Flyers found across campus are confirming alt-right groups may still have a presence at the University of Nevada, Reno.
American Identity Movement and Identity Evropa
Reddit user UNRThrowAway posted in the r/unr subreddit exposing the American Identity Movement’s flyers and posters in Mack Social Science on Monday, Sept. 9.
The American Identity Movement is a non-profit “identitarian” organization founded on March 8, 2018 by Patrick Casey. AIM preaches nationalism, identitarianism, non-interventionism, protectionism and populism. According to Casey, AIM is against neo-nazism and political violence of all types.
In a phone interview with the Nevada Sagebrush, Casey confirmed the organization recruits throughout the U.S. with social media. He said AIM members in Reno post flyers and host demonstrations. Casey said he wants AIM to reach new people and raise awareness of the organization at the University of Nevada, Reno.
He believes college students are only receiving one perspective regarding diversity and social issues. Casey feels the government is supporting anti-white policies and feels if people stand up against anti-white policies, they are then told to be quiet.
“We don’t believe America needs to be 100 percent white, but we do think that America isn’t going to be America if there isn’t a European-America super-majority,” Casey said in an interview with Brittany Pettibone on January 16, 2018. “So when it comes to policies and so forth we’re concerned with reversing these trends.”
An article from the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists identified university student Richard Golgart Jr. as a member of the Southwest chapter of AIM. Aside from his involvement with AIM, he is a member of the Young Americans for Liberty club on campus, according to their website.
Golgart Jr. did not reply to the Nevada Sagebrush’s request for comment.
AIM was previously known as Identity Evropa. IE was founded in 2016 by Nathan Damigo. The Anti-Defamation League defines IE as a white supremacist group and the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies them as a hate group.
IE built their name by spreading flyers to college campuses, banner drops broadcast over social media, host demonstrations and campaigns. They attempt to recruit white college-aged males. IE also helped organize the ‘Unite the Right Rally’ Charlottesville in 2017. Peter Cvjetanovic, a UNR alumni who attended the Charlottesville rally, wore an IE shirt when protesting.
The article from the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists claimed Golgart Jr. posted flyers and posters for IE across campus— as well as along the Truckee River and at the Nevada Supreme Court—in the spring of 2019.
The Nevada Sagebrush was unable to confirm whether or not Golgart Jr. also posted the AIM flyers found across campus earlier this month.
University response to hate groups
University Diversity and Inclusion Officer Eloisa Gordon-Mora believes there needs to be more centers of information on resources and report incidents regarding the topic of diversity. She confirmed the AIM flyers were posted in five university buildings, which were STEM centered.
“I know this is frustrating and I constantly repeat it, unfortunately, incidents that might evolve into hateful events need to be investigated on a case by case basis,” Gordan-Mora said. “It’s not the responsibility of this office, but in conjunction with all the work Equal Opportunity and Title IX carries out. We want to be a better integrator of effort.”
Gordon-Mora believes students, faculty and staff need to be hyper-alert of [Alt-Right group’s] techniques and strategies because their intentional and are meant to inspire intimidation, fear and emotions. She believes education is the strongest ally.
“Because the university is a public university, we don’t simply service the internal university community but we are also an ally of education for the surrounding community and the state of Nevada,” Gordan-Mora said. “It’s not so much a division of internal UNR versus external other communities but the need to examine each instance, what is a bias incident, versus a hate event, or, in the most extreme cases a hate crime.”
Jen Hill, the director of gender, race and identity program, defines white nationalism as a movement that places white experience and “rights” at the center of national identity. She describes it as anti-Semitic, racist, and misogynistic. Hill also explained white nationalism
“Its rhetoric is fear-based and is situated in false histories of the American experience, and rumors of an erosion of values and stability that are linked to ‘foreign’ or ‘other’ influences,” Hill said.
“For a long time it was understood to be a fringe group – and indeed, it still remains outside of civil discourse – but it is clear that groups like the American Identity Movement are attempting to grow and to make claims of being more mainstream.”
Hill confirmed AIM posted flyers at Truckee Meadow Community College and a local high school. She believes these organizations target students who are exploring how they belong or do not belong to and participate in society.
“Certainly the visibility of a UNR student at the far-right white nationalist Charlottesville rally raised the profile of UNR as a possible site where white nationalist might find community,” Hill said. “We would like to think that his case was an anomaly, but we don’t know how many people share those views on campus. The website 8chan, on which hate speech is encouraged and proliferates, is owned by a Reno-based company shows that Nevada is a center for some of this kind of thinking.”
