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Grace Under Pressure:
Life as a Thought Criminal

[1]

Charles Krafft, CCTV

3,616 words

Editor’s note: This is a transcript of a talk given by Charles Krafft at a Counter-Currents event in 2013, which was published as Counter-Currents Radio episode number 323 [2]. We would like to thank Hyacinth Bouquet for this transcript.

Greg Johnson: All right, let’s begin our final session. This session is called “Grace Under Pressure.” It’s a very practical session. It’s a chance for people who have experience to pass on their experience to the rest of us.

One of the things that we all have to deal with is the potential for people pointing at us and saying, “Fascist!” “Racist monster!” How do you deal with that? So, the title is “Grace Under Pressure: Standing Up to Public Attacks.”

I’d like to invite Charles Krafft to come up. Charles Krafft has spoken at our last event, but just to give you a little introduction, if you haven’t already met him, or seen his work: Charles is a porcelain artist and a painter, and he lives in Seattle.

Early this year, the forces of political correctness finally caught up with him. For the better part of a decade, I’ve known Charles Krafft’s work. I’ve also known that he’s a “thought criminal.” He’s given interviews, written blog posts, and won prizes for writing revisionist essays. And yet it took about eight years for the art world to finally catch up with him, put two and two together, and say, “Maybe this guy isn’t being ironic. Maybe this guy is a thought criminal.”

The Stranger, which is one of those alternative weekly papers, material for which is provided by journalist/barista/waiter types. . . .

Charles Krafft: Plus, transgendered call-girls.

GJ: Okay! Those too. Basically, the Stranger is cultural Marxism in the first half of each issue and then ads for call-girls and massages in the last part. Cultural Marxism and pornography and prostitution. That’s their business plan. The typical alternative-weekly business plan.

Anyway, they went after Charles. Salon.com took it up. It became a national thing; and all of his friends were saying, “Oh no! It’s happening to Charlie.” And Charles Krafft stood up to them. He didn’t back down; he didn’t apologize.

It was really inspiring. I wrote a whole piece [3] about this. I even went and waded in on discussion boards and mixed it up. It was a lot of fun. But Charles didn’t back down. So, I just want everyone to applaud him right now.

I’ve said too much about this already. Why don’t we begin with Charlie Krafft. Charlie, do you want to tell us about not backing down?

CK: The whole thing of my “outing,” we’ll call it, started on Facebook. The Stranger article was a result of an anonymous letter from a psychology teacher at a small college in Washington state who had written me on Facebook in my personal message box, asking why the community hadn’t exposed me as a bigot.

The reason why this psychology professor thought I was a bigot is because she mistook the sock-puppet of one of my commenters on my Facebook page as me. The sock-puppet was throwing around a lot of rather vile, gutter, anti-Semitic slang, and also racial slurs. Ethnic and racial slurs of the most extreme kind, because this person — I know who the sock-puppet was — felt that this was some kind of a way to, I guess, promote the cause.

I wrote back to the psychology professor. I said, “Number one, that isn’t me. You might think it’s me, but it isn’t. It’s somebody else. Number two, I don’t want to censor anybody on my Facebook page. I don’t care if they are using the k-word, or the n-word. I just don’t want to be monitoring the comments.” Because I would post things that intrigued me, basically revisionist videos and things like this, and then there would be strings of comments from people. And this one particular commenter named “Elsa,” who is actually a male, would get on there and rip everybody a new asshole and use really vile language to do it.

My White Nationalist friends, of whom I have maybe a dozen in Seattle, cautioned me about letting this go on. They said, “Listen, this guy is going to really get you in trouble if you don’t block him/her.” Well, I didn’t do it, and I got in trouble. And, I had no idea that the trouble I got into was going to be international. I thought, what’s going to happen is it will be a local story for this little newspaper that Greg described.

