Let’s open this post with a prayer:
Dear white, blue-eyed, 7-pound, 4-ounce, swaddling, onesie-wearing baby Jesus. I know I haven’t talked to you in a while, but I come to you as humbly as I know how, with one simple request: I have been reading about the protests around the “alt-right” gym in Nashville, Tenn., and I would like a one-day guest membership. I already know what Black Jesus would say if I asked him, so unto thee I ask these blessings in your name. Sincerely, yours truly, forever and ever. Amen.
According to the Nashville Scene and Fox 17 in Nashville, people are upset about the new East Nashville, Tenn., gym where disgruntled Caucasians can channel their hate into bench presses and jumping jacks. A group called “Showing up for Racial Justice, Nashville” held a rally against the gym, Vengeance Strength Kvlt.
The new gym’s website opens with the sentence: “This is probably not the gym for you,” and goes on to say that “you cannot exercise the fat off your ass.”
Trust me, this is the gym for me. I’ve often wondered how anyone got the strength and endurance to carry heavy, wooden crosses to black people’s lawns before they set them ablaze. Plus, one of my greatest joys in life is watching white people dance. (Because I believe black people can dance, but white people love dancing far more than we do. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself this question: Have you ever been to a wedding, concert or picnic where there wasn’t at least one white person writhing in ecstasy with no regard for who was watching or the song’s beats per minute? Case closed.)
I just want to witness one step aerobics class at this gym, just to see what kind of music alt-right people listen to while exercising. What do they play in Spin class when Beyoncé tunes are verboten? Macklemore? Green Day? Is it even legal to do burpees to an Adele song?
With too many alt-right ties to name or break down, every piece of literature or social media surrounding the white workout haven is replete with alt-right catchphrases and Nordic, pagan-worship imagery advocated by skinheads and neo-Nazis. Vengeance says its philosophy is: “The elite all do certain things in common. Only the inferior strive for equality.” (Emphasis theirs.) The website adds:
This is not for those worried about “micro-aggressions”, or who hold the white flag of “trigger warnings”. We do not gather around holding hands, accepting one another’s weakness to be “nice”. Vengeance is designed to be confrontational in order to drive individuals to greater and greater risk, trial and reward. This is strength worship. Those who remain willfully weak in body and mind will not be tolerated. Membership at Vengeance is a privilege.
We call upon our internal destructive power to change our world.
Instead of becoming victims to life’s circumstances, join the rebellion against the world’s complacency and sloth. Take the Profane Oath to do battle against that force which degrades humankind into the disgusting, diseased, incapable, grey masses that you see before yourself. We leave no revenge up to the slavery of a god that does not exist.
I don’t know what any of that means, and it sounds like a high-soprano, racist dog whistle, but it also makes me want to go to the gym. What are these motherfuckers talking about? It is reminiscent of the rhetoric SS officers would scream to the new arrivals at Third Reich death camps or a speech blasting from the cassette deck of a Nissan Sentra carrying four skinheads smoking weed, drinking Jameson straight out of the bottle, on the way to commit a hate crime.
The gym’s founder, Sky Lemyng, is also a supporter of Operation Werewolf and the Wolves of Vinland—another fitness/white power/Nordic “tribe” started by Paul Waggener, a former white power metal-band member who started his own motorcycle gang/skinhead cult.
The group gets its name from the guerrilla German resistance force organized by Adolf Hitler, and it is ... well .... It’s a little hard to describe the WoV, but imagine if the Sons of Anarchy were a little more white supremacy-ish, did CrossFit and occasionally spent their spare time setting fire to black churches. (No, really. They actually do all of that. I’m not saying it’s part of their training regimen, but there’s this:)
To be fair, when Lemyng was asked about his gym’s ties to white supremacy and the Wolves of Vinland, he replied, “This business doesn’t have ties to our personal lives. I think the controversial claims made against the WoV ultimately come from a place of ignorance, fear and bigotry. Vengeance is comprised of an eclectic group of people who support many different ideals.”
Just FYI, I think any kind of hatred towards an individual or a group of people based on their appearance, nationality, color, sex, religion or orientation stems from a place of weakness. At Vengeance, we violently pursue the cultivation of strength on all levels. Weakness, such as the aforementioned flavor of thereof, is the only thing which is not tolerated here. You’re welcome.
Here’s a pro tip to Sky Lemyng: When you add the “based on their ... ” part, it negates everything you said before it.
There are some, however, who dispute that Lemyng is a white supremacist. When the Nashville Scene pointed out that it couldn’t find a nonwhite person in any of Vengeance Strength’s Facebook photos, a man who said he is “full-blooded Chinese” and a woman who said she is Native American pointed themselves out in one photo. One black woman also declared that Lemyng was “clearly not a white supremacist” because she dated him for two years.
So that clears everything up.
Except for this “life rune” tattoo he prominently displays on his chest:
Sites from as far left as the Southern Poverty Law Center to the white nationalist Wikipedia, Stormfront, identify Lemyng’s chest tattoo as a skinhead symbol. It appears on the flag of numerous white supremacist organizations, including the Volksfront flag (SPLC only lists 22 variations of the rune symbol).
Now, about my gym membership. I really do want to visit this place—and not just because I want to wait until someone needs a spotter and then drop barbells on their neck. I find white people like this fascinating.
I don’t care anything about whether Caucasians have a superior method for doing sit-ups or Lemyng’s fetishization of pagan, nationalist, Nordic, Nazi worship. But I’ve always been intrigued by people who fall for bullshit sales pitches like this—whether it’s white people willing to pay $399 per month (the cost of membership) so they won’t have to do chin-ups on bars that have been touched by Negro fingers or poor Southerners and Midwesterners who thought that a six-time bankrupt, vagina-grabbing, trust-fund, pseudo-billionaire, bronzer-addicted sociopath would rescue them from poverty.
The Nashville Scene did not speak to the other owner of Vengeance because he was on an out-of-town trip with the founders of the Wolves of Vinland.
Watch the Fox News 17 video below: