North Carolina Democrats disown 'racist' state candidates

The Charlotte Observer/March 14, 2012

Bivins Hollar likes to post videos from his bedroom. About weight loss. About Pokemon cards. About selling chewing gum at a flea market.

But it's the video where he casually talks about "shooting" and starving black South Africans – and kidnapping the country's president – that caught the attention of people who track white supremacists.

Hollar, who is running for the N.C. Senate from Catawba County, is one of two Democratic candidates whom state party officials have taken the unusual step of denouncing.

The other is Carrol Crawford, a former Ku Klux Klan leader once convicted of burning a cross in Charlotte. He's running for Rowan County commissioner.

"The North Carolina Democratic Party believes that hate-based, violent, racist positions are fundamentally anti-American," said party chairman David Parker.

"While we support an open democracy and the freedom of eligible citizens to seek elective office, we condemn any individual who uses his or her candidacy to spread fear and advocate violence regardless of their party affiliation."

Hollar, 28, faces Democrat Jody Inglefield in a primary in heavily Republican District 42, long represented by GOP Sen. Austin Allran.

Contacted by the Observer, Hollar denied making the video about South Africa.

"I didn't do it," he said. "… I do not know what you're talking about."

As he put a reporter on hold, the video disappeared from YouTube.

Senate leader critical

Some of Hollar's videos are linked to on his Facebook site. In the one about South Africa, which was removed, he appears to be addressing someone. He says he's running for the N.C. Senate. Holding up a map of the country, he talks calmly about moving whites from the east to the west.

"Then basically push all the savages out by just shooting them," he says. "But also you could move them. This is the desert. I figure you could fence off, like a 5- to 6-square-mile area and just kind of pack 'em in there and let 'em starve to death, kind of like (Dwight) Eisenhower killed prisoners of war during World War II."

He suggests white South Africans build a "green-energy" economy by growing hemp, which he touts as useful in making bio-degradable plastics.

"Push the blacks out of the way, just shoot 'em and kick 'em out," he says.

"When we get enough (white) people moved to the west, just kidnap (South African President Jacob) Zuma and say 'You know, you have to give a press conference saying we're splitting the country.' And we'll have to take the rest of it later, 40, 50 years down the road."

When a reporter called him back, Hollar said, "I believe in (Republican presidential candidate) Ron Paul. … OK, you just need to stop calling me." Later, Hollar posted another video criticizing the media, especially the Observer.

Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, denounced Hollar's sentiments.

"I have faith that Democratic primary voters will make the right choice on May 8 and select a candidate that espouses values of equality and inclusiveness that are at the core of our party," he said.

Growth in such candidates

On his Facebook page, Hollar describes himself as "just some guy trying to make the world a better place." He lists his religion as "C.I." The initials often refer to followers of Christian Identity. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, followers of Christian Identity adhere to "a unique anti-Semitic and racist theology."

According to the center, seven Klan groups, five neo-Nazi groups and three white nationalist groups were active in North Carolina in 2011. People who track such groups say the number of white supremacist political candidates is growing.

Hollar's video first came to the attention of some people who monitor hate groups. One was Robert Seaver.

"The reason we thought people should know about this is because Mr. Hollar is running for public office," Seaver said. "And the people of North Carolina have a right to know the people trying to represent them."

Rowan hopeful mum on Klan

Crawford, 77, lives in rural Rowan County. He's a former grand dragon of the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

In 1987 a Mecklenburg County judge sentenced him to 30 days in jail and fined him $500 for burning a cross at a Charlotte Klan rally. That year, he resigned as grand dragon.

Contacted by the Observer, he didn't acknowledge that he used to be in the Klan.

"I am associated with only one group and that is the America Legion," he said. "Used to be is used to be. Hasn't got a damn thing to do with today."

Researcher Marion Paynter contributed

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