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My double life among the alt-Right: Taking a punch was something that I mentally prepared for’ – Telegraph.co.uk

The far-Right can be funny, in their way. Julia Ebner remembers when she pretended to be one of them. The first time she attended a meeting, it was in Mayfair, at a little pub called Ye Grapes. As she walked into the back room, the group were chatting about holidays in Hungary (I only give my money to free nations) and having to hide their political views (You get fired here if youre a Nazi). The food at Ye Grapes is Thai.

There were so many surreal moments, Ebner says about the two years she spent undercover, infiltrating a range of extremist movements both online and in the flesh. It was hard, because I would sometimes think they were joking, but they were serious about things where it seemed too absurd to be true.

Ebner has written about her experiences in a new book, Going Dark. By day, she works at the Institute of Strategic Dialogue, an anti-extremism think-tank. By night, she was doing what she calls completely separate work. (As she puts it in the book: During my working hours I was the cat, but in my spare time I joined the mice.)

The ironies, she found, were exquisite. After the Mayfair event, Generation Identity invited her to a meeting in Brixton, not an area known for hostility to multicultural life. (They holed up in an Airbnb.) Over coffee in Vienna with their regional leader, Edwin Hintsteiner, she raised suspicions by asking for soy milk only to learn that at a party that night, the far-Right Freedom Party of Austria would be serving Club-Mate, a trendy energy drink from Berlin.

Online, where the absurdities of conspiracy theories such as QAnon or Pizzagate hold sway, the hypocrisycould be similarly complex. For example, Ebner says, take the vetting procedures in some of the neo-Nazi channels. You have to submit a genetic test. But people come back of course! with results showing a small percentage of non-white background. Which opens up a discussion about the Jews controlling them.

Ebner wasnt trained to enter these spheres. Her work was unsanctioned by the ISD. She was moving in the domain of intelligence officers or investigative journalists, who spend years learning how to work in the field. There are moments in the book, she admits, where you can tell that Im a complete amateur. That I didnt go through any kind of MI5 training, or any investigative journalism training.

And there were definitely moments where I thought: Maybe Ive gone too far, maybe I shouldnt have come here. At one point at the Brixton meeting, she drops a bank card that bears her real name. By chance, the woman who hands it back doesnt look at it. These are not mistakes that a professional would likely make.

I did have an exit plan for all the events I went to, Ebner says. In my phone, I had people who were prepared to come to the Airbnb in Brixton if something happened. In that case, she wasnt scared. With Generation Identity, I knew that their reputations would be at stake, so they wouldnt do anything.

Not all her investigations felt so safe. In the German town of Ostritz, for instance, Ebner attended Schild & Schwert (Shield and Sword), a neo-Nazi rock festival held on Hitlers birthday, April 20.

There, she recalls, I knew that some people had criminal records. Everyone was checked by the police on entering. And these people could potentially use violence. Once again, her faade had cracks. She wore black Adidas trainers, but New Balance is the alt-Right fashion; she didnt know how to dance to neo-Nazi hardcore rock. This time, it would have been harder to laugh and walk away.

I thought: OK, in the worst-case scenario, Im going to take a punch. I didnt think anyone was going to kill me, even if they found out who I was. But taking a punch was something that I mentally prepared for.

Before long, one neo-Nazi accosted her and refused to leave her alone. She pretended to be 23, and feigned what she calls a bogus naivety but he was bemused by her lack of knowledge. She didnt know, for example, about how Helmut Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev sold out the German race. This time she needed her exit plan someone waiting outside with a car and had to escape.

Going Dark is impressive in moments like this, when Ebner is less offended or angry than disappointed in those she meets. Even her harasser is portrayed as he was: calmly described, no caricature. This, she says, was a conscious choice.

Its counterproductive to denounce them as individuals. We can denounce the ideologies, or conspiracy theories. But it doesnt help with getting people back from the radical fringes if we humiliate them or denounce them on an individual level, or attack them personally.

She even felt sad, when embedded in Generation Identity. There were some very young individuals in that movement. You could see that Generation Identity made an effort to bring that into their media campaigns which would also make it impossible for them to leave any more. There were moments where I wanted to say, Please leave now.

And yet, she never did. In part, Ebner admits, it was a cold strategic choice: preserve her cover, or save a soul.

There were moments when I did want to debunk conspiracy theories, or tell someone to leave. I could have done that. But I thought it was more valuable to stay there, collect all the information I could, then hopefully inform a bigger intervention programme with a wider scope.

Nor, she points out, was she trained in deradicalisation any more than she was in undercover work. Id prefer to leave that task to professionally trained psychologists and intervention providers. I saw my role as that of a researcher. Thats what Ive done at Quilliam and the ISD.

It was during her time at Quilliam, the think-tank where she worked until 2017, that Ebner was dragged into the news. In May that year, she wrote a piece for The Guardian in which she connected Tommy Robinson and the phrase white supremacist movements. Robinson declared on video that he was going to confront her, and he did. Entering Quilliams building, he found Ebner, a scuffle broke out with security, and he was thrown out, camera in hand, exactly as he wished.

Ebner had the data to prove that as she told Quilliam CEO Haras Rafiq afterwards Robinsons support base overlaps with that of white supremacist movements. Quilliam wanted the hostilities to go away. Ebner stood by her position, and wouldnt sell The Guardian out. The next day, she was fired.

