November 24, 2017

White Power Rallies in Tennessee: A Primer

The Nationalist Front (NF) plans to hold racist rallies in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Antifa will also be out. This is what folks should know about the hatemongers in the NF.

ANGRY WHITE MEN

High-profile white supremacists will hold their first large-scale post-Charlottesville rallies tomorrow in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro TN. While some alt-right figureheads — such as Jason Kessler, Christopher Cantwell, and Andrew Anglin — are busy fighting costly legal battles, fliers for these “White Lives Matter” rallies still advertised a roster of the movement’s most important leaders.

The event is being put on by the so-called Nationalist Front, a white nationalist group led by Matt Heimbach, Michael Hill, Dillon Hopper, and Jeff Schoep. Both Heimbach, co-founder of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Hill, the leader of the Neo-Confederate League of the South, were listed as guest speakers for the “Unite the Right” rally in August which ended with one dead and scores injured.

Dillon Hopper (born Dillon Irizarry) is an ex-Marine who in 2016 became the head of Vanguard America, the white supremacist group responsible for leaving racist fliers on college campuses across the U.S. The group’s official platform calls for “a mass exodus, isolation, apartheid, segregation and/or separation” in order to “retain the good order and longevity of the country.”

And Jeff Schoep, “commander” of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), has identified as a Neo-Nazi since the age of 10 when he supposedly read Mein Kampf for the first time. And in a 2012 interview, Schoep’s ex-wife painted a picture of a man who “wanted to fulfill Hitler’s dreams” and acted like a manipulative cult leader.

The Nationalist Front lays out what it calls its “Fourteen Points” — unsurprising since 14 is a number of special significance to Neo-Nazis and white nationalists. According to these points, the Nationalist Front is a group “that is fighting for the political, social and economic interests of White men and women in North America.” And its members share a goal of a “Federation of White states within the ethno-state, bonded together by blood in the model of the Articles of Confederation.”

In addition to the leaders of the Nationalist Front, Sacco Vandal of the white supremacist War Room podcast is expected to speak as well. Born Scott C. Wurgler, he and his identical twin brother Matthew changed their names to Sacco and Vanzetti Vandal in 2005. Both are involved in the alt-right movement, but Sacco, the more vocal of the two, is an ex-Marine and musician who often espouses pro-rape rhetoric.

The event’s biggest advertiser is Brad Griffin, who writes for the blog Occidental Dissent (OD) under the pen name “Hunter Wallace.” In a post for OD, Griffin described the purpose of the event as “protest[ing] the ongoing problem of refugee resettlement in Middle Tennessee and to draw[ing] attention to the recent Emanuel Samson church shooting in Antioch and the way this explosive story has been buried by the national media.”

Griffin, who quickly became disillusioned with the Trump administration, also wrote that they intend to protest the removal of Sudan from the President’s travel ban list, the President’s willingness to pass the DREAM Act, his failure to erect a border wall, and his administration’s announcement of a refugee program which Griffin said would result in “dumping 45,000 refugees a year in places like Middle Tennessee.”

But above everything else, Griffin is intent on making sure these rallies bear as little resemblance to Charlottesville as possible. He cautioned rallygoers against bringing firearms and explicitly ordered them to not bring Swastika flags. “We desire to hold a peaceful demonstration,” he wrote. As for whether violence erupts between the white nationalists, Antifa counterprotesters, and law enforcement — only time will tell.

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