Federal government forgives COVID loan to white nationalist publisher VDARE

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A federal program to give a helping hand to struggling business owners during the pandemic has given a helping hand to a white nationalist publisher, The Daily Beast has learned.

According to ProPublica’s Nonprofit Newsroom Paycheck Protection Program database, the Small Business Administration earlier this year forgave a loan of $ 76,106 to Happy Penguins LLC. Despite the innocuous name, incorporation documents show that this Litchfield, Connecticut entity is owned by Peter Brimelow, head of the VDARE Foundation and its eponymous website, and his wife, who serves as the advancement officer. from the Association.

An immigrant from the United Kingdom himself, Brimelow has long been a staunch polemicist against non-white arrivals in the United States and asserted that Latinos “specialize in rape, especially of children” and that “Haitians have very high crime levels ”. But he personally denied being a white nationalist, even continue unsuccessfully the New York Times last year for applying the label to him. A veteran of Forbes and the National exam, he also maintained ties with elements of the mainstream conservative: Trump’s White House economic adviser even invited Brimelow to his birthday party in 2018, and admitted to hosting him at his residence on several occasions. , although he denied being familiar with his work.

VDARE’s penchant for publishing racial diatribes, conspiracy theories, and manifestos from white nationalist authors like American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor has launched it on platforms ranging from Facebook to Paypal. The group is named after Virginia Dare, the first child of English descent born in her American colonies, now a sacred figure in the white supremacist tradition.

Jared Holt, a resident and extremism expert in the non-partisan Atlantic Council, called Brimelow a “suit and tie type” with intellectual pretensions, despite VDARE’s growing engagement with the racist far right.

“VDARE’s reputation is pretty blatant,” said Holt. “It’s a type of white nationalist organization that tries to present itself as ‘the thinking man’s white nationalism.’ All the cases where they get a veneer of legitimacy are of great concern. “

As Holt noted, VDARE has hardly run out of funds; he sparked fury in a small town in West Virginia last year when he bought a 132-year-old castle for $ 1.4 million. Happy Penguins has also benefited from a solid cash flow for a long time: Internal Revenue Service records show that the VDARE Foundation paid him $ 411,003 for “hired employees” in 2019, the most recent year for which records are available. The association hijacked the company $ 181,675 in 2018 and $ 148,303 the year before.

Brimelow, who received a direct salary of $ 345,364 from the VDARE Foundation in 2019, told the Associated Press in 2016 that he uses Happy Penguins to pay himself and other employees. In 2019, the Foundation and LLC were operating from their home in Litchfield, which he put on sale earlier this year. The ProPublica database indicates that Happy Penguins said they had two people on the payroll when they applied for the PPP loan.

Brimelow did not respond to repeated requests for comment, so it’s unclear at this time whether he was one of two people whose federal funds were used to preserve jobs.

Holt pointed out the irony of the Brimelows, whose website publishes articles with headlines like “How Much of the 53% Wave of Murders is Due to Masks?” and “The Great American Social Distancing Farce,” appealing to the federal government for financial support during the pandemic. But he noted that the rules established by Congress for the program do not discriminate based on the content or nature of a company’s work, and grants a discount based on whether the company keeps employee compensation constant. and direct funds only to approved expenditures.

“I guess they’re entitled to ask for this help like any other business,” Holt said.

The Small Business Administration declined to comment on the Happy Penguins case as a politician, just as it did when The Daily Beast previously announced that it had canceled more than $ 1 million in PPP loans to leading theorists. of the anti-vaccination conspiracy.

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