The University of Sydney has confirmed that white nationalist academic, Frank Salter, taught at USyd as a visiting scholar from November 2011 to November 2012 in the Department of Government and International Relations. This comes after an explosive blog post on the White Rose Society’s website implicated him as one of Senator Fraser Anning’s neo-Nazi connections.
The White Rose Society along with the ABC helped to expose the far right infiltration of the Young Nationals last year. Their most recent post alleges that Frank Salter was one of the speechwriters for Senator Anning’s infamous maiden speech where he invoked the Nazi ‘final solution’ term and called for a plebiscite on an end to Muslim and non-English speaking third world immigration.
Senator Anning has recently come under fire for attending a fascist rally in St Kilda organised by convicted criminal and leader of the United Patriots Front, Neil Erikson and neo-Nazi Lads Society founder, Blair Cottrell. The rally was organised around the manufactured ‘African gangs crisis’, and was met with considerable anti-racist counter protest.
Salter’s family background evidently influenced his extreme right politics. Salter’s father, Frank S. Salter held leadership positions in the Australian League of Rights group (LOR). The LOR are a far right political organisation that have been labelled as neo-Nazi by mainstream media, including The Age.
Salter attended the University of Sydney himself between 1979 and 1982 where he majored in Government and Public Administration. It was during this time as an undergraduate student that he embraced extreme right politics, founding the Australian National Alliance (ANA) along with other students, including infamous Australian neo-Nazi, James (Jim) Saleam. The ANA styled themselves as a fascist youth movement and even had their own newspaper, Audacity. The Australia First Party, run by Jim Saleam still publishes Audacity out of their headquarters on 725 Princes Highway in Tempe.
As a well known figure in the student extreme right, Salter attracted attention from the student left, with the University of New South Wales’ student newspaper, Tharunka, noting that Salter was bashed by Maoists in 1979. The same year, Salter contested the federal seat of Grayndler (which borders USyd) with the ANA distributing thousands of leaflets and posters with the message that Australia was being “flooded” by refugees. Material also said “An Asian Australia? Never!!” Salter received 1.64% of the vote. After his undergraduate education at USyd he earned a Masters degree and PhD from Griffith University in Queensland (1984-1990).
Salter’s research after his university studies has focused on discrediting multiculturalism through “modern biosocial science.” He has written on the benefits of eugenics, the philosophy which underpinned Nazism, by arguing that eugenics could facilitate a “general rise in cognitive ability” and lead to a more egalitarian society. Ultimately, Salter’s work is predicated on the pseudo-scientific notion that racism is genetically ingrained, as opposed to socially constructed.
Salter has previously served as a political adviser to One Nation and in a 2015 article partly accused former conservative Prime Minister, Tony Abbott of the “cultural genocide of Anglo Australia.” In addressing how the extreme right can increase their political influence, Salter recently wrote that “patriotic parties must be able to draw on a pool of speechwriters, policy analysts and media people who not only support conservative and nationalist values but are able to defend them with social and economic arguments.”
Salter is also friends with neo-Nazi American academic Kevin MacDonald who similarly uses pseudo science to promote his extreme right views. Salter defended MacDonald’s anti-Semitic views in his review of MacDonald’s 1998 book The Culture of Critique. MacDonald famously testified in defence of English Holocaust denier, David Irving.
A spokesperson for the University told Honi that Frank Salter is not a current staff member of the University of Sydney, and that he doesn’t currently hold any affiliated titles or positions. However, the University has refused to condemn Salter for his neo-Nazi views and has failed to respond to the allegation that he was one of Senator Fraser Anning’s speechwriters.
This raises questions over the University’s hiring policy and points to a contradiction in the University’s suspension of Dr Tim Anderson over a swastika imposed on the Israeli flag. This is despite the fact that Anderson’s criticism is one of policy, and not directed at Jewish people. A 1948 letter to the New York Times signed by several prominent Jews including Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt made the same comparison.
Overall, the University’s silence on Salter sends a chilling message to an increasingly diverse student body in a time when the extreme right are emboldened to graffiti and poster racist and anti-Semitic messages on campus.