Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement
Identity Evropa is at the forefront of the racist "alt-right's" effort to recruit white, college-aged men and transform them into the fashionable new face of white nationalism. Rather than denigrating people of color, the campus-based organization focuses on raising white racial consciousness, building community based on shared racial identity and intellectualizing white supremacist ideology.
Identity Evropa members insist they’re not racist, but “identitarians” who are interested in preserving Western culture. The group owes its style and ideology to the European identitarian movement.
Founded in 2016 by Iraq war veteran Nathan Damigo, Identity Evropa has always operated with an eye toward branding. The organization has a simplistic and replicable logo — a teal triangle with three lines that join in the middle — and builds name recognition by distributing flyers around college campuses printed with images of classical European statues and phrases like “Our Future Belongs to Us” and “Keep Your Diversity We Want Identity.” It’s self-aware and eminently meme-able aesthetics are meant to lure in young people who are then encouraged to engage in real-world activism on college campuses — the “epicenter of Cultural Marxism in America,” according to Damigo. The organization’s overarching goal — implemented through their #ProjectSiege campus flyering operation, banner drops broadcast over social media, demonstrations and “open dialogue” campaigns — is “taking up space” with their ideas and imagery in the hopes of eventually, through the sheer force of repetition, mainstreaming their ideology.
Identity Evropa members, including Damigo, helped to plan the deadly 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, but have since attempted to publicly distance themselves from events that could both tarnish their image and land them in legal trouble. As a result, they’ve made multiple leadership changes, doubled down on their identitarian label, and become pickier when it comes to the group’s membership and public appearances.
In its own words
“I think one of the major books that got me started was David Duke's My Awakening, and I think from there the rest was really history.”
—Nathan Damigo on Red Ice Radio, June 16, 2016
“America was founded as a white country — as a country for people of European heritage. And in 1965 they passed the Harts-Cellar Act and the people who passed that said, ‘this is going to change the demographic makeup of the country, this is not going to increase the amount of immigration every year,’ — all of it was bogus … even here in California [not only] are we a minority, but they are actively trying to disenfranchise us from the institutions that our ancestors created.”
—Nathan Damigo on Red Elephants, July 13, 2017
“I work in HR firing n------ and s---- all day. Before that, I was in the army and I got to kill Muslims for fun. I’m not sure which one was better: watching n------ and s---- cry because they can’t feed their little mud children or watching Muslims brains spray on the wall. Honestly both probably suck compared to listening to a k---’s scream while in the oven.”
—Eli Mosley on The War Room, March 20, 2017
"We don't believe America needs to be 100.00 percent white, but we do think that America isn't going to be America if there isn't a European-America super-majority. So when it comes to policies and so forth we're concerned with reversing these trends. We want to end immigration for the time being. And in the future we would like to have immigration policies that favor high-skilled immigrants from, you know, Europe, Canada, Australia and so forth. And we also do want to have programs of re-migration wherein people who feel more of a connection to another part of the world, another race, another culture, even another religion in the case of Islam can return to their native homelands essentially."
—Patrick Casey in an interview with Brittany Pettibone, January 16, 2018
Nathan Damigo launched Identity Evropa (IE) in March 2016, but his journey toward “racial awareness” began long before. Born in Lewiston, Maine, Damigo grew up in San Jose, California, with his patriotic, “flag-waving c---servative” family, as he would later call them during an interview with Red Ice Radio. His parents were “fundamentalist Baptists,” and he attended a private Christian school that taught creationism and reinforced the conservatism he encountered at home.
As an adult looking back on his childhood, Damigo claimed that he always felt out of place in San Jose. “There were all of these different neighborhoods and I noticed that many of my friends who were non-white — were perhaps Filipino or something like that — they had their own cultures and a very tight-knit kind of group thing going on,” he explained on a Counter-Currents Radio podcast, “I would go and I would hang and there was always something was kind of off, that wasn't really fitting.” The racial makeup of his hometown also shifted during his adolescent and young adulthood, rendering whites the minority as the Asian and Latino populations increased. “I’ve been dispossessed,” he insisted, claiming he had some right of ownership over California because “my ancestors, actually, like were among the founders of the state.”
