John Kasper

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Frederick John Kasper Jr. later Fred Kasper (October 21, 1929 - April 7, 1998) photowas a socially liberal Ezra Pound devotee who became a presidential candidate of the National States Rights Party after serving three prison terms for leading riots against racial integration during the 1950s.

I’m a rabble-rouser, a troublemaker. I’m not through up there. We want trouble. We want it now…. Some of us may die and I may die, too. It may mean going back to jail, but I’m going back to fight. We went as far as we could have gone legally. Now is the time to fight, even if it involves bloodshed.[1]

Early life and Greenwich Village

Kasper was born near Pennsauken, New Jersey to Frederick and Rose Kasper. His father was a successful engineer. After attending Yankton College in South Dakota, Kasper entered Columbia University later graduating with a bachelors degree in General Studies. At Columbia, Kasper became a devotee of famed poet and fascist propagandist Ezra Pound maintaining correspondence with his hero whilst a student. He opened a bookshop in Greenwich Village called "Make It New" which catered to all races. One reporter wrote the bookstore was "a recognized center for the distribution of pro-Negro books and magazines and was patronized chiefly by Negroes and Negrophile whites" For a time Kasper dated a Black woman.

Kasper would hold interracial Sunday discussions at the store where he would often focus his attention against Jews and communists. In fact, the eclectic bookstore also sold books that would be considered antisemitic.

Association with Ezra Pound

In the summer of 1950 Kasper traveled from New York to visit Ezra Pound at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington DC where he was imprisoned. In late 1955, Kasper moved to Washington where he opened a new bookstore on Wisconsin Avenue called "Cadmus". In addition he set up a company to publish the poets' works, as well as those of others such as Charles Olson. One of Kasper's roommates in Washington and another devotee to Ezra Pound was Eustace Mullins who would later become a noted "conspiracy theorist" and critic of the Federal Reserve banking system.[2]

Kasper was so enamored of Pound that his launched a naïve but ardent presidential campaign on his behalf in 1956. “Pound for Prez” stickers began appearing all over New York City subways.[3]

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. Ezra Pound once complemented Kasper for using one of his trials to get "a little publicity for the NAACP being run by kikes and not by coons."[4]

Resistance to integration

Kasper came to prominence during the integration of Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee. With the help of Alabamian Asa Carter, the duo made an effective stand against the attempt to integrate the schools.

Kasper mobilized the town opponents of integration 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.[5] As a result of this incident, Kasper became a presence at a number of such protests across the south.[6] 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--where he was an automobile dealer--as well as a number of synagogue bombings although no evidence was provided to link him directly to any of the cases.

He served eight months of a one year sentence for conspiracy in 1957 at Federal prisons in Tallahassee and Atlanta where he was released on August 1, 1958. Kasper 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.

In February 1962 an announcement of his upcoming marriage appeared in The Thunderbolt.

Presidential candidate and later life

John Kasper would later become associated with the National States' Rights Party (although never officially a member) 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.[7] John Kasper began to go by the name Fred Kasper in the mid-1960s. He effectively left politics and was divorced twice with several children.

Pamphlets written by John Kasper

  • Virginians Awake! (ca. 1957)
  • Segregation or Death (ca. 1958)

The Intruder

The exploits of John Kasper were adapted in the 1962 Roger Corman film The Intruder. The lead part was played by actor William Shatner of Star Trek fame. The film parallels the events of Clinton, Tennessee where a stranger by the name of Adam Cramer arrives in the small southern town of Caxton and organizes whites to resist integration.

See also

FBI files relating to John Kasper

John Kasper's FBI files obtained through the FOIA and hosted at the Internet Archive

External links


Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.