Monday, July 7, 2014
A month ago if someone speculated that John Huppenthal was a reader of and commenter on the white supremacist website Stormfront.org, Huppenthal could have answered simply, "I won't dignify that allegation with a response." And that would have been the end of it. A number of months ago, before my former colleagues at Blog for Arizona and I realized Huppenthal was writing hateful and ignorant comments under the names Thucydides and Falcon9, I would not have written this post, because any possible connection between Huppenthal and Stormfront.org is based on speculation and inference.
But all that changed once Huppenthal's anonymous online comments became public. In the words of the old English song: Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye. We have seen that a virulent, angry strain of right wing racism runs through his veins. And if he's not actually a Holocaust denier or Hitler supporter, his comments placing Charles Darwin and Margaret Sanger in the same category with the leader of the Third Reich put Huppenthal within spitting range of Hitler apologists. That's why a few people have pointed to the possibility that Huppenthal has commented on Stormfront.org and why Bob Lord and Pamela Powers wrote posts about it on Blog for Arizona.
Given the events of the past few weeks and the growing list of websites we know Huppenthal has left anonymous comments on, he needs to address these allegations directly. Actually, Huppenthal should go further and name every website where he's left comments using an assumed name. If his apology and repentance for his anonymous commenting — which he called "hateful" and said he "repudiates" and "renounces" — is genuine, he should be willing to make a clean breast of it and let the public know the full extent of his commenting activities.
Bob Lord wrote a post about possible Huppenthal/Stormfront connections on Blog for Arizona. Pamela Powers also wrote a post on the subject. Both writers were clear, they have no definitive proof of a connection.
One commenter on Stormfront.org uses the handle, Thucydides. It may not be Huppenthal. The Greek historian Thucydides is a favorite of conservatives and white supremacists alike, so someone else could have adopted that handle.
Huppenthal is mentioned eight times on the Stormfront site in connection with the Mexican American Studies controversy. Bob Lord linked to the comments in his post. Most likely, Huppenthal had no part in those comments, but we know he is obsessive about tracking down places where his name is mentioned, since many of his comments on Arizona websites are answers to posts which mention him. He probably has a Google Alert for his name, which would mean he would get an email with a link every time "John Huppenthal" is mentioned on the web. There's nothing wrong with that. Google Alerts are an efficient method of keeping track of topics of interest which many people use, myself included. But the point is, it's very likely Huppenthal visited the Stormfront website to read what was being said about him. Did that lead him to leave comments of his own using the handle Thucydides? I don't know. None of the Thucydides comments are on the same thread with the comments about Huppenthal, which would have been a strong indication it was him. But the Thucydides comments are definitely on the website. That's a fact.
Huppenthal lost the right to the benefit of the doubt when his hundreds of anonymous comments were discovered. If he hopes to preserve any shred of integrity, he needs to be thorough and honest about listing any anonymous commenting activity which hasn't yet been uncovered.