A presidential election that has been both stranger than usual and more violent than usual threatens to turn deadly. Last weekend, The Daily Beast reported that the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) got a permit for a rally in support of Donald Trump, a rally later joined by the Golden State Skinheads.
The TWP is dedicated to setting the U.S. aside as an enclave for white people “free from economic exploitation, federal tyranny, and anti-Christian degeneracy.” TWP’s Chairman, Matthew Heimbach, has a talent for publicity, demonstrated when he showed up at a 2013 Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) event to promote racial tolerance dressed in the Confederate Stars and Bars and prepared to speak about the disenfranchisement of white people.
Heimbach first made news in this election cycle when he was caught on video attacking a female Black Lives Matter protester at a Trump rally. That incident on March 1 in Louisville, Kentucky, is the subject of a lawsuit naming Heimbach and Trump as defendants. CNN reported that Trump has filed a motion to dismiss but Heimbach has not yet answered.
The June 26 rally in Sacramento was billed as pro-white and pro-Trump, but the Sacramento GOP completely disassociated itself from the TWP, telling the Beast it is “nothing but a hate group.”
The TWP and the Golden State Skinheads together were able to muster a “crowd” of about 30 at the California capitol building, and found themselves outnumbered by self-described anti-fascist counter-protesters whose numbers were estimated between 200 and 300.
Violence flared immediately, before police were able to get between the groups. Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Chris Harvey told CNN that 10 people were stabbed or slashed, nine men and one woman between the ages of 19 and 58. Harvey said two sustained “critical” stab wounds and one of the others refused treatment.
No arrests were made. Sacramento Police Officer Matt McPhail said that a loaded firearm was recovered from the area where the fighting took place, but police have not as yet identified the owner. One counter-protestor, Chandra Zafra, 50, of a nonprofit organization called Mexica Movement, told The Los Angeles Times, “It was a war zone.”
After the fight was over, TWP spokesman Matt Parrott told McClatchy that TWP will be sending approximately 30 members to Cleveland to “make sure that the Donald Trump supporters are defended from the leftist thugs."
Chairman Heimbach, who was not present at the rally, told CNN later that TWP demonstrators came armed with knives having blades “within the California legal limit” because they had been subjected to threats on social media.
Ryan Lenz, online editor for the Southern Poverty Law Center, described Heimbach as “the rising face of white supremacy.” Lenz also told The Los Angeles Times that calling the TWP “neo-Nazi” is incorrect, because the Nazis advocated genocide of everyone not Aryan and the TWP merely advocates separation. What the white nationalists have in common, Lenz told the Times, is that they have been energized by a political figure willing to fight for them: Trump.
The Trump campaign has been relatively silent on the matter, but there is no doubt that Trump has been the unanimous candidate of white supremacist organizations that have expressed a preference. Fortunepublished an article that noted numerous re-tweets from Trump of obvious white supremacy propaganda, including a couple from @WhiteGenocideTM.
Andrew Anglin, editor of the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer, told Fortune that Trump is “giving us the old wink-wink.” The Fortune article went on to analyze the online ties between the white supremacist movement and Trump, and the number of connections appeared to be a bit more than “wink-wink.”
Buzzfeed reported that former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke told his radio audience failure to support Trump “is really treason to your heritage.”
Several threads on Stormfront, the white supremacist platform on the World Wide Web frequented by the South Carolina church shooter, Dylann Roof, are devoted to Trump support and admiration.
After the Sacramento stabbings, Matthew Heimbach gave an interview to former Klansman Don Black on Stormfront Radio.
Later, he talked to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch about the meaning of the Trump campaign and TWP’s intent to attend the Republican Convention in Cleveland.
William Daniel Johnson is the Chair of the American Freedom Party and is supporting Trump in spite of the fact that AFP is running their own candidate under the slogan, “Diversity is a Codeword for Genocide.”
Johnson, a practicing attorney in California, is also supporting a constitutional amendment that he wrote under the nom de plume James O. Pace:
No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race, in whom there is no ascertainable trace of Negro blood, nor more than one-eighth Mongolian, Asian, Asia Minor, Middle Eastern, Semitic, Near Eastern, American Indian, Malay or other non-European or non-white blood, provided that Hispanic whites, defined as anyone with an Hispanic ancestor, may be citizens if, in addition to meeting the aforesaid ascertainable trace and percentage tests, they are in appearance indistinguishable from Americans whose ancestral home is in the British Isles or Northwestern Europe. Only citizens shall have the right and privilege to reside permanently in the United States.
That would appear to allow or require deportation of American Indians, but deportation is normally to “country of origin,” and we are in our country of origin.
Johnson AKA Pace was briefly a delegate chosen by the Trump campaign to run in the Republican Primary, but after the choice was reported by Mother Jones, the Trump campaign withdrew its support for Johnson/Pace and blamed it on “a database error.” The former delegate maintains his support for Trump.
Related to the white supremacist organizations supporting Trump, Foreign Policy reported Global Journalist Security, an organization that offers training to reporters deploying to war zones, offered a course called “Put the Boot in Campaign Boot Camp.”
The war zones the course was training for were Cleveland and Philadelphia, site of the Republican and Democratic conventions, respectively. Most focus appeared to be on Cleveland, where a federal judge just ruled a 3.3-mile no-protest zone to be unconstitutional.
It’s hard to know how many violent white supremacists will actually show up in Cleveland. The GOP establishment doesn’t want their “help” but the organizations in question are not accustomed to asking for permission.