Does NC House Speaker Thom Tillis regret meeting with David DeGerolamo yet?
“Things to think about—the nerds, the engineers—are going to be vital for a grid-down situation,” the instructor for NC Renegade’s ‘prepper’ series explains to his YouTube followers. Why are the “nerds” important? Because without them, he says: “We’d never have a chance of taking out the mayor.”
NC Renegade released a video as part of its “fictional training series” about overthrowing a “self-appointed mayor.” In a “grid-down situation”—shorthand for a scenario in which the United States has been disabled from using phones, Internet, and other technologies—NC Renegade urges its video fans to consider how it might organize to protect itself against home-grown tyranny. The NC Renegade instructor is a self-described ‘prepper’—a person who is preparing to do battle with the forces of tyranny in the United States.
DeGerolamo’s other great ideas, discussed at length on NCRenegade.com, include dissolving the Department of Justice and repealing the Fourteenth Amendment. NC Renegade’s prominent display of “Three Percent Patriots” regalia, referring to the estimated percentage of the colonial population that took up arms against the British Empire and a “President [Obama]’s Enemy List” decal place it clearly within the Patriot movement line of rhetoric. RC Renegade also promotes the Rex 84 conspiracy theory, suggesting that the federal government will, by a series of executive orders, institute martial law and place Americans into internment camps.
NC Renegade has also been promoting the “IIImpact Conference,” an anti-immigrant conference intended to bring together all of the state’s nativist bigwigs, including members of the state legislature. Other organizations in attendance will be NC Listen, the FAIR state contact, NC FIRE (whose president regularly shares white nationalist publications), and Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC). Despite their extremist associations (or flirtation with notions of race war like ALIPAC president William Gheen), these organizations have found a receptive audience in the legislature. Although separate, these organizations have increasingly become team players in the state, holding their own joint meeting with Speaker Tillis.
Anti-government crusaders are active in NC politics. Rep. Glen Bradley (R-Franklin) is a founding member of the Oath Keepers. Stewart Rhodes, the national founder of the Oath Keepers, recently gave a lecture to members of both chambers of the NC legislature alongside Bradley. Nor are anti-government and anti-immigrant groups in separate camps. Jeff Lewis, an organizer for the Fire Coalition, is also a representative for the Patriot Coalition.