Two protesters outside last weekend’s white nationalist summit in Washington DC’s Ronald Reagan building, being ironic.
Some Well-Dressed White Nationalists Got Together in DC Last Weekend
The worst part about going to a white nationalist conference is when everyone thinks you’re a white nationalist.
As I approached the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, DC, on Saturday morning, a group of protesters started jeering at me, and one hoisted a cardboard sign in my direction that read: “Fuck off, Nazis!” Then I had to pass through a metal detector and security checkpoint manned by several black policemen.
Hey guys, boy am I excited to cover this event, I wanted to say. Because I am covering this event, as a journalist, certainly not because I’m a crypto-fascist.
The event in question was the National Policy Institute’s “leadership conference,” titled “After the Fall: The Future of Identity.” It’s a boring name that, like a lot of vague monikers used by political entities, conceals an alarming agenda.
The National Policy Institute is a white nationalist think tank. These aren’t Breaking Bad Nazis or yokels in KKK robes. These are suit-and-tie white separatists—academic-sounding fellows who speak grimly about “preserving European culture” from the swarthy tide of egalitarianism and immigration. Their leader, Richard Spencer, is as clean-cut as they come, which, as he told Salon, is essentially a recruitment tactic:
“’[White separatists] have to look good,’ Spencer said, adding that if his movement means ‘being part of something that is crazed or ugly or vicious or just stupid, no one is going to want to be a part of it.’”
The assumption is that if they dress nice, people will follow Spencer and his fellow travelers on their road to a white ethno-state where pasty people can listen to Jack Johnson records and play Frisbee in glorious racial homogeneity.
Here’s What’s Happening on the Internet’s Most Racist Forums
These days, you can call someone a cum bubble that was sharted out of a dead hooker’s crusty asshole and chances are you’ll walk away with a high five. But call someone the N-word, and you’ll be dropped faster than Paula Deen’s hottest potato. Racism really is the last taboo—and that’s a good thing. In fact, earlier this month, Slate examined the waxing and waning power of profanities over time and concluded that cuss words related to religion (“damn,” “hell”) and body functions (“dick,” “shit”) are losing their shock value, while racial slurs are becoming more and more provocative. In other words, as we become more secular, immune to gore, and open to freaky porn, we’re also becoming less OK with bigotry. Again, this is a very good thing.
This Week in Racism: Reverse Racism
I’ve gotten a lot of complaints in the last few weeks from my loyal readers. Some of you out there seem to think that I’ve been remiss in my duties as the foremost expert on racism. That’s totally fine. I accept your judgment. I love all of you equally. I even love those of you who say, “Dave Schilling is a total piece of shit with no brain cells to his name” or “I bet Dave Schilling has a really small dick.” I honestly love you folks, too.
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: My penis is the normal size, OK?]
The complaint I’ve gotten most in my time writing this column is that I never highlight instances of minorities being racist toward white people, a.k.a. “reverse racism.” Somehow, I’m a bigot for “ignoring” all the multitude of stories in the world about roving gangs of black teenagers menacing old grannies in the suburbs, or all the black police officers beating up defenseless white guys in tank tops. Please feel free to send these mythical unicorn stories to me on Twitter. I look forward to the motherload of responses I’m sure to get.
In the meantime, I have decided to answer your prayers and dedicate this week’s column to the men and women single-handedly keeping the ridiculous notion of reverse racism alive. I will be ranking news stories on a scale from 1 to REVERSE RACIST, with 1 being the least reverse racist and REVERSE RACIST being the most reverse racist.
An Interview with a Gay, Russian Neo-Nazi
An image from the Gay Aryan Skinheads (G.A.S.H) VK page.
A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed someone from the Malaysian neo-Nazi scene. The whole concept of Malay neo-Nazis was confusing, because a pretty dominant part of the Nazi shtick was hating anyone who wasn’t white, and people from Malaysia normally aren’t white. However, it turned out that the notoriously strict Nazi ideology wasn’t too much of an issue in this case, and that the Malay Nazis could carry on sieg-heiling and wearing swastikas despite the fact they aren’t Aryan because they really hate immigrants, or something.
