A rally set to take place on the National Mall in Washington this weekend which attracted extremists last time it took place is being sponsored by a social media company run by two federal law enforcement agents.
Last year’s Mother of All Rallies attracted hardcore right-wing participants that have made statements supportive of violence against critics, an alt-right activist who was arrested for attacking a protester with a weapon, pro-Confederates, and a white nationalist who doesn’t think Trump should hire black people. This year, organizers have removed the white nationalist from their speaker’s lineup, where he was originally scheduled to speak alongside Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia Corey Stewart (who appears to have dropped out of the event).
The only sponsor listed for this year’s event, according to the Mother of All Rallies website, is a little-known company called “Infinity Social Network,” abbreviated online as “Infinity SN,” which is led by two federal officers.
Steven Vulich is a federal police officer for the Department of Defense who started working in 2011 on creating Infinity SN with hundreds of thousands of dollars of family money. Vulich’s vision for the site in 2016 was to connect others based on geographic location and stated interests, but he has gone out of its way recently to emphasize its promises of “no censorship”—a pledge that has made other networks like Gab, BitChute, and Minds destinations for extremists online. The company’s website is currently undergoing construction at the time of publication.
Vulich is also tied-in to a group classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit “public charity” called the America First Foundation, which means that those who donate money to crowdfund a U.S.-Mexico border wall can write that amount off their taxes. Vulich created a page on Fundly to raise $50,000 for the organization’s efforts to build the wall. The group hasn’t been active on Facebook for nearly a year and the organization’s website appears to have fizzled out.
As many have pointed out, the phrase “America first”—which was used as a tagline in the Trump campaign—has a detailed history among white supremacist and fascist movements in America like the Ku Klux Klan. This is important to note because, as Sarah Churchwell puts it in The Guardian, “We cannot hear a dog whistle if we are not in its range. We cannot understand the subtexts of our own slogans if we do not understand their contexts; we risk misreading our own moment if we don’t know the historical meanings of expressions we resuscitate, or perpetuate.”
The COO of Infinity SN is Brad Tucker, who also works as a police officer in the Department of Army, according to his LinkedIn page.
h/t One People’s Project