Popehat's Old Friend Bill Johnson Turns Up, This Time As A Donald Trump Delegate, of Course

Long-time Popehat readers probably remember good ol' Bill Johnson.

I first wrote about Mr. Johnson in 2008, when he ran for a seat on the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Mr. Johnson used to go by the name James O. Pace, under which name he advocated repealing the 14th and 15th Amendments and replacing them with the "Pace Amendment":

No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race, in whom there is no ascertainable trace of Negro blood, nor more than one-eighth Mongolian, Asian, Asia Minor, Middle Eastern, Semitic, Near Eastern, American Indian, Malay or other non-European or non-white blood, provided that Hispanic whites, defined as anyone with an Hispanic ancestor, may be citizens if, in addition to meeting the aforesaid ascertainable trace and percentage tests, they are in appearance indistinguishable from Americans whose ancestral home is in the British Isles or Northwestern Europe. Only citizens shall have the right and privilege to reside permanently in the United States.

He lost, despite some woefully clueless press coverage. But you can't keep a white nationalist down. Mr. Johnson has returned again and again. He managed to get on Ron Paul's endorsement list until he was thrown off, perhaps on the theory that such racial ideas belong in newsletters written in Paul's name but not in judicial candidates. He became "chairman" of the "America Third Position," which is more or less what you'd guess it is. He got the Los Angeles County Bar Association to put him on their lawyer referral list.

And now, proving that there are not only second acts but near-infinite acts in American life, Mr. Johnson has been accepted as a Donald Trump delegate in California. Mother Jones reports:

Johnson applied to the Trump campaign to be a delegate. He was accepted on Monday.

I actually doubt that the Trump campaign knowingly chose Johnson because he's a known white nationalist. But I doubt they particularly care. Bill Johnson has come home.

Edited to add: Josh Harkinson, author of the Mother Jones piece, pokes a bit of fun at Bill Johnson for his taste in food:

As we sat next to a table of immaculately coiffed Korean Air flight attendants, I mentioned that some might find it surprising that a guy who wrote a book advocating the creation of an all-white ethno-state was eating a plate of bulgogi beef with kimchee. "Koreans don't have to make Korean food," he said matter-of-factly. "One of the best Chinese restaurants I went to in the Bay Area is owned by a Mormon and cooked by a Mormon. Really great Chinese food."

One hears this a lot: how can a racist like Korean food? How can that guy be a bigot when he once dated a black girl? (That one was a defense in a civil rights case I prosecuted in the '90s). How can she be racist if she has Latina friends?

All of those arguments depend upon a hidden premise: that racism is rational, and therefore can be expected to operate rationally. It isn't and it doesn't.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

Comments

  1. easy says

    And now, proving that their are not only second acts…

    You've got a typo there Ken.

    Even if the Trump campaign wasn't aware of his past he sure seems like an appropriate delegate.

  2. curri says

    He seems like a harmless eccentric. Johnson claims he doesn't have to worry about PC because his law business is mainly with Japanese firms (He speaks Japanese).

  3. says

    In before the discussion of how I am suppressing free speech.

    Funny how this is so often said of people who have finely tuned bullshit detectors.

  4. SlimTim says

    Can someone explain how delegates are chosen in CA? I'm not familiar with why a presidential candidate would submit names to the Secretary of State. Is it just a list of endorsements?

    The process that I am familiar with is that those who want to be a delegate run at the local caucus, the winners elect delegates at the district caucus, and so on up to the state and national conventions.

  5. Lokiwi says

    Look at his website: http://loslaw.com/ He's primarily working for Chinese clients, and advertising in other languages. Your statement about racism not being rational is particularly apt with this guy.

  6. Richard says

    in whom there is no ascertainable trace of Negro blood

    Well, that excludes at least one white supremacist. Probably a bunch more, too.

    nor more than one-eighth […] American Indian

    Okay, seriously? A guy who rails against illegal immigration doesn't want to grant citizenship to the people whose lands the "white Europeans" took over?

    He doesn't see a trace of irony there?

  7. says

    @Richard:

    Okay, seriously? A guy who rails against illegal immigration doesn't want to grant citizenship to the people whose lands the "white Europeans" took over?

    Actually the thing that impresses me is the obvious consideration that went onto the "nor more then one-eighth" part. Was that a compromise between the racist arguing for purity and the racist who thought a quarter NA blood was okay because he was totally going through a Torri Amos phase? Was it so they didn't have to deport Chuck Norris? Were they thinking, "let's add 1/8, so we can deflect accusations of racism?"

  8. Nobody says

    Am I missing something? He's a delegate. He goes to a party and says Trump's name. He's not an advisor or veep. His "job" could be performed by, well, anyone. Or anything. I could probably train my cat to be a delegate if I had enough catnip and patience.