Another group of neo-Nazis not bothering to adhere to Hitler’s guidelines on who to hate are those involved in the Russian gay neo-Nazi skinhead movement. As you might recall from being within spitting distance of any history textbook ever, the Führer and his Third Reich buddies weren’t too keen on either Russians or homosexuals—an estimated 100,000 of the latter were arrested between 1933 and 1945, with 5,000 to 15,000 eventually being sent to perish in concentration camps.
Much like the Malays, minor historical details like rampant persecution and horrific genocide have apparently been forgotten by the Russians. The first such group I came across were the Gay Union of Patriots of Russia, whose members spout bizarre theories about how only gay men can be true Russian patriots. I also learned that there was a group called Gay Aryan National-Socialists and another called GASH (Gay Aryan Skinheads). That last one had the best ring to it, so I tracked down a member, Balu, on VK.com—a Facebook equivalent that’s big in Russia—and had a chat about the gay Russian Nazi scene.
VICE: Hi Balu. Can you say a bit about the ideology behind G.A.S.H?
Balu: Our ideology consists of clearing the planet of “dirty” nationalities. We fight for purity of blood, for white skin color and for strong and beautiful people. We don’t accept white guys or white girls who hook up with black men. It is disgusting to observe such interracial unions. Why share your life with such rejects when there are healthy white guys?
Because there are also healthy people from lots of different races. You know, most people don’t equate Nazism with homosexuality. Why do you think this is?
I think it’s based on a stereotype and, initially, heterosexuals prevailed in the nationalist movement. Also, public opinion calls nationalists rough barbarians, murderers, and so on, so observers from outside probably think that the nationalist has to be a strong, fearless street fighter, and gays represent gentleness, kindness, and harmlessness. In the public imagination, it doesn’t make sense that men who prefer the beautiful and glamorous side of life can fight for their rights and ideas.
White Student Union
We recently went to Towson University to speak with Matthew Heimbach, the founder of a group that advocates for “persons of European heritage.” We also met the students who want him off campus… or at least muzzled. ‘White Student Union’ is a documentary about race, class, and self-righteous college students yelling at each other.
My Week with Hungary’s Far Right
Above: Members of Magyar Nemzeti Garda, a Hungarian nationalist militia.
Hungary has one of the most highly organized far-right movements in Europe. The Jobbik party—admired by those fed up with government corruption, derided by opponents as anti-Gypsy, anti-Semite, neo-Nazi homophobes—look set to become the second biggest presence in Hungarian parliament when the elections take place in 2014. I spent a week with them trying to find out what motivates their hate.
There’s something stirring in Europe. In Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, France, Spain, and the Ukraine, support for nationalism is growing and the parties that represent nationalist interests are making tangible strides. Jobbik preaches an ideology of restoring Hungary to its former glory, which—although vague and the exact intention I’d imagine most political parties are going for—obviously becomes more attractive and believable when there are Gypsies to scapegoat. That ideology has led to their enjoying huge success at the ballots, with their uniformed nationalist militias often marching through the streets unopposed.
Last November, I watched in horror as 10,000 far-right nationalists swarmed through Warsaw. I was making a film about the rise of the far right in Poland and saw fascists in balaclavas attacking press photographers and fighting pitched battles with police. I thought these would be the worst scenes of fascism I would ever witness in Europe, but it’s clear that Hungary has bigger problems on the horizon.
On May Day in Budapest, I found myself standing in the middle of an 8,000-strong crowd of Jobbik supporters, watching nationalist rockers Karpathia play awful patriotic rock songs. The crowd was a bizarre mix of saluting neo-Nazi skinheads, elderly nationalists, and ordinary young Hungarians. I was there with Channel 4 News, and while the crew was busy shooting footage of the stalls selling whips and axes and the bouncy castles and petting zoos run by skinheads, I managed to find myself alone in the crowd as the national anthem started up.
A large black truck parked across the field came into view. Two men were inside, one of them wearing a ski mask. It was Edward. He exited and approached while his driver peered at us through his sunglasses. I introduced myself and asked how much time we had for the interview. “Until it gets hot, I guess,” Edward said and explained that earlier in the day he had received information that African American ex-military sharpshooters who were now gang members had traveled from Detroit to stalk him and his fellow Klansmen before the rally. It sounded ludicrous, but then again I was standing in the middle of a garbage dump talking to a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 2013.
