After the Southern Poverty Law Center published a report alleging Leesburg resident and State Department official Matthew Gebert lived a second life online as a white supremacist, his neighbors have pulled together and ordered 100 “Hate Has No Home Here” signs.
The center posted a report outlining a litany of online and in-person involvement with white supremacist groups and ideology, including hosting a gathering at the Geberts’ Leesburg home, participating in the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017, helping organize and recruit a DC-area chapter for an alt-right network, participating in online white supremacist forums and programs, dining with a famed anti-Semite, and donating to a white supremacist in a Republican primary in Wisconsin.
If the allegations are true, Gebert appears to have been flying under the radar, both to his neighbors and professionally.
Gebert was also recently the president of the Greenway Farms Homeowners Association, just south of downtown Leesburg on King Street, according to minutes from its Board of Directors. He resigned from the HOA board Monday after a special meeting was scheduled to vote to remove him later in the month.
Resident Peter Fedders suggested and organized the purchase of the “Hate Has No Home Here” signs. He said the report on Gebert was met with “complete shock” in the neighborhood.
“I think the real shock was that he was like the head of our HOA,” Fedders said. “He was the president until I think July.”
He suggested on Facebook that the community band together to buy the signs and began organizing, ordering the first batch of 100 signs at $5 each as people signed up to contribute. So far, 115 people have signed up and another resident has offered to put up the money for a second batch of signs.
He plans to distribute the signs on Sunday, and said he expects to see rainbow balloons join the chalk art that he said has already appeared.
“It’s just a sign, [but] it’s something, it’s a start,” Fedders said. “Because I don’t think people knew what to do. What do you do when there’s somebody like that that’s in your neighborhood leading your HOA? So I think people just kind of latched onto the sign thing.”
After the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report, Gebert was reportedly suspended from his job at the State Department, where he works as a foreign affairs officer assigned to the Bureau of Energy Resources.
Gebert’s wife, Anna Vuckovic, was also active in those online communities, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. And from 2015 until June, she served on the Visit Loudoun board of directors.
According to Visit Loudoun CEO Beth Erickson, Vuckovic had also worked with other tourism agencies including Visit Phoenix, Choose Chicago, Experience Columbus, and Explore St. Louis.
“I can assure you that during Anna’s tenure on Visit Loudoun’s board, any affiliation she or her family member may have had with the organization was not known to us and I did not believe it impacted her work on the board,” Erickson wrote in an email to the county Board of Supervisors. “She resigned from the volunteer board in June 2019 and therefore has no association with Visit Loudoun at this time.”
At the time that Gebert was elected to the Visit Loudoun board, Erickson wrote, she was the Director of National Accounts for Visit Phoenix.
“Visit Loudoun is committed to the diverse and culturally rich community we serve and to ensuring that Loudoun County is a welcoming destination,” Erickson wrote.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” blog, which monitors hate groups and hate speech, Gebert was involved with white nationalist podcasts and online forums using several pseudonyms and hosted white nationalist gatherings at his home. He is also alleged to have attended the white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017, which turned deadly for counter-protesters, and helped organize and recruit for a DC-area organization, “D.C. Helicopter Pilots.” The group is a chapter of The Right Stuff, an alt-right network the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a hate group.
“[Whites] need a country of our own with nukes, and we will retake this thing lickety split,” the center reported Gebert said on a podcast called “The Fatherland.”
He is quoted as saying a variety of explicitly racist things, such as “I think it reflects the better angels of our white nature that we—despite all of the evidence we have from the criminality to whatnot that we still have a soft spot in our heart for Red Foxx and ‘Sandford and Son.’”
Under his own name, Gebert donated to white supremacist and Republican primary candidate Paul Nehlen, who challenged then-Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) in 2016 with endorsements from people like Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin but was handily defeated. He ran a second time in 2018 but was again defeated, coming third in a field of six candidates.
The center also offered evidence Gebert published antisemitic views and dined with a famed Holocaust denier.
Gebert has not yet replied to an emailed request for comment.