Although the so-called groypers — a movement of far-right individuals who champion racist and xenophobic policies — claim they are not white nationalists, available evidence suggests otherwise. In fact, speakers at their inaugural America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) featured high profile white nationalists and antisemites.
And recently, one AFPAC attendee who sued over accusations of racism had his case thrown out by a judge.
In 2017 Dave Reilly was working at WHLM, a radio station owned by his parents, when he traveled to Charlottesville, VA and filmed the torchlight march on the University of Virginia by white supremacists. Reilly posted the video to Twitter, he said, without offering any commentary, and that the video clip was shared by ex-Klan leader David Duke without his permission.
A report by Channel 16 News highlighted tweets made by Reilly, including one that read “Good morning. The #AltRight slept tight and #Antifa is still sleeping. Probably hungover or dope-sick. See yall at Lee Park. #Unite the Right.” Reilly also shared a tweet from an account called “Girls of Europa” which posted photos of the torch march and the caption “Don’t make the white kids angry.”
Local activists protested outside WHLM, and sponsors quickly fled the station. Reilly resigned “[o]ut of charity towards the community, and especially towards my parents” according to a resignation letter. He also “denounce[d] Nazism, the KKK, Racism, White Supremacism, and political violence,” and called accusations of racism “pure slander.”
On March 14, 2018, Reilly sued Channel 16 News and multiple individuals whom, he asserted, defamed him by calling him “racist,” a “bigot,” and a “white nationalist.”
The following year, Judge David E. Grine sustained the defendants’ preliminary objections and allowed Reilly an opportunity to amend his complaint. And on February 21, 2020, Judge Grine dismissed Reilly’s suit with prejudice — meaning the lawsuit is permanently dismissed, and Reilly cannot bring another lawsuit on the same grounds.
Judge Grine pointed out that it “is well settled that offending statements are not capable of defamatory meaning,” and that it “is not enough that the victim of statements be embarrassed or annoyed, he must have suffered the kind of harm which has grievously fractured his standing in the community of respectable society.”
Moreover, he wrote, “a statement in the form of an opinion” — e.g., “racist,” “white nationalist,” “prejudiced” — “is actionable only if it may reasonably be understood to imply the existence of undisclosed defamatory facts justifying the opinion.” Here, the opinions of Reilly were based on disclosed facts, and not “sufficient for an action of defamation.”
And, judging by Reilly’s current occupation and history of bigoted, incendiary remarks, he would have an even more difficult time bringing such a lawsuit now.
Sometime after he filed the lawsuit, Reilly moved from Pennsylvania to Southbend, IN, where he now works for antisemitic self-styled theologian E. Michael Jones. According to Reilly’s Twitter account, he is employed as a “columnist” for Jones’ Culture Wars Magazine, and edited Jones’ latest book.
So far, Reilly has one article to his name at Culture Wars — a December 2019 piece about the Identitarian movement.
Reilly made a splash last year at a TPUSA event, where he clutched a rosary and a copy of Culture Wars and asked Charlie Kirk, “How does anal sex help us win the culture war?” (Reilly’s question was part of a groyper strategy to delegitimize mainstream conservatives.)
He made an appearance on the white supremacist program Red Ice TV to discuss the viral video clip and boast of his increased follower count on Twitter. Reilly told co-hosts Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff that there’s a “kind of camaraderie that’s happening, there’s a insurgency, there’s a rising feeling kind of like we had in 2016” albeit “a little bit different.”
On his Twitter account, where he said his homophobic stunt gained him 4,000 new followers, Reilly routinely disparages Jews, women, and the LGBTQ community.
In a January 4, 2020 tweet, Reilly claimed that “Jews pretend to be white when it’s expedient for them.” The next day he retweeted a screenshot of a Wikipedia article titled “Expulsions and exoduses of Jews.” “110 confirmed,” Reilly wrote, in reference to the claim that Jews have been expelled from 109 different countries, and that they will be expelled a final, 110th time.
Reilly repeated the antisemitic “110” reference in a February 13, 2020 tweet.
On January 7, 2020, Reilly asserted that Iran “should have bombed Israel.” On January 29, 2020, he tweeted an article from The Hill which claimed that “61% of Americans agree with at least one anti-Semitic stereotype.” “Good news!” Reilly wrote. “Let’s get those numbers up!” When the Anti-Defamation League tweeted that 27% of American adults believe the Jews killed Christ, Reilly said the remaining 73% was “mis-informed.”
Like his employer, Reilly also loathes the LGBTQ community. On February 7th Reilly wrote that anal sex is “disgusting,” “[s]elf-centered,” and “abhorrent to God’s law and nature” — echoing his homophobic TPUSA question. Days later he compared former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s plan to adopt a child with his husband to “human trafficking.”
And despite his opposition to adoption by same-sex parents, Reilly apparently finds it appropriate to have children in order to “pump up those dropping European-American fertility statistics.” Reilly, who recently married, had his groomsmen wear groyper-themed socks for the occasion. White nationalists James Allsup and “Millennial” Matt Colligan attended.
At CPAC and AFPAC Reilly could be seen in the company of Jaden McNeil, Matt Colligan, Michelle Malkin, Ethan Ralph, Matt Evans (a.k.a. “Beardson Beardly”), and Nick Fuentes. Unfortunately for the groyper movement, the problem isn’t limited to a few bad apples. The entire movement is rotten to its core. And no amount of frivolous lawsuits can remedy that.