‘Proud’? ‘Unapologetic’ white nationalists prefer pseudonym

A regional white nationalist group explains why college campuses are fertile ground for recruitment

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A new "alt-right" group is recruiting on campuses. Alex-Jon Earl/PSU Vanguard

Last weekend, a flyer posted on a bulletin board outside Smith Memorial Student Union stood out among the various ads for events and shows. In capital letters it read, “White. Proud. Unapologetic.” As a public institution, most bulletin boards at Portland State are open for general public use.

The flyer’s accompanying illustration featured a blonde male wearing a tank top with the words “white pride.” The image is a modified version of an illustration from The Saturday Evening Post by J.C. Leyendecker, a popular American painter in the early 20th century whose work often featured a homoerotic aesthetic. His biographers speculate that he was a gay man. Some of Leyendecker’s paintings have been appropriated for contemporary neo-Nazi and white nationalist propaganda.


The flyer found outside Smith Memorial is an advertisement for Cascadia, a relatively new and obscure self-described “alt-right” movement based in the Pacific Northwest. It has no relationship to the Cascadia bioregional social movement.

The alt-right

The alternative right is a disparate movement of right-wing and far-right ideologues who reject traditional conservatism in favor of chauvinistic nationalism. The movement is particularly active on social media and uses memes to spread its message. Some in the movement are white supremacists and white nationalists although others reject this as an identifying trait.

On its website, Cascadia says its mission is to promote a “white ethnic consciousness.” The mission statement goes on to list grievances about perceived discriminatory policies toward whites, the decline of traditional family values and the loss of national sovereignty through foreign influence and mass migration.

PSU President Wim Wiewel said he was unaware of the flyer or group in question but mentioned that there was a similar incident in 2015 in which an anonymously-run and now defunct Facebook page called “PSU White Student Union” attracted controversy. At the time, PSU issued official denunciation of the page and had its General Counsel file a cease and desist claim with Facebook for the page’s unauthorized use of the PSU brand.

Christopher Broderick, associate vice president of University Communications, informed the Vanguard that Cascadia is not a recognized student organization. “There are 200 campus clubs that are registered and that’s not one of them,” Broderick said.

“Herrenvolk”

Cascadia refused to speak with the Vanguard except through email correspondence using a moniker. Herrenvolk is a coordinator for the Oregon chapter of Cascadia who identified himself as a 26-year-old male. He categorically denied any accusation that Cascadia is a white supremacist or neo-Nazi group. Instead, Herrenvolk identified the organization as white nationalist in nature.

“People are joining our movement because, like every other race, they want to advocate for themselves,” Herrenvolk said. “Modern academia is ripe for the picking given the current politically-correct and openly white-hating agenda that is pushed.”

The group’s potential sympathies with neo-Nazi ideology is also hinted at through the alias chosen by its representative. The term “Herrenvolk” was popularized in Nazi-era Germany and translates roughly as “master people” or “master race.”

Herrenvolk said Cascadia has “a few dozen members” at each of the large universities in the Pacific Northwest and “a few hundred” members overall. He did not provide any evidence for the claims.

Nationalism vs. supremacism

Eric Kaufmann
Dr. Eric Kaufmann, a professor at the University of London, studies ethnicity-based political movements

Dr. Eric Kaufmann, a professor of politics in Birkbeck College at the University of London, studies ethnicity-based identity politics, particularly of majority groups. Kaufmann explained that the difference between white supremacism and white nationalism is not merely a practice in semantics although the ideologies can intertwine.

“White supremacy is about a belief in innate white superiority over other races,” Kaufmann said. “The litmus test for racism is irrationality, not racial self-interest.”

Kaufmann explained that nationalists are concerned with territorial community and political aspiration. White nationalism frames these goals within a white racial context.

While opponents of all white-identity movements may disregard the semantic and ontological differences of these concepts, Kaufmann stressed that it may lead to a political and social misdiagnosis. “If an ethnic group feels discriminated against, powerless, or if it feels it is losing some aspect of its identity, these can fuel demand for ethnic politics,” Kauffmann said.

