PUTTING A FACE ON HATE WHILE EXPOSING ITS PUTRID UNDERBELLY
THE MATTHEW HEIMBACH STORY
Recall the the incident in the clip below at a Trump rally in Louisville, Kentucky, last month where a young Black women was attacked? Remember the bearded guy in a red cap and black tee shirt who was shouting, pushing and shoving the young woman? Well, if you thought that this incident was just a “heat of the moment,” spontaneous, tempers gone aflame moment, there’s something – someone, actually – you should know. The bearded guy is one Matthew Heimbach, 25 years old, college educated, product of a liberal suburban Washington upbringing, now living in Indiana and is a White Supremacist.
Surprised? I was. It never occurred to me that the incident was anything more than a couple of Trump supporters losing it in the heat of the moment. A scuffle that ratcheted out of control when the Trump crowd objected to Black protestor, Kashiya Nwanguma, exercising her right of protest and free speech. Matthew, however, as young and assuredly lacking in life experiences as he must necessarily be at his age, is no stranger to the world of far right wing radical philosophy and action.
There is an article about Matthew in this morning’s WashPo that sheds a great deal of light not only on Matthew Heimbach but on the forces that are propelling Trump’s popularity.
THE AFFABLE, YOUTHFUL FACE OF HATE IN AMERICA
THE AFFABLE, YOUTHFUL FACE OF HATE IN AMERICA
The roots of Heimbach extremism go back at least to his high school years at Poolesville High School, in wealthy Montgomery County, Maryland (the median family income in Poolesville is $150,000) where former classmates describe him as being very anti-Black saying that “this is a white community and “those people” don’t belong here.” While attending Montgomery College, a former teacher, Joe Thompson, recalls Heimbach as “going out of his way to be offensive, sporting a tee shirt that read “All I Need To Know About Islam I learned on 9-11” and a bumper sticker with a Confederate flag and the words “If I Had Known All The Trouble They Would Cause, I Would Have Picked The Cotton Myself.” (Fairly clever, this one.) Thompson relates that “I did see some goodness in him. But I did see that he was infected with this hatred.”
In 2012, as a student at Towson University outside Baltimore, Heimbach founded a white student union to “celebrate European heritage” and on the group’s website was posted that they were there to protect white students from “black predators” and that “White Southern men have long been called on to defend their communities when law enforcement and the State seem unwilling to protect our people.”
So one might ask, how did this upper middle class youngster (both his parents are teachers), from one of the most progressive and liberal areas of the country, with excellent public facilities, excellent public education, where tolerance is virtually a third molecule residing in the atmosphere, (Montgomery County is always among the top three richest counties in the nation) become such a rabid, bigoted and hateful individual? How has this educated young man come to forge relationships with hate groups such as Stormfront, the League of the South, the National Socialist Movement and why did the Southern Poverty Law Center list David as a hate monger long before last month’s Trump rally? Good question.
As I was reading the article, words and phrases kept popping up that sounded very familiar to me. Phrases like his rants against “multiculturalism,” his “whites are under attack,” the sign he carried in front of the Holocaust Museum here in Washington that read: “6 million? More like 271,301,” the anti-Black sentiments, the whites under siege, and after the Brussels terrorist attack his tweet: “Hey Brussels, hows that multiculturalism working out for you.” Now you can find all this and more on any of the Neo-Fascist, White Supremacist web sites that I have scoped out in the past. But when I finished the article, I keep thinking, “Where have I heard all this before? Almost it seemed, like it comes from a script.” And suddenly it dawned on me: Rush Limbaugh. Of course, he’s not the only one, but he is the undisputed leader of the right wing conspiracists and whites are under attack branch of American society.
As most of you know, I listen to his afternoon radio rant soften, (WTOP at 1:00 PM) just to keep up with the latest conspiracy theories, his “how liberals (and multi-culturists) are destroying America” and “Barack Obama is fanning racial strife” themes along with the Killary E-Mail Kronicles of late. And there it was. It’s almost as if Matthew Heimbach had listened to Rush and believed every single word that this radio hate monger had ever uttered. The similarity was uncanny.
Heimbach, defending his extremist beliefs, thinks that it’s everyone else who needs to open their eyes. “They don’t realize how bad the problems are. They don’t realize what’s out there. You can’t just wait out the storm and hope that everything is going to be okay.” And as he said at gathering of the Council of Conservative Citizens in Saint Louis last month: (Yes, he’s become a rising star in the radical conservative movement). Rush expresses the very same sentiments daily.
“And Donald Trump is just the first glimmer of the dawn that is about to rise. What he has shown us is that our people will not go quietly into the night. They want to fight,” says Heimbach.
It’s sad really. Apparently other than his parent’s divorce when he was 13, Matthew Heimbach has never been attacked by a Black "thug," never suffered some deep trauma at the hands of an illegal Mexican immigrant, was never beaten up by ultra conservative Jew and lived a fairly privileged youth right here in one of the most liberal regions of the United States. Apparently, however, from the vicarious screechings of Rush, and Michael Savage, and, now, Donald Trump, he’s frightened (and brainwashed) enough to have founded a political party dedicated to “protecting whites from attack and restoring whites to their former glory and superiority.” This is the same baseless, fact less and conspiratorial meme that Dylann Roof espoused when he took it upon himself to save the White race by killing nine Black members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 15th of last year.
Remember, the Tea Baggers and right wingers don’t hate Obama because he takes the law into his own hands, or that he’s soft on terrorism or he’s a secret Muslim – which is what they tell everyone – they hate him because he’s Black. Period. End of story. Apparently, now that he’s in his last months in office, the same folks who hate Obama have found another champion for their racist causes in Donald Trump.