Robinson, as he likes to say, is a campaigner for freedom of speech. Yesterday, he joined Toby Youngs Freedom of Speech Union, and Young says hes welcome there. It exemplifies another of the ironies Ebner found: those with the strongest positions are often papering over their cognitive dissonance.

She takes the example of free-speech warriors online. On the one hand they say that theyre being shut down, that theyre the victims of infringement of freedom of speech but on the other hand, theyre launching intimidation campaigns that are meant to silence their political opponents.

These things, she says wryly, are a bit like going to a Thai restaurant to speak about the Great Replacement, or going to Brixton for a Generation Identity meeting. Not impossible, just moral hypocrisy.

All Ebners undercover work involved what she calls an ethical line. She drew it at anything that would help them expand their reach or get recruits, and this put an expiry date on each of her attempts.

For example, I wouldnt have helped with running any campaigns, or reaching out to people during recruitment. Even when they asked me whether I could translate some materials, some campaign materials from German to English, I wouldnt have done that.

Her ethics also killed some of her budding plans. Not all of the groups I tried are in the book. In some of them, I was kicked out too early to get any deeper insights, because I refused to do certain things. For example, creating my own racist memes, or attacking a political opponent on Twitter with vile messages.

Even so, I wonder, was that ethical line ever perfectly firm? Ebner pauses, and picks her words. I think there are always grey zones. Even laughing at a joke, or nodding at a statement even if you dont say anything, simple approval or applause can confirm peoples views and make them more willing to show off.

Thats the problem on some of these messaging boards they have a big audience who glorify them. I wouldnt say that at any point I glorified anyone. But they do play to their audience. Not every user on these platforms is participating, but even by passively giving their confirmation or approval, they play into the radicalisation engine.

Ebner wants us to practice civil courage, and not assume that the intelligence services will handle extremism on our behalf. Everyone has the responsibility to protect themselves and people in their surroundings from being lured into these networks.

We often have civil courage on the Tube if someone gets attacked, someone steps in but we dont often see it in online spaces when someones being attacked. Not yet.

Working undercover, she concedes, has changed her. She felt close to being seduced, having seeds planted that might be hard to uproot. Infiltrating a trad wives group online the Red Pill Women she found female misogynists who ranged from ultra-conservative women and to be fair, its everyones right to hold those views all the way to endorsing domestic violence.

Ebner, who calls herself a feminist, was primed to disagree all the way. These women talked about womens sexual value to men; the need to be docile and marketable. And yet: Ebner, who had just emerged from a break-up, felt unsettled by some of their other claims about the burdens that women face in todays modern world, or about hook-up culture and online dating apps.

Mostly, she remembers, it felt like they were speaking about topics so close to my own worries and my own frustrations. Id never been able to identify with the topics talked about in jihadist groups or in neo-Nazi groups there were no topics there that touched me on a deeper emotional level.

Nobody, she tells me again and again, is immune to being radicalised. It isnt a problem for other peoples minds, and you dont always see the angle from which it comes. Ebner relied on a safety net: an informal debriefing process with colleagues at the ISD. There were counter-extremism experts who would have been able to spot the signs if I were going in that direction.

After two years of undercover work, Going Dark is the end of Ebners shadow-career. Even during that period, she grew liable to be unmasked. After the real name of Jennifer Mayer was revealed, Generation Identity sent Ebner a glacial message saying they hope it was at least interesting for her to meet them.

Today, she says, in the English- and German-speaking world, its virtually impossible for me to go undercover offline unless I wear a full-face mask.

And Im not sure I would want to do that work any more. Nor, she adds, would she ask others to follow her lead. I wouldnt recommend doing it offline.I dont think everyone needs or wants to take that risk the risk of having their face out there.

Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists is published by Bloomsbury at 16.99. To order your copy for 14.99, call 0844 871 1514 or visit the Telegraph Bookshop

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My double life among the alt-Right: Taking a punch was something that I mentally prepared for' - Telegraph.co.uk

‘You’re Scumbags’: We Went to the GOP’s Annual Confab and Had a Nice Chat With Seb Gorka – VICE

FORT WASHINGTON, Maryland Scary myths of socialists parading around as living, breathing Democrats may be the focus of this years Conservative Political Action Conference (aka CPAC), but the real monster here is the mainstream media. Thats all thanks to President Trump, whos spent years fanning the flames of conspiracy theories large and small.

The birtherism Trump peddled back when Barack Obama occupied the White House gave way to accusations of a deep state of unelected bureaucrats implanted inside the federal government. Conspiracies like that and worse are now commonplace within formerly traditional conservative circles.

But even conservatism itself seems to have been sacrificed at the altar of Trump.

Go to hell, Seb Gorka a mere former deputy assistant to President Trump and alt-right provocateur said, cutting me off as I approached. You work for VICE? Go to hell.

Why? I asked.

Go to hell, the former low-level White House official shot back from his podcast booth in the CPAC hall.

Because we're bad? I replied.

Because you're scumbags, Gorka yelled. Youre not journalists, and you can quote me.

While he doesnt have a basic understanding of the First Amendment which allows journalists to ask questions, just as it allows ex-White House workers with oversized egos to yell at reporters he does have an audience for his America First podcast.

And hes only one of thousands of has-beens and fringe-right pundits whove made their way into the mainstream. At CPAC, Gorka, along with the likes of James O'Keefe of dubious (at best) Project Veritas fame, Islamophilic British commentator Katie Hopkins, alt-right whisperer Andy Ngo, and even Diamond and Silk (I dont know what they do, and they might not either), is a hero.

