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Matthew Heimbach

Considered by many to be the face of a new generation of white nationalists, Matthew Heimbach founded a campus chapter of Youth for Western Civilization at Towson University in Maryland and later started the White Student Union there. He also has been a member of the neo-Confederate League of the South. Since graduating in the spring of 2013, he has entrenched himself further in the white nationalist movement and become a regular speaker on the radical-right lecture circuit.

About Matthew Heimbach

Following his graduation in the spring of 2013, Towson’s WSU was folded into the Traditionalist Youth Network, a new white nationalist organization cloaking itself in “traditionalism” that was founded by Heimbach and his father-in-law,  Matthew Parrott. In late 2014, Heimbach also assumed a leadership role in the neo-Confederate League of the South as the hate group’s training director.

In His Own Words:
“No longer will the homosexual, Muslim, and black supremacist groups be allowed to hijack our campus. … Youth for Western Civilization is preparing to take our campus back, all we need is the help of people like you to make it happen.” – Youth for Western Civilization blog, January 2012

“To be able to get everyone behind the idea [that] the purpose of our movement shouldn’t be about reforming America, shouldn’t be about trying to make the system better and less unfair towards us, it’s about flipping the table over. It’s about going to temple and saying that this is a violation of God’s law and creating a new homeland for whites around the entire world.”
– Traditionalist Youth Hour with Matthew Parrott, July 10, 2013

“[W]e shouldn’t give up California just yet. Because it truly is beautiful in terms of weather, but it’s full of Mexicans and that’s sort of a problem.”
 – Traditionalist Youth Hour with Matthew Parrott, July 10, 2013

“This is our home and our kith and kin. Borders matter, identity matters, blood matters, libertarians and their capitalism can move to Somalia if they want to live without rules, in the West we must have standards and enforce them. The ‘freedom’ for other races to move freely into white nations is nonexistent. Stay in your own nations, we don’t want you here.”
– “I Hate Freedom,” Traditionalist Youth Network, July 7, 2013

“Those who promote miscegenation, usury, or any other forms of racial suicide should be sent to re-education centers, not tolerated.”
– “I Hate Freedom,” Traditionalist Youth Network, July 7, 2013

“I do not care if you are a man who ‘loves’ another man, you do not have the right, privilege, or ability to marry him and carry on in a degenerate relationship. In any healthy society you would be dragged off to therapy to help you cope with
your mental illness, not given glitter and assless chaps to parade down the street. A society helps the mentally ill; it doesn’t parade them around as normal."
– “I Hate Freedom,” Traditionalist Youth Network, July 7, 2013

“We are not separate peoples fighting alone. We are all comrades in the struggle against International Jewry and the Zionist State.”

—“Same Enemy, Same Barricades: The Church Against Zionism,” Traditionalist Youth Network, Aug. 11, 2014

 “When the Jews are strong, the Jewish people engage their supposed foes with cold-blooded cruelty. This is why we must understand a unity between those who struggle against the Zionist State and International Jewry here in the West and those on the streets of Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon. We face the exact same enemy, one who doesn’t care if they kill our women, children, and elderly. We are facing a truly Satanic enemy, one that cannot be understood except through the lens of Christianity and Christian prophecy.”

— “Same Enemy, Same Barricades: The Church Against Zionism,” Traditionalist Youth Network, Aug. 11, 2014

Background:

Matthew Heimbach is a 2013 graduate of Towson University in Maryland, where he received a degree in history. As a student, he founded and served as president of a chapter of the white nationalist Youth for Western Civilization (YWC). Following the dissolution of the YWC chapter in the spring of 2012, Heimbach began a new campus organization known as the White Student Union (WSU). After his graduation, he became increasingly outspoken and transparent with his white nationalist beliefs. He has connections to several national organizations espousing similar ideologies — most notably the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), the League of the South (LOS), the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the American Freedom Party (AFP). 

