Harrisburg Pa, November 5, 2016
It was a cool Saturday the weekend before one of the most divisive presidential races in our nation’s history. We were here attending the latest costume-nazi drama production on the steps of the Pennsylvania state house. This is one of a number of battleground states in this election where Trump and Clinton have been running a dead heat in the polls.
The cast of clowns in this traveling circus were the usual moldy grifters: the National Socialist Movement, the Invisible Empire faction of the KKK and Matthew Heimbach’s Traditional Worker Party. Also present were a handful of others who probably pulled themselves away from their miserable daily lives to spend an hour and a half LARPing as evil villains for TV cameras. The proclaimed purpose of this street theater was to galvanize unity between these three groups and advocate for broader unity across the entire white supremacist spectrum. The rally netted around fifty people and will probably do nothing to quell the intense internecine squabbles that have given us many popcorn munching moments. Most of the people present were the same old faces we’ve seen at these rallies before– Schoep, Schloar, Heimbach… it’s the same old song and dance.
Various reporting outlets took swings at this pitiful racist piñata, bleating how they were Trump supporters and basically showroom dummies of all that is scary and bad about Trump America.
Let’s step away from the shiny objects for a moment, ‘k?
Instead, let’s look at what’s going on in the real world…the Alternative Right.
Here is someone new– Eric Starr, who showed up with the sole intention to start fights in Harrisburg with the crowd of people protesting the nazis. He was ejected by protestors and later possibly detained by police.
Starr wasn’t on stage; Starr was playing real life Pinkerton thug.
If you’ll notice, he isn’t wearing a flashy costume like all of the previously mentioned low-hanging fruit. His only distinguishing feature that identifies him as a member of this particular subculture is that he sports the “Fashy Haircut,” a retro-Hitler Youth men’s hair style, made popular by Alternative Right notable Richard Spencer.
Several months before the Harrisburg rally, Starr was photographed by the Associated Press at a Trump rally in Harrisburg, waving a sign that read “The Alt-Right Is Rising. TRUMP”
Starr is an example of a growing demographic of millennials who are attracted to this type of Neckbeard Fascism; a demographic of lonely, venomous misogynists who lash out like toddlers because they can’t beat and rape women, deny woman the right to vote, commit mass deportation or mass genocide against anyone they dislike while in their haze of Alex Jones’ tinfoil hat bullshit. How are they different than the costume Nazis? They are not as fringe as one might think. Tech-savvy and raised on the internet, many are online trolls connected to the Daily Stormer and Andrew Anglin’s troll army.
Can they be an IRL danger? Sure, even though most of them are just average looking guys who don’t fit the cartoon Nazi image– the swastika and jackboots are inside their heads rather than outside where everyone can see them.
Our investigation into Starr’s past shows he is no stranger to violent behavior and being on the wrong side of the law.
Starr first ran afoul of the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, court system in May of 2008, when he was arrested for possession with intent to sell or distribute and the possession of drug paraphernalia. Starr plead guilty to both charges, the former of which is a felony; he was sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison. Five years later, he showed his true colors…
In August of 2013, Starr was arrested again for a violent assault against his five month-pregnant girlfriend, which included grabbing her by the neck and squeezing with enough force that she was unable to breathe. In this case, Starr admitted to violating a “protection from abuse” order levied against him by his girlfriend. Starr plead guilty.
This kind of violence is typical of the lurid fantasies directed at women from the Alternative Right scene. Instead of just dismissing it as silly “locker room talk,” we need to wake up to the fact that while these lunkheads are armchair sociopaths, they will still try to manifest their paranoid nihilism against whatever target is most convenient.
In January of 2015, Starr was arrested YET AGAIN, this time for disorderly conduct and the possession of fifteen capsules of a Schedule III controlled substance. Again, he plead guilty.
There are multiple layers of irony with this story:
- Pennsylvania automatically restores voting rights to ex-offenders who have completed their sentences.
- Starr is a convicted felon.
- Starr is an ardent Trump supporter.
- Trump wishes to deny felons the right to vote.
- Trump believes that most felons with restored voting rights will vote Democrat.
It should be no surprise that when Starr showed up at the Harrisburg rally, he did not do so with the best of intentions. Starr, mingling with the opposition crowd, delivered a sucker punch to one of the protestors and was subsequently ejected by Antifa. Violent misogyny, criminality and white supremacy continue to goose-step hand-in-hand, and Starr is only another example of the individuals that movement tends to attract.