Friday, November 4, 2016

Journey to the Center of the white nationalist ethnostate BY Luke O’Brien // Jessica Valenti: 'This election has uncovered something vile about America'

NB: Indian and NRI sympathisers of Trump (I know some of them), should remember the murder of six Sikhs in a gurudwara at the hands of a former Hammerskin activist in Wisconsin in 2012. They will all get short shrift at the hands of the racist gangs that have allied themselves with the Republican candidate. You can all cry 'Trump zindabad' all you like - they only see the colour of your skin. Good luck gentlemen! - DS

This is the alt-right. Until recently, not many Americans knew this term, a catchall for a loose confederation of far-right locos so deviant that.. they were in danger of extinction. Then they found Trump. Or Trump found them. Now, they are stationed along his parapets in a union that represents the biggest uptick of white power activity in American politics since the Ku Klux Klan’s invisible empire in the 1920s. Neo-Nazis do door-knocks for Trump and scream “Sieg Heil” outside his rallies.

Journey to the Center of the white nationalist ethnostate
I went to a white nationalist ethnostate in Indiana. I got bounced from a secret meeting in D.C. I spent weeks figuring out how hate gurgles up from the nastiest recesses of the Internet. And I'm sorry to report that unconscionable racists will be a force in American politics well beyond November 8.
To get to the white ethnostate, I drove through cornfields, listening to a man on the radio hype an upcoming “machine-gun shoot” at a nearby firing range. Paoli is a pretty postage-stamp-size town in southern Indiana. The seat of Orange County, it has a charming central square and a beautiful Greek Revival courthouse built in 1850. It also has an alt-right base camp occupied by neo-Nazis.

My instructions were to meet the “comrades” outside the Walmart. From the entrance, I watched a horse and buggy clop into the parking lot. An Amish couple got out and tied up the horse, then pushed shopping carts into the store. After a few minutes, I noticed a dirty red van idling nearby. There were three men inside, dressed in black shirts emblazoned with a pitchfork surrounded by a gear of industry—the logo of the Traditionalist Worker Party, which the Anti-Defamation League categorizes as a hate group. The men motioned for me to come over, and a side-panel door swung open. Behind the wheel, wearing a black military cap, was Matt Parrott, 34, the TWP’s co-founder. A figure in the back introduced himself as Jason Farrell, a 31-year-old musician who plays in a “pro-European” heavy metal band. In the passenger seat was Matthew Heimbach, a burly, black-bearded 25-year-old who has been referred to as the “next David Duke”and the “future of organized hate.”

When I first spoke to Heimbach on the phone in August, he sounded intelligent and good-natured, although his aw-shucks folksiness could seem forced. (“I woke up on the right side of the dirt this morning,” he observed in our initial conversation.) Heimbach had grown up in the Washington, D.C, suburbs, where his parents teach in the public school system in Montgomery County, Maryland, one of the wealthiest areas in the country. A week before we met, he’d attended the annual gathering of one of the most violent neo-Nazi groups in the country. Over the summer, he organized a rally in Sacramento that ended with seven people getting stabbed. Last year, the United Kingdom forbids him from entry because his presence might incite violence. And in March, he was caught on video at a Donald Trump event in Louisville, Kentucky, shoving a black female protestor and yelling, “Leftist scum!” The protestor, who also said that Trump fans had called her a “nigger” and a “cunt,” is suing Heimbach, who, she alleges, assaulted and harassed her. All of this has won him a reputation as an up-and-comer in extremist circles, and he is currently angling to be a standard-bearer for a younger, funkier version of American white nationalism that has sprouted online. This is the alt-right.

Jessica Valenti: I thought I was just scared of Trump – but it's his America I fearIn the past week, a Ku Klux Klan newspaper endorsed Trump and white supremacists announced their plan for widespread voter intimidation. Trump rally-goers shouted antisemitic invective at reporters, and a historically black church in Mississippi was burned and “vote Trump” scrawled across the side. Another woman came forward to accuse Trump of sexual assault, and a Texas official called Hillary Clinton a “cunt”. This isn’t a political divide between left and right, Democrats and Republicans; it’s an immeasurable moral chasm. 

Until recently, not many Americans knew this term, a catchall for a loose confederation of far-right locos so deviant that a few years ago they were in danger of extinction. Then they found Trump. Or Trump found them. Now, they are stationed along his parapets in a union that represents the biggest uptick of white power activity in American politics since the Ku Klux Klan’s invisible empire in the 1920s. Neo-Nazis do door-knocks for Trump and scream “Sieg Heil” outside his rallies. And Trump has gone along for the ride, retweeting alt-right propaganda and hiring Stephen Bannon, whose Breitbart News Network has become the most significant transmitter of the movement’s ideas to a mass audience. Thanks to Trump, ethno-nationalism is poised to be a force in American politics for the first time in decades.

Experts who track hate groups lament that the alt-right is just old white nationalism rebranded. And it is. But it’s more than that, too. It is also a grassroots movement that coalesced online, in the primordial ooze of chat forums and message boards like 4chan, 8chan and Reddit. Most alt-righters are digital natives, and they have weaponized social media. To appreciate how far through the looking glass Trump and his online storm-troopers have taken us in this strange election, consider that Hillary Clinton devoted an entire speech to denouncing alt-right ideology, and that Pepe, a once-harmless cartoon frog transformed by the alt-right into an anti-Semitic icon, now needs little introduction.

Heimbach, however, wants to be more than a keyboard race warrior. The TWP is a small operation: It has 16 chapters around the country with about 500 dues-paying members, plus thousands of active supporters on social media, according to Heimbach. (Caveat lector: These guys are propagandists.) But it has big plans for the future. He is building “boots-and-suits” alliances between skinhead soldiers and politically minded racists such as William Johnson of the American Freedom Party, who nearly sashayed into the Republican National Convention as an official delegate, until a reporter sniffed him out. Heimbach travels to Europe regularly to seek tips from white nationalist politicians. 

And then there is his nascent ethnostate. At a German restaurant where the TWP comrades like to take visiting journalists and make Holocaust jokes, he and Parrott talked about their dream of building an all-white fiefdom for their extended race-family. Farrell described his “big leap of faith” to move to Paoli. He’d arrived a week earlier from New York, where he’d left a corporate job and his entire life behind. The pressure to “despise yourself as a white person” in New York was too much, he explained, and then told a story about Dominicans harassing him at a bodega. The comrades told me more TWP members were moving there by the end of the year.

“I can’t get over how rapidly this has come alive,” Parrott said, attributing the surge in interest to Trump. Heimbach described the Republican nominee as a “gateway drug” to white nationalism. “We’re all growing and using this momentum,” he said... read more:
http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/alt-right/