Jordan Green

'White Boy Summer': How Tom Hanks' son is inspiring Neo-Nazis eager for the return of the Third Reich

Chet Hanks' Instagram communique promising a "white boy summer" is ill-advised, self-absorbed and head-scratching. But the social-media salvo has also, predictably, received a warm reception from white supremacists who gleefully embrace it as a rallying cry for racial exclusion, right-wing violence and the return of the Third Reich.

Best known as the son of Tom Hanks, Chet Hanks is an actor of a lesser stature, with roles on "Empire" and "NCIS: New Orleans" as well as an erstwhile rapper who performed under the name "Chet Haze." On March 26, he posted a video of himself seated behind the wheel of a parked car and chewing gum, casually announcing: "Hey guys. Look, I just wanted to tap in real quick. I just got this feeling, man, um, that this summer is, uh… it's about to be a white boy summer. You know, take it how you want."

Then, he qualified: "I'm not talking about a Trump, NASCAR type white. I'm talking about me, Jon. B, Jack Harlow [two white artists who have been embraced by Black audiences] type white boy summer, you know what I mean? Let me know if you guys can vibe with that? And get ready, you know? 'Cause I am."

The phrase "white boy summer" uttered by a mid-level celebrity on social media would have gained traction with white supremacists regardless of the intention, but Hanks carries some extra baggage on his own. The gothic lettering on the "White Boys Summer" sweatshirts and T-shirts marketed on Hanks' Instagram page suggest white supremacist aesthetics, including Hitler's book Mein Kampf. And Hanks has previously courted controversy for using the N-word, and then arguing he is as entitled to say it as a Black person.

As if to deflect charges of racism, Hanks rolled out a new line of "Black Queen Summer" shirts and proffered in another Instagram video: "I want to see some white boys and some Black queens wearing each other's shirts." Centering white masculinity while also profiting from Black women is unlikely to assuage any critics and is in its own way open to cooptation from white supremacists. While upholding an ideal of white female purity and chastity (which inevitably sets white women up for failure), white supremacists also celebrate the sexual conquest of non-white women and rape as a tool of war.

Celebratory tweets and memes from openly Nazi Twitter accounts sprang forth almost immediately following Hanks' March 26 promise of "a white boy summer."

One day later, the user "Panther Den" tweeted to his 22,100 followers: "step 1: white boy summer / step 2: the return of Hitler." In another tweet that used the hashtag #WhiteBoySummer, Panther Den spliced Hanks' "It's about to be a white boy summer" footage into an aggressive montage that includes the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting, Hitler giving a sieg heil, Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd, and Trump supporters attempting to run a Biden campaign bus off an interstate in Texas during the 2020 election. To date, the video has been viewed 9,700 times and retweeted 166 times.

Another openly Nazi Twitter user, "Synth," tweeted: "Idk why they thought this was some sort of own against 'racists.' It had the complete opposite effect on people." That tweet links to another tweet that shows a clip from a satirical movie depicting a nature preserve for "endangered Aryans" to mate, with the comment, "Really, this is what #WhiteBoySummer is all about." In another tweet posting screenshots from Hanks' Instagram merch video, Synth marveled, "Was expecting him to scream 'HITLER!!!!!' when I saw the font." In the comment thread, Synth posted a link to Hanks' merch shop, and he and another user said they planned to buy the "White Boy Summer" apparel.

On the same day Hanks released his initial "white boy summer" video, a Nazi user named Cassius Kaiser expressed rage at a Los Angeles Times story raising the question of whether "localism" in surfing scenes amounts to "veiled racism."

"Localism is never going to go away and you unlocal limpwrists and minorities who don't know how to act are going to get fucked and there's absolutely NOTHING you LOSERS can do about it," he wrote.

A day later, thanks to Hanks, Cassius Kaiser had a hashtag.

"Basically, what I meant to say is, Surf Nazism," he tweeted on March 27. "It's coming and there's literally nothing you can do to stop it because WHITE BOY SUMMER IS fucking HERE."

Linking to a Black Twitter user who wrote that "'White boy summer' sounds like a threat," Cassius Kaiser responded, "It is," while attaching a 1960s-era photo of white surfers sieg-heiling from a vintage car packed with surfboards.

In a more recent tweet on April, Cassius Kaiser wrote that "summer is almost here" and "it is time to… run minorities and unlocals completely off the beaches."

The Twitter Communications team did not respond before publication to a request for comment from Raw Story about whether the tweets promoting racist violence and celebrating the Third Reich violate its terms of service.

On Telegram, a social media platform favored by white supremacists because of its encrypted video chat function and lax moderation, three "White Boy Summer" channels have materialized that are dedicated to producing memes. The White Boy Summer channel, which surpassed 1,000 subscribers on Tuesday evening, is the most prolific. The aim is to create content that can migrate to more mainstream social media platforms. In a discussion chat responding to a "White Boy Summer" meme riffing on the movie Fight Club, Telegram user "Oskar Dirlewanger" wrote: "Very glad to see people capitalized on the super douche Chet Hanks fantastic propaganda idea, keep this going until its mainstream normie tier."

Telegram channels devoted to "White Boy Summer" memes predictably incorporate Hitler, but also Derek Chauvin, neo-Nazi Christopher Cantwell and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis man invited to address the Republican convention after brandishing a rifle at Black Lives Matter protesters last summer.

At least one prominent white nationalist has acknowledged the "White Boy Summer" meme.

Vincent James Foxx, who runs the Red Elephants website and podcast, tweeted a photo of himself on a boat, accompanied by the text "Summer is for the white boys" on March 29. Foxx reportedly documented and incited street violence by the white supremacist group Rise Above Movement in 2017. Foxx stood alongside Nick Fuentes, leader of the Groyper movement, outside the US Capitol on Jan. 6 and was a featured speaker at the America First Political Action Conference organized by Fuentes in late February.

Not surprisingly, the white supremacist meme-ing is also drifting into misogyny.

A manufactured Facebook screenshot shared on the "White Boy Summer" channel on Tuesday depicts a user who is presumably a young, white woman reporting that a man asked her, "What summer is it?" in the midst of a sexual encounter, and then reacted angrily when she responded that it wasn't summer yet.

Users in the discussion thread coalesced around the idea that the fictitious woman was worthy of degradation and rejection, but oddly the thread evolved into a debate over which substances are the "drugs of the white man" versus drugs that are "gay," degenerate and associated with Black people.

One Telegram user made a full-throated endorsement of drug use, celebrating it as an enabler of racist violence.

"Totally," he wrote. "Blow a few lines after some whiskey and fight a n***** posse with the bois."

'Bloody civil war': Inside the heavily armed contingency force hovering over the Oath Keepers Jan. 6 prosecution

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

While the government builds a conspiracy case against a dozen Oath Keepers accused of storming the Capitol, court documents indicate investigators also remain interested in whether the far-right militia group was staging "quick reaction forces" with heavy weaponry as a contingency to escalate violence.

