Everyone is relieved – supporters and opponents alike – that no real violence broke out during yesterday’s ‘White Lives Matter’ rally in Shelbyville, TN. The lack of violence at the event did not prevent a heated debate from raging within the alt-right over whether the rally was a success or a disaster.
“Today’s #WhiteLivesMatter protest was cringe. Self indulgent extremism is pure anti-propaganda. It’s unmarketable and a serious dead end,” former Identity Evropa leader Nathan Damigo said in a tweet.
The Traditional Workers Party, a national socialist organization participating in yesterday’s rallies, responded to Damigo on their official Twitter account by saying, “The optics of being an insecure, preening, back-stabbing weasel overshadow all of your homoerotic haircut jackassery.”
Meanwhile, James Allsup and Nick Fuentes, hosts of the Nationalist Review podcast who both appeared at the infamous Charlottesville rally in August, echoed Damigo’s concerns with the optics of the event and how it was viewed outside of the alt-right’s bubble.
“If you can’t see why the optics of today’s TN rally are problematic for our goals, you are not prepared to be a part of a serious movement,” Fuentes said in a tweet.
Fuentes received a great deal of enmity for his criticism, and much of it came from Hunter Wallace of Occidental Dissent, a white nationalist associated with the pro-confederate League of the South, who was one of the rally’s primary organizers. He insists that ‘White Lives Matter’ was a success because it exposed the anti-white hatred of the left, the rally’s intended goal.
“Nick is a conservative. I’m not a conservative or trying to pander to blue collar Paul Ryan voters,” Wallace said in a Tweet responding to Fuentes’ criticism.
Additionally, Wallace accused of Fuentes and Allsup of “hanging out with a bunch of childless homosexuals” and invited them to “go jerk off their God Emperor.”
“Because Anglin, Nick, & Nathan & I disagree w/ you, we’re “c-cksuckers” and “homosexuals”? Not a serious movement,” Allsup said in a Tweet responding to Wallace.
Although Wallace and other organizers maintain that ‘White Lives Matter’ is a success, they were forced to cancel the second part of the event in Murfreesboro and were largely inaudible in Shelbyville over music and chanting as counter-protesters had alt-right demonstrators greatly outnumbered.
“I called [Murfreesboro] off because of the potential of the Black Bloc clowns to incite a riot like they did in Charlottesville,” Wallace said in a tweet.
Clearly, there are wildly varying ideas for what defines success to the young alt-right movement. Until shared goals can be established regarding optics, these type of spats will likely continue.
“Call me whatever name you’d like; but what I’m saying need to be said! Do what you must- Many have been feeling this way for a long time!” Fuentes proclaimed after being barraged with angry comments on Twitter.
Alt-righters will ultimately have to ask themselves an important question moving forward: Will displays such as ‘White Lives Matter’ in Shelbyville and ‘Unite the Right’ in Charlottesville actually grow the movement, or will they only frighten people away from the cause?