But, he adds quickly, "I'm not saying Paul Gottfried's going to go out and start murdering cops. I think that's very unlikely."

"They're not out there promoting a violent agenda," says Mayo. "But it's still a concern, because of the fact that they are racists and they are people who have some kind of legitimacy in the world based on their position" as academics.

The fact that Gottfried is Jewish, she says, doesn't make the group less racist. "This group in particular tends not to be anti-Semitic. But they're still very problematic."

Mencken Club founder Paul Gottfried
Courtesy Paul Gottfried
Mencken Club founder Paul Gottfried

Whatever the case, Potok says the whole argument may soon be moot. After all, the notion of an "Anglo-American ruling class" returning to its former might is absurd—ask any demographer.

"At the end of the day," he says, "they're losing."

amerlan@villagevoice.com

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