An unindicted co-conspirator referenced in government court filings as "Person Three" and "Paul" is at the heart of indicted Oath Keepers' discussions about a heavily armed "QRF," or quick reaction force, that was supposed to stage outside DC as backup during the assault on the Capitol. At least two of the Oath Keepers defendants were in direct communication with the QRF leader, according to government filings. Thomas Edward Caldwell, a Navy veteran and former FBI section chief, is one. Another is Jessica Watkins, the Army veteran from Ohio who breached the Capitol. The QRF leader reserved a room at a hotel where other Oath Keepers were staying in advance of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, so it's likely that federal investigators know his name.

The QRF leader was also a liaison between the nucleus of Oath Keepers in battle gear who staged the assault on the Capitol and a North Carolina group of Oath Keepers that has since split from the national organization.

Texting Caldwell on Dec. 30, Watkins wrote that she intended to reach out to the individual known as "Person Three" "and see if the NC boys are coming." Caldwell responded that he had already spoken with "Person Three," according to court filings.

"At least one full bus 40+ people coming from NC," Caldwell texted to Watkins, according to government motion opposing pre-trial release. "[Person Three] is driving plus 1 and arriving nite before. As we speak he is trying to book a room at Comfort Inn Ballston/Arlington because of its close-in location and easy access to downtown because he feels 1) he's too broken down to be on the ground all day 2) he is committed to being the quick reaction force anf [sic] bringing tools if something goes to hell. That way the boys don't have to try to schlep weps on the bus. He'll bring them in his truck the day before."

Caldwell added in his message to Watkins that while he was composing his text he learned that the QRF leader had succeeded in booking the hotel room.

In a separate filing, the government cites a Facebook message from Caldwell to an unidentified recipient referencing a man named "Paul" who appears to be "Person Three." While recommending the Comfort Inn Ballston/Arlington, Caldwell wrote on Jan. 1: "Paul said he might be able to take one or two in his room as well."

On the same day, Caldwell messaged to Donovan Crowl, a Marine Corps veteran who breached the Capitol with Watkins: "[Person Three] has a room and is bringing someone. He will be the quick reaction force." Later in the same message, he reiterated the connection between the leader of the quick reaction force and the North Carolina group: "Oathkeeper friends from North Carolina are taking commercial buses up early on the 6th and back the same night. [Person Three] will have the goodies in case things go bad and we need to get heavy."

A government motion opposing Caldwell's pre-trial release indicates that Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, discussed the quick reaction force prior to the assault on the Capitol in a group chat on the encrypted app Signal that was called "DC OP: Jan 6 21." The motion said an unindicted co-conspirator referenced as "Person One" — widely reported to be Rhodes — warned the group: "DO NOT bring in anything that can get you arrested. Leave that outside of DC." He went on to say, "We will have several well-equipped QRFs outside DC." In addition to Rhodes, the government alleges that the chat included Watkins; Kelly Meggs, described by the government as the "team leader" of the Florida Oath Keepers; "and regional Oath Keeper leaders from multiple states across the country."

While acknowledging there was no discussion about breaching the Capitol in the chats prior to Jan. 6, the government has cited Rhodes' warning as evidence of active preparation for violence.

Communications among various alleged co-conspirators that have been cited in various government filing contain ample references to at least one quick reaction force.

In March 23 motion opposing pre-trial release for government lawyers wrote that on Jan. 2 "Meggs reported that he will be coordinating the 'QRF' with the Oath Keepers from North Carolina."

The filing cites a message from Meggs in the "DC OP: Jan 6 21" chat.

"Good call last night," Meggs wrote, according to the government. "Lots focered [sic]. I'll get with NC team today and find out QRF location." In an additional linkage between Meggs and the QRF leader, the government alleges that three rooms at the Comfort Inn Ballston/Arlington were reserved "in Person Three's name"; two of those rooms, according to the government, were paid for by a credit card in Meggs' name.

And on Jan. 3, according to a March 31 superseding indictment against 12 Oath Keepers defendants, Watkins wrote in a message to another Oath Keeper from Ohio: "We are not bringing firearms. QRF will be our Law Enforcement members of Oathkeepers." In a subsequent message, Watkins walked back her advice on firearms, suggesting some confusion on the issue. "Weapons are ok now," she reportedly wrote. "Sorry for the confusion."

The government has made no secret of its interest in those involved with the Oath Keepers' plans to field armed teams outside of DC at the time of the insurrection.

"The government is also investigating whether there were additional quick reaction force teams, besides the one led by Person Three, supporting the co-conspirators' efforts on January 6," lawyers wrote in a March 8 motion opposing Caldwell's pre-trial release.

Prior to the assault on the Capitol, the Oath Keepers made no effort to conceal plans for staging quick reaction forces, and if anything seemed eager to publicize them as a signal of strength. In an article headlined "Oath Keepers Deploying to DC to Protect Events, Speakers & Attendees on Jan. 5-6: Time to Stand!" that was published on the organization's website on Jan. 4, Rhodes wrote: "As we have done on all recent DC Ops, we will also have well-armed and equipped QRF teams on standby, outside DC, in the event of a worst-case scenario, where the President calls us up as part of the militia to assist him inside DC."

By late December, Caldwell was devising an elaborate plan to ferry weapons across the Potomac River as a contingency for escalation on Jan. 6.

Texting an individual associated with the Three Percenters, a right-wing militia movement, Caldwell wrote, "Can't believe I just thought of this: How many people either in the military or not (who are still supportive of our efforts to save the Republic) have a boat on a trailer that could handle a Potomac crossing?"

He continued: "If we had someone standing by at a dock ramp (one near the Pentagon for sure) we could have our Quick Response Team with heavy weapons standing by, quickly load them and ferry them across the river to our waiting arms. I'm not talking about a bass boat. Anyone who would be interested in supporting the team in this way? I will buy the fuel. More or less be hanging around sipping coffee and maybe scooting on the river a bit and pretending to fish, then if all went to shit, our guy loads our weps AND Blue Ridge Militia weps and ferries them across."

On Jan. 3, according to the government, Caldwell messaged "Person Three" on Signal, writing, "I'm calling it a night. Got feelers out in the boat idea, will finish new map tomorrow."

Since Jan. 6, Rhodes has attempted to portray plans for the quick reaction force as inconsequential and irrelevant, while presenting Caldwell as someone who didn't represent the Oath Keepers.

"Now, there was some chatter among other people like Thomas Caldwell, who is not an Oath Keeper, about having a QRF outside of DC," Rhodes said in a May 14 interview with the far-right website The Gateway Pundit. "It turns out to be one old veteran that couldn't even hardly walk.

"The media is once against grabbing any little thing they can find and trying to turn it into this grand conspiracy," he complained.

During the Gateway Pundit interview, Rhodes acknowledged that "some our people did go into the Capitol," while suggesting they were acting outside of command. Rhodes argued that the fact that the Oath Keepers entered the Capitol without rifles undermines the government's conspiracy case, but his words also contained an implied threat. In his remarks to Gateway Pundit, Rhodes redirected attention to a man he identified as "Whip," also known as "Mike." Government filings refer to him as "Person 10."

