John Kasper (1929–1998) was
an American far-right activist who took a militant stand
against racial integration during
the civil rights
Educated at Columbia University
Kasper became a devotee of Ezra Pound
corresponded with his hero whilst a student. 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.
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.
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. As a
result of this incident, Kasper became a focal point at a number of
such protests across the south, often an unwelcome one. While he
was campaigning, Kasper was jailed for crimes ranging from inciting
a riot to loitering
. 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.
He served eight months for conspiracy
in 1957. Upon his release, he
called for a return to Constitutionalism
, and the creation of a
the integration that was now supported by both Democrat
alike. He later
became associated with the National States' Rights Party
and ran in the 1964 Presidential
with J. B. Stoner
running mate. Kasper attracted negligible support: just
6,434 votes in two states Kentucky and Arkansas.
Kasper returned to his northern roots in 1967 and effectively left
politics, settling down to family life and a series of clerical