Jason Kessler is a white nationalist, white supremacist, pro-Confederate supporter, and self-described independent journalist, author, and writer. During a recorded poetry reading in 2014, he described himself as cynical and skeptical of the government and the “power of love.” In an apparent foreshadowing of Kessler’s later escapades, he further stated that he doesn’t need to be “born again” or “saved.” Kessler gained national attention in 2016 when he exposed lewd and racist tweets from a Virginia Board of Education member ultimately leading to the member’s resignation.
Contrary to his self-proclaimed civility, Kessler has an extensive record of convictions (Jason Eric Kessler) ranging from shoplifting, obstruction of justice, failure to appear, and numerous traffic violations. In 2017, Kessler was charged with and plead guilty to misdemeanor assault. In describing the incident, Kessler claimed that the man he punched is using the “liberal nature of the city” and the “state government” to “force penalty” on him and asserted that a punch in the face is what someone should expect during face-to-face verbal disagreement.
Building on previous nationalist and populist themes, Kessler’s blog posts, tweets, and YouTube videos mainly consist of topics such as “white genocide”, “anti-white racism”, “cultural Marxism”, and anti-immigration. Kessler has a history of creating articles, blog posts, poems, and videos about white nationalism, white ethnocentrism, the “alt-right,” and white genocide. Kessler’s language, volume, and inflection of the words and voices used in his writings and videos makes it clear that he attempts to take advantage of emotion and hate over logic and intelligence during a discussion.
Kessler was revealed as the primary organizer of the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville. The rally turned deadly and resulted in a death after white nationalist and white supremacist groups armed with body armor and shields became engaged in violent confrontations with anti-fascist and anti-hate counter protestors. Near the rally, a female counter protestor named Heather Heyer was killed when a member of the “The League of the South” drove his vehicle into a crowd at a high-speed. The rally was claimed to be organized in response to calls from Charlottesville officials to remove a local Robert E. Lee statue. It seems counter to reason and logic to employ intimidation tactics involving torches, marches, chanting, war cries, weapons, shields, and hateful rhetoric to solely protest the removal of a statue. It is suspected that these tactics are meant more to gain attention, fuel controversy, and provoke confrontations rather than drum up legitimate support for historical preservation.
After the rally, Kessler said in a now deleted tweet, “Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.” and linked to the now globally hated white supremacist Daily Stormer website. In an attempt to deflect any personal responsibility for the disorganization of the rally, Kessler claimed that the counter protestors committed civil rights violations against him. As is usual for Kessler, he blamed his repugnant behavior on external forces such as Ambien, Xanax, alcohol, death threats, stress, the government, and those who disagree with his positions.
Like fellow white nationalist and racist Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler lives in an echo chamber of ideas in which nothing but white nationalism, white supremacy, alt-rightism, and racist beliefs can penetrate. Kessler and his associates engage in fear mongering, sensationalism, and hateful dispositions to prey on the fears and suspicions of people who are more likely to be persuaded by such rhetoric and to get attention from any media that will amplify their voice. Given Kessler’s history of criminal activity, unintelligent rants, and blame deflection, it is highly unlikely that he will be open to purposeful discussions and debates.
Be on the lookout for any future rallies assembling under the disguise of free speech, historical preservation, or community uniting. Avoid feeding his followers and instead engage in thoughtful, intelligent, and logical pursuits when engaging Kessler and his beliefs.