It wasn’t until he joined the Marine Corps at 18 that Damigo finally felt like he belonged. “There were a lot of white guys from the Midwest and other parts of the country and it was really the first time I had spent a lot of time with my own people,” he explained. Unlike the Filipinos and Latinos he had grown up with, his white fellow soldiers seemed to share his views of culture and politics. “For some reason it was just really comfortable,” he said. He contrasted his growing sense of racial comradery with the conflict that continuously surrounded him in Iraq’s Al-Anbar province, and concluded that multi-ethnic, religiously diverse societies simply didn’t work.
Damigo completed two tours in Iraq and struggled upon his return. Three of his friends had died in combat, and he began drinking heavily to cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One night, on the anniversary of a friend’s death, an inebriated Damigo used a gun to rob an Arab cab driver he mistook for an Iraqi. For robbing the man of $43 dollars, he received an Other than Honorable (OTH) discharge from the military and spent four years in prison. An HBO film crew producing a documentary about the lives of veterans struggling with PTSD followed Damigo’s transition and, after his sentencing, interviewed his mother. “They took him when he was 18 and put him through a paper shredder and then sent him back to us,” she told them. “We get to try to put all the pieces back together. Sometimes it’s like Humpty Dumpty: they don’t go back together.”
In prison, Damigo attempted to reassemble the pieces of his life through education, taking advantage of his abundant free time to read. He felt “ betrayed by the government,” and was trying to figure out why the United States had launched a war in Iraq in the first place. He was also reassessing his Christian faith — if he was never taught about evolution growing up, what else had he missed? Damigo read about biology, genetics, atheism and, after a recommendation from a fellow prisoner, landed on the former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke’s book, My Awakening. He scanned Duke’s sources and picked up other works from racist academics like J. Phillipe Rushton, Nicholas Wade and John Baker. “It was very clear to me that there are these differences between people that are very powerful,” Damigo concluded after immersing himself in the long-discredited literature linking race and biology, “and there are these distributions even within those populations that will affect individual outcome as well as group outcome.”
After gaining “racial awareness” in prison, Damigo started to think strategically about how to spread his newly discovered ideas upon his release in 2014. Much of his inspiration came from his ideological opposition, including the community organizer often demonized by the right, Saul Alinsky. He also looked to his contemporaries, especially activists associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. In a 2015 podcast, Damigo reflected on how black student organizers at the University of Missouri had successfully drawn attention to racial discrimination on their campus through a series of recent protests. He was critical of the students’ motivations — and claimed they were guilty of “ethnic intimidation” — but was nevertheless impressed by their results. “When we're doing activism ourselves we have to understand that taking actions that create strong emotions and dramatize the situation is far more effective than facts will ever be,” he said.
He found his way into real-life activism through an online connection when he commented on a YouTube video posted by a fellow veteran named Angelo Gage. After Gage responded, the two became friends and together launched a youth wing of the white supremacist American Freedom Party called the National Youth Front (NYF), aimed at “all you teens out there who are aware of what’s going on,” according to Gage’s announcement on the white nationalist site Stormfront. It was in NYF that Damigo — then studying for a degree in social science at California State University, Stanislaus — first began trying to make ideological recruits on college campuses. In their most notable campaign, NYF staged protests at Arizona State University in an attempt to make the school cancel an “anti-white hate-class” called “U.S. Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness.” They also unsuccessfully tried to pressure colleges in the Northeast into firing professors they deemed “anti-white” as part of a campaign dubbed “Operation Grumpy Grundy.”
Though NYF was able to establish at least five chapters around the country, the group was short-lived. Its chairman — a man named Caleb Shumaker who Damigo met on Twitter — was ousted from the organization after it came to light that he was married to a Hispanic woman. Legal trouble followed: GoFundMe suspended the group for violating their terms of service, and an organization called Youthfront threatened to sue NYF if they didn’t cease using their current name. Damigo rechristened his organization “The Dispossessed” on Facebook before scrapping it entirely in order the retool and refine his message.