    Sure, he's a scumbag, but he'll do more damage as a member of the bar than he will at the convention.

  9. Sinij says

    Trump could be running on a platform of reinstating human sacrifices and would still get the same amount of votes. This is because for 30+ years progress stalled and reversed for a large segment of population whom are angry about this and are now intentionally throwing wrenches into political machinery.

  10. Robert says

    You should probably note that the Trump campaign has given him the boot, and blamed a database error for him being included on the list:

    After the news broke today, Johnson was contacted by Tim Clark, Trump's California chair, and was told "you are not being considered for a delegate position," he told The Daily Beast.

    In a Tuesday afternoon statement, however, the Trump campaign said, "a database error led to the inclusion of a potential delegate that had been rejected and removed from the campaign's list in February 2016."

  11. cthulhu says

    @Sinij

    The corollary to that is that Hillary Clinton could sacrifice kittens with her bare hands on national television, and would still get the Democratic nomination.

  12. En Passant says

    No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race, in whom there is no ascertainable trace of Negro blood, nor more than one-eighth Mongolian, Asian, Asia Minor, Middle Eastern, Semitic, Near Eastern, American Indian, Malay or other non-European or non-white blood, provided that Hispanic whites, …

    Racist? Sure.

    But from any practical perspective, loopy beyond comprehension.

    How many geneticists, DNA experts and lawyers would it take to determine whether any particular person met that criterion?

    "One of the best Chinese restaurants I went to in the Bay Area is owned by a Mormon and cooked by a Mormon. Really great Chinese food."

    Sounds like he would have benefited from some late night Edsel Ford Fung therapy at San Francisco's Sam Wo restaurant.

  13. L says

    Am I missing something? He's a delegate. He goes to a party and says Trump's name. He's not an advisor or veep. His "job" could be performed by, well, anyone. Or anything. I could probably train my cat to be a delegate if I had enough catnip and patience.

    Sure, he's a scumbag, but he'll do more damage as a member of the bar than he will at the convention.

    If you were a candidate, would you accept him as your delegate?

  14. Duke of URL says

    Actually, as soon as the Trump campaign found out about him and that he'd sneaked into their database, they kicked him out. I don't like Trump, but please don't set up Strawman attacks.

  15. Krychek_2 says

    "Actually, as soon as the Trump campaign found out about him and that he'd sneaked into their database, they kicked him out. I don't like Trump, but please don't set up Strawman attacks."

    If I were a Republican, what I would find worrisome is not so much the question of whether Trump is a racist, but why it is that racists feel drawn to Trump.

    For years, the GOP has been saying it's a vicious slander that their grass roots consists of racists, bigots and buffoons. Yet when a candidate comes along who appeals to racists, bigots and buffoons, that's who the base votes for. Maybe it turns out that meme isn't so far off after all.

    Oh, one last thing: I blame Reagan for Trump. Reagan's trickle down policies destroyed the middle class, and that destroyed middle class is now Trump's base.

  16. Trent says

    Sneaked in? He submitted a request and they approved it, they guy has a wiki page for god sake even a simple google search would reveal all you need to know without even opening a single page.

    Honestly I wouldn't expect much different of the Trump campaign to be honest. He's literally the first Republican nomination that's been roundly endorsed by just about every single racist in the country from the KKK and David duke through the "white nationalist" who claim they aren't racist down to the skin heads.

    If his campaign wasn't so incompetent they would recognize this and search these people out trying to serve as part of his campaign structure and blacklist them but I'm not sure Trump cares as long as it doesn't hit the national press.

  17. Argentina Orange says

    If I were a Republican, what I would find worrisome is not so much the question of whether Trump is a racist, but why it is that racists feel drawn to Trump.

    Maybe because every single broadcast media company on the planet from Nixon to GHWB said that the Republican party is the home of racisty racists, and if you repeat something often enough and loudly enough, people believe it?

    Oh, one last thing: I blame Reagan

    Nobody ever would have expected that.

  18. AH says

    Last I looked, it's past the deadline for changing the ticket. Trump may have disavowed him, but he's still a delegate.

    Yet another example of just how smart Trump and his people are. This kind of complete disregard for due diligence and attention to detail is exactly why he's been at the helm of so many corporate failures. It's also exactly why he's an awful choice. I expect before the day is out, he's going to be crying about how having to follow California law in California is unfair.

    @Ken White: I'm interested in seeing how that argument works, although even if made, I doubt it would be explained.

  19. Ross says

    Oh, one last thing: I blame Reagan for Trump. Reagan's trickle down policies destroyed the middle class, and that destroyed middle class is now Trump's base

    You can offer the blame around all you want, but you'd still be dead wrong. Using the phrase, "Trickle down economics/policies" simply echoes an age old lie that will not go away…..

