|Born||1934 (age 84–85)|
|Education||Riverdale Country School|
Virginia Abernethy (born 1934) is an American anthropologist and activist. She is professor emerita of psychiatry and anthropology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She has published research on population demography and immigration. She ran for Vice President of the United States in 2012 alongside Merlin Miller for the American Freedom Party, a party that promotes white nationalism.
In 2012, the Anti-Defamation League referred to Abernathy as an "unabashed white supremacist", and the Southern Poverty Law Center called her a "full-fledged professor of hate," adding her to a list of 30 new activists heading the radical right. Abernethy denied that she was a "white supremacist," preferring to describe herself as an "ethnic separatist."
Virginia Deane Abernethy was born in 1934 in Cuba. She grew up in Argentina and New York City. She was educated at Riverdale Country School in New York City. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College, an M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University, and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
She was Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee for 20 years. She retired in the 1990s, and still retains an office on campus as Professor Emerita. She is an anthropology fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
She describes herself as an "ethnic separatist". An outspoken opponent of immigration, she has called for a complete moratorium on immigration into the United States. She claims that immigrants devalue the workforce, deplete scarce resources, adversely impact carrying capacity, and that Third World immigration has led to a rise in dangerous diseases within the United States. She has countered claims of racism against her by pointing to her friendship with Jesse Lee Peterson.
Her research has focused on the issues of population and culture. Her best known work discounts the demographic transition theory, which holds that fertility drops as women become more educated and contraceptives become more available. In its place she has developed a fertility-opportunity hypothesis which states that fertility follows perceived economic opportunity. A corollary to this hypothesis is that food aid to developing nations will only exacerbate overpopulation. She has advocated in favor of microloans to women in the place of international aid, because she believes microloans allow improvement in the lives of families without leading to higher fertility.
She has opposed programs that would spur economic development in less developed countries on the grounds that they are self-defeating. For the December 1994 issue of The Atlantic Monthly she wrote an article entitled "Optimism and Overpopulation" in which she argued that "efforts to alleviate poverty often spur population growth, as does leaving open the door to immigration. Subsidies, windfalls, and the prospect of economic opportunity remove the immediacy of needing to conserve. The mantras of democracy, redistribution, and economic development raise expectations and fertility rates, fostering population growth and thereby steepening a downward environmental and economic spiral."
She has written or edited several books, including: Population Politics: The Choices that Shape our Future (1993) and Population Pressure and Cultural Adjustment (1979). Abernethy has written articles that have appeared in Chronicles, The Social Contract Press, The Atlantic Monthly, and numerous academic journals. She has also made occasional contributions to the weblog VDARE.
She served 1989-1999 as the editor of the academic journal Population and Environment. She also served on the editorial board of The Citizen Informer, the newsletter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), a neo-Confederate organization. She has also appeared as a guest on the CofCC-affiliated radio show, The Political Cesspool. Abernethy regularly addresses meetings of the CofCC. She is on the editorial advisory board of The Occidental Quarterly, a white nationalist scholarly journal. She serves on the board of directors of the Carrying Capacity Network, an immigration-reduction and sustainability organization, and also on the Board of Population-Environment BALANCE, which advocates an immigration moratorium in order to balance population size with resources and the environment's capacity to cope with pollution.
She was involved in Arizona's Proposition 200 campaign. She was Chair of the National Advisory Board of the Protect Arizona Now (PAN) committee which promoted Proposition 200 in that state's 2004 election. (Proposition 200, which passed November 2, further limits access to voting and government benefits by anyone without documentation.)
During the campaign, she replied to a journalist's question about her views by stating that she considers herself a separatist, not a supremacist: "I'm in favor of separatism—and that's different than supremacy. Groups tend to self-segregate. I know that I'm not a supremacist. I know that ethnic groups are more comfortable with their own kind."
In a letter to The Washington Times printed September 30, 2004, she rebutted their reporting of her as a "self-described 'racial separatist'", indicating that she is an ethnic separatist instead. She went on to note that the nation has abandoned the motto, "e pluribus unum."
Abernethy ran in election for vice president of the United States in 2012. She was the running mate of Merlin Miller, who ran for president, in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, for the American Freedom Party.