Heimbach stated in a fundraising letter in the fall of 2011 that the YWC stood for “stopping rampant multiculturalism” and “against illegal immigration.” In early 2012, he issued a report on behalf of his YWC chapter that referred to the death of apartheid in South Africa as “orchestrat[ing] the systematic slaughter of the white community.” Continuing, he wrote, “The worst fears of the so called ‘radicals’ of the white minority that were discounted in the early 1990s now have come true.”

Heimbach planned and executed a series of inflammatory events at Towson University while president of the YWC chapter there. Foremost among these was the chalking, on campus sidewalks, of messages like “white pride” and “white guilt is over” in March 2012 – an event that led to the resignation of the group’s faculty sponsor, Richard Vatz, and the ultimate loss of the group’s official status on campus. Said Vatz: “They were using rhetoric in their arguments that I found were not appropriate.” Vatz went on to call the language frightening, particularly in its descriptions of political opponents as “cancer” and “disgusting degenerates.” In an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Vatz said, “This is not how conservatives comport themselves.” In Heimbach’s mind, the chalking event was a simple expression of “traditional conservative values and not racist.”

After his chapter of the YWC was disbanded, Heimbach formed another campus group, the White Student Union. According to Heimbach during an online segment filmed by VICE News: “We [Towson students] have black student development, Latino student development, gay student development, student success programs for those who can’t make it, and things for women. So one day white people will be on there. We’ll be treated equally with every other single group, hopefully. But demanding equality for white people on campus apparently isn’t very popular.”

On Oct. 2, 2012, “race realist” Jared Taylor spoke to the White Student Union at Heimbach’s invitation. Taylor is the founder of the white nationalist New Century Foundation and editor of its American Renaissance journal, a pseudo-academic journal that regularly publishes articles by proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black and anti-Latino racists.

The WSU’s recommended readings include Francis Parker Yockey’s neo-Nazi classic Imperium, as well works by three leading white nationalists — Sam Francis’s Essential Writings on Race, Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive Until 2025?, and Jared Taylor’s White Identity.

In the spring of 2013, during his last semester at Towson, Heimbach organized a student night patrol to combat what he called a “black crime wave.” Along with three other students, he patrolled the campus with police flashlights and pepper spray. Wrote Heimbach, the “commander” of the WSU, on the group’s blog, “every single day black predators prey upon the majority white Towson University student body.” In a later interview with the Baltimore Sun, he claimed that “every time the offender is a black male, usually between 18 and 25.”

In the documentary segment on VICE that focused on the WSU’s campus patrols, Heimbach, in no uncertain terms, endorsed the creation of a white ethno-state: “I think that especially the black community will find areas in the South, areas like Detroit, where they can have their own homelands, we don’t have to be antagonistic towards them. And if you want to sell yourself and your children down the river of multiculturalism, you can do that. But we deserve the right to exist, deserve the right to defend our culture, and deserve the right to have a future for our culture.”

While a student at Towson, Heimbach spoke at the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for the Route 40 Republican Party Club in Edgewood, Md. The vice president of the group at the time was John Stortstrom. In July 2013, Stortstrom was suspended from his job as a mechanical engineer at the U.S. Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland after his ties to Youth for Western Civilization and American Renaissance were exposed.  

On May 22, 2013, at a WSU dinner, Heimbach proposed that the group merge with Matthew Parrott’s Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), “an organization that will take the message of the WSU [White Student Union] far beyond the confines of Towson.” Heimbach, following graduation, assumed the role of national director for the group.

