American Renaissance Attendees Include Retired Idaho Police Captain
Speakers at this weekend’s American Renaissance conference included a former congressman; a self-described “proud Islamophobe” who once handcuffed herself to Twitter’s headquarters; and a recently retired captain in Boise, Idaho’s Police Department (BPD) whose identification by an antifascist researcher and activist has been corroborated by Hatewatch.
The latter speaker was billed under the pseudonym “Daniel Vinyard,” and was set to present a talk entitled “The Vilification of Police and What it Means for America.”
“Daniel Vinyard” has previously been interviewed on camera by American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor, and published articles on the organization’s website, including one reflecting on his career through the lens of his “race realist” beliefs.
(Taylor uses the euphemism “race realism” to give a pseudoscientific gloss to white nationalists’ racist beliefs, including their claims that Black people are on average intellectually inferior to whites, and innately more prone to criminal behavior.)
In a Twitter thread, antifascist journalist Molly Conger identified “Vinyard” as Matthew Bryngelson, a career police officer who had recently retired from the Boise, Idaho Police Department (BPD).
The Idaho Statesman published a report Sunday evening which confirmed the identification. Their report drew outraged comments denouncing Bryngelson’s white supremacist views from Boise’s mayor, Lauren McLean, and the Treasure Valley Fraternal Order of Police.
Hatewatch also sought to corroborate Conger’s thread on Sunday, consulting BPD Facebook posts cited by Conger, as well as other public documents and online sources in corroborating the identification.
One such post highlighted Bryngelson’s retirement last August. The photographs appear to be of the same person interviewed by Taylor, with matching facial features and matching tattoos.
Other photographs of Bryngelson appear in several other BPD posts, and all of them appear to depict the same person interviewed by Taylor.
Material on BPD’s website indicates that Captain Bryngelson headed their patrol division and worked at the department for 22 years. Public salary records indicate that as of 2021, Captain Bryngelson’s annual salary was $144,789.
BPD highlighted Bryngelson in its outreach efforts: From January 2022 until his retirement, he hosted a BPD podcast, “Police Beat.”
Hatewatch texted and left a voicemail at a cellphone number that data broker services identified as Bryngelson's. Bryngelson did not identify himself affirmatively in a text response, and broke off the conversation when Hatewatch's reporter announced himself. The voicemail message, however, identified the device as "Matt's phone."
Hatewatch also contacted conference organizer and founder, Jared Taylor, for comment on Bryngelson’s appearance, but received no immediate response.
Hatewatch previously reported that conference speakers would include far-right internet performer and failed congressional candidate, Laura Loomer, and former congressman and open white nationalist, Steve King.
Loomer infamously handcuffed herself to Twitter’s New York City headquarters in 2018 after her account on the social media site was suspended. The previous year, an anti-Muslim tirade online saw her banned from an array of online platforms and services including UberEats.
Jason Kessler, an organizer of the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally and a contributor to a wide variety of white nationalist publications, posted a photo of himself with King on Twitter on Saturday night. In the image, both King and Kessler are giving a thumbs up.
Other speakers billed on the conference’s online schedule included “Gregory Hood,” a pseudonym whose owner Hatewatch previously identified as Kevin DeAnna, 39, of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Under the Hood pseudonym, DeAnna wrote columns for a range of white nationalist publications, along with a 2015 manifesto lambasting so-called “Cuckservatives.”
Despite being identified by Hatewatch in early 2020, DeAnna continues to use the “Hood” pen name, even during public speaking events.
Also on the bill was “Christopher Zeeman,” one of the pseudonyms used by John Christopher “Chris” Zander, 56, of Cockeysville in suburban Baltimore, Maryland. Hatewatch previously identified Zander as the person behind the “Z Man” alias, under which he produces a white nationalist blog and podcast, earning an estimated five figure income from fans of this material on low-moderation subscription site, SubscribeStar.
Like Hood, Zander also continues to use his pseudonyms despite being publicly identified by Hatewatch. Other U.S.-based white nationalists were also in attendance, including VDARE publisher Peter Brimelow, livestreamer and Nick Fuentes ally Dalton Clodfelter and blogger Brad Griffin.
Again this year, the conference connected American white nationalists with their far-right counterparts overseas.
One of the scheduled speakers was Reuben Kaalep, a co-founder of Estonia’s far-right, anti-immigrant Conservative People’s Party.
Kaalep led the party’s Blue Awakening youth movement. The youth wing holds annual torchlit marches in the capital, Talinn, under the motto “Estonia for Estonians”, which have been condemned by advocacy groups including the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Rounding out the conference schedule were Klan lawyer and real estate huckster Sam Dickson, and white nationalist podcaster, Henrik Palmgren.
While Taylor has worked for decades to position American Renaissance as providing a sophisticated version of racist ideology, pictures of the event posted online showed attendees enjoying Sutter Home Merlot, currently priced at $4.19 in a mixed dozen at one Nashville retailer.
Photo illustration by SPLC