We don’t feel like we really have to contend with the views of Leroy St. Germaine and Your Ward News. The lines are pretty clearly drawn for anyone who looks at the evidence. But since Leroy has a tendency to lie, we just thought we’d clarify a few things.
All of the outreach this group has been involved in has been polite and non-confrontational, ie: calling advertisers in the newspaper and talking to venue owners of Leroy’s live music events. We’ve simply provided them with information on Leroy and his racist newspaper, after which they’re left with a decision. We’ve never called Leroy, despite his assertion that some mysterious anonymous caller has been harassing him. As a person who’s openly racist and also publicly publishes his phone number, is he really surprised?
We are not terrorists, nor are we Marxists, LOL. Nothing we have done has been in any way violent, threatening, or illegal. When backed into a corner and confronted with the disgusting and unpopular nature of his ideas, Leroy is calling anyone who opposes him a “terrorist” or “Marxist conspirator” or some other scary McCarthyist slur.
It’s sad that Leroy is tokenizing the few people of colour who will associate with him, and it’s sad that these few still cling to him. But having a black friend doesn’t make one “not racist.” How many times have we heard old white men proclaim that “I can’t be anti-Semitic, my wife is half Jewish!” or “look, I’m nice to the black person who serves me food… I’m not racist!”. Racism is insidious. When marginalized and seeking broader legitimacy, many of the worst racists and Nazis have been willing to make compromises and work with those they claim to hate. Martin Heidegger had a love affair and friendship with Hannah Arendt who was Jewish, but that didn’t mean that Heidegger wasn’t a despicable Nazi.
Leroy compares his publication to Charlie Hebdo on the basis that both are “controversial,” and to further his persecution complex. While Charlie Hebdo is a left wing satire magazine that makes fun of the far-right, racists and xenophobes; Leroy’s newspaper is a far-right publication that prints polemics attacking immigrants, Jews, women, LGBT folk, and people of colour. There’s really no comparison other than in Leroy’s very active imagination.
We respect Leroy’s right to think and say what he wants. But unfortunately for Leroy, freedom of speech goes both ways. If he wants to publish obscene hatred and bigotry against some of the most vulnerable and oppressed members of society, then those of us who are decent will take it upon ourselves to expose and confront him. We’re not against music either. Quite the contrary. But as long as Leroy uses his live music events to legitimize himself, and to fund his hateful publication, we will make connections between his music events and his racist newspaper, and try to shut them down.
And how odd that Leroy often quotes George Orwell. Is he not aware that Orwell was heavily influenced by anti-authoritarian communism and anarchism? Nobody said Leroy was smart, or consistent though.