Anyone that frequents the Willard Building or is involved in activism at Penn State may have seen posters from Identity Evropa, whom many on campus claim is white supremacist group.
These posters sparked an outrage in light of the recent white supremacist movements happening across the United States. Despite claims made by students, exactly who this group was andwhat they stood for was unclear.
“We are a generation of awakened Europeans who have discovered that we are part of the great peoples, history, and civilization that flowed from the European continent. We reject the idea that our identities are mere abstractions to be deconstructed. We oppose those who would defame our history and rich cultural heritage. In a time when every other people are asserting their identity, without action, we will have no chance to resist our dispossession,” it says in the “about us” section on Identity Evropa’s site.
I reached out to their organization in hopes they had a comment on the controversy caused, and for a better understanding of what their organization stood for. I was put in contact with a man who went under the alias Matthias.
“Identity Evropa is an American based, identitarian organization… We are part-activist organization, but also part-fraternity organization for people of European heritage who understand that their identity and status is changing in the United States. They understand that expecting people of European heritage to not have a collective group interest of group identity is really unreasonable.”
Many people call Identity Evropa group of white supremacists. However, the organization insists they aren’t.
“We have to remind ourselves that these are just posters… This is just speech at a public university. When people use these words they reveal to us that they can’t engage with us and our ideas. Our ideas right now are very relevant for young people of European heritage. Especially in universities where they are often taught in humanities and social sciences that people of European heritage are responsible for most of the ills, if not all of the ills, of the world and effectively exist on the oppression of other groups.”
Matthias also addressed this problem. Many people recognize the atrocities of more recent history being the work of Europeans and white Americans, but do not address the atrocities from longer ago committed by other ethnicities.
“Conquests, oppression, slavery, all of these things existed well before European people. To say that just because people of European heritage have been most successful at certain things, isn’t to say we are uniquely responsible for evil in the world… it’s a scapegoating of people who are conscientious of ethics… We are going to own both the good and bad parts… but that doesn’t mean we are going to be bludgeoned and held solely responsible.”
As well, Matthias made the claim that the rights of Americans with European ancestry are being diminished. He also claimed diversity and multicultural systems pose a problem in today’s society.
“People of all cultures ultimately have their own preferences, their own interests, their own ideas, their own tendencies as collectives. We see that there are a number of costs associated with multicultural systems and diversity. Diversity is basically this idea that is to never be questioned in our society, it is to never be critiqued. Really, we need to have that conversation about what exactly are the costs and what is going on, because at the end of the day these policies on immigration, diversity, multiculturalism, and this moral imperative means that we include people of European heritage less in society. Why should people of European heritage want that?”
This is just speech at a public university. When people use these words they reveal to us that they can’t engage with us and our ideas. Our ideas right now are very relevant for young people of European heritage. Especially in universities where they are often taught in humanities and social sciences that people of European heritage are responsible for most of the ills, if not all of the ills, of the world and effectively exist on the oppression of other groups. Matthias
While this point of view can definitley be debated, one epidemic that is undoubtedly a problem in America currently is the presence of neo-nazis and white supremicists.
“We don’t identify as white supremecists, that’s ridiculous. Basically, we look at terms like that as anti-white slurs… We don’t view ourselves as superior to any particular people… We aren’t interested in supremacy or anything like that. We are interested in manifesting a political entity surround our initiative, our racial identity in a very rapidly changing world and a rapidly changing country where our demographic status is at a crossroads.” Said Matthias when asked if Identity Evropa is a white supremacist group.
The white supremicist protests in Charlottesville will be discussed for months and even years to come. Not only did this organization have a comment on the event, but they had a presence there.
“Identity Evropa was present at Charlottesville. We are not very happy with the outcome of the rally. Clearly we are not supportive of any kind of violence. We would have liked for the rally to have occurred. This issue was an issue of police mismanagement. We had a federal injunction to hold that rally which was not upheld by local authorities. They even claim that they enacted a state of emergency once the violence had really begun and the situation had turned into a riot when that’s not really accurate. That’s not what really happened. The bulk of the violence, especially the car crash, occurred hours after the state of emergency was declared. The state of emergency was declared in the morning, before most of the attendees had even arrived at the park.
“What had happened was all of the attendees were pushed out onto the streets, where all of the counter-protesters were. At that point, the police were not trying to separate anyone. They didn’t separate anyone on the way in, even though they had guaranteed police escorts and clear streets in the months of planning that we did with Charlottesville authorities. Once you pushed one thousand people into an area of another one thousand people who are there to shut down an event, violence was unfortunately inevitable.”
This presence was just the first of many events and protests to come for Identity Evropa. The organization recently attended the Richard Spencer event at University of Florida. The event was a virtual failure in that it ended in the audience heckling Spencer, and calling him out on his ideologies.
The group claims to be one that celebrates people of European heritage. In theory, this would mean all people who have European heritage and are looking to embrace that aspect of their identity. However, when asked if the group would accept somebody whose ancestry was only half European, Matthias had the following to say.
“Most likely not. There comes a point where there is a certain schism or loss in identity. What we have noticed is that we have several allies who are mixed race. They actually have a sort of conflict of identity, a crisis of identity if you will, where they’re not actually sure what they really identify as… Many of our members take DNA tests out of curiosity, but we typically maintain no members of mixed race.”
Despite this, Matthias stated the organization had men and women of different economic classes. He did not state whether or not this was a space for LGBTQ+ people.
While it is not uncommon for members of Identity Evropa to go under aliases, the organization has many people who are transparent in their identities. Eli Mosley, who has been accused of being a Neo-Nazi in some headlines, is the current CEO. Nathan Damigo, the man who punched a woman at the Berkeley protests and who is one of several Charlottesville attendees whose family repudiated their views, is the founder of Identity Evropa. While Damigo has stepped down due to personal reasons, Matthias claims he is still very popular with members.
Members like Mosley and Damigo, who put their names out there, have often become targets of harassment and even violence from Antifa activists.
“In certain places they can be more violent, in certain places they’re more of a protest group. I would say what defines Antifa are black block tactics. These mobs of black anarchists that will basically attack anyone who politically might disagree with them. Ultimately, that might make them a political terrorist organization. Obviously we wish we could talk about this with them.”