Cameron Padgett: Identitarian or Racist?

Photo by Samuel Puckett | The Signal

Posters put up by the Atlanta Antifascists warning against “white nationalist scum” emerged around the downtown campus on the night of April 8. The Atlanta Antifascists organization has published a summary on their website documenting the alleged alt-right agenda of Cameron Padgett, a graduate student at Georgia State.

Padgett is the booking agent and legal advocate for Richard Spencer, a white supremacist known for his rallies and attempts to gather support at various college campuses. Atlanta Antifascists said that Padgett participated in the October 7 torch rally in Charlottesville.

Padgett told the Miami Herald that he is not racist, just an “identitarian.” The Atlanta Antifascists said however, that “identitarian” is just a euphemism.

Atlanta Antifascists said, “Identitarianism as identitarians define it is based in supporting one’s own racial or ethnic group interests. In practice, it’s the advocacy of white ethnic interests in oppose to the mere presence of non-whites, justified in terms of cultural preservation and self-interest, and claiming to be nonviolent and non-racist.”

Atlanta Antifascists said that the events that Padgett organizes for Spencer attract violent white nationalists and racists who are an immediate danger to communities near any such event.

Kayla Patterson, a student at Georgia State, said, “I’ve never seen him on campus, but it does make me feel a little uneasy knowing that someone with his ideologies and extremities is going to my school. Who knows what he is capable of.”

Padgett has not organized an event in Atlanta and has not been documented harassing anyone at Georgia State.

“He has contributed in sowing irreparable harm on campuses nationwide, and for him to face no consequences from [Georgia State] administration shows that [Georgia State] is fine with him raising hell where he pleases,” Atlanta Antifascists said.

Spencer has referred to his constitutional right to free speech in response to any opposition to his speaking events on college campuses and rallies. In the past, he has won lawsuits against universities that refused to let him speak.

“Whether or not they have a legal right to say racist things does not change the fact that they are racists who are trying to empower themselves and their racist movement. We do believe free speech is important but do not believe it to be more important than a right to live free from racist terror, and that we argue that Spencer and Padgett are opportunists when they invoke free speech,” Atlanta Antifascists said.

“We hope to raise awareness yes, to expose him and his own contradictions, as part of an overall effort to isolate him and other racists, so that he does not have the power to actively cause harm and further his racist cause.

The Signal reached out to Padgett, but he was unavailable for comment.