Friday, July 26, 2019

#2219: Jeff Schoep

The National Socialist Movement (NSM) is a Detroit-based neo-Nazi organization, and a part of the Nationalist Front. NSM refers to itself as a “white civil rights organization” but objects to being referred to as “racist” and “Neo-Nazi” in part because such descriptions of their goals are unflattering. The descriptionsare not what is wrong here – the group did for instance use the swastika as logo until 2016, and has stated that “When you put on your NSM uniform, you are not just representing the NSM but all National Socialists that fought and died for our Race and our Cause! You are showing the Jews and the rest of the world that our Führer is not forgotten and that his life's struggle was not in vain!”. The aforementioned goals include a US inhabited only by those of “pure White blood” (Jewish people and homosexuals need not apply), and they demand that “all non-Whites currently residing in America be required to leave the nation forthwith and return to their land of origin: peacefully or by force” – according to their website “The Constitution was written by white men alone. Therefore, it was intended for whites alone.” Supporters include Randy Gray and Christian Identity pastor James Wickstrom.

Jeff Schoep was chairman of the group from 1994 to 2019. It was hence under Schoep’s tenure that the NSM for instance led the demonstration that sparked the 2005 Toledo riot and the rally that turned into the 2016 Sacramento riot – ostensibly “non-violent” NSM has a history of seeking out violence that distinguishes them from other expressedly non-violent groups. In November 2016, following the election of Donald Trump, the organization changed its logo from the swastika to an Odal rune, apparently eyeing an opportunity to enter mainstream politics. Apparently Schoep worked hard to unite “pro-white organizations, though he also sought to distance his group from the KKK: “We’re both pro-white, but our politics are very different,” said Schoep, apparently because whereas the NSM is political, the Klan promotes religion. Anti-semitism is of course at the core of NSM’s conspiracy theories, and according to Schoep “illegal immigration from Latin America is driven by an international Jewish conspiracy whose leaders are plotting "the destruction of all races through the evils of race mixing.” 

In 2019, Schoep was replaced as director and president of the NSM by James Hart Stern, a black activist vowing to eradicate the group. Apparently Schoep was responsible for the takeover because he wanted to leave the group due to the legal issues he was embroiled in (nothing suggests that Schoep has become noticeably less lunatic about the issues that constitute the core of NSM’s mission). Matthew Heimbach used to be the group’s community outreach director.

There is a good portrait of Schoep here, and of the NSM here.

Diagnosis: Yeah, well … 

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