On March 2, white nationalist group VDare released a 13-minute short film on YouTube titled “Whites Have Rights: It's Time to Get Serious About Secession,” which should never have made it onto the platform. Almost six months earlier, in August 2019, YouTube had reversed its previous ban on VDare despite the group’s well-documented history of white nationalist propaganda and clear violations of YouTube content policies.
The video argues for the “white right” to secede from the U.S. (the phrase “whites have rights” was a common slogan among those opposed to school desegregation, and the American Nazi Party). The video was written and narrated by Canadian white supremacist Faith Goldy, who has a long documented history of white nationalist rhetoric and advocacy.
VDare claims that “with some 330 million people” in the U.S. “no one can say there is a national family” and therefore it would be best if “the left and the right just peacefully went our separate ways.” VDare’s proposed solution? Secession, which the video states might be the “most peaceful path forward.” While touting the writings of various authors on VDare’s website -- including Michael Thompson, a white nationalist who writes for VDare under the pseudonym Paul Kersey -- the video makes the following statements to supposedly justify racial secession:
Democrats have “weaponized diversity and forced low-income housing on safe, white suburban neighborhoods.”
“There is a growing hostility to peaceful rhetoric surrounding immigration skepticism and white advocacy,” which Goldy blames on “America’s pattern of replacement migration.”
“Democrats are counting on non-whites to be allies in their ever-expanding calls for a gun grab” -- a common argument in white nationalist circles.
Goldy laments “the establishment’s best efforts to make historic America forget just who they are” over b-roll footage of Confederate statues being removed.
The video also reiterates some of the white nationalist sentiments and narratives that already exist in the United States:
The GOP will soon no longer represent true conservatives: “As a whole, minorities vote majority Democrat, while whites vote majority Republican. As America nears white-minority status, either the Republican Party will go the way of the dodo or it will become a shell of its former self ... focusing squarely on gaining political points among ‘New America’s’ minority-majority electorate.”
The Civil War was about states’ rights: The video draws revisionist parallels between the division of West Virginia from Virginia and the secession of Confederate states from the U.S., claiming both situations were merely an “issue of a state’s rights to secede” rather than acknowledging the desire of the Southern states to maintain slavery.
Americans are giving up on democracy because they are being “replaced”: Goldy alludes to the white nationalist great replacement conspiracy theory, saying that “unfettered immigration is rapidly shifting the ethnic and political balance of the U.S.” and asking, “What happens when people give up on democracy because their democratic autonomy has been undermined by a bipartisan political effort to have their votes and voices replaced.”
At the end of the video, Goldy concludes that “national identity, ethnicity, religion, race, language, and culture -- all these escalating tensions will have the effect of making secession more attractive, not less.”
A previous Media Matters review of VDare’s channel found it had an extensive history of white supremacist rhetoric. Media Matters found multiple videos that echoed white supremacist language and sentiments used by the alleged Christchurch, New Zealand, and El Paso, Texas, mass shooters. Multiple videos also alluded to the “great replacement” and white “genocide” conspiracy theories alongside demeaning and racist representations of immigrants and foreigners.
Since Media Matters’ review, VDare has thrown its support and praise behind the modern influencers of the historically racist “America First” movement, which is heavily influenced by extremist and “alt-right” personalities including American Identity Movement’s Patrick Casey and white nationalist media figures Nick Fuentes and Vincent James (also known as Vincent James Foxx). Nick Fuentes' YouTube channel was recently removed by YouTube for espousing white supremacist content.
YouTube’s failure to appropriately enforce its own content standards, specifically in relation to white nationalism, is helping normalize and amplify an outlet dedicated to fomenting white supremacy within the United States.