Filed under: Analysis, Anti-fascist, Featured, US, White Supremacy
What follows is a breakdown and analysis on the recent and massive data dump from Unicorn Riot of chat logs from an Identity Evropa Discord server. Also, a new website has launched, Identify Evropa, which maps out existing IE members and groups.
Identity Evropa is one of the many far right organizations that make up the tapestry of modern American racism, xenophobia, and fascism. While it may brand itself as something akin to a group of European heritage activists, after having their private Discord chats leaked by Unicorn Riot, it is clear Identity Evropa is fully white supremacist and neo-Nazi.
“48 members used the words “k*ke” and “n*gger” a total of 1357 times (note that this is a simple aggregation and ignores context or direct quotes). Likewise, a similar scan of messages shows the phrases “JQ” and “Jewish Question” are used 384 times by 103 users.”
Unicorn Riot, a nonprofit media organization, released the private chat logs from an Identity Evropa Discord server called Nice Respectable People Group and wrote an analysis of the content. By looking at how Identity Evropa describes themselves in private and the aggregate of the beliefs of the individuals, it is clear that the clean-cut appearance of the organization is only a facade serving the fascistic beliefs at their core.
The history of Identity Evropa starts with the National Youth Front, the youth wing of the American Freedom Party (a white nationalist, fascist, and third positionist party). The National Youth Front was headed by Nathan Damigo after he was released from prison for an armed robbery of someone he suspected to be Iraqi. While in prison for this robbery, Damigo read and was inspired by the writings of KKK leader David Duke among other right wing authors. Two years after taking over the National Youth Front, Damigo rebranded the organization as Identity Evropa, taking on the style of the Alt-Right in the US and the Identitarian movement in Europe.
Identity Evropa is known for taking part in the Unite the Right rally in 2017 as well as the torch march the night before, with member Peter Cvjetanovic becoming the poster child of resurgent racism. Prior to Unite the Right, they were active in Charlottesville and around the country engaging in the flyering of college campuses in an attempt to recruit along with using flash mobs for staged photos opts to increase their perceived activeness and boldness. Additionally, they have acted as a security detail for white nationalist Richard Spencer.
Despite being the rebranding of a white nationalist group, and despite being frequently seen at neo-Nazi events, Identity Evropa maintains that they are not white supremacists and works hard to combat this image.
For background, Discord is a text and voice chat application marketed towards gamers. Discord chat servers are commonplace among the far and extreme Right. Some servers are dedicated to an organization such as the Nice Respectable People Group or the Anticom server. Others are based around right wing cults of personality like Joe Rogan or South African racist Willem Petzer.
At the most extreme end, there are chats that are explicitly genocidal in nature such as Montreal Storm for fans of the neo-Nazi publication Daily Stormer and Bowl Patrol, a server for individuals who venerate the far-Right mass murderer Dylan Roof, the name being a reference to his infamous “bowl cut.”
A Focus on Presentation and Optics
Within the Identity Evropa server, admins and mods go to great lengths to keep up the air of politeness and respectability, in part to keep up the image of a clean cut group of white activists to help with public perception and their ability to recruit. These norms begin with a series of messages defining the rules for the server.
1 – Illegal Activity: Advocation of illegal activity in any way will result in immediate removal from the server. Any suggestion of violence, serious or joking, is also prohibited.
4 – National Socialism: The posting of National Socialist memes, symbols, or any other advocacy or promotion of NS ideology or associated historical figures from the Third Reich is not permitted.
12 – Vulgar Language: In order to foster a more positive culture for our people’s future, the use of crude and unbecoming language is not permitted. This includes, without limitation, excessive cursing, and any use of vulgar racial epithets.
Rules #1 and #4 serve two purposes. First, they are a move to ensure good optics in order to remain appealing to conservatives who might otherwise be turned off by explicit neo-Nazism or anti-Semitism. Second, it is a tactical decision to make it harder for Discord to shut down their server in the event of a leak by being able to claim that it was just a discussion group for European heritage and conservative views.
