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January 12, 2015

Racist Group Begins Youth Recruitment Effort

The American Freedom Party (AFP), a white supremacist group, has recently established a youth wing, the National Youth Front (NYF). NYF, which officially launches in February, has already created a website, a Facebook page, and a recruitment video to appeal to young people between the ages of 18 and 40.

National Youth Front symbol

National Youth Front symbol

In an introduction on its website, NYF claims that it is “an elite youth organization dedicated to the preservation of America our Western culture [sic].” In addition to creating a flyer about the group, NYF has created a polished recruitment video aimed at young people. It decries their parents’ acceptance of diversity and claims that young whites are “the victims of [their] parents’ childish liberation movements” from the 1960s. The video is called a “Declaration of War” and is similar to videos circulated by far-right youth groups in Europe, which chide previous generations’ acceptance of multiculturalism.

NYF chose three interconnecting triangles known as the Valknot or “knot of the slain,” an old Norse symbol, to represent the group. It is often considered a symbol of the Norse god Odin. Some white supremacists, particularly racist Odinists, have appropriated the Valknot to use as a racist symbol. Often they use it as a sign that they are willing to give their life to Odin, generally in battle.

Leaders in the group include Nathan Damigo and Daxter Reed, also known as Daecca Reed. Damigo is an Iraq war veteran who was released from prison in April 2014 after serving time for pulling a gun on a taxi driver, a crime he attributed to PTSD. Damigo is the acting chairman of NYF and also holds the position of director of PR and outreach. Reed, who is from Asheville, North Carolina, is director of national chapters. Reed is active in Asheville Youth Front, a local chapter of NYF and is seen on that chapter’s Facebook page handing out a NYF flyer. On his Facebook page, Reed “liked” Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Unofficially in existence since November 2014, NYF has already lost its first chairman, Caleb C. Shumaker. Shumaker resigned on January 6, citing recent attacks against him and his family. He was formerly a member of the Conservative Youth Council, an affiliate of the far-right Conservative Party USA. In his farewell column, Shumaker claimed that NYF already has nine chapters around the country, although there is little evidence of activity at this point.

AFP was originally founded in October 2009 as American Third Position (A3P), “to represent the political interests of White Americans.” Today the organization’s leadership is made up of older well-established white supremacists such as California lawyer William Johnson, anti-Semitic ex-professor Kevin MacDonald and James Edwards, who runs The Political Cesspool, a radio show based in Tennessee. AFP is apparently trying to attract young people to bring new energy into the group, which has mostly run unsuccessful candidates for local positions.

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March 21, 2013

Extremists Flock to 40th Annual CPAC Conference

Merlin Miller, a white supremacist affiliated with the American Freedom Party, attended CPAC 2013.

The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 14-16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. attracted a number of individuals on the extreme right of the political spectrum. Attendees at CPAC this year included a white supremacist who ran for President in the 2012 election, members of a “white student union” at Towson University, and a reported white supremacist who currently runs an anti-immigrant group. A prominent member of the anti-government Oath Keepers group presented at the event.

Sheriff Richard Mack of Arizona, an anti-government activist and member of the Oath Keepers, presented at this year’s CPAC at a session titled “How a Constitutional Sheriff can Protect Your Second Amendment Rights.” The Oath Keepers claim they will refuse to carry out certain “orders” that they expect the federal government to issue, such as putting citizens in concentration camps, assisting foreign troops in invading the country and declaring martial law. During his speech, Mack claimed “the President has no authority in your county” and asserted that “there is no gun control in the Constitution.”

Matthew Heimbach, a former activist with the now defunct racist group Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) and the founder of the “white student union” at Towson University in Maryland, attended CPAC with other students. Heimbach and another student, Scott Terry, disrupted a panel titled, “Trump the Race Card: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Called a Racist When You Know You’re Not One?” Terry proclaimed that “I feel like my people, my demographic are being systematically disenfranchised” and asked the speaker, K. Carl Smith of the group Frederick Douglas Republicans, “Why can’t we be more like Booker T. Washington Republicans?” Smith responded by talking about a letter written by Frederick Douglas forgiving his slave master. Terry interrupted Smith, blurting out, “for giving him shelter and food and…,” causing a commotion. A few moments later both Terry and Heimbach further disrupted proceedings by shouting that Martin Luther King was a “Marxist.”

