- Patriot Front is a white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it solely to them.
- Patriot Front espouses racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance under the guise of preserving the “ethnic and cultural origins” of their European ancestors.
- Patriot Front spreads their hateful propaganda via the Internet and by distributing banners, fliers, posters and stickers.
- Patriot Front participates in localized “flash mobs” and torch marches/demonstrations.
Patriot Front is a white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them alone. They define themselves as American fascists or American nationalists who are focused on preserving America’s identity as a European-American identity.
“America is our nation, passed down to us by our fathers, and so long as we live, the enemies of our people will not stand unopposed.” Patriot Front, Twitter, November 6, 2017
“This nation is the property of the founding stock and no one else.” Braxton Bragg, Twitter, October 1, 2017
“The American Identity is not merely given upon birth, it is seized through the potential of one's blood, and the extent to which they fulfill their natural duty to their people.” Patriot Front, Gab.ai, October 1, 2017
“The American identity was forged in a struggle between civilizations that ended in victory for our ancestors.” Patriot Front, Twitter, September 17, 2017
Patriot Front is a Texas-based alt right group led by 19-year-old Thomas Ryan Rousseau. The group split from Vanguard America (VA) in late August 2017, several months after VA participated in a white supremacist rally on the capitol steps in Austin, Texas. Both Rousseau, as the Texas leader, and Dillon Hopper (aka Dillon Irizarry), as the group’s national leader, spoke during the event. Hopper later complained that Rousseau had led event organizers to believe that Rousseau, rather than Hopper, was VA’s leader, and that Rousseau’s lengthy speech during the rally further confused people about the group’s true leader.
Two days after the Austin rally, Rousseau began his takeover of the group’s servers and its “bloodandsoil.org” website. In an exchange that was posted on Twitter, Hopper explained, “On June 20, Thomas underhandedly and deceitfully exiled me from all Vanguard discord servers that HE controlled due to ‘security reasons.’ I logged off…and when I got back an hour later I was banned from every single server, including the women’s server. It was literally a coup with the guise that I left to handle family matters.”
Just a few weeks later, with Hopper conspicuously absent, Rousseau led several dozen Vanguard America Texas members and associates at the August 12th “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Though Rousseau led the Unite the Right contingent, it was Hopper who faced derision in the rally’s aftermath as event images showed that James Alex Fields Jr., who is accused of plowing his car into a group of counter-protesters and killing Heather Heyer, participated in the event standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Vanguard America, and carrying a shield bearing the group’s fascist symbol. VA has denied that Fields was ever a member of their group.
In late August, as Hopper isolated himself from the fallout from Unite the Right, Rousseau seized the moment. Rather than take over the troubled Vanguard America, he opted to rebrand VA’s “bloodandsoil.org” as the Patriot Front website. The move allowed those associated with Patriot Front to distance themselves from both Vanguard America and any association with James Field. Ironically, the bulk of those who defected to Rousseau’s Patriot Front were those who attended “Unite the Right” under the Vanguard America umbrella.
Leadership disputes aside, the split between Vanguard America and Patriot Front is symptomatic of the divergent opinions among white supremacists about optics and how to best promote their cause to the public. Rousseau’s camp prefers to promote “American Nationalism” and advocate for a racist ideology that appeals to conservatives, using ostensibly unifying symbols like the American flag. In that same vein, Patriot Front uses an image of a fasces, the original symbol of fascism (a bundle of sticks featuring an axe) encircled by thirteen stars as “an American symbol of revolutionary spirit.”
They also use the American flag during demonstrations, and often wear American flag-themed masks or bandanas.
After the split, one Patriot Front member posted on the alternative social media network Gab, “There is room for multiple iconography [SIC] as long as it's rooted in Americana. You can have a proper patriotic organizational flag alongside old glory. The issue is the folks among us demeaning the sacrifice of our ancestors and denouncing this nation as never being valid or moral.” He also wrote, “We have been advocating for American Nationalism for a while. Unfortunately, our imagery with VA didn't facilitate it. When we in leadership split from VA we went full on American Fascism/Nationalism to great success.”
