The American Freedom Party (AFP), a white supremacist group, has recently established a youth wing, the National Youth Front (NYF). NYF, which officially launches in February, has already created a website, a Facebook page, and a recruitment video to appeal to young people between the ages of 18 and 40.
In an introduction on its website, NYF claims that it is “an elite youth organization dedicated to the preservation of America our Western culture [sic].” In addition to creating a flyer about the group, NYF has created a polished recruitment video aimed at young people. It decries their parents’ acceptance of diversity and claims that young whites are “the victims of [their] parents’ childish liberation movements” from the 1960s. The video is called a “Declaration of War” and is similar to videos circulated by far-right youth groups in Europe, which chide previous generations’ acceptance of multiculturalism.
NYF chose three interconnecting triangles known as the Valknot or “knot of the slain,” an old Norse symbol, to represent the group. It is often considered a symbol of the Norse god Odin. Some white supremacists, particularly racist Odinists, have appropriated the Valknot to use as a racist symbol. Often they use it as a sign that they are willing to give their life to Odin, generally in battle.
Leaders in the group include Nathan Damigo and Daxter Reed, also known as Daecca Reed. Damigo is an Iraq war veteran who was released from prison in April 2014 after serving time for pulling a gun on a taxi driver, a crime he attributed to PTSD. Damigo is the acting chairman of NYF and also holds the position of director of PR and outreach. Reed, who is from Asheville, North Carolina, is director of national chapters. Reed is active in Asheville Youth Front, a local chapter of NYF and is seen on that chapter’s Facebook page handing out a NYF flyer. On his Facebook page, Reed “liked” Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Unofficially in existence since November 2014, NYF has already lost its first chairman, Caleb C. Shumaker. Shumaker resigned on January 6, citing recent attacks against him and his family. He was formerly a member of the Conservative Youth Council, an affiliate of the far-right Conservative Party USA. In his farewell column, Shumaker claimed that NYF already has nine chapters around the country, although there is little evidence of activity at this point.
AFP was originally founded in October 2009 as American Third Position (A3P), “to represent the political interests of White Americans.” Today the organization’s leadership is made up of older well-established white supremacists such as California lawyer William Johnson, anti-Semitic ex-professor Kevin MacDonald and James Edwards, who runs The Political Cesspool, a radio show based in Tennessee. AFP is apparently trying to attract young people to bring new energy into the group, which has mostly run unsuccessful candidates for local positions.