Many photos emerge from the American Renaissance conferences organized by Jared Taylor, where white "racialists" posit their theories about black IQ, black crime and the perils of non-white immigration. One of the more poignant was snapped in 1998.
Standing side-by-side are Glayde Whitney, Ph.D., a geneticist at Florida State University, and Michael Levin, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at City College of New York.
Whitney, in addition to theorizing that black people have inherently lower IQs than whites, was four years from publishing a piece in a Holocaust denial journal on how Jews promoted racial equality because, in his words, "if the whites could be convinced to accept blacks as equals, they could be convinced to accept anyone."
Levin, who had advocated consigning black men to their own, specially policed subway cars, was dismayed when informed last week of Whitney's theory about Jews. He hadn't guessed him for a bigot.
Whitney died before the 2002 American Renaissance conference. Levin had to keep company with the likes of Nick Griffin, Holocaust-denying leader of the far-right British National Party.
Nonetheless, enough academics attended to keep the conversation high-toned. Richard Lynn, Ph.D., formerly of the University of Ulster in Colerain, Northern Ireland, was on hand to make a co-presentation with Professor J. Philippe Rushton, Ph.D., of the University of Western Ontario. Their thesis: The average IQ in sub-Saharan Africa is 70, or, less clinically, that the bulk of black African males are borderline retarded.
Prowling the halls of the event was the usual grab-bag of attendees. Members of the neo-Nazi National Alliance were on hand. Gordon Lee Baum, president of the Council of Conservative Citizens, successor to the White Citizens Councils, joined the speaker's list. At the 2004 conference, Don Black, webmaster of Stormfront.org, the uber-site for "white nationalists," "white separatists," Nazi skinheads and old-time Klansmen, set up his computer in the lobby of the Dulles Hyatt and broadcast American Renaissance in real-time.
By then, Levin had ceased to attend.
"Was I uncomfortable around them? I'll be honest. Sure. I get into arguments with them. It's a source of difficulty in my own mind," Levin said.
No problem. Levin was replaced by another academic, Philip du Toit of the University of Witwatersrand. Du Toit discussed "The Crisis in South Africa." Hint: It has something to do with blacks running the place.
Jared Taylor -- a former business consultant, Yale graduate, speaker of three languages -- has assembled a venue where academics, often in bad standing at their own institutions because of their racial views, can meet and discuss their research findings, which almost invariably links black failure to some form of genetic disadvantage or social pathology.
"It's a very wide tent. Jared Taylor is, I think, to be commended. He keeps a very wide tent," said Rushton. "We have discussions freely and openly about topics that in academia, at least in science, unfortunately, we cannot."
This rubbing of shoulders between professors and extremists is possible for a number of reasons, not the least of them an obscure, race-obsessed foundation called The Pioneer Fund.
Of the academics on hand to discuss the findings gobbled up and redistributed with the unique spin only a group such as the National Alliance can give them, many of the key players at American Renaissance have relied on Pioneer, based in New York.
Rushton, whose studies have measured everything from the hierarchy of IQs to the inverse correspondence between the size of brains and genitalia, now heads Pioneer. He has been correspondingly generous to his own university and to The Charles Darwin Institute, which he heads.
Lynn, who joined the Pioneer board of directors in 2002, has also been blessed by its largesse. Since he emerged on the race and eugenics horizon, Lynn's Ulster Institute for Social Research has received more than $600,000 in Pioneer dollars.
Levin was able to research and publish his book "Why Race Matters" thanks to a $124,000 Pioneer grant.
Similarly, while many academic journals no longer take his papers, Levin has found an audience by submitting to publications such as "The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies." Its stolid name notwithstanding, the journal is affiliated with The Council for Social and Economic Studies, headed by Roger Pearson. Pearson was once head of the neo-fascist Northern League in Great Britain. Another of his organizations, The Institute for the Study of Man, publisher of Mankind Quarterly, also receives funds from Pioneer.
"They were willing to support my research, and that's a big thing," Levin said. "In fact, that's a plus for them."
It has been a plus for Jared Taylor, as well. The New Century Foundation -- which publishes American Renaissance magazine, which hosts the bi-yearly conferences -- is a Pioneer recipient.
The Pioneer Fund has its origins in the eugenics movement of the late 19th century. This branch of science held that mankind could be genetically improved by proper breeding, ideally of white people with other white people. Its founder was Wickliffe Draper, the reclusive and, as it turns out, racist heir to a New England textile fortune. Draper's foundation was established to encourage "racial hygiene" and at points his money helped distribute a 1930s Nazi film on the subject.
William H. Tucker, a professor at Rutgers University's Camden campus, wrote a book on Draper and the Pioneer Fund. What he found was an interconnection between almost every academic with a strong racial theory and Pioneer.
"Everywhere I went where there was a scientist who had a racist sensibility, Pioneer had gotten in touch with him," Tucker said.
If Pioneer could not openly fund a cause, Draper, often using the staff from Pioneer, would funnel some of his own money. He gave $350,000 to help William Shockley, the Nobel laureate who invented the transistor, develop his theories about lower black intelligence. When Earnest Sevier Cox of The White American Society wanted to promote his campaign to repatriate American blacks in Africa, the money came out of Draper's pocket.
When Arthur Jensen of the University of California at Berkeley sought to prove Shockley's theories, Pioneer funded him. When Wesley Critz George of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill needed to put out an anti-civil rights pamphlet called "Biology of the Race Problem," Draper quietly underwrote the project, sending his staff to arrange the transfer of money.
"It was Pioneer in all but name," Tucker said.
During the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission's war against racial integration, Draper secretly moved hundreds of thousands of his own dollars south.
Draper's preconceived notions about race and racial purity have not always called into question the quality of the science his foundation funded.
Pioneer paid for an extensive study at the University of Minnesota into behavioral similarities in twins. It had no racial implications.
Similarly, Rushton, Levin and another Pioneer recipient, Linda Gottfredson of the University of Delaware (who does not attend the American Renaissance conferences), are controversial, but not regarded as unqualified in their fields.
"Rushton has done a lot of credible academic work," said Tucker. "He has also done a lot of things that are helpful to Pioneer. He probably would be taken more seriously in academia if he didn't show up at these conferences and feed the faithful red meat."
That red meat was served up at the last American Renaissance Conference, where readers on Stormfront's discussion lists absorbed three days of coverage that included photos of Stormfront men, in ties and jackets mingling with academics and Nazis.
"Those pictures sure knock the hell out of the media image of us!" a list member wrote. Indeed. It was almost as if someone had counted on that.
And they could take home quotes from Ph.D.s and academics assembled by a polyglot business consultant and underwritten by a tax-exempt foundation marching proudly back to the 19th century.
Dennis Roddy is a Post-Gazette columnist (email@example.com, 412-263-1965).