"In spite of all the ink that has been spilled about American nationalism, Patriot Front is the only group in the United States that is incorporating it into their activism." Patriot Front, Gab.ai, November 12, 2017
"A new organization called Patriot Front has launched which has a much more nuanced take on American nationalism. It draws a critical distinction between the American state and the American nation." Patriot Front, Gab.ai, October 11, 2017
“People are conflating the concept of a true Nation with the current dysfunctional government we have. A nation is Blood and Soil not a proposition.” Braxton Bragg, Twitter, September 3, 2017
They may have split from Vanguard America, a group known for directly targeting Jewish institutions with hateful propaganda,but Patriot Front hasn’t abandoned their anti-Semitism. The organization has distributed anti-Semitic fliers promoting Patriot Fronton college campuses around the country.
In October 2017, someone placed a Patriot Front sticker on the glass door of a Jewish educational institution in Los Angeles. The sticker read “The Goyim Know,” a reference to an anti-Semitic trope about Jews trying to keep non-Jews “in the dark” about their plans for world domination. A week later, the same institution was targeted by a second Patriot Front flier, this one bearing symbols of Islam and Judaism and the words “Reject the False Dichotomy. Both Must Go.”
Another Patriot Front flier, which depicts two hands representing Jews and communists taking over America, has been disseminated widely.
Anti-Semitic online rhetoric is common among Patriot Front members and associates, and has included the use of “ZOG,” a white supremacist acronym for “Zionist Occupied Government” which reflects the popular white supremacist belief that the U.S. government is controlled by Jews. Members have also used “1488,” a combination of two popular white supremacist numeric symbols (14 is shorthand for the “14 words,” a white supremacist slogan, and 88 stands for HH, or Heil Hitler.)
Anti-Semitism in their own words:
- “Patriot Front’s new video was of course kiked by YouTube.” Patriot Front, Gab.ia, December 1, 2017
- “Jews aren't white, try again. It's typical for parasitic Jews to claim race doesn't exist because it benefits you. A rootless, atomized race of indistinguishable mocha colored brown people are what you seek. We're on to you kike.” Braxton Bragg, Gab.ia, December 1, 2017
- “Happy Veterans Day to my fellow Veterans and yes… I know we fought for ZOG and all that.” Braxton Bragg, Twitter, November 11, 2017
- “14 & 88 #two reasons I get out of bed. Washington Front spent election night spreading awareness to our cause. This nation was conquered, not stolen.” Washington Front, Twitter, November 8, 2017
- “The international Jewish community has an undeniable, predominant role in assisting and promoting the factions that most viciously attack the moral and ethical foundations of America, and in eroding the financial bulwarks against globalism.” Patriot Front, Twitter, November 11, 2017.
- “We are the opposite of all the left stands for, so I'll agree with you for simplicity's sake. What we stand for transcends simple modern left/right dogma, which is essentially an economic dispute between two sides of the same Jew coin.” Braxton Bragg, Gab.ai, November 26, 2017
- “We acknowledge the disproportionate and detrimental influence of the rootless Jewish community in America, and seek to counteract them.” Patriot Front, Twitter, October 29, 2017
- “Deconstruction of a Western ideological or spiritual concept is the very essence of the modern Jewish worldview.” Braxton Bragg, Gab.ai, October 10, 2017
- “Speaking out against the disproportionate influence of Jews in America is always met with wild opposition. Such reaction is proof enough.” Patriot Front, Twitter, October 3, 2017
- “This take-a-knee thing is like a litmus test so Jews can see how many whites they have control over. Don’t kneel. Be a patriot. Stand proud.” Billy Merse, retweeted Will Wilmot, September 27, 2017
- “Our goals do not end with a candidate in an office or a bill signed into law. Our horizon is set on absolute victory.” Patriot Front, Twitter, September 19, 2017
- “Our people build and create by nature, and will destroy absolutely the threats to our existence and prosperity.” Patriot Front, Twitter, September 15, 2017 (tweet included flyer image right)
Patriot Front is active online and uses social media to promote racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance, but they are also part of a broader effort by white supremacists to move from their longtime roles as online provocateurs to real-world activists. Real-world activism generates the group’s desired localized outrage and media attention, as well as images and videos, which can be used to generate self-promoting and graphic online content.
