Soldier part of “European heritage” group under investigation for racial messages

A 19-year-old private, Gabriel Wilson, in the Kansas Army National Guard is being investigated after he admitted being involved with a social group that made chalk messages on Bethany College campus.

The incident allegedly occurred on Sept. 3 at the college in the central Kansas town of Lindsborg.  Wilson is not a student of the school but is involved with the “European heritage protection” group Identity Evropa, according to the Associated Press.

Kansas Adjutant General’s Office spokeswoman Katie Horner says Guard policy doesn’t allow participation in group activities that advocate supremacist or extremist doctrine. She says “appropriate, swift action” will be taken.

“ [National Guard members] may not actively participate in group activities that advocate supremacist, extremist or criminal gang doctrine including those that advocate illegal discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, religion, ethnicity or national origin,” she said told Salina Journal.

Identity Evropa describes itself as a group rejecting the idea that our identities are mere abstractions to be deconstructed.

“We oppose those who would defame our history and rich cultural heritage. In a time when every other people are asserting their identity, without action, we will have no change to resist our dispossession,” says their website.

According to Mark Potok, senior fellow with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Identity Evropa is not among the 892 groups currently listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center website’s hate map of the United States.  But he thinks the group will eventually be listed, citing their newness as a reason for not being listed.

He said the group “tries to avoid racial slurs but has politics basically the same as the Klan.”

Wilson lists himself as the Identity Evropa state coordinator for Kansas on Facebook.  His mother denies that he took any part in creating the racially offensive messages, saying he told her that he wrote “Trump 2016 — Build a Wall” and the other comments were written by others.

Lindsborg Police Chief Tim Berggren said the racially offensive or potentially threatening messages are not likely to result in criminal charges.

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