So one day the internet is abuzz. A college student at Towson University started a “White Student Union.” In the Obama era, when Attorney General Eric Holder called Americans “cowards” that wouldn’t “talk about race.” Finally, we thought, let’s have a real conversation about race. If we’re going to be “racialized as white” then damn right – we’re going to talk about “what it means to be white in America.” Certainly, they never tire of us telling us “what it means to be white in America.”
Matt Heimbach and his friend scored a Youtube video of them asking some pointed questions about race at a college “diversity” session. Heimbach’s “White Student Union” had a dozen articles in the mainstream media, and Heimbach came across, for the most part, as a normal seeming person. The opposite of the Hollywood version of a “racist white supremacist.”
Heimbach even got Jared Taylor to give a speech and answer questions. It was a farce – Taylor, always the gentlemen, spoke calmly before a hostile audience of a few dozen booing black students trucked in from a “Black College” nearby. You could tell trouble was coming if you paid attention to Heimbach’s face during the event. In what was an obviously cringe-worthy and uncomfortable situation, Heimbach was positively gleaming. In hindsight it sure looks like duper’s delight.
Then, as soon as he got the endorsement of Jared Taylor – and Richard Cohen’s of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who declared him the “Future of White Nationalism,” Heimbach announced he would be holding “Safety Patrols” on the Towson campus. Heimbach presented himself and his “White Student Union” as being available to walk women to their cars at night and would being doing “patrols” to look for “crime.”
Then the TV cameras would show up, do an interview with Heimbach and his friend – the only two people on the “Safety Patrol” – then interview a Towson student to talk about how they didn’t like Heimbach or his club and thought they were bad. Then the TV would show B-roll of Heimbach and his friend literally just walking around the corner with some voice overs of weird stuff about race.
Heimbach doubled down. He invited the ABC News crew into him home, to follow him around and film him doing every day things that “white nationalists” do. Heimbach would lace up his “skinhead boots” and his friend would put on weird looking “subculture” type clothing, then the cameras would follow them to the back yard and film them shooting guns.
The whole thing, of course, was cringe. Heimbach and his new partner, Matt Parrott, would immediately go online and defend their media presentations, saying that ABC had edited them to make them look bad. But they would just get more and more ridiculous, creating web sites full of weird “ideology,” changing their religions ever year, latching on to any various online “movements” that would come and go, and travel around the country doing “activism.”
Of course you knew the costumes were coming next. Costumes, complete with armbands. Armbands – you know, like Nazis. You can’t buy armbands at the regular store. No, Matt Heimbach had their armbands custom made.
They would go to a college campus, scrawl some slogan with chalk on the sidewalk – all with the cameras filming and broadcasting their “white activism” – and they would film themselves, accosting random strangers, standing on the street corner chanting slogans, and one time heckling some third-rate “Civil Rights” event while the Black people silently looked on, “with quiet dignity” for the cameras, etc.
Really, what is there to say? Anyone who ever claimed that this was “political activism” or that this had some potential to “wake up white people” was obviously either insane, or just bullshitting.
If you didn’t immediately see the performative nature of this entire media campaign, then you likely believe that professional wrestling is “real” and that Donald Trump really beat up Vince McMahon that one time at Wrestlemania.
You can’t blame Jared Taylor – when he accepted Heimbach’s invitation, he could have never expected that Heimbach would go on to star on the TV news for the next five or so years acting as a painfully obvious “heel” in a ridiculous “reality TV show.”
Yet to point this out online was to invite, well, “trolls” who would tell you you just weren’t dedicated enough to “the cause” or you were causing “infighting.” If you wanted to discuss “white issues” – well, you were immediately part of a “movement” led by Matt Heimbach.
Heimbach and his drama troupe would tour the country, making “connections” with skinhead gangs, every weirdo street preacher and fringe cult group, even some crazy guy who runs for local office on some sort of “Whites are the True Jews” platform. Heimbach even had “lunch” with some sort of “Black Hebrew Israelite” … and made a “deal” between White Nationalists and Black Nationalists … all while the ABC News cameras were rolling.
