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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Conservative Campus Organizations Struggling With Swarms of White Nationalists

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Since early October, members and supporters of the white nationalist movement in the United States have organized and swarmed events hosted by GOP-aligned institutions that seek to engage young people on college campuses, including Young America’s Foundation, The Daily Wire, and Turning Point USA. Organizers of the disruptions have a handful of additional stunts planned for the next few weeks.

Leading the action is anti-Semitic and racist podcaster Nicholas Fuentes, who frequently denies being a white nationalist, a term he admits may be “descriptive,” but is widely unpopular. Fuentes attended the 2017 Unite the Right gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist drove a vehicle into a crowd and murdered a counterdemonstrator. His supporters have dubbed themselves the “Groyper Army,” referring to a two-year-old meme meant to depict a more racist version of the “Pepe the Frog” character hijacked by the alt-right a few years ago.

Fuentes has long antagonized Turning Point USA—he notably threw a tantrum after attempting to speak to a Turning Point USA chapter at Iowa State University earlier this year—and tensions flared after Right Wing Watch first reported that Turning Point USA severed ties with a brand ambassador who had posed for photographs with Fuentes and other far-right political entertainers.

The current wave of real-life disruptions began, according to the blog Angry White Men, on Oct. 27 at the Politicon conference in Nashville, Tennessee, where event staff blocked Fuentes from entering an event where Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk was scheduled to deliver a speech. Assisting in the propaganda push since then has been disgraced former Daily Caller editor Scott Greer, YouTube entertainer Vincent James Foxx, Identity Evropa leader Patrick Casey, and Infowars employee Jacob Lloyd. Racist blogs including The Daily Stormer, Occidental Dissent, and American Renaissance have also published articles supportive of Fuentes supporters’ antics. The string of stunts has been defended by national-level pundits including far-right columnists Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, who was fired as a YAF speaker after she publicly backed the far-right disruptors.

White nationalists have historically targeted what they perceive to be fertile recruiting ground in campus youth organizations, and the current responses from institutional Republican groups are a reminder of why that is. For years, the GOP’s willingness to associate with bigots and racists has been noticed and seized upon by white nationalist groups, including Identity Evropa (rebranded as American Identity Movement), and by white nationalist propagandists, including James Allsup. Members of Identity Evropa have planned to recruit from Turning Point USA chapters since at least 2018, according to leaked chat logs published by Unicorn Riot.

As Vox’s Jane Coaston reported, the white nationalists targeting the campus organizations believe groups like YAF and TPUSA “need to be confronted because they are shutting down ‘socially conservative Christians and supporters of President Trumps agenda’ and promoting ‘degeneracy’ by having gay speakers.” Their strategy has been to overwhelm lines for the question-and-answer portions of college talks by more establishment figures such as Kirk and Shapiro with far-right supporters who use the opportunity to deploy far-right talking points and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in the form of questions to the speakers.

The strategy exploits two long-established accusations hurled by self-described campus conservatives: that the political left wants to silence those who advance ideas that speak too much truth to power, and that the prevalence of white nationalism in America is an overblown myth. When speakers at events hosted by groups like Turning Point USA have rejected questions posed by the far-right event crashers, the questioner uses the first talking point to establish themselves as a “truer” conservative. If the establishment speaker denounces white supremacism and anti-Semitism in answer to a far-right questioner, the disruptors claim the speakers are taking cues from the political left in order to dodge legitimate questions. Under this pressure, the conservative establishment falls to the very game it designed, and white nationalist organizers can siphon impressionable young people out of more establishment-aligned groups and into the hate movement.

At the peak of the push to confront campus conservative groups, the president’s adult son Donald Trump Jr. was heckled off stage at a Turning Point USA event at the University of California, Los Angeles, by white nationalists who were told the event would not include a question-and-answer session. Kimberly Guilfoyle, attending as Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, shouted at the disruptors that they probably needed online dating to meet people “because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.” Kirk was targeted on multiple occasions and at the University of Houston he unveiled a television from beneath a cloth and played a video of Fuentes that he apparently believed would cause Fuentes’ fans to distance themselves from him. Instead, Kirk was chased off campus by the chanting crowd.