  20. albert says

    If the Trump campaign had a vetting process, Trump would have been 'vetted out' a long time ago.

    @Sinij,

    "…large segment of population whom[sic] are angry about this and are now intentionally throwing wrenches into political machinery…."

    Indeed. When one thinks, "What difference does it make?", one tends to engage in sociological experiments. Though far to the left of 'progressive', in my darker moments, I often wonder what would happen if The Donald got elected. Too bad Hillary R will assume the mantle, crown, and sceptre.

    I predict that no one could predict the consequences of a President Trump. No one!

    . .. . .. — ….

  21. Krychek_2 says

    Ross, perhaps you could enlighten us on why you think it's a lie? Or do we just take your word for it?

  22. Mikee says

    RE: Ross

    The first person to call Reagan's tax policies 'Trickle Down Economics' was David Stockman, Reagan's budget director.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1981/12/the-education-of-david-stockman/305760/?single_page=true

    "Yes, Stockman conceded, when one stripped away the new rhetoric emphasizing across-the-board cuts, the supply-side theory was really new clothes for the unpopular doctrine of the old Republican orthodoxy. "It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down,'" he explained, "so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really 'trickle down.' Supply-side is 'trickle-down' theory."

    Some lie, huh? And told by the very same person that was, at the time, championing the policies to the public. Your lack of knowledge and understanding of historical events doesn't mean other people are lying. Less whining, more reading, plz.

  23. asdf says

    "how can a racist like Korean food" Are you expecting rationality and logical consistency from
    fear driven sociopathic apes?

  24. Rich Rostrom says

    What about the racists who support Clinton? FEC records show she gets about 85% of donations by the staff and faculty of Ivy League universities – which pretty openly discriminate against Asian-American applicants.

    What about the racists who support Sanders? He has prominent "BDS" advocates in his campaign, despite his own admission that anti-semitism is a driver of BDS. He's also supported by the Moslem Student Association, a notorious front for jihadism and anti-semitism.

    What about the "National Council of La Raza" ("The Race")? Both Clinton and Sanders addressed their convention.

    I'd say all of these issues are worse than a crank racist infiltrating the Trump campaign. (Yes, the Trumpkins should have vetted him better. But I don't think he showed up in a White Power t-shirt and swastika armband.)

  25. Careless says

    How many geneticists, DNA experts and lawyers would it take to determine whether any particular person met that criterion?

    Well, you'd need someone with a few minutes of training to process the sample, and the rest could be automated. It's not a complex problem in 2016.

  26. Careless says

    Mikee, I'm unsure what your point is. Yes, "trickle down economics" was a phrase that was used. You and Krychek seem to have missed the fact that there's no obvious path from there to "destroying the middle class"

  27. OrderoftheQuaff says

    Ah, somebody else here remembers Edsel Ford Fong. I went to law school in SF during his heyday. En Passant, do you remember the martini Nazi on Haight Street, owner of the Persian Aum Zam Zam Room? Getting kicked out of the Zam Zam, which was easy to accomplish (ordering a vodka martini or God help you, a fruit drink, was enough), was practically a rite of passage then.

    I acknowledge that somewhere in the world there may be a white Mormon who can cook Chinese food, but the odds are against it. My experience with Asian restaurants run by white people in areas where there are few Asians is that they are awful. The Bay Area is full of Asians, but I still don't believe Mr. Johnson's restaurant can compete against the vast number of authentic practitioners, be they Culinary Academy grads or FOB, and I don't want 10% of my check going straight to Salt Lake City to support the Mormon god.

    What was it John Lennon sang about people who wanted to change the Constitution?

    Additional disclosure: I have already voted for Bernie Sanders in the Oregon primary, and I have over five more months to contemplate the enormity of voting for Hillary Clinton, but I've done way more disgraceful things in my time than that.

  28. Doubter44 says

    I know this thread is dead but I just saw it and it took me back.
    The Persian Zam Zam room – good lord that place was amazing. People don't believe me when I tell them about it – I actually never got thrown out. Thrown up there – or near yes.
    My brother lived walking distance when it was in one of its primes (it think it went though several of of them).
    We had many many many martinis there on my visits up from LA.
    Though now that I think of it my brother being a somewhat regular there might not of been that good of a thing. but Lord it was fun.

  29. Encinal says

    Careless says

    Well, you'd need someone with a few minutes of training to process the sample, and the rest could be automated. It's not a complex problem in 2016.

    What would the evaluation criteria be?

  30. Mikee says

    RE: Careless

    Try looking at the "RE: Ross" in my comment. Then try looking at Ross's comment where he states that Reganomics being trickle down is a lie. Here, I'll just copy/paste it for you since you seem to be unable to scroll up.