Patriot Front’s most frequent form of activism has been the distribution of racist and anti-Semitic propaganda on college campuses and in various communities in at least 12 different states. As of December 13, 2017, the Anti-Defamation League has counted 37 incidents in which Patriot Front flyers, banners or stickers were posted on campuses. Most of the incidents occurred in Texas, where the bulk of the group’s membership resides, but Patriot Front propaganda has also been distributed in states as far-flung as California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Washington.
Patriot Front members have participated in localized flash mob demonstrations in Texas alongside Daily Stormer’s virulently anti-Semitic activist Robert Warren Ray (aka Azzmador), as well as other small alt-right groups such as the Whomsters and Houston Goylers. During these flash demonstrations, Patriot Front members generally wear khaki pants and a blue or white polo shirt; many also wear masks. The group, intensely focused on “optics,” has used attention- grabbing smoke bombs, signal flares and torches during their demonstrations. Members routinely chant, “Blood and Soil,” a slogan with origins in Nazi Germany that Patriot Front uses to conflate white European identity with American soil.
In addition to distributing propaganda, members also participate in private meet-ups, which routinely involve a physical fitness element like sparring or hiking. The group’s internet propaganda stresses physical training and includes images of members boxing, coupled with phrases like “Become war” and “Train with your friends. Fight your enemies.”
“Train hard, gents. The enemies of white America are always looking for weaknesses. Show them nothing but strength and malice.” Talos Fashcoran, Twitter, November 25, 2017
“When fascists are more willing to punch fascists than Antifa is, you know you're winning.” Sam Uwell Haidid, Twitter, November 24, 2017
“Train, organize, act, and fight when necessary. Show no mercy to your weaknesses, just as your enemies will show none to you.” Patriot Front, Twitter, September 27, 2017
Recent examples of activism:
Laguna Beach, California, December 10, 2017: Several Patriot Front members participated in an anti-immigration demonstration. They held a banner that read, “Deport them all. America is our birthright.”
Chicago, Illinois, December 7, 2017: Several Patriot Front members and associates shouted, “blood and soil” during a rally protesting Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They later displayed a banner on a Chicago overpass that read, “Deport them all.”
Los Angeles, California, December 6, 2017: Two white males dressed in utility worker uniforms hung a banner on the Mulholland bridge:, “Americans are white. The rest must go.”
Rockville, Maryland, November 12, 2017: Patriot Front flyers were pasted to the door and mailbox of the Montgomery County Republican Party Headquarters.
Austin, Texas, November 5, 2017: Patriot Front members and associates lit flares during a demonstration in front of a bookstore they described as a communist gathering place.
Austin, Texas, November 4, 2017: Approximately 25 Patriot Front members and associates, wearing masks and carrying burning torches, demonstrated in front of the George Washington statue at the University of Texas.
Austin, Texas, October 26, 2017: A Patriot Front “white families matter” banner was posted at Texas State University.
Gainesville, Florida, October 19, 2017: Members of Patriot Front (seen in the image below wearing white shirts and sunglasses) assisted with event ticket distribution and private security at Richard Spencer’s speaking appearance at the University of Florida.
Los Angeles, California, October 17, 2017: Members unfurled a banner over the Skirball exit of the 405 freeway that read, “RESURRECTION THROUGH INSURRECTION.”
Houston, Texas, October 2, 2017: A Patriot front banner that read, “For race and nation” was displayed on a Houston overpass.
Dallas, Texas, October 1, 2017: A Patriot Front banner was hung from a Dallas overpass that read, “Take a knee, back in Africa.”
Houston, Texas, September 24, 2017: Twenty-nine members of Patriot Front, Daily Stormer book clubs, Whomsters and Houston Goylers gathered outside a Houston Anarchist Book Fair where they unfurled a “Blood and Soil” banner, used smoke bombs, and chanted phrases such as “Blood and Soil,” “F**k you faggots,” and “anti-White.”
September 18, 2017, Austin, Texas: A Patriot Front banner that read, “Unite the White” was hung from an overpass in Austin.