Herrenvolk exploited the nuances in these terms by speaking in a rational, intellectual and even egalitarian manner. “We would prefer if all races could rule themselves,” Herrenvolk said. “Forced diversity only leads to conflict and distrust, not only for whites, but for all other races as well.”

Winston Grady-Willis
Dr. Winston Grady-Willis is a professor in the Black Studies department at Portland State.

Dr. Winston Grady-Willis, director of the School of Gender, Race and Nations at PSU, contends that black nationalism is not akin to white nationalism. “Generally speaking, black nationalism here in the U.S. has concerned itself with establishing independent black cultural, political, social and economic institutions,” he said. “It asserts the right of self-determination.”

Grady-Willis explained that while some black nationalists have called for racial separatism vis-a-vis a black nation-state, the movement is not monolithic and at its core is opposed to institutional racism.

Herrenvolk said Cascadia’s advocacy of self-determination is the same. “Why would any race want to be a minority?” he asked. “What would be most advantageous is for all racial groups to have their own respective nations where they can rule themselves in whatever way they see fit.”

Biological race?

Despite expressing sentiment for equal self-rule, Herrenvolk later dove into darker pseudoscientific claims about racial hierarchies. “Evolution did not stop when humans left Africa,” Herrenvolk said. “To assume that different breeds of dogs can have different temperaments and intelligence, but different races of humans cannot is ignorant at best, and lying at worst.”

While companies such as Ancestry and 23andme advertise DNA testing that aids in determining one’s ethnic heritage, the genetic markers they look for merely indicate which populations share related DNA, rather than establishing objective criteria as to which populations should be counted as distinct races.

According to a 2004 Nature Genetics review of scientific literature on human genetics spanning decades of research, roughly 85–90 percent of genetic variation is found within individuals belonging to a particular continental group, while less than 15 percent of variation is found distinguishing these groups as separate populations. In other words, the genetic differences spanning our own so-called racial group are greater than the genetic differences that vary from one race to another.

To Herrenvolk, the biological evidence which deconstructs race seemed largely irrelevant. He pointed to select social science research which show disparities in IQ scores across a variety of racial categories in large-N studies. Most scholars attribute these variations to environmental factors such as development and education access while others contest the concept of measurable intelligence itself.

Herrenvolk claimed that East Asians and Jews have “evolved” to have higher IQs, but the white race is uniquely responsible for the fruits of Western civilization, such as enlightenment thinking.

A cultural revolution

As the politics of division is used by leaders and activists across the political spectrum, Cascadia is strategically seizing the moment to recruit disaffected whites through social media and clandestine outreach campaigns. 

The left has overplayed their hand,” Herrenvolk said. “Promoting ‘diversity’ to the Nth degree, forcing down the throats of our youth that whites are evil and can do no good, and pushing degeneracy of every form.”

Herrenvolk issued an ominous warning toward the end of the email exchange: “There will be a cultural revolution, and it will not be the one that the left has dreamt of, a-la Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein, but a resurgence of rightist politics.”

In the end, Cascadia’s image of a strong, unapologetic and proud white man in the flyer is contrasted with the reality of the group’s anonymous online correspondence.

Editor’s note: We initially included a note about the illustration’s “stylistic overtones of Nazi-era propaganda.” The article is now updated to include further contextual information.

The Vanguard is committed to seeking truth and reporting it. If you have any information about this group or movement, contact the Vanguard. For those who feel alarmed and unsafe by learning of such a presence in the PSU community, we encourage you to utilize the resources on campus. Many of these resources can be found here: PSU Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion.

24 COMMENTS

  1. I was openly white nationalist when I was in the movement. I had online nicknames/usernames… but everyone knew my real name as well, so they were used interchangeably. I think that on occasion journalists used my usernames as a way to keep my privacy, or because they just didn’t bother in doing much research… but I never asked them too.. and if they requested my real name.. it would have been given.

    This new generation of WN/alt right is full of whiny little snowflakes that are terrified of people.

    BTW.. I disagree with Dr. Grady-Willis about black nationalism not being the same thing. It certainly is.

    “Generally speaking, white nationalism here in the U.S. has concerned itself with establishing independent white cultural, political, social and economic institutions,” he said. “It asserts the right of self-determination.”

