Last year, anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) hired a neo-Nazi.
This revelation comes from a recent in-depth investigation by El Tecolote into the history of Parker Anthony Wilson. The publication uncovered Wilson’s involvement with white nationalist groups in California and his activities online promoting white supremacy and Adolf Hitler. It also noted that Wilson worked as CAPS’s public affairs director for six months.
When asked for comment, CAPS Executive Director Jo Wideman denied any knowledge of Wilson’s past. “We were not aware of Mr. Wilson’s past activities as a teenager,” Wideman wrote to El Tecolote. “As of today, he is no longer employed by CAPS.”
Indeed, Wilson’s “past activities as a teenager” include being active in white supremacist and nationalist groups—both online and in-person. But his connections to white nationalism extend well beyond his teenage years and into his CAPS employment.
As El Tecolote reported, Wilson began posting on the notorious white supremacist Stormfront in 2006, at age 15. Five years later, he was arrested after striking a person with brass knuckles in a parking lot. Police searched Wilson’s residence and found “numerous White Pride paraphernalia, firearms, ammunition and components to make a pipe bomb.” Wilson was sentenced to 60 days in prison and three years’ probation, which he violated 14 months later.
More recently, Wilson had been involved with white nationalist group Identity Evropa. Nathan Damigo, who founded Identity Evropa last year, is based in California and has become an increasingly prominent member of the white nationalist Alt-Right movement.
Prior to becoming CAPS’s public affairs director, the anti-immigrant group awarded Wilson during its first statewide college competition, the California Population Awareness Awards. CAPS announced the competition winners in March 2012. According to CAPS’s Spring 2012 newsletter, Wilson was one of three participating students to win an iPad 2.
CAPS’s recent dismissal of Wilson should not take away from extremist connections the group still maintains.
John Vinson, a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow, help found the neo-Confederate League of the South. He is also the founder and president of the anti-immigrant American Immigration Control Foundation, which has, like CAPS, received funds from the racist Pioneer Fund.
Joe Guzzardi, another CAPS Senior Writing Fellow and longtime spokesperson, has authored dozens of articles and was a former editor of the white nationalist VDARE.com. The virulently anti-immigrant website published a letter by Guzzardi criticizing DREAMers on February 20.
CAPS board member Marilyn DeYoung has also blatantly disparaged immigrant children, describing them as dangerous criminals or, strangely, communists. “A baby can join a gang and then commit a crime, a baby can drop out of school and become a criminal, a baby grows up,” DeYoung said in a 2013 interview with advocacy organization Cuéntame. “The DREAM Act is dangerous, children of illegal aliens who were brought here under this stupid birthright citizenship visa. They’re not getting into the depth of whether they’re communist or whether they’re drug smugglers or had felonies or had been in prison or anything … They know how to game our benefits — they’re on food stamps, they go to the hospital, get free education, free medical care.”
CAPS also regularly publishes Muslim-bashing Malthusian Frosty Wooldridge’s writing. For over a decade, Wooldridge has written about immigration and environmental issues with an explicitly xenophobic and apocalyptic bent. This has only gotten more extreme in recent years as Wooldridge’s writing has increasingly targeted Muslims in his regular column at fringe right wing website NewsWithViews.com—including a December 2016 piece headlined “Islam-Muslims: Incompatible With 21st Century Humanity.”
By firing Parker Wilson, CAPS is supporting one less extremist. However, the group simultaneously continues to support several others.
Until CAPS acknowledges and changes the reality that it is little more than a platform for bigotry, it has no basis for presenting itself as a legitimate or well-intentioned advocacy organization.