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In the wake of March 4-5 confrontations between white nationalists and anti-fascists at Michigan State University, National Policy Institute leader Richard Spencer is seriously re-thinking campus recruitment strategies –  bemoaning that such speaking events are not “fun” anymore and dropping litigation to open up college speaking platforms, such as a lawsuit against Ohio State University. Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas leader Kyle Bristow resigned and the group dropped off social media. And the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) imploded in the face of domestic violence charges brought against TWP mini-fuhrer Matthew Heimbach.

However, white nationalists continue to target college campuses for recruitment – particularly through the less confrontational tactic of posting flyers. In mid-March the Patriot Front distributed flyers at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette declaring that the United States was “conquered, not stolen.” March also saw the group post flyers at Hartford Community College in Maryland; Salt Lake Community College in Utah; Salem State University in Massachusetts; and near Tacoma Community College in Washington State.

The Patriot Front kept up off-campus efforts as well, distributing flyers in Wauconda and Mundelein, Illinois. The flyers declared “Keep America American” and encouraged people to report undocumented immigrants to authorities. The group engaged in a March 24 demonstration near the Texas state capitol building in Austin and distributed posters in Wakefield, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Seattle, Washington; Plattsburgh, New York; Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. The group dropped a banner off of an overpass in Dallas, Texas.

With 1803 followers on its Gab account, the Patriot Front is a self-professed fascist organization that espouses anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and anti-Muslim bigotry and holds that “An African may have lived, worked, and even been classed as a citizen in America for centuries, yet he is not American.”

The white nationalist Identity Evropa also continued targeting college campuses. In March the group distributed flyers at Rutgers University – New Brunswick.  University spokesman Neal Buccino issued a statement that Rutgers – New Brunswick “condemns all forms of bias, which have no place in our society or on our campus.” This month the group also posted flyers at Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma; the University of Minnesota in Duluth; the University of California at San Diego; County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey; Arizona State University – West in Glendale; Arizona State University – Tempe; MiraCosta College in Oceanside, California; Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana; California State University, Fullerton; the University of Texas in Austin; the University of California, Davis; Northern Illinois University in Dekalb; Florida State University in Tallahassee; Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge; Oklahoma City Community College; New York University; the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond; the University of Alaska, Anchorage; San Diego City College in California; the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton; Palomar College in San Marcos, California; the University of Oklahoma in Norman; San Diego State University; and the University of Washington – Tacoma.

Identity Evropa Flyers Posted at the University of Washington-Tacoma Campus

In February the group distributed flyers at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington; Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington; and the University of Wyoming in Laramie, among other campuses.

Unlike many white nationalist groups, Identity Evropa produces little in the way of original writing, instead posting material from the likes of anti-Semite Kevin McDonald, Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute and American Renaissance leader Jared Taylor. In February Identity Evropa leader Patrick Casey and other group members attempted to recruit at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland. The group has 28,988 followers and 1291 likes on Twitter as of this writing.

Identity Evropa Leader Patrick Casey (right) at 2018 CPAC

Between September 2017 and late January 2018, Identity Evropa was involved in 158 of 346 campus-related recruitment efforts recorded by the Anti-Defamation League. The Patriot Front and Vanguard America (which helped birth the Patriot Front) ranked second with 46 incidents each.

In late February, in response to Identity Evropa flyers distributed at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, Students Against White Supremacy released a prescient statement:

“We as students would like to acknowledge that the land that we use as our campus, is occupied land, taken from Indigenous tribes. In this way, we contend with our settler colonial position and honor the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Pueblo, Kiowa, Shoshone, and Navajo Nations…Through the exposure of white supremacy in campus culture, our campaign will utilize the power of student voices and action united in non-hierarchical coalitions to liberate our campus from white supremacy…Overt white supremacist actions are commonly treated as an aberration instead of what they really are: symptoms of a larger systemic disease…To assume that this is some sort of accident is to ignore the sociohistorical and political forces that have created the space we call ‘campus.’ Hate Crime Scholar Barbara Perry asserts that hate crimes are not aberrant behavior but are a tool used to maintain power in a racialized, gendered and heteronormative social hierarchy.”

Chuck Tanner

Author Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner is an Advisory Board member and researcher for the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. He lives in Washington State where he researches and works to counter white nationalism and the anti-Indian and other far right social movements.

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