    See.. same thing. Because that is what white nationalism is. When I was in the Kalispell PLE.. it was because I wanted to help form a white nation-state, with white institutions, that had its own right of self-determination.

    “Grady-Willis explained that while some white nationalists have called for racial separatism vis-a-vis a white nation-state, the movement is not monolithic and at its core is opposed to institutional racism.”

    Again… change black to white, and you get the white nationalism.. as it is also not a monolithic movement… and when I was a WN.. I certainly wasn’t for institutional racism of any sort.

    That is one of the things that annoys me as someone that has broken with my former associates.. when I have to come in and point out someone is wrong, and in a way defend them… because the under-educated director of an institution doesn’t even understand the subject he is being quoted on.

    My past has given me a lot of experience and education that left-wingers don’t get. It also gave me a perspective that allows me to look objectively at what is being said. Objectively speaking.. saying that one kind of nationalism is OK, better, and different that another.. when they both have only minor differences.. is hypocritical and completely insincere.

    If you are going to oppose racism… oppose racism in all its forms. If not. You are part of the reason our nation is more divided since the civil war.

      • There hasn’t been forced segregation in the better part of a century. Since the 60’s we’ve instead had force integration. As for systematic oppression. Our system systematically favors black and hispanic students and job seekers via affirmative action. Would a white supremacist society enforce a policy like that? No. No they wouldn’t.

        tl;dr Get off it. You aren’t a freedom fighter. This isn’t the 60’s.

    • Mr. Ernest, one key difference between white and black nationalism is that while white people generally came to America by choice and enjoy the benefits of being in the majority, blacks were mostly dragged to America in chains and have been treated as chattel and second class citizens. Black people have been utterly disempowered and never had reparations made to them.

      As such, Black Nationalism makes sense as a way for black people to establish themselves as a cohesive and empowered culture within US society; whites do not have the same need.

      • Black people in the united states live better than black people in Africa. African blacks lived better under apartheid than they did after. This is probably related to ‘the gap’ between blacks and whites which exists under every possible condition — poor white children score higher on exams than rich black children.

        http://www.jbhe.com/features/49_college_admissions-test.html

        > Black people have been utterly disempowered and never had reparations made to them.

        Affirmative action is reparations. The federal government artificially created a black middle class using tax dollars. And whites shoulder most of the tax burden in the United States.

        > as a way for black people to establish themselves as a cohesive and empowered culture within US society

        Every people have a right to self-determination. White people are a minority on this planet and by the end of this century they’ll be a minority in the United States and every Western European nation.

        “Africa for blacks. Asia for Asians. White countries for everyone.”

        • ** This is probably related to ‘the gap’ between blacks and whites which exists under every possible condition — poor white children score higher on exams than rich black children.

          To clarify. The exams are a good proxy for intellectual capability. There are smart blacks, but far less of them by proportion than you find in other populations — by the looks of things only about 1 in 5 black people have an IQ >= 100.

          Once you accept that it becomes easy to understand why every black nation, or even city, is a basket case. When higher IQ populations run things, there’s more abundance.

  2. I used to be a liberal back in the day, but then I realized that liberals are whiny, pathetic people who can’t find any meaning in their lives and have to lash out at others in a desperate bid to find some sense of moral superiority. They’ll go so far as to refuse to recognize facts, labeling them heresy (under the accusation of being hateful or some such nonsense) to further their religious conviction.

    It’s really quite sad.

    • So, because you felt, in your limited experience, that some people were whiny you gave up on fighting for equity and human rights?

  3. So each “race” (even though science has proved that there is no such thing) will magically have their own nation (that will be easy) and then everyone will magically get along because they can “rule their owb”? That is the most absurd claim I’ve ever heard, with no citation or insight to back it up. Do you realize how many people of different colors have duffering political ideologies? If you want to start a movement use facts to back yourself, not wild claims of some (non) utopian future. You are naive at best white nationalist dude. I hope you fall in a pit of acid.