"The team leader on the ground that day was an experienced combat vet," Rhodes said. "The man was an explosives expert in the Army. He worked with Triple Canopy and Blackwater as a contractor all over the world, and he's an ex-cop. If he had actually intended for anyone to go into the Capitol and commit an insurrection, it would have looked very, very different from what we saw. The idea that was somehow an insurrection with no guns, no obvious intent to do anything, is ridiculous — a complete joke."

Rhodes could not be reached for this story.

"Whip," or "Mike," also appears in a video posted on the official Oath Keepers YouTube account documenting the militia's presence in Louisville, Ky. on Sept. 23, the day results of a grand jury investigation were announced finding that police officers were justified in fatally shooting Breonna Taylor. Narrating the video, Rhodes identifies "Whip" as "our team leader."

The following day, according to an account in the Washington Post, following a confrontation with protesters, Rhodes asked Mike, who is Black, to field questions from the news media. Media coverage of the encounter from the Post, along with Sky News and the live-streamer Based Web Developer, shows that Jessica Watkins and Florida Oath Keeper Kenneth Harrelson, who both face conspiracy charges in the Jan. 6 insurrection, were present.

Also captured in the footage is George Douglas Smith Jr., leader of a North Carolina Oath Keepers group based in Columbus County, along the South Carolina line.

As an admin on the Oath Keepers, Columbus County Facebook page last June, Smith pledged that his leadership "will soon lay out our teams and start the training" that would make the chapter "a formidable fighting force capable of defeating the forces of evil that are intent on destroying our nation and murdering those of us that don't sumit [sic] to their evil schemes on bended knees."

In another post, Smith signaled his preoccupation with the 2020 election while warning that a Democratic victory would pose an existential threat.

"I'm confident as more people come to the realization that not only is our constitution in danger of destruction, their very lives will hang in the balance if the communist democrats and their army's blm and antifa take control of this country in November. There are not that many training opportunities from now until the election, there is nothing as important as the ability to survive!!!"

Smith could not be reached for comment for this story.

Smith confirmed to the News Reporter, a local newspaper in Columbus County, that the North Carolina Oath Keepers traveled by bus to the "Stop the Steal" rally headlined by President Trump at the Ellipse on Jan. 6. But he said they boarded the bus and returned to North Carolina instead of going to the Capitol. Afterwards, Smith said, his group unanimously voted to split from the Oath Keepers.

"The men of Columbus County will not be a part of anything that terrorized anybody or goes against law enforcement," Smith told the newspaper.

Smith acknowledged having met Caldwell in November, according to the report. According to a government filing, Caldwell texted an unidentified individual on Dec. 23 indicated that he had hosted "a bunch of the Oath Keepers from North Carolina" on his farm in northern Virginia "for the Million MAGA march," a Nov. 14 event that, along with a Dec. 12 rally, was a prelude to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Smith also told the News Reporter that "an individual up there in Ohio" named "Donovan" had called him. The government alleges that Donovan Crowl interacted with the North Carolina Oath Keepers prior to the insurrection.

Rhodes has said that he abandoned the plan to stage a quick reaction force on the eve of the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally. Rhodes told The Gateway Pundit that he and "Whip" discussed the matter the night before and decided that because they didn't expect President Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, "we don't want to leave the manpower outside DC, so we did not have a QRF on January 6th."

Since late October, Rhodes had been calling on Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act as a preemptive move against anticipated civil resistance if Trump had attempted to cling to power in defiance of the electoral certification.

In an interview with Alex Jones of InfoWars about a week before the election, Rhodes pledged that Oath Keepers would be staged outside DC, while hinting that they could find themselves at odds with the US military.

"Frankly, we're concerned about a Benghazi-style attack," he said. "That's why Oath Keepers will be posted outside of DC. We've got some of our best men working on a plan right now for where we're going to be. We'll make sure we're within range. Because I don't trust the Pentagon. I don't trust the brass. I don't even trust the secretary of defense to stand behind the president. And don't be surprised if you don't get the same kind of stand-down order you saw with Benghazi."

Speaking at the Stop the Steal/Jericho March in Washington DC on Dec. 12, Rhodes elaborated on his recommendation that Trump invoke the Insurrection Act — a move that has been widely rejected by legal experts and military leaders as an illegal power grab.

"He needs to free Julian Assange and put him in charge of doing a data dump to display to all of you all of the skeletons out of the closet into the streets," Rhodes said. "Show the world who the traitors are. And then use the Insurrection Act to drop the hammer on them. And all of us veterans who swore that oath: Until you're age 65, you can be called up as the militia to support and defend the Constitution.

"He needs to know from you that you are with him, that if he does not do it now while he is commander-in-chief, we're going to have to do it ourselves later in a much more desperate, much more bloody civil war," Rhodes continued.

While planning for a heavily armed quick reaction force poised to supply weapons for an escalation of hostilities on Jan. 6 poses a host of unanswered questions, recent court filings increasingly tie Rhodes to the alleged conspiracy.

While Rhodes has roundly rejected claims that Oath Keepers engaged in a conspiracy, communications referenced in the latest superseding indictment against 10 defendants indicate Rhodes was in close contact with at least one of them at the time of the assault.

The government says Rhodes placed a call to Kelly Meggs, the Florida leader, that lasted about 15 seconds at 2:15 p.m. Then, according to the government, Meggs called Rhodes at 2:32 p.m. and spoke for one minute and 27 seconds. Three minutes later, according to the government, Meggs, Watkins, Crowl and five others formed a "stack" that "maneuvered in an organized and practiced fashion up the steps on the east side of the Capitol — each individual keeping with at least one hand on the shoulder of the other in front of them."

At the top of the steps, the government said, "the stack joined and supported the crowd that was pushing forward toward the doors, assaulting the officers guarding the doors, throwing objects and spraying chemical towards the officers and the doors, and pulling violently on the doors."

At about 2:40 p.m., according to the government, "the crowd breached the doors," and the Oath Keepers "forcibly entered the Capitol building."

'The mask slips': Proud Boys joining white supremacists in 'White Lives Matter' rallies across the US

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

White supremacists on Telegram are organizing a series of simultaneous rallies under the banner of "White Lives Matter" in major American cities scheduled for April 11, with active participation and promotion in some locales by members of the Proud Boys.

The rallies mark a rare instance of overt white nationalists openly mobilizing in the streets since the constituent organizations of the violent 2017 Unite the Right rally were severely hobbled the following year by sustained opposition in the streets from antifascist counter-protesters, litigation, infighting and organizational dysfunction. For the Proud Boys, whose members are facing serious federal charges for conspiracy to disrupt the transfer of executive power during the assault on the US Capitol, participation in the "White Lives Matter" rallies reflects a brazen determination to maintain a street presence and an apparent diminishing concern about being branded as racists.

