The Racists on Ridgeland Way: Ground Zero for “Alt-Right” Organizing in Atlanta

Introduction

The house, located on a quiet, affluent street in the Peachtree Hills neighborhood of Buckhead, Atlanta, does not stand out. The comings and goings at 121 Ridgeland Way NE may not attract much neighborhood attention. However, this house is a hub for racist organizing not just for Atlanta, but for the South and arguably the country. It is owned by Sam Glasgow Dickson, a key player in the white nationalist movement. From this building, Dickson and his associates try to build the white power movement, especially its middle-class face. They also make moves in the Atlanta property market, both enriching themselves and building resources for their cause.

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121 Ridgeland Way NE. (Can you see a subtle algiz rune on the exterior too, or are we trippin’?)

Our prior coverage of long-time white nationalist leader Sam Dickson includes a detailed article from last year on “Right-Wing Gentrification Gangs.” Apart from some background information and setting out Dickson’s importance within the broader white nationalist movement, we will not duplicate that earlier material here. This article has two purposes. First, we are updating our earlier coverage of Dickson and his white power associates. Second, by setting out five names associated with the Ridgeland Way property in Buckhead, we aim to provide a more complete picture of what goes on at the space, and how this activity fits within the white nationalist movement regionally and nationally.

The House

According to Fulton County property records, 121 Ridgeland Way NE was purchased in Sam G Dickson in 1997, then transferred in 2009 to “Hickory Hill 1185”, which is one of many companies operated by Dickson. Although the property itself is listed as 121 Ridgeland Way NE, four mail boxes numbered 115, 117, 119 and 121 outside the property indicate different residents there.

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Mail boxes outside 121 Ridgeland Way.

While the building appears smaller from the front, the Ridgeland house has three floors, as is visible from the back.

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Back of building

The house is important for a broader racist scene, not limited to the individual names we list in this article. One message in an Atlanta “Alt-Right” data leak reveals that younger “Alt-Right” racists were invited to a dinner at this house in May 2016. One of the guests, Casey Cooper, went on to live at the house. Another message in the same “Alt-Right” data leak describes an upcoming gathering as “kinda like a meetup at Sam’s”, again suggesting that the building was regularly used for racist gatherings. Such gatherings or “meetups” facilitate white nationalist networking and recruitment by drawing people on the periphery of the racist scene closer toward the core.

We suspect that the proximity of the Ridgeland Way house is one reason why Atlanta white nationalist and far-Right speaking events often take place in Buckhead restaurants.

Individuals Linked to 121 Ridgeland Way NE

We will discuss five individuals linked to the 121 Ridgeland Way building. Of these, four are either residents or have been residents until recently. The fifth person, Casey Jordan Cooper of Identity Evropa, lived at the Ridgeland Way building last year and early 2018, but may have moved.

  1. Sam Glasgow Dickson
Dickson AmRen 2018
Sam Dickson speaking at the American Renaissance white nationalist conference.

While Sam G. Dickson also owns property in Florida, the Ridgeland Way address is Dickson’s base in Atlanta, which remains his home. Dickson has been involved with organized white nationalism and the far-Right for decades. In 1978, Dickson ran for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia on a segregationist platform. As a lawyer, Dickson repeatedly worked for Klan members. Dickson has been involved in a string of racist organizations, such as the Council of Conservative Citizens (which trace back to the White Citizens’ Councils opposing civil rights), the secretive Charles Martel Society (Dickson is listed as Director), and the Holocaust-denying Barnes Review (he is on their Board of Contributing Editors).

As we have noted before, Dickson made his fortune by purchasing unpaid tax debts, then using them as leverage to obtain properties or vacant lots at bargain prices. Dickson sells these assets when neighborhoods gentrify, making a profit in the process. Dickson has been accused of using bullying tactics to gain titles to property. He typically operates in working class communities, often communities of color. Dickson has helped other far-Right and white nationalist leaders invest in the Atlanta property market, a topic further detailed in our “Right-Wing Gentrification Gangs” article. Profits from these property dealings likely support white nationalist political ventures.

Since we last published on Dickson, Dickson gave a talk in Burkesville, Kentucky at a conference held by the white nationalists of Identity Evropa in March 2018. Dickson is close with several leaders in this racist “Identitarian” organization, as will become clear when we discuss other 121 Ridgeland Way residents.

In April, Dickson spoke as usual at the American Renaissance conference, which took place in Tennessee. American Renaissance is a major “suit and tie” white nationalist gathering. Dickson has attended these events since the very first American Renaissance conference in 1994 and has spoken at every conference. This year, Dickson’s speech addressed the “crash in morale” among white nationalists following “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville last August, and argued for white nationalists to take an oppositional stance toward the existing political system, which Dickson portrayed as hostile.