Our community is insular, and I didn’t think it would go beyond that. I have enough friends up there, and had been living there and exhibiting long enough, so that I have a certain degree of respect built up over the course of a lifetime. I’m in the museum, and I used to be a journalist at an art paper, so I’m also a bit of a critic. I’m a curator. I put together shows in Seattle that were very popular with people. And I’m an eccentric. I’m sort of like a character on the art scene. Kids look up to me because I’ve been at it all my life, and they’re starting out. They want to know how do you survive without a day job. That’s the big thing.

The psychology professor wrote the anonymous note to the art critic. The art critic wrote to me and said, “You’ve been accused of being a Holocaust denier. Would you like to say something about that?” I wrote back to the critic and said, “Well this is a no-win situation. I don’t want to say anything about it.” That was it.

She wrote back, and I had written a paper about the Holocaust in Romania, which was kind of academic. I said, “This is the only thing I’ve ever written about the Holocaust. Here it is. You read it. You tell me. If you think I’m a Holocaust denier, fine. I don’t want to comment on this.” She wrote me back and said, “Well, okay; fine. Fair enough.” That was the quote. “Fair enough.” If you don’t want to comment, no comment, that’s fine. It won’t be pursued.” Which I thought was okay, and I let it go at that.

Eight months later, I got a letter back from the critic. I’m on my way to Asia. I’m in Asia, actually. I’m in India. She’s saying, “I’ve been tracking you on the internet. You’ve got your name at these various White Nationalist” — they don’t use the word, White Nationalist; they call it White supremacism — “at White supremacist websites. You’ve got your name there. You’re all over the Holocaust revisionist blogs with your comments. I have some questions I want you to answer. You can either answer these questions, or you can refuse to answer them again, but whatever you do, I’m going to write about you. And, essentially, you’re going to be outed by me.”

There were seven questions she asked, which I answered. I’m a fairly honest person, and I don’t like to play these Jewish games, where you’re always strategizing with your enemy, trying to outsmart them. I’m just kind of a dumb ox. I know what I think the truth is. And rather than protect it with a bunch of weasel-words, or corkscrew logic, or pilpul, as they call it, I’m just going to take my medicine. Like I used to do with my dad, when he was mad at me. “It’ll be over in a while,” I always tell myself.

She went ahead and wrote this article. That I’m a White Nationalist — God bless her, she didn’t say “supremacist” — and a Holocaust denier. Well, of course that’s the worst thing in the world to be in the art sphere — which is totally cultural Marxist. There are very few people like me and, at this little kind of minor level of celebrityhood that I achieved in the world of the crafts. I thought, like I said, it would be over, and I can get on with my life.

Well, Christ, the Huffington Post picked it up immediately, and then somebody else at the Huffington Post had to chime in. So I got two Huffington Post articles excoriating me. Once it was in the Huffington Post, it went to the Guardian in England. They had a poll there: Should my art be taken out of museums? You vote “yes,” or you vote “no.” Vice Magazine, which is supposed to be so edgy, called me up and interviewed me. And then, after I was interviewed, completely smeared me, misquoted me, made me look like a crackpot, and generally left me in the dust as a “hateful” person. The thing is, it’s “hate.” They want to make you into a “hater.”

Then the New Yorker called. And, it’s this Jewish young reporter, who writes about culture and the arts for their blog. It’s not the print edition of the New Yorker; it’s their blog. She wanted to interview me, and I thought, “Okay, fine.” I gave her two hours of talking about what I do and my career. That’s fine. The New Yorker piece is kind of okay, because they asked the question: Should we censor this man? Should the museums that have bought his works get rid of them now? And can artists who are like me — “haters” — should they be allowed to participate in the cultural sphere?

When you go to the comments at these places, it’s amazing to see how much and how many people think that this is extremely dangerous to have an artist with ideas like mine. They want to censor you. And then, not only do they want that to happen to you, but at the same time, they don’t even know you, but they want to kick you when you’re down. They just make up things about you. It’s amazing. People came out of the woodwork and started telling stories about me that had never happened. They claimed that I’d been mean to homosexuals. I had nothing to do with this issue.

They put words in my mouth in some of these articles. There were 72 of them, by the way, at last count. Big mainstream places and small blogs. I got defended by Greg, and I got defended by some other people. But the defense was nowhere near as copious as this excoriation, this public auto-da-fé I had to go through.

