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White nationalists on the UMass campus

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White nationalists on the UMass campus

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

By Joseph Keady, Collegian Contributer

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On Nov. 7, the University of Massachusetts was targeted for intimidation and propagandizing by the white nationalist organization, Identity Evropa. It was not the first time the group left a mark here, and it most likely will not be the last.

The group was founded in early 2016 as an extension of leader Nathan Damigo’s prior work leading a nationwide fascist youth organization. In the fall of 2016, Identity Evropa began a campaign called Project Siege, placing posters and stickers on public streets and, in particular, college campuses. People in the organization then take photos of their work and broadcast them on social media. The organization’s interest in college campuses is rooted in its belief that it can capitalize on white male resentment amid a broader right-wing campaign to brand higher education as a site of radical indoctrination and intolerance.

In one example, a far-right website marketed as a watchdog for “Marxist” academics recently published a reporton an anti-fascist demonstration on our campus (which is not linked here to avoid bringing attention to their website). That report included an unlabeled photo, one that was not taken at UMass. The report also claimed that Graduate Employee Organization representatives failed to respond to a request for comment, without mentioning that this request was sent by email only an hour and a half before the article was published.

Identity Evropa has not produced much literature to articulate its vision explicitly. It opts to outsource its intellectual labor to a list of suggested, mostly pseudo-scientific, readings and instead produces slick banners, posters and stickers that feature decontextualized images and vacuous slogans. Like many widespread advertising campaigns, its objective is not to sell its product to every person who sees an ad. The organization instead aims to create a sense of inevitability and ubiquity. It provokes fear by demonstrating that it can go anywhere it chooses and remain anonymous.

In Sept. 2017, members of Identity Evropa were so brazen as to organize and participate in a torchlight march through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia only a month after the fatal Unite the Right rally, reopening wounds that were still all too fresh. They ran away before the community could respond, but the stunt earned them social capital through the endless reproducibility of online images.

As an organization, Identity Evropa claims to be nonviolent, but this is belied by their own history. Damigo spent five years in prison for the armed robbery of a cab driver he “thought was Iraqi” and attained internet celebrity status in early 2017 when he was filmed punching a 19 year-old woman in the face during a demonstration in Berkeley, California. Richard Spencer has named him as a leading organizer of the Unite the Right rally. After Damigo stepped down, in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, he was replaced by Elliott Kline. Kline publicly goes by the name Eli Mosley — to honor the late British fascist Oswald Mosley. Kline has also claimed that he fought in Iraq — indeed, he has bragged about the joy he took in killing Muslims — but he was disgraced earlier this year when a New York Timesreporter discoveredthat, during his six years in the Army Reserves, he never left Pennsylvania.

The current leader, Patrick Casey, also came to prominence using a pseudonym (Reinhard Wolff),and he was a correspondent for a prominent white nationalist online media outfit. Casey could have chosen any name for himself, but he picked a conspicuously German one — one that conjures images of both Reinhard Heydrich, the “butcher of Prague” and a leading architect of the Holocaust, and a litany of wolf-related images and metaphors deployed by the Nazi regime and those who would seek to invoke it in the ensuing decades.

Adherents to Identity Evropa are apparently angry that white men are not reflexively given the respect that they are ostensibly due. They feel that they have been made to apologize too long for past sins, and yet they cannot seem to resist the urge to reproduce those sins and claim them for their own — torchlight marches reminiscent of the early Nazi era, a might-is-right morality toward their political rivals, claiming the names of well-known historical fascists as their own and more. They tout “Europeanness” as an inherent virtue, yet their vision of Europe and its history is both narrow and bleak.

As a student of German and Spanish literature, I can only respond by saying that they have misremembered or deliberately forgotten. I know too much about the courage and the sacrifices that have gone into past European efforts to combat similar fascist ideologies. As an Irish citizen — as someone whose recent family history is checkered with war, prison, emigration and murder in the wake of centuries of colonization by another European country — I can only say that the Identity Evropa worldview is as heartless as it is ahistorical. A German friend of mine likes to invoke a history of Zivilcouragein confronting inherently violent ideologies. To that end, we can look to the Spanish anti-fascists of the 1930s for a proper response: ¡No pasarán!

Joseph Keady is a Collegian contributor and can be reached at [email protected]

19 Comments

19 Responses to “White nationalists on the UMass campus”

  1. NITZAKHON on November 15th, 2018 7:00 am

    Perhaps a vacation in a European Sharia “NO GO” zone might enlighten you.

