Far-right Potemkin journalist Lauren Southern recently took a much needed break from exploiting racial tensions in South Africa to speak at a gathering of Vlaams Belang party members in Brussels. Vlaams Belang is the latest in a long line of Flemish nationalist parties in Belgium. Its predecessor, the Vlaams Blok party, was explicitly pro-secession and anti-immigrant.
As Université Catholique de Louvain Professor Lieven De Winter noted, the Vlaams Blok considered immigrants to be a “threat to the Flemish ethnic community.” And its “70-points” program “included typical measures like stopping all immigration, the forced return of most categories of migrants, the legal discrimination of residing migrants on the labour, housing and educational market, etc.”
In 2004, Belgium’s highest court ruled that Vlaams Blok was in violation of the country’s 1981 anti-racism law. As a result, Vlaams Blok lost both television access and state funding, and dissolved shortly thereafter. Days later Vlaams Belang was formed to take its place, though its reputation is hardly better than that of Vlaams Blok.
Both Vlaams Blok and Vlaams Belang were founded by the late Dutch fascist and Holocaust denier Karel Dillen. And Vlaams Belang chose as its symbol a lion’s head, which “is an exact copy of the lion used by the Sint-Maartensfonds and by Were Di” — organizations whose members included Nazi collaborators.
In 2010, ex-Vlaams Belang senator Roeland Raes was found guilty of violating Belgian laws against Holocaust denial. Leading Vlaams Belang politician Filip DeWinter addressed a group of Sint-Maartensfonds members in 2001, beginning his speech with the slogan “My honor is truth,” which was “the oath of the German SS-soldiers during World War II.”
In 2016, DeWinter spoke at the annual conference of the white nationalist group American Renaissance. American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor heaped praise on DeWinter and Vlaams Belang, which he called “a lesson to us on how far ahead our European cousins are compared to we rather retarded Anglo-Saxons in terms of the use of the political system.”
Naturally, this organization is a perfect fit for Southern, whose hatred of immigrants and Muslims — along with her idiotic idea to lie to British officials about her nationality — got her banned from the United Kingdom. In her speech to Vlaams Belang, she extolled the supposed virtues of nationalism and suggested more work was necessary to push Millennials into adopting the group’s far-right ideology.
As she told her audience:
The dragons that need to be slayed the most in my opinion are the ones that take the form of ideas. So the reason I’m telling you to search for ideas that society has forgotten is because when society forgets an idea exists, it forgets how to refute that idea. And an idea that no one knows the answer to is an idea that typically wins by default. And an idea that wins is an idea that reclaims its place in history. And right now, many ideas that our media, our politicians, our education system, and our pop culture want us to forget and are actively trying to erase are ripe to reclaim their place in history. Ideas like family, like tradition, like culture, like identity, and even the idea of truth itself — you can have 72 genders in New York, I changed my gender in Canada for kicks and giggles, we certainly need a lot of new truth coming in place.
Suffice it to say Vlaams Belang, like Southern, wants to resurrect a whole host of old ideas, including ideas of cultural, religious, and ethnic homogeneity. And the idea that transgender people — and perhaps the rest of the LGB community — should be erased.
Southern also claimed that more young people haven’t identified with extreme nationalist ideas isn’t because those ideas are wrong, but rather that young people never knew those ideas were an option. As she put it, nationalism has “only been defined for them by our enemies.”
“Nationalist thought has been all but erased,” she continued, “with a few people trying to revive it, some of them in this room of course. But all it takes, really, is a few. Because when you bring up questions that the establishment can’t answer, that sparks a curiosity in people longing for explanations to their discontentment with the current state of things.”
There is some truth in this. Surely people would rather choose a bad answer to a question than none at all. If people are sufficiently discontent they may turn to demagogues like Southern who scapegoat migrants, Muslims, feminism, transgender people, etc. In some regions in Europe these “forgotten” ideas are gaining traction once again.
This is why Southern told her audience to pitch nationalism to disaffected Millennials in the first place. The older crop of white nationalists and fascists is dying out, and far-right movements need fresh blood. Therefore, she said, “we need to present [nationalism] that way, as a positive thing. Something to fill a void searching for meaning and belonging.”
Southern also lauded the secessionist and ethnic separatist goals of Vlaams Belang, proclaiming:
How many times will that dragon have to be slain before it stops trying to consume the mass of humanity? I’d say tonight, at least one more time. Perhaps this time the process shall begin here in Belgium. You can’t deny the beautiful irony of the idea to see a national movement like Vlaams Belang seize victory on the very steps of the European Union. How might Brussels react to that I wonder? But really, why should it not rise up here? If anything, the experiment that doomed Europe quite arguably has its origins in Belgium. I admit I’m only a foreigner, and I’m still trying to learn a lot, but even I can see that your state is an oil and water cocktail of two different peoples. It seems to me that you and Vlaams Belang have the audacity to ask the question that modern society has forgotten to ask. Namely, why should fundamentally different groups — like, say, Flemings and Walloons — be forced to live together without any regard for their compatibility?
She questioned why people who “do not even speak the same language” must be “mashed together” in the first place. And she asked, “And if Islam continues to invade you both, at Brussels’ invitation, why should you not politely refuse to let Brussels dictate the terms of a civilizational suicide pact? If the fiction of Belgium must die to the reality of the West can live, is that so bad?”