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July 3, 2014

Matthew Heimbach Publically Returns to Racist Street Activism

matthew-heimbach-racist

Matthew Heimbach

After announcing he was taking a sabbatical from activism, Matthew Heimbach, the co-founder white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), returned to racist activities during the month of June. Heimbach attended three events in June organized by the white Southern nationalist group League of the South (LOS).

Despite the fact that Heimbach was previously banned from the organization for attending neo-Nazi events, Heimbach not only attended the recent LOS annual conference but also took part in LOS demonstrations in Kentucky and Alabama.

On Saturday, June 1, Heimbach attended demonstrations organized by the Kentucky chapter of the League which took place in the towns of Carrollton, and Warsaw, Kentucky. At the demonstrations, Heimbach held a sign that read, “Feds out of Kentucky.” Another LOS protest is scheduled to take place in the town of Pikeville, Kentucky, on July 19. According to LOS, the demonstration will be in support of coal miners in the state “whose industry is being destroyed by the feds.”

Over the past two years, LOS changed tactics, focusing more on street activism in an attempt to attract new members and raise awareness about the organization and Southern nationalism. Brad Griffin, aka Hunter Wallace, the founder of the racist blog Occidental Dissent is the main promoter of this tactic. The theme of this year’s LOS national conference was “Hitting the Streets: Taking the Southern Nationalist Message to the Public.”

Griffin joined LOS two years ago and is responsible for bringing the organization closer to the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), another racist organization with chapters around the South. Griffin is married to Renee Baum, the daughter of Gordon Baum, the head of CofCC. LOS and CofCC held demonstrations together for the first time during the past year. Griffin spoke about the issue of street activism and the media attention it garners at the LOS national conference last Saturday, June 28.

After their national conference ended on June 28, LOS held a demonstration in Wetumpka, Alabama, where the group is headquartered. Heimbach and many other conference attendees joined the event, which focused on supporting Southern workers who LOS claims are losing their jobs to immigrants. Many of the LOS protests are anti-immigrant but others focus on issues such as marriage equality. A similar demonstration is scheduled to take place in Gainesville, Georgia, on August 23.

Heimbach’s return to racist activism appears only to be with LOS for the time being. One possible reason for this is the LOS’s promotion of a racist version of Christian values, which Heimbach also embraces. It remains to be seen whether Heimbach will organize again with other racist organizations, but it’s clear that his sabbatical from racist activity is over.

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May 7, 2014

White Supremacist Activists Opt for Sabbatical after Priest’s Rebuke

matt-heimbach

Matt Heimbach

Matthew Heimbach and Matt Parrott, the founders of the white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), have decided to take a sabbatical from their activities. The two took this step after the priest of the Orthodox Christian church they belong to publicly released a statement on April 29 saying that Heimbach must “cease and desist all activities, both online, in print, and in person, promoting racist and separationist ideologies….”

The same priest earlier that month had overseen Heimbach’s communion in the Orthodox Church.  Although it is unclear where Parrott stands in terms of his own communion, he and Heimbach have both apparently chosen to take time off from their activities at the request of the priest. On the TYN site, Parrott writes that he and Heimbach do not know if their leave of absence will be temporary or permanent.

Parrott and especially Heimbach have openly talked about their religious beliefs on the TYN blog.  Their priest noted that he made the communion a public issue because Heimbach “makes inflammatory public statements in the name of the Orthodox Faith.”  Both Heimbach and Parrott ostensibly see their white supremacist beliefs as compatible with their vision of Christianity. Though the two are racist and anti-Semitic, Parrott has tried to justify their views by claiming they have no ill will towards other religious and ethnic groups.

It is unclear how Parrott and Heimbach plan to spend their sabbatical. Even after Heimbach’s priest asked him to cease activities and do penance to be received back into the Orthodox communion, Heimbach participated in a demonstration led by the racist League of the South (LOS) in Washington, DC, on May 1. LOS had only recently allowed Heimbach back into the group after kicking him out in October 2013 for taking part in a neo-Nazi event. A week before the LOS DC event, Heimbach attended the white supremacist American Renaissance conference in Tennessee. In addition, TYN continues to function as a group, despite Heimbach and Parrot’s leave.

The reaction from the white supremacist community has been somewhat mixed, with most people supporting Heimbach and Parrott’s sabbatical while the two figure out their next moves. One well-known white supremacist, Greg Johnson, who runs the online white supremacist publication Counter-Currents, has attacked Heimbach and Parrott for abandoning the white supremacist cause for the sake of Christianity. Others, like Brad Griffin, aka Hunter Wallace, who runs the racist Occidental Dissent blog, believe that Heimbach and Parrott will be able to reconcile their racist views with Christianity and make a full return to the white supremacist movement.

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February 5, 2014

ProEnglish Attacks Super Bowl Ad Promoting America’s Diversity

The anti-immigrant group ProEnglish is asking its activists to contact Coca-Cola about an ad the corporation aired during the Super Bowl depicting people of different ethnicities singing “America, the Beautiful” in a number of different languages.  ProEnglish claims the ad “directly undermined the spirit of national unity ‘America, the Beautiful’ was intended to foster.” The group went one step further, claiming Coke should “promote civic unity, not disunity.”pro-english-liberty-bell-adl

ProEnglish’s attacks on the Coca-Cola Corporation should be seen in light of its nativist agenda and xenophobic origins and ties. John Tanton, the racist architect of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement, founded ProEnglish in 1994. Tanton once wrote, “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” Tanton remains on the ProEnglish board to this day and though the organization is based in DC, it remains a “self-governing project” of Tanton’s Michigan-based umbrella anti-immigrant organization, U.S., Inc.

The goals of ProEnglish are to pass English-only bills at the local and state level as well as to make English the official language of the United States. These laws are often divisive. They limit access to the full range of government rights and benefits for immigrants residing in the United States. These laws also do not include steps to establish programs where immigrants can learn English. ProEnglish’s agenda divides communities in the United States over the issue of immigration.

The organization’s staff and activities are also problematic.  ProEnglish’s executive director, Robert 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. ProEnglish sponsored a panel at the 2012 CPAC conference in Washington, D.C., featuring a number of racist speakers including Peter Brimelow, founder of the racist anti-immigrant website VDARE and John Derbyshire, a racist former National Review contributor who spoke at the 2013 American Renaissance conference. Later in 2012, ProEnglish sent a letter to House and Senate leaders in opposition of the issue of Puerto Rican statehood. A number of racists signed the letter including John Vinson, a found­ing mem­ber of the League of the South (LOS), a racist neo-Confederate orga­ni­za­tion. Vin­son was cred­ited with draft­ing the “Kin­ism State­ment,” a set of guid­ing prin­ci­ples for a mod­ern white suprema­cist inter­pre­ta­tion of Chris­tian­ity called “Kin­ism.”

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