Over the weekend, Darren Beattie, who served on the White House speechwriting staff, was fired for appearing on a 2016 panel at the Mencken Club with Peter Brimelow, the founder of the VDare.com. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes VDare as “a blatantly racist website and a hub for white nationalists and anti-Semites who are opposed to non-white immigration.”
VDare is named for Virginia Dare, the first white person born in North America. The Mencken Club, according to CNN, “is named for the early 20th century journalist and satirist whose posthumously published diaries revealed racist views,” and its gathering “is a small annual conference started in 2008 and regularly attended by well-known white nationalists such as Richard Spencer.”
Apparently, appearing with Peter Brimelow was a bridge too far for even this White House. But, Beattie isn’t the only white nationalist at the White House, nor the only staffer with ties to Brimelow. As the Washington Post noted, Beattie “worked on speech projects for Stephen Miller,” whose connections to the white nationalist movement in America, including Richard Spencer and Peter Brimelow, are well-documented (In June, the Center for American Progress and the Southern Poverty Law Center hosted a press call discussing Stephen Miller’s connection to white nationalism, as well as his ties to both Spencer and Brimelow).
- Stephen Miller’s ties to Richard Spencer and Peter Brimelow: Spencer has a long history of white nationalism and was an organizer of the neo-nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017. Miller and Spencer both attended Duke University in the mid-2000s. Spencer has publicly admitted that he “knew [Miller] very well when I was at Duke,” but admitted that he wanted to keep his relationship with Miller quiet, saying, “I am kind of glad no one’s talked about this, because I don’t want to harm Trump.” Spencer also said he mentored Miller. Of course, Miller has aggressively disputed Spencer’s account of their relationship and has claimed, “I have absolutely no relationship with Mr. Spencer. I completely repudiate his views, and his claims are 100 percent false.”
- The call with CAP and SPLC call featured Peter Laufer, James N. Wallace Chair of Journalism at the University of Oregon, who worked directly with Spencer and Miller on an immigration event sponsored by the Duke Conservative Union in March of 2007 featuring Brimelow, who even at the time was a well-known racist. Laufer pointed out that Miller and Spencer “did everything for the duration of the debate.” After the event, Miller and Spencer invited Brimelow and Laufer for a drink. Laufer had one drink and left, “because I did not enjoy the conversation….their politics offended me.” Laufer went on to say, “This was not a one-off relationship based on their working closely on the debate and further conversations. My expenses were paid by Duke but did not come in a timely fashion. As a result, I was forced to be in email correspondence over a period of several months which showed the ongoing and close relationship of the two.”
- Miller’s Ties to David Horowitz Freedom Center: Miller also has long-standing links to the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC), which is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its record of demonizing Muslims. In 2006, Miller participated in Horowitz’s first Academic Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C. A year later, Miller again spoke at the event, which brought together elected officials and students.
- Miller’s Ties to CIS and other Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups: Miller has also associated with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which SPLC designates as a hate group. CIS was founded by white nationalist John Tanton. Miller also has helped place CIS staffers in positions of influence within the Trump administration – see this recent Vanity Fair investigation for examples of how Miller has worked with these allies to radically change our policy direction on refugee admissions.
- Miller has been instrumental in setting anti-immigrant policy in the White House: the thrust of Miller-inspired policies and practices is to keep out and kick out immigrants and people of color. His fingerprints are all over the worst policies of the administration. For example, in June Miller trumpeted his role in the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border calling it “a simple decision” according to The New York Times. That article noted Miller “was instrumental in Mr. Trump’s decision to ratchet up the zero tolerance policy.”