The result has been, I was elevated from a regional and a kind of small-time national fame. My fame went way up into the international sphere. I’ve never been more famous than I am now as a result of this. I was really a small-time guy. But they made me look like I’m the king of American ceramics. And look at him: he’s a Nazi. And we’re going to take him down!

Now, as a result of the attention I got, my celebrity rating spiked way up. Business-wise, I attracted a new audience of people that are Jew-wise, people that are leaning towards White Nationalism, people that are on the Right, who hadn’t heard of me before. I guess they think that it would be a good idea to support me, because they can consider what I’m doing now a bit of a crusade. And a losing battle. So there’s that.

[4]

You can buy Greg Johnson’s White Identity Politics here. [5]

My audience doesn’t have a lot of money and never did. I sell to young people. I’ve kept my prices down so that if they have any discretionary income that they want to spend on art, they can afford my pieces. It’s not like you spend a lot of money on my work: a couple of hundred bucks, you can have something by me. The kids used to love it, because it’s edgy. And they like guns, and I make guns. I comment on their culture, because I’m kind of in tune with it. I’m respected by this younger generation of creative people that are sharing their interests and their heroes with me.

So, I haven’t been left behind because I’m as old as I am. I’ve sort of been brought into a new generation of art makers, as a senior, as a respected senior with this kind of edginess. That’s nice.

Other notes that I took for myself about explaining what goes on when you get smeared like this is the worst thing that happens to you, the immediate family. Suddenly you’re in the newspaper. I was on the cover of the Seattle Times as a Holocaust denier. The Sunday paper. There I am, in my studio, with a bunch of Hitler teapots behind me. With the editorializing that went on, it’s just, “This guy doesn’t believe in the Holocaust.”

Of course I believe in the Holocaust. But with this kind of attention, nobody’s going to wait for you to split hairs. The charge has to be lobbed at you, and it sticks the way it is. “Denier.” When they read “denier,” that means you deny the whole Holocaust. It makes you look silly; because I don’t deny the Holocaust. I have some skepticism about some of the received history of the Holocaust, but nobody wants to hear you say that. Especially the people who do the reporting about it — reporting about you being a Holocaust denier, because they need a hook to hang their story on. The hook is the scandalous nature of your thought crime, and then, there it goes.

Now I’m stuck with the picture of me on the cover of the city paper, and as Thanksgiving is coming, I usually spend it with my brother, his wife, and my two nieces. Well, one of the nieces is engaged to a Jewish person, and the Jewish family of the niece is coming for Thanksgiving, and so I’m not invited that year. I don’t have a place at the Thanksgiving dinner table, because my brother and his wife are worried that something untoward is going to come out of my mouth when the issue of me being on the front page of the paper comes up.

It hurts. That’s what I want you to know. When your family starts to think about leaving you out of family situations, because of this political stuff that you’re into, it’s painful. I can’t tell you it didn’t hurt my feelings, not to be able to go to Thanksgiving every year. I’m 65. If it wasn’t with my mom and dad, it’s with the rest of the family that’s alive. We celebrate it together. But they were worried I was going to start bringing out the Holocaust statistics in front of these middle-class Jews from this bedroom community that my niece is marrying into.

That’s kind of a metaphor for the rest of the trouble I’ve had, with friends turning against me. Letters I got from people that I had known for the course of my life that wanted to put in writing how disgusted they were with my politics and my attitude. They sign off on this stuff. You get it in the mail. You open it up, and it’s somebody that you haven’t seen for a few years. Somebody you thought was your friend, and they’re divorcing themselves from you. They don’t want to have anything to do with you anymore.

I tried to answer some of these letters. There weren’t a lot of them; there were about three. I just thought, I’m not . . . When you’re reading comments about yourself in some of these blogs, you want to get in there and answer. I told myself, “Stay out of the fray. Don’t waste your time trying to educate anybody. Allow yourself to be interviewed by anyone that is coming along that wants to interview you.”

