If you spend any time in right-wing circles, you may have stumbled across an article from Breitbart News’ London affiliate claiming that a “mob” of “more than 1,000 men” attacked police officers and set fire to a historic German church on New Year’s Eve. The article stated that a large police presence was summoned to Dortmund after it was reported that a “large number of young men from North Africa” had gathered. It further claimed that the crowd, many of whom chanted “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great”, launched fireworks at police officers and at St. Reynolds church, setting it ablaze.
Reading the article one would walk away with the impression that a large number of African, Muslim men had attacked the police and purposefully set Germany’s oldest church on fire. However, the story was quickly debunked by the German press. Ruhr Nachrichten, a news site cited in Breitbart’s article, denounced the right-wing website for “using our online reports for fake news, hate and propaganda.”
It pointed out that there were one thousand people present, including some groups of foreigners, that some people launched fireworks at police and were taken into custody, that the fireworks that hit the church were not purposefully launched at it, that the resulting fire was small and occurred on some netting on scaffolding around the church, and lasted 12 minutes before it was extinguished. After Breitbart’s story fell apart, Breitbart London’s editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam ridiculously attempted to salvage it, and launched bizarre attacks on liberals and the German media.
What went unnoticed, however, is that the author of that anti-migrant and factually inaccurate article is an apparent white nationalist sympathizer with a long track record of racism and xenophobic rhetoric. Virginia Hale began working for Breitbart near the end of 2014 and has become quite a prolific writer for the website that former Breitbart CEO Stephen Bannon called the “platform for the alt-right.” Hale’s articles, which appear to have a fixation on non-white crime, seem to support Bannon’s statement.
In a May 2015 article entitled “The West Is Always To Blame For The Problems Crippling Africa,” Hale downplayed the residual effects of white colonialism and endorsed the claim that sporadic violence against South African farmers constitutes “white genocide,” writing that Genocide Watch — an NGO founded by Gregory H. Stanton — “reports that there is widespread and institutionalised murder and violence towards white people” in South Africa. Hale also cited “president Jacob Zuma’s repeated singing of ‘Kill the Boer,'” which “urges the murder of white farmers.” She further notes that the song is “used to refer to all white South Africans” according to “numerous places on the internet.”
The notion that a genocide is underway against whites in South Africa is repeated ad nauseum in Neo-Nazi circles, but to be clear, not even Genocide Watch itself endorses the concept of a present, ongoing “white genocide” in South Africa. Instead, for several years Genocide Watch has placed South Africa at what it calls Stage Six of its Ten Stages of Genocide. Stage Six is what Genocide Watch calls the “polarization” stage. Genocide Watch’s model has come under scrutiny from the organization Africa Check, which points out that Genocide Watch is unable to provide evidence that South Africa merits a Stage Six ranking and calls into question the usefulness of their framework. The whole article is well worth the read.
“White genocide” is not merely a South African concern to white nationalists, however. It is, in fact, a chief concern of the alt-right, which views declining white birthrates, increasing non-white birthrates, mass immigration from non-white countries, miscegenation, and even advertisements depicting interracial couples as evidence of a sinister Jewish plot to eradicate white people. The little known but influential white nationalist Bob Whitaker of the American Freedom Party devotes his website Bob’s Undergound Graduate Seminar to spreading a short, racist screed decrying white genocide that his followers can copy and paste into the comment sections of any website.
The mantra, as it’s known, begins with the line “Asia for the Asians, Africa for the Africans, white countries for everybody?” Using carefully crafted weasel words, Whitaker says that “everybody says there is this race problem” which “will be solved when the third world pours into every white country and only into white countries.” The mantra ends with a phrase you may recall seeing on billboards in the deep South: “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.”
On Hale’s Twitter account, where she goes by the handle @virgehall, she writes that “Liberals mock ‘white genocide’ as a conspiracy theory in which angry losers lash out at mixed race couples.” (To a large extent it really is.) “Will any address the points below?” Included in her tweet is an infographic that asks if any liberal can “explain how it’s irrational and/or ‘supremacist’ to fear being turned into hated minorities in our own homelands.” It complains that every “failure and shortcoming of migrant groups is blamed on white racism,” that diversity is “the demand that there be fewer white people on TV, film, and every job irrespective of talent,” that the media and schools “focus only on white historic crimes such as slavery and colonialism,” that whites are “only portrayed as oppressors, never the oppressed,” and that “black on white murders are censored.”
It ends by asking
Why are only white people expected to put up with this, and well-funded organisations, institutions, groups and even laws in place to demonise, stigmatise and present as a ‘threat’ anyone who tries to object? None of the conditions I outline above are true anywhere outside of white countries.
Her meme might not be as memorable as Whitaker’s mantra, but it plays on the same themes of white persecution, victimization, and supposed racial double-standards while name-checking all the alt-right’s bogeymen: diversity, affirmative action, anti-white media narratives, and cover-ups of black on white crime.
In a September 2015 tweet Hale complained that “White Euros become a minority in our own continent.” When journalist Max Blumenthal retweeted and criticized her racist complaint, Hale shot back, “I guess when Africans shouted ‘Africa for the Africans’ they were imagining things.” In another from July 2016 she denounced “cosmopolitans” who harbor a “psychotic loathing for nationalism, hatred of ordinary Europeans.” Her choice of the word “cosmopolitan” is especially troubling, since it was adopted as an anti-Jewish dog whistle in the Soviet Union following World War II.
Adding to the circumstantial evidence of white nationalist beliefs are her Twitter contacts, which include numerous high profile alt-right figures. Peruse the accounts she follows and you’re bound to find The Right Stuff (the account of white nationalist Mike Enoch), Reactionary Jew, Bill Matheson, Goy Orbison (another Right Stuff affiliate), Richard Spencer, Lana Lokteff (of Radio 3Fourteen), and Julius Ebola. Unsurprisingly, of her nearly 4,000 followers, many accounts are explicitly white nationalist and/or alt-right.
This attachment to white nationalism is reflected in Hale’s obsession with crimes and other societal ills allegedly caused by migrants, Muslims, non-whites, or some combination thereof. Browse her columns at Breitbart London — if you have the stomach for conspiracies and rank bigotry — and you’ll come across articles such as “Whites Need Not Apply: BBC Advertises ‘Black, Asian, Or Minority’-Only Positions,” “Pope Hails Election of Sadiq Khan, Celebrates Mass Muslim Migration Into Europe,” and “Migrant Slums Spring Up Around London.” All are designed to inflame tensions between white Europeans (and Americans) and largely non-white immigrants.
If the veracity of Hale’s other articles are on the same level as her claims of Muslim mobs burning a historic German church, people who are looking for factual and objective reporting on the migrant crisis might want to turn elsewhere. One thing is for certain, however: Hale is certainly carrying out Bannon’s wishes of transforming Breitbart into a digital haven for the alt-right.