Harris Media Designer Ariel Gherman Tied to Alt-Right White Supremacists

Via Screwston Antifascist Committee

Summary: Ariel Michelle Gherman is a 24-year-old white supremacist living in Austin, Texas. In August 2017 she participated in the white supremacist “Unite the Right” demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, where fellow white supremacist James Fields murdered anti-racist protester Heather Heyer. She also helped organize logistics for the group of Texas fascists and white supremacists who traveled to the “Unite the Right” demonstrations, and is connected to numerous Texas neo-Nazis and white supremacist organizations on social media. She works at a mainstream conservative graphic design and media strategy firm in Austin called Harris Media LLC.

Ariel Michelle Gherman (aka “Ariel Sherman”)

 

Charlottesville

In August 2017, a group of fascists and white supremacists from Texas organized a caravan of vehicles to travel to the white supremacist “Unite the Right” (UtR) demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia. According to inside information, one van picked up people in Austin and Houston, then met two other vehicles from north Texas in Texarkana. The group included notorious Texas neo-Nazis like William Fears (subsequently arrested in October for involvement in a shooting outside a Richard Spencer eventin Gainesville, Florida), “Azzmador” (Robert Warren Ray, a contributor to the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer), and Thomas Rousseau (founder and leader of the white supremacist group “Patriot Front”).

The Texas group also included Ariel Gherman. She had RSVP’d as “Going” on the UtR Facebook event page several months prior along with other Texas fascists like Colton Fears (arrested with his brother William in Florida) and Ken Reed. Upon arriving in Charlottesville, they planned to stay at an AirBnb which had been rented under Ariel’s AirBnb account and with Ariel’s credit card. They over-stuffed the AirBnb house with Texas white supremacists, but wanted to be careful not to draw unnecessary attention and reminded each other to only perform Nazi salutes inside the house, not outside. After all, they were planning to bring a variety of weapons including poles, torches, pepper spray, and concealed handguns.

Once in Charlottesville, Ariel participated in Friday night’s torch-lit march on the University of Virginia campus. In videos of the event she is seen wearing a white dress that went down to just above her knees, a denim jacket, and white shoes. Her very long dirty-blonde hair was worn in a single braid down her back, and her brown and gold glasses frames are readily apparent. She can be seen carrying a torch for the duration of the march while participants chanted neo-Nazi slogans like “Jews will not replace us” and “Blood and soil.” She is also often walking next to and sometimes holding hands with a young man dressed in khakis and a white polo shirt—the uniform of the neo-Nazi group Vanguard America. When the torch march arrived at a Thomas Jefferson statute, the march surrounded a small group of anti-racist counter protesters. The white supremacists then assaulted the anti-racist counter protesters. Ariel was there for all of it.

The UtR weekend culminated the next day when white supremacists James Fields, also seen wearing the white and khaki uniform of Vanguard America, drove his Dodge Charger into a crow of anti-racist counter-protesters, injuring 19 and killing Heather Heyer.

In an attempt to avoid surveillance and detection, Ariel, like many of the neo-Nazi participants in the UtR demonstrations, deactivated her Facebook account several days before the rally and didn’t reactivate it for several weeks afterwards. In videos of the event, she is seen trying to hide her face from the cameras. But our memory is long and our resolve is steadfast. Avoiding the limelight and promoting white supremacy and fascism only from the background shadows will not protect you. We don’t forget and we don’t forgive.

Far from being a passive or unsuspecting attendee, Ariel was fully aware of the fascist and white supremacist nature of the rally, as well as the plans for violence.  By using her credit card to book the AirBnb, traveling to Charlottesville in the Texas caravan, and walking in the torch march, Ariel intended to facilitate UtR’s white supremacist agenda, violence, and racist terror.

 

Harris Media LLC

When not helping facilitate racist terror around the country, Ariel works a day job as a graphic designer for Harris Media LLC, a digital media firm in Austin that brags about placing tens of millions of dollars in digital advertising content. But Harris Media doesn’t create media for just anyone, they focus their effort on conservative and right-wing clients. They boast about creating content for the electoral campaigns of candidates like Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mitch McConnell, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as right-wing advocacy groups like Secure America Now (anti-Iran nuclear deal) and Texans for Natural Gas (pro-fracking).

Harris Media has featured Ariel on their social media as their firm’s “biggest Trump supporter,” but they should probably change it to say “most active alt-right white supremacist.” It’s one more example of mainstream right-wing politics creating fertile political territory for insurgent white supremacy. We are really curious how Harris Media’s current and past clients feel about their digital media being created by a firm that hires violent white supremacists!

Background

Ariel grew up with almost every advantage in an upper-middle class suburban neighborhood west of Houston. She went to Texas State University in San Marcos and doesn’t seem to have suffered much setback from her arrest for marijuana possession while in college. Her parents are both college educated professionals in the medical field, but are also Trump supporters and may or may not be surprised or disappointed in their daughter’s neo-Nazi activities. What’s the saying about apples falling from trees?

Facebook Associations

With all this information, it’s unsurprising that Ariel is connected to numerous white supremacists and neo-Nazis on social media, where she sometimes uses the alias “Ariel Sherman.” Whether she’s liking William Fears’ posts about being a neo-Nazi and trying to defend confederate monuments in Dallas or having neo-Nazi Ken Reed liking her profile picture, she is deeply intertwined in the Texas white supremacist movement.

Snapshots of her facebook “Likes” from the summer show her evolution from right-wing libertarian—groups like “Students for Liberty,” “The CATO Institute,” and “Charles Koch Institute”—to alt-right white supremacist—groups like “Identity Europa,” “Traditionalist Workers Party,” and “AltRight.com.”

Conclusion

We imagine this information will invite the usual stammering defenses from Ariel and her less Nazi-inclined friends—that she has “friends” and coworkers who are people of color; that it was all a “joke” or a “misunderstanding;” that she was misled. But the evidence refutes that. The people Ariel is associating and politically organizing with—people like William Fears, Ken Reed, Azzamador, Thomas Rousseau, Syndey Crabtree, Chef Goyardee—make no secret of their vision of creating a whites-only ethno-state and the genocide they fully intend to carry out against everyone else.

It’s the background people like Ariel who lend cover and a veil of legitimacy to this violent racist project—whether using their “good” names and professional salaries to rent houses for racist mobilizations or just dressing neo-Nazism up as regular “mainstream conservativism.”

So happy birthday Ariel. We hope you get fired. We hope your friends don’t like you anymore. We hope everyone who ever googles your name again knows what fucking racist Nazi scum you are.

Source videos for torch march screenshots:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWQLbzxAcFQ (06:00-07:45)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=098QwsPVHrM (03:16)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwkLqyKpVuQ (41:50 & 43:25)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYzLdKWyXDw (00:19 & 00:43-00:48)