Recently, after OC Weekly's Matt Coker described Martin H. Millard's essays as "racist rants" (see "Hatesville, USA," July 20), Millard sent us a letter saying we had smeared him. Turns out the longtime anti-immigrant activist, former Costa Mesa city committee member, and prolific contributor to neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites isn't a racist.
Actually, he's a comedian. For yuks, Millard once humored anti-Semitic fans by pretending to be a Jew writing to another Jew in an online satirical essay titled "Why Hot WASPy Chicks (Pretend to) Love Jews, a Letter from the Learned Elders of Zion to Joel Stein." In it, he deftly dropped Yiddish phrases—"Waddya some kinda shmendrik or shmoe? Are you meshuganah?"—while praising Jews for not polluting the Aryan gene pool. "Why did we set it up so that you have to have a Jewish mother and not necessarily a Jewish father to be a Jew?" Millard wrote. "Because in the old days you couldn't tell who got a female pregnant. It might have been a Jew who used his shmekel to shtup her or it might have been a goy in the woodpile. You think maybe the Jewish princess would tell the truth about who shtupped her?"
Millard's also a vagina monologist. In his futuristic fantasy novel Roaming the Wastelands, which involves efforts by outnumbered white people to make contact with Nazis under the Antarctic ice sheet and breed white children with perpetually impregnated porn stars, one of Millard's characters posits a race-based classification of the vagina. "White girls don't have a distinct pussy," Millard theorized. "It's just sort of an absence of dick and balls . . . Japanese girls have a pronounced mons veneris and this seems to correlate . . . with thick ankles and unattractive calves . . . Black girls have way too much hair and of course it's kinky."
Few people would give Millard a second glance if not for his high-profile role in Costa Mesa. In 2002, the City Council voted to put him on a redevelopment committee determined to bulldoze the city's Latino Westside. When city officials asked Costa Mesa police last December to investigate the immigration status of jail inmates, many saw the invisible hand of Martin H. Millard.
Millard brings controversy to such controversies. When asked about his essays decrying racial mixing on the National Vanguard (a "beacon of hope for white men, women and children"), Millard said, "The National Vanguard website is just one of many that run some of my stuff." Indeed it is. Millard has also contributed to New Nation, which features such pages as "Darkest Africa" (devoted to news from the continent concerning cannibalism, rape and incest) and "Dark Crimes" (concerning horrific crimes committed by African-Americans).
Millard was hesitant to speak with us because, he says, the Weekly has mischaracterized his work as racist. ("I'm not a racist, because the term, in common usage, has come to mean one who hates others because of their race," he once wrote. "I don't hate anyone. Indifference is a better term.") The Weekly first profiled Millard in 1998, quoting from his essay "The Tan Everyman." In it, Millard predicts that immigration and racial intermarriage will destroy the white gene pool and create "just a slimy brown mass of glop."
Even Millard's defense against the charge of racism seems, well, racist. In a November 2005 essay for National Vanguard, he wrote, "Hate, as the term is usually used, seems misplaced when we talk about the struggle for White survival. Do we hate germs that would destroy us? Do we hate wild animals that would destroy us? Of course not."
In defending his one-man campaign to stop intermarriage, Millard employs two tactics: first, as we've seen, he declares he's not a racist. If that doesn't work, he declares that he's merely a private citizen and therefore not worthy of press scrutiny. Responding to Matt Coker's article on Costa Mesa, Millard ran through both options. As always, he refused to allow us to publish his letter unless we paid him. When we engaged him, Millard fired off an e-mail to Village Voice Media chief executive officer Jim Larkin objecting to our efforts to write about him. "I have not sought this publicity," he wrote. "I'm a private person and not a public figure and I cherish my privacy."
Millard frequently makes high-profile, high-octane remarks about race and then attempts to duck behind this privilege of privacy. But in addition to his voluminous contributions to websites and three books on Amazon.com (The Outsider, the aforementioned Roaming the Wastelands and Ourselves Alone & Homeless Jack's Religion, his thoughts on "post-American America"), Millard has a long record of involvement in city politics. In 2002, he was a regular contributor to the now-defunct bulletin board for Concerned Costa Mesa Citizens, whose fellow Internet posters included then-Councilman Alan Mansoor. (Mansoor didn't write his own stuff, but he did post numerous anti-homosexual essays written by others.) That year, Mansoor and fellow council members Eric Bever and Gary Monahan voted to include Millard on the city's redevelopment committee.
According to a recent story in the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, Mansoor "has been known to carpool to City Council meetings" with Millard. Neither Bever nor Mansoor responded to interview requests, but in 2002, Mansoor defended Millard's official involvement in city politics. "I don't agree with everything Martin says," Mansoor said. "But the issues he speaks about at City Council meetings have been Costa Mesa issues . . . If he wants the streets cleaned up, then I agree with him on that."
