Corey Stewart, the Republican Virginia candidate for U.S. Senate, is scheduled to speak alongside right-wing extremists—including a YouTube personality who recently argued that the Trump administration should not hire black women—at the second “Mother of All Rallies” (M.O.A.R.) event in Washington, D.C., next month.
Stewart’s campaign to defeat Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine has been tinged from its inception with ties to figures linked to white nationalist and neo-Confederate groups. The campaign once named neo-Nazi Ian Phil MacDonald its “volunteer of the week,” and Stewart called white nationalist and failed congressional candidate Paul Nehlen his “personal hero.” (Stewart has since disavowed Nehlen.) Some of Stewart’s campaign staffers have made racist remarks, praised a white nationalist family and were picked up in leaked chat logs engaging with planners of the far-right “Unite the Right 2” rally that took place in the nation’s capital earlier this month. In June, Stewart told The Hill that he didn’t believe the civil war “was ultimately fought over the issue of slavery.” Last year, Stewart likened the removal of Confederate monuments to ISIS terrorist attacks and said that “we lose our identity” when Confederate symbols are removed from public spaces.
He also appeared as the keynote at an event paid for by avowed secessionist George Randall. In his remarks, Stewart talked about what it means to be a Virginian, noting that the commonwealth is the birthplace of the founders and the Declaration of Independence.
“But it’s also the state of Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Stuart,” Stewart said. “Because, at the base of it, Virginians, we think for ourselves,” he continued. “And if the established order is wrong, we rebel. We did that in the Revolution, we did it in the Civil War, and we’re doing it today. We’re doing it today because they’re trying to rob us of everything that we hold dear: our history, our heritage, our culture.”
According to a press release on the M.O.A.R. website, participants at the “never silent, non-violent” event will “come together to send a direct message to Congress, the media, and the world, that we stand united to preserve and protect American culture.” In the release, organizers say that they will welcome “all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age or political affiliation.” Last year’s showing at the event was smaller than expected and was overshadowed on the National Mall by a gathering of eccentric fans of the music group Insane Clown Posse, who call themselves “Juggalos,” protesting their classification as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Among those speaking this year alongside Stewart include Vincent James Foxx, host of the far-right YouTube channel “Red Elephants,” who uses his platform to host prominent white nationalist speakers and sympathizers, bolster such white nationalist organizations as Identity Evropa, stoke racist fears about immigrants, advance “race war” narratives, and speak to aggrieved white people at-large. Foxx has appeared on neo-Nazi podcasts and once kept a Holocaust denier on his payroll who later ran the failed Senate campaign of neo-Nazi Patrick Little, whom Foxx once promoted.
In a video uploaded to YouTube on August 17, Foxx cited former Trump political aide Omarosa Manigault’s slow-drip of confounding claims ahead of the release of her new book, including those purportedly backed up by her collection of damning tapes involving the Trump administration. Foxx used Manigault Newman’s revenge to argue against the administration hiring black people and in particular black women.
“Here’s my advice to the Trump administration. Look at the voting habits. Look at the voting patterns of the American citizens by race, and if you think that that there’s only an 8 percent chance that Omarosa is going to support you and be loyal to you and not stab you in the back. If you think that there’s only going to be an 8 percent chance of her doing that, then don’t hire her. Don’t hire people that you think there’s only going to be an 8 percent chance of them even supporting you, and I think it’s much less, even, with women, with black women especially. It’s 4 percent, probably.”
“This is something you have to look at before hiring people onto your campaign staff, before hiring people onto your staff as essentially this signal to the media and the press, ‘Oh I’m not racist.’ Now look what happened,” Foxx said.
Lonny Morgan, a Florida tattoo artist and rally organizer using the moniker “Outlaw Morgan,” made an appearance earlier this week with Foxx, has recorded a podcast with former Infowars editor Joe Biggs, and also recently appeared on Infowars with host Owen Shroyer. He has been photographed wearing a Confederate flag patch on a biker vest. Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman, who earned his nickname and reputation among the far-right for assaulting a protester with a pole, said that Morgan helped him film a movie.
