The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, has called Molyneux “a skilled propagandist” who “amplifies ‘scientific racism,’ eugenics and white supremacism.” Molyneux, who has hundreds of thousands of YouTube followers, “has encouraged thousands of people to adopt his belief in biological determinism, social Darwinism and non-white racial inferiority,” the group says in an online profile.
At the conference outside Washington, a reporter from Business Insider asked Seibt if she still considered Molyneux an inspiration for her work in light of the following remark of his: “I’ve always been skeptical of the ideas of white nationalism, of identitarianism and white identity. However, I am an empiricist, and I could not help but notice that I could have peaceful, free, easy, civilized, and safe discussions in what is essentially an all-white country.”
“I am still a fan, absolutely,” she replied.
The panel was a side event at the high-profile annual conference for conservative activists that is hosting President Trump on Saturday.
Seibt, who has written articles in Germany saying that criticizing other cultures does not amount to racism, said that Molyneux was praising Western values broadly.
“I know that the statement taken out of context sounds incredibly racist to many people,” she said. “To me, it does not because he is not devaluing other races, not at all. He’s just describing his experience in Western countries.”
Seibt did not respond to a request for comment Friday evening. Molyneux could not be reached for comment.
The Heartland Institute, which has accepted money from the fossil fuel industry and has repeatedly questioned the link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, hired Seibt last month to produce YouTube videos and write articles decrying “climate alarmism.” The group has deliberately portrayed Seibt as a foil to Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who has sparked global youth protests aimed at achieving deeper cuts in carbon emissions.
The panel, which also featured Heartland’s president and its director of climate policy, was titled “Energy, Costs, and Defeating the Climate Delusion: Featuring European ‘Anti-Greta’ Naomi Seibt.”
Seibt has said that her own entry into political activism began out of concern about a wave of migration into Germany in recent years. In an interview last week, she said she and her mother spoke out in 2015 when many refugees from Syria and the Mideast arrived, arguing that Germany should “only let in those people who are actually being persecuted. … Some were coming for economic reasons, and not actually fleeing because they were being persecuted.”
Seibt recently spoke at an event organized by the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD), the biggest opposition party in parliament, whose leaders have spoken of fighting “an invasion of foreigners.” She has said that her questioning of established climate science grew out of a similar suspicion of mainstream thinking and government policy.
“I realized that all of the sudden, I was being shunned for my own political views,” she added. “Just for being skeptical, I received a lot of negative backlash.”