White Supremacist UCSD Student Disrupts Lecture

Photo courtesy of Patrick Cines / Onward State.

A UC San Diego student and member of the white supremacist group Identity Evropa has been disrupting classrooms and, in at least one instance, flashing his Identity Evropa badge before leaving.

According to UCSD Police logs on Jan. 11, Policy And Records Administration received a report that a member of a white supremacist group entered a classroom to harass students, but police determined that no crime was committed.

An unnamed student in the class  said that everything was “calm” when the Evropa member first entered, since many students are still picking classes during the first few weeks of school. According to the student, the mood shifted when the Evropa member got up and started to leave.  “As he reached the door, he turned back in a way that made it seem like he forgot something, then he flashed his badge.”

When the Professor didn’t understand the gesture, the Evropa member gave up and said someone “would be watching.”

“I felt actual shock waves move through the class as each student began to process what happened, our faces went from confusion to recognition to shock to fear to anger,” the student said. “They didn’t take away our resolve, or our sense of purpose in the class. If anything, they empowered us.”

While the intention of Identity Evropa is to cause panic, the university response has primarily been one of silence, intending to partition the event away from press and quarantine the situation. UCSD Administration and Records has not released any further information on the incident or the student to the public.

Following the incident, Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Simmons responded to the “several incidents” involving white supremacist groups on campus in an instructional memo sent to all department chairs on Jan. 16. She wrote that faculty have a responsibility and the authority to maintain order in the classroom.

“Disruption of the teaching and learning process should not be tolerated,” Simmons wrote in the memo. “Individuals should be asked to leave class if they engage in disruptive behavior that impedes your ability to teach the class productively.”

Over the last two years, white supremacists identifying with Identity Evropa have placed cryptic flyers around the campus urging students to “embrace their European heritage.” In October 2017, the group hung two unauthorized banners from the top of Price Center in the early morning that were promptly removed. One of them read “No Amnesty! End DACA!” and the other in part read “Carry On, Citizen.”

Brooke Binkowski, Managing Editor of fact-checking website Snopes and a UCSD alumna, thinks that unless administrators act soon, the problem will only get worse.

“I think it’s disgraceful that this kind of intimidation is allowed to flourish on campus under the auspices of free speech, because it is outright chilling the free speech rights of any student that is not a white supremacist,” said Binkowski.“I’m also very disappointed with the lack of administrative response to date, because if this is allowed to be entrenched in the culture of the university, it will be extremely hard to get rid of,” she said. “I was here for the noose in the library and the Compton Cookout and I saw the non-response then and the soul-searching that it prompted.”

Identity Evropa’s describes themselves as “identitarian” and overtly echoes the Nazi Party’s concept of Volksgemeinschaft, requiring members be “of European, non-Semitic heritage.”

On Jan. 17, the local chapter of Identity Evropa participated in a beach clean-up, where they did not publicize their preference for segregation of communities and ethnocentrism, but did remove plastics and broken glass. On Jan. 28, the group placed a banner above the Yerba Buena Tunnel in San Francisco that read “Danger. Sanctuary City Ahead.”  

“Like many newer alt-right organizations, Identity Evropa tries to cloak its white supremacist ideology with pseudo-intellectualism meant to appeal to young, white, male college students,” says the Southern Poverty Law Center. “No swastikas here, but clean-cut boys with fashy haircuts and pressed khakis.

Embed from Getty Images

Identity Evropa was founded in March 2016 by Nathan Damigo, one of the organizers of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, where one attendee rammed his car into a crowd, injuring 19 and killing 1. In April, Damigo punched anti-fascist protester Emily Rose Marshall in the face. This was followed by a doxxing campaign against Marshall and her family, initiated by the greater”alt-right” community. Damigo stepped down after the Charlottesville rally, after which the organization promised to change directions.

“Most people think of Democracy as being synonymous with free speech,” Identity Evropa founder Nathan Damigo said in an interview last January. “It isn’t necessarily.”

San Diego State University (SDSU) is also no stranger to interactions with Identity Evropa. In 2016, The Daily Aztec interviewed SDSU alum Reinhard Wolff, who has actively recruited white students on campus. Wolff advocates the creation of an “ethnostate,” an area occupied overwhelmingly by people of one race.

All of these efforts are a part of “Project Siege,” an effort to begin “a long term cultural war of attrition” against what they call “academia’s Cultural Marxist narrative.”

In light of recent UC initiatives that spurred the discussion about the importance of freedom of speech, incidents of hate on UC campuses have been on the rise. In April 2016, students chalked the campus with nativist messages like “build a wall,” “deport them all,” and “Mexico will pay.” In September 2017, white supremacist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos cost UC Berkeley $800,000 in order to make a 20 minute appearance bolstered by hundreds of protesters.

“The administration could head off a really bad public relations headache in the future if they act now,” said Binkowski. “The tide is going to change for white supremacy, and it’s going to be real embarrassing for the people that let it flourish.”

Gabriel Schneider is the News Editor at The Triton.

  • richardbelldc

    This article is alarming, but ultimately disappointing because the author failed to offer any solutions as to how students, faculty, and admins should work together to contain the alt-right threat. Given how much air cover the 1st amendment offers to people who want to intimidate and disrupt things, we need to hear better strategies for combatting the alt-right.

    • j.lup

      Your disappointment and criticism are misplaced. This is a short article about what happened, and not one that purports to provide answers concerning how to address the problem.

  • Paige

    Also important to note that the class in which the Evropa member flashed his badge was an Ethnic Studies course

    • Dr. James Russel, PhD

      No platforms for anti-white content.

  • Lorenzo Pennypacker

    Quite a laughable story. Identity Evropa members do not have “badges” or engage in tactics of intimidation. Why is only one student speaking about this? Why are there not multiple accounts? Why has the professor not spoken about this issue? This smells like a total fabrication to me.

    • Angoy Saxon

      I agree. Identity Evropa wearing flashing badges? It’s nonsense.

    • Knight_Ryder

      Media wants to sensationalize this to paint the Identity Evropa member as the aggressors here. What kind of Marxist nonsense was this professor teaching? Was he spouting on again how we need to “End White Privilege” and how “White people are the real problem in society?” Academia has gone too far these days. The things I hear coming from these classrooms is not real education, it’s indoctrination.

    • WhiteandRight

      One of several instances. The truth is these people are showing up on campus intentionally to foment discomfort, with clear knowledge of how to do it. Free speech is one thing, but these sorts of provocations are something else. They are responding to tactics and rhetorics by a small group of individuals on the extreme left, and incensing others in the process. The effect is an escalation that serves your interests and the far left’s interests as bullshit evidence, and makes everyone else’s lives harder.

  • Michael

    Now you know what it feels like- stop with the supremacists name calling nonsense

    • WhiteandRight

      Who knows what what feels like?