Last October, as northern California was still reeling from two successive wildfires that ranked among the most destructive in state history, seven white men marched onto the Sundial Bridge in Redding and unfurled a banner praising firefighters in the name of Identity Evropa.
If the name Identity Evropa rings a bell, it should: it was one of a several “white identitarian” groups implicated in acts of violence on the U.C. Berkeley campus and the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
The seven men planned the banner-drop carefully, filming the Sundial stunt with a drone, then later splicing the film together with wildfire footage and scenes of the banner being constructed at a secret location. No one’s identity was revealed. A classical-sounding music soundtrack was added, and the artfully crafted Identity Evropa recruitment video was posted on Bit Chute on Nov. 1.
I received a link to the video via email from a friend several weeks ago, who in turn found it on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website’s “Hate Map.” Both the SPLC and the Anti-Defamation League designate Identity Evropa as a hate group.
Now, “hate” is a pretty strong word, and the SPLC and Anti-Defamation League, despite the good work they’ve done, have sometimes overreached, expanding the definition of what constitutes hate speech to the extent that the self-proclaimed “white idenitatiran” can’t express the concerns of his or her (but usually his) tribe without being branded the racist spawn of Hitler.
I’m using the phrase “white identitarian,” instead of white nationalist, white supremacist or neo-Nazi, because that’s the term Identity Evropa, Richard Spencer and countless other “white identitarians” that arose to prominence during President Barrack Obama’s 8 years in office (go figure!) adopted to intellectualize and sanitize their Kipling-esque, 19th century ideals.
These groups began feeling their oats with the rise of openly racist and xenophobic candidate Donald Trump in 2016. In March of that year, Nathan Domigo launched Identiy Evropa.
According to the SPLC and other reports, Domigo was raised in the dramatically shifting demographics of San Jose, California. He joined the Marines in 2004 and found the white Midwestern farm boys in his platoon more to his liking than the Asians and Latinos he’d grown up with in his hometown.
He did two tours in Iraq and returned to California with severe PTSD in 2007. He robbed an Arab cab driver he mistook for an Iraqi and received an other-than-honorable discharge from the Marines and a four-year prison sentence for the violent crime.
In prison, he began studying the writings of David Duke and other white supremacists, all of which are freely available online. Upon his discharge from prison, Damigo joined the National Youth Front, a recruitment arm of the white supremacist American Freedom Party. He also began pursuing a social science degree at California State University, Stanislaus.
According to the SPLC, Domigo was frustrated with the National Youth Front’s lack of progress and began studying the white identitarian movement that has been growing in Europe, particularly in France, since the early 2000s. His idea was to polish the image of white identity politics in the U.S. Thus the supposedly kinder, gentler Identity Evropa was born.
From Identity Evropa’s viewpoint, white people are just one of many racial groups asserting their rights. They ignore the ongoing history of systemic white racism and focus on attacks on their own kind by other races. They abhor the globalism that has destroyed U.S. manufacturing and blame it on Jewish financiers such as George Soros.
Jews, by the way, are not eligible for membership because they’re considered non-white.
All these allegedly non-violent white men want is room to live with their own kind, whether that entails creating all-white enclaves or building a wall and shipping all the non-white immigrants back to their home countries.
As Trump’s dark star rose, Identity Evropa and other Alt-Right groups gravitated upward, spreading their ideas on the internet via podcasts such as Red Ice Radio and websites like the Daily Stormer. Identity Evropa’s specialty was papering college campuses with fliers depicting classical images such as the statue of David underlined with the message, “Protect Your Heritage.”
Such “dank memes” became popularized across right-wing culture, from the internet to conservative talk radio to FOX News, epitomized by the frequently repeated claim that white people created Western civilization all by their lonesome.
After Trump won the election, the Alt-Right was on a roll. But alas! For Identity Evropa, which had grown to 300 members nationwide, it was not to last!
First came the Battle of Berkeley in April, 2017. Identity Evropa was one of several white identity groups on hand when Alt-Right heartthrob Anne Coulter canceled her appearance. Left-wing protesters, including members of AntiFa, were also present and a riot broke out.
One of the most-circulated images from the riot featured Identity Evropa founder and president Nathan Domigo punching a 95-pound female protester in the face.
A man punching a woman in the face is pretty much the definition of what more publicity-minded white indentitarians call “bad optics.” Domigo insisted the viral video actually increased Identity Evropa’s membership, which tells you more than a little about the club.
At any rate, Identity Evropa was gaining momentum heading into the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, four months later. Identity Evropa was one of the main organizers of the event, the phrase “you will not replace us” chanted by young men bearing tiki torches was popularized by Identity Evropa.
The fact that the chant “you will not replace us” morphed into “Jews will not replace us” at Charlottesville is significant. It’s an ethnic slur/conspiracy theory common in Alt-Right circles that blames Jewish politicians and business people such as Soros for America’s immigration and trade polices, which are perceived to be purposefully harmful to whites.
The next day, a liberal protester, Heather Hyer, died when Alex Fields, a neo-Nazi sympathizer, rammed her with his automobile after police canceled the rally and chaos erupted between protesters on the right and the left. Fields was recently sentenced to life in prison.
Domigo was named along with two-dozen other leaders involved in Unite the Right in a civil lawsuit brought by Charlottesville residents that is still ongoing. He resigned as Identity Evropa’s president and has filed for bankruptcy protection.
