ: I think people want to start doing something about this. If someone on the left spoke like this, all hell would break loose and that person would lose their standing in society with a quickness. Now maybe that's the case with Robertson, but considering that it takes stupid remark after stupid remark from him for that to happen, maybe not. That's dangerous because of how he was once able to influence presidents at one time. We don't want anyone like this to have that kind of influence because it is only a matter of time before these same folks start calling for us to be shot!

S: What kind of projects do you have planned for the fall and winter?

DLJ: We are going to be all over the place getting people across the country involved in our form of activism. That has been a daunting task simply because of what it entails, but the effort has to be made.

S: Is there any other local activism you're involved with besides OPP?

DLJ: OPP takes up a lot of time, but whenever I can be involved in other things, I do.

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