The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Late last week, on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, a hooded individual distributed fliers and hung posters declaring a war on immigration. Using the most recent covers of Charlie Hebdo as a backdrop, the flier was intended to be a call to action and an ominous warning: “America is ours, and we are tomorrow.”
The group behind the campaign, the National Youth Front, was no secret. It’s the newly formed youth wing of the white nationalist American Freedom Party, and it is only the latest in a growing number of racist organizations targeting youth on college campuses.
In recent years, groups like Youth for Western Civilization, formed by Kevin DeAnna, and the Traditionalist Youth Network, which emerged from a chapter of YWC founded on Towson University’s campus by Matthew Heimbach, have dominated the campus extremism landscape. At one point, YWC boasted 13 chapters, and TYN was making regular headlines for its racist activism at Towson and Indiana University.
But while those organizations have ties that run deep into the white nationalist movement, particularly to Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance, neither have ever served as a direct pipeline to a well-established hate group. NYF does exactly that, hoping that those they recruit in college, between the ages of 18 and 35, will help rejuvenate an already aging landscape.
According to William Johnson, AFP’s chairman, “NYF is an independent organization that will send members to the AFP. The end goal of recruitment is to make them [NYF members] nationalists and racially conscious.”
From the styling of its fliers to the sleek recruitment videos on its website, NYF seems to be modeling itself after other successful white nationalist youth movements, such as Generation Identitaire, the youth wing of France’s far-right, nationalist movement Bloc Identitaire, known for its large street demonstrations targeting the Muslim community in France. According to its former chairman, Caleb Shumaker, NYF is “march[ing] to take back our streets not by words but with action.”
“Our goal is to take power from those who have weaponized our institutions against us. To put an end to the invasions of our nations. To stop the ongoing defamation of our people. … To eliminate the endless ideological subversion of our nations most precious gift. Its youth,” read NYF’s stated goals. And according to the NYF posters found at ASU, “This is a declaration of war” – another line lifted directly from Generation Identitaire.
But that war hit a snag last month when Caleb Shumaker was forced out of his position as chairman.
“Due to recent attacks against me, my family and by those whom I believed would support and appreciate what we are doing, I feel it best to step down from my position as chairman of National Youth Front, and step away entirely from the organization,” wrote Shumaker in his resignation letter on the NYF website on January 6.
Johnson, in his discussions with Hatewatch recounted the reasons for Shumaker’s departure from the group differently. “Caleb Shumaker was forced out because of his interracial marriage,” Johnson said. “I was working with him closely, but there was a lot of backlash [because of his marriage] … from people who were not involved [in NYF].”
Shumaker, who declined to comment, was replaced by Angelo John Gage, a veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq, who has previously run for the U.S. House of Representatives in New Jersey as a candidate for AFP.
Gage has a long history of racism and anti-Semitism, including stints on The White Voice, a white nationalist website, and Stormfront, where he has written about realizing “the real Jewish question and the whole ww2 and hitler [sic] truth.”
At the time of Shumaker’s resignation, NYF had nine active chapters. Hatewatch has so far confirmed the existence of five: Asheville, N.C., Baltimore, Hammond, La., Indianapolis, and Phoenix.
Update: The RNC voted yesterday to censure its member Dave Agema for posting material on social media that is insensitive to gays, Muslims and African Americans. Ironically, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is working closing with a group, American Family Association, that could be described in the exact same way.
It’s only been a few weeks since we learned that majority whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) had spoken to a white supremacist group in 2002, and again the Republican Party has a scandal about race on its hands.
As the RNC gathers today in San Diego for its annual strategy meeting to draft plans for its future, particularly how it will improve its outreach to minorities, another prominent GOP lawmaker has been discovered to be a fan of white supremacist thinking.
Dave Agema, a member of the Republican National Committee from Michigan, republished an essay by the white nationalist publication American Renaissance in a New Year’s Eve Facebook post. The racist article, par for the course for American Renaissance, said “blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.”
Agema reportedly found it “very enlightening.” Can that possibly be true?
Agema has since pulled the piece down, but he refuses to apologize or resign from the RNC. And this isn’t his first racist rodeo.
According to the National Journal, Agema has a well-documented history of making inflammatory and false remarks, such as that President Obama is a Muslim. The Journal points to another Agema Facebook faux pas. He apparently shared what he called an “eye opening” essay that posed the question: “Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?”
