Since the announcement of Trump’s candidacy and his eventual ascension to the presidency we have seen a rise in white supremacist/fascist organizing and a level of hate crimes across the nation reminiscent of the 80s and 90s. Still, like a virus, fascism adapts to different conditions and takes on a different face in each new iteration: During the wave of white supremacy in the 80s and 90s, Nazis were much more easily identifiable. Born out of the punk rock scene, they primarily hijacked the style of traditional non-racist (and in many cases, anti-racist) skinhead culture, adopted a militant look, and took to the streets to commit acts of violence against those who they deemed as lesser-than. This then-new breed of violent white-supremacists were simply called “skinheads” in mainstream media, but to traditional anti-racist skinheads and to anti-racist activists they were and continue to be called “boneheads”.
Nowadays, the violent, dimwitted bonehead no longer encapsulates what we think of when we think of a neo-Nazi. Since Trump’s election, a much more subtle type of neo-Nazi has arisen: These days, white supremacist, fascist, and neo-Nazi organizers seek to hide in plain sight, wearing khakis and polo shirts, and speaking in code to project a more ‘polished’ image of their racist agenda, while largely organizing and recruiting online away from the gaze of society, using online platforms such as 4chan and other white supremacist web sites.
Since Trump became president we have seen a growing wave of pro-Trump rallies across the nation acting as a subterfuge for recruitment to these organizations. With Trump’s rhetoric of mass deportations, building a wall, and extreme nationalism, Nazis, fascists, and white supremacists have come out into the light of day, seeking to normalize their hate by shifting the “Overton window” in and effort to make their ideas socially acceptable. At the same time, they paint the antifascist fight for community self-defense as extreme or violent when in fact these same neo-Nazis are the ones actually committing assault and murder.
This new generation of fascists devote considerable financial resources to promote rallies as prime recruiting grounds to attempt to increase their ranks by attempting to recruit moderate conservatives and run-of-the-mill Republican Party “patriots”– who at least superficially share some of the same beliefs –while at the same time often using dog-whistle phrases and imagery to signal their presence to other fascists.
One reason that this model continues to flourish is that conservatives continue to ignore or play down the presence of active neo-Nazis, fascists, and white supremacists in their midst; often citing “free speech” when it is pointed out, and thus tacitly enabling the hijacking of Conservative rallies for hate groups to recruit and organize within.
In this article we will build the narrative of Murphy’s white supremacist organizing, starting with the first time Murphy Harkins came on our radar at the
Given that Murphy has less notoriety than other alt-right and fascist celebrities, we understand that Murphy’s presence at these events may have only raised the eyebrows of antifascists, who track the who’s who in fascist circles. However, in mid-August, Murphy Harkins attended the notorious white supremacist “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville Virginia. The Charlottesville rally was one of the most aggressive attempted displays of far-right force, and one of the largest scale white supremacist rallies in recent history, and led to many clashes, injuries, and one death.
On August 11, 2017, the first day of the “Unite the Right”, white supremacists organized a nighttime torch march to a Thomas Jefferson statue. As the white supremacists marched to the monument with their burning tiki torches, they shouted “Jews will not replace us,” among other extreme racist and nationalist slogans. When the white-supremacist torch bearers arrived at the monument they found about two dozen counter-protesters, whom they attacked. Murphy Harkins was observed, and is documented openly and enthusiastically participating in the white-supremacist torch rally. He was seen wearing a True Cascadia hat, alongside at least three others wearing the same hat, signifying group membership. Propublica reported that True Cascadia was one of many hate groups present at that rally. Murphy Harkins was also caught on video shouting for Cascadia members around the time the crowd was dispersing. This would suggest that he might have even been leading the True Cascadia group that evening.
On August 12, 2017 , the second day of the Charlottesville rally, near Emancipation park, hundreds of neo-Nazis and antifascist counter-protesters clashed in and around the park. Murphy Harkins was documented in detail throughout the rally, where he situated himself with fellow white supremacists. Earlier in the day, Murphy Harkins could be seen standing alongside white supremacists, behind the shield wall of the Traditionalist Workers Party near the steps to Emancipation Park. The TWP is a relatively large, well-known Nationalist Socialist (Nazi) organization. Throughout the day, Murphy Harkins and his cronies from the prior evening were seen with their True Cascadia hats on, while one member of the group carried the True Cascadia flag. Prior to the racists being driven from Emancipation Park, Murphy Harkins was photographed standing with the Vanguard America contingent, immediately next to James Alex Fields, who later that day drove his car through a crowd of counter-protesters, killing antifascist Heather Heyer.