So Monday night in Minneapolis a group of masked, armed white supremacists wearing bulletproof vests showed up at a protest of the death of Jamar Clark, a 24 year old Black man who was handcuffed and then shot in the head by Minneapolis police on back on November 15th.
The white supremacists had been hanging around the protest for several days, initially pretending to be protestors themselves. Last night, though, when confronted by protestors, they opened fire, injuring five. They then fled the site — and they fled successfully, despite the fact that the standard police tactic for Black Lives Matters protests is to surround the site of the protest on every side with riot cops and blockades.
Unrelatedly — I hope! — here is a video of two white supremacists from /pol/ on their way to the protest in Minneapolis. /pol/, for those lucky enough not to know, is 4chan’s explicitly white supremacist and misogynist political discussion board, a sort of hybrid of the better-known /b/ imageboard and Stormfront. In this video they say they’re on their way to the protests to check out what the “dindus” are doing — “dindu” is /pol/ jargon for Black people. At about 18 seconds into this video, one of the white supremacists flashes the handgun he’s bringing to the protest. After telling their supporters that they’re going to do a “search and recover” for a “loli” at the protest, he cheerily exhorts his followers to “stay white!”
Here’s a pastebin of an email thread wherein these guys plan their trip to the protest. They call it a “chimpout” and discuss their plans to infiltrate by pretending to be ordinary protestors (or, in /pol/ jargon, to “act like a beta white cuck as much as you can”) until they can “start stirring shit.” One of the organizers says to “dress normal,” meaning “no camo or weird shit,” but that everyone should “feel free to carry.”
Unrelatedly, this Sunday at a Donald Trump rally in Birmingham, Alabama, six white people held down a Black protester and kicked and punched him. While they held him down and beat him, they shouted “All lives matter!” Trump himself, in response, said that “Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up.”
Unrelatedly, Trump wants to round up and deport all undocumented migrants from Mexico, using a plan modeled after the Eisenhower-era “Operation Wetback”, which was pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
Unrelatedly, in 1990 Trump’s ex-wife revealed in their divorce hearings that Trump keeps a collection of Hitler’s speeches next to his bed. Unrelatedly, Trump is currently leading in nationwide polls, and in polls of early primary and caucus states. Unrelatedly, every other Republican candidate for President is responding to Trump’s popularity by aping his stances and rhetoric.
This isn’t about Trump. This isn’t about /pol/. This is about how Trump, and /pol/, and Gamergate, and /r/kotakuinaction/, and the heavily trafficked white supremacist subreddits, and the violently misogynist “red pill” and “men going their own way” sites and subreddits, indicate a broad base of support in America for violent homophobic misogynist white supremacism.
Today, in November of 2015, we are seeing the face of organized American fascism full-on. It looks like Trump. It looks like /pol/. It looks like the millions of people who support Trump and the thousands who read /pol/. It looks like a smiling youngish white man holding up a pistol and talking about “dindus.”
If you’re a civil rights activist, or if you just think that the police should stop murdering unarmed Black people, or if you think that LGBTQ people are human, or if you think that it’s shitty that women can’t be on the Internet without receiving targeted rape threats and targeted death threats, or if you think migrant farm workers are fellow humans with miserable jobs rather than cockroaches or vermin, or if you’re otherwise a reasonable human being who doesn’t hate your fellow humans for being different from you, 4channers are advocating for your death. Right now. They would gladly — and I am talking in calm, measured tones here, I am simply accurately describing a situation in terms that all sides will agree is true — murder you for the lulz. They may claim that they’re just pretending. But their guns aren’t pretend.
Our lives are worth less to them than their jokes. I don’t even know what to do with this information. It is absolutely, perfectly surreal. But we no longer have the luxury of denying it.
Even if the /pol/ morons ultimately had nothing to do with the attack on protesters last night, every single time they smilingly announce “stay white!” while flashing their handguns, they normalize that behavior for the people around them.
If we didn’t have anything uniting us before — people of color, women, LGBTQ people, poor people, immigrants, leftists, socialists, anarchists — we have something uniting us now. We are united by the fact that the same people want us all dead. And in that crucial way, we’re all in it together.
If you need a longer palate cleanser after watching boys from /pol/ play with guns, listening to this track by Janelle Monae might help. Sadly, this isn’t a video of the time she performed it on the Today Show — NBC deemed it “controversial” and removed it from their website.