White nationalist recruitment posts stir controversy on campus

Recruitment posts for a white nationalist party on Facebook received public backlash from VCU students the first week of school.

VCU philosophy student and self-proclaimed “eccentric philosopher of politics and ethics” Derrick Davis posted in multiple class Facebook pages encouraging students to join the Traditionalist Worker Party on Aug. 23.

According to the Traditionalist Worker Party website, the group is “America’s first political party created by and for working families.” The Southern Poverty Law Center described the group, formed in 2015, as the political wing of the Traditionalist Youth Network, which aims to “indoctrinate high school and college students into white nationalism.”

The recruitment flier Davis shared read “Faith, Family, Folk” and portrays a caucasian man waving a flag with the TWP logo on it. Multiple fliers have also appeared on the VCU campus.

The comments that followed on Facebook were less than supportive, asking Davis to stop “spread(ing) hate toward minorities while attending an extremely diverse school” and that “oppression and white supremacy aren’t welcome at VCU.”

Davis declined comment, but Matthew Heimbach, one of the group’s founders and current chairman of TWP, said the party has received much support from a “silent body of students” despite the negative comments online.

“Both nationalist and members of the Alt-Right have told us that they are tired of the radical Left dominating the campus culture,” Heimbach said in an email. “They are ready to stand up for the principles of Faith, Family and Folk.”

Although students are being recruited to join, TWP is not an official on-campus organization. Heimbach said TWP is moving toward becoming an on-campus organization in the spring, which would give the party time to build a presence as an “active part of campus life.”

“We aim to bring in speakers and host nationalist events on campus throughout the school year and beyond,” Heimbach said.

Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Reuban Rodriguez said the university is aware of the tension the posts caused on Facebook, but because VCU is a public institution the university does not limit free speech protected by the First Amendment or organizations becoming on-campus groups.

Rodriguez said if TWP follows the necessary requirements, the group could potentially become an official on-campus group next semester.

Brittney Maddox, a senior gender studies major and a program assistant in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, said when she and her friends first saw Davis’ post they thought it was an “internet troll.”

“We honestly thought it was a joke,” Maddox said. She said she continued to engage with Davis on Facebook, firing comments back and forth at one another on the recruitment post.

Maddox said it wasn’t until a friend sent her a link to the TWP website that she realized Davis was serious.

“I had to look at the page and read all of the information. And that’s when it came very real for me,” Maddox said. “This is scary.”

Maddox said she informed administrators about the posts, but according to Rodriguez the university is not in a position to step in unless students feel personally harassed or threatened.

“Speech is allowed to a certain point. It cannot threatened or harm others, cause a riot – there are limits to free speech. But VCU does not place any prohibitions on students,” Rodriguez said.

If students feel threatened in any way, Rodriguez said to submit a complaint through the Division of Student Affairs’ Bias Response page online.


maura_mazurowski. photo by sarah kingOnline Editor, Maura Mazurowski
Maura is a senior cinema and journalism student. She’s interested in combining investigative journalism with filmmaking, and is a contributing writer for the online publications Elite Daily and Literally Darling. Before transferring to VCU, Maura was an editor for the student newspaper at Virginia Tech, the Collegiate Times. // Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Portfolio
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10 Comments

  1. Well, the Southern Poverty Law Center ought to know about “white nationalists,” as it is currently celebrating its 46th consecutive year with no minorities at the top.

    With 300 employees and more than $300 million dollars in cash on hand, the Executive Suite of the SPLC is as lily-white today as when the company opened for business in 1971.

    http://wp.me/pCLYZ-sK

    Even “Teaching Tolerance,” the wing of the SPLC that purports to promote diversity in the K-12 classroom, has been led by “whites only” since its inception in 1991.

    After 46 long years maybe it’s time for the SPLC to practice what it preaches.

  2. I actually noted their physical appearance on campus a day before classes started, handing out pamphlets to “interested parties”, but hiding them and occasionally dispersing for a moment as any cluster of non-white students walked by.

    I wish I’d had my camera to record it, as a timelapse would go perfectly with “Yakety Sax”. It was funny and quite sad at the same time.

    • Oh yeah… They must be scared…. Niggers and wetbacks are so scary…. Oh wait they scared of people in bed sheets…. Send me out their…. I’ll tie me up… Fuck me in their ass while I make their girls watch…. You too hippie boy…. Not gay…. Just like to stop away all your sense of manhood before I curb stomp your teeth and scream GOOD NIGHT LEFT SIDE

    • I doubt it. They had no problem putting 5 antifa’s in the hospital during a Sacramento event. One which the antifa’s heavily outnumbered them, no less. I doubt the wiry, white-presenting colored people at the university bothered them at all.

  3. Whites are done feeding the parasitic failures who feed upon our productivity, who have most of their wealth thanks to us. All you have left is threatening violence, whether by yourselves or by the state we foolishly allowed you to vote for. The gravy train is coming to a stop.

    • “Whites are done feeding the parasitic failures who feed upon our productivity, who have most of their wealth thanks to us.”

      Most of America’s rise to power during the industrial revolution came from the cheap cotton we were able to process in our textile mills due to slavery. So the parasitic whites got most of their wealth from being parasites on the productivity of others.

      “or by the state we foolishly allowed you to vote for.”

      You are incapable of “allowing” anyone to vote. Vote is a right that you will never be able to take away.

  4. How often must we state we are a non-supremacist organization? The press, ALCU, SPLC, and everyone else willingly slander us. Our message, platform & goals are NOT white supremacist.
    but you are such a POOR journalist, you make your assumptions, your accusations, toeing the line the whole way, because you can’t be bothered to investigate the facts!

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