On June 8, 2013, Heimbach spoke at the racist CCC’s annual conference in Winston-Salem, N.C., while wearing a pistol on his hip. Claiming that “[o]ur people haven’t had a voice since 1860,” Heimbach called for secession. “The system can’t be reformed, nor should we try to do so,” he said. “We’ve tried every avenue to try to resolve the [race] issue.” Quoting Theodore Bilbo, a Klan member who was governor of Mississippi in the early 1900s, Heimbach stated, “It’s separation or mongrelization.” He closed with the “14 words,” a white nationalist motto coined by the late David Lane, a convicted terrorist who helped assassinate a Jewish talk show host in Denver in 1984: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

Heimbach has attended several of the LOS’s annual gatherings – in Abbeville, S.C. (2011); Wallsboro, Ala. (2012); and Wetumpka, Ala. (2013). The neo-Confederate group advocates a second Southern secession, a society dominated by “European Americans,” and a leadership composed of “Anglo-Celtic” elites. In Heimbach’s visits to the LOS’ conference in 2012 and 2013, he and other attendees traveled to downtown Montgomery to pose with a Confederate flag at the Civil Rights Memorial (located at the offices of the Southern Poverty Law Center) and the nearby Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery bus boycott in the 1950s. 

At the 2013 AFP conference, Heimbach spoke alongside Tomislav Sunic, an AFP director; Bill Johnson, the AFP chairman; Mark Weber, director of the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical ReviewKevin McDonald, an AFP director and an anti-Semitic professor at the California State University, Long Beach; and Michael Meyers of the Golden State Solidarity movement. 

In the summer of 2013, it became evident that Heimbach was wading into neo-Nazi territory. He spoke at the annual Stormfront gathering in Tennessee, where he sang the praises of neo-Nazi David Duke. This followed a late August interview on Duke’s radio show. Heimbach took an even more extreme turn the next month when he participated in a gathering hosted by the violent skinhead group Aryan Terror Brigade and co-hosted by the Imperial Klans of America and the National Socialist Movement. The event included a cross and swastika lighting. A photograph surfaced showing Heimbach standing under a large swastika performing the TYN favorite Avalonian salute, nearly indistinguishable from a sieg-heil, with a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis. 

As a result of Heimbach’s appearance at that gathering, Michael Hill, LOS president, barred him from attending an LOS rally in October and booted him out of the group. However, the ban only lasted a few short months before Heimbach was reinstated and placed into a leadership role as the LOS’ training director.

In 2014, Heimbach’s steady activism continued and was highlighted by a presentation at the annual Stormfront Smoky Mountain Summit entitled “Death to America.” Although it contained many familiar white nationalist talking points, such as claims about the purportedly Jewish-controlled U.S. federal government and scathing indictments of affirmative action, it also veered into more outlandish — such as the assertion that America was born of a secret partnership between Freemasons and the Jews.

“You are the wrong color, ladies and gentlemen. You are the wrong color to be an American and enjoy the American Dream. I’m sorry,” Heimbach told the crowd. “The meritocracy of America is skin color.”

However, Heimbach’s presentation stirred up controversy among some attendees, particularly the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan leader and well-known Christian Identity pastor, Thom Robb, who said of Heimbach: “Speakers should be experienced, grounded, mature and employ wisdom, otherwise they will never inspire others or be able to give a vision for others to grasp. … Perhaps Matt will someday, becomes [sic] those things, but until then he needs to humble himself and seek wisdom both of which he, at this time, lacks.”

The following September, Heimbach married his girlfriend, the daughter of Matt Parrott, co-founder of TYN. The two honeymooned across Eastern Europe, where they met with leaders of several far-right political parties including Greece’s criminally inclined Golden Dawn neo-Nazi group and the Czech Workers Party – even speaking at a political rally for the latter.

The year 2015 saw an increase in TYN activities including several protests against speaking engagements by Tim Wise, a well-known anti-racism activist, and a demonstration with members of the LOS at a panel centered on Russia at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. That increased activism has been accompanied by a shift in TYN’s focus towards making their white nationalist politics into a lifestyle, rather than just a political movement, that mirrors the Orthodox faith of key members of the group. In a series of articles titled “Becoming a Legionnaire,” Heimbach and Parrott make suggestions on how to live a life grounded in the principles of Traditionalism.