Americans for Self-Determination
Americans for Self-Determination
LEADER: Jeff Anderson
YEAR ESTABLISHED OR BECAME ACTIVE: 1995
Americans for Self-Determination (ASD), based in Falls Church, Virginia, advocates racial separatism: the complete separation of all races into distinct, sovereign sections of the United States. Using the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States as its political justification for such decentralization, ASD's brand of racial separatist thought, a subset of white supremacy, argues for the complete separation of races, with none dominant over the other.
The group's leader, Jeff Anderson, predicts a future race war, invoking Yugoslavia's experience in the 1990s as an example of extreme racism and violence. ASD argues that separating the races is an answer to ending racism.
Founded in 1995 by Jeff Anderson, Americans for Self-Determination states that "a just and peaceful racial separation must come about if America is to survive the 21st century, and it is ASD's mission to see that it does." Arguing that "racial separatism and reparations will be the new civil rights movement in the 21st century," the group believes that racial separatism, rather than direct white supremacy, is the answer to racial tension and issues in the United States.
By partitioning the country into various states—white, black, Hispanic, multicultural, "rainbow"—ASD and its leader argue that racial tensions will decrease, leading to greater harmony.
PHILOSOPHY AND TACTICS
Americans for Self-Determination addresses racial separatism with a plan of action (ASD Plan) that calls for the development of separate spheres for each race. By creating states in the United States for specific races—states for blacks, states for whites, states for Hispanics, and states for "rainbow", and states for those persons who are in interracial relationships, or those who wish to live among people of a different race—ASD argues that racial tensions will decrease.
According to ASD, the mechanism by which this plan can be implemented is two-fold: the end of racial preferences and economic incentives. First, in white states, racial preference programs such as affirmative-action would be eliminated. ASD states that this would be a disincentive for non-whites, and that they would naturally begin to move to other areas.
Whites would then use economic incentives and "buy out" the land and houses owned by non-whites in white states. There would be no economic incentives for black persons who prefer to remain in white states, or for white persons preferring to stay in black states.
ASD gives special consideration to the following groups as well: Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, Hawaiians, people of Middle Eastern descent, and "other groups" such as feminists and homosexuals. ASD notes that, in the Southwest, "Politically, many Hispanics call for a reconquest—reconquista—of the region, through violence if necessary." The Southwest and Florida (by virtue of its strong Cuban population in the southern tip of the state) would be candidates for separate Hispanic states under ASD's plan.
Native Americans, under the ASD Plan, get scant attention, with a short paragraph about the current reservation system and the conclusion that, "As provisions are made to accommodate other groups, a just solution to the need for Native American sovereignty will doubtlessly present itself."
Asians are considered to be fairly well assimilated with Americans of European descent by ASD, and the Plan notes that the states of Washington and Oregon, along with part of Canada, might be prospects for a future state. The author of the Plan also states that, "Clearly, there should be no transfer of wealth from whites to Asians, in spite of certain nineteenth-century unpleasantries, because Asians are on average more prosperous, and are fortunate to be here." Hawaii, because of its sizeable Asian population, is considered fairly easy to separate, but the Plan spends considerable time discussing the issue of Middle Easterners.
Little is known about Jeff Anderson, the founder of Americans for Self-Determination. In a 1997 interview with the publication "Spartacus," published on National Anarchist Online, Anderson described himself as having been raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He claims to have studied sociology at the University of Minnesota, and later studied law and theology, although he gives no further detail.
In the interview, he claims that the idea for ASD came to him in 1990, while working in Washington, D.C., as a political activist for conservative groups.
The Plan distinguishes between Middle Easterners who have assimilated into white society, and those who are religious Muslims. According the ASD, "The problem is that Islamic culture is fundamentally incompatible with Western culture. For Islam, coexistence with non-Islamic social and political institutions is not possible. Western-style democracy, with its separation of church and state, and individual freedoms, is not acceptable." Because of this, and issues surrounding the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks in 2001, religious Muslims should have their own "enclaves," according to ASD, and these persons "complicate the racial and ethnic situation in America."
In a section of the Plan labeled "Other Groups," ASD cites the Amish as an example of a separatist group that coexists peacefully with other groups. ASD further believes that just as the Amish live as they choose, "radical feminists may want Amazon colonies, with no men allowed. Gays often congregate in gay neighborhoods. Why not make those areas official with clearly delineated boundaries and local gay government and police forces?" Through separation, both racially and socially, ASD believes that "[g]enuine diversity would make our country a rich and colorful garden of contrasts."
To date, the group's tactics have largely included information gathering and disseminating, with little in the way of direct action. In terms of activism, according to reports on both the Americans for Self-Determination web site and the Stormfront White Nationalist Community web site, on December 19, 2000, pro-white and racial separatists held a press conference at the National Press Club. The event was covered live on C-SPAN, and Jeff Anderson was a speaker. This is the only notation of Mr. Anderson's involvement as a representative of ASD in any political arena.
There is no call for political action, political violence, or any other sort of direct movement on the part of members in the group.
Groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center note Americans for Self-Determination among lists of hate groups on the World Wide Web, but do not highlight ASD and its actions or leaderships in any of either organization's special reports on hate groups, white supremacists, or racial separatism.
Jeff Anderson and Americans for Self-Determination appear to have stopped their work in the fall of 2003. Dispatches from the group's web site end with a September/October 2003 update, and the group does not appear in press articles or web commentary after autumn 2003. The ASD Plan remains a major component of their web site and other writings on the Internet, but there appears to be little action on the part of the membership or leaders.
Gardell, Mattias. Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism. NC: Duke University Press, 2003.
Southern Poverty Law Center. "Appeasing the Beast." 〈http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=66〉 (accessed September 25, 2005).