Sorry Conservatives, Michelle Malkin Has Always Been Terrible

Recently the conservative Young America’s Foundation (YAF) made the decision to fire far-right author Michelle Malkin. Malkin, who had given speeches on behalf of the organization for the past 17 years, had recently sided with the so-called “groyper army” — a group of white nationalists whose goal is to disrupt conservative events with racist and antisemitic stunts.

This war between the groypers and mainstream conservative thought leaders has been largely orchestrated by Nick Fuentes — a Holocaust-denying white nationalist who hosts America First! on YouTube — and Vincent Foxx, a white nationalist who runs the website The Red Elephants. Foxx bragged about the results of their campaign on an episode of Red Ice TV.

On November 14, at a YAF-sponsored speech at the University of California, Los Angeles, Malkin reminisced about the passage of California’s Proposition 187. Passed in 1994, Prop. 187 — also known as the “Save Our State” initiative — prohibited undocumented immigrants from accessing healthcare, public education, and other services.

Much of the law was later struck down by a District Court judge, and its passage has been cited as a reason for Latino voters breaking away from the California GOP.

Malkin said the passage of Prop. 187 was “spearheaded by boomer grassroots sovereignty activists” — “people who became my friends, they were heroes to me” she added. Those “heroes” included Glenn Spencer and Barbara Coe, a pair of especially vitriolic anti-immigrant activists who hyped fears over an undocumented immigrant “invasion” of the U.S.

Malkin heaped praise on white supremacist Pat Buchanan, whom she called the “godfather of America First,” and stirred up fears over what she called a “demographic reconquista.” This appears indistinguishable from the white supremacist “Great Replacement” conspiracy which posits that a shadowy cabal is replacing white people through mass immigration.

Indeed, Malkin said that “truth tellers” are attacked as “conspiracists peddling the ‘Great Replacement’ theory.” Malkin declared that it “isn’t a conspiracy theory” that Jewish financier George Soros is bankrolling mass immigration, but rather a “conspiracy fact.” She also suggested that demographic changes were causing red states to turn irreversibly blue.

“Time and again, the Beltway, deep-pocketed GOP Republicans and their strategists have given in on amnesty, H-1B, and identity politics appeasing initiatives,” she complained. “And yet the voting numbers among Asians, Hispanics, Muslims, and blacks for that matter, has hardly budged. Newsflash: It’s not gonna budge. Do the math.” 

And she refused to “disavow” white nationalists like Nick Fuentes, Faith Goldy, Rep. Steve King, and Peter Brimelow, or neo-fascists like the Proud Boys.

After the UCLA speech, the official YAF Twitter account tweeted that there was “no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for holocaust [sic] deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists.” The group officially severed ties with Malkin.

On Twitter Malkin defended herself by deriding YAF as the “Keepers of the Gate” and writing that her “defense of unjustly prosecuted Proud Boys, patriotic young nationalists/groypers & demographic truth-tellers must not be tolerated.” In another tweet she called Republican activist Will Nardi a “Junior Gatekeeper snot.”

Some conservative voices defended Malkin. John Cardillo, for example, tweeted that YAF was “disingenuously using” its statement against white nationalists and Holocaust deniers “as cover to blacklist and smear as one of these things anyone who is #AmericaFirst.”

Denise McAllister, who made headlines after she was fired from The Federalist over a homophobic meltdown, tweeted, “The Cancel culture is alive & well–Michelle Malkin is their latest victim.” McAllister also defended Fuentes over criticism of remarks he made denying the Holocaust and condoning segregation.

White supremacists and antisemites also swarmed people who criticized Malkin, flooding their Twitter feeds with racist invective.

Other conservatives criticized Malkin, or at least distanced themselves from her. Like anti-LGBTQ writer Matt Walsh, who reminded Malkin that Nick Fuentes slurred him as a “race traitor” in August. And conservative writer Stephen Miller (not that one) wrote, “If Malkin wants to choose to be flushed with that turd [Fuentes], so be it.”