This Guy Wants to Start His Own Aryan Country
You know who really gets the shitty end of the stick nowadays? White people. Sure, they come out best in socio-economic standings and suffer absolutely no persecution for the color of their skin, but they have to put up with non-white people living peacefully among them and going about with their lives. That’s just wrong. This injustice needs to be righted before black people, Mexicans, and Asians start getting uppity and trying to buy cars, run businesses, and all of that other evil stuff.
The Northwest Front feels the same way. They claim to be a movement tired of political corruption and “the genocide of the white race” (clearly a real issue since white people are 72 percent of the US population). The group is dedicated to breaking away and forming their own all-white state in the Pacific Northwest. As far as I know, the only thing on the radio over there is Ted Nugent.
At first it seemed like a legitimate movement, but after spending some time on the site, I kept noticing the name Harold Covington on all the blog posts, podcasts, and videos. Harold, it turns out, is a writer who has released five novels set in the American Northwest’s white-only future. That’s when I started to realize that anyone can set up a website, write a few blogs, and record a podcast. So what if this is some bizarre marketing ploy for Covington’s books? All press is good press, apparently. Even if it’s for being all kinds of deluded, disgusting, and racist. I called Harold to get some answers.
A promotional poster for Harold’s as yet non-existent Aryan nation, the Northwest Front.
VICE: So Harold, was this idea of a sovereign, Northwest state an invention for your novels?
Harold Covington: No, I didn’t invent the idea of Northwest migration by any means. There was a very serious move for a separate state of Jefferson in the 1940s, which was going to be taken out of California. Even back then, white people were sick of that shower of shit down in Los Angeles and Sacramento.
So what’s the point of this new country? Why don’t you just move to Scandinavia if you want to be surrounded by white people?
What we advocate is basically the establishment of a sovereign, independent nation in the Pacific Northwest as a homeland for all white people. Kind of like the white version of Israel. I don’t see why the Jews are the only people on Earth that get their own country and everyone else has to be diverse.
Yeah, it’s so unfair. They’ve had such an easy time of it so far. Why do you think it’s so important for white people to have their own country?
It’s kind of like reintroducing wolves into nature. The wolves have to have a habitat and the white man has to have a habitat. We need a piece of turf where we can raise several more generations in security and safety without all this corrupting crap that liberal democracy has produced over the past 100 years.
Straight White Guys, Just Stop It
“Call Your Girlfriend” - In its most innocent form, we’d call it sophomoric ignorance. If we’re being more direct, however, we’d call it dubious—at the very least—when a straight white male performs a song about a life which he has not lived and, by performing it, attempts to ingratiate himself with, and make himself sympathetic toward, the plight of the person who originally wrote it (Exhibit A is “911 Is a Joke” as sung by Duran Duran). Extending beyond racism, this issue becomes much trickier when it comes to straight males covering songs written by women, like with “Jolene” as performed by The White Stripes.
Now, I use “Jolene” purposefully here because, one, I like it, both the original and the cover, and, two, because the cover-er and the covered have similar enough backgrounds. But even with their commonalities, there’s an intrinsic problem, one where the straight man who’s covering the song unknowingly, or, much more likely, knowingly, is putting himself in the corner of the woman who wrote it so as to be against those ‘other guys,’ the brutes who only care about looks and just want blow jobs and steaks and motor oil, or some combination thereof.
Before we go even further, let this be said: it’s impossible to know who ‘hurts’ more. It could be that one group experiences more inner turmoil or it could be that we all feel exactly the same when love turns sour. Whatever the case, I can say from my own experience that watching a straight man covering “Call Your Girlfriend” seems very fake. Seeing his attempt to empathize with a woman’s pain, there’s just something very “guitar guy at the party” about it.
And while this is only a guess, one may now be thinking, “This is music, buddy. This is art. Don’t be so literal.” So, as another clarifying statement, let me go on record and say I understand that music is not always meant to be taken literally. I get that it doesn’t ‘know’ gender, creed, religion, sexual preference. But, I’m guessing, if your mind jumped to the sanctity of art, you’re also someone who, before David Foster Wallace’s biography came out, didn’t think of him as someone who went on book tours for the intent of landing “audience pussy.” So, for a moment, step with me out of fantasyland and into the reality that a vast majority of straight males who start a band do so because they want to have sex with members of the opposite sex who are more attractive than the members of the opposite sex they’re used to having sex with. That’s natural selection and if we want to start talking about how that’s supposed to be taken less than literally, I have a museum in Kentucky that’s open year round.