Far-right conservatism from radical to insanely conspiratorial now counts as the mainstream of GOP politics. That includes the president himself, along with some of the top advisers hes poached from Fox News and even Breitbart, who have echoed and amplified Trumps signature fake news soundbite. His meme-driven politics, though routinely mocked by comedians, pundits, and even journalists, are now mimicked by a fleet of conservatives who are more trusted by hundreds of thousands of Americans than the nations traditional journalists.

Thats why, to a lot of Republicans, the press is now the enemy, or at least not to be believed.

I think everybody's seeing it now, according to Ben Bergquam, whose social media posts go out under the banner of Americas Voice News (I had to look it up: They boast about making the internet interactive for their conservative hosts). Hes a self-described social conservative who says he believes abortion is murder, homosexuality is sin, and transgenderism is insane. And he says his viewership has gone up under Trump.

A supporter of President Trump poses for a photo next to a figure during Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2020, at the National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

You can't deny the fact that there is a paradigm shift, not just in media but also in culture in America, Bergquam said. Conservatives used to always accept the idea that we had to compromise. And now we say, No, we can win.

Conservatives used to always accept the idea that we had to compromise. And now we say, No, we can win.

But being king of the Hill isnt easy. So now Trumps even drawing criticism from some of those fringe-right pundits who enabled his stealthy rise.

Trump knew on Day One the power of the grassroots the power of populism, Alex Jones of conspiracy theory-peddling InfoWars, told VICE News while surrounded by an entourage. They certainly know that grassroots media is where the real power is, but I think they knew the power of it four years ago.

Jones is still fully in Trumps corner, but he says the president has lost his bearings now that hes in the White House. He says Trump owes his former political allies a lifeline that only the president of the United States can throw.

Trump's biggest failing is that he told Julian Assange or whoever had the WikiLeaks, to release it, and now he hasn't gotten Julian Assange out of prison, Jones said. I feel like that I've been gang-raped by the fact that he's not stood up for Julian Assange. He's not stood up yet for General Flynn. He better pardon Roger Stone. I mean, these are political prisoners.

But even Alex Jones is fringe at CPAC at least for now, because the gathering continues to move rightward, along with Trump and GOP lawmakers who've sipped his Kool-Aid. To most Republicans, the media gave the Obama administration a pass, and its time for revenge.

There was no middle ground, and then you had a candidate that understood the media, and he called it out. So he brought the attention to the media, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) - a member of the House Freedom Caucus known for extreme views told VICE News of Trump. That's the difference: Somebody had a spine to actually call it out.

There was no middle ground, and then you had a candidate that understood the media, and he called it out."

The congressman says he mostly wont even do interviews with his largest local publication, the Arizona Republic.

When they want a request, I dont really honor it. Ill do something for Cronkite News, Gosar said of Arizonas PBS station.

On Thursday at CPAC, Gosar also did interviews with Epoch Times (a fringe-right rag read by millions), Town Hall (a conservative publication owned by the right-wing radio broadcaster Salem Media), and Daily Signal (the Heritage Foundations news site). And while Gosar was mic-hopping, other conservative lawmakers were likewise bypassing much of the mainstream or as they say, lamestream media.

Now we do our own media, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) told VICE News.

"Now we do our own media."

We've just tried to go around them because and I hate to say this but who's reading the newspaper anymore? Perry continued. As long as, unfortunately, as news can't be relied upon to be factual, the spectrum is going to be wide open. Right? We're going to shop for our news either what we believe in or think or we're going to multi-source it and try and figure out where the truth is between the two or the 10, whatever.

Cover: Former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka speaks at the 2018 Values Voter Summit in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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'You're Scumbags': We Went to the GOP's Annual Confab and Had a Nice Chat With Seb Gorka - VICE

Heres how a conspiracy theorist banned from Twitter made the journey from the alt-right fringe to a GOP congressional candidate – AlterNet

Far-right conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer, known for her anti-Muslim posts on social media and claims that mass shootings are false flag operations, is so extreme that she has even been banned from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But that isnt preventing the 26-year-old Loomer from seeking the Republican nomination in South Floridas 21st Congressional District, where she is hoping to run against incumbent Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel in 2020s general election. And Amanda Carpenter takes a look at Loomers journey from the alt-right fringe to congressional candidate in a February 28 article for The Bulwark.

Carpenter, who is a CNN contributor in addition to her work for The Bulwark, is no liberal: she formerly served as communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz and a speechwriter for Sen. Jim DeMint. But Loomer, as Carpenter explains, is not a run-of-the-mill conservative other Republicans shunned her in the past, and she has been banned from social media platforms ranging from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram.

As a candidate, Carpenter notes, Loomers plan is to present herself as a politically incorrect social media martyr and she has reached out to President Donald Trump for help, declaring herself to be a staunch Trumpista.

Whereas Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Lyft, Venmo, GoFundMe, Medium, Uber and UberEats have standards of behavior for members, the United States Congress does not, Carpenter asserts. Member of Congress is one of the few jobs where Loomers anti-Muslim tweets, musings that mass shootings are false flag operations and outlandish protests arent automatic disqualifications. In fact, those positions will probably help her attract a committed, albeit nutty, base of support.