And at The Washington Examiner, Brad Polumbo wrote a scathing critique of Malkin. In his article “Sorry, Michelle Malkin, a ‘little brown woman’ can still be racist” — borrowing a descriptor from Malkin’s Twitter bio — Polumbo made the case that Malkin has been openly racist for many years. “If you consistently push racist ideas and associate yourself with viciously racist white nationalists, you’re racist too,” he concluded.

This is undoubtedly true, and Malkin’s defense of Nick Fuentes and other white nationalists should hardly be surprising given her track record.

On September 28, Malkin appeared on Happy Homelands, a YouTube show co-hosted by white nationalist Paul Ramsey. Malkin, wearing an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) hat, railed against “illegal immigrant caravans,” and blasted nonprofit refugee assistance groups like the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) for assisting in the “demographic conquest” of America.

Robert Bowers, the white supremacist whom authorities say gunned down 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in October 2018, was animated by the belief that Jews were bringing non-white immigrants into the U.S. Bowers specifically singled out HIAS, which he accused of “bring[ing] invaders in that kill our people.” 

Happy Homelands co-host Paul Ramsey has made videos comparing African-Americans to apes and snakes, and on Twitter his rhetoric is only barely toned down. Ramsey is particularly fixated on the Holocaust, which he has decried as the “modern religion of the West” and “the modern version of the Passover.”

“The Holocaust is the modern secular religion,” he complained in February. “And these ‘memorials’ are temples.” In another tweet from that same month he asked, “How can there be so many [Holocaust] survivors? Is every Jew that age by default a Holocaust survivor?”

Malkin has also written voluminously for Peter Brimelow’s white nationalist hate site VDARE, which takes its name from the first white child born in the New World. Since 2002 she has authored hundreds of screeds for VDARE in which she excoriates immigrants and liberals.

In an article from 2006 Malkin fanned the flames of xenophobia by hysterically claiming that “radical” Latino activists were plotting a “reconquista” of the United States. In another she wrote that the “Jew-hating terrorists of Hezbollah” are “already here. In America. Plotting attacks. Raising money. Slipping through the cracks.”

In an article from 2007 she bemoaned the acceptance of Albanian refugees who fled ethnic cleansing in war-torn Kosovo, because four of the six men who conspired to attack U.S. military personnel at Fort Dix that year were from the former Yugoslavia. “Well, here is the thanks we get,” she wrote bitterly.

In an infamous 2008 column, Malkin ginned up outrage over a Dunkin’ Donuts ad that starred celebrity cook Rachael Ray in a black-and-white scarf that she misidentified as a keffiyeh — a traditional Arab headdress. According to Malkin, keffiyehs have “come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad” and are akin to “Klan-style hoods.”

(Dunkin’ Donuts responded in by bafflingly pulling the ad.)

And then there was Malkin’s 2004 ode to human rights abuses, In Defense of Internment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror. In it, Malkin defended Executive Order 9066, which authorized the creation of “military zones” in which Japanese Americans were rounded up and placed in concentration camps over bogus concerns of dual loyalty.

Fred Korematsu, the plaintiff who unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, wrote in an op-ed that “[a]ccording to Malkin, it is OK to take away an entire ethnic group’s civil rights because some individuals are suspect.”

Nearly 40 historians signed onto a statement condemning the book’s “blatant violation of professional standards of objectivity and fairness.” “This work presents a version of history that is contradicted by several decades of scholarly research, including works by the official historian of the United States Army and an official U.S. government commission,” it read in part.

“In fact, the author’s presentation of events is so distorted and historically inaccurate that, when challenged by reputable historians, she has herself conceded that her main thesis in incorrect, namely that the MAGIC intercepts of prewar Japanese diplomatic cable traffic, explain and justify the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans.”

The fact of the matter is that Malkin’s role has always been to promote policies favored by white nationalists like Nick Fuentes, Paul Ramsey, and Peter Brimelow. It just took conservatives nearly two decades to notice.