Nationalist Front (United States)

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Nationalist Front is a loose coalition of United States-based neo-Nazi, neo-fascist, white nationalist/white supremacist, Southern Nationalist/neo-Confederate, and alt-right groups.[1]

History and activities[edit]

Conceived by the leaders of the neo-Nazi groups National Socialist Movement (NSM) and Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), the coalition was formed in 2016. Its aim was to unite white supremacist and white nationalist groups under a common umbrella. Originally the group was named the Aryan Nationalist Alliance and was composed of neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and White power skinhead organizations, the logo of the group was two hands joined together with the Celtic Cross in the background and multiple Wolfsangels in the circle.[2][3] The coalition later rebranded itself as the Nationalist Front with a logo that had the group initials "NF" inside a white background with a black circle with stars and the slogan "Iunctus Stamus" (United We Stand) it would also be later joined by the neo-Confederate League of the South, the neo-Nazi/alt-right Vanguard America and four other groups such as the Aryan Strikeforce.[4][5]

The ideology of the Nationalist Front centers on a desire for a white ethnostate. The groups participated in the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.[6] Earlier in the year, it organized the white supremacist rally in Pikeville, Kentucky which attracted 100 to 125 supporters.[7] The coalition and its member groups, are considered Extremist organizations.[8]

White Lives Matter[edit]

White Lives Matter is phrase and organization that began in 2015 by white supremacists in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, which was established to "protest against police brutality against African-Americans and garnered considerable publicity in 2014 for protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer."[9] The Aryan Renaissance Society, a white supremacist organization, and other related racist groups, began to promote the use of the phrase since 2015. Within a year, the term was used by the Ku Klux Klan.[9] In August 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center added "White Lives Matter" to its list of hate groups[10][11] and considers it a Neo Nazi group.[12]

The "White Lives Matter" slogan was chanted by alt-right protesters during the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. On October 28, 2017, numerous 'White Lives Matter' rallies broke out in Tennessee. Dominated in Shelbyville particularly, protesters justified their movement in response to the increasing number of immigrants and refugees to Middle Tennessee.[13]

The group has also been active in the United Kingdom.[14] On 22 May 2020, as players, with "Black Lives Matter" printed on their shirts in place of their names, were taking the knee before kick off to a Burnley F.C. away match to Manchester City, a plane flew over the Etihad Stadium carrying the banner "White Lives Matter Burnley".[15]

In June, a "White Lives Matter" slogan was etched into a park hillside in Bedworth, England. Police, who were treating it as racially-aggravated criminal damage and a hate crime, were aware of footage on social media appearing to show someone in clothing "resembling a Ku Klux Klan outfit" at the same site.[16]

White Lives Matter rally[edit]

The Nationalist Front was a key organizer of the "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee on October 28, 2017.[17][18] Participating groups included: National Socialist Movement (NSM), Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), League of the South, Vanguard America, The Right Stuff, and Anti-Communist Action.[17][19] It was a key rally since the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia (August 11 and 12, 2017). The rally were said by group leaders' to address "ongoing problem of refugee resettlement in Middle Tennessee," failure to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico, removal of Sudan from the list of countries in the Trump travel ban, fight against the DREAM Act, as well as the Burnette Chapel shooting by Sudanese native Emmanuel Sampson.[18]

The Shelbyville rally took place as scheduled, with about 100 "White Lives Matter" supporters and about 200 counter-protestors. The afternoon event in Murfreesboro was cancelled by the organizers; the authorities estimated that 800 to 1000 people took part in the anti-racist march and counter-protest.[20] In addition, local community and faith activists organized an off-site rally under the moniker of "Murfreesboro Loves". Hundreds participated in the event in support of refugees and minorities.[21]

After the rally, a group of 20 to 30 Neo Nazis attendees, harassed an interracial couple at a restaurant in Brentwood, Tennessee, about 50 miles from the event. The couple was a black man and a white woman, who was asked to leave the man and join them. She tried to de-escalate the situation, but was pushed up against glass and hit in the face.[22]

Criticism[edit]

Matt Meyer, co-chair of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, writes that "White Lives Matter" is offensive to people in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) because it "misses the entire point of the BLM movement, which seeks to have equal treatment across ethnic groups of people and put an end to systematic racism. It is not seeking to have more rights than others. It is also considered offensive. "Reactionary cries that 'White Lives Matter!' or even 'All Lives Matter!' demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of what BLM is working for and fighting against."[15] Throughout the history of the United States — including the Middle Passage slave trade, Manifest destiny, the Reconstruction era, and into the modern era — White Lives Matter Most.[23]

Membership[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "America's dark underbelly: I watched the rise of white nationalism | World news | The Guardian". 2019-03-04. Archived from the original on 2019-03-04. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  2. ^ "Meet the Aryan Nationalist Alliance - A Racist Hodepodge Doomed To Fail" Southern Poverty Law Center.
  3. ^ "National Socialist Movement/Nationalist Front Anti-Defamation League
  4. ^ Staff (August 8, 2017) "Nationalist Front Limps in 2016" Southern Poverty Law Center
  5. ^ Allison, Natalie (October 25, 2017) "4 extremist groups that will be part of weekend's White Lives Matter rallies", USA Today
  6. ^ Smith IV, Jacck (October 11, 2017) "White nationalist alliance plans 'White Lives Matter' rally for Tennessee" Mic.com
  7. ^ Staff (October 24, 2017) "White Supremacist Nationalist Front Plans Rallies in Tennessee", Anti-Defamation League blog
  8. ^ Allison, Natalie. "White Lives Matter rally: Who are the groups involved, and what do they believe?". Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "White Lives Matter". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  10. ^ Stack, Liam (August 30, 2016). "White Lives Matter Has Been Declared a Hate Group". The New York Times. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  11. ^ Mettler, Katie (August 31, 2016). "Why SPLC says White Lives Matter is a hate group but Black Lives Matter is not". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  12. ^ "White Lives Matter". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  13. ^ Stanglin and Ingersoll, Doug and Stephanie (October 28, 2017). "'White Lives Matter' rallies: Opponents outnumber white nationalists at Tennessee shout fests". USA Today. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  14. ^ "First UK 'White Lives Matter' Margate March Sees Tiny Turnout #WLM". HuffPost. October 22, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Kelly, Ryan (June 24, 2020). "Explained: Why 'White Lives Matter' and 'All Lives Matter' misses the point of Black Lives Matter". Goal.com. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  16. ^ "'White Lives Matter' slogan put on Bedworth park hillside". BBC. 29 June 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  17. ^ a b Timms, Mariah and Allison, Natalie (October 27, 2017) "White Lives Matter Murfreesboro rally: What we know now", The Tennessean
  18. ^ a b "White Supremacist Nationalist Front Plans Rallies in Tennessee". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  19. ^ Staff (October 24, 2017) "The far right returns to middle Tennessee", Hatewatch
  20. ^ Lowery, Wesley (October 28, 2017) "‘White Lives Matter’ organizers cancel second rally after taunts from counterprotesters", The Washington Post
  21. ^ Junewicz, Nikki (October 29, 2017) "'Murfreesboro Loves' protests white nationalism from a distance", Fox17.com
  22. ^ "Neo-Nazis beat up an interracial couple after a White Lives Matter rally". October 30, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  23. ^ Meyer, Matt (2018-10-01). White Lives Matter Most: And Other "Little" White Lies. PM Press. pp. PT19. ISBN 978-1-62963-583-5.
  24. ^ "League of the South secedes from the Nationalist Front". August 22, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2018.

External links[edit]