In Missouri, the number of white nationalists has grown, constituting a new danger to the promise of equality and democracy. White nationalist groups compete and collaborate. Some have similar tactics for spreading propaganda, while others want to influence politics. Regardless, they are gaining recruits and expanding their base. While there is an uptick in unaffiliated white nationalist clusters, three groups dominate the white nationalist landscape in Missouri: White Lives Matter, Patriot Front, and the Proud Boys.
White Lives Matter
White Lives Matter (WLM) is a national group with chapters in every state, each with their own Telegram channel. The official national channel has 16,805 subscribers. Telegram has become a favored social media platform for white nationalists – a vehicle for an array of “Groypers,” national socialists, and more to promote their racist ideas, build white nationalist media and subculture, recruit and vet members, debate movement strategy and coordinate on-the-ground activism. Telegram provides a platform that keeps locations secret and accounts anonymous.
The Missouri chapter of White Lives Matters exemplifies how the group works. WLM Missouri created a Telegram page on April 18, 2021. Since then, they have accrued 248 subscribers. WLM Missouri uses Telegram to promote the group and recruit members.
For instance, the group uses the channel to post evidence of its activism. Young people (primarily young men) can become members of this group by handing out flyers, dropping banners, or putting up stickers and posters as racist propaganda. In addition, there is a “Day of Action” (DOA) once a month. On DOAs, each state is supposed to engage in “pro-white” action.
On March 11th, a national Day of Action (DOA), four activists made a “White Lives Matter” banner and held it over a highway outside St. Louis. They took videos of themselves while wearing masks. The young men stopped long enough to take a photo of themselves holding up the “OK” sign popular among white nationalists. These actions also foster cross-state coordination. For instance, Missouri activists also work with Illinois White Lives Matter activists. The Illinois Telegram channel wrote on March 1, 2023, “Special shout out to the new Missouri leadership. Thank you for your help with our banner hold as always. Love seeing all your new prospects and look forward to holding with you on your side of the river in March.” 
White Lives Matter is also active in Kansas. The WLM Kansas Telegram channel was created on April 18, 2021, and has 79 subscribers. Recently 3 WLM activists from Missouri and Kansas came together to hold a banner from a highway in Platte County and plastered racist stickers at a playground. This tactic helps motivate the subscribers to these Telegram channels to take action, wherever they may be.
Patriot Front is a white nationalist and avowedly fascist nationwide organization that is divided into “Networks” with areas that have leaders. Texas-based racist Thomas Ryan Rousseau founded the group after the deadly “Unite The Right” march in Charlottesville, VA, in 2017. Patriot Front was an attempt to rebrand Vanguard America after the carnage of Charlottesville. James Alex Fields, convicted of the murder of anti-fascist Heather Heyer, was photographed in Vanguard America garb in Charlottesville.
Patriot Front made headline news last June by counter-protesting a pride parade in Couer d’Alene, Idaho. As a result, 31 Patriot Front members, including founder Thomas Rousseau, were arrested. Two of those detained were St. Louis, Missouri-area residents. Florissant resident, Mitchell Wagner, had already been found guilty of defacing a St. Louis African-American mural in 2022.
Patriot Front also uses Telegram to publicize their activism, most frequently consisting of putting up stickers, banner drops, and spray painting stencils over murals. Their national Telegram channel currently has 15,588 subscribers.
In addition, they keep records of these acts and rank which states are most active every two months. As of March 6, Missouri was the third most active state for Patriot Front activity.
Patriot Front activism still happens outside of “Networks,” meaning an individual does it. The most recent example occurred in March in the Ozarks and Springfield. Someone put up Patriot Front stickers within public view. It may seem like a small act, but it is part of the group’s initiation process. The act is also important in building a cohesive identity with the movement. It starts with stickers, then becomes banners, then comes counter-protesting pride events.
Sometimes Patriot Front members participate in charitable acts to polish their image. For example, they have been known to show up in East Palestine, Ohio, where they helped “deliver water.”
Like many national socialist and white nationalist groups, Patriot Front has mobilized to protest drag shows. Drag shows are theatrical shows where performers dress up in extravagant clothing and dramatic makeup, lip-sync (pretend to sing), or sing famous songs while performing incredible dance sequences. These are gay and queer-friendly shows that allow the LGBTQIA+ community to have fun and be themselves.
But before distributing water, Patriot Front members protested a local drag show. They marched outside the event while holding a banner that said, “Victory or Death.” 
On November 11, 2022, Patriot Front members handed out food and blankets to people experiencing homelessness in Kansas City. Flyers about Patriot Front were attached to the brown bags they were handing out. This type of action is about more than helping the community. This recruitment tool gets young men and teenagers involved in the group. But unfortunately, this is not the kind of help communities need.
The nearest Patriot Front Network to Missouri is Network 12. Most of their actions occur in the St. Louis area and along the Missouri/ Illinois border. According to their Telegram channel, Network 12 took action in Jefferson City in February 2023. They spray-painted large stencils by the river and dropped a banner from a bridge. However, Patriot Front’s Network 12 does more than just stickers and banners. On January 13, 2023, they posted evidence of them boxing outside the St. Louis Arts Museum.
The Proud Boys
Proud Boys is another national organization that has chapters across the country. The Kansas City Proud Boys became infamous after their involvement with the January 6th insurrection of 2021. William Chrestman of Olathe, Kansas, remains in prison.
The Mid-Missouri Proud Boys are still active, though. There is a Telegram channel for Missouri Proud Boys that has 503 subscribers. For example, most recently, they were at the Missouri capitol with other Missouri activists to support an anti-trans bill that would ban gender re-affirming care throughout the state.