In May 2019, Carpenter recalls, Loomer appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones show where she sounded like a woman on the brink and wailed like a teenager after her inflammatory posts got her banned from Instagram and Facebook. But now that shes running for Congress, Carpenter laments, Loomers claim that she is a political martyr seems to be working. Loomer has transformed from a fringe member of the alt-right internet to someone embraced by people in the highest levels of GOP leadership.

Carpenter goes on to list some of the Republicans who are now supporting Loomers campaign including Trump, whose Mar-a-Lago resort is in her district.

President Trump has tweeted supportively of her race, his presidential campaign is renting out her e-mail list and Trumps 2016 Florida director, Karen Giorno, is managing her campaign, Carpenter reports. Republican Rep. Jim Jordan appears to have rented out her list too. And Loomer claims endorsements from high-profile personalities and friends of Trump, including Roger Stone, Jeanine Pirro, Bo Snerdly and Michelle Malkin.

Moreover, Carpenter adds, Republican Joe Gruters (a Florida state senator and chairman of the Florida Republican Party) held a press conference with her (in January) to promote legislation that he said was inspired by Loomer. The bill, Stop Social Media Censorship Act, would allow people such as Loomer to sue Twitter for damages if their speech is censored or deleted. Its commonly known as Loomers Law.

According to Carpenter, Loomers campaign has raised more than $350,000 and had $115,000 cash on hand.

Take Laura Loomers name out of the picture here, Carpenter laments, and you have what appears to be a well-connected, establishment campaign designed for a rising party star.

The good news is that if Loomer does win the GOP nomination, her chances of defeating Frankel in the general election are slim: Floridas 21st Congressional District, Carpenter points out, is safely Democratic and in 2016s presidential election, Hillary Clinton carried that district by 19%. Had the entire state of Florida voted like the 21st Congressional District in 2016, Clinton would have won Floridas electoral votes hands down.

But Loomers longshot campaign, Carpenter stresses, is a publicity stunt and her chances of actually defeating Frankel should she win the nomination are almost beside the point. Plus, Trump now claims Florida, not New York City, as his primary residence and can vote in Florida elections.

If the president of the United States votes for her in 2020, Carpenter asks, what further validation does she need?

then let us make a small request. AlterNets journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. Were here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And were proud to say that weve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 yearslonger than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

Its through the generosity of our supporters that were able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone cant pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

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Heres how a conspiracy theorist banned from Twitter made the journey from the alt-right fringe to a GOP congressional candidate - AlterNet

4chan Thinks It Is so Smart, but Its Plan to Mess up the Democratic Primary Is Actually Incredibly Stupid. – Mother Jones

In 2008, Rush Limbaugh hatched a plan. By March, John McCain had locked down the Republicans nomination, and while Barack Obama held a lead in delegates, he and Hillary Clinton were still duking it out in the Democratic primaries. If their fight could be prolonged, surely the winner would be too bloodied to pose as much of a threat to McCain in November, Limbaugh surmised. Dubbing his plan Operation Chaos, the conservative radio host urged his listeners to show up in open primary states, most notably Indiana, and vote for Clinton in an effort to lengthen the race.

For the last several weeks, right-wingers on the message board 4chan and in r/The_Donald, a subsection of Reddit made up of some of the presidents most toxic online supporters, have talked about encouraging their members to take part in a new operation chaos, starting in South Carolina, the first open primary of the 2020 election cycle. While there have been dozens of posts discussing the prospect, no singular coordinated effort seems to have taken hold, and it is unlikely that even an organized campaign to troll the Democratic primaries would have much effect.

The Left is totally devouring itself and its a Glorious sight to see. Gulag Bernie Bros have so much hate for Pocahontas.. we should Vote for Warren in any open primaries and keep her going, one Trump fan on Reddit wrote in a post that picked up over 1,000 upvotes, likely making it to the large subreddits homepage.

Im voting Bloomberg in the dem primaries. I think all republicans should vote in them for the weakest or most moderate D candidate, a poster wrote in 4chans /pol/ board, the sites politics focused board that has long been a nest of alt-right trolling. My state has an open primary, so I will vote for Yang just to fuck with the DNC, another wrote prior to Andrew Yang dropping out of the race.

Other boards on 4chan have encouraged people to vote for Sanders, reasoning that he is the candidate most likely to bring about a collapse of the United States current order and political systems. (Other users have accused anonymous posters advocating for this accelerationist approach as disingenuous pro-Bernie shills.) Some have encouraged voting for weaker performing candidates like Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg to help sustain their campaigns and drag out the competitive primary season.

While Limbaugh initially called his 2008 campaign a success, when he has touted it recently he has done so in less certain terms.Actually, it may have worked in Indiana, Limbaugh said on his show in January, before saying that the plots real value was how it got inside Democrats headsa claim thats virtually impossible to measure. At any rate, the Democrats were made paranoid by it, he claimed last month.Theyve never gotten over it.

Clinton did win Indiana over Obama, but her victory was in with what polls at the time suggested how that primary would play out and with results in other states with similar demographics. Democrats and other political observers were skeptical Limbaughs sabotage plan made a difference, and academic research since has found that his efforts were a wash.

In separate studies, Frank Stephenson, an economics professor at Barry College, and Todd Donovan, a political science professor at Western Washington University, both concluded that Limbaughs Operation Chaos in 2008 had little to no impact on the race.