The @whitelivesmattermarch channel that created the framework for local racists to organize dozens of spinoff rallies was launched on the social media platform Telegram on March 25. The rallying cause of the simultaneous demonstrations — "to raise awareness for whites being the victims of massive interracial crime" — is a false claim that lies at the heart of white supremacist propaganda. In a "Q&A" post, the anonymous user behind the @whitelivesmattermarch channel directs potential supporters interested in learning "more about anti-White hate" to another channel that is comprised solely of items relating homicides and other violent crimes with photos of white victims and Black perpetrators.

The specific rallies are organized by locals creating new Telegram channels using the initials of states or cities. In some cases, the channels for local rallies appear to be little more than trial balloons to gauge local interest. The creator of the @WLMSouthCarolina channel, launched on March 25, posted: "Lets [sic] get a count of where everyone is, comment your city." As of Tuesday, the channel had picked up 24 subscribers, but no one had commented. Among the more active channels, Ohio and Oregon have attracted around eight unique users calling out their hometowns to try to settle on a central gathering place.

In a channel set up for the DC-Maryland-Virginia region, two self-identified Proud Boys users eagerly talked up the rally. Others in the chat openly identified as white nationalists through their words, usernames or catchphrases in their Telegram bios. "I am a Fascist," wrote a user named "James Dagny," who also shared a documentary about American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell in the chat. A user named "Blaine" chose the Nazi slogan "Blood & Soil" for their bio. Someone whose username celebrates the gas used by the Nazis to murder Jews in gas chambers during the Holocaust, wrote, "I'm in."

In the chat, a Proud Boy account under the username "Joe Bonadio" responded to the self-identified fascist user by commenting, "I'm with ya!"

Another Proud Boy account under the username "HEFF" commented, "#fuckantifa proudboys will be the there in plain clothes or not."

Hampton Russel Oulette, the president of the Northern Virginia chapter of the Proud Boys, posted in response to HEFF: "POYB." The acronym stands for "Proud of your boy" and is used by the gang as a salute or signal of approval.

Oulette, whose Telegram handle is "GOV.HAM-OMLETTE," told Raw Story in a Telegram message that he personally doesn't think the "White Lives Matter" rallies are "a good look."

"But I'll do whatever my brothers decided to do," he wrote. "I've voiced my opinion but loyal to my guys so its [sic] it's up in the air. I personally don't wanna March with any hate groups or be associated."

He added, "There are other chapters going."

Oulette claimed to not know who is organizing the rallies.

"Was just asked to monitor it… so we are not caught off guard to what's going on in our state," he wrote somewhat cryptically. "We like to know who's doing what here… we have an event coming up just not 100% on the day."

The DC-area Proud Boys are not the only ones interested in the rallies.

A user named "DIRT2º posted in the discussion hosted by "White Lives Matter – 04/11": "Need someone from bama that I can help organize."

User "BACONndEGGS," whose avatar includes the initials W-L-M inside the Proud Boys' traditional wreath, hailed a message from the host channel declaring that "white people will not bow down" with the Proud Boys salute: "Uhuru."

Since their founding in 2016, Proud Boys leaders and rank-and-file members have strenuously objected to being described as "white supremacist" despite some members including Chairman Enrique Tarrio participating in the Unite the Right rally and rallying alongside neo-Confederate groups. But Megan Squire, a computer scientist at Elon University who monitors right-wing extremist groups, said it's not all that surprising to see them now openly associating with white nationalists.

"To use one of their phrases, 'The mask slips,'" Squire said. "Underneath, they are who they are, and this is who they are. The question is, were the Proud Boys always that way or did it happen halfway through? A lot of times these guys will say, 'You pushed us to this, with all the de-platforming.' That's patently false. The history is the Proud Boys have been promoting very thinly veiled white supremacy. They called it 'Western chauvinism.' It's white supremacy — shocker. Now, we can call it what it is, and they can call it what it is."

The "Black-on-white crime" narrative promoted by the "White Lives Matter" rallies is a timeworn appeal by white power groups.

In a 2018 article for the Southern Poverty Law Center, Senior Research Analyst Cassie Miller called it "the biggest lie in the white supremacist propaganda playbook." A large part of its staying power is that it's deeply rooted in the American psyche. As Miller pointed out, false and harmful claims about Black people being inherently violent have formed the core justification for "slavery, lynching, Jim Crow and various forms of mass incarceration."

In recent decades, the "Black-on-white crime" falsehood has received a signal boost from Jared Taylor, a Yale-educated academic who produced The Color of Crime: Race, Crime and Violence in America, a 1999 report that was updated in 2005 and again in 2016. Taylor drew his statistics from the "1994 Crime Victimization Survey released by the US Department of Justice, but Miller noted that Taylor's claim that crime has a racial and biological basis overlooks the obvious culprit.

"On average, African Americans were — and remain — far poorer and more likely to live in disadvantaged neighborhoods than whites," Miller wrote. "Concentrated poverty has a criminogenic effect: lack of access to jobs, increased idle time and poorer educational opportunities all increase one's chances of engaging in criminal behavior, and the effect is the same for Black and white people. One study released three years before The Color of Crime, found that when sociologists controlled for structural disadvantages, there were significant differences between crime rates in Black and white communities."

Another fallacy promoted by Taylor over the past several decades, which is being recycled through the "White Lives Matter" planning chats, is that crimes committed by Black perpetrators against white victims uniformly qualify as "hate crimes," but Miller noted that "few would meet the FBI's hate crime definition of an 'offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity."

The slogan "White Lives Matter" was originally promoted in neo-Nazi circles in 2015 and 2016, as an obvious cooptation of Black Lives Matter. Although lacking originality, it simultaneously mocks Black people killed by the police and substitutes white people as supposed victims.

In a video circulated by the @whitelivesmattermarch host channel, a bearded white man dressed in a hunting jacket intones, "For far too long, the media has ignored some of the most heinous and grotesque crimes committed against our people." After a standard recitation of white victims of violence by Black perpetrators, the narrators concludes, "These are a few names that most people've never heard of. Yet you'll hear 'George Floyd' and all these other people who're criminals. You know, everybody knows who Trayvon Martin was. Everybody knows who Breonna Taylor was. So why does the world know their names, but not the name of our victims?"

The words are uncannily similar to some of the writing in a manifesto by Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white man who murdered nine Black parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, SC in 2015.

Roof wrote in his manifesto that the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin prompted him "type in the words 'black on white crime' into Google, and I have never been the same since that day." The search led him to the Council of Conservative Citizens, one of the many white supremacist groups whose website included a section on white victims of crimes committed by Black people.

"There were pages and pages of these brutal black on White murders," Roof wrote. "I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored."

Another video shared by the White Lives Matter host channel displays text reading, "The great replacement can no longer be called a 'conspiracy theory.'" White supremacists marching in Charlottesville, Va. in August 2017 chanted, "You will not replace us." Brenton Tarrant, who murdered 51 Muslim worshipers in mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019, entitled his manifesto "The Great Replacement." The white supremacists who carried out massacres in a synagogue in Poway, Calif. and Walmart in El Paso, Texas that same year likewise referenced a "great replacement" in their respective manifestoes.

Despite hijacking the "Black Lives Matter" slogan, the "Q&A" message for the rallies disavows any equivalency, rejecting the idea that the rallies are "BLM for White People."

"Marxism is at the core of the anti-White narrative," the document states. "The principles that WLM should follow are those of God, Nature and Nobleness. WLM is a glimpse into the glorious past of White Europeans."

Comically, some of the members of the public chats are unintentionally transparent about their desire to clean up their image in the hope of broadening their appeal.

"The test will be if we are able to get the masses of people who attended the StopTheSteal rallies to come," a user named "Culture War Criminal" wrote in one of the discussion chats. "If we can pull this off and advocate White advocacy this will be a massive step forward."

Another user named "Project Algiz" advised: "Also, remember to keep it optical. True. But optical. For example, I made a decent video yesterday but removed it because I said 'n*****' twice. While I think of us can appreciate this sentiment, it will certainly chase away fence sitters and would-be supporters due to us confirming their suspicions that we may be a 'raAaAaAacist organization.'"

But other users appear to be completely unconcerned about optics.

The White Lives Matter Philadelphia channel celebrates former Mayor Frank Rizzo as "the only White Man who stood up openly here against the Black Riots instigated by Jews in order to destroy White Philadelphia and America!" The channel includes posts quoting from the 1940 Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew, photos of police officers using a German shepherd to attack a Black protesters and "American Nazi Stormtroopers in Center City" Philadelphia in 1962. A post with maps showing demographic changes in Philadelphia from 1940 to 1960 pledges: "The Whites can and will reclaim Philadelphia from these Jews and then we can make this city and country all White again."

The open chats in the planning threads for the White Lives Matter rallies appear to be heavily infiltrated by antifascists posing as Nazis and urging people to stay home to avoid doxing. The infiltration is causing justifiable paranoia and making it difficult to tell who is who.

In the group chat for Anchorage, Alaska, the host affirmed a user named "Jedi counselor" on Monday.

"I share the same sentiment as you my friend," the host wrote. "I'm tired of the cowardice."

"Jedi counselor" replied: "Right and we need to make an army and take back the west coast and take this matter into our own hands."

Then they added: "It's time to say fuck the cops because they are not doing anything about [it]."

Proud Boys wreak havoc on DC as Mike Flynn, Sebastian Gorka and others rally Donald Trump loyalists

Fueled by the words of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and other luminaries of Trump-sphere, thousands of Trump loyalists poured into Washington, DC on Saturday, pledging defiance to an orderly transfer of presidential power and looking for opportunities to clash with antifascists.

Police blocked off the streets several blocks back from the National Mall and Freedom Plaza — the two focal points of the Trump rallies — causing traffic to snarl and impeding ambulances from passing through.

Flynn, who served as Trump's first national security advisor and who received a pardon from the president after pleading guilty to the crime of lying to the FBI, was one of several speakers who described the effort to overturn Joe Biden's election as a "spiritual battle" at the event dubbed "Stop the Steal" and "Jericho March."

As President Trump buzzed over the National Mall in Marine One, Flynn lambasted the news media, echoing his former boss' scorn.

"Every time they throw an arrow at him, it is an arrow directed at us, and we cannot allow that," Flynn said. "We cannot allow that in this country. We the people have to continue to fight back."

Another speaker, conservative radio host Eric Mataxas, also engaged in media demonization. Spotting another helicopter prior to Marine One, he said, "That's the media?

We need to shoot that down. Anybody got a bazooka?"

Weaving together the martial religious language of the Old Testament with Trumpist conspiracy-speak, Flynn concluded: "I'm gonna use a metaphor, because Jericho — we're inside the walls of the Deep State. There is evil and there is corruption, and there's light and truth. We're going to get to the light and we're going to get to the truth. And us inside of this barricade, we're gonna knock those walls down."

Earlier this month, Flynn retweeted a press release calling on Trump to declare martial law and temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of the elections, and have the military oversee a new election. Flynn signaled his approval with the hashtag #WeThePeople. And in an essay published on Thursday, Flynn characterized the incoming Biden administration as "tyrants" whose plan is "to eliminate dissent, subdue any criticism, and outlaw those who do not submit unconditionally to the dictatorship of the New World Order."

Aside from a few tweets expressing gratitude to his supporters, Trump's Twitter feed on Saturday featured a stew of resentment at various actors that have refused to cooperate with his scheme to overturn the election: The Supreme Court (for declining yesterday to consider a challenge filed by the Texas attorney general), the Republican governors in Georgia and Arizona (for affirming their states' electoral votes for Biden), and Attorney General Bill Barr (for not speaking publicly about a purported investigation into Hunter Biden).

Sebastian Gorka, a podcast host and former White House strategist under Trump, swatted aside his former boss' continued failures to get traction in the courts to overturn the election during a speech at a separate March for Trump rally organized by Women for Trump organizer Amy Kremer.

"Let's be very clear," Gorka said. "The first thing I said last night when I heard the decision: 'Stop. Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Read the Bible and pray. Because we are on the side of truth.'"

Back at the National Mall, Alex Jones of InfoWars, pledged unyielding resistance to a Biden administration.

"We will never back down to the Satanic pedophile globalist New World Order and their walking-dead reanimated corpse Joe Biden," he said. "And we will never recognize him…. So, I don't know who's going to the White House in 38 days, but I sure know this: Joe Biden is a globalist will be removed one way or another.

Trump supporters carrying American flags roamed in small bands between the National Mall and Freedom Plaza throughout the day. Supporters held a giant American flag on Pennsylvania Avenue outside Trump International Hotel, and enthusiastically posed for selfies with a Trump impersonator. Dozens of Proud Boys in tactical gear massed outside Hotel Harrington in the morning and roved through downtown.


In the early afternoon, Proud Boys knocked a man to the ground and began punching and kicking him on the National Mall near the Washington Monument, according to video showed on Twitter. Witnesses described an altercation involving Proud Boys in front of the Army Navy Club on 17th Street. Police completely blocked off Black Lives Matter Plaza to keep the Proud Boys and antifascists separated. Video shared on Twitter shows the police using a chemical spray on Proud Boys seeking to antagonize antifascists.


This story is developing.

‘We will exterminate you’: Proud Boys and other right-wing Trump diehards confront counter-protesters at Raleigh rally

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

A band of COVID deniers, neo-Confederates and pro-Trump diehards, augmented by a 50-strong Proud Boy security detail, marched around the Governor's Mansion in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, firing up a far-right coalition to carry on the fight as their president faces the reality of leaving office.

The post-Thanksgiving rally was co-organized by Joshua Flores of Stop the Steal NC and Latinos for Freedom, who brought in Reopen NC to help him promote it on Facebook. But the Proud Boys — referenced by Flores as his "private security" in a Facebook Live video two days prior to the event — took the most prominent position in the rally as they spread out along a block of East Jones Street and taunted antifascist counter-protesters.

Flores had promoted the Thanksgiving potluck as a family-friendly event, and urged attendees to not engage with counter-protesters, warning that they would be asked to leave if they failed to honor the request, and adding that "the Proud Boys" would also "have the authority to kick you out." He also suggested, "Try not to use major cuss words, if you don't mind."

The request was almost farcical considering the Proud Boys' history of inciting conflict through profanity-laced taunts that are often barbed with misogyny and homophobia.

True to form, a Proud Boy named Jeremy Bertino picked up a bullhorn a couple minutes after the official 11:30 a.m. start time and addressed the counter-protesters across the street.

"America will never be a communist nation — never!" Bertino said as fellow Proud Boys lined the sidewalk wearing tactical vests and trademark yellow and black gear. "Your side will lose. We will exterminate you like the rats you are…. Exterminate you!"


Proud Boys at COVID-denial/pro-Trump rally in Raleigh, NC youtu.be

Bertino kicked off a chant of, "Fuck antifa."

Another Proud Boy wore a patch with the letters "S-B-S-B," a reference to Trump's infamous election-debate directive: "Proud Boys — stand back and stand by."

Bertino wore a patch with the letters "R-W-D-S" — short for "right-wing death squads." Mass killing of political opponents is a theme widely promoted by Proud Boys and other far-right extremists who celebrate Chilean dictator Augosto Pinochet's grisly practice during the 1970s of disappearing opposition activists by dropping them out of helicopters.

Previewing the in-real-life showdown on Saturday, Bertino posted a photo of North Carolina antifascist Lindsay Ayling on the Parler social media platform, encouraging followers to make a contest out of Photoshopping her image, while making a violent and misogynistic claim that "she has an affinity for alpha males and helicopters" and hash-tagging the post #antifawhore.

Bertino told Raw Story he was merely "trolling" Ayling, but the Proud Boys' goofball presentation — naming cereals during their initation rite, for example — conveniently provides plausible deniability for any expressed fantasies of violence.

Bertino also denied that his "extermination" remarks were personally directed at the counter-protesters, although his own words say otherwise.

Throughout the four-hour event, unidentified men with bullhorns stood behind the Proud Boys and excoriated the counter-protesters.

"You guys are making lists," one of the men said. "We're making lists, too." He added a reference to "9mm" ammunition that was otherwise inaudible. Another time, the man addressed the counter-protesters, saying, "You are in a very dangerous position. You are in the vast minority." Bertino told Raw Story he did not hear the comment and could not identify the speaker.

Another unidentified man told the counter-protesters: "Donald Trump has stirred the pot. You think you've captured him. But all you've done is woken us up. You think this is gonna end? No!" The speaker also called the counter-protesters lazy and accused them of not understanding Christianity.

The right-wing group, which broadly expressed defiance of COVID restrictions and loyalty to Donald Trump, out-numbered counter-protesters almost two to one.

Drawn from Raleigh activists who have been protesting against police brutality since late May, along with antiracists and antifascists who are veterans of efforts to remove Confederate monuments, the counter-protesters responded in kind with taunts toward the Proud Boys. One sign held by a counter-protester read, "Proud Boy Thugs: 21st Century Nazi Brown Shirts." Another showed a depiction of a Confederate flag, a swastika and the name "Trump," concluding, "3 generations of losers."

"For individuals to still be conducting 'Stop the Steal' protest/rallies essentially 25 days after Election Day even after Gov. [Roy] Cooper has been declared the winner is in the same vein as the Confederate supporters still showing up places waving Confederate flags," Kerwin Pittman, a field organizer with Emancipate NC, told Raw Story. "They just can't accept the fact they lost. They must be called out on their denial and confronted when they attempt to sow seeds of intimidation in any community."

Pittman was appointed by Cooper, a Democrat, to serve on the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice. Pittman served time in prison for first-degree murder, and he has been open about his past. All the same, North Carolina neo-Confederates never miss an opportunity to loudly confront him about his record, and on Saturday a detractor from Alamance County jeered Pittman, daring him to say the name of the man he killed.

Around 1 p.m., Tara LaRosa, an MMA fighter, led an advance team of Proud Boys into the street, with Bertino and others acting as marshals as the larger group of right-wing activists marched around the governor's residence. It's unclear whether they had a permit for the march.

The marchers chanted "Reopen NC," "No more masks," "We are the republic," and "Silent no more."

Reopen NC leader Ashley Smith and her husband, Adam Smith, addressed the crowd with a bullhorn at the entrance of the Governor's Mansion as the right-wing activists held the street, with tight security from the Proud Boys. At the direction of one of the co-organizers, the Proud Boys ejected two reporters, from Raw Story and INDY Week.

The right-wing activists staked out an alternate reality, with one woman insisting to reporters: "Donald Trump won the election."

Jay Thaxton, a North Carolina Proud Boy, blocked a reporter's camera. He said, "When you guys start writing real news, we won't have a problem with you."

A couple wearing shirts promoting QAnon — a conspiracy theory that posits Trump as a hero working beyond the scenes to vanquish an elite global cabal of pedophiles — strolled through the cordon of Proud Boys to join the rally. The man, who declined to give his name, told a reporter: "I pray that God would help you see both sides of the issue, not being right or left. We have a Bill of Rights."

Earlier in the rally, before the right-wing activists broke out covered dishes for their defiant potluck, Reopen NC leader Ashley Smith addressed them.

"I'm just so thankful to see so many patriots and people who love freedom and love America," she said. "Yes, we are here once again to stand in the face of tyranny and all that would destroy everything that we hold dear and love. And I'm here again to say, 'No, you cannot have my America. You cannot have my North Carolina.'

"Right now, we're going to have some food," Smith continued. "We're gonna hug our neighbors and say the Pledge [of Allegiance]."

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, on Nov. 10, Gov. Cooper issued an executive order limiting the number of people at indoor gatherings to no more than 10. On Nov. 23, he followed up with another executive order requiring masks in all public indoor settings.

As justification for the restrictions, the most recent executive order cited record high COVID-19 daily case counts and hospitalizations in North Carolina.

"We are at a critical point, and I am writing to update you on the worsening surge of COVID cases in our community and health system, and to share the actions we are taking," wrote Cone Health Chief Operating Officer Mary Jo Cagle in a memo to staff on Nov. 20.

Cone Health serves Greensboro, North Carolina's third largest city. Cagle said that during the previous week, the number of COVID patients in the hospital system leapt by almost 50 percent, from 95 to 142. She warned that the Green Valley facility, Cone's special COVID hospital, was nearing capacity.

Like the Proud Boys, Adam Smith, the husband of the Reopen leader, has expressed a willingness to resort to violence to uphold his belief system.

In May, he carried a rifle through downtown Raleigh while marching alongside a boogaloo-inspired group that flouted North Carolina's law against carrying dangerous weapons during a demonstration. The politically varied group included an array of Second Amendment hardliners, including a neo-Nazi, an avowed anarchist and self-described constitutionalists. One of the armed men who participated in the walks, Benjamin Ryan Teeter, is now facing federal charges of attempting to provide material support to Hamas.

