No black robe for white supremacist
By Kevin Uhrich 05/29/2008
When you think about it, there’s probably no better place for international corporate attorney Bill Johnson of La Cañada Flintridge to operate than a Superior Court judge’s seat.
I say operate, as opposed to serve, because Johnson — better known in some circles as segregationist James O. Pace or William Daniel Johnson or Daniel Johnson — has a longstanding and well-known agenda that has nothing to do with justice; one that calls for total separation of the races.
And now Johnson’s running for a seat on the Superior Court bench, where he could conceivably come to sit in judgment of the many black and Latino criminal defendants destined for lifetimes in prison or one-way visits to the state’s death chamber (see pages 8 and 9 for our stories on the Superior Court and other elections).
Johnson should be no stranger to the press or law enforcement. He’s been at the racial hate game for a long time — at least since the 1980s, when I first ran into him while working as a reporter for the now-defunct Simi Valley Enterprise daily newspaper.
Back in 1987, Johnson was pushing a book called “Amendment to the Constitution,” written by a guy named James O. Pace, which calls for a constitutional amendment to repeal the 14th and 15th amendments, and would, essentially, make it illegal to be anything but white. Pace’s plan also calls for the deportation of all non-white non-Europeans to their country of origin.
Sound crazy? I thought so, too, only my feeling was Johnson, Pace and their League of Pace Amendment Advocates were as dangerous as they were kooky.
The group had offices in Sunland and later Glendale, so I called Johnson, who was fronting at the time as Pace’s spokesman. He was understandably shy. Even today, after a number of failed runs at public office in other states, he still doesn’t give interviews. But 21 years ago I managed to get enough information for a somewhat non-judgmental piece for the weekend paper, which earned me a visit to one of their secret meetings the following week.
I wasn’t supposed to bring a photographer, but did so anyway — my old friend and former LA CityBeat Editor Steve Appleford. Johnson was a little upset to see Steve when we showed up that night at the former Hilton Hotel on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. He was even less pleased with me repeatedly interrupting him with pointed questions from the audience like, “Why do you hate black people?” and “Where is James O. Pace?” People moved away from us. It was clear that if Steve took a picture, there would be trouble. Then, after things calmed down, a guy who had previously volunteered to sell books and manage their affairs and start a league chapter and ate lots of their catered food and schmoozed with the two-dozen or so well-dressed people there sat down directly behind me, leaned forward and whispered in my ear, “I’m not a racist. Meet me in the bar.”
After the presentation, Rick, the whisperer, left. Then I got up in Johnson’s face again. One especially large angry-looking fellow standing nearby puffed out his chest and threatened to take the camera. At that point, we also left and headed for the bar.
It turned out Rick was really an investigator with the Simon Wiesenthal Center. His mission was to infiltrate this group, which he considered to be very dangerous. He strongly suspected Johnson was really Pace — and he was right. I later visited Rick (not his real name either) at the Holocaust Museum, where he had a basement office lined with metal cabinets loaded with files on the Pace Amendment Advocates and a host of other racial hate groups.
It seems life has been good to candidate Johnson, an international corporate lawyer with a house in tony La Cañada Flintridge. And after all these years, and all his accumulated wealth, he’s still out there doing his racial segregation thing, only now he’s planning to do it cloaked in the power of a judge’s robes.