By looking over Fulton County property records, we have discovered that Samuel Jared Taylor — the founder of American Renaissance — is yet another racist figurehead who Dickson had Atlanta property dealings with in the past. However, Taylor no longer seems to own property in the city, at least under his own name.

  1. Evan Thomas Anderson
Evan Anderson on Identity Evropa poster
Identity Evropa propaganda poster: Evan Anderson speaking at May 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville

While Evan Anderson, who legally changed his name from Evan Kuettner and also uses “Evan Thomas”, travels frequently, the Ridgeland Way house is his base of operations in Atlanta. Anderson is a white nationalist organizer who participates in the “Identitarian” organization Identity Evropa. Originally from Michigan and active in Michigan “Tea Party” politics, Kuettner/Anderson also arranged multiple events for Canadian white supremacist/Holocaust-denier Paul Fromm.

The fact that Anderson is a key, trusted player in US white nationalism is evidenced by his multiple planning roles. For example, Anderson helped coordinate the conference of the far-Right/white power National Policy Institute in November 2016. Anderson also booked a Charlottesville, Virginia park used during May 13, 2017 protests led by notorious racist Richard Spencer. According to paperwork, Anderson said that he was booking Pen Park in Charlottesville for a “Marketing Network Group Dinner.” This was actually where white nationalists gathered and dined before their nighttime torch rally. The May 2017 event which Anderson helped set up was a direct precursor to the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in that city, which culminated in white supremacist violence and murder. Both Dickson and Anderson attended “Unite the Right” last year.

Like Dickson, Anderson is active on the Atlanta property market. We have discussed Anderson’s “Sun Rising LCC” company and its ventures before. Shortly after we exposed one building owned by “Sun Rising LLC” in the Lakewood Heights area of Atlanta, Evan Anderson sold the property, but retained nearby lots. Now, Anderson and “Sun Rising LLC” are investing in another building in the area, nearby 1701 Jonesboro Road, which Sun Rising purchased in September 2017. In April, Anderson signed over legal title to the Jonesboro Road property with a security deed in order to receive a loan of $96,500 from Winston Holdings. However, Anderson remains invested in the property (if you care about the legal intricacies of this arrangement, look up “Deed to Secure Debt”).

The last year has produced evidence of what we already suspected: Evan Anderson is playing the role of Dickson’s younger protégé in Atlanta property dealings and Anderson is deeply involved with Dickson’s day-to-day business affairs. Recent property records list Evan Anderson as a “member” of Dickson’s “Hickory Hill 1185” as well as “Belfare, LLC” companies.

Earlier this year, Anderson established the company “Good Earth Properties, LLC” in Georgia, using the address “117 Ridgeland Way NE” (an address which is part of the 121 building) on his filing with the Secretary of State.

  1. Shawn David Young
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Shawn Young, photo from election-night white nationalist gathering in leaked Alt-Right messages

Shawn Young has been an associate of Dickson’s for many years. Young appears, for example, in 2011 property records transferring a property in Lakewood Heights to one of Dickson’s companies.

While not as visible a figure as Dickson or Anderson, Shawn Young’s racist affiliations are clear. Young appears in leaked Alt-Right discussions from 2016, where Shawn Young shared a picture of himself at an election night gathering for white nationalists and members of the Alt-Right at Casey Cooper’s family home in Duluth.

Shawn Young once operated the Twitter account @bblivesmatter/“Bombay Lives Matter” which has now been deleted (a new user now operates @bblivesmatter). A November 2016 Twitter post from Alpharetta Hitler-admirer Zachary Van Johnson tags Shawn Young/@bblivesmatter with the statement “activation for #RWDS [Right-Wing Death Squads] is getting closer.” Zac Johnson and Shawn Young go back a long while, as indicated by a leaked message from Zac Johnson referring to “Shawn” and his past.

In September 2016, Shawn Young was recorded as part of a white nationalist group that chanted “Alt-Right!” and targeted a Stone Mountain Park visitor with sexist and antisemitic jeers. Shawn Young wears sunglasses and a blue armband in video and photos from this incident. Shawn Young also showed up in the “Alt-Right” crowd when racist leader Richard Spencer visited Auburn University in Alabama, April 2017.

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Shawn Young at 2017 Richard Spencer event in Auburn, Alabama.

According to his LinkedIn account, Shawn Young currently works as a business developer at Wofford Earthworks of Cumming, Georgia.

