Under normal circumstances, there’s something endearing about youthful idealism. But when it comes to Kevin DeAnna, founder and recently departed head of the ultraconservative student group Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), normal circumstances do not apply.
About Kevin DeAnna
Kevin DeAnna’s Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) – a far-right youth organization that he ran from 2006 to 2012 – served as the institutional basis for the web-savvy white nationalist movement that would come to be known as the “alt-right.” While DeAnna faded from the public eye in 2012 after the dissolution of YWC, he continued his work in the white nationalist movement, eventually becoming one of, if not its main, ideological architect through his pseudonymous writing.
With nearly 2,000 articles written under two pseudonyms, DeAnna’s decade-long white nationalist blogger career sheds new light not only on the rise of the alt-right, but also on how white nationalists seized upon conservative institutions to build their movement.
In His Own Words
“It’s not surprising that ‘Western Civilization’ is offensive to those who are offended by ‘white identity.’ Defining Western Civilization into nonexistence or defining it in universal terms amount to the same thing. It robs whites of their past, a prelude to robbing them of their future. The classical world shows whites they have a real, positive identity deeply grounded in history. Whites aren’t just a newly invented ‘social construct.’” – Kevin DeAnna (writing as “Gregory Hood”), “Western Civilization Is White Civilization,” American Renaissance, Jan. 21, 2019.
“Do you get it yet? America, your America, is finished. But you don’t have to be. It’s time to fight for what comes next. It’s time to fight for a country of our own. It’s time to stop being Americans. It’s time to start being White Men again.” – Kevin DeAnna (writing as “Gregory Hood”), “A White Nationalist Memo to White Male Republicans,” Counter-Currents, Nov. 9, 2012.
“James Mason writes in Siege that white advocates must think of all white people everywhere as our army. They may not volunteer, but circumstances and political action will cause them to be conscripted. For white advocates, the overall strategic objective of political activity is to make race the defining difference between various political, cultural, and social groups, as a precursor to the formation of an ethnostate, the great dream of the White Republic.” – Kevin DeAnna (writing as “Gregory Hood”), “How to Destroy the Republican Party,” Counter-Currents, Jan. 31, 2013.
“Forget about saving ‘conservatism’ – Westerners must wake to this demographic tidal wave lest their culture, people and civilization be extinguished. If they don’t, every battle won or achievement made by Western Civilization is rendered pointless. And no matter how shamefully or eagerly they surrender, Westerners won’t be remembered as graceful losers – just a bunch of racists.” – Kevin DeAnna (writing as “James Kirkpatrick”), “Leftists Claim ‘Great Replacement’ is a ‘Conspiracy Theory’ . . . Unless They’re Bragging About It,” VDARE, July 4, 2019
Though Kevin DeAnna has embedded himself deep within the white nationalist movement for over a decade, his pseudonymous writing career allowed him to separate his career as one of the most prolific writers in the white nationalist movement from his work within conservative institutions. For years, DeAnna has written under the pen names “Gregory Hood” and “James Kirkpatrick.” Despite writing two books, contributing to a handful of others and writing thousands of articles for sites like VDARE, Radix Journal, American Renaissance, and many others, DeAnna’s personas as “Kirkpatrick” and “Hood” kept the once-conservative insider out of the public eye.
A decade before white nationalists seized upon then-candidate Donald Trump’s momentum in the 2016 election cycle to push their movement into the mainstream, DeAnna’s YWC provided the organizational infrastructure to embed a cadre of college-age far-right leaders – some of whom would later be revealed to be white nationalists – into conservative institutions.
DeAnna, then a field representative at the Leadership Institute, founded YWC in 2006, not long after graduating from college. The Leadership Institute, a well-funded organization that claims to have trained close to 100,000 future conservative leaders, such as President George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove and religions activist Ralph Reed, was DeAnna’s home base for a number of years.
YWC made its first public splash as a co-sponsor of 2009’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the right wing’s most important annual shindig, where in 2011 DeAnna moderated a discussion on immigration. That year, close ally of the organized anti-immigrant movement and former congressman Tom Tancredo, who was YWC’s honorary chairman, called multiculturalism “the dagger pointed at the heart of Western civilization.” DeAnna matched him, saying he opposed immigration even if it’s good for the economy “because it’s about our dispossession as a people.”
Tancredo was far from the only prominent connection DeAnna flaunted during this period. In 2011, Jared Taylor, editor of the white nationalist journal American Renaissance, wrote a fundraising letter for DeAnna’s YWC in which he described DeAnna as “an eloquent and distinguished young man who knows how important our cultural identity is.” Taylor has written that when “blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization – any kind of civilization – disappears.” DeAnna, in an accompanying letter to Taylor’s mailing list, boasted that he had “defended western culture” against a “far left” that is trying to “destroy our people and culture.”
DeAnna flirted with far-right politics for years before founding YWC. In 2006, he defined the organization’s purpose as to defend “Western culture” from the perils of “radical multiculturalism.” As an undergraduate at Virginia’s College of William and Mary, he ran The Remnant, a conservative student paper notorious for its poor treatment of women. There, he worked closely with Marcus Epstein, who later described himself as YWC’s vice president and remained close to DeAnna long after graduation.