Robert Vandervoort, the executive director of the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish, attended this year’s CPAC. Vandervoort is report­edly the for­mer head of the white suprema­cist group Chicagoland Friends of Amer­i­can Renais­sance, a local chap­ter of the white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion Amer­i­can Renais­sance. Another extremist in attendance was Merlin Miller, a white supremacist who ran for President in the 2012 election on the American Third Position (A3P) ticket. A3P, now renamed the American Freedom Party, is a white supremacist political party. Miller attended one session titled “Iran and the Islamist Threat to America and the West: What is – What Should Be – Our Strategy.” As reported by ADL, Miller attended an anti-Semitic “Hollywoodism” conference in Tehran earlier in 2013.

Though one of the major themes of the 2013 CPAC was increasing inclusivity in the GOP, extremist elements, though small in number, were still able not only to attend but to participate at this year’s event.

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February 5, 2013

Iran “Hollywoodism” Conference Partners With U.S. & International Anti-Semites, Conspiracy Theorists

Iran’s third “Hollywoodism” conference, currently underway in Tehran, is partnering with a number of American and international anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists.

The conference, part of Iran’s annual Fajr International Film Festival, includes sessions on how Zionists and their allies in the West use the film industry to promote negative views of Iran and provoke religious conflicts around the globe.

The official logo for the conference, which further strengthens alliances between anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists and the Iranian regime, combines the Star of David with Masonic imagery.

Iran’s “International Conference on Hollywoodism and Cinema”

Iranian Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Javad Shamaghdari said in his opening statement at the conference on February 2 that since before World War I, some Hollywood films “have been formed and produced” from the “Zionist point of view, whose doctrines and beliefs have been institutionalized.”

Shamaghdari also invoked the conspiratorial claims that Hollywood is “practically in the duty of the Zionist and White House.”

In a separate statement, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini warned the American people of their alliance with Zionism, and claimed that the “White House’s leaders play a main role in the artistic policy for Hollywood.” Hosseini also said that he believes Hollywood and the film industry is under a “hidden management that is leading the economic, business, researching and theorizing centers.”

A prominent participant in the conference is French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, whose acts routinely include Holocaust denial, praise for Adolf Hitler, Nazi salutes and other anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The conference website identifies a list of “partners” that includes several American and international anti-Semites and anti-Israel activists and organizations. The list includes:

  • American Free Press (AFP): A Washington, DC-based conspiracy-oriented anti-Semitic newspaper published by long-time anti-Semite Willis Carto.  He also publishes The Barnes Review, a Holocaust denial journal.
  • Americana Pictures: A Tennessee-based film company run by Merlin Miller, who ran as the 2012 presidential candidate for the American Third Position (recently re-named the American Freedom Party), a white supremacist political party. Miller has participated in previous Iranian film festivals.
  • Mike Gravel: A former senator and congressman from Alaska who was a presidential candidate in 2007. Gravel has some ties to AFP. He participated on a panel at the June 2003 AFP/Barnes Review conference. In addition, Gravel has questioned the role of the U.S. government in the 9/11 attacks.
  • Truth Jihad: A website and Internet radio show run by Kevin Barrett, a former instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theorist. He is a co-founder of Muslims for 9/11 Truth, which consists mostly of a blog that refutes the idea that any Muslims were behind the 9/11 attacks.  Barrett uses his radio show to offer a platform to 9/11 anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.
  • James Fetzer: One of the co-founders of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, an organization that is composed of academics and others who believe that the U.S. government played a role in the 9/11 attacks. He is also another columnist for the anti-Semitic website Veterans Today and has written  two articles for the Op-Ed News site in which he promotes anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theories.
  • The Council for the National Interest (CNI): CNI is anti-Israel organization that opposes U.S. aid to Israel and disseminates demonizing propaganda about Israel to academic, politicians, and other audiences. CNI is led by Alison Weir, a prominent voice in the anti-Israel movement who often characterizes the Jewish state as a violent aggressor.

The conference demonstrates, once again, that Iran at the forefront of promoting classical anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

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