He has since been replaced with the more soft-spoken Patrick Casey, a 20-something Virginia resident who has attempted to move Identity Evropa beyond the disastrous events at Berkeley and Charlottesville.
Rather than hold public protests that might produce bad optics, the group has been focusing on recruiting college-age whites on campuses across the country, via memes on the internet, posting fliers and stickers on college campuses, and the occasional banner drop, as occurred at the Sundial Bridge last October.
The plan is to mainstream white identitarian ideas in ways that don’t automatically offend white normies who might be attracted to the cause. According to Casey, the effort to burnish the group’s image has paid off, and in early 2018, he claimed Identity Evropa had 1000 members nationwide and he was shooting for 5000 by the end of the year.
But as the saying goes, hard as you might try, you just can’t polish a turd.
Last month, the progressive media collective Unicorn Riot obtained 770,000 leaked communications between the group’s members indicating that Identity Evropa, despite its claims, is rife with virulently racist anti-Semitic white supremacists.
So Casey did the only thing he could do. He re-branded the group.
So say goodbye to Identity Evropa (we hardly knew ye, here in Shasta County) and hello to the American Identity Movement. Here are AIM’s five principles, written by Casey with my notes afterward in parenthesis.
“We affirm the validity of borders, walls, and nations defined by shared bonds of commonality. We believe that a nation’s leaders should pursue its interests, rather than those of globalist elites.”
(And we know who the globalist elites are, don’t we? The Jews!)
“We acknowledge that identity plays a central role in human affairs. Identity comes in many forms and is often the source of much social conflict. Like it or not, identity politics are the norm in multicultural societies. We staunchly defend the preservation of America’s historical demographics in the face of mass immigration, and are opposed to the demonization of and discrimination against America’s white majority.”
(Preserve America’s historical demographics? You mean the demographics pre-1492?)
“We believe that America should, as our founding fathers intended, remain free from foreign entanglements, limiting its military action to extreme circumstances in the nation’s best interests.”
(So do I, but not because I’m worried about taking in refugees from the countries we habitually destroy.)
“We favor trade policies designed to protect American industry and workers, rather than benefit globalist interests.”
(Good luck! That horse done left the barn.)
We see America’s currently ruling elites as hostile to the historical people, culture, and identity of America. Our ultimate goal is thus a shift in the American power structure. So long as we’re ruled by hostile individuals and institutions, America will not be made great again.
(Ruling elites hostile to the historical people? Who could you possibly be referring to?)
The American Identity Movement’s five principals sound vaguely reasonable if you don’t know the reasoning behind them, which is profoundly racist and/or anti-Semitic. Just like Identity Evropa, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans and Jews are barred from AIM membership. It’s a secular organization, but some Christians are allowed. The vetting process for membership is reportedly strict.
Ideally, Casey has said he would like to halt all immigration, legal and illegal, except for whites from European countries. He imagines a future where the United States is 90 percent white—not even 80 percent white Shasta County makes that grade!
This, of course, is fantasy at the national level, unless Casey and his ilk plan to shed a tremendous amount of blood. The U.S. Census predicts whites will become a “minority” by 2045, meaning just 49.7 percent of the population will be white.
Yet whites will still be the largest minority, with more than double the number of Hispanics, who will comprise 24.6 percent of the population, four times the number of African Americans, who will comprise 13.1 percent, and nearly seven times the numbers of Asians, who will comprise 7.9 percent.
All of this wringing of the hands over the declining white population sounds disturbingly similar to “The Great Replacement” manifesto Brenton Tarrant, the Australian white supremacist who murdered 50 Muslim worshipers in two New Zealand mosques last month, posted online before his shooting rampage.
It should sound similar—it comes straight out of the European identitarian movement, which Tarrant was exposed to while traveling through France, and which U.S. identitarian groups like Identity Evropa and now the American Identity Group have absorbed online.
For Casey’s part, he claims AIM is a distinct and separate group from the now apparently defunct Identity Evropa. At the same time, he claims most of the members of the old group have already joined the new group.
In fact, the members AIM are already up to their old tricks, plastering college campuses with posters that have shifted the graphic content from classical Europe to early 20th century Americana and the red, white and blue AIM logo, which sometimes appears with an eagle.
The message might be generic: Protect American workers. Or, as seen above, it might betray AIM’s actual views: Diversity destroys nations.
Although it’s possible the seven white men who hung the Identity Evropa banner off the Sundial Bridge aren’t from here, I suspect they’re local boys. Shasta County has a long and sordid history of racial intolerance and violence, and AIM’s message is bound to appeal to that certain subset of young white males who seek to blame The Other for all of their and the world’s problems.
AIM, in action less than a month, has already been banned from Facebook and Instagram. But anyone can follow their Twitter feed and watch their stickers and fliers march north through California’s college campuses.
According to Lonny Seay, director of Shasta College Campus Safety, there’s been no AIM activity on campus so far.
“We have not had any activity like this over the past school year,” Seay informed me by email. “I would like to take this opportunity to state that as a college, we respect the right to free speech on our campus and our district will always reject all forms of racism, bigotry and discrimination. Shasta College is a community that cherishes a diversity of ideas and community acting together in shared interests as a sustaining and core value. We will continue to uphold an environment wherein all those associated with our district can feel valued and safe.”
Reassuring words, for the time being. Keep a close watch on those bulletin boards, Mr. Seay!