Online, conservative personalities have surfaced clips of Fuentes’ podcast, including moments where Fuentes appears to promote Holocaust denial, voice support for Jim Crow laws, and explode in an anti-Semitic rant against The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh. Sebastian Gorka, who served as deputy assistant to the president for seven months in the Trump administration, spent part of a radio show in late October railing against Fuentes and his supporters, and he questioned how Fuentes was able to maintain a verified Twitter account. The rant was delivered without a hint of irony, despite the fact that Gorka was pushed from his White House post in a controversy over his membership in a far-right Hungarian group with World War II links to the Nazis.

Although Fuentes’ online viewership numbers are up for the time being, there is little indication that Fuentes’ campaign had garnered him the seat at the table he craved beyond pockets of the right that already supported him, or among conservatives who have been disgraced in the movement. Fuentes and his allies have succeeded in making noise and embarrassing major conservative youth organizations, but the end result seems counter-productive to Fuentes’ long-sought desire for credibility in the broader right-wing movement.

But even if through such disruption Fuentes only managed to further isolate himself in the broader right, the white nationalist movement availed itself an opportunity to scrape impressionable youth into its ranks, despite being unable to fully rehab its public image after the 2017 melee in Charlottesville. With blood on its hands, the “alt-right” was denounced by prominent Republicans, the media personalities affiliated with the movement were cast out, and the foot soldiers of the movement were identified, named, and shamed. The white nationalist movement splintered after Unite the Right, and ever since then, movement leaders have been throwing ideas at the wall and hoping something stuck.

It remains to be seen if this idea will stick.

Photo: TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk interviews President Donald Trump

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Why Have the Laws Written Down at All?’: Conservative Republican Complains About SCOTUS LGBTQ Civil Rights Ruling

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Republican Sen. Josh Hawley​ of Missouri questioned the efficacy of the religious-right movement after the Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination—a ruling authored by President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Hawley was far from alone with his disdain for the ruling. Anti-LGBTQ groups and outlets expressed alarm​. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins wrote in a blog post Wednesday​, “Suddenly, we fear for our kids’ classrooms, our sons and daughters in the military, the future of adoption and competition, and the vanishing hopes of any Christian to run a business or ministry without being sued.”

On Tuesday, Perkins hosted Hawley on his radio show “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” after Hawley gave a speech on the Senate floor calling the Supreme Court’s ruling a “piece of legislation” and “seismic.” Politico reported that Hawley declared that the ruling “represents the end of the conservative legal movement.” He echoed those sentiments during his interview with Perkins.

“For religious conservatives, people of faith, who have labored here in the vineyard so to speak, I think that this result—it really is going to cause people to question: What is it we have been doing? What is it that we have been working toward if this is always the result at the end of the day? We have got to do better than this,” Howley said.

Howley said that he was ultimately hopeful that religious conservatives “of all backgrounds” would be motivated to demonstrate leadership after the ruling.

“That would be a good thing for this movement, for the country,” Hawley said.

Perkins jumped in to insist that he and Hawley were not seeking Supreme Court justices who would “legislate from the bench” in a way that fulfilled their political desires, but rather ​they sought justices who would adhere to the U.S. Constitution and “the true meaning of words.”

“There’s almost no point in writing down the laws. We might as well just let the justices just tell us what they think should be the right policy in any given case,” Hawley said​ sarcastically. “Why have the laws written down at all if the words are not going to hold the meaning they had at the time?”

 

This article was first published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission. 

Image by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs via Flickr and a CC license
DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Christian Right Activist at Trump’s HHS Finalizes Move Rolling Back ‘Unnecessary’ Transgender Healthcare Protections

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The Trump administration just moved to roll back hard-fought Obama-era healthcare non-discrimination protections for transgender people, just as coronavirus cases are surging in at least 21 states. The timing, too, is notable. While the President does not recognize LGBTQ Pride the move comes in the middle of the month devoted to celebrating and honoring the community, and exactly on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre.

The Wall Street Journal reports the new rule will take effect in 60 days, ending “a policy that expanded an antidiscrimination provision in the ACA to cover bias against” transgender people.

The move comes from the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which is headed by far right wing religious extremist Roger Severino (photo).

OCR calls the protections for transgender people “overbroad” and “massive and unnecessary regulatory burdens that had been eventually passed on to patients and consumers,” while suggesting they are not “substantive.”