At least in this case, some in the RNC have reacted appropriately by calling for Agema to resign or be removed. They include RNC head Reince Priebus and Michigan’s entire GOP delegation. That’s all well and very good, but where’s the outrage from Priebus or other prominent Republicans over Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s plan to hold a prayer rally with the American Family Association (AFA)? Emails to Priebus’ and Jindal’s offices asking for comment were not returned.
On Jan. 24, Jindal, with AFA backing, will be praying at Louisiana State University in an event billed as “The Revival.” His partner, AFA, has defamed immigrants, the LGBT community and women. And just like American Renaissance, it has had horrible things to say about black people.
Let’s take a look at Jindal’s prayer partners.
- An AFA leader has said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.”
- The same staffer said African Americans “rut like rabbits” and women have no place in politics or the military.
- Another has argued that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come to the United States to “plunder” our country.
- And the group has repeatedly made the point that non-Christians are second-class citizens—“we are a Christian nation, and not a Jewish or Muslim one.” (Find a comprehensive look at AFA’s extremist statements and positions here).
Given a track record like that, I have to ask where’s the outrage from Jindal’s fellow Republicans? American Renaissance is clearly racist, but so are these statements about black people and Latinos. Shouldn’t they be condemned as well? And what about blaming gay people for the Holocaust?
So, if Agema is the big Republican elephant in the room stalking the GOP’s efforts to reach out to minorities, isn’t that true as well of any politician who is close to AFA?
Sadly the hypocrisy goes much deeper. As RNC Chair Priebus has berated Agema, rightly saying, “The tone and rhetoric from Agema is consistently offensive and has no place in politics or any rational conversation,” the chairman is also working closely with AFA.
At the end of this month, Priebus is leading an all expenses paid trip to Jerusalem for RNC members. So far, about 60 members (about 36 percent) of the RNC have accepted the offer, according to Haaretz.
And guess who is picking up the tab for this “incredible opportunity” Priebus is offering his fellow RNC members? You guessed right: the AFA.
In the final moments of a year marked by disorganization, personal attacks, and dramatics on the white nationalist right, leaders of the movement haven’t failed to disappoint with one last public dispute.
Greg Johnson, editor of Counter-Currents, a white nationalist publishing house, penned an article just days before the New Year, titled “Rethinking the White Nationalist Conference.” In that essay, Johnson claims that national conferences have become exercises in self-congratulation and resource squandering for many on the racist right.
“The days when American White Nationalists could court global media attention by holding public conferences at private facilities are over,” wrote Johnson, lamenting the loss of coverage by “major media” like CSPAN and National Public Radio.
And Johnson has a point. White nationalist conferences have become obsolete. As more news sources appear in the Internet age, the message that was once so incendiary that it would attract the attention of major television and newspaper outlets has been drowned out by Internet static. What Johnson recommends in response is an effort to refocus resources on local events to build the base, instead of massive national conferences.
Predictably, other white nationalist organizers, including some writing for Johnson’s own site, disagree.
Matthew Parrott, co-founder of the Traditionalist Youth Network, immediately took issue with Johnson’s claims that national conferences are an inefficient use of what funds are available to white nationalists.
“Greg’s correct that the political backdrop has changed dramatically in the decades since the first conference,” Parrott wrote. “But the mainstream media is much smaller and much less respected than it was then. The past twenty years have been far more kind to AmRen than it’s been to the media weasels set against it.”
The site’s ability to raise money has allowed Johnson to operate as one of the only full-time white nationalist activists. However, the privileged position from which he peddles his brand of pseudo-intellectual extremism has not stifled his complaints that the sums raised at the American Renaissance conference would be more than enough to hire a several full-time staffers to promote white nationalism.
Johnson doesn’t trumpet his successful fundraising while making these points. Neither do Parrott and Brad Griffin of the white nationalist blog Occidental Dissent, who also published a rebuttal. Instead, he takes issue with Johnson’s focus on intellectualizing and abstracting white nationalism.v
“The inevitable result of retreating from the real world into cyberspace will be to rely even more on anonymity,” Griffin wrote. “[It] will strengthen the taboos, generate more fear, cowardice, and conspiratorial paranoia in our ranks, exacerbate points of disagreement, and further impoverish the already low state of social capital in the movement.”
In his first column of 2015, published on the right-wing website News with Views, Wooldridge continued his campaign to denigrate Muslims, calling for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. and warning that no Western country will “survive [Muslim] birthrates or culture.”
“Islam grows in America. This beast roams America in places like Philadelphia where Muslim women walk Market Street where Ben Franklin walked,” Wooldridge wrote. “At some point, we must shut down all Muslim immigration before we lose control of our own country. They prove relentless, uncompromising and unyielding. No such thing as a ‘moderate Muslim!’”
