It only took a matter of days for "pro-white" protest organizer Jason Kessler, whose "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia ended in a disastrous episode of violence on 12 August 2017, to go from being a darling of the alt-right movement to a target of one of their paranoid conspiracy theories.
In keeping with the preferred alt-right explanation of why the Charlottesville event went south, namely the machinations of a vast left-wing conspiracy to foment racial violence and spark a civil war, alternative media outlets began accusing Kessler of being a "deep state" operative in the pay of billionaire leftist George Soros.
Among those was the pro-Trump news and opinion web site DC Whispers, who reported:
Well this is fishy. His name is Jason Kessler. He is the one cited as the organizer of the now infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The thing is, Mr. Kessler’s arrival on the “alt right” and/or “White Nationalist” scene didn’t occur until November 2016.
That’s right – Kessler didn’t start his white nationalist activism until after Donald Trump won the White House. Prior to that it appears he participated in the far left/socialist Occupy Wall Street movement as noted by the far-left, George Soros-funded Southern Poverty Law Center.
It is well known how much the DEEP STATE despises POTUS Trump. Is it beyond the realm of possibility to consider Jason Kessler and others like him are actually DEEP STATE operatives working to further divide and conqueror America? Trump is a direct threat to that plan. Why not paint Trump with the broad strokes of racism, hatred and bigotry in order to further erode his millions strong base of support?
Is Jason Kessler a misguided activist or a willing pawn in a much larger psy-ops program that is at this very moment rippling across the country? Who knows. There is certainly enough already there, though, to make one say “hmmm….”
A blogger for Rightwing News wrote:
Jason Kessler is the organizer of Unite the Right, the group of white nationalists that duked it out with Black Lives Matter and Antifa in Charlottesville, Virginia where one woman and two police officers were killed. The source of the information is even more surprising, but as far as I can tell, it’s legitimate. The Southern Poverty Law Center is reporting that Kessler was a part of Occupy Wall Street and voted for Barack Obama and supported him for eight years. Gee… and now he’s a white supremacist. Strange days.
Who is this guy? Is this a mistake or is he indeed a liberal gone racist? Is he a plant and this whole thing a set up to pit Americans against each other? Lots of questions and very, very few answers. Kessler has also written for major publicans such as The Daily Mail, who now has cut him loose and has distanced themselves from him. I don’t blame them in the least. Everything about this guy is off and suspect now. He just got thrown out of an interview… I guess he was chased out and mobbed over his racist leanings. But he is scheduled to do another rally in Dallas shortly and has vowed to step up his racist cause. Kessler is doing major damage out there and he is not what he seems. I suspect he’s a Marxist as well.
Far-right celebs were also sharing dark suspicions about Kessler's ideological purity:
— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) August 15, 2017
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) August 16, 2017
And alt-right Grand Inquisitor Alex Jones grilled Kessler on his political pedigree during a contentious 14 August broadcast:
Alex Jones Confronts Leader Of The Alt-Right Race Riot pic.twitter.com/22gRmM7F6D
— infowars (@infowars) August 15, 2017
We, too, have spoken to Kessler, and we've looked into a number of the claims these and other sources have leveled against him to make the case that he's a left-wing operative. This is what we learned:
Was Jason Kessler a Barack Obama supporter?
True. He told us (and has consistently said elsewhere) that he was an Obama supporter and voted for him. He says he began to sour on Obama and the Democrats during Obama's second administration because of their focus on what Kessler terms "identity politics."
Was Kessler involved in the Occupy movement?
Mostly false. According to Kessler, Occupy's "anti-globalist" stance caught his interest in 2011 and he attended an Occupy Charlottesville demonstration, but found he didn't see eye-to-eye with the group in a confrontation he described as none too friendly. (The source typically cited to support the claim that he was "involved" in the Occupy movement, a Southern Poverty Law Center dossier on Kessler's political history, uses the phrase "apparent involvement" and supplies no evidence to indicate he had anything other than a relatively brief encounter with the Charlottesville contingent.)
Did Kessler write articles for CNN that were sympathetic to the Occupy movement?
False. Kessler says he never worked for CNN, and we spoke to a source at CNN who confirmed it. A writer named Jason Kessler was once employed by CNN, and he did cover Occupy Wall Street protests among many other topics, but according to CNN it was not the same Jason Kessler who went on to lead Unite the Right.
Did Kessler accept a $1,320 campaign consulting fee from a Democratic Congressional candidate in 2012?
False. Kessler told us he has never received money from any political campaign. Moreover, the "proof" offered up by Kessler's accusers, a screenshot of a Federal Elections Commission entry showing that a "Jason Kessler" received that amount from the 2012 Congressional campaign of North Carolina Democrat Charles Murphy, is easily debunked. Looking deeper, we discovered that the Jason Kessler listed there was: a) a North Carolina resident (Unite the Right's Jason Kessler was, and remains, a resident of Charlottesville, Virginia); b) Charles Murphy's campaign manager.
Did Kessler change his political views only after Donald Trump succeeded in being elected president?
False. As we mentioned above, Kessler says his political views began to evolve during Obama's second term in office as he became more and more disaffected by the left's dogmatic emphasis on racial identity politics. Looking at his blog posts from late 2015, we find him reluctant to reveal much about those views:
Despite having a definite viewpoint, I have sympathies with both the left & right of political/social thought. I want both in my readership. Therefore the political thought of my private life will be kept private until such time as it is relevant to my work or a critique of my work, as I've stated.