    • Science has not proved that races aren’t real, sociologists and environmental determinists have asserted it. Race has a biological root. I’m not going to debate with you about the details of the differences of races in this format but if you want some literature on the subject, read “A Troublesome Inheritance”, “The 10,000 Year Explosion”, “Paved with Good Intentions”, “Race, Evolution, and Behavior”, or “Race: the Reality of Human Differences.”

        • Where does your logic end? If clusterings of genes (visible in distinct phenotype distributions) are to be ignored, does that mean that humans and other primates should be treated on equal footing? Is there no such thing as the human race either?

          Maybe the color red doesn’t exist either. I mean, it bleeds seemlessly into pink. Who is to say where red ends and pink begins. QED. Colors don’t exist.

          Nothing is separate. We are all one with the universe. That’s not hippy dippy wishful thinking. It’s science!

        • Do you know what environmental determinism is, because I have read all those books and they argue AGAINST environmental determinism. Do you believe in evolution?

    • When a severely decomposed body is discovered, forensic scientists can determine RACE by bone structure. Negroid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Autraloid, etc….. Race is not a figment of our imagination, humans have different breeds, Just like other animals. This is fact. If you deny this, then you are buying your head in the sand, ignorant.

  4. Angry, aggrieved white male failures end up in these movements. Treat them like the angry, aggrieved white male failures they are. Period.

    • We are very angry friend. We’ve been exploited. Denigrated. Forced to cheer on the dismantling of the world our ancestors fought to build for us. It’s been enough. We’re waking up.

  5. White folk are wising up to the mental,emotional, and financial extortion racket they have been under for the past half century. They are organizing politically and now physically. The left is correct in being fearful. White folk are naturally very nice…until they are not.

  6. There are attempts to either slander the name “Cascadia” or co-opt it by a very few people. The name Cascadia has been associated with bioregionalism and environmental justice for decades. it has only been since the fraudulent election of Donald Trump that individuals have been trying to associated it with “white supremacy.” Bioregionalism itself comes directly out of the Digger movement in the Bay Area in the mid 1960s and was often affiliated with black liberation movements such as the Black Panthers. The Diggers emerged as a response of the murder of Matthew Johnson (age 16) by a San Francisco cop in 1966 at Hunter’s Point. The Diggers proclaimed that they would feed and support resistance against police brutality. Later Emmett Grogan (founder of the Diggers) was crucial in inspiring the Black Panther’s free breakfast program.

    Cascadian bioregionalism is about creating a paradigm shift away from anthropocentrism (human supremacism) to a holistic or biocentric approach to living.

    • The fact this happened the same weekend out Cascadian bioregional group was meeting and in the same building gives us extra cause to be concern of attempts to slander the name “Cascadia.” This is too much of a coincidence and I believe that whoever put up these flyers and are claiming to be “Cascadia” is actually monitoring and following the Cascadian bioregional movement.

      • the fact that the “Cascadian movement” had a sharp spike in the movement the day after the election… everyone that reported back about meetings all said “very liberal or progressive or eco-minded Left political spectrum” .. the “movement” is obviously anti racism and anti right wing and yet a week later we started seeing these posters (various kinds but all similar themes) … in Ashland the person was caught and seems to be a individual in their mid to late 20s … the person in the newspaper the same age … is it possible we are seeing psy-ops to stop a movement from growing. This weekend we (at the meeting) did a S.W.O.T. (Strengths. Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and co-opting and intentional slander was the biggest threat … in the tool called spectrum of allies what you do against your strongest opponents is you sow seeds of doubt. In this case we might be victims of a psyops project to sow seeds of doubt to what “Cascadia” is. Make there be doubt about the very name “Cascadia” and they (the white nationalists or the status quo) win in the propaganda war to divide and conquer.

  7. Yet another couple of lazy selfish white nationalists trying to co-opt a label for a movement that has been around for decades. Cascadia as always been about the opposite of nationalism. Beware of cheap little thieves.

  8. This is not “Cascadia”, for rhrissakes… Journalism 101 guys.

    If they called themselves “Oregon” would you refer to them as “Oregon”?

    There is a very broad movement unfolding in this region of the country including some of the people and ideas I respect most. It is called the “Cascadia movement. It’s been growing for over 30 years. I’d like to see more reporting on it from your writers!

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