The column is the third installment in a series titled, “Impregnating America With Muslims: Onslaught on our Ethos, Language and Culture.” It also quoted heavily from an October 2014 sermon delivered by Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Congregation Etz Chaim, where Lewis called for a “holy crusade” against Muslim extremists.
Wooldridge has a long history of anti-Muslim vitriol, and he is far from an isolated figure within the broader anti-immigrant movement. He is an advisory board member with the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), founded by white nationalist John Tanton, the architect of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement. Wooldridge also worked as a “senior writing fellow” for the anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). Both FAIR and CAPS received funding from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation dedicated to funding the studies of race and intelligence, as well as eugenics, the “science” of breeding superior human beings that was discredited by various Nazi atrocities.
Incidentally, the idea of Muslim immigration diluting western culture has long been a nativist fascination. As early as 2000, for example, FAIR attacked Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.), an Arab-American, for supporting more high-tech visas for immigrants. In radio and TV ads, FAIR claimed Abraham’s proposal could “make it easier for [Arab] terrorists like Osama bin Laden to export their way of terror to any street in America.”
A decade later, in the Fall 2010, Tanton’s anti-immigrant journal The Social Contract (TSC) called for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. Tanton’s right hand man, K.C. McAlpin, attempted to justify the call for a ban, saying “Congress has used that power in the past to ban the immigration of Communist Party and National Socialist (Nazi) party members who were deemed to be threats to our national security. This case is no different.”
But in reality, for Wooldridge and McAlpin, it is completely different.
Rare is the day that I am shocked by something I read online. After all, I spend hours each day immersed in vile racist and anti-Semitic material. That’s my job. But a recent, particularly twisted article by Colin Flaherty on the website American Thinker was really just too much.
Flaherty’s piece, “Black Crime Claims Life of Apologist for Black Crime,”published yesterday, reveled in the tragic death of David Ruenzel, who was fatally shot in late November in a botanical park in Oakland Hills. News reports say robbery may have been the motive.
Ruenzel, an English teacher, wrote a few posts on white privilege and other topics for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s esteemed Teaching Tolerance project back in the late 1990s. He was much better known for his expertise in education, which was demonstrated through the many articles he wrote for education publications. According to one obituary, Ruenzel was most interested in “the mission of developing students’ intellectual curiosity.” ( continue to full post… )
In early November, around a hundred leaders and supporters of one of the largest Ku Klux Klan groups in the United States held a secretive “summit” in what is called “all White east Tennessee.” The white supremacists ranted about minorities and Jewish conspiracies and raised more than $10,000 in donations and “registration fees” from the event. But they didn’t have to meet in the woods. The Klan gathering was held at a comfortable, taxpayer-funded Tennessee state park resort facility with an armed park ranger on duty to provide security.
After a catered dinner of “organic vegetables and grass-fed beef” the lights were dimmed, as attendees followed the Power Point slideshow and listened to the keynote address, titled “Death to America.”
It seems unlikely that Islamic Jihad or ISIS supporters would have been permitted to hold a “summit” meeting on Tennessee state property to discuss strategy or raise thousands of dollars, though their Power Point would have probably been similar.
Advertised for months on the racist Website, Stormfront, it remains unclear if anyone in Tennessee state government knew about the nature of the event, although it should have been obvious to Norris Dam State Park officials that this was no ordinary “family reunion.” ( continue to full post… )
A collection of citizens in the small resort town of Whitefish, Mont., banded together earlier this week to demand that their local town council take action to deal with the effects of the presence of a nationally prominent white-nationalist organization in their midst.
Calling themselves Love Lives Here, the group packed the Whitefish City Council chambers on Monday night to demand the council pass an anti-hate ordinance that would bar such groups from assembling in the city.
The object of their ire was Richard Spencer and his National Policy Institute, a hate group that is one of the leading exemplars of academic racism. Spencer moved his national headquarters to Whitefish from Washington, D.C., several years ago. ( continue to full post… )
Over the past couple of weeks, the so-called “academic” racists of the white nationalist movement have set academics aside and instead devolved into an online battle in the style of the Hatfields and McCoys.
In the wake of several recent events, including the arrest and deportation of Richard Spencer from Hungary and the state senatorial campaign of Kentucky neo-Nazi Robert Ransdell, some of the biggest names in white nationalist circles are taking sides and taking turns publicly skewering each other on their respective websites.
