One year ago, on this day, Andrew Dodson made the choice to take his own life. I did not know Dodson very well, and only for a short time. My first memory of him is him inviting anyone willing to visit his house that weekend, despite only knowing us for a few days. My first impression of him, as a man who was maybe too friendly and softhearted for his own good, was later backed up by footage of him at Charlottesville. Drew was an intelligent man, who had accomplished much in his short life. He worked in Nuclear Reactor Design, and contributed greatly to the companies he worked with. He could have made a great impact on the world with his work. Many of the men in this movement have lived exceedingly difficult lives, marked by trauma, alienation, and a constant search for belonging. Out of respect for the dead, I’ll simply say here that he had been through more than many of us, and it left a lasting impression on him. He was a man who lived his life in a constant struggle to process his experiences, and build himself into a righteous man.
His struggle to live a righteous life played a large part in his demise. At Charlottesville, many people reacted in justifiable anger. After being pepper sprayed, he wiped it out of his eyes, turned to the mob who’d attacked him moments ago, and told them that he loved and forgave them, that he was willing to suffer this pain and humiliation to protect the futures of the their unborn children. In the aftermath, a professor was wrongly accused of being him, and faced harassment. Out of sympathy, Andrew chose to publicly disclose his identity. His righteousness was rewarded with vitriol. Initially, he attempted to laugh it off, and cracked jokes. Looking back, I’m not sure if things hadn’t set in for him yet, or if he wasn’t comfortable bringing it up. Around this time, many chose to drop out of our circles, after realizing the risks they were taking, and as Dodson fell out of contact, we didn’t think much of it. After several months without contact, it became known that he’d taken his own life.
I can only speculate as to what happened between our last contact and his death, and I’m sure at this point most of us know what happens to men who are doxxed. First the media and activist demonize you, then suddenly people you haven’t talked to in years reappear to call you a monster. Your employer may “choose to let you go”, which I imagine is especially painful for a man like Dodson. People who you had considered friends days before will make great efforts to distance themselves from you, even going as far as publicly claiming they always suspected you were evil. Some are disowned by even their own family. In this isolation, he decided that his life had come to an end and acted accordingly.
Many of us are broken men, as I’ve said. People who are well adjusted to present conditions are unlikely to want to change them. In the past, tradition, experience and even basic life skills were passed down the generations. At some point in the last century, this stopped, and we were left to pick up the pieces. We can’t blame ourselves for failing to rebuild civilization in a weekend. However, we do have an absolute responsibility for doing what we can to rebuild ourselves, and learning how to live righteously. Let Andrew’s life serve as an inspiration to us, but also a stark warning that we can’t do this on our own. The only way to truly build on ourselves and to leave a lasting change in this world is to form bonds with other men.
We must build the infrastructure for men to have serious relationships with each other, without worry of the Hermeneutics of gay suspicion. We need our every one of our men to have others he can turn to, whether he’s looking to simply kill some time and have some fun, or if he needs a frank conversation on serious topics. We need relationships strong enough to call each other on our shit without getting into fights. We need men to be able to look each other in the eye, and know whether the person across from you needs you to crack a joke, call them a mopey faggot, or put your hand on their shoulder. A real relationship has a place, and a need, for all three of those. We need our men to be able to support each other, whether that be socially, emotionally, spiritually, or even financially.
To build the bonds that are needed as the foundations of this, people must spend time around each other in real life, away from the cattiness of the internet. Flashy and public activism may be a very quick way to form bonds, but its also very expensive. Doing anything you can in your community is a good start, meeting up with a guy for dinner doesn’t sound or feel particularly revolutionary, but no revolution takes place without trust. As you start to build these relationships, friendly acts of competition arise, and you begin to push each other towards self improvement, and to understand the emergent natural hierarchy. As you build these connections, and learn more about each other, it becomes clear how men can use their skills to help their race in ways they would never have imagined, were they acting on their own. Looking to the men I’ve met, most of them came in with no clue how their skills could be of any use. Individually, they’re right, but as a group emerges, and begins to divide labor, the value of different skills slowly becomes apparent. As our men gain roles in the movement, however small or lacking in glamour, they build a sense of purpose. Men who have strong bonds with other men, and are working towards goals are far less likely to make rash or counterproductive choices.
Here, on the local level, we’re doing a great job of this. We’ve had larger groups of men in the past, but in the couple of years I’ve been involved, this is by far the best shape I’ve seen us in. Every man we have brings a passion to the table, as well as a unique perspective, and set of skills. Over the past handful of months, I’ve been truly honored to build relationships with many of our men, and look forward to opportunity to do the same with more recent introductions. We’ve built the incubator, and the Mannerbund is rapidly forming, and growing. Watching it grow, our actions and their outcomes begin to take on new weight, one which no man among us would be able to carry on their own. It is with great relief and gratitude that I tell you that its not needed, that many of the best men I’ve met are here to carry that cross with me. It may have come too late for Dodson, but in a way, we honor his death by doing everything in our power to ensure that each we take into our fold is one less white man who will succumb to the epidemic of suicide and nihilism plaguing our people.