In May, Adam Smith posted a Facebook Live video saying that people must be willing to kill, if necessary, to resist emergency orders — or what he described as "tyranny."

"But are we willing to kill people? Are we willing to lay down our lives?" he asked. "We have to say, 'Yes.' We have to say, 'Yes.' Is that violence. Is that terrorism? I'm not trying to strike fear in people by saying, 'I'm going to kill you.' I'm gonna say, 'If you bring guns, I'm gonna bring guns. If you're armed with this, we're going to be armed with this.'"

On Saturday, Lindsay Ayling, the antifascist activist, said she observed a Proud Boy point her out to Smith. Then, she said, Smith said, "Lindsay, I'm going to kill you."

Smith responded by text to Raw Story: "Of course I didn't say that!… That's ridiculous."

Ayling insisted that she heard the statement clearly and confirmed with another person that they heard it, too. She posted a video on Twitter showing Smith pointing in her direction and then wiggling his fingers in a motion that suggests pulling a trigger. Smith was standing next to Bertino at the time, and just before making the gesture, Smith yelled, "We are the people. We are the power."


As Trump's political and legal options for hanging onto the presidency evaporate, the Raleigh event and other rallies at state capitols are helping to maintain the tenuous alliance of violent nationalists, Christian-right extremists and conspiracy-mongers that are intent on preventing a left turn as Biden takes office. At the moment, much of that energy is focused on a planned pro-Trump rally on Dec. 12, two days before Biden's election is made official as states cast their electoral votes. The Proud Boys have promoted the event through their Telegram account, and the gathering is expected to be a reprise of the chaotic Millions for MAGA march on Nov. 14, which Proud Boys and other far-right groups treated as a moment of triumph.

Bertino stood at the side of Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio at the Washington Monument that night as Tarrio exulted after a clash with left-wing opponents.

"I mean, we practically cleaned the streets right there where they're sitting at BLM Plaza," Tarrio said. "They're corralled in, and there's like a hundred of 'em, when usually there's thousands of 'em. And you know who we have to thank for that?

"All of us," he continued. "And this right here shows you the power when we the right-wing unite, and we get together. And we don't bicker about stupid shit."

IT manager at NC State fingered in lawsuit as a Proud Boy who doxed thousands of left-wing activists

Dressed in a burgundy dress shirt, with a full beard and shoulder-length brown hair, and wearing a black felt hat, Chadwick Seagraves cut a striking figure as he stood on the steps of the Chapel Hill Courthouse in North Carolina in June 2017 and gave a hearty introduction to Augustus Sol Invictus. Seagraves' guest was a failed Florida US Senate candidate who was a rising star of the alt-right in the run-up to the violent Unite the Right rally.

The Chapel Hill gathering, billed as a free speech rally, was in reality a recruitment event for the Proud Boys and Fraternity of the Alt-Knight, a short-lived street-fighting formation that bridged the Proud Boys to the more ideologically extreme components of Unite the Right coalition. Seagraves, as allegedly revealed through his "Elias McMahone; A Heathen." Twitter account, was an active member of the Proud Boys since the early days when the group got active in North Carolina in 2017. What wasn't known then was that he was also a team manager in the technology support services office at NC State University in nearby Raleigh, where he is accused of digitally harassing at least one student activist through his anonymous Twitter account.

Earlier this week, the Anonymous Comrade Collective — a left-wing Twitter account that is, as its name indicates, anonymous — identified Seagraves as the instigator of a much more ambitious, if clumsy project. Files containing names and personal information for thousands of left-wing activists, primarily in Portland, Ore. and Asheville, NC, were published on social media and then circulated on far-right platforms on Nov. 10. The meta data for 1,446 out of 2,141 files pointed back to Seagraves, according to Anonymous Comrade Collective.

After some of the data was dribbled out on the /pol/ — Politically Incorrect channel on 4chan — a notorious forum for white supremacists — the boards lit up with messages from anonymous users fantasizing about violence.

"Good. Give us the list," one user wrote. "We will assemble a squad and start eliminating antifa one by one."

"Just dump the fucking list of names and addresses," another wrote. "It's time to go to war."

Another user issued a challenge: "Anons, hypothetically, if you lived in or around Portland, what would you do to help deal with the degenerate scum posted in this thread?"

And another bragged that an operation was already underway: "Active measures are being taken in both civic nationalist and national socialist and white nationalist groups. Buckle up."

Among those targeted by the data dump of personal information — commonly known as doxing — is Olivia Katbi Smith, co-chair of the Portland chapter of Democratic Socialists of America. Smith filed a lawsuit against Seagraves in Multnomah County for invasion of privacy on Thursday.

Smith said in an email to Raw Story that Seagraves intentionally shared information that he methodically collected on herself, friends, family and other Portland activists "in a way to incite emotional and physical harm.

"He also used my social media connections to fabricate a 'chart of antifa' that paints me as a high-value target," she added. "I have always been public about my involvement in the Democratic Socialists of America, and this person sensationalized that to make me a target. Since this information was posted, it has spread like wildfire across the most dangerous far-right corners of the internet, where anonymous cowards are saying unspeakable things and making horrific threats."

A separate tranche of personal information compiled in two PDFs entitled "Asheville NC Auntie Fa" parts 1 and 2 totaling 85 pages compiles social media screenshots and crude commentary on individuals in the western North Carolina city.

"It's kind of a dragnet," said Libertie Valance, a member of the Firestorm Book cooperative and one of the primary targets. "It's pretty clear that Chadwick got obsessed with a handful of people in Asheville, and mapped their social networks. It seems like he was looking for people who might be 'antifa' or anarchists. It seems like that means anyone who looks queer, trans or punk. It's clear there was particular vitriol for queer and trans people."

Valance said the leftist activist community in Asheville has been dealing with doxing since at least 2018.

"The way Chadwick's peers utilize these doxes and zero in on things like gender identity to try to emotionally destroy their targets in a way that some of us can brush off," they said, "but for others those are difficult issues. It's been pretty devastating."

Seagraves could not be reached for comment on this story.

NC State's non-discrimination policy prohibits harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, actual or perceived gender, and other protected categories. Seagraves earns a salary of $92,820, according to public information available through the UNC System. Mick Kulikowski, a spokesperson for NC State University, told Raw Story: "We've received multiple reports about his online behavior, and we're reviewing it."

The personal data allegedly assembled by Seagraves was shared on Twitter by a user named @Oto666Yamaguchi that is believed to be a different person. The bio for the @Oto666Yamaguchi account, which is now suspended, identified them as "pro NSDAP," an acronym for the German Nazi Party that was active from 1920 to 1945.

The tweet sent by @Oto666Yamaguchi on Nov. 10 suggested the activists' personal information was gleaned through a sophisticated interception. "For the last two months," the tweet says, "we've been wardriving antifa rioters, letting them associate with mobile honeypots to access the internet."

Contradicting that claim, a document entitled "Research Disclaimer" that is tucked into a zip file that includes the personal data states that the information was "gained from my mad OSINT skills" — a reference to open-source intelligence — "and their inept use of social media."