White nationalist and neo-Confederate Brad Griffin (aka Hunter Wallace) compiled a list of “beefs” among white nationalists and posted them recently to his Occidental Dissent site. One commenter noted, “The easier list to compile would have been who isn’t fighting whom.” And indeed, from the length of the list Griffin posted, the commenter may be right.
The long list includes familiar and ongoing feuds, such as those between longtime white supremacist Harold Covington, and well, everyone, as well as those involving Vanguard News Network (VNN) site founder Alex Linder (also with pretty much everyone). However, there are many new and unexpected conflicts within the movement that, ironically, calls for the need for solidarity in its mission.
In particular, unexpected spats have surfaced between several well-known white nationalists including Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents and Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute (NPI). Both are hailed as “academics” by their peers.
Andrew Anglin of the increasingly popular neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer, meanwhile, has been engaged in a war of words with Colin Liddell of the white nationalist Alternative Right, a site that was originally founded by Richard Spencer. The site was abruptly shut down by Spencer in 2013 until Liddell, who is based in the UK, took its reins.
The Johnson-Spencer conflict emerged in the wake of the near-collapse of NPI’s conference in Budapest. Johnson cancelled his plans to attend and requested a refund of registration fees from NPI when the Hungarian government threatened arrests and deportations for attendees.
Despite the fact that several of the event’s most noteworthy names, among them representatives from Jobbik, the hard-right, Hungarian nationalist party, and Aleksandr Dugin, a pro-Russian favorite of traditionalists and the European new right, had withdrawn, Spencer and others journeyed into Hungary to be met by police at the event. Spencer was rewarded with several nights in prison before being deported and banned from returning for several years.
None of this sat well with Johnson. “The final straw for me,” he commented at Occidental Dissent, “was Richard’s disastrous mishandling of the Budapest conference. When a foreign government tells you that your conference is banned and that the police will take the necessary steps to make sure it does not take place, you do not vow defiance.” He got personal in another comment when he said, “Richard is basically being dominated by Nina Nogoodnik, his Russian-Georgian wife.”
Johnson also penned a post and multiple comments at his own website, Counter-Currents, and attacked Spencer for his handling of the controversy – particularly his failure to adequately warn attendees of the risks involved with entering Hungary.
Another feud erupted about the same time over Robert Ransdell’s campaign for state Senate in Kentucky. Ransdell, a neo-Nazi, has been posting signs that state, “With Jews, We Lose.” White nationalist “comedian” RamZPaul took exception to Ransdell and openly condemned his campaign.
RamZPaul (Paul Ramsey) has other supporters in his opposition to Ransdell. One writer at white nationalist Robert Whitaker’s BUGS site snarked that Ransdell’s “borderline comatose ‘With Juice you lose’ is the latest drooling from COMIC Book Pro-Whites.”
In the same article, Whitaker attacked Stormfront, the world’s largest online white supremacist forum, calling it a vacuum for pro-white energy that is spent arguing on the internet, and said that he and his followers (known as “BUGSERS” who bombard various websites with variations of “the mantra,” a white supremacist statement that claims “anti-racism is anti-white”) are the only ones who work for the cause and have “VISIBLY destroyed anti-white memes that would be there forever if it had been left to tens of thousands of Stormfronters.”
And then neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin entered the fray of “beefs” with a massive round-up post at his Daily Stormer site, titled “Infinite DramaQuest” in which he adds extra snark by representing each feuding party as a different anime character from the series Dragon Ball Z.
To Anglin, all the battling about what’s best for the movement is ridiculous, because his approach is the best: “You cannot preserve the White race without addressing the Jews. You cannot address the Jews without addressing their hoax. You cannot address their hoax without addressing Adolf Hitler.” That statement opened yet another “beef” with Colin Liddell at Alternative Right.
“What Anglin is unequivocally saying here,” writes Lidell, “is that before you can do anything at all about preserving and protecting the White race – stopping mass immigration, say, or encouraging White women to have at least 2.1 babies – you must first get everyone to love Hitler and hate the Jews, and if you can’t accomplish these supposed preconditions then you had best forget the whole shebang, So what he is really saying is simply: ‘You cannot preserve the White race.’”
Like a tennis match, Anglin hit back, calling Lidell “Mr. Supersmartintellectualguy,” and claiming that he could turn Lidell’s arguments around on him, but “wouldn’t ever do that, because [he has] this thing in [his] back called a ‘vertebral column’ which physically prevents me from being capable of engaging in such base intellectual dishonesty.”
