As dad of slain Fargo teen seeks justice, white nationalists push their platform
Robert Paulsen said he understands that the National Justice Party and others may be using his personal tragedy to promote their agenda, but he wants justice for his 14-year-old daughter who was killed in June 2021 in Fargo.
FARGO — Smiles are rare these days for Robert Paulsen.
As a father, he carries a heavy burden. His 14-year-old daughter, Daisy “Jupiter” Paulsen, was killed on June 4, 2021.
He’s angry. He needs help, but he said the only support he's received lately has been from local white activists and the National Justice Party.
Formed in August 2020 by a white nationalist organization, the National Justice Party is a racist, antisemitic group that includes known white supremacists,
according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights nonprofit that tracks hate groups
. The party
claims to advocate for white civil rights
In the past six months, National Justice Party members have publicly gathered in Ohio, Wisconsin, and recently in Fargo on the anniversary of Jupiter's death, to protest cases they claim are "anti-white" killings by Black people.
Jupiter's father is white and her mother is half white and half Hispanic, according to Paulsen. Jupiter's accused killer, Arthur Prince Kollie, is Black.
Morgan Moon, an investigative researcher with the Anti-Defamation League, a global anti-hate group, keeps tabs on the National Justice Party .
“A lot of times in their private events and in their speeches they’re very overtly racist, but in these events they toe this line saying they are advocates for white human rights,” Moon said of the public gatherings in Fargo and elsewhere, noting that softening language and agendas to appeal to a broader audience is common among groups like the National Justice Party.
The party often claims that white people are under attack, and the party spreads the conspiracy theory that the news media and the government are working to replace white people with people of color.
“This case in Fargo fits into that cleanly,” she said. “The incident in Fargo is not unique, but it is important to take this very seriously. Often, we see white supremacist groups co-opt these moments that fit with their ideology and use this to further recruit and radicalize the general public.”
The Forum's attempts to reach National Justice Party organizers for comment for this story were not successful.
Paulsen said he understands that the National Justice Party and others may be using his personal tragedy to push their agenda, but he wants justice.
“They’re trying to show how whites are getting oppressed. Well, we are all oppressed. I am a little concerned because, you know, there is that fine line. A lot of people call them white supremacists. Well, I am totally against white supremacy,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen, a professional welder, said he's worried tensions may erupt when Kollie, 23, steps back into the Cass County Courthouse for his trial that's slated to begin Sept. 6.
“I’m not trying to start a race war, although it is coming. I have no faith in the system," Paulsen said. "They (National Justice Party members) are the only ones who continue to press, and I am like ‘Go ahead, maybe you guys can rattle some cages.'"
“I am not a Nazi, and I am not a white supremacist,” he added. "When you don't have anybody trying to help you, you turn to whoever you can."
North Dakota does not have the death penalty, but Paulsen said he wants the death penalty or the maximum punishment for his daughter’s killer.
Kollie, who's accused of randomly stabbing Jupiter over 20 times, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, robbery and aggravated assault. The Forum sought an interview with Kollie, who's being held at the Cass County Jail, but he declined through a jail administrator.
Kollie has had a psychological examination and his defense attorney plans to argue that Kollie lacks criminal responsibility for the alleged crime, according to court documents. Paulsen said he disputes such an argument.
The father said he's been dealing with a lot of anger and rage, but he tries to carry on.
"I just work, go home and try to take care of the family as best I can and keep my mind off those things," he said. "I don’t get to have that phone call with her anymore. I miss her jokes. I miss everything about her. It is hard on everybody."
June 4 protest in Fargo
On June 4, the one-year anniversary of the attack on Jupiter near Party City, 4340 13th Ave. S., the National Justice Party led the Jupiter Memorial Walk and Daisy Drop, trying to retrace her final steps in Fargo.
Led by local resident Pete Tefft, who describes himself as a pro-white advocate , and National Justice Party chairman Michael “Enoch” Peinovich, a group of about two dozen people protested at the Cass County Courthouse and by Amvets Post 7 at University Drive and 10th Street South.
Outside of Amvets, a small group of counterprotesters stood across the street from the National Justice Party's demonstration, and the two sides raged at each other.
Video of the confrontation captured by counterprotesters shows Peinovich using a megaphone during the demonstration, and to shout at the counterprotesters.
“This is not about people of color,” Peinovich said through the megaphone.
Many in the National Justice Party's group held signs saying “Justice for Jupiter,” and some held signs saying “Kollie is a killer,” “No insanity, no pleas,” “anti-white hate crime” and “double standards.”
“It’s about white supremacy,” the counterprotesters shouted . “Go back home.”
Outside of the Cass County Courthouse on the same day, Tefft “demanded justice for the brutal torturing and murder of Daisy Paulsen.”
Vanessa Clark, one of the counterprotesters outside of Amvets, said the National Justice Party was using Paulsen’s tragedy as ammunition for the “party’s white supremacist agenda.”
“Using her death to literally yell ‘white power’ in our streets is a disrespect to who she really was. Her dad cannot say he’s against white supremacy while teaming up with them. Her death is tragic, but that doesn’t excuse anyone for platforming white supremacists and neo-Nazis,” Clark said.
If Kollie’s case becomes politicized, more protests are sure to arrive, Moon said.
“They (National Justice Party members) want the attention and it’s something to be wary of, but also they’re putting out this belief about the ‘great replacement,’ beliefs that are dangerous,” Moon said.
The "great replacement" is a conspiracy theory that claims nonwhite people are being brought into the United States and other Western countries to replace white voters to achieve a political agenda.
“It can be palpable, and can reach very extreme audiences and those with extreme beliefs and those who have the potential to cause violence,” Moon said.
What is the National Justice Party?
The National Justice Party says it advocates for the civil rights of white people and traditional family structures. The party came to Fargo to work with like-minded activists who believe the judicial system is working to give Kollie an insanity plea to avoid punishment, according to the group's website .
The party’s platform focuses on nonwhite immigration, declining white birth rates, the perceived victim status of working and poor whites, and the wealth and power of Jewish people, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center .
Peinovich is the key founder and the face of the National Justice Party, Moon said. He runs The Right Stuff website and has a podcast called "The Daily Shoah," which is a “very verbally antisemitic podcast,” Moon said.
Paulsen said the National Justice Party is planning gatherings for later dates in Fargo, but he won’t participate. He didn’t go to the June 4 walk, he said. Justice for Jupiter, however, should be a rallying cry everyone can get behind, he said.
Trying hard to hold back tears, Paulsen talked about the pain he felt when he was in the courthouse, watching the man accused of killing his daughter smile at him from across the room.
“The bailiff stopped me before I could do anything. I have to sit there and take it, and when he’s talking on the stand, he looks at me again and smiles. He knows what he did,” Paulsen said.
In 2017, Paulsen gave his family a choice: to move from California to Texas or to North Dakota — and they chose Fargo.
“You leave a state that has these things happen all the time and go to a Peace Garden State and it happens to you,” Paulsen said.