Two National Guardsmen discharged over white supremacist ties

Jack Murphy
December 27, 2019 - 10:07 am
Richard Spencer

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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The Georgia and Alabama National Guard have discharged Dalton Woodward and Trent East after an investigation into their ties to white supremacy. 

Activists with the Atlanta Antifascists, commonly known as Antifa, first exposed the links between the two service members and the Asatru Folk Assembly. Asatru is a Neo-Völkisch movement that uses paganism as a religion in which to nestle white nationalist views, in some ways the religious equivalent of ecological fascist political ideology. Both reference a mythical idyllic age of agrarian nostalgia, eco-fascism believing the environment should be reserved for the white race while Neo-Völkisch movements believe that white people need their own exclusive religion. 

"Present-day Folkish adherents also couch their bigotry in baseless claims of bloodlines grounding the superiority of one’s white identity," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, "At the cross-section of hypermasculinity and ethnocentricity, this movement seeks to defend against the unfounded threats of the extermination of white people and their children."

After a months-long investigation, the Army National Guard informed both East and Woodward that they would be given general discharges this month.

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, East claimed that he was simply interested in paganism as a religion, rather than a vehicle to advance ethnonationalism. “The whole race thing started with me finding Asatru or Odinism or whatever you want to call it and seeing that as a better option than Christianity as a spirituality. I’ve just never been a fan of Christianity, and so seeing a faith that was about my ethnic roots was something I could get into a little more,” he said.

However, East and Woodward attended a speech given by prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer in 2017, East holding a sign which said, "The existence of our people is not negotiable" and Woodward with a sign saying, "We have a right to exist." Both are references to a conspiracy theory in white supremacy circles which holds that a cabal of Jewish globalists is waging so-called "white genocide" by displacing white people with minority groups in a demographic displacement scheme.

After the speech, East wrote, "It was a great talk, lots of great stuff was said."

This month, the Senate specifically struck language from an amendment passed within the National Defense Authorization Act which specifically singled out white nationalists when screening those attempting to enlist in the military. The wording of the amendment was changed to say they would screen for, "extremist and gang-related activity."

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Reach Jack Murphy: jack@connectingvets.com or @JackMurphyRGR.