Op-Ed

White nationalist set to bring resumé of hate to Lexington

Matthew Heimbach, an organizer at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., voiced his displeasure at the media there after an Aug. 14 court hearing for the rally participant who killed a woman when he plowed a car into a crowd of protesters. He plans to lead protests about plans to relocate Confederate statues from downtown Lexington.
Matthew Heimbach, an organizer at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., voiced his displeasure at the media there after an Aug. 14 court hearing for the rally participant who killed a woman when he plowed a car into a crowd of protesters. He plans to lead protests about plans to relocate Confederate statues from downtown Lexington. Associated Press

Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Workers Party has indicated that he and his followers may come to Lexington to protest the proposed moving of Confederate statues. I suspect that very few Lexingtonians actually know much about Heimbach. He says he is an advocate of “free speech” and “Southern heritage.”

Or is he something very different?

Heimbach, a 26-year-old Indiana resident, is an emerging leader of the white nationalist movement in the United States. He has appeared with and supported the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Terror Network and a variety of Nazi organizations, according to news articles and reports from the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Heimbach was involved in the planning for a 2013 Nazi rally in Kansas City to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Kristallnacht occurred on the night of Nov. 9, 1938, when paramilitary civilians associated with the Nazi Party rampaged through German streets, destroying and ransacking Jewish homes, synagogues, schools and businesses.

In fact, Heimbach is so closely allied with violent neo-Nazis that the League of the South, a far-right organization which claims its purpose is to protect the historical memory of the Confederacy, broke all associations with him, saying: “Matthew Heimbach, a former member of the League of the South, has apparently decided to cast his lot with Nazis and others who do not represent the traditional South, the Southern Nationalist movement, and the League of the South. … Neither he nor his friends will be welcome at our demonstrations.”

In 2014, Heimbach was a keynote speaker at Stormfront’s “Death to America” meeting in the Smoky Mountains. In that speech, Heimbach repeated tired old theories about a Jewish control of the federal government and international banking. But he went even further, arguing that the United States was created as part of Jewish/Freemason conspiracy. He concluded: “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. The meritocracy of America is skin color.”

Heimbach also allied his group with the Aryan National Alliance. At a joint meeting in Salem, Ohio, Heimbach said, “We must support the creation of an ethno-state.”

It is clear from Heimbach’s own words he is not the least bit interested in “free speech,” “Southern heritage” or civil discourse.

In 2013, on the “Traditionalist Youth Hour” he said: “... 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.”

Also in 2013, Heimbach said: “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.”

Heimbach is a white supremacist.

In 2014 on the same program he said: “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.”

Heimbach is a Nazi. He should not have a platform in Lexington or anywhere else.

Gary W. Potter is a professor at Eastern Kentucky University’s School of Justice Studies. Reach him at gary.potter@eku.edu.

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