On May 20th of this year, a North Carolina group of Confederates and Neo-Nazis held a rally in the tiny courthouse square of Graham, NC. Calling themselves Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County, or ACTBAC, they met on the 156th anniversary of the day North Carolina seceded from the Union. And nearby, two Marines who wanted to participate in a more visible way unfurled a banner from a rooftop in support of the racist gathering.
On the banner was a slogan, a symbol, and an acronym all associated with the white supremacist group “Identity Evropa,” founded by former Marine Nathan Damigo. While Damigo would eventually be arrested a few months later at an even bigger rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the two men with the banner that day were arrested on the spot – for trespassing.
Staff Sergeant Joseph Manning and fellow active-duty Sergeant Michael Chesny climbed a building illegally and dropped a banner from the roof that read “He who controls the past controls the future,” along with the symbol and the letters “YWNRU.” The latter stands for “You will not replace us,” a slogan many might remember as what the torch-bearing Nazis in Virginia chanted as they marched through Charlottesville the night before Heather Heyer was murdered by a terrorist from among their ranks.
In fact, of all the groups in attendance in Charlottesville, from the generic “Alt-Right” Nazis to the old-school KKK to the fratty self-styled “Proud Boys,” it was Identity Evropa, where the slogan originated, that James Alex Fields, Jr. — the terrorist murderer — associated himself with.
Now, according to the Military Times, Sgt. Manning is being ejected from the Marines.
Chesny, though not the mastermind of the first-degree trespassing incident, was also administratively punished. He was not kicked out of the Marines. Both men are scheduled to appear in civilian district court in Graham on October 10th, when their case could be adjudicated if they enter a plea.
Donald Trump could take a lesson from his military: It’s time to remove all white nationalists from our government, our systems, and our institutions.
Featured image via YouTube screencap
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