And not one to avoid controversy (or attention), white nationalist Matt Parrott of the Traditionalist Youth Network was willing to throw some more gas on the fire. According to Parrott, who normally shies away from comparisons to Nazism, “The flaw in Anglin’s model is that Nazism isn’t radical enough.”
Meanwhile, over in the vortex that is VNN Forum, Alex Linder is so worked up that he’s posting 1,000-word screeds at a rate that is almost unprecedented for him, even though he’s known for long diatribes. Among these are attacks on almost every major figure, including Johnson and Spencer, involved in a “beef” listed on Occidental Dissent.
“Everybody fails Greggy,” writes Linder in the #1 Infighting, Beefs, Etc. Thread” on VNN Forum. “Then piously he lifts his eyes heavenward, shakes his head nobly and sadly, and earnestly swears to soldier on and do better next time. So sodo-jesusy.”
“Spencer is simply a nebbish. I think of him as a Strom lite. Less brains, less character, even.”
Like some kind of surreal white supremacist version of a telenovela, the drama continues to unfurl. As Brad Griffin suggested at Occidental Dissent, some popcorn might be in order.
Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, a book by a well-known science writer was published by Penguin Press that seemed to support many of the claims made by academic racists over the years. Because of the importance to the proponents of racism and anti-Semitism of the controversial assertions made in A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, Hatewatch asked Jon Phillips, a graduate student and free-lance writer who studies the history of science with a focus on politics and evolutionary biology, to review the 278-page book and its claims.
Nicholas Wade’s new book, A Troublesome Inheritance, is only the latest in a long line of works arguing that humans can be divided into discrete races, and that between those races, there are differences in behavior, temperament, intelligence, and even political and economic structures. Although the specifics of the arguments change, what remains constant is the idea that white people of European descent are inherently smarter, better, more “civilized” than members of other races, especially black Africans and their descendants. Wade’s work is no exception.
This book’s failure as a work of popular science has been well documented by biologists and anthropologists. This review will focus on another problem with Wade’s book, one just as damning as its scientific errors: its uncritical reliance on and legitimization of fringe racist theories masquerading as mainstream biology.
Wade, a former science writer for The New York Times, attempts to fabricate a sense of scientific credibility for his outlandish theories with the division of his book into two very different sections. The first half is intended as a survey of the history and science of research into human evolution, race, and genetics, and Wade supports most of his claims with citations to scientific literature.
In the second, more ”speculative” half of the book, Wade’s claims about human genetics and evolution continue, but the scientific sources disappear. It is in this part of the book, for example, that Wade explains modern history through the claim that “European populations” have a genetic predisposition to “open societies and the rule of law to autocracies,” while the Chinese are inherently “drawn to a system of family obligations, political hierarchy, and conformity.” He posits that white Europeans and East Asians are innately more intelligent than Papuans or members of other “Stone Age societies” because “intelligence can be more highly rewarded in modern societies because it is in far greater demand.” Although he acknowledges at the outset that these portions of the book are intended to be speculative, in the text he presents these racist, hackneyed ideas as though they are simple facts, uncontroversial and incontrovertible. ( continue to full post… )
It seems the long nightmare for California State University, Long Beach, has finally come to an end. Kevin MacDonald, author of a three-volume opus on why people should hate Jews and a longtime psychology professor at the university, has retired.
MacDonald’s beliefs have been denounced repeatedly by his academic colleagues, several CSU-LB departments and the university administration. Even so, his books, his political activities with the racist American Freedom Party and his associations with prominent extremists such as former Klansman David Duke have long sullied the campus’ reputation and MacDonald’s department. With the protection provided by academic tenure, MacDonald soldiered on as a greatly despised member of the faculty after his hateful views were exposed by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2007.
But now, Long Beach is finally free of this stain. According to a post on the neo-Nazi website Natallnews.com, MacDonald retired in January after teaching for 30 years. Appropriately, the blog post is a set of congratulatory remarks for MacDonald made by Holocaust denier Mark Weber at a Jan. 25 gathering. Weber laments that MacDonald “has been smeared and vilified by influential Jewish-Zionist organizations” and their “non-Jewish lackeys.” Weber adds, “Happily for us and for humanity, MacDonald has not let that slow him down.”
What humanity, and especially the students at Cal State Long Beach, really have to celebrate today is that MacDonald will no longer have an academic veneer to obscure what is nothing but a body of vile, anti-Semitic work and a sordid side career advancing the cause of white supremacy.