A white nationalist group called American Identity Movement chose a Washington bookstore, Politics and Prose, as the site for its latest “peaceful disruption.” This continues a current trend of bookstores as the latest destinations for such nationalist demonstrations.
The group’s demonstration was apparently in response to Politics and Prose hosting author Jonathan M. Metzl, who was discussing his book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland. According to the summary provided by Amazon, his book aims to address the idea that,
“Many lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But as Dying of Whiteness shows, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death…White Americans, Metzl argues, must reject the racial hierarchies that promise to aid them but in fact lead our nation to demise”
AIM founder and president, Patrick Casey, disagrees with the message of the book, which he says “fails to discuss the real reasons why leftism has been killing America’s heartland… America’s road to restoration is nationalism, identitarianism, non-interventionism, protectionism, and populism.”
IMAGE VIA UNICORN RIOT
He and other members of his organization arrived en masse at the bookstore and interrupted the author event, holding megaphones and chanting, “This land is our land,” as shown in the footage tweeted by Catherine Wigginton:
— Catherine Wigginton (@cewigginton) April 27, 2019
AIM has been linked to another white national organization, Identity Evropa, which was involved in planning the infamous and tragic Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, VA. This is due to the fact that AIM’s president previously served as Executive Director for Identity Evropa.
Casey denies that AIM is a rebranding of IE—the organization’s site insists that “these former actions… do not reflect upon Mr. Casey or the membership he had developed under his tenure as leader of Identity Evropa.” Nevertheless, the two organizations share similar goals and values, and AIM is made up of many members who transferred over from IE.
Before the demonstration at Politics and Prose, AIM interrupted a “story hour” for kids led by drag queens in New Orleans, where they “disrupted the event before being asked to leave.”
This is not the first time books and libraries have become targets for white nationalists in recent times. Berkleyside reports that a “far-left bookstore” called Revolution Books has “found itself under attack from far-right activists” as many as “ten times in six months” according to an article written on March 4th, 2018. The protestors wore MAGA hats and were not seemingly affiliated with AIM.