Kimberly Woods, the Associate Dean of Student Conduct, said the office will investigate conduct like any other alleged violation is investigated. She stated lawful protests do not violate student conduct.
“If a student engages in conduct while protesting that violates criminal law, such as violence or vandalism, the student may be referred to the Student Conduct Office,” Woods said in an email to the Nevada Sagebrush. “As stated earlier, each case is reviewed on a case by case basis so I cannot be more specific surrounding how the matter would be handled.“
According to the University’s Administrative Manual, non-university publications are not allowed to be distributed at exterior university locations and are able to post at limited interior locations. All bulletin boards on campus are considered “public view bulletin boards” unless identified as a bulletin board specifically for legal notice or departments.
Student response to white supremacy
Fran Smith, a member of the Young Democratic Socialists of Reno, discovered the AIM flyers around campus after the organization notified them.
“My first feeling, for the flyering this past week anyways, can only be described as dread filled rage,” Smith said. “I have been […] black my whole life and have been taught that my blackness is something to be ashamed of, is something disgusting and is something that makes me sub-human, meaning others can dehumanize me with no consequences because I am not ‘human’ enough to be considered their equal.”
Smith recalled an incident on campus where they were called various racial slurs comparing them to animals at the 2018 Bernie Sanders rally on campus by counter-protesting Trump supporters.
“[…] I’m pretty evenly mixed white and black,” Smith said. “I learned young how cruel people can be because of my skin, and it usually wasn’t fellow kids my age acting as such. I grew up afraid of people, too scared to speak out for myself or others thinking if I was complacent I would gain their respect by proving myself through my actions. It doesn’t work that way.”
Smith wants the university to investigate these issues since they believe white supremacy on campus is becoming worse.
“When I told the military recruiters in Cain Hall that someone had placed white supremacist pamphlets on their info wall, they jumped into action and started listing off the next steps they would have to take to report and take care of the incident,” Smith said. “They acknowledged it as a serious issue, acted on it, and gave a damn which is far more than what the university has done.”
Anthony Martinez, the president of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, said ASUN represents a diverse constituency. He claimed as of fall 2019, 40 percent of the total enrollment of the university comprises of students from underrepresented groups.
“The far-right ideology, more specifically, the ideology of the American Identity Movement, symbolizes white supremacy and a nativist nationalism that is meant to be exclusionary,” Martinez said in an email to the Nevada Sagebrush. “These discriminatory sentiments do not align with ASUN’s mission or values and in fact, contradict them. Both ASUN and the University condemn hateful actions or rhetoric that seeks to marginalize any member of our community.”
President Martinez believes a living-learning community, like UNR, has diverse ideas opinions and values, which causes for separatist organizations with extreme points of view discomfort.
“We will continue to be advocates for undergraduate students, their development, and unique ideas and opinions,” Martinez said. “We want students to harness their power and realize that this is their university. We challenge all students to stand guard against the hateful rhetoric and propaganda that would lead us to believe that our community is fractured. Our power is in standing together.”
Hate groups in Nevada
The Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 10 hate groups in Nevada in 2018. These include:
A2Z Publications, Black Riders Liberation Party, Freestartr, Israel United in Christ, Proud Boys, Atomwaffen Division, Daily Stormer, IE, National Alliance Reform and Restoration Group and the Right Stuff.
Launched in 2013 by Andrew Anglin, the Daily Stormer is described as neo-Nazi organization by the SPLC with small localized groups called Stormer Bookclubs. Daily Stormer has national campaigns, which calls for flyering different local areas.
The Daily Stormer posted flyers of Brenton Tarrant—the man accused of shooting two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 51 people—in a mosque in Sparks. The Daily Stormer also posted flyers at the Emmanuel synagogue, TMCC and Innovations Charter School in the Reno-Sparks area.
“My brothers, you stand here as the last line of defense against an ancient force of evil which seeks to erase the European man from history,” Robert Warren “Azzmador” Bay, a Daily Stormer member, said in a speech at a private, post-Unite the Right gathering.
Atomwaffen Division is a neo-Nazi organization founded in 2015 based in Las Vegas. The organization was active on the Iron March forums, which went offline in 2017. At the time, there were approximately 1,600 users. Members in the Atomwaffen Division have killed five people in California, Florida and Virginia, according to NPR.
“Pro f***** propaganda is working! AIDS is spreading like wildfire. Dead f***** couldn’t make us happier! Hail AIDS!” a member said on their website.
Taylor Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.