When Richard Spencer started his “Alt Right” he “disinvited” Matt Heimbach from his event, and of course Heimbach and his six or so “members” in his “Traditional Youth” club would troll them online, declaring that there was a “gay conspiracy” trying to “keep Christians out of the movement” and accused everyone of being atheist snobs for making fun of Heimbach for being fat. The SPLC prominently featured this “fracture in the white supremacist movement” on the front page of “Hate News.” Apparently – Matt Heimbach and Matt Parrott had already given their statements to the SPLC.
Again – I’m no great political analyst or anything, but what are you witnessing here? You have some weirdo guy writing weird things on the internet, constantly followed around by the national media and the SPLC, and declared the “leader” of the “White Nationalist movement” – and if you are a white person concerned about racial issues, well, you’re in Matt Heimbach’s “movement.”
Later Greg Johnson of Counter Currents would admit that Matt Parrott told him that he and Heimbach worked closely with the SPLC precisely because the SPLC “chooses” the “leaders” of the “White Nationalist movement” and that was the best way to get media coverage. Hey – that’s about the most unambiguously truthful thing Matt Parrott has ever said.
Again, at what point are you having trouble perceiving the performative nature of this “political activism?”
Does it even matter if Matt Heimbach was “sincere” or if he was getting a paycheck from the SPLC? How likely do you think it is that Matt Heimbach very much enjoyed media coverage – even if it was negative?
It would even come out that Matt Heimbach and his entire “movement” invited a Jewish “journalist” to follow them around, even spending the night with them, and report on their “activism.” Later the “journalist” would write a book attacking the “Alt Right” and the “rise of Trump” – a book prominently featuring Matt Heimbach.
Heimbach even managed to get into a fight with a black woman at a Trump event and also just happened to have this fight directly in front of the TV cameras which dutifully broadcast a nation wide TV special about how “White Supremacists were supporting Trump” and causing “violence at Trump rallies.”
You know I can understand why regular Trump fans tried so hard to distance themselves from these people. I can understand why regular Trump fans would get really suspicious and think, hey, these guys are trying to make Trump – and us – look bad on TV!
Were they wrong?
Part of the “Russiagate Hoax” was the claim that Donald Trump was an “unwitting asset of Vladimir Putin.” What this meant was that Putin had been able to influence Trump’s behavior, if not through bribery or threats, by a sort of personal charisma. The term “unwitting agent” is used in the MK-Ultra documents to describe academics doing research for the MK-Ultra project without being aware that the funding for their project came from CIA.
The idea that Donald Trump was an “unwitting agent of Vladimir Putin” seems obviously wrong, ridiculous even. But the idea that Matt Heimbach was an “unwitting agent of the SPLC” doesn’t seem unlikely at all – in fact, I’d ask anyone to come up with a better explanation. The SPLC had something that Matt Heimbach wanted – fame and attention – and Heimbach dutifully played his role in return for it.
If that is not obvious to you, again, do you believe that professional wrestling is “real?”
What is even more fascinating is that as soon as Heimbach had his big scandal and turned “anti-racist” he immediately teamed up with a former member of Al Qaeda and now does podcasts with him.
Yes. Read that again. ABC TV star Matt Heimbach, the “leader” of the “White Nationalist movement,” who has been regularly featured on the TV news for nearly a decade, is now doing podcasts with a “former member of Al Qaeda.”
You know, “Al Qaeda” – the people who did 9/11. An “Al Qaeda member” has now teamed up with Matt Heimbach to do podcasts against “White Supremacy” and “Jihadist Islam.”
The question is not what you believe, the question is what you expect everyone else to believe?
The best part is, of course, Matt Heimbach isn’t the first of this kind. In fact, a good 50% or more of the “1488 movement” has been full of people just like Matt Heimach.
Even more interesting, some of the most famous “Al Qaeda members” – the ones who didn’t do 9/11 mind you – have media profiles surprisingly similar to Matt Heimbach’s.
Frankly, one could even find an extremely similar pattern on “the left” – except the performative “Antifa” is played as the Faces, not the Heels.
Apparently, many people took all of this at face value because they saw it on the “News” part of TV as opposed to the “Shows” part of TV. My 13 year old niece can’t really tell the difference between a “reality TV show” and an actual “documentary.” Hell, for her a TV show about Kim Kardashian is a “documentary.”
But you’re a smart reader so surely you are not as naive as a teenage girl, right?