We also speculate that these rules are also enforced in order to get members into the habit of restricting their language to build habits that will persist when talking to potential recruits online. Members of Identity Evropa, as well as members of the larger Alt and far-Right, know that they need to “redpill normies” by not jumping straight into neo-Nazi ideology, but by easing them in to the idea through more approachable topics.
Using the established rules, the mods police the language and content of the chat server, often removing messages leaving gaps in the conversation and confused users.
Patrick Casey, previously known as Reinhard Wolff and currently known as Steven Bennett, leaders of Identity Evropa said the following in August of 2018 (emphasis added):
However, I was concerned about some of the Discord messages mentioned in the article. REMINDER: Do not post negative things about other races; do not advocate violence; do not use crude language. In short, do not say anything that, if leaked, would make us look bad.
Ironically, members often express support of free speech absolutism and even go so far as to make stickers and flyers to that effect.
However, these rules are often broken (sometimes by the mods themselves), and when they are not, it’s apparent that the Discord members’ views and languages are being straightjacketed either through moderation or through self-censorship to avoid being chastised.
Another example of trying to skirt legal issues (and create what they erroneously think is plausible deniability around their violent beliefs) is their use of the “in Minecraft” phrasing where they use the claim that any calls for violence were only meant to be taken in the context of a video game.
The way this last message is appended gives the sense that the phrases “lawfully,” “peacefully,” and “in Minecraft” are all used interchangeably and equally cavalierly. This language has also been used by Patrick Casey.
However, for the care they take to appear like a group of respectable advocates for white America, most members of the group seems to understand that their image is a charade. They only care how they are perceived because of how that perception is a tool that allows them to spread their racist views.
A quick scan of the server for neo-Nazi phrases and topics immediately gives a hint at the shared beliefs of Identity Evropa’s members. If we look at all 889 members of Nice Respectable People Group and look at all of their post across servers that had previously been leaked, 48 members used the words “k*ke” and “n*gger” a total of 1357 times (note that this is a simple aggregation and ignores context or direct quotes). Likewise, a similar scan of messages shows the phrases “JQ” and “Jewish Question” are used 384 times by 103 users.
There is significant cross-pollination of members of Identity Evropa with explicitly neo-Nazi groups. Members of Nice Respectable People Group who were found in other Discord Servers appeared in Nationalist Review, Vibrant Diversity, and Anticom among others.
Looking at the display names chosen by members of Nice Respectable People Group, there are many references to neo-Nazism in varying forms. Each of the users listed below had over 200 messages in Nice Respectable People Group:
- Wotan Klan-GA, a reference both to Wotanism, a religious outlook common among neo-Nazis, and a reference the Ku Klux Klan
- The Soy Goy, in reference to the habit of anti-Semites referring to themselves as “goys” (short for goyim, the term for non-Jewish people)
- Volkmom, a reference to the German populist Völkisch movement
- Asatru Artist – MD, another reference to Wotanism
- DeusVolk, a reference to the phrase “Deus vult” (“God wills it”) which is associated with the Crusades and became a rallying cry for the far right, and “volk” another reference to the Völkisch movement
- YesPasaran, a reference to the victory of the Spanish fascist Francisco Franco in defiance of his opponents who used the phrase “¡No Pasarán!” (“You shall not pass”) while defending Madrid (note that this user changed their display name to “Roland”)
- Goldendawn, the name of the Greek neo-fascist and ultra-nationalist political party Golden Dawn
In Nice Respectable People Group, the practice of surrounding Jewish names and groups with triple parentheses (known as ‘echoes‘) appeared in 390 messages from 122 users. There are only 889 users active in the group, which means that from this data point alone, at an absolute minimum 14% are explicit anti-Semites. Identity Evropa eventually banned usage of using the triple parentheses, presumably in an attempt to clean up their image.
Regardless of what the official stance of Identity Evropa actually is, the members certainly believe it to be neo-Nazi based off their conversations and who they see as being allies to the cause. A common topic discussion is who is or is not “our guy” where members debate it someone’s views are close enough to Identity Evropa’s. The “our guy” meme originated on 4chan and often is used to determine if someone is a member of the alt-right.
