Hey, Everyone, Let’s Stop Drooling Over Domestic Terrorists and White Supremacists
Only a few years ago, we railed against journalists and writers who kept gushing about how “dapper” and “well-dressed” white supremacists are (this was when the alt-right movement was really gaining traction among the world’s most despicable communities), wishing they would stop the insanity. And after an insane day that saw domestic terrorists storming the U.S. capitol in a hare-brained attempt at “revolution,” we’re seeing something similar: people who feel the need to fetishize white supremacists and domestic terrorists, praising their attractiveness on social media.
It sounds absurd, but a lot of major media outlets have a history of running pieces praising white supremacists and neo-Nazis for their fashion sense. These aren’t right-wing fringe rags, either. These are mainstream publications, some of them liberal.
Mother Jones once wrote a flattering profile of white nationalist “alt-right” (neo-Nazi) leader Richard Spencer. The headline praised his poise and fashion sense, calling him “dapper”:
Around the same time, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times also wrote flattering profiles of Spencer. Their headlines and photos almost made him look like some kind of quirky curiosity instead of a loathsome neo-Nazi who once asked, “Does human civilization really need the Black race?”
That same year, CNN ran a story about a different white nationalist, this one Austrian. They called him “trendy” and a “hipster”:
And the queer press hasn’t escaped this disturbing trend either. In 2016 Out magazine ran a flattering eight-page puff piece on a white supremacist who thinks it’s fine for grown men to have sex with 13-year-olds.
The following year, the New York Post wrote an appalling article about a white supremacist who stabbed a 66-year-old black man to death. The headline referred to the assailant as a “well-dressed suspect,” praising the fashion sense of a man who came to New York City specifically to kill black people. The Post went on to refer to killer James Harris Jackson as “sharp-dressed.” (The article also took pains to point out that the victim, who had been minding his own business when Jackson ran up to him and stabbed him with a sword, had been arrested in the past.)
While, to be clear, this unsettling trend never actually went away, yesterday’s U.S. Capitol debacle treated us to an unwanted acid flashback. Posts on social media about the “sexy,” “woofy,” “if only he weren’t crazy” domestic terrorist sporting the fur hood and horns, largely from our fellow gay men, were too numerous to count.
Putting aside the fact that he’s a domestic terrorist and — now that he’s been identified as piddling actor, voiceover artist and singer Jacob Chansley (stage name: Jake Angeli) — is sure to be charged with multiple federal crimes … really, guys?
I am begging you please go to therapy and sort out your pathological need for attention of any kind pic.twitter.com/JcfUBK7CJu
— derek (@reindeereks) January 6, 2021
This shirtless Burning Man reject — no matter his literal and figurative trespasses — gets you all hot and bothered? Who hurt you? And for those who were simply trying to be “controversh” on the Twitter, allow us to speak for all enlightened peoples when we say … grow up.
If your big contribution to what’s happening today is “OMG tHaT gUy In ThE fUr HoOd Is HoT” … you’ve already been unfriended.
But what’s wrong with praising white supremacists and domestic terrorists for their fashion sense or hotness, besides the obvious?
Beyond “this is terrible and you are terrible for doing this,” there are some specific reasons why the media (and everyone) really should stop writing about how sexy and stylish they think neo-Nazis and their ilk are.
First, it’s a useful recruitment tool for these monsters.
If you write article after article (or social media post after post) about cool, well-dressed, sexy white supremacists and domestic terrorists, you’re going to start making impressionable young idiots think their actions make people attractive. There are a lot of lonely, desperate losers out there who could be tempted to don an iron cross in the hopes of getting laid.
But also, they’re not even hot.
Take Richard Spencer. (No, seriously, please take him.) He’s been praised for his fashion sense and good looks, but honestly he’s, like, a 4 at best. He retains a lot of water, particularly around his face, giving him the look of a bloated adolescent. He wears dad jeans. His blazers are dull, the sort of thing an out-of-touch old man would wear. His sunglasses (pictured above) don’t suit him at all. He doesn’t look on-trend; he looks like an aging dork trying to look cool — and failing.
The Austrian hipster hate-monger above? His hair is a disaster. The turtleneck is cliché. And the glasses are at least 10 years out of style. He’s not even remotely trendy. Real hipster men dress like 19th century apothecaries or gay lumberjacks these days.
That “sharp-dressed” murderer? He was wearing jeans and an overcoat. That’s it. That’s average (or even below-average) New York City cold-weather wear. But the Post was gushing about him as though he were in a three-piece suit. It’s almost as if being extremely racist gives you extra style points. That guy’s victim, Timothy Caughman, had a way better sense of style:
— Jeffrey Morgan (@digdawg) March 23, 2017
If you’re going to flatter anyone, flatter the guy who could pull off a fedora. It’s not easy to look good on a budget, but Mr. Caughman did it, may he rest in peace.
And don’t even get us started on Jake Angeli, the “QAnon shaman” of Arizona. While he may have attempted a viking look, his fur and hasty face paint are more low-rent Mel Gibson with the addition of a KKK tattoo on his abdomen. And lest we forget that extremely contagious virus currently raging through America, he’s also putting the “pan” in “pandemic.”
So enough with the complimentary tones and outright drooling over white supremacists and domestic terrorists. Not only do they not deserve praise of any kind, but you cheapen the level of discourse we could (and should) be having while the country is in dire straits.
Featured image via Getty Images