Nazi allegations take center stage

An actor in the Eugene theater scene has been accused of moonlighting as a neo-Nazi folk singer and alt-right propagandist by anti-fascist groups.

Evan James McCarty has appeared in numerous stage plays since receiving his degree in theater arts from the University of Oregon at both the Shedd Institute and the Very Little Theater in Eugene. According to Rose City Antifa, a Portland-based anti-fascist collective, McCarty is also the self-described “fascist-folk” singer Byron de la Vandal. Since the accusations first surfaced on April 20, McCarty’s professional relationship with The Shedd has been severed, according to executive director James Ralph.

McCarty has not publicly confirmed or denied whether he is the folk singer and declined to comment on the matter.

In addition to a growing catalog of music, de la Vandal’s social media accounts are filled with anti-Semitic, racist and misogynistic posts, as well as posts attempting to recruit new members for White supremacist organizations like Vanguard America and True Cascadia. The posts frequently express admiration for leaders of the emergent alt-right movement, and de la Vandal even recorded a song honoring the White supremacist that drove a car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. Even the musician’s name has White nationalist connotations, as it references Byron de la Beckwith, the Ku Klux Klansman who assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers in 1963.

For some who knew McCarty in the past, the accusations are troubling, but not without merit. A classmate of McCarty’s at South Eugene High School, who asked to remain anonymous due to prior incidents of harassment, claimed that McCarty often made derogatory and harassing statements toward women and minorities.

“He would say some mean stuff, call some girls ‘sluts,’ drop the n-word frequently,” the classmate said. “But, I mean, I never thought he would’ve become a neo-Nazi. I thought he was too timid for that.”

RCA makes the case that McCarty is Byron de la Vandal by comparing photos of the musician — typically clad in a black balaclava and smoking Marlboro cigarettes in online video interviews — with McCarty’s acting headshots and selfies taken from his social media accounts. They also compare a clip of a song McCarty performed on an acoustic guitar during his college years with a de la Vandal recording, which features a very similar melody and lyrics changed to reflect a White supremacist ideology. Rose City Antifa did not respond to request for comment.

In attempting to expose the identity of Byron de la Vandal, RCA used a technique known as “doxxing,” in which a person has their personal information — like street addresses and phone numbers — posted on a public forum. The technique has been used by both White nationalist groups and anti-fascist groups to expose and intimidate each other’s often anonymous memberships. The practice has garnered increased scrutiny in recent months as anti-fascist groups continue to clash with White supremacist groups.

Late last year, transcripts from an online chat server used by White nationalist groups in Oregon were leaked to the public, which led to the accusations against McCarty, as well as revelations against Oregon State University graduate student Andrew Oswalt (Oswalt is currently facing hate crime charges in Benton County). Those transcripts also revealed an elaborate and thorough attempt by White nationalists across the U.S. to catalog and reveal the identities of anti-fascist activists across the country.

To date, Byron de la Vandal has never performed music in a live setting, nor is there any indication that the musician will perform anywhere in the future, though he did release an album online early this year. Since the allegations surfaced, de la Vandal’s social media accounts have not been updated, and none of the organizations that he claims to be a member of have spoken publicly about the musician.