Cole White, from California -- allegedly works at Top Dog restaurant in Berkeley pic.twitter.com/gxPvwQtAPw— Yes, You're Racist (@YesYoureRacist) August 12, 2017
In an effort to clear his name and further complicate the national discussion around alt-right gatherings that quickly morph into white supremacist rallies, Cole White is denying that he is a white supremacist in his first released statement.
White was forced to resign/coerced into resigning his position at Berkeley hot dog chain Top Dog last weekend after he was identified in pictures as being in attendance at a white supremacist-led torch rally in Charlottesville. Seeking to deflect any backlash against the business in liberal-heavy Berkeley, Top Dog posted a sign on their door indicating that White no longer worked there, soon clarifying that he resigned following a phone call and he was not fired.
Now White would like everyone to know that they should not have jumped to the conclusion that just because he was photographed smiling among the torches as white supremacists chanted and gave Nazi salutes, he is also a white supremacist. In the statement, which you can read in full here, White says, "After having witnessed first hand the violent attempts made by far left groups to disrupt what would otherwise be peaceful conservative gatherings in recent months, I knew Charlottesville would be a notable event." He goes on to say, "I want to make it clear that I am not a white supremacist, nor was I ever... My portrayal over social and the mainstream media has been inaccurate, biased and completely unjustified."
NBC Bay Area first picked up White's statement last night.
White was doxxed, or publicly identified, on Twitter Saturday via the account @YesYoureRacist, likely via others in Berkeley who knew he may be attending the rally, or who recognized him. Berkeleyside reported that he was spotted outside an Alameda County courtroom at a hearing of an antifa protester who was charged with assault in connection with one of the chaotic alt-right rally days in Berkeley this past spring.
Much like Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson, who identifies with the alt-right and is trying to stage rallies in San Francisco and Berkeley next weekend, White disowns white supremacists who have joined in under the umbrella of the "right," claiming he is simply a conservative. "Though people with such beliefs were obviously present, assuming those were the beliefs of the entire crowd is uninformed and irresponsible."
Guilty by association, however, is a thing.