    If you volunteer to walk through Malmo in daylight, alone, with a kippa on your head I’ll pay for your plane ticket. Your hospital / morgue bill is on you.

    I’m serious.

  2. amy on November 15th, 2018 10:21 am

    There is no ‘white nationalism’ at Umass; what ‘white nationalism;’ means to liberals is the reality of our country and life, that white people control the majority of society and that’s because it’s a white society founded by white people for white people of European descent. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s just the reality and in that context we are an extremely, perhaps the most tolerant country on the planet and by far the most diverse. Yet to the delusional and irrational minds of frenzied liberals this is somehow… evidence of ‘white nationalism ‘

    This sort of falsehood is very harmful to minorities and successful minorities like asians.

    2. Identity Evropa is just an european/white identity group. What is wrong with that??? Asians have it, hispanic, black people, immigrants. But for some reason because liberals either make false accusations or sweeping generalizations that white groups are ‘evil’ and ‘racist’ ,they can’t???

    This is not only morally wrong it’s unamerican. And as a proud american with parents who are Asian immigrants, I stand against this sort of false and hateful rhetoric expressed in this column. All people of all colors should have the right to group together and to express their opinions and beliefs and associate with who they want.

  3. CT on November 15th, 2018 2:29 pm

    Amy- IE is not about supporting a multicultural society where everyone gets to celebrate their own culture. It is about having a white supermajority. IE’s website says, “We believe that all ethnic and racial groups should have somewhere in the world to call home.” This means that they would rather that non-white immigrants did not come to the United States, and that those who are here leave. As Patrick Casey said in an interview, ” And we also do want to have programs of re-migration wherein people who feel more of a connection to another part of the world, another race, another culture, even another religion in the case of Islam can return to their native homelands essentially.” That includes you as an Asian American and your immigrant parents.
    Everyone can read more about IE’s hateful rhetoric, including leaders’ repeated use of racial slurs and suggestions of violence here: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/identity-evropa

  4. Sootie on November 15th, 2018 3:03 pm

    If you think a white nationalist organization is behind hate speech written on mirrors in residence halls, you’re nuts. Over dramatic representation of some asshole’s disgusting graffiti.

  5. Fitzgerald on November 15th, 2018 3:27 pm

    The God-awful pieces of wonderbread rely on articles like this to expand their reputation. Please use caution when covering hate groups like this, so they don’t inadvertently receive free advertisement.

  6. George Chidi on November 15th, 2018 4:27 pm

    I see the white nationalists have found your editorial. Color me unsurprised.

    An automated system scrapes publications for anything to do with fascist groups like this and deposits it directly in the inboxes of racist scum, like the guy above who runs a blog called “Red Pill Jew.”

    As far as Amy and “successful minorities,” well, the racism of her commentary speaks for itself. We have self-professed white nationalists in high office, making public policy. Finding them on a campus which is “whiter” than the public at large shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    A little more background is in order on Identity Evropa. The white nationalist movement started falling apart after Charlottesville. Antifa doxxed half of them. Jobs were lost. People were arrested. The Traditionalist Workers Party disintegrated. The fallout continues to this day. Lots of people who were professed white supremacists — and scum — were suddenly up for grabs with no organizational home.

    Identity Evropa requires its members to do flyer drops like the one UMass saw, and to upload a picture of themselves doing so to a Evropa handler, as a demonstration of their good faith in the cause and actual activism, as opposed to one more Internet troll in their mother’s basement. (And since I know that the mouth-breathing jackass is reading this: I promise you, you moron, that the picture will be hacked eventually, if its not simply used for blackmail against you later by the people you gave it to.)

    The group itself is pretty small. You might have two people on campus, with a dozen sympathizers. You almost certainly have at least five times as many contributing members of antifa on campus. And they know it.

    Suffice it to say that the majority of Americans of all ethnic and racial heritage want a country where true merit matters more than skin color. The difference is largely between those who acknowledge that we don’t have those conditions today, and those who lie — to themselves, and to others — and say we do. Some of us are working toward the egalitarian ideal. Some of us want the benefits we get from the way things stand now.

    But, I’m saying this to the gentle readers of a column at UMass. As an alumni, I strongly suspect you’ve heard my take on this before.