Damigo, looking to make his organization “more explicitly pro-white,” found himself inspired by the growing cadre of identitarians in Europe. The youth-led movement is the ideological offspring of the French New Right, or Nouvelle Droite, a far-right faction that formed in academic circles in the late 1960s. The New Right’s opposition to multiculturalism, paired with its emphasis on European identity and localism, helped inspire a new generation of European far-right activists reacting to increasing non-European immigration in the early 2000s.
In 2003, the French identitarian movement found its formal expression in Bloc Identitaire, which held anti-Muslim events like a 2010 “pork sausage and booze” party aimed at “resisting the Islamization of France.” The organization created a youth wing in 2012, called Génération Identitaire, that has placed even more emphasis on real-world activism and branding. Their simple and sleek logo — a yellow and black lambda — clearly helped to inspire Identity Evropa’s. Identitarian organizations based upon those in France mushroomed throughout Europe, organizing demonstrations and dramatic banner drops, like in 2016 in Germany when members of the identitarian movement unfurled a banner atop the Brandenburg Gate reading “Secure Borders—Secure Future.” But the biggest identitarian stunt came a year later, when activists from the umbrella organization Defend Europe raised more than $100,000 to try and physically block NGO ships carrying refugees from entering Europe. Though it largely ended in failure, the actions — like all the “activism” they perform — were promoted across social media in stylized videos. From across the Atlantic, Damigo took note.
Identitarians see white people as their own distinct political constituency, with a unique set of interests that need to be articulated and defended. It’s a savvy branding strategy: identitarians contend they’re simply interested in promoting their own self-interest rather than attacking others, making them harder to condemn than someone who denigrates non-whites by using racial slurs. “This isn’t about being negative toward other people, people of color and stuff like that,” Damigo told Red Ice Radio, “this is about finding a way for us to have a future for our own people.”
The ideology’s adherents are attempting to discursively reconstruct whiteness: by talking about whites as just another ethnic group in our multiethnic society (or “racializing” whiteness), identitarians gloss over the impact of both historical and contemporary forms of white supremacy. They also help to build legitimacy for a white separatist or “ ethnopluralistic” society in which racial groups are deemed culturally distinct, and therefore best suited to live separately. In an ethnic studies class at Cal State, for instance, Damigo once drew a comparison between the interests of white people and Native Americans. “Even though horrible things did happen to indigenous people,” hetold his classmates, “there was land set aside where they could be who they were and express themselves how they wanted to, and they could form a government that reflected them. And I think that is something that we want.” He’s also expressed support for “Calexit” — the secession of California from the rest of the United States.
For Damigo and other identitarians, this reframing is part of an explicit strategy borrowed from the European New Right thinkers who, in turn, drew on the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci (New Right adherents have referred to themselves as the “Gramscians of the Right”). In his scholarship, Gramsci theorized that society’s ruling class normalized and maintained their political and economic control through cultural hegemony. As Guillaume Faye — a foundational figure in the French New Right who’s writing has been translated into English by Arktos Media, an identitarian publishing house that would come to form a partnership with IE in late 2017 — put it, Europeans should focus on “metapolitics,” defined as the “social diffusion of ideas and cultural values for the sake of provoking a profound, long-term, political transformation.”
In order to bend culture, language, and, eventually, politics toward his own ends, Damigo drew on the philosophy and strategies of European identitarians and, in March 2016, launched Identity Evropa as an American outpost of the movement. Members are heavily vetted and must be of “European, non-Semitic heritage.”
The organization was founded with two goals in mind: first, to occupy both figurative and literal space with their ideas and, second, to build “European identity and solidarity.” White nationalists “should be spending, goodness, 20 minutes a day commenting on YouTube channels,” Damigo urged in a 2015 podcast where he spoke broadly about the organizational strategy he hoped to someday implement. “We cannot leave any safe space for people not to think about these things … over time it becomes normalized, they get used to it, and they're like 'oh, this guy again.’” “Next thing you know,” he continued, “hook, line, and sinker — they're visiting our website, they're posting dank memes on the internet and they're creating accounts themselves and going further and red pilling other people."
