Last Saturday, white nationalist Billy Roper, his two bodyguards (dressed in camo), and about 10 other protesters showed up at Health Sciences Park to rally against the city's recent removal of the statue of a Ku Klux Klan founding father and Confederate general, Nathan Bedford Forrest, from the park.
Roper, who in person lacks the intimidating presence of his online extremist blog, the Roper Report, stood in front of militant-looking protesters flashing Confederate flags and holding a 10-foot-long banner that read "'DIVERSITY' = WHITE GENOCIDE."
Claiming that removing the statue was a step in erasing his people's heritage, history, and culture, Roper said this is the beginning of erasing whites entirely. As ridiculous as it sounds, if you would have asked Roper and the other protesters, they would have told you with a straight face that the government's mission is to wipe all white people from the country and essentially make the caucasian race extinct.
- Maya Smith
"If they want to separate people from their identity and their heritage and their history, then that is a way of making them unaware of their identity and heritage so they can easily be genocided," Roper said. Whites are being targeted, bred out, and erased, he continued, because whenever an area is diversified, it's always a majority white area.
"No one says Kenya or Nigeria need more diversity or that South Central L.A. and Harlem need more diversity," he shouted through a bullhorn. "They always say that white areas, and only white areas, need more diversity."
And this leads to fewer white people by percentage, which he describes as an act of genocide.
"According to the United Nations' definition of the term, genocide doesn't have to be the violent murder of millions of people," Roper continued. "It means their cultural displacement and their demographic replacement."
The UN defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
That doesn't sound like anything that's ever happened to whites in this country, but Roper maintains the belief that the demographic replacement of this country's founders is genocide.
Which of the country's "founders" is he referring to, I wonder. Because people of color inhabited this country long before the ones who ran them off of their land and took it from them arrived. That's a discussion for another day, though.
But, we do know that the origins of mixed-race babies in this country come from within the system of slavery: A white slave-owner mates with a black slave, and the rest is history.
So, if you call the gradual decrease of whites in this country genocide, then it's self-inflicted genocide, at best.
Removing the statues, Roper admitted, is not just about the Confederacy, history, heritage, or culture. He added that it's also not about the Civil War that happened between 1861 and 1865. Iinstead, he claimed it's about "the civil war that is coming to America once again, as we continue to polarize and divide on the way toward balkanization."
Roper said people of color and whites, "different species of a subspecies," should not have to — and aren't meant to — coexist. It's just not right, he said.
He claims his main concern with the so-called white genocide is the white race's decline (or as he puts it, being "bred-out and turned feces-colored"), but I'd venture to say Roper and others with similar thought processes are simply afraid of progress. They're afraid to live alongside people who don't look like them. Why? I'll never know.
If you ask me, statues of two historically racist and divisive figures coming down in Memphis was a wake-up call for Roper and his posse. They're realizing the country is no longer the way it was during the post-Civil War era or at the time the Forrest statue was erected, during the days of Jim Crow — and that it won't ever be that way again.
The thought of diversity and different races existing together throws people like Roper into a panic. Perhaps, it's because they're afraid of losing a power that they forcibly took — and that was never rightfully theirs to begin with.
Maya Smith is a Flyer staff writer.