The Proud Boys called on their members to show up in support of this transphobic bill just two days before the action. The day after the demonstration, Missouri Proud Boys announced they were in attendance but were “incognito.” 
Infiltrating politics is a regular tactic of the Missouri Proud Boys. Last September, Proud Boys attended a Camdenton School Board meeting to intimidate a teacher because of a pride flag in her classroom. But the Proud Boys are very clear about this intention. On March 29, 2023, they posted, “If you’re not home schooling, why aren’t you at your children’s board meetings?” Missouri Proud Boys also support other local groups like We The People of Missouri and the Missouri Firearms Coalition by re-posting content from those Telegram channels.
In one post, the Punished Proud Boys of Mid-Missouri bragged that,
“other chapters won’t even share our content because we have always gone so hard on criticizing the Jews and what they do. Now that it’s fashionable all we have to say is Finally, and we told you so. It’s a shame it took a Magic N**ro to get y’all to grow some balls.”
The post is about Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), who made antisemitic comments last winter. The post was originally published on October 13, 2022, and then re-posted on March 25, 2023. Unfortunately, their sentiments have not changed.
While they do not explicitly advocate for a white ethnostate, they re-post other organizations’ content that calls for building a white ethnostate. They also re-blog posts that push white nationalist tropes about Black people being inferior and Jewish people controlling the media. White replacement theory memes and “articles” are regularly re-posted to the Telegram channel. White replacement theory is a belief held by many white nationalists and supremacists. It is the belief that white people are being replaced with immigrants or anyone “non-white.”
The St. Louis Proud Boys had a change in leadership around September 3, 2022. Michael Lasater used to be the St. Louis chapter leader but left because “I just don’t feel like it’s the fraternity I joined in 2017.” His friend, Carl Lamb, also left because “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I choose the one that doesn’t end in federal prison. Farewell Proud Boys; it was a good run.” Now they help run a Telegram account called “Murder The Media” with 18,706 followers. Lasater’s personal Telegram account has 543 subscribers, while Lamb’s personal Telegram account has 217 followers. According to Lasater’s Telegram, he wants to scrub away his Proud Boys past. On December 20, 2022, he wrote, “My goal for 2023 is to become ‘MurdertheMedia’s Mike Lasater’ instead of ‘St. Louis Proud Boys president Mike Lasater.’” But it did not scrub away his bigotry. He writes, “I’ll even take ‘antisemitic Telegrammer Mike Lasater.’”
While these three White Nationalist organizations may seem isolated from one another, sometimes they have followers in common. The best example of this is the death of Richard Volante.
Other research outfits have identified their lists of White Nationalists in Missouri. For example, the Vanguardist News Network, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Asatru Folk Assembly, the Church of Israel, and the Goyim Defense League have all been active in Kansas or Missouri. (The Goyim Defense League has a connection to White Lives Matter.)
The White Lives Matter, Patriot Front, and Proud Boys of Missouri share common ideologies and actions. They are currently the most active in Missouri. These are also more public-facing organizations (by doing banner drops, posting stickers, and boxing training). Other organizations participate in activities other than propaganda posting; some can be more religious. All of these organizations will be covered in a future report, however.
These white nationalist organizations must be pushed out of Missouri politics and kept out of our communities. They have nothing to provide but racism, homophobia, antisemitism, and xenophobia. Human Rights activists must impede their recruitment efforts before Missouri white nationalists make any more gains. This is a job for all of us.
 White Lives Matter Official. Telegram. April 14, 2023. https://t.me/WhiteLivesMatterOfficial. Subscribers are not always members of the organization. Instead, subscribers refer to how many people that group can access.
 WLM_USA_MISSOURI. Telegram. April 14, 2023. https://t.me/WLM_USA_MISSOURI. This number does not indicate membership but how many people see their posts and sometimes interact with them through private chats and comments.
 WLM_USA_MISSOURI. Telegram. February 2, 2023. https://t.me/WLM_USA_MISSOURI/570
 White Lives Matter Official. Telegram. December 30, 2023. https://t.me/WhiteLivesMatterOfficial/6998
 WLM_USA_MISSOURI. Telegram. March 21, 2023. https://t.me/WLM_USA_MISSOURI/609
 WLM_USA_ILLINOIS. Telegram. March 1, 2023. https://t.me/WLM_USA_ILLINOIS/2914
 WLM_USA_KANSAS. Telegram. April 18, 2023. https://t.me/WLM_USA_KANSAS
 WLM_USA_KANSAS. Telegram. March 29, 2023. https://t.me/WLM_USA_KANSAS/459
 Tanner, Chuck. “White Lives Matter” Marches Announced, Attracting White Nationalists and Antisemites. Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. March 26, 2021. https://www.irehr.org/2018/02/24/vanguard-america-national-socialism-american-style/
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 Held, Kevin. St. Louis-area men among Patriot Front members arrested in Idaho. Fox2Now. June 12, 2022 https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/st-louis-area-men-among-patriot-front-members-arrested-in-idaho/
 Militzer, Joe. Man charged for defacing Wash U mural with white supremacist messages. Fox2Now. March 9, 2022. https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/man-charged-for-defacing-wash-u-mural-with-white-supremacist-messages/
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 Thomas, Judy. ‘America needs a civil war.’ Document shows KC Proud Boys’ involvement in Capitol riot. Kansas City Star. June 15, 2022. https://www.kansascity.com/article262499777.html
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