Tuesday, June 23, 2015

White supremacist with Orthodox history: Roof a "victim"

You may well remember Heimbach as a man who was at the center of a large kerfuffle over his entry into Orthodoxy and later messy end with it over his ties to white supremacy (you can read more about it here). Well, he's back in the news again.

(ABC News) - While thousands of mourners and well-wishers have come to pay their respects to the nine people killed in a Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting last week and to further a message of racial harmony, there is one young man came to Charleston with a different message.

“Dylan Roof is a victim in regards to he was a white man born to a society that actively hates him and hates his people, hates his culture and his identity,” Matt Heimbach told “Nightline” in an interview Monday.

“There is a culture war being waged. There is a war on the streets against whites,” he added.

Heimbach, 24, is a college-educated white separatist who believes the United States would be a better place if it went back to segregation. But he condemns the rampage that Dylann Roof, 21, carried out at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church June 17, when Roof walked into a Bible study group and shot and killed nine people. Heimbach said he believes innocent people should never be targeted as a way to advance the white separatist message.

“My first gut reaction when I heard about the shooting was, ‘Uh no,’ because there is no circumstance where taking the lives of civilians, innocent women and children, that's never OK,” Heimbach said. “It's very important to show that the white separatists community does not believe in using terrorism against civilians."

But Heimbach refuses to blame his ideology for the violence caused by someone who may be a like-minded individual.

“The left that persecutes and hates white culture, white identity and the Christian faith, they are the ones that are responsible because you will push individuals only so long before they react,” he said. “You cannot step on an individual forever before they decide that they are going to bite back and that’s what we see.”

While Heimbach’s platform is inflammatory, some believe he is tapping into a growing and freighting trend of discontent in the United States. In the past decade, the number of hate groups has increased by nearly 30 percent, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Like Roof, Heimbach said he was not raised in a racist environment. Indeed, he said his upbringing was “very moderate” and his beliefs now have “caused a lot of tension” in his family.

Heimbach said he found his way into the white separatist movement through his love of history, taking part in Civil War re-enactments as a Confederate soldier.

The Charleston shooting has reignited the fierce debate over the Confederate flag, prompting “Take Down That Flag” protests on the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse in Columbia, where the flag still flies. While many see it as a symbol of oppression and racist hatred toward African-Americans, others see it as a symbol of pride for their ancestors, who fought and died in the Civil War.

Heimbach, too, has a fondness for the Confederate flag. A graduate of Towson University in Maryland, Heimbach founded a controversial student group on campus called the White Student Union while he was a student in 2012, and launched a nationwide campaign to spread his beliefs. He has since made a name for himself speaking on the white supremacy circuit at various conventions.

“White people are waking up,” he said. “White people are reacting and I pray and hope that they come and join me through this struggle politically.”


  1. Reasons to believe Jesus is alive in a new life with God can be found in quotes from two prominent atheists and a biology textbook. There is nothing wrong with the Sartre quote, and it proves that the Nagel quote is dishonest. The Nagel quote proves that the textbook quote is ignorant, unintelligent, and irrational:

    Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

    Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)

    And certain properties of the human brain distinguish our species from all other animals. The human brain is, after all, the only known collection of matter that tries to understand itself. To most biologists, the brain and the mind are one and the same; understand how the brain is organized and how it works, and we’ll understand such mindful functions as abstract thought and feelings. Some philosophers are less comfortable with this mechanistic view of mind, finding Descartes’ concept of a mind-body duality more attractive. (Neil Campbell, Biology, 4th edition, p. 776 )

  2. If Heimbach had said, "Omar Thornton is a victim in regards to he was a black man born to a society that actively hates him and hates his people, hates his culture and his identity,” I don't think it would be nearly as controversial.

    Marginalized, mentally-unbalanced people find lots of different targets. I think one under-remarked commonality is the neotenous appearance of people like Lanza and Roof, and their choice of ludicrously vulnerable targets as opposed to a more macho attack on, say, the Black Panthers. But it never occurs to anybody to ask if a society breeding young males who have children's minds in oddly immature bodies might not be creating some problems for itself. You should also look up that strange interview with Roof's mixed-race friend, Christon Scriven. Roof doesn't seem to be quite the Great White Defendant the Ahab-Left is perennially seeking.

    The reflexive tie-in to Heimbach is rather contrived. I've read the stuff from Heimbach's crowd, and I think the more accurate descriptor is 'separatist' not 'supremacist.' If we are to discuss RACISM! in general from this marginal event, has anybody observed that multi-cultural societies are extremely problematic, from Israel to Syria to Iraq to the former USSR and Yugoslavia. Nothing over the entire march of human history shows that multi-cultural empires are anything more than temporary phenomena. Orthodox, looking backwards to their vanished Byzantium, should understand this more than most. American Orthodoxy with its strict multi-cultural canon seems to be touting itself as the successor to the Byzantine empire. But right now the US is numerous minority groups who do not like and greatly mistrust the Anglo-European ethnic majority, and half of that majority hate the other half and wish they were dead. I see no sign of these tidal forces abating for all the shrieking and stamping and shelves of civil rights laws. I think the better way to avoid violence is to allow people their safe harbors, from which they can interact or not as they choose. Charleston is a genteel town, and the disappointment from the Left that it has not already erupted into riots is palpable.

  3. Sure. Just let the black people choose first, for those safe harbors. Alas, the affluent whites have taken all the nice places, via redlining, admissions, hiring, policing, jailing, voting rights, etc. So if you want safe harbors, ok, take one of the ones currently assigned to black people and see if you can stand it. If not, join reasonable people hoping, trying, working for improvement, otherwise known as Lefties.

    1. So if you want safe harbors, ok, take one of the ones currently assigned to black people and see if you can stand it.

      Actually, this is already being done. It's called 'gentrification.'