GoDaddy gives alt-right apparel company a platform to raise money for Charlottesville rioters
Normally the Right Brand prides itself on selling the latest fashion trends for European-heritage-loving “frontline patriots” who share a common disdain for the “degenerate” ideals of the left.
The clothing company was founded in January by the militant alt-right group known as the Rise Above Movement. The Right Brand funds not only RAM’s mixed martial arts training sessions and their routine street brawls with antifa, but also their travels to their white Anglo-Saxon homelands. In countries like Germany, Italy and Ukraine, RAM has worked to build bonds and collaborate with other white nationalists who align with their cause.
These days, however, the apparel maker is dedicating its resources to raising funds to pay legal fees for the four men recently arrested for their roles in the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. On Oct. 2, federal authorities charged Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis, Thomas Gillen and Cole White — all members of RAM — with violating the Riots Act, accusing them of attacking Unite the Right counterprotesters in the streets of Charlottesville on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 of 2017.
Last week, U.S. Marshals took Daley and Gillen into custody in California to transfer them to Virginia. A judge ordered Miselis be released on a secured bond for home confinement, but that order has been delayed pending a government appeal, according to CBS19.
All four men face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
To help fund RAM’s looming legal fight, The Right Brand is selling $10 stickers. They’re calling the crowdsourcing campaign “Free the Cville 4.”
Alt-right blogger and podcast host Michael Peinovich, also known as Mike Enoch, recently posted a message to Right Brand patrons on the company’s website, asking them to buy the Cville 4 stickers, describing the RAM members’ arrests as “politically motivated.”
“This is more than just a sticker, this is a pledge of support for those that are being held as political prisoners,” Peinovich wrote. “When you purchase this sticker, its funds will go to ensure that they have a better shot at beating the charges.”
The apparel website is hosted by domain registrar GoDaddy, who in the past has shut down websites related to the white nationalist movement, including ones run by white supremacists Richard Spencer and Andrew Anglin.
Mic asked GoDaddy why it was giving RAM’s apparel website a platform, given that the company directly funds a hate group whose members have committed acts of violence in the California cities of Huntington Beach and Berkeley, in addition to Charlottesville. GoDaddy said it will not force the white nationalist site to find a new home.
“We reviewed the website in question and determined that the content, while ignorant, is not in violation of our terms of service because it does not incite violence,” the company wrote in an emailed statement.
GoDaddy kicked notorious neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer off its platform in August 2017, after Unite the Right rallygoer James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car through a crowd of counterprotesters, killing Charlottesville native Heather Heyer.
“Given their latest article comes on the immediate heels of a violent act, we believe this type of article could incite additional violence, which violates our terms of service,” GoDaddy spokesman Dan Race told CNN at the time.
On May 3, the company gave a 48-hour ultimatum to white nationalist Richard Spencer’s website AltRight.com after the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law notified GoDaddy about an article it argued promoted violence against immigrants. The story in question said United States Boarder Patrol agents should be permitted to inflict “lawlessness and savagery” on people who illegally enter the country.
“Superiors would do well to turn their heads to a bit of brutality and vengeance by our guys on the border, perhaps even tolerating a massacre here or there,” the story’s author wrote, according to the Daily Beast.
GoDaddy ruled this also was against its rules.
“We generally do not take action on complaints that would constitute censorship of content and that represents the exercise of freedom of speech and expression on the internet,” the company said in a written statement on the matter, according to the Washington Times. “In instances where a site goes beyond the mere exercise of these freedoms, however, and crosses over to promoting, encouraging or otherwise engaging in specific acts of violence against any person, we will take action.”
Daniel Kelley, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Technology and Society, said GoDaddy booting the Daily Stormer for making disgusting remarks while allowing a violent alt-right group to raise money on its platform seems hypocritical.
“They should be consistent in the ways in which they’re interpreting their terms of service,” Kelley said. “You can read the information we have about the Rise Above Movement and their activities. Companies like GoDaddy have a responsibility to stand up against hate.”
The Right Brand’s administrators have no problem letting patrons know exactly what they’re getting when they purchase the company’s products.
“This helps keep /our guys/ employed and able to sustain their struggle against the European Union and other subversive forces,” the company says on its website. “When you buy a shirt, you’re not buying just a piece of fabric, but supporting the fight for our freedoms, our identities and a new way forward!”