Part of promoting pride in white identity involved changing the way people thought about racism and, indeed, lending the word a more expansive definition. Damigo wanted IE to focus on “seeding the meme ‘anti-white,’” or, in other words, pushing the notion that racism could also include discrimination against white people. At an “open dialogue” event IE held at Berkeley in May 2016, Damigo challenged counter-protesters who called his followers racists. “I just turned around and told them that that word was anti-white hate speech and used to undermine legitimate European interests,” he later explained. It’s a talking point Damigo has since delivered repeatedly in interviews with journalists. His expressed goal is to make the racist label meaningless.
Richard Spencer , the white nationalist leader who heads the National Policy Institute, appeared alongside Damigo at the small Berkeley event. At the time, Spencer was busy building his emerging alt-right coalition and IE was a welcome addition. The group not only promised to recruit young people to the movement, but to lend the alt-right a veneer of respectability by counting among their followers college-aged men in khakis. And colleges, of course, stand at the frontlines of the cultural and political battles waged by the alt-right. Damigo has stated that college campuses are IE’s “number one target” because they represent “the epicenter of cultural Marxism in America.” In other words, colleges — one of the institutions non-whites “are actively trying to disenfranchise us from” — are attempting to subvert real American values and spread “anti-white rhetoric.” So-called race realists, he and Spencer believe, deserve a seat at the seminar table.
During its first months of existence, IE only had about 15 members, but their membership increased dramatically thanks to Donald Trump’s presidential win in 2016. Damigo, like the rest of the alt-right, was excited about candidate Trump, explaining that he thought electing the Republican nominee “would be very beneficial for people of European heritage.” After the election, he used Periscope to live-stream his reaction. “We as the alt-right are the reason why Trump won,” he told his viewers, before yelling “You have to go back!” to people on the sidewalk that he, presumably, believed to be immigrants. When CBS interviewed two IE members several months after Trump took office, they explained that they were “riding this wave of Donald Trump,” and that the president was “the closest to us that we’ve ever had in recent memory.” When the interviewer noted that most people would see their rhetoric as racist, one of the men loyally repeated one of Damigo’s talking points: “I think those slurs like ‘racist,’ ‘white supremacist,’ ‘Nazi,’ these are anti-white slurs.’”
IE’s membership experienced a boost thanks to Trump , but most recruitment was done through a campus flyering campaign begun in September 2016 called #ProjectSiege. The organization’s flyers feature classical European sculptures and, in a bold white text, phrases like “Protect Your Heritage” and “Serve Your People.” In just the first month of the campaign, IE managed to hit more than two dozen campuses stretching across the country from Evergreen State College in Washington to Bates College in Maine. IE posted pictures of the hanging flyers on their Twitter account so their messages could reach more than those who happened to pass them on campus. The campaign aligned closely with IE’s larger strategic vision, which involved establishing a clear set of talking points and simple phrases and slogans that held, in Damigo’s words, “memetic power.”
IE also has its members participate in communal activities and demonstrations, including dramatic banner drops. In the summer of 2017, IE hung banners with the phrases “Secure Our Border Secure Our Future” and “A New Dawn is Breaking, Rise and Get Active” from overpasses and buildings in placing ranging from Plymouth, Minnesota, to Boone, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. In June of 2017, IE members disrupted a racial justice seminar held at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Stonewall Museum, which documents LGBT history and culture in America. The students stood silently with a banner that claimed they “apologize for nothing.” A couple months later in Miami, six young IE members used the same tactic to interrupt a panel discussion on sanctuary cities and later promoted the action on their website with a bizarre “Miami Vice”-themed video.
These real-world activities served not only to create tweet-able content, but also to help build fraternity among the IE members — something that was also sustained through chapter meetings and other formal organizational events. Their activities weren’t all political. One chapter participated together in a Warrior Dash, “promoting health, fraternity, and community.” Real-world interaction, Damigo insisted, would lead to greater investment in the organization and its mission.