DeAnna and several of his fellow coworkers at The Remnant were named in a 2006 lawsuit for publishing the name of a female student who had accused another student of rape. As Hatewatch reported in 2011, however, the case was ultimately voluntarily dismissed for reasons that remain unclear.
Epstein’s views on African Americans led him to have a brush with the law in 2007. While walking through the streets of Washington, D.C., he called an elderly black woman the N-word and tried to attack her. He later entered an Alford plea, which permits the defendant to claim innocence despite acknowledging that the state has enough to prove his or her guilt. When the incident became public two years later, YWC strove to distance itself from Epstein.
DeAnna retained his position at the head of YWC until February 2012, when he issued a statement saying that he was leaving for personal and professional reasons. His departure from YWC aligned with a decision to move on from the Leadership Institute. Around that same time, DeAnna was named marketing coordinator for WorldNetDaily (WND), a far-right online publication known for its relentless anti-Obama birther propaganda and the kind of apocalyptic conspiracies that would look at home in a supermarket checkout line. (See also Joseph Farah’s profile).
DeAnna wrote for WND throughout 2012 under his own byline, publishing several short pieces on a variety of topics, ranging from the “dangers” posed by Islamic immigrants to Western culture to a defense of Russia’s crackdown on the dissident punk rock group Pussy Riot.
But the vast majority of DeAnna’s contributions to WND were published without a byline. Emails leaked to the SPLC by former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh, which were reported by Hatewatch in early 2020, indicate that he was indeed the author of several WND publications extending into 2017.
One post authored by DeAnna – a 2015 article naming Donald Trump WND’s man of the year – was tweeted and praised by the then-presidential candidate. Other contributions to WND include a nearly 100-page report entitled Antifa: What Americans Need to Know About the Alt-Left, which was released shortly after the 2017 “Unite the Right” protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
DeAnna’s pseudonymous contributions as “Gregory Hood” and “James Kirkpatrick”
As Hatewatch reported in 2020, DeAnna’s low profile after the dissolution of YWC was, in part, a result of his shift to contributing to the movement pseudonymously. These reports from Hatewatch also demonstrate that DeAnna’s ties to organized white nationalism extended further than previously believed or reported. Hatewatch identified DeAnna as the author behind two different pen names, “Gregory Hood” and “James Kirkpatrick” – both of which appeared in a variety of white nationalist publications.
DeAnna’s life as a pseudonymous white nationalist blogger kicked into high gear after his departure from YWC and the Leadership Institute in early 2012. But it wasn’t until he started working at WND that his career as a white nationalist commentator truly took off.
In 2008, DeAnna began writing as “Hood” for American Renaissance – nearly four years before he left the Leadership Institute. Since 2008, Hatewatch observed, “Hood” has contributed nearly 500 articles to a variety of prominent white nationalist publications, including American Renaissance, the National Policy Institute’s Radix Journal, and Counter-Currents. His first book, Waking Up from the American Dream, was released by Counter-Currents in 2016.
The same investigation found that DeAnna also wrote under the pseudonym “James Kirkpatrick,” beginning in fall 2011. DeAnna’s work as “Kirkpatrick” was largely limited to VDARE, where he also served in an editorial capacity, and John Tanton’s The Social Contract journal.
As a white nationalist scribe, DeAnna helped shape the movement’s approach to conservative institutions. As “Hood,” DeAnna encouraged white nationalists to struggle against conservative hegemony, calling upon them to carve out alternative “cultural spaces” for “white advocates” – as he noted in a Counter-Currents article from 2013. As “Kirkpatrick,” he used his platform at VDARE and the site’s almost obsessive focus on immigration to target conservatives who weren’t deemed sufficiently anti-immigrant.
White nationalist leaders such as Jared Taylor spared no compliments for DeAnna’s pseudonymous contributions to the movement. “In our movement, Gregory Hood is unquestionable the best writer of his generation. Heck, he could be the best writer in the entire movement,” Taylor wrote in his blurb for “Hood’s” 2016 book, Waking Up from the American Dream. VDARE editor Peter Brimelow echoed Taylor’s effusive praise for “Kirkpatrick” while lamenting that such a talented, young writer had been forced to “live in the shadows.” Brimelow, for his part, has described DeAnna’s “Kirkpatrick” as “the most brilliant political writer of his (Millennial) generation.”
Still, for the most part, DeAnna evaded the same amount of public scrutiny as other similarly prominent white nationalists faced, though his affiliations with the budding alt-right movement were, in some ways, only somewhat veiled. DeAnna’s associations with Richard Spencer and others occasionally brought him briefly into the limelight – including, most notably, during NPI’s botched 2014 conference in Budapest, which DeAnna helped rescue from total collapse.
Another article from 2015, published in the Daily Beast, briefly called attention to his affiliation with the Wolves of Vinland (WoV), a neo-Volkish hate group based in Lynchburg, Virginia, as well, though that appeared to have no impact on his standing at WorldNetDaily. Some WoV members have been photographed with patches wearing YWC logos on the sleeveless vests worn by the former’s members and prospects.
After his departure from WND, DeAnna took to writing and editing for white nationalist publications full time. “Hubert Collins,” another pseudonymous writer for American Renaissance, announced “Hood’s” hiring on February 23, 2018. “Kirkpatrick,” meanwhile, released his first book, Conservatism, Inc.: The Battle for the American Right, in fall 2019, via the white nationalist publishing house Arktos.