By February 2016, however, we find Kessler openly condemning the Democratic Party as the "'Unite to Get Whitey' party" and complaining about the "anti-white media and anti-white laws":
I'm actually really okay with Beyonce's racial advocacy at the Superbowl. I'm a big proponent of free speech across the board. I think it's really important for white people not to whine about it like little bitches. Then they're just playing into the same victim game. They are affirming and condoning it as a reasonable discourse in 21st century America. I do however feel like white people, just like any group based on race, religion or creed, should be able to advocate their interests without facing discrimination for it from the culture at large.
Every group is allowed to lobby based on their identity except white people (and men but that's another story). The Democrats are essentially the "Unite to Get Whitey" party. There will come a time when white people understand that they also need to stick together as a political force. Otherwise we'll keep being bombarded by anti-white media & anti-white laws.
We're going to be a minority soon & we're already treated like one. Don't think we aren't going to be oppressed more & more if we can't stand up for ourselves.
More chillingly, Kessler speaks of the importance of tribes and civilizations "clashing" for the good of natural selection:
Cultures, tribes & civilizations are meant to clash just as we always have in the past, just like it is with nearly every other beast in the animal kingdom. We are beasts. We share 99% of our DNA with bonobos and almost as much with the other Great Apes. Competition is part of natural selection and evolution. Sorry Marxists, your vision of utopia will never exist because it is counter to human nature. The more your "oppressed" groups gain power the more they will use it to enact revenge.
Conflict is how we adapt. This is how stronger cultures survive while degenerate cultures (drug use, sexual irresponsibility, failure to comply with societal expectations like laws, etc.) must learn to either adapt or assimilate.
This social engineering project the West has engaged in is a failure. The more righteous cultures are dragged down by the dead weight of failed ones. More than that, failed cultures are given competitive advantages just so they can keep tearing down the responsible, hardworking individuals.
In October 2016, Kessler went on a rant criticizing the major social media platforms for, in his view, "censoring" conservative viewpoints:
The owner of Twitter is a vocal Black Lives Matter supporter and regular bans and censors prominent conservatives like Milo Yiannopoulos and Chuck Johnson (the reporter who outed UVA rape hoaxer Jackie Coakley). Can you imagine if Bell Telephone Company or AT&T lines had been monitored by billionaire plutocrats for “incorrect speech” as the views of social media users today are?
He was also moved to express support for a strong critic of Black Lives Matter, University of Virginia lecturer Doug Muir, who had called BLM "racist." In the process, Kessler himself described BLM as "a group which has advocated for the killing of white police officers on many occasions":
Since the 1960’s when the roots of far-left liberal activism reached maturation we’ve seen many successful attempts to create “choking points” around free speech. These tactics were outlined by dedicated Communist Saul Alinsky in his book "Rules for Radicals". Just like you can assault an army in more directions than just head on (from the side through an underpass, etc.) there are several ways to deny people their rights in ways unknown to the founding fathers. One of which we see on campuses throughout the nation where any professor who makes remarks critical of multiculturalism or political correctness is, cajoled, fired, or intimidated into silence. We saw this recently in the public tarring and feathering of UVA lecturer Doug Muir, who dared to claim that Black Lives Matter is a racist group on Facebook. For the record, Black Lives Matter is a group which has advocated for the killing of white police officers on many occasions. We can see the fruits of their labors in the five police officers slain by a BLM member in Dallas, Texas. Their critics point out that they exploit the crime epidemic in inner city ghettos in order to advocate policy preferences and benefits for their racial in-group.
In November 2016, Kessler campaigned for the removal from office of Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, who had called for the removal of Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue (the same statue, in fact, around whose fate Kessler would organize his Unite the Right rally in 2017).
And in December 2016, a seemingly jubilant Kessler celebrated the election of President Donald Trump and "the end of identity politics":
2016 was an unprecedented year in the history of our democracy. After decades of stigmatization and encroaching government oppression the white, blue collar heartland of America stood up against the forces of globalization, free trade, and open-borders. They voted down the displacement of American citizens by illegal labor and overzealous immigration from the most extreme Islamic countries on Earth. They banished Hillary Clinton to the legacy of a two-time loser in the footnotes of history and they sent Donald J. Trump to the White House.
None of this reads to us like the history of a man who underwent a sudden, "feigned" conversion to an alt-right, "pro-white" political stance in the wake of the election of Trump (for whom Kessler voted, he told us, and whose presidency he still supports). The evidence shows, rather, that Kessler was already evincing well-developed "white identity" views by February 2016, and has consistently reviled the left and expressed solidarity with the alt-right ever since.
It would appear that his former alt-right compatriots sensed a convenient scapegoat in Kessler — someone they could easily finger as a patsy of George Soros and the Clinton-Obama "deep state" in their rush to blame the Charlottesville debacle on a left-wing conspiracy. Given that he organized the event and set its agenda, Kessler indeed bears some responsibility for what happened there, but he does so not as some imagined "Soros/deep state plant," but rather as a legitimate figurehead of the alt-right white nationalist movement.