Despite their attempts to cultivate an image that was youthful and wholesome, IE was one of the primary participants in what neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin would dub the “ Summer of Hate .” Over a period of several months in 2017, a coalition of white supremacist groups held a series of rallies around the country as the primarily online alt-right movement made the leap into real-world action. A number of those demonstrations took place in Berkeley, emerging over disagreements about controversial speakers who were scheduled to visit the campus. It was at an April 15 Berkeley protest, after Ann Coulter canceled her appearance at the university, that Damigo and IE gained a degree of notoriety. Normally somewhat diffident during interviews, the public saw a harsher side of Damigo when he was filmed punching a petite female counter-protestor in the face as the chaos of the “Battle of Berkeley” seethed around him.
Within the alt-right, the video possessed a kind of memetic power Damigo was always trying to harness. Almost two weeks after the clip appeared online, IE tweeted a graph of membership applications that showed an enormous spike beginning the day after the protest. “What could possibly have caused this spike in applications? Hmm….” they asked in a tweet. In mid-May, they told their followers they would be slow to contact aspiring members because of a recent influx of applications. At the American Renaissance conference at the end of July, Damigo reported that IE had 700 members nationwide.
The Summer of Hate culminated in the August Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, which Damigo and other members of IE attended alongside Klansman, militia members and an assortment of other racists. A video of Damigo at the event shows him linking arms with four other men and charging into a wall of state police in riot gear. It was a hopeless effort — the police had mostly cleared Emancipation Park of rally-goers after declaring the gathering unlawful, but Damigo and his compatriots continued to resist, yelling and digging their heels into the ground as the officers cleared the remaining stragglers. When the rally concluded, with one counter-protester dead, alt-right leaders quickly set about constructing a narrative that would absolve them of guilt. Unable to find a venue that would host them, Spencer held a press conference in his living room — with Damigo standing quietly by his side — and laid the blame on the City of Charlottesville for failing to adequately prepare for the event.
Damigo’s tenure as IE’s leader was cut short when, just after the events at Charlottesville, he left due to undisclosed “personal issues,” according to the group’s new leader , Eli Mosley. Born Elliot Kline, he changed his name to pay homage to the British fascist Oswald Mosley. The new leader was one of the principle organizers of the Charlottesville rally, having worked his way quickly up the ranks in the preceding months. He even produced the “General Orders ” document that provided instructions and a schedule of the weekend’s events for participants in “EXTREMLY [sic] VETTED circles.” Like Damigo, Mosley took an aggressive stand during the event. VICE reported that he screamed at attendees who suggested leaving in order to avoid arrest. “I’m the f------ organizer. Listen to what I say, goddamnit!” He also put out a call for men who had guns, apparently to protect his fellow protestors. “I’m about to send at least 200 people with guns to go get them out if you guys do not get our people out,” he said on a call to the Charlottesville police . Spencer, Damigo and Mosley have all been named defendants in state and federal lawsuits seeking damages for the violence that broke out at Unite the Right.
Before connecting with Richard Spencer and others on the racist far right, Mosley was a libertarian and Ron Paul enthusiast who worked a desk job as a human resources professional in Reading, Pennsylvania. His disillusionment with libertarianism coincided with the growth of the alt-right and “so from like 2015 to, you know, now,” he explained after taking the reins at Identity Evropa, “I started essentially digesting alt-right media,” including Red Ice Radio, The Right Stuff, Radix Journal and older racist outlets like American Renaissance. He chatted with alt-righters on the video game messaging platform Discord and, through connections forged online, received an invite to an alt-right event around the 2016 presidential election. There, he met Mike Peinovich and Jesse Craig Dunstan — hosts of “The Daily Shoah” podcast — as well as members of IE. He got involved with the movement, joining both the Proud Boys and Identity Evropa.
