I reside in the United States, in a hothouse suburb of a third-tier city. Generation Identitaire’s activity and message reached my consciousness like other news and events—through the Internet. And the group didn’t just reach me—they inspired me. Generation Identitaire’s core assertion is “Enough!” Its premise is that real Europeans are still around and still willing to defend their homes, in spite of decades of attacks on their consciousness, campaigns to dismantle their communities, degrade their souls, and displace them. Their very name is a reply to a question—what of Europe remains? There may be several effective and non-exclusive answers, but GI’s straightforward response—identity—seems likeliest to unite and rally Europeans worldwide, across national, cultural, and linguistic barriers.
Generation Identitaire’s potential for successful pan-Europeanism is enhanced by its Spartan-inspired symbols in gold and black, as well as its bold, fresh, youth-oriented digital content, derived from its daring street-activist operations.
I’m obviously not the only American to be inspired by Generation Identitaire. Richard Spencer, and many writers, scholars, and activists associated with Radix and The National Policy Institute, have embraced and promoted the “identitarian” monicker as the best conceptualization of our movement and project. They and other American identitarians have done so, however, without ever claiming to form official branches of Generation Identitaire or directly appropriating its symbols. Not only could such behavior violate trademark law, but, more importantly, it is disrespectful and immoral.
Unfortunately, others have, apparently, co-opted GI’s name and aesthetic without authorization. Beginning in July, a group calling itself “Generation Identity US” has adopted Generation Identitaire’s masthead and manifesto, registered a similar Internet domain, and begun giving interviews and soliciting charitable support. It is doing so through wholesale use of Generation Identitaire’s content and message.
This sudden appearance of a Generation Identitaire simulacrum in the United States raises serious questions. Who is behind it? Are they serious identitarians and activists? Have they received any sort of blessing, formal or otherwise, from Generation Identitaire? To what use are they putting the money they are raising?
If the new group in the United States turns out not to be authorized by Generation Identitaire, as it appears they are not, it would be an unfortunate development. Generation Identitaire is a grassroots organization; it most likely lacks the resources to prosecute trademark violations overseas (assuming such a case could be made)—and even if it could, why would anyone claiming to be an identitarian want to create such a scandal?
Simply put, we need answers.