I have often argued that describing a political party or an individual ‘extreme right-wing’ because they are racist is wrong, it is a slanderous propaganda that the Left themselves have come to believe. Yesterday Reason Online had an article about the history of violent racism in the American Left.
That is far easier to prove in the US than in Britain. While Britain was in difficulty coming to terms with the beginning of mass immigration of non-European people, a Democrat Senator was filibustering (talking out) the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now it is possible to object to rights legislation and not be racist, regardless of what the left will tell you, but Senator Byrd was a senior member of the Ku Klux Klan, an organisation formed in 1865 in part to serve the interests of the Democrat Party.
In the 1920s it was the Republicans who were trying to legislate against lynching, and the Democrats who prevented that legislation. Please listen to Nina Simone, and ponder on the utter evil that can make legislation against lynching controversial.
The Ashbrook Centre article goes on to argue that many of the current policies of the Democrat Party when it was written in 2002 harm blacks more than whites. Those arguments transfer far more readily to the British Labour Party, which has remarkably similar policy aims and political tactics, even if the political climate means each achieves different results.
The most practical racism still existing in free nations, discrimination at work, is a form of protectionism which fits much more readily with socialism than free-market capitalism. In the UK, where most of the support for the left comes from inner cities and unions, recent immigrants (who tend to live in cities and work more cheaply than natural-born workers of equivalent skills) are far more likely to come into conflict with Labour supporters than Conservative ones. That is why a lot of the support for the BNP is in areas where Labour is losing core support.
The extreme left, both internationalist socialists, the communists, and nationalist socialists from German Nazis to the BNP, have had strong racist tendencies. The Soviet Union was anti-Semitic, as well as racist against citizens who were not ethnic Russians, especially non-Slavs. China is today racist against those not of Han extraction.
So never believe it when you see the Left equating racism with the Right. At the very least we have proved here that racism is as much a factor on the Left, I would contend that the Left has historically shown far more racism.
Update: one thing I failed to include is that more on the left than the right (self identified) claim to dislike or hate Muslims according to a poll on the Muslims Against Sharia website. While this is not itself racism, it is bigotry (note they dislike Mulims, not extremism or Islam) of a nature often caused by racism.