My ballot is already in the mail, and we all know Joe Biden is going to win New York anyway. At least I got to vote for AOC for the first time.
Anyway, I figured I’d do something worth my time instead, so I started reading Talia Lavin’s “Culture Warlords,” and let me tell you it is FANTASTIC.
Talia, who describes herself as “Jewish bitch journalist with an IWW membership card,” spent a year going undercover and infiltrating white supremacist groups online. She even created fake profiles on a white supremacist dating site, which led to my favorite passage so far:
When they wrote to me, they wrote about their cats, about their dinners of pinto beans and pork, about their love of Xbox gaming, about gas prices, the motorcycles they owned. They wrote about guns. They wrote a lot about guns. And just as often they wrote about their desire to maintain the purity of whiteness; about the white children they hoped I or some other willing woman would bear them; and about the sinister Jews controlling the world, about the “cucks” (cuckolds) running the government, about the “Marxists” brainwashing kids, about “white genocide,” and their favorite fascist YouTube channels.
I got about a third through the book before I made myself put it down. I’ve been a fan of Talia’s on Twitter for a while, but this book is a feat. I highly recommend it.
When Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a sociopath, white supremacists online took pains to find photos of the victim looking “thuggish” and threatening, even circulating fake photos via email and social networks. They pulled the same trick when Mike Brown was gunned down by a police officer, circulating fake photos of Brown in an effort to make him appear violent, to fit the white supremacist stereotype of the scary black man.
These were conscious efforts to control the narrative, to distort reality until it resembled the manufactured and false narrative white supremacists require to support their beliefs. Such efforts are often successful, too, because white supremacists are not some fringe cult, isolated and easily identified by their Klan hoods and swastika tattoos. White supremacists are all around us, in our police stations and our schools and our legislatures, and their ideas infect the mainstream like a virus.
Those fake photos of Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin made their way into mainstream news outlets that were sloppy in their fact checking, and into the inboxes and news feeds of millions of Americans who would never call themselves racists, but didn’t have the time or the inclination to check their veracity. They succeeded in distorting and confusing the narrative, not only for the white supremacists themselves but for millions of otherwise well-meaning individuals.
This is the ugly truth that makes so many white Americans uncomfortable, the one most white people refuse to believe: White supremacy and racism are pervasive aspects of American culture. Continue Reading