Analysis of exit poll data from 38 states suggests that Republicans may have been voting strategically in Democratic primaries, but there is little evidence that March 4th was unusual in the scope of strategic behavior, Donovan explains in the abstract of his paper. Stephenson, who looked at voting in four states, reached a similar conclusion.

Getting voters to turn out for candidates they actually like is already a difficult proposition. Getting voters to do it for candidates they dont like, even as an act of sabotage, is even harder.

Theres a collective action problem, Stephenson told Mother Jones. People like to talk about monkeying around in other parties elections, but it usually doesnt translate into anything in the real world. Many people dont even show up to vote for candidates that they already support.

According to Donovan, theres a fundamental problem for tricksters like Limbaugh who push such plots. Even if they were to lengthen the contest, evidence suggests that longer, drawn-out primaries dont hurt winning candidates when November comes. Studies have looked into if a contested, long nomination process has an effect on general. The conclusions are that it doesnt, Donovan said.

In a 2015 paper, Robert Hogan of Louisiana State University found that if combative primaries did have an effect, it was one in the opposite direction than anticipated by observers who assume they leave the winner weakened.

Greater divisiveness in a candidates primary leads to a higher vote share in the general election, Hogan concluded. The presence of a primary challenge is found to exert a substantial positive influence for a candidate in the general election, particularly in open seat contests.

Hogan chalks this up to the fact that primaries can help expose voters to far more information about the winning candidate than they would get in a shorter election. The finding suggests that even in cutthroat races, almost any exposure becomes good exposure by the time of the general election. In this way, Hogans analysis suggests that even if Limbaughs intervention had the effect he sought, it would have backfired.

If Limbaugh, one of the rights largest media figures who has a cult of personality and a near-fanatical base of millions of listeners, failed to have a measurable effect in 2008, its hard to believe that aninformal piece-mealed plot launched on fringe internet communities willmake a dent this year.

But 2020 is not 2008, and theres a chance key differences could make such trolling easier and more effective.

As Donovan noted, unlike in 2008, Republicans dont have a competitive election to vote in, potentially giving them more time and energy to raid Democratic elections. But he said he was still skeptical this would actually happen. (South Carolina Republicans canceled their presidential primary this yearprimaries for lower offices wont take place until June.)

Stephenson also pointed out that political movements are formed and shaped differently now than in 2008, with the proliferation of social media. Groups can raise and activate campaigns in diffuse and often little-noticed ways that were only just starting to take shape over a decade ago.

If theres a change, if this year is going to be different somehow, it could happen because of it being a social media environment, he said. Instead of Limbaugh instigating it, people on social media might do it. At the end of the day though, people still have to show up to votewhich is hard.

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4chan Thinks It Is so Smart, but Its Plan to Mess up the Democratic Primary Is Actually Incredibly Stupid. - Mother Jones

The Travesty of Comparing Jordan Peterson to Hitler – Merion West

(Chris Baamonde)

Not only ought Gabriel Andrade resist implying there are parallels to be found by Peterson and Hitler, but he also should keep in mind how many lives have been positively changed thanks to his ideas.

In a recent Merion Westarticle, Dr. Gabriel Andrade asserts that Jordan Peterson needs to think harder about the detrimental effects of his Nietzschean/Randian-inspired philosophy and must try harder to disavow some of the tendentious readings that people make of his words. Andrade depicts Ayn Rand as a substandard philosopher and Peterson as an inferior version of Randmore aptly a self help motivational coach, whose ideas resonate with young males and also some of the worst individuals in society, such as members of the alt-right.

Although Andrade wonders what all the hand-wringing surrounding [Peterson] is all about and may prefer the Cliffnotes version of his ideas, many fans view the Canadian psychologist as a modern-day hero. This is something Andrade seems to recognize when he contends that Peterson has seized the mantle as the new right-wing intellectual guru. In doing so, Peterson, according to Andrade, is filling the rights thirty year intellectual vacuum that has been in place since the death of Ayn Rand.

Unlike some of his peers, Andrade is very careful in how he structures his arguments. Although he never directly compares Peterson to Adolf Hitler, his assertions are fraught with innuendo as he leaps from one unsubstantiated claim to another. He points out that Nietzsche was not guilty of the way his philosophy was abused by the Nazis but that he gives credence to the thesis that his ideas did sow the seeds of totalitarianism. Andrade is also concerned that underneath all the talk about responsibility, order, and anti-political correctness, there may be something more sinister going on with Peterson, presumably given the fact that some members of the alt-right and Men Going Their Own Way are counted among Petersons supporters.

Most unfair of all, however, is when Andrade suggests Peterson might be encouraging thinking along the lines of: If you worry so much about being a Superman, then ultimately it is not so hard to conclude that weaklings must simply disappear from the face of the Earth. As such, Andrade engages in the very tactic some commentators, including Conrad Hamilton, have accused Peterson of: suggesting various implications about a writers work, while allowing enough distance to disavow said implications if they are explicitly suggested by readers.

Attempting to invalidate anothers position on the basis of direct or indirect insinuations that there is a comparison to be found with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party makes for an exercise in one of the least excusable of the logical fallacies: Reductio ad Hitlerum. Rachel Maddow, for instance, was one of the mainstream journalists to most notably turn Nazi comparisons into a political strategy. In her effort to equate Donald Trumps 2016 presidential campaign with the advent of a well organized national fascist party in America, she asserted that fascism was not just a word or a way to insult one with whom you disagree with. Maddow continued, it is a specific thinga specific form of far-right politics that involves a sort of narcissistic cult of superman action around the party.