Monahan recently told the Weekly that he voted to add Millard to the committee simply because there was nobody else competing for the seat.
"He applied two or three times and got overlooked," Monahan said. "To be honest, I haven't really read his writings . . . From what I've heard, I don't want to read [them] anyway. He's always been pretty vocal. I can't fault him. I have to tip my hat to somebody who is willing to go out there and put themselves out in public."
I recently wrote Millard and invited him to explain, over coffee, how we'd smeared him. He refused the coffee. What follows are excerpted highlights of our e-mail exchange.
What can you tell me about your upbringing? Is it true you were a stage actor in New York?
I began work on a small truck farm at about the age of 9—weeding, shoveling manure, stuff like that. I then worked in factories and restaurants, then some offices. I was in the Marines and a couple of Marine Expeditionary Units. I was on the Marine Corps karate team for a time. I did a little acting in New York, way off-off-Broadway. Some think I may have been one of the inspirations for Robert De Niro's character in Taxi Driver after we did a play together. Got me if there's anything to it. I saw the movie and he did dress the way I dressed when we were in the play, but that's about all I saw that seemed similar.
You say you were in a Marine Expeditionary Unit. That seems to imply you saw active duty. Did you serve in Vietnam? What's your opinion of that war?
Vietnam was stupid.
I've noticed that one of the earliest articles about you mentioned your activism around the issue of development in Costa Mesa. Nothing controversial. One person at the meeting agreed with statements you made. His name was Jose Garibay. Does that name ring a bell? He was the first OC-raised GI killed in Iraq and a former illegal immigrant. Thought you'd find that interesting.
I knew Jose in passing. You may have missed me giving a Semper Fi send-off to my fellow Marine at a meeting after he was killed. Another useless and meaningless war, and a tremendous loss of human life, in my view.
Why do you seem so obsessed with alleged genetic differences between racial groups?
I'm not obsessed with anything. I'm probably less obsessed and more open-minded than anyone you've ever met. I write a lot about genes because I see in them—the blueprint within—some basic principles that may exist throughout existence and which may help to answer some of the big questions. DNA is made up of just four chemicals, yet those four chemicals cause all the diversity of life that we see. Why are we different than other life forms? What causes the differences, if it is not these four chemicals which are the same in a plant as in a man? Could it be that the forces that make a strand of DNA take a certain shape—the same shape we also see in everything from hurricanes to galaxies to water draining from our toilets—are the real cause of how the four DNA chemicals are seemingly endlessly shuffled to create all of life? What do you think about genes, Mr. Schou? Important or not?
I know that understanding genes is crucial to understanding disease and genetic disorders, but have no clue if it sheds any light on racial identity. Have you read that scientists are trying to find out to what extent Neanderthals died out or actually interbred with Homo sapiens? I believe that the Nation of Islam has claimed that Europeans are inferior to Africans because they're actually half-Neanderthal, hence all the body hair, etc.
I've read the same thing about Neanderthals, but I think the jury is still out. When people speak in terms of inferior and superior in relation to life, I always have to go back to my individual genes and groups of genes and point out that some living things are inferior in some things and superior in others. It all has to do with the fact that nature has to engineer living things within certain limits and for certain conditions. If you give an animal speed, you have to short it out somewhere else. Common houseflies give a good example. They have more of their brains hardwired to their wings and their eyes so it's almost impossible to catch them with our bare hands. But I imagine they've been shorted out on some higher brain functions as a result.
Is there really such a thing as a pure race?
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Here you go trying to bait me. I'm not even sure what "pure" really means in this context. My guess, taking the ordinary meaning of pure, is that there is no such thing as a pure race. When one understands a little about genes, this seems obvious, not only from what we know of evolution, but also because our logic tells us that if, genetically, we are about 98 percent the same as chimps and at least 60 percent the same as mice, then there must be no pure life. Again, this goes back to the four chemicals that comprise DNA. Of course, that's just my opinion. What do you think, Mr. Schou? Is there such a thing as a pure race?
I don't really believe in the concept. We all come from Africa, from what I've read, unless people of European descent really are half-Neanderthal. I'm Norwegian-German-English-French Canadian. My wife is Italian-Puerto Rican. We have a kid, Erik—good Viking name. Also the Hispanic spelling. If I had to classify his heritage, I'd say he's Puerto Nortalian. But he's blond and blue-eyed, which would seem to make him white, but not pure enough for some, I suppose. What do you think?
I was in Puerto Rico with the Marines—stationed on Vieques for about six months one time. Made a couple of visits to Ponce. Beautiful lush place.