Chapman attended last year’s M.O.A.R. rally, despite his violent record.
American Guard attended M.O.A.R. last year, too. American Guard was founded by racist skinhead Brien James in what has been described as an attempted softening of the white supremacist movement. In fact, James told The Indy Channel that members of the group were supporting “American constitutional nationalism” as “a more practical and productive alternative than the ethnic nationalism they were previously engaged in.”
Erin “Sith” Smith, another scheduled speaker, has posted far-right memes on Facebook and said that an alt-right YouTuber was “alright with me.” She has also openly fetishized violence at patriot rallies, in July lamenting after a clash she had with a counter-protester that she didn’t have time to “saw his head off and put it on a pike.” Another post shared by Smith trivializes violence that police used against counter-protesters during a Patriot Prayer rally in Portland earlier this year.
Also slated to speak is Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer, who has been organizing rallies on the west coast that have attracted militia groups, white nationalists, and neo-Confederate demonstrators. There’s also Mark Robinson, an African-American man who compared protesters who toppled the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) in Soviet Russia, Nazi Brown Shirts and the Ku Klux Klan.
One of last year’s M.O.A.R. attendees included Christopher Ritchie, a Texas man affiliated with a group called “Texas Nomads” who has traveled across the country to attend right-wing events that harbor unabashed fascists, including the Patriot Prayer rally in Portland, Oregon, on which we reported last month. He was also photographed by Laura Sennett of One People’s project at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, which ended in violence and the killing of counter-demonstrator Heather Heyer.
In a video captured at the “March Against Far-Left Violence” in Austin, Texas, last weekend put on by assorted far-right groups, Ritchie can be seen heckling an anti-fascist counter-protester and getting into a physical altercation while other rally attendees plead for him to stop.
On Facebook, Ritchie has openly expressed his desire to commit acts of violence against anti-fascist protesters, including one comment in which he stated that he was coming to an event “just to bust heads.”
Earlier this year, Ritchie drove to the office of the Texas Observer to confront reporter Gus Bova, who noted that members of a white supremacist organization had participated in a pro-Trump rally that Ritchie also attended.
“In their view, I painted them all as white supremacists. To the contrary, the article is quite clear. Members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front were in attendance that day, even handing me fliers, and they’re the ones I referred to as white supremacists,” Bova told Right Wing Watch.
“They’re fucked because someone’s going to answer for this fucking article,” Ritchie says in a live video he filmed that day. When an employee for the paper told Ritchie that no one was available to speak with him, Ritchie yelled outside the office that the paper is staffed by “liberal cucks.”
“My email address is publicly available alongside all articles, and he could have simply emailed me about his issues if he was looking for a dialogue,” Bova said.
We called M.O.A.R. organizer Tommy Hodges, who uses the moniker “Tommy Gunn,” and asked whether he would discourage Ritchie and others who have expressed similar sentiments from attending this year’s event.
“We would discourage anybody who wanted to start violence of any sort. If you go out there and you get belligerent or violent in any way, you’ll be escorted out of the event,” Hodges said. “I mean, it’s an open, public event, but anti-protesters will be kept out of the event and if anybody shows up and gets belligerent on our side—I don’t care if they’re wearing a Trump hat—they will be escorted out.”
“If we see anybody that raises a fist, whether it be an anti-protester or someone in a Trump hat, I’ll press charges personally,” he added.
Hodges said that last year he made it clear that the event organizers do not condone “the radical right or the radical left“ and said both the far-right and far-left were attempting to force themselves into the mainstream by infiltrating groups like M.O.A.R., which Hodges says he views to be more moderate. He said, “Antifa, the alt-right, that Jason Kessler bullshit—we don’t tolerate any of that crap.”
He went on to explain that he believed “anyone that would show up to protest our event would look really stupid” because the event features female speakers, a transgender person, and people of color.
“They would be protesting every identity that the liberals preach,” Hodges said.
Right Wing Watch contacted the Stewart campaign and the Republican Party of Virginia for comment on the GOP Senate nominee’s plan to stand beside extremists at the M.O.A.R. event. If we hear back, we will update this article.
One People’s Project and others contributed research to this report.