In contrast, Princeton Professor Gianni Riotta warned in a January, 2016 Atlantic piece that though xenophobic rhetoric, demagoguery, and populist appeals certainly borrow from the fascist playbook, there is no fascism without a rational plan to obliterate democracy via a military coup. Riotta said that the fascists who marched on Rome in 1922 were relentlessly, violently focused on a clear goal: to kill democracy and install a dictatorship, which was clearly not a part of the Trump presidential campaign.

Moreover, the frivolous use of the word fascism, not only belittles past tragedies but also obscured future dangers. Since Maddows prime time codification of the newest iteration of Reductio ad Hitlerum in 2015, it has become a favorite tactic of many on the left. Politicians such asAlexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Beto ORourke, and Tom Steyers willy-nilly Hitler references are a terrible insult to the actual victims of Nazi genocide, yet they have recently been joined by entertainerssuch as Linda Ronstadt. They have done it to Trump, and now they do it to Peterson, the latter of whom evendevoted many of his own lectures to explaining how the evil of Hitler was truly unparalleled.

Not only ought Gabriel Andrade resist implying there are parallels to be found by Peterson and Hitler, but he also should keep in mind how many lives have been positively changed thanks to his ideas. For Andrade, who argues that Peterson, still has time to avoid going down the path of Ayn Rand and that his unchecked views may be promoting a world that few sensible people would want, I would counter that Andrade still has ample time toavoid going down the path of individuals whose negative fixations on Peterson have resulted in substandard scholarship.

Maybe, instead of belaboring a perceived failure of Peterson to disavow certain subsets of his readers, Andrade should disavow the absurd comparisons of thinkers one disagrees with (or disagrees in part with) to Hitler. So, Andrade writes that, many, many contemporary intellectuals who have far more interesting things to say than Peterson. Yet, after reading Andrades tired indulgence of a lazy logical fallacy,I am afraid that I can now say the same about Gabriel Andrade.

There is something Andrade can do to regain the credibility that he has lost in his latest article. It is to give Peterson the respect he deserves as a scholar and refrain from writing articles that reflect the very unhealthy conspiratorial thinking that Andradeclaims to oppose. Otherwise, Andrade risks continuing the collectivist drift of his thinking and accepting his destiny as a contributing author toEveryone I Dont Like Is Hitler: a Childrens Guide to Online Political Discussion.

But Andrade is correct about one thing; Peterson is someone truly resonating with people, and in turn, he is making some people very upset. All things considered, it is not Petersonthe person himselfthat causes many of his detractors to feel such revulsion and anger but, rather, the ideas he promotes, ideas that are a repudiation of the identity politics of the left.

It is not so much the messenger as it is the message. Peterson offers an alternative means of understanding the world for so many, thus diminishing the power of many on the left as a result. I believe that there is a faction within the left that supports a type of authoritarian progressivism as nefarious in all aspects as the kind that Peterson is accused of supporting. The left might not own the means of production, but it greatly controls much of the discourse in cultural institutions, the academic world, and the mass media. Anyone interfering with that process would be attacked similarly.

Free speech is just one of the ideas that Peterson and his detractors disagree on. It is an ironic twist of fate that Peterson is now the preeminent spokesperson for todays Free Speech Movement, which had its origins within the counterculture of the Left. Mario Savio was in many ways the Jordan Peterson of his era. He is considered to have been the voice of the Free Speech Movement, and, at one time, he wasunder investigation by the FBI.

In an address given at Sproul Hall, University of California in 1964, Savio asserted that:

Despite the protestations of those such as Andrade, for many (in the United States and around the world), the idea of the heroic protagonist is intrinsic to our identity. For those of us who strive to uphold the principles of individualism, Peterson is a genuine hero, a paragon of virtue, and a man of great moral courage. We are indebted to Peterson for drawing his line in the sandand doing what needed to be done in his effort to stop the machine. Little wonder that all his detractors have in response are the pettiest of cheap shots.

Tony D. Senatore graduated from Columbia University in 2017, at the age of 55. He is a well-known bassist and musician and can be reached attds2123@columbia.edu.

The artwork for this piece was contributed byChris Baamonde, who can be reached at chrisbaamonde@optonline.net.

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The Travesty of Comparing Jordan Peterson to Hitler - Merion West

Rose McGowan on Weinstein Verdict: "I Can Breathe for the First Time in Years" – Hollywood Reporter

The actress, filmmaker and activist, one of the first "silence breakers" to share her story, claiming that the mogul sexually assaulted her in a Park City hotel room in 1997, says: "Hopefully now this will be the first day of the rest of my life."

I'm currently sitting on my bed and I have my arm around my puppy Pearl Kali, a Havanese from Cuba named Kali after the warrior goddess. A therapist told me that I needed a puppy for chronic PTSD and so, here we are. I'm looking at her while staring at a horizon that I haven't seen since I was raped in 1997. I haven't had a free moment from this man since then.

