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John Kasper

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John Kasper (1929–1998[1]) was an American far-right activist who took a militant stand against racial integration during the civil rights movement.

Educated at Columbia University, Kasper became a devotee of Ezra Pound and corresponded with his hero whilst a student.[1] After running a bookshop in Greenwich Village he moved to Washington, D.C. where he became a friend of Pound and set up a company to publish the poets' works, as well as those of others such as Charles Olson.[1] 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.[1]

Kasper came to prominence during the integration of Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee. He sought to mobilize the opponents of the desegregation order, and was arrested during the resulting unrest. Kasper was acquitted in the subsequent trial that included a number of jurors who served on the arresting auxiliary police force.[2] As a result of this incident, Kasper became a focal point at a number of such protests across the south, often an unwelcome one.[3] While he was campaigning, Kasper was jailed for crimes ranging from inciting a riot to loitering.[1] He was a suspect in a school bombing in Nashville as well as a number of synagogue bombings—he was a virulent antisemite—although no evidence was provided to link him directly to any of the cases.[1]

He served eight months for conspiracy in 1957. Upon his release, he 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.[1] He later became associated with the National States' Rights Party, and ran in the 1964 Presidential election with J. B. Stoner as his running mate. Kasper attracted negligible support: just 6,434 votes in two states Kentucky and Arkansas.[4] Kasper returned to his northern roots in 1967 and effectively left politics, settling down to family life and a series of clerical jobs.[1]

Preceded by
Orval Faubus
National States' Rights Party Presidential candidate
1964 (lost)
Succeeded by


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