As the Public Relations Officer of the League of the South, I made a rare decision to grant an interview back in May to Reuters on a story that they were working on about White Nationalism. Normally, I just ignore these interview requests because I figure that some kind of narrative is going to be pushed and that engaging with the mainstream media is just a waste of time.
Here’s the email which I received from Reuters:
I am a journalist for Reuters working on a long form piece about white nationalism. I recently had an interesting conversation with a contact in the movement about where the WN movement is heading, and they said you guys were at the forefront of a new, nonviolent, family-based approach to spreading the message. I’d love to hear more about this.
Do you have time tomorrow to chat? …”
I thought this sounded interesting.
I spoke to Reuters about our current activities in May. I did some follow up interviews this summer. I told them the truth about what we are doing in 2019 which you can occasionally glimpse in this article. I did this mainly because I largely quit engaging with the media after Shelbyville. It seems pointless to be a Public Relations Officer who never talks to the media so I granted an interview.
“Two years ago, America’s white nationalist movement stunned the country. Neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, had turned deadly when a far-right protester drove a car through a crowd, killing one and injuring dozens. Some movement leaders regrouped. Instead of stoking outrage, they set out to build support with another tack: Looking normal.
The larger goal was what many white nationalists call “Phase 2” — gaining mainstream acceptance for far-right ideas widely rejected as repugnant and getting white nationalists into positions of influence. The normalization effort included softened rhetoric and social gatherings that, for many groups, would increasingly replace confrontational rallies.
“The strategy is internally focused now — having families get together,” said alt-right blogger Brad Griffin, a self-avowed white nationalist from Montgomery, Alabama. He fondly recalled a river-tubing trip he organized in 2018 for friends who had attended a local white nationalist conference. The goal of such low-key gatherings, he said, is to spread far-right ideology away from the public spectacle of a public protest. “It’s a lot more fun to do that than to go out and tangle with Antifa” — members of America’s far-left “anti-fascist” movement — “and get hit with piss balloons in the street.” …
Griffin, the alt-right blogger, condemned the El Paso shooting in stronger terms than other extremists who spoke to Reuters, calling it and other mass shootings by avowed white nationalists “insane tragedies.”
At the same time, Griffin said he supported resegregation of the races, echoing one of the core principles of the manifesto that authorities tied to the Texas shooter.
The continuing violence, he said, undermines any attempt by the movement to gain more mainstream acceptance. At this point, he said, most white nationalists would rather just “stay out of the debate.”
Reuters wanted to send a photo journalist down here to take photos of my family to include in this story. Anticipating that I was being misled, I wisely refused. I was told the story was going to be about non-violence and what the White Nationalist movement is up to these days.
After the El Paso shooting, Reuters called back and wanted to ask some follow up questions in light of current events. Once again, I told them the truth which anyone can plainly read on this website, which is that I have never supported mass shootings, that illegal immigration is a legitimate grievance, homogeneous communities tend to be harmonious, that the days of tangling in the streets with Antifa are long over, that a minority of violent accelerationists have their own beliefs and political strategy, that we are focused these days on producing content, community building and forming families in the real world and that the vast majority of us would rather stay out of the media spotlight, the 2020 election cycle and quietly work in the trenches to slowly grow our movement. I told them about the relief work the League of the South did after Hurricane Michael in Panama City, which was the best thing that I have done in my years as an activist, which was omitted from the story.
As you probably imagined, the final product of a story about White Nationalist families and non-violence turned out instead to be a bunch of photos about the familiar cast of NSM and Klan rallies, burning swastikas and crosses, tattoos and guns and ultimately about a mass shooting. If I recall correctly, one of the last things that I said in the interview is that I had stopped supporting Andrew Yang because it seems to me the political climate is just becoming increasingly polarized.
I’m not doing any of that stuff. I sit in my house and offer takes on the news and politics on this blog and on social media. I read and review history books. I network with friends in the movement my area. We do low carb dieting and hang out together with our children. In the future, I will just talk about our activities on this website and let the media carry on about the latest mass shooters and Klan and Third Reich nostalgia. That’s clearly all they want to talk about anyway.
Note: The optics guys are going to cite this story as proof that they are right. It is conceded that they have a legitimate point. I’ve never understood the attraction of lot of this esoteric stuff anyway. If you present yourself that way to the media, that’s what they will focus on.