God bless the women who testified: Annabella Sciorra, Miriam Haley, Jessica Mann, Dawn Dunning and Tarale Wulff and Lauren Young. I can imagine what it felt like for them to be on that stand because, essentially, its like standing there naked in front of the world, allowing people to put tiny pinpricks in you as they try to pull the skin off. Death by a thousand cuts during a trial that was reality versus gaslighting. Its brutal and harrowing but they were brave. Donna Rotunno, Harveys lawyer, came at them with this kind of wink to the incel movement and by using the same trigger words as the alt-right dudes. These women had to literally look at the belly of the beast while the beast that hurt them is standing behind the beast. It was a Herculean effort and there aren't enough words to describe how I feel for them or what I feel for them.

Justice is a privilege and thats a really twisted thing to say. Justice should be the norm, not a 2 percent conviction rate on rape cases. Most women, men, boys, girls or anybody who has ever been hurt myself included will never have that moment where they can sit across from the person who hurt them and point at them and say, That was the person who hurt me. Thats a privilege and thats a sick privilege to have. I wonder how long it would have taken if wed all been black or Latina? I have so many thoughts about the cultural aspect of it all, but theres also a personal aspect. It's two separate things for me and I haven't had as much opportunity to process the personal of it until now, until tonight, when I feel like I have the weight of a thousand boots off my back.

I can breathe now. Obviously, I breathe a minimal amount to stay alive but I've gotten used to living with such a weight on me. Now I feel that I can breathe for the first time in years. The weirdest part is I feel connected to the girl who walked in that hotel room that morning for a meeting, and I have not felt her for a long, long time. I mean, I know her because shes frozen in time in a few of the movies I made, but when I see pictures of myself from around that time, Im like, damn, she was a baby. Now, it feels like she and I are high-fiving. [Rose pauses and starts crying.] These are happy tears. I'm crying tears of relief for the first time.

It can be an extremely hard push as an activist or global re-educator, whatever you want to call it, trying to unwire millennia of tradition brought on a certain subject and yet being a trauma survivor myself who has to do the work that triggers an act of trauma. Gee, no wonder I short-circuit sometimes? But if somebody were to ask, is Rose more angry with Harvey or the complicity machine? I would definitely say the complicity machine because I do believe there's something deeply wrong with him that he'll never fix in his head.

Hopefully, now this will be the first day of the rest of my life as I attempt to see what life would have been like without someone trying to kill me or paint me as an insane person. I had an entire career before. I do a fuck ton of creative things besides talk about stupid Harvey Weinstein. Thats what I find exciting about this moment. I understand that people are terrified of me out there and I don't know what to do about them. I cant hold onto that because while I had to help take down their cult leader, its OK to not be in a cult, you know? I should know, I was in one. Its actually OK to say this is fucked up and I dont need someone like him in my life. What if its time for someone else to just come in and make amazing movies? I just feel, energy-wise, that the planet would be better off if he wasnt on it. Thats my hippie answer.

What I do know is that tonight, a predator is off the streets. Recently, Ive been watching new TV shows and movies and Ill see an actress and say to myself, Wow, he would have raped her. Thats totally his type. Now, I get to hope to God that these women will get to live their lives, have careers and do everything they want to do and achieve what they want to achieve. And I get to be centered and free. That's my gift.

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Rose McGowan on Weinstein Verdict: "I Can Breathe for the First Time in Years" - Hollywood Reporter

This Researcher Juggled Five Different Identities to Go Undercover With Far-Right and Islamist Extremists. Here’s What She Found – TIME

Wearing a blond wig and walking through the streets of central Vienna in October 2017, Julia Ebner reminded herself of her new identity: Jennifer Mayer, an Austrian philosophy student currently studying abroad in London. It was one of five different identities that Ebner, an Austrian researcher specialized in online radicalization and cumulative extremism, adopted in order to infiltrate far-right/Islamist extremist networks. That day in October, she met a local recruiter for Generation Identity (GI), the European equivalent of the American alt right, which is mostly an online political group that rejects mainstream politics and espouses ideas of white nationalism. GI is the main proponent of the Great Replacement Theory, the baseless idea that white populations are being deliberately replaced through migration and the growth of minority communities. The theory has inspired several recent extremist attacks, including the murder of 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand last March, and the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas last August, which left 22 people dead.

The meeting with GIs local leader proved to be significant. Ebner learned about how important the group considered social media for their strategy to expand and recruit members in schools, public baths and other public venues that young people visit. She found out that GI were planning to launch an App, Patriotic Peer, that would connect a silent majority (in the words of the leader), which was funded by donations from around the world.

Securing the meeting wasnt easy. It took several months of setting up credible accounts within the various GI networks online and a couple of weeks of messaging with GI members. But it was necessary for Ebners research: the 28-year-old is a resident research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based think-tank that develops responses to all forms of hate and extremism. She has advised the U.N., parliamentary working groups, frontline workers and tech firms on issues around radicalization, and her first book, The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism, was published in 2017.

Two years ago, Ebner started to feel like she had reached the limits of her insights into the world of extremism. She wanted to find out how extremists recruit members, how they mobilize them to commit violence, and why people join and stay in the movements. Ebner believed she could only get her answers by being a part of these groups. Over the past two years, she has spent much of her spare time talking to people on online forums. They include the Discord group, used by the alt-right to coordinate the violent Charlottesville rally in August 2017, the Tradwives (short for Traditional Wives), which is a network of some 30,000 far-right women, who perceive gender roles in terms of a market place where women are sellers and men buyers of sex, and an online trolling army, Reconquista Germanica, which were active in the 2017 German federal election.

Ebner, whose new book Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists is published Feb. 20, spoke with TIME about what she discovered. The conversation below has been edited for length and clarity.

