Racist wins in Tennessee primary

Bad ideas seem to have a life of their own. Witness the philosophy of a Republican candidate in a recent primary in northwestern Tennessee. James L. Hart ran for Congress in that district. Hart admits he is an avowed advocate of eugenics.

That is the bogus science that Adolf Hitler used to promote his idea of a “master race.” Thousands of people have been sterilized in the name of eugenics in an insane effort to purify the white race.

Hart believes this country will look “like one big Detroit”—a city with a large African-American population—unless it eliminates welfare payments and immigration. He believes if blacks had been integrated centuries ago, the automobile would never have been invented.

Some residents say Hart has been known to turn up at voters’ homes wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a gun. He tells the voters that “white children deserve the same rights as everyone else.”

Republican leaders in the area were chagrined because Hart was the only Republican candidate on the ballot. The party leaders hadn’t bothered to field a candidate. Democrat John Tanner has held the congressional seat for 15 years.

Dennis Bertrand, a financial analyst and ex-military officer who also has been a candidate, said of Hart: “I would characterize him as a racist, an elitist. His idea of genetically altering the human race in order to build a super race with super intelligence is appalling.”

Much of Hart’s platform dealt with eugenics, which developed before the Second World War as pseudo science touted as solving social problems by preventing those deemed “unfit” from having children. It prompted 33 U.S. states to adopt laws that permitted the sterilization of 66,000 people. Nazi Germany followed the American example to justify programs that sterilized and killed millions more.

Hart, a 60-year-old real estate agent, is aware his views are not shared by most people and that he is seen as a racist. He insists, however, that his views have nothing to do with racism, but much to do with “favored races” from Europe and Asia and “less-favored races” from Africa. Eliminating welfare and immigration, he believes, would bring about the predominance of “favored races.”

“If an individual demonstrates the ability to produce and contribute to society, he or she would be encouraged to have more children. People on welfare would not,” Hart said.

Bertrand said he ran because he hoped to prevent Hart from winning the Republican Party’s endorsement. “I was appalled by what I’d seen there,” Bertrand said. “It had nothing to do with the beliefs I have or of any Republican I know…or any Democrat or independent.”

Unfortunately, there still is a good deal of bigotry in Tennessee. Hart defeated Bertrand in the primary by 7,913 votes to 1,654 for Bertrand.

Hart admits he is not likely to beat Tanner, but he has 12 weeks to slip on his bulletproof vest, strap on his .40 caliber pistol and go knocking on doors in the district, which stretches from Clarksville to Memphis. If the person opening the door is black, Hart just leaves campaign literature.

Sources: Mansfield News Journal, The Independent

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