The group often explicitly talks of creating a white America through two means. First, they suggest the balkanization of the land within present day US borders by dividing the land among racial boundaries. Second, they propose “reclaiming” the land within the US borders by expelling minorities either through use of rule of law or by encouraging what they call “repatriation” to return diaspora to their ancestral homelands.
Some members are proponents of accelerationism, the idea that in order to achieve their goals, things must first get bad enough to galvanize moderate whites onto their side. The end goal of these accelerationist beliefs range from getting white nationalists elected to enact pro-white policy to clearing the US of non-whites and create an ethnostate.
One particularly alarming note about the members of Identity Evropa is how much their calls for acceleration toward a societal collapse sound like the rhetoric of violent neo-Nazi paramilitary groups like Atomwaffen Division, who are responsible for murders and have members convicted of possessing explosives, and The Base.
This violent behavior doesn’t exist solely online. In October of 2017, Taylor Wilson was arrested on terrorism charges for allegedly attempting to derail an Amtrak train. Wilson was a card carrying member of the neo-Nazi political party the National Socialist Movement (NSM).
Several months before this incident at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Wilson was seen carrying an Identity Evropa flag and standing next to James Alex Fields Jr. who later that day went on to murder Heather Heyer. Identity Evropa denies that Wilson was ever a member, and though this may be the case, Wilson felt that Identity Evropa’s views were close enough to his undeniably neo-Nazi views to justify holding their flag and marching with them.
“Wilson isn’t the only NSM connection to Identity Evropa. Joshua Bates was a member of both the NSM and Identity Evropa as well as The Base.”
Wilson isn’t the only NSM connection to Identity Evropa. Joshua Bates was a member of both the NSM and Identity Evropa as well as The Base. Bates renounced the white nationalist movement after being exposed as a member of The Base by Atlanta Antifascists.
Beyond that, Identity Evropa member James Allsup, who co-hosted the Nationalist Review with Nick Fuentes, has expressed support for the members of the openly neo-Nazi street fighting gang the Rise Above Movement (RAM) whose members were indicted for rioting and conspiracy to riot.
Another common topic in the Identity Evropa chat server is white genocide, another neo-Nazi talking point. The group discusses supposed anti-white biases in the world ranging from hiring practices to claiming anti-whiteness is both a Democrat and Jewish conspiracy.
The beliefs held by individuals in the group as well as the outlook and policies of the group itself are enough to classify them as racist, anti-feminist, transphobic, homophobic, and nationalist, but their strong stance that Jews aren’t white and have no place in their movement shows that beyond any doubt, Identity Evropa is a neo-Nazi group.
Identity Evropa was known before to antifascists and antiracists, and many have known what they truly are since their inception. This article hopes to help bring clarity to the exact beliefs behind the organization. Knowing exactly what their members think and what they see as the goal for their movement will help us combat their rhetoric and disrupt their actions.
It is crucial to fight fascism and the extreme right’s hate by preventing their views from spreading. This can be as simple as learning to spot their stickers and flyers so they can be quickly torn down, or it can be more complicated like preventing their views from creeping into mainstream discussion.
Failing to deplatform Identity Evropa helps the neo-Nazis spread their ideas, and puts members of our community at risk for violence. After their leader was interviewed by the Today Show, he went on to brag about how it helped their cause.
Further, we must not forget that the fight against white supremacy and fascism is not limited to extremist and paramilitary groups. Just today, The Nation reported on how the US government tracks protests against inhumane immigration. Just days after Identity Evropa did a banner drop in Fort Tryon Park in New York the summer of 2018, congressman Adriano Espaillat organized a rally titled “Uptown Standing Together Against Racism and Xenophobia.” This rally, while quite liberal, was being tracked by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). There is a smooth transition from what is believed to be “the extreme right” and the US government. To fight against white supremacy, one must also fight against the State.
Perhaps as a result of being so thoroughly exposed, their movement will no longer be able to maintain their respectable guise and they will fold only to become something new. Perhaps some of the members will be driven from the movement. The rest may try to reform under new banners and new names, and the struggle against white supremacy and racial hatred will continue.
For now, we are happy to disrupted their abilities to cultivate an approachable image and effectively organize. No matter what happens in the coming days, we look forward to reading others’ research and actions as we work in solidarity against fascism and Nazism.