“This continues the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back protections in health care for LGBT people,” Bloomberg Law reports. “The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights sees preserving ‘religious freedom’ as essential to making sure health-care professionals don’t get penalized for the actions they do or don’t do in their jobs because of their moral beliefs.”

Severino is responsible for many of the administration’s most anti-LGBTQ polices.

Last year, in defending his new anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” regulation, Severino told reporters, “Patients want doctors who match their values.”

Developing…

Related:

Christian Right Activist Heading Civil Rights Office at HHS Moves Closer to Killing Protections for LGBTQ Patients

HHS Being Sued Over Policy Giving Special Religious Rights to Healthcare Professionals Over LGBT People and Women

Trump Creates New ‘Conscience and Religious Freedom Division’ at HHS to Support Discrimination by Health Care Professionals

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Trump Appointee Says US Is in the Grips of a ‘Homo-Empire’ Pushing a ‘Tyrannical LGBT Agenda’

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This story was originally published by ProPublica.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

A new Trump appointee to the United States’ foreign aid agency has a history of online posts denouncing liberal democracy and has said that the country is in the clutches of a “homo-empire” that pushes a “tyrannical LGBT agenda.”

In one post, Merritt Corrigan, who recently took up a position as deputy White House liaison at the U.S. Agency for International Development, wrote: “Liberal democracy is little more than a front for the war being waged against us by those who fundamentally despise not only our way of life, but life itself.”

Corrigan’s new position in the Trump administration, confirmed by two officials, has not been previously reported.

Corrigan previously worked for the Hungarian Embassy in the United States and tweeted that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is “the shining champion of Western civilization,” Politico reported last year. An embassy spokesman, Béla Gedeon, said Corrigan left her position there in mid-April.

Orban, a far-right politician, has cracked down on civil society, academic freedom and other liberties. USAID has recently partnered with Hungary to help Christians in Iraq, a pairing that some career USAID officials said they found unsettling.

Asked about Corrigan’s writing, acting USAID spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala said the agency has a “zero-tolerance policy of any form of discrimination or harassment based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other possible distinguishing characteristic that can define any of us.”

“All employees are held to the highest of standards and are expected to treat one another with dignity and respect. Period,” she said. “This includes political appointees, civil servants, foreign service officers and contractors.”

Corrigan did not respond to emails asking about her past comments.

Politico reported last year that Corrigan wrote on her Twitter account that “our homo-empire couldn’t tolerate even one commercial enterprise not in full submission to the tyrannical LGBT agenda.” Corrigan’s Twitter account is now private.

In October, Corrigan wrote an op-ed in The Conservative Woman, a London publication, decrying “the false song of feminism” and calling for women to take up traditional roles of mother, wife and homemaker.

“A woman today is expected by society to come to marriage and motherhood in physical and spiritual decline, if ever,” she wrote. “This is the life women have been offered by those who would rather us toil away as isolated economic units for faceless corporations, far from the natural pleasures of the domestic, far from the guardianship of a loving husband, and far from the life-giving experience of motherhood.”

Corrigan’s biography on the website described her as a “conservative political strategist.” She was on the payroll of the Republican National Committee between 2016 and 2018, according to campaign finance records.

Her stated positions put her directly at odds with the stated goals of her new employer. USAID uses a “liberal democracy index” as one of its metrics in deciding whether a country is self-reliant, and it has an entire office dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The agency’s website says it is working for a world in which LGBT people are “respected and able to live with dignity, free from discrimination, persecution, and violence.”

Beirne Roose-Snyder, director of public policy at the Center for Health and Gender Equity, said, “An appointee who eschews gender equality, meaningful democracy and LGBTI rights cannot possibly fulfill the mission of USAID.”

Corrigan’s appointment is the latest example of the Trump administration bringing in officials to USAID whose stated views put them at odds with the agenda the agency says it promotes.

USAID’s new deputy chief of staff, Bethany Kozma, was previously an anti-transgender activist who wrote in 2016 that transgender girls are boys “claiming gender confusion.” Kozma was formerly a senior adviser for women’s empowerment at the agency.

And last week, The Washington Post reported that a Tea Party activist with a history of making and sharing anti-Islamic comments on his personal social media profiles would be the agency’s new religious freedom adviser. News of the appointment sparked criticism from Muslim groups in the U.S. and the Anti-Defamation League.

 

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