An antigovernment extremist who has called Islam a mental disorder and urged his followers to shoot black women and children has issued another call to violence, posting a video on his Facebook page urging members of the Patriot movement to engage in “lone wolf” action against antifa.
James Stachowiak, who runs the antigovernment propagandist Freedom Fighter Radio, is a former police officer who has repeatedly urged his listeners to consider lone wolf acts of violence. This latest announcement followed a Sunday prayer vigil, which Stachowiak attended with several others in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to show support for a toppled statue that commemorated the Confederacy. In the video, Stachowiak alleges that tires on a fellow attendee’s vehicle were slashed during the event. He blames antifa and demands nationwide retaliation.
“This will have a blowback [sic] against antifa,” Stachowiak warns. “I personally hold all members of antifa responsible in all fifty states. If someone is a member of antifa, people, it is time to, be … lone wolves and retaliate against this attack. Retaliate as a lone wolf.”
Stachowiak’s call for lone wolf action comes at a time where violence from lone offenders — who, given their smaller footprints are typically less vulnerable to detection by law enforcement — is overshadowing the threat of violence from established groups.
Not even 10 days before Stachowiak posted the video, neo-Nazi sympathizer James Fields was convicted of first-degree murder for his lone wolf attack, ramming his car into a crowd of “Unite the Right” counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and wounding dozens more.
The Patriot movement at its core is fervently antigovernment, to the extent that adherents believe the federal government will enact mass genocide of American citizens and surrender American sovereignty to a cabal of international elites, often under the auspices of the United Nations and complicit federal agencies like the DHS and FEMA. Stachowiak’s call to violent action comes at a time when this movement is rapidly adjusting to a federal government under President Trump that it widely sees as an embattled ally.
Political Research Associates, a Massachusetts-based social justice organization, accurately detailed Trump’s appeal to the fundamentally antigovernment Patriot movement when it wrote, “Trump isn’t exactly the movement’s ideal candidate … But quite a number of Trump’s views — his toxic combination of bellicose patriotism, xenophobia and Islamophobia; implicit White nationalism; protectionist but pro-capitalist politics; as well as his thinly veiled threats of violence and penchant for wild conspiracy theories — all hit the same notes as the Patriot movement.”
It's with this context that the Patriot movement largely adores President Trump, and zealously opposes those it perceives to be a threat to the president’s Make America Great Again platform: Muslims, immigrants, Black Lives Matter activists and the political left (often all labeled antifa) to name a few.
Stachowiak, a staunch Trump supporter, is a case in point.
He regularly calls himself Johnny Infidel, and has an extensive history of anti-Muslim bigotry and activism, including calling the Islamic Prophet Mohammed a rapist, calling Islam a mental disorder and planning an anti-Muslim rally where he promised to shred a Quran.
In another video posted to Facebook, Stachowiak describes migrants as “illegals,” “invaders,” “criminals,” “parasites” and “vermin.” He does so while carrying an AR-15 variant with a Three Percenter “Nyberg” flag displayed prominently behind him. When he’s done ranting, he burns the Mexican flag.
In yet another video, Stachowiak seemingly responds to the civil unrest in in a predominantly black quarter of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, following a police shooting of a 23-year-old man by leveling his AR-15 rifle at the camera and stating, “I don’t care if they’re women or children. Anyone coming out of a store should be shot on sight. They should be shot exiting the store. If they make it down the street, then take their asses out and shoot them in the back.”
Stachowiak goes on to describe the Black Lives Matter movement as “Bitches, Losers and Maggots” before holding up to the camera a bullet with “BLM” scribbled on it.
“This is the solution to BLM,” Stachowiak says while presenting the ammunition. “BLM, I got a round with your name on it.”
He previously called for lone wolf action against Black Lives Matter in 2016, urging “lone wolf patriots” to confront them at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
To be sure, Stachowiak’s call for lone wolf retaliation is his latest exclamation in a career of extremist bluster. He does not command a paramilitary militia, and his comments are often controversial even with the ranks of the Patriot movement. But his call for leaderless vigilantism doesn’t require paramilitary force — in fact it seeks the opposite — and his rhetoric therein is consistent with the rhetoric of the broader Patriot movement in the Trump era.
And while Stachowiak’s radio and social media audience doesn’t influence as many people as antigovernment mainstay Alex Jones (at the time of writing the video calling for lone wolf retaliation was viewed just shy of 250 times on Facebook) his messages serve the same purpose of instilling fear and an urgency to act.