The note also describes the targeted individuals as "a completely unorganized conglomeration of people who Joe Biden has assured the American people are not a threat and not an organization." The note implausibly suggests, "This information is shared with other citizen journalists, and absolutely no harm should come to the subjects of this research from participating in lawful peaceful protests and free speech events."

The layer of separation between Seagraves and the person responsible for publishing the personal data on the internet is emblematic of the Proud Boys' arms-length relationship with white supremacy. The all-male Proud Boys describe themselves as a "western chauvinist" fraternal organization, eschewing language promoting white or European identity. The organization accepts men of all races, and along with gays, and its chairman is a person of color. The Proud Boys' most pronounced stance is its hostility towards "antifa" and Black Lives Matter.

The Proud Boys' mish-mash politics of civic nationalism and libertarianism has given the organization more room to maneuver than many of the more ideologically defined groups that emerged around the time of Trump's 2016 election. But the fluid relationship between the Proud Boys and its more ideological counterparts was on full display at the June 2017 "free speech" event in Chapel Hill.

A video obtained by antifascists in the Triangle area shows Seagraves introducing Invictus, a lawyer who espouses thinly veiled white supremacy and legally changed his name to the Latin phrase for "majestic unconquered son."

"If you've followed conservative politics at all, you've heard something about Augustus Sol Invictus," Seagraves said. He went to say he hadn't "planned on having someone like him come today because I didn't expect all these folks to come in from all over."

Taking the podium, Invictus said, "What's up, Chapel Hill? They call me 'the commie slayer,' and for good fucking reason."

Invictus ended his short speech by encouraging the small group of right-wingers in attendance to network with each other.

"So, meet people here, shake hands with each other, exchange names and numbers," Invictus said. "Join each other's organizations. Join the Alt-Knights of the Proud Boys, who are here with us today…. I'm one of the national organizers. So, if you want to sign up with us, please come on down."

The Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights was founded in 2017 by Kyle Chapman, who became a folk hero of the far-right after he armed himself with a stick and homemade shield and attacked leftists during a melee in Berkeley, Calif.

Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes reached out to Chapman after a Proud Boy launched a fundraiser to help cover Chapman's bail, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. McInnes hosted Chapman on his show, and later Chapman announced that he was founding the Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights, which would be partnering with the Proud Boys with McInnes' "full approval."

Invictus became the Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knight's second in command until his resignation in September 2017.

The Proud Boys publicly distanced themselves from Unite the Right, and managed to avoid the legal troubles and reputational damage experienced by explicitly white nationalist groups like League of the South and the now-defunct Traditionalist Worker Party. But the notorious gathering of white nationalists was organized by a former Proud Boy, Jason Kessler, and Invictus — a marquee name at the event — received a security escort by a Proud Boy named Shane Reeves. Invictus currently faces criminal charges of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and possessing a weapon during a violent crime in York County, in South Carolina.

Although Seagraves appears to have kept his far-right activism a secret to his colleagues, some of whom expressed shock on Twitter when his doxing activities came to light earlier this week, he attended a Second Amendment rally with other North Carolina Proud Boys in Raleigh in April 2018. Under the cloak of anonymity of his "Elias McMahone" Twitter account, he was more forthcoming, writing in October 2018: "My mother knows I'm a Proud Boy. She thanks me for standing up for America. She's old school and appreciates masculinity."

In November 2019, using the "Elias McMahone" Twitter account, Seagraves allegedly called out an NC State student on Twitter. He wrote, "This young man supports #jihadists & affiliates with #Antifa. He is a student at #NCState. Here you will see him posting an intimidating message insinuating violence to a conservative student while also claiming to be a victim."

The post that attracted Seagraves' attention said, "These posts are dedicated to the brave Mujahideen fighters of Afghanistan."

The student, who spoke to Raw Story on condition of anonymity, said the statement was a reference to Rambo III, adding that he assumed everyone would get the joke. He said the tweet was in reference to an incident in which a conservative student named Jack Bishop accused a friend of assault during an altercation in the Free Expression Tunnel. Bishop, who is the son of Republican US Rep. Dan Bishop, and other members of Turning Point USA were spray-painting advertisements for an upcoming "Culture Wars" event with founder Charlie Kirk and Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law.

"I was pissed off at the conservatives," the student said. "So, of course I was going to fight TPUSA coming to campus."

An internecine feud on the far right made Culture Wars events a magnet for extremists. Nick Fuentes and his America First group, also known as the "groypers," stalked the events with the intent of flummoxing the organizers with embarrassing questions and radicalizing their audience to a more nationalistic position. Some members of Patriot Front, an avowedly fascist group that spun out of one of the component organizations at Unite the Right, admired Fuentes' success at undercutting the more moderate flank of the right-wing, and they saw Fuentes as a potential pipeline for recruitment. Patriot Front members discussed leaving their propaganda at campuses in advance of the Culture Wars events, and one member showed up at an event in Florida, according to private chats from the group that were recently leaked.

After seeing the "Elias McMahone" account tweet about him, the student direct-messaged him to try to figure out who he was. The message in response gave him pause.

"Good," "McMahone" wrote, "because the pic you posted from the window in East Village above the roundabout gave away a location. That's why I'm trying to help you see that getting involved in direct action isn't good for a smart guy like you. Just be careful what online stuff you get into when everyone's all excited about a protest and wearing black It's a serious thing. I'm just trying to look out for you."

The student also noticed that the "McMahone" account had added him to a list of Twitter accounts entitled "Proud AuntieFah Commies," and saw that he was identified on his own account as a member of the Proud Boys.

"Did I realize he had tweeted that and painted a target on my back? Oh yeah," the student said. "I just didn't realize I was dealing with the president of the Proud Boys until I DM-ed him a couple days later."

Far-right ‘boogaloo’ militants have embedded themselves in the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis: ‘They want their civil war’

Young, white men dressed in Hawaiian-style print shirts and body armor, and carrying high-powered rifles have been a notable feature at state capitols, lending an edgy and even sometimes insurrectionary tone to gatherings of conservatives angered by restrictions on businesses and church gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less

Husband of Reopen NC leader ‘willing to kill people’ in resistance to emergency orders

The husband of the woman who leads the Reopen NC movement says people should be willing to kill, if necessary, to resist the “New World Order” and emergency orders imposed by state government to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less

The lost boys of Ukraine: How the war abroad attracted American white supremacists

As President Trump goes through an impeachment trial in the US Senate for pressuring Ukraine to produce dirt on his political rival, the war in that country is exporting extremism back to the United States.

Keep reading... Show less

White supremacists see escalating tensions in small North Carolina town as an opportunity to radicalize armed neo-Confederates

Neo-Confederate activists and antiracists clashed briefly in Pittsboro, NC, a town west of Raleigh, on Saturday, when a man wearing a “Trump 2020” hat and a face mask attempted to drive a front-end loader festooned with Confederate flags down a street where the two groups were facing off.

Keep reading... Show less
BRAND NEW STORIES

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.