    Courage.

  7. Amy on November 16th, 2018 1:28 pm

    SLPC was sued and settled for 3 million dollars for lying about a so called ‘hate group’. So why should we trust what they have to say?

    So sad to see as I see all the time and mostly only by white liberals…attacked for being an Asian and being successful and for having white friends and supporting our country which is very successful as country of European origins. Those who attacked me and my race ought to be ashamed and although you believe in your delusion that your ‘right’ and ‘moral’ you are no worst than other racist ;the KKK, richard spencer and other outright racists are no different than a liberal who is racist in that they both think they are ‘right’ and they both see human beings in terms of race not who they are. Umass is a stellar example of this; what matters here first is your skin color, your gender, your race, how oppressed you are and then finally, who you are as a person and your actions. That’s only considered after it’s filtered through their racist criteria.

    If anything the discussion needs to be about the hatefulness and divisiveness liberals have caused minorities and how they prey upon us to fulfill their socialist utopia vision and view as ‘vicctims’ who need ‘help’ with government welfare while never extending us empowerment and dignity as well republicans do and white men do and white americans in power who want us to succeed not hate america and be dependent on others.

  8. Jeff Diteman on November 17th, 2018 9:23 am

    In the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, we offer a wide variety of opportunities for students to explore cultural issues–including matters pertaining to European identity–in ways that do not involve joining or following extremist groups founded by violent racists to promote anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic conspiracy theories. Those of us who seriously study European culture recognize the continent’s fascinating literary and philosophical contributions as well as the grievous atrocities carried out in the name of imperialism. To be a serious scholar of anything is to put aside what one wishes to believe, and to follow the facts.
    I’m not sure what the apologists and head-in-the-sand denialists hope to accomplish by diminishing the significance of this white nationalist propaganda–should we ignore it and hope it goes away? As scholars it is our duty to confront lies with truth.

  9. NITZAKHON on November 17th, 2018 2:04 pm

    “Racist scum?”

    I’m married to a first-generation non-white immigrant.

    F you.

  10. Brock Townsend on November 17th, 2018 2:37 pm

    racist scum, like the guy above who runs a blog called “Red Pill Jew.”

    Pray tell, how you came to this conclusion?

  11. NITZAKHON on November 20th, 2018 6:54 am

    @Amy: Don’t you know? To the Left, every minority has to think alike. The Left hates-hates-hates independent thought; just look at the hate spewed at sages like Dr. Thomas Sowell, Professor Walter Williams, Larry Elder, Dinesh D’Souza, and charismatic black speaker Candace Owens. You can just hear the condescending “Get back on the vote plantation, n*gger!” (or “ch*nk” for you) in the tone of the above poster.

    Citing, IIRC, Thomas Sowell, the Left has done to blacks what generations of actual (Democrat) slave owners could never do: destroyed the black family through the Great Society to become, defacto, lab rates pulling the “D” lever every two years in exchange for pellets (food stamps) and a cage (Section 8 housing).

    In other words, Democrats are true to their slaver roots.

  12. Amy on November 20th, 2018 10:32 pm

    NITZAKHON in my reading of his comments there is nothing racist about him at all. It is very offensive to be called racist, many people have called me an asian racist and because I didn’t agree with their viewpoint.

    I would encourage people to look at real racism most often existing in third-world countries, and prior to the 1960s; racism is not disagreeing with someone’s viewpoint or what liberals say is right or being pro-white or celebrating the fact your european or otherwise.

    Racism involves discrimination; an actual action, you discriminate against someone for a job or for example like Harvard you let in less asians or let in less black people or prevent a race from eating somewhere or segregation or in the worst instances a hate crime, so you deliberately commit a crime on a racial basis. Which occurs also to white people and asians, liberals only act like it happens to hispanics and black people.

    So when liberals throw around the phrase ‘racist’ it means nothing and people who do this and degrade what racism is,they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

  13. NITZAKHON on November 21st, 2018 7:34 am

    @Amy:

    Specifically racist, by him? Perhaps not. But in general people on the Left – and I know people on both sides of the political spectrum – far more racist than on the Right.

    Consider the voter ID controversy. It is dripping with condescension to think that black people are unable to get IDs. E.g.:

    Ami Horowitz Digital Short | Voter ID Laws | Race | Ignorance
    https://youtu.be/7MtE_D3__rI

    Consider, in general, the actual history of the Democrats: They formed the Confederacy to protect slavery, they founded the KKK, passed the Jim Crow laws, and LBJ was reported to have said, by witnesses, when he passed the Great Society “I’ll have them n—–rs voting Democrat for the next two hundred years.”