NPR called me up, by the way. Studio 1A. That went out around the nation at about four o’clock, commuter traffic everywhere, where all the NPR listeners are tuned in to those stations in their various cities. Nothing but cultural Marxism comes out of NPR. NPR, I just call it “Jew-PR.” I know it’s kind of crass to say this, but top to bottom, the executives to the announcers, and to all the people in the field that are reporting from different parts of the world, they’re all Jewish. And it’s a Jewish agenda, and this Holocaust thing really upset this one guy. He suggested on his program that I needed a psychiatrist.

I just said “yes” to everybody. I didn’t care who it was. If you’re on the Right, if you’re Harold Covington of the Northwest Front, he wants to get an interview from me? Fine. Harold, I’ll come up and talk on your Nazi radio station. I don’t care. Fine, NPR. You want to hear what I think? I’ll be on your radio station. I did this for two months.

Finally, the local Jewish newspaper in my city, one of the reporters called me, and she wanted to get a scoop. And by that time, I was really tired of talking about this issue. I said, “Before I deign to give you a scoop, all you people have done is just get me to talk so that you can hang me. You want me to create the rope that you’re going to use to hang me!” I said, “I will give you an interview, but before I give you the interview, would you please watch these two videos?” And this woman would refuse to watch the videos. So, I didn’t give her an interview.

It’s a class. It’s the chattering class. They have some sort of social status, and they have some sort of expertise, I guess, and social dialogue. And they think that you’re going to have to drop everything you’re doing so that they can have their story, which is always going to be negative, unless it’s a little Counter-Currents Radio show, like Greg runs. I just told her, essentially, “Fuck you. I’m not going to sit down and do this for anybody else, because I know that you’re going to hang me, and, furthermore, you didn’t bother to even go to these URLs. I asked you to do your homework. I mean, come on! Do some homework before you lob these charges at me.” And she wouldn’t do it. So I wouldn’t give her the interview, and that’s the way I’m going to be with everybody else that comes down the pike now.

The story’s over, by the way. These things only last three months, max. Then they get on to somebody else. You could go back to your life, but it’s changed forever, because you’ve got the family; you’ve got the girlfriend; you’ve got the wife. And you’ve got the people in your neighborhood that have been notified that you’re some sort of persona non grata. You’re a moral leper, and you’ve got to deal with this.

You go into the supermarket . . . I went to some place to get a dinner. The damned waiter wanted to ask me about what I thought. And he’s an Antifa! You know, he’s out on the barricades with these balaclava’d Marxist thugs, busting up David Irving lectures, for God’s sake. He wants to get in there and needle me while I’m having my dinner. That’s what you can expect if you get smeared by the media.

You can stand up to it, yes. You turn a point in your life that you cannot go back. I remember reading Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique. I turned a corner. There’s no possible way I can undo what I’ve learned from that book. Like I said, my dad used to beat me. Not harshly, but I deserved it. I would tell myself, “The beating will be over, soon! And then everything will be okay. Dad and I can go to the ballgame again and go fishing. I just have to get through this one.”

So, that’s my attitude. When you’re thinking thoughts like we think, and if you’re being public about it, you’re going to attract attention. Somebody’s going to get a burr in their bonnet, get a bee in their bonnet, and go after you. Hopefully, it’s not going to be a violent attack, because that does happen, if you’re out on the barricades.

With intellectuals like us, we can just expect these smears and this hubris from these people that are supposed to be educated. It’s beyond belief, these people. College-educated citizens, good citizens, they have been brainwashed to the point where this is a religion with them. They actually think they’ve lived through the Holocaust, they’ve seen so many damn Holocaust TV shows. And, they’ll bring it up, “What about –?” And I’ll say, “Excuse me, but that was a movie starring Kirk Douglas.”

The most hurtful thing about having your reputation attacked and destroyed — it’s not really destroyed, but you have to put up with this — is this family thing. I was talking with Kevin MacDonald last night about how painful it is. I think if it happens to any of you here in this room, and you are worried about it, just call me up, and I’ll help you through it.

October 13, 2013

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