John Kasper


John Kasper

John Kasper (1929-1998 [http://www.robertsgriffin.com/TaleKasper.pdf 'The Tale of John Kasper'] ] ) was an American far right activist who took a militant stand against racial integration during the civil rights struggle.

Educated at Columbia University, Kasper became a devotee of Ezra Pound and opened correspondence with his hero whilst a student. After a spell running a bookshop in Greenwich Village he moved to Washington, D.C. where he became a friend of Pound and set up a company to publish the poets' works, as well as those of others such as Charles Olson. Imbibing Pound's rightist ideas he formed the Seaboard White Citizens Council immediately after Brown v. Board of Education in order to prevent desegregation in Washington.

Kasper came to prominence during the integration of Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee. Kasper came to the town to mobilize the opponents of the move and was arrested during the resulting unrest. In the subsequent trial, which was dogged by a number of jurors having served on the auxiliary police force that arrested Kasper, he was acquitted. [ [http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/resources/narratives/John_Moore.htm 'Mr. John G. Moore on the Desegregation of Clinton High School'] ] As a result of this incident, Kasper became a presence at a number of such protests across the south, often an unwelcome one. [ [http://www.ardemgaz.com/prev/CENTRAL/central0829b.html 'Kasper Not Wanted In Arkansas'] from the Arkansas Democrat] During his campaigning, Kasper served a number of terms in prison for crimes ranging from inciting a riot to loitering. He was a suspect in a school bombing in Nashville as well as a number of synagogue bombings (he was a virulent antisemite) although no evidence was provided to link him directly to any of the cases.

He served eight months for conspiracy in 1957 and upon his release he called for a return to Constitutionalism and the creation of a third party to oppose the integration that was now supported by both Democrat and Republican alike. He would later become associated with the National States' Rights Party and ran in the 1964 Presidential election with J. B. Stoner as his running mate. Kasper's final vote tally was, however, negligible. He gained 6,434 popular votes, all of which came from Kentucky and Arkansas. [ [http://www.statemaster.com/graph/pre_1964_pop_vot_for_joh_kas-1964-popular-votes-john-kasper 'Popular Votes for John Kasper (most recent) by state'] ] Kasper returned to his northern roots in 1967 and effectively left politics, settling down to family life and a series of clerical jobs.

References


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