Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: No Fear, Inc. a popular retailer, was confused with the National Organization for European American Rights (N.O.F.E.A.R.), a white supremacist organization.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2000]
Origins: Similarly-titled organizations have led to legitimate confusion over whose decals stand for what. To the right we have the logo for the "National Organization for European-American Rights," a white supremacist group run by ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke that acronymizes its name as N.O.F.E.A.R. To the left of it is the logo for No Fear, Inc., an international retailer that markets its popular youth-directed apparel and accessories under the brand "No Fear." The decals are markedly different in appearance, as is the message each is meant to convey.
Let's deal first with the Virginia-based claims made in the
The retailer whose logo is now being confused with that of a white supremacist group, No Fear, Inc., is a California-based manufacturer of young men's activewear and gear that has been in business since 1989. It currently employs
As for what N.O.F.E.A.R. is about, according to David Duke, this group's mission is to fight what he says is widespread discrimination against white people of European descent:
"We maintain that the civil rights of European Americans are being violated by affirmative action, forced integration, and anti-European immigration policies. Blacks, Mexicans, Jews and other ethnic minorities have many organizations that work for their perceived interests."In other words, they're quite different kettles of fish.
In February 2000, No Fear, Inc. filed suit against David Duke, claiming he infringed on their company's trademark by calling his one-month-old White-rights group N.O.F.E.A.R.
Duke denies his organization's name violates No Fear, Inc.'s trademark rights. "The name of the organization is the National Organization for European American Rights," Duke said. "And if somebody uses the letters, that's not what we're about. That's just the initials of our organization."
One wonders how the courts will view this claim, especially in light of one of Duke's earliest actions on behalf of his new organization. During an address broadcast on
Did Duke know about No Fear, Inc., at the time he selected a name for his white supremacist group? He says not. Does this ultimately matter? Probably not. No Fear, Inc., looks to have a strong case that its trademark has been violated, and certainly that consumers have been genuinely confused by N.O.F.E.A.R.'s actions and stated goals.
Update: According to a 4 June 2001 press release, David Duke's N.O.F.E.A.R. has renamed itself the European-American Rights Organization (ERO).
Barbara "little white lies" Mikkelson
National Organization For European American Rights (David Duke)
No Fear, Inc.
Last updated: 2 December 2007
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