Scariest Academic: Kevin MacDonald / Professor of Psychology, California State University at Long Beach
by Mark Potok and Heidi Beirich
Once Kevin MacDonald was a flower child, a peacenik, a man who abandoned his Catholicism during the Vietnam era. Then it dawned on him: There seemed to be an awful lot of Jews in the antiwar movement, and it all went south from there. Today, the 62-year-old tenured psychology professor is the man that hate groups hope will make anti-Semitism respectable.
In a nasty series of weighty-sounding books like The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998), MacDonald, who received a Masters in evolutionary biology from University of Connecticut, argues that Jews engage in a "group evolutionary strategy" to weaken the "host societies" in which they live. Jews, he says, have historically been in the minority, so they've collectively decided to push multiculturalism, interracial marriage, and socialism on Gentiles -- even as they hypocritically pursue group cohesiveness among themselves -- to destabilize society and diminish threats to themselves.
This leads MacDonald to some remarkable conclusions; he blames the deaths of "millions of people" on "the failure of Jewish assimilation into European societies," and suggests that colleges restrict Jewish admission and Jews be heavily taxed "to counter the Jewish advantage in the possession of wealth." Such ideas have earned MacDonald scorn from his academic colleagues (though tenure has insulated him, thus far, from firing). Harvard's Steven Pinker, a respected psychology professor, characterized MacDonald's work as failing "basic tests of scientific credibility."
But MacDonald is an intellectual star of the radical right, and he is cited by the likes of former Klan leader David Duke to justify neo-Nazism. MacDonald sits on the advisory committee of the National Policy Institute, a racist think tank striving to "elevate the consciousness of whites." He also
contributes regularly to The Occidental Quarterly, a journal known for rants against (non-white) immigrants.
In 2004, the journal gave MacDonald its $10,000 Jack London Literary Prize, awarded to authors whose work "is intended to promote the timeless values of Western civilization."
Mark Potok and Heidi Beirich are the director and deputy director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project.