After four years, the white supremacist organization American Identity Movement (AmIM) is officially no more. According to a statement posted to the group’s blog by its leader Patrick Casey, AmIM has “reached the limit of what a dissident membership organization can realistically achieve in these turbulent, repressive times,” and, as of November 2, 2020, is “hereby disbanded.”
Although Casey wrote in the post that AmIM was “founded in March 2019” in order to promote the “principles” of “Nationalism, Identitarianism, Protectionism, Non-Interventionism, and Populism,” it was actually a rebrand of another white supremacist group: Identity Evropa (IE). IE was founded in 2016 by Nathan Damigo, an ex-Marine and convicted felon who sought to recruit new members on college campuses.
On April 15, 2017, far-right and white supremacist forces — including members of IE, the Rise Above Movement, and the Proud Boys — clashed with left-wing protesters in Berkeley, CA. During the skirmish, Damigo infamously punched an anti-fascist demonstrator in the face. On May 13, 2017, IE members joined other white supremacists in protesting the removal of Confederate statues in Charlottesville, VA.
IE members — including Damigo — helped organize the deadly “Unite the Right” rally three months later. After the rally, IE was briefly helmed by Elliot Kline who ultimately passed the torch to former Red Ice employee Patrick Casey. In 2019 the group’s chat logs were leaked, revealing how Casey screened new members to make sure they weren’t Jewish.
As Casey wrote in IE’s private Discord server, “Jewish individuals cannot join IE, and we screen for this during the interview process.”
Following the chat log leak, Casey announced that IE was no more, and that he would be creating a new organization: the American Identity Movement. AmIM made use of patriotic symbolism in an effort to appeal to a wider right-wing audience, but evidence showed that AmIM was nothing more than a rebrand of IE. IE Chief of Staff Matthew Warner told members in March 2019 that their dues would “carry over” from IE to AmIM.
And AmIM chat logs leaked later that same year demonstrated that the rebranded group was just as racist as the old one. AmIM members referred to Mexicans as “scum” and called Africa the “dark continent,” while Casey used his weekly addresses to the group to voice his support for the “Balkanization” of the U.S. in order to create an “ethnostate” for white, non-Jews.
Aside from the blunder of having their private messages leaked twice within the same year, under Casey’s leadership AmIM participated in bizarre and cringe-inducing stunts.
In April 2019, AmIM members publicly protested a Drag Queen Story Hour event in New Orleans by dressing as clowns. And that same month a contingent led by Casey interrupted a talk by Jonathan Metzle, author of the book Dying of Whiteness. As Eleanor Clift reported for The Daily Beast, Casey ranted into a bullhorn about healthcare and “good jobs” for the white working class.
Those in attendance booed the white nationalists until they marched out while chanting “This land is our land” and “A-I-M.”
But not only was crashing an event at a local book store poorly received, a talk by an author who wrote sympathetically of poor white Americans made for a strange target. Metzl, who at the time was in Washington, D.C. to speak on a panel about whiteness at the first annual National Antiracist Book Festival, told the Daily Beast, “The irony is the point they were making, that white America is faring poorly, is one that I agree with.”
Still, in spite of these spectacles and high-profile setbacks, Casey attempted to put a positive spin on the hate group’s dissolution. According to Casey, the “membership organization model” of AmIM “is simply not the vehicle that will take us across the finish line.” And he framed AmIM’s demise as a “strategic orientation” which will allow white nationalists to “engage in activism in more fruitful ways.”
But while Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement may finally be officially dead, Casey’s agitation on behalf of the broader white supremacist movement is far from over. Last year Casey joined fellow extremists Nick Fuentes, Scott Greer, and Vincent James Foxx in the formation of the “Groyper Army,” a movement which seeks to make the Republican Party a safe haven for white nationalism and antisemitism.