    The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party
    https://youtu.be/g_a7dQXilCo

    Democrats opposed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, the 14th Amendment giving blacks citizenship, and the 15th Amendment giving blacks the vote. 22 blacks served in the Congress by 1900… as REPUBLICANS. The Democrats didn’t put up a black Congressman until 1935.

    Republican or Democrat? | Exclusive Deleted Scene From “Hillary’s America”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K5JxFXus1Y

    Johnson was right; Democrat programs have been operant-conditioned black people to pull the lever for “D”. What a sad thing for a capable people – every bit as capable as whites or any other race. No wonder there are so many black people making #walkaway videos as they understand the psychological shackles the Left has placed on them.

  14. NITZAKHON on November 21st, 2018 9:57 am

    @AMY

    My wife is from the former USSR; specifically, a country where Stalin starved 1/3 of my wife’s ethnic group to death to help create the great Socialist Utopia (funny how Leftist utopias always involves a lot of genocide first). Note: this is on top of the Ukraine genocide.

    People of my wife’s ethnic group are derided by Russians as “black asses”. They state this openly. The bigotry is there, nakedly displayed.

    On her first trip here, my wife’s relative commented on how blacks worked with whites, Christians worked with Jews and even the local Muslim community… and was amazed.

    This Frankfurt School critical theory brainwashing that America is uniquely racist, sexist, you-name-it-ist is an outright lie. Sure, we still have racists; we also have people who believe Elvis is still alive. Compared to the rest of the world this is orders of magnitude better.

  15. Gina on November 25th, 2018 5:18 pm

    @amy I have seen hateful and unnecessarily aggressive comments from you under many articles. They do not only disturb me because the things you say like “there is no white nationalism at umass” is ignorant, but much of what you say is simply a string of empty statements. Who are you to say there is no white nationalism at umass and what kind of proof do you have that suggests that? If you are going to make such a bold argument that goes against the masses, I suggest having some good proof if you want the chance of actually making a valid point.

    While I think that people voicing their opinions is extremely important and I can appreciate that you keep so up-to-date with the articles on this website, you should consider reevaluating how you address both the author of the article and the other commenters. Your close-mindedness leaves absolutely no room for the initiation of the kind of dialogue that democrats and republicans need to be having to understand one another’s point of view. Your unwillingness to even try and understand another person’s opinion and perspective is disappointing, as I truly think these comment feeds have the potential of providing a good space for students to have a healthy conversation. It is unfortunate that you leave no room for other opinions, as you are often the first comment on these articles which leaves more people responding to your ignorant post than the article itself.

  16. NITZAKHON on November 27th, 2018 6:43 am

    @Gina:

    In other words, “Stop using Alinsky’s tactics against us”.

    BWAAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

  17. amy on November 30th, 2018 8:53 pm

    Anyone surprised by Gina’s comments? Typical line by liberals.. let me translate it

    Your opinion is ‘wrong’ and my opinion is right.. let me educate you and until them I am going to ignore you.

    For one does anyone care what liberals say or if they are ignored? Their sort of snooty and arrogant behavior actually reminds me of the catholic church in it’s total dogmatic assertion and also lecturing.

    I also I hope Gina(presumbly a white woman) and if she is a white woman, she learns how to properly talk to a minority.. I found her comment patronizing.

  18. amy on November 30th, 2018 8:59 pm

    Nitzakhon has a good point about the racist history of democrats(and liberals). The thing is they are using the exact same tactics now, instead of the KKK, they have ANTI-FA(using violence push left viewpoints ) and like the kkk it’s a a political paramilitary group. And they are also racists, it’s just that instead of oppressing black people, now democrats exploit minorities. The basis is the same, contempt for colored people and using their superior status/position/resources to exploit them. Democrats exploit liberals by using them for vote and using them in a very manipulative way so that you can never attack a democrat/liberal opinion or viewpoint because that’s ‘racist’.

    Thankfully I think President trump is starting to change this, he has record minority votes and many minorities(as they should for dignity and independence) are switching from democrat to republican!!

  19. amy on December 3rd, 2018 4:26 pm

    exploit minorities*

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