  1. John Legrand Weatherman
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John Weatherman

John Weatherman gives his address as “115 Ridgeland Way”, which is another post box at the 121 Ridgeland Way house. In an online biography, Weatherman describes himself as a “sometime accountant” who “tries to invest in real estate.” Weatherman’s property dealings are unsurprisingly linked to Dickson’s, where Weatherman appears on records going back several years.

In a 2007 article in Creative Loafing, Weatherman is mentioned as attending a Dickson-hosted gathering for Canadian white supremacist Paul Fromm. Longtime Georgia white supremacist and Klansman Ed Fields also attended the gathering. Weatherman demanded to know from the Creative Loafing journalist “Does your Jewish editor, Ken Edelstein, approve of you being at a meeting like this?”

dickson young weatherman 2011 fulton deed to secure debt jared taylor
From 2011 Fulton County “Deed to Secure Debt” between Sam Dickson’s “Hickory Hill 1185” and American Renaissance white nationalist leader Samuel Jared Taylor: document notarized by John Weatherman and witnessed by Shawn Young.

John Weatherman is listed as owning rental property in Fulton and Dekalb Counties. He also works as an agent for others owning rental property in these counties.

Weatherman organizes the “Intown Rehabbers Subgroup” for the Georgia Real Estate Investors Association. He is treasurer for the Atlanta Outdoor Club.

  1. Possibly Moved on from Ridgeland Way: Casey Jordan Cooper
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Casey Cooper: proud member of a movement with blood on its hands

Finally, we will discuss someone who may have moved on from the Ridgeland Way property. Casey Jordan Cooper – a racist law student about to begin his third year at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law Schoollived at Ridgeland Way after he was exposed by our organization and left his old apartment building. We have placed Cooper at the Ridgeland Way house during late 2017 as well as earlier this year.

We have written about Cooper in detail before. Cooper is an organizer with Identity Evropa and has quickly risen in stature within the Georgia white nationalist scene, as documented by his own leaked communications. In 2016 Cooper sent explicit lynching threats to a Black activist in Atlanta, including a picture of a noose and later the statement “you hang.” Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School has been provided full documentation on Cooper’s white power activity, leaving no doubt that Cooper made explicit lynching threats. Despite outcry, Atlanta’s John Marshall continues to prepare Cooper for a career in law, where Cooper will have the power to further harass and abuse people of color.

While Cooper appears to have scaled down some of the activities which first brought him to our attention, such as mass racist sticker/poster campaigns in Atlanta, Cooper remains every bit a committed white nationalist. When fellow Identity Evropa organizer Evan Anderson took down the sign outside his old building in Lakewood Heights last year, someone closely resembling Cooper was there to help Anderson. As we pointed out last year, Cooper expressed interest in becoming active in the Atlanta property market. Living at the Ridgeland Way building likely taught him a lot.

In a group photo from Identity Evropa’s first national conference in Burkesville, Kentucky during March of this year, Cooper stands beside the organization’s leader Patrick Casey, a visual cue that Cooper is a respected leader within the racist organization. Another white nationalist who we have written about extensively, Patrick Nelson Sharp, is on the other side of IE leader Patrick Casey. Because Cooper, Evan Anderson and Dickson all lived in the same building, it is hardly surprising that Sam Dickson was invited as a key speaker when Identity Evropa held its national conference.

Identity Evropa 2018 conference cooper circled
Photo from Identity Evropa national conference, March 2018. Cooper is circled. Note also Evan Anderson on right.

Conclusion

With this article, we have discussed Sam Dickson and four other individuals linked to Dickson’s Ridgeland Way building in Peachtree Hills, Buckhead in Atlanta. We discussed both ideological white nationalist activity as well as the business ventures associated with this address. We hope this material usefully updates and supplements our writing from last year about white nationalist gentrifiers in Atlanta.

The white nationalists headquartered at Ridgeland Way are not only trying to build a racist movement for middle- and upper-class participants. These same organizers target working class neighborhoods – often historically Black or multiracial ones – to make a profit as gentrification occurs. Whereas liberal concerns about white supremacist organizing often focuses on working class racists while ignoring wealthy bigots or treating them as curiosities, we believe that middle-class and wealthy white nationalists must be challenged.

Despite the far-Right’s frequent use of populist and “working class” rhetoric, it’s clear this is a movement often driven by class hierarchs. Gentrification always displaces poor and marginalized communities as it creates elite enclaves. In Atlanta, white nationalists seek to guide this process to build “micro-Ethnostate[s]”: not simply white neighborhoods, but ones engineered for their movement’s political goals.

Since the Ridgeland Way building we have discussed is such a hive of activity, we still have much to learn about it. Please get in contact if you know more about residents or visitors at the building, or about other activities coordinated from this space.