Mosley claims he saw the alt-right as “half serious, half joking,” until he saw the footage of Richard Spencer getting punched on Inauguration Day, after which everything “became incredibly serious.” He hadn’t met Spencer yet, but reached out and was soon devoting his weekends to helping the leader of the National Policy Institute coordinate events, including a number of speeches on college campuses. “In the span of like eight months, nine months, I went from being an anonymous, like, Twitter shit lord to, you know, one of the people who was really pushing the alt-right into real life activism,” he told Red Ice Radio.
Mosley tried to appear polished and stuck to IE talking points — focusing on “metapolitics” and claiming he wanted members of the organization to “take up space” — but his politics were forged in the crasser spaces of the racist right. On March 4, 2017 he attended a Philadelphia pro-Trump rally and, in a report he later wrote for the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer , described the counter-protesters as “hooked-nose Philadelphians” and held special animus for one “filthy Jewess” in the crowd. He took the tension between the two factions as a sign that “we have moved into a new era in the Nazification of America. Normie Trump supporters are becoming racially aware and Jew wise” — a positive development, in his opinion.
More of his hatred came to the surface during his March 20 appearance on “The War Room,” the “official podcast for right-wing veterans.” Mosley said he served in Iraq, and it was during his time in the military that he acquired his political education and became “T--- aware” — or conscious of women’s promiscuity and the ways they manipulate men. “That was a big red pill for me, just like feminism bullshit,” he explained. The conversation in the episode mostly centered on how useless women were in the military, and how they should simply serve as “mattresses.” “There’s no reason that these females should be near our highest T guys, and it’s just a distraction. It’s ridiculous,” Mosley said. They discussed the trials of dating in a multicultural society, and Mosley proposed creating a “Jew-detecting app” so he wouldn’t accidentally sleep with a Jewish woman. Another guest suggested they just “Jack the Ripper the t----.”
The show wrapped up with Mosley describing an exchange he had with a woman on Twitter. He laughed as he told the other men he sent her a message that read, “I work in HR firing n------ and s---- all day. Before that, I was in the army and I got to kill Muslims for fun. I’m not sure which one was better: watching n------ and s---- cry because they can’t feed their little mud children or watching Muslims brains spray on the wall. Honestly both probably suck compared to listening to a k---’s scream while in the oven.”
Like Damigo, Mosley claimed that his time in Iraq led him to the far right. “I did become jaded in the fact that I didn’t understand, like, why are we in Iraq? And I saw first-hand how silly it was,” he told a reporter. Indeed, his entire political conversion narrative is remarkably close to Damigo’s, just without the stint in prison. He, too, claims to have become disillusioned by the war and returned to take refuge in literature, reading “over 500 books” to educate himself about the realities of race as well as leftist organizational tactics. “I’m fascinated by leftist tactics, I read Saul Alinsky, Martin Luther King … This is our ‘60s movement,” he told ProPublica .
As it turned out, he made up his claims about serving in Iraq. According to an investigation by The New York Times , Mosley had served in the National Guard but was never deployed. All the stories he had told about his tour of duty were almost certainly fabricated — like one he recounted on “The War Room” about a married, female lieutenant colonel who trolled the military base’s bar every weekend desperately looking for enlisted men to seduce. As Mosley apparently intended, the other guests reacted with revulsion, agreeing she should be “f------ shot” in order to “clear up some room for some good white men to get promoted.” The fact that he fabricated stories to prove his misogynist bona fides throws into question his entire personal narrative, and it seems likely he simply borrowed Damigo’s story whole cloth, concluding that an intellectual conversion would play better than one of a man who came to his politics just by being “an anonymous Twitter troll” who dubbed himself “the Judenjager,” or “the Jew hunter,” in his bio.
Mosley’s time at Identity Evropa ended before his lies came to light. He stepped down on November 27 after only three months of serving as the organization’s leader, explaining in a Gab post that “we had irreconcilable differences on what the relationship with the rest of the #AltRight should look like.” After his resignation, Mosley began to work more closely with Spencer on a project called Operation Homeland aimed at creating more real-world alt-right activism. After the news of his fake Army career came to light in February of 2018, Spencer’s National Policy Institute released a statement explaining that they plan to give Mosley time to “document his military background and correct what The New York Times has reported about him.”
Whatever Mosley’s disagreements with IE might be, his resignation seems to be part of a plan to rebrand the organization after the fallout from Charlottesville. After Mosely stepped aside, the boyish Patrick Casey — who had previously gone by the name Reinhard Wolff — took his place. Casey/Wolf has been a member of Identity Evropa since its early days, during which time he has also hosted the online video series “Operation Reinhard” and “Seeking Insight” on the white nationalist media platform Red Ice Radio. His segments focus on culture and the state of right-wing politics, with titles like “Pepe and the War on Memes,” “Metapolitics and Social Capital,” and “How the Alt-Right Should Relate to the Alt-Lite.”
The latter segment helps explain why Casey made a good candidate for Identity Evropa leadership: unlike Mosley, who wanted to “unc---” those in the alt-lite, Casey called for partnership. “Directing vitriol toward other Trump supporters because they aren’t fully red pilled is counterproductive and unnecessary,” he explained in the video. “The ideal relationship between the alt-right and the alt-lite should thus be one of cooperation, dialogue, and constructive criticism.” If Identity Evropa is supposed to be the welcoming face of white supremacy — a place where “Trump supporters [can] realize that identity politics needn’t involve genocide and hatred,” as Casey put it — then his leadership makes sense. After Charlottesville, Identity Evropa is less interested in being associated with the alt-right and, according to Casey, will be portraying themselves more as a specifically identitarian organization than an alt-right one.
Casey’s revamp is aimed at mainstreaming identitarianism and appealing to “normies” outside the white nationalist movement, a strategy he outlined in an online debate in early 2018 with Brad Griffin , a member of the neo-Confederate League of the South and founder of the blog Occidental Dissent. Griffin wrote that that it was “a waste of time to try to appeal to the average person” because, in doing do, they are asking people to betray the “biggest taboo in American politics.” Casey disagreed, arguing that people within the movement can “explicitly advocate for their respective people’s interests without being completely barred from polite society.” “We want to depathologize ethnic/racial identity, and [Génération Identitaire] has proven that it’s can be done,” he wrote. Casey drew a distinction between “1.0” white nationalists like Griffin and idenititarians like himself who, through the creation of their own culture, memes, and unique content, have created a space that appeals to a younger generation.
Identity Evropa members want to protect their brand while still growing their movement. According to Casey, IE plans to host more private, invite-only events instead of big rallies like Unite the Right, where they have little control over what groups might show up. They’ll be focusing more on community-building by creating fitness clubs and meetup groups, and already had members host a beach cleanup in southern California and march in a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade. Their flyering and banner drops continue, and in some cases have become more dramatic. In February, for instance, IE tweeted a video of members littering flyers down on a city from a propeller plane, because “Aviation is an American tradition.” They also plan to hold more demonstrations that tap into immigration anxiety and attract the sympathy of those outside their movement, like memorials they created for Justine Damond and Kate Steinle — white women who were, respectively, killed by a Somali-American police officer and an undocumented Mexican immigrant.
Casey has brought Identity Evropa into more mainstream conservative spaces, like the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference, and noted later in a blog post that he found many attendees amenable to his ideas thanks to “the Left’s anti-White rhetoric and blatant unwillingness to tolerate any restrictions on immigration.” He has also attempted to create distance between IE and Spencer, whose now-defunct college tour led to a number of violent clashes and arrests. IE members present at Spencer’s chaotic March speech at Michigan State University were reportedly expelled from the organization. Spencer called Casey’s decision “detrimental to a functioning movement.”
Casey has tried to hold IE above the fray of movement infighting and claims that Identity Evropa’s high-profile actions have been effective when it comes to recruitment, with many applications citing their flyers or social media posts. According to their own account, Identity Evropa had roughly 1,000 members during the first month of 2018 and aims to reach 5,000 by the end of the year.