    ""Trickle down economics/policies" simply echoes an age old lie that will not go away….."

    Now, you're free to claim that Reaganomics didn't help the disappearance of the middle class, but that is not what Ross said, and since you provided absolutely zero evidence to support your claim I'll just assume you're Ross under a different name, talking out of your ass. Are you still unsure what my point is, or shall I find a five year old to draw it out for you in crayon?

    Now if you're gullible enough to believe that Reaganomics didn't help the middle class disappear I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that you will definitely be interested in buying, real cheap.

  31. BadRoad says

    @Careless

    Well, you'd need someone with a few minutes of training to process the sample, and the rest could be automated. It's not a complex problem in 2016.

    The army of geneticists would be there mainly to identify a list of genetic markers unique to persons of northern European descent. Nobody has actually designed a DNA test for race yet, largely because it would be really hard. As far as anyone can tell so far, two random members of the same race don't have any more DNA in common than two random people. It's possible that nobody has looked in the right place yet, or it's possible that race is a social construct with no genetic determination.

  32. spinetingler says

    Rich Rostrom says

    He's also supported by the Moslem Student Association

    You just eliminated yourself from intelligent conversation.

  33. Another Tom says

    I find his amendment hilariously stupid because it would mean there couldn't be any American citizens. If you go back far enough, every human is from Africa. Which means that there are no humans with "no ascertainable trace of Negro blood"

    A better screen would be to look for Neaderthal DNA because there is one thing Europeans did much more than other lines of humans, shagging outside our species.

  34. Trent says

    A better screen would be to look for Neanderthal DNA because there is one thing Europeans did much more than other lines of humans, shagging outside our species.

    Note entirely true. Though Europeans generally have the largest share of Neanderthal DNA most Asian Ethnic groups have an equal amount of Denisovan DNA (Densiovans are another branch of Human Lineage that was existent around the same time as the Neanderthal but concentrated more toward the eastern side of the Asian continent, the first Denisovan bone fragments were found in Siberian caves).

    In fact the only groups of humans without any trace of Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA are those groups of humans whose ancestors never left Africa. Everyone else has one or both mixed in because as you say our ancestors had no problem at all breeding outside the species.

  35. says

    As long as this thread is dead: will Ken be making any comments on the Texas judge that ordered a substantial number of DOJ lawyers to take 3 hours of remedial ethics courses "taught by at least one recognized ethics expert who is unaffiliated with the Justice Department."? Now if there could just be some way of making them actually pay attention what what they'd learn there.

  36. Lagaya1 says

    Ben- I believe he tweeted about it this morning or last night. Check his twitter.

  37. Peter Sutton says

    "Now if there could just be some way of making them actually pay attention what what they'd learn there."

    Ben,

    Plato wondered (in the Meno) whether paying attention in ethics class could make you a better person. His answer was basically "no, you can't just teach someone to be good." But whether Plato was right about that or not, it's irrelevant to the question at hand because ethics classes do not even ATTEMPT to teach people to be good.

    When I teach an ethics class (which I do from time to time), the goal is to get students to think about what is right and wrong and to develop and criticize theories of morality. I do not pretend to be instilling virtue: I hope the be instilling knowledge and reasoning skills. But knowledge and intelligence can be used for good or evil, and the same style of reasoning that makes one person realize the error of her ways might make another person rationalize those ways and double-down on her unethical behavior.

    Fun fact: Within philosophical circles, there is a persistent stereotype that ethicists are bad people. I was at the APA (the philosophy one, not that imposter psych one) one year and had a problem with my registration. The lady at the counter was sorting it out and said "so you've already paid the fee, right?" I said "No, I haven't." She said "thank you for your honesty," and the philosopher checking in next to me turned and said "huh, you must not be an ethicist." I told him I wasn't, which is true, but if I had been an ethicist, I probably would have said the same thing (since ethicists are lying scumbags).

  38. Tim! says

    @Trent: sub-species. Breeding outside the species is a genetic dead end, by definition.

  39. Marconi Darwin says

    Maybe because every single broadcast media company on the planet from Nixon to GHWB said that the Republican party is the home of racisty racists, and if you repeat something often enough and loudly enough, people believe it?

    Or maybe because they are. That is the simpler explanation and borne out by the actions of Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Trent Lott, Scalise, Drumpf, the white supremacists supporting Drumpf… just as immediate examples.

    Or Nixon himself on the Jews and the blacks in his tapes.

    Heck, look here: http://bit.ly/1OTxlcq

    http://bit.ly/1OTxg8K

  40. Dan says

    The original KKK probably has about 10 members, nine of whom are FBI informants.

    The Latino KKK (the National Council of La Raza — literally, The Race) is a huge, mainstream organization, funded by the Ford Foundation and the UAW.