On the weekend before Thanksgiving, I attended “RootsCamp,” one of the biggest gatherings of progressive activists in the United States. In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, the mood was angry and defiant, and the conference was focused almost exclusively on action–on fighting back.
In many ways, the event was just as you might imagine: Swarms of white women with dyed hair and tasteless piercings, and gender-neutral bathrooms. And safe spaces? There were many. For stressed-out conference goers, there was a room for doing art, a room to pray, a room to do yoga, and probably another “safe” room or two that I missed. There was even a number to text if you felt unsafe.
— Oscar Robles (@osman1985) November 19, 2016
There was plenty of ethnomasochism. A fellow in a yarmulke wore a T-shirt that said “Stop Profiling Muslims” one day, and one that said “Black Lives Matter” the next. However, there was also a panel literally called, “Dear White Feminists: This Sh*t is for Us (too).” This tweet explains what that meant:
White feminists everywhere. If a WOC ASKS YOU NOT TO SPEAK 2 leave space for WOC to discuss, shut.up.and.sit.down #roots16
— Devon Matthews (@DevonOMatthews) November 19, 2016
[“WOC” means “Woman of Color”]
But despite this atmosphere of childishness and PC nuttiness, everything I saw and heard convinces me that activists on the Left plan to fight the Trump administration with every ounce of their strength. His victory was a tremendous blow to them. Many said they were deeply depressed by the results, but they do not plan to mope quietly until 2020. The election has galvanized them. At the start of the conference, one of the organizers told the audience that after the results came in, registration for their event more than doubled. People from many organizations–including the Democratic Socialists of America–spoke of surges in membership and donations.
Obviously, I could not attend the dozens and dozens of breakout sessions, so I can’t give a complete description of what took place. Many different tactics were discussed, but there seem to be two main thrusts.
The first is reviving Bernie Sanders’ momentum. Those who backed Senator Sanders in his bid for the Democratic Party’s nomination feel vindicated. They believe their candidate could have beaten Mr. Trump, and with that as their justification, they want to take over the Democratic Party. They intend to start at very low levels to elect officials to positions of leadership, and eventually take over the Democratic National Committee. There are efforts already under way to teach Sanders supporters how to work their way to the top in local parties.
Several people implied that some of Senator Sanders’ campaign workers or perhaps moles within the Democratic Party had saved the lists of people who had voted for, volunteered, donated, or supported the Sanders campaign, and that those lists are now being used to start grassroots organizations. If these names were stolen this is probably illegal.
During the Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders said some sensible things about immigration, noting that open borders help the Koch Brothers and other business interests because they reduce wages. He also voted against the 2007 amnesty bill. However, a more powerful “Bernie wing” of the Democratic Party is not good news for whites.
The Super PAC Senator Sanders himself launched last August (named “Our Revolution”) gives us a taste of what it would be like. The PAC was founded to support progressives, and the list of candidates they backed in 2016 was awful. Not only were most of them non-white (including the first Somali elected to a state lesiglature), plenty of them were anti-white as well, such as Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison. If the folks at RootsCamp are to be believed, many more PACs and nonprofits with a similar vision to this one are on the way, and with them will come more candidates like Congressmen Grijalva and Ellison.
Hillary Clinton’s wing of the Democratic Party isn’t nearly as fearsome. Mrs. Clinton and her two constituencies–that odd combination of limousine liberals and underclass blacks–are lazy. They hated George W. Bush, but they didn’t do much to stop his administration, and they won’t do much to stop this one. Well organized Hispanics working with fiery Muslims, all supported by socialist intellectuals and unions are much less likely to compromise.
Of course, conflict within the Left is good for us. A long fight between socialists who like Bernie Sanders and the moderates who preferred Hillary Clinton could weaken the Left and help Mr. Trump in the short term. However, if the socialist camp emerges victorious, white advocates will be dealing with a much more vicious Left. We need to keep an eye on them. The first sign of how well they are doing may be whether their preferred candidate for president of the Democratic National Committee, Keith Ellison, gets the job.
The second thrust of many at RootsCamp was organizing mass resistance to Donald Trump’s policies on immigrants. Some of their proposals were simple: If a Muslim registry is set up, have as many non-Muslims as possible register and clog the system. Others were classic grassroots politics: organize mass call-ins to mayors of sanctuary cities to express support of sanctuary policies (we can do the opposite and have a similar impact, by the way).
There were proposals on how to fight deportation, including much talk about organizing an “underground railroad” for illegal immigrants: churches, universities, and personal homes where illegals could live for long periods while on the run. Activists at RootsCamp were trying to put together lists of “safe zones” across the country so they can hide non-citizens when the raids start. Many attendees expressed willingness to be a part of a human wall to block ICE vehicles. There was much talk about how the news of a raid on illegals could be spread as quickly as possible, so that activists could arrive quickly and block the operation.
A particularly animated Hispanic activist was blunt about the dangers: “If you are going to get involved in this, you need to be ready to get beat up, to get hospitalized, and to go to prison. If you are not willing to do those things, do not sign up to be a part of any action that intends to block the will of federal agents.” He is right, and I do not doubt the willingness of plenty of those people to suffer in the name of egalitarianism.
What we can do
As Chris Roberts noted after Mr. Trump’s victory, the fight is not over; it is just beginning. And the two thrusts I detected at RootsCamp are intimately connected. The motivated Bernie-wing of the Left is going to start to energize many different organizations that will try to block Mr. Trump’s actions at every turn.
This could mean a change in tactics for us. White advocates are used to a hostile government. While under hostile regimes, much of what we do is analyze and refute dominant ideologies and reigning policies. As the Trump administration takes shape–and if it carries out its promises–we should not just start writing in support of the government. Instead, we should adopt a few “antifa” tactics.
Antifa protesters who disrupt the meetings of white advocates are the attack dogs of the system. When white advocates lose a venue because of antifa threats, or when our people don’t go to events because they are afraid of being beaten up or photographed, the main beneficiary is the anti-white system. Antifa actions avert threats to the status quo.
Once Mr. Trump takes power, our movement could become his army of citizen-activist allies–his “antifa,” so to speak. Democrats are happy to ignore immigration laws, and happy to see white advocates silenced. When antifa cause us problems it is a net gain for them. Mr. Trump might not mind the help of white advocates in dealing with illegals.
How could we help? Do you know of a church that is likely to harbor illegals? Join it, and if it becomes a sanctuary for illegals, call ICE. Is there an organization in your city that likes to go into the street and chant “no human being is illegal?” Sign up and keep watch. Donate to a group such as the movimiento cosecha and figure out what they are planning. If you find out about a protest, tip off the cops. They’ll appreciate it. Is a member of a lefty group–especially if he is a non-citizen–doing something illegal? It could be something as minor as using drugs or owning an illegal weapon. Report him. The cops are likely to be on our side, and this administration will not be ignoring immigration laws.
Needless to say, a Trump administration will not govern in the name of white advocacy. However, for the first time in decades, the federal government could be trying to implement useful polices–to which there will be enormous, sustained opposition. We may be able to help from the sidelines. This is a new era that calls for new tactics.