Ebner: My first attempt of creating and maintaining a credible profile didnt work. I was kicked out of a group and had to start all over again.

I found switching between different identities stressful and confusing. Remembering exactly what I had said in my online profiles, previous chats and real-life conversations in these various roles could get challenging. Sometimes staying in my role and not being able to talk back as my real self was also difficult. There were many moments when I wanted to debunk a crazy conspiracy theory, or say youre not funny! instead of laughing at a racist joke, or convince younger members to cease their involvement with a group.

As youd imagine, I made made plenty of stupid mistakes. Dropping my real credit card was only one of them. Once I even signed an email with Julia instead of Jenni. Im not a professional MI5 agent, I did acting in high school but going undercover didnt come naturally to me.

I received some tips from a friend who has done undercover investigations himself and also trained people to infiltrate dangerous groups. I probably did appear nervous but I imagine most people who go to a first recruitment meeting with a white nationalist group leader probably would be, so I didnt think that it would be too suspicious.

In many cases, they offer an escape from loneliness and a solution to grievances or fears. A lot of the time it was a fear of a relative loss of status, which the networks blamed on migration and changing demographics. They offered easy explanations oversimplified rationalizations to complex social and political issues.

The networks also offered support, consolation and counselling. They can turn into a kind of family. Some people spend so much time online that I doubt they socialize in the real world.

On the surface, there was no clear profile. Users were from different age groups, social classes, educational backgrounds and depending on the group different ethnic backgrounds. The lowest common denominator was people who were in a moment of crisis. The recruiters did a good job of tailoring their propaganda to pick up vulnerable individuals. The Tradwives reached women who had relationship grievances, Islamist extremists recruited alienated Muslims whod experienced discrimination, and white supremacists exploited people who had security concerns.

It was a major part of the recruiters strategy. White supremacist networks, like the European far right, have a clear step-by-step radicalization manual, which they call recruiting strategies. The Tradwives, for example, made themselves seem like a self help group and I think thats what attracted even women from different ideological backgrounds, and even those who dont subscribe to traditional gender roles.

Some groups, the European Trolling Army for instance, had tightly-organized hierarchical structures. Neo-Nazi groups often have military-like structures, positions in the groups are even named after military ranks, and a person could rise to the top by running hate campaigns against political opponents.

Other networks, like the ones used by the perpetrator of Christchurch and the attack in Halle, Germany last October, had looser structures. They would get together on an opportunistic basis when they saw that something could be gained by cross-border cooperation. They use their own vocabulary and insider references when they decide to collaborate on a campaign or a media stunt. The Matrix is one of many internet culture references from Japanese anime to Taylor Swift. And they would be very effective at advancing these operations.

Far right groups have undergone a rebranding and have reframed the ideas held by traditional neo-Nazis. Generation Identity use euphemisms like ethno pluralism instead of racial segregation or apartheid, and combine video game language with racial slurs, creating their own satirical language.

Not only are extremist groups better at spreading their real ideologies behind satirical memes, theyre also being given a platform by politicians. Language which mirrors that used by proponents of conspiracy theories like the Great Replacement are retweeted by politicians and repeated in their campaigns. This is likely to become more prevalent in the next few months in the run up to the U.S. presidential election. The 2016 U.S. election proved to be one of the key turning points in uniting far right groups globally.

Trans-Atlantic cooperation between the far right in Europe and the alt right in the U.S. has been growing. Some of the ideologies that inspired the GI and other far right groups have been propagated by leading far right figures in the U.S. And the European far right have adopted some of the strategies of gamification and propaganda used by the Americans alt right. They both see themselves as fighters in a war against white genocide or the Great Replacement and there is loyalty between them that makes the idea of ultra nationalism obsolete.

One of the biggest problems is in the infrastructure of social media and tech companies. Algorithms give priority to content that maximises our attention and to content that causes anger and indignation. Its like handing a megaphone to extremists. Its allowed fringe views to get a much bigger audience. Developments in deepfakes, cyber warfare and hacking campaigns are likely to help extremists to refine their strategies.

Firstly, we need a global legal framework that forces all the tech companies not just the big ones but also the fringe networks, like 8chan and 4chan to remove content that could inspire terrorism. After the shootings in Christchurch and Halle, the documents the manifestos left behind by perpetrators were translated into several languages and shared on the fringe corners of the internet. We need a global approach because people can always find a way to circumvent national laws.

But content removal alone wont work. In my book I suggest 10 solutions for 2020; this includes more digital literacy programs in education settings, which can enhance critical thinking skills, help Internet users to spot manipulation and ultimately weaken extremists. We also need more deradicalization projects that use social media analyses to identify and engage with radicalized individuals. Counter-disinformation initiatives with the help of fact checkers and social media campaigners could be formed, as they have done in the Baltics, to debunk online manipulation.

Technology and society are intertwined. So, our response has to be integrated. We need an alliance across not only politicians and tech firms, but civil society and social workers.

Thank you! For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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This Researcher Juggled Five Different Identities to Go Undercover With Far-Right and Islamist Extremists. Here's What She Found - TIME

The NY Post Published 12 AOC Stories In One Day – BuzzFeed News

AOC clapped back on Twitter.

Posted on February 23, 2020, at 10:42 a.m. ET

It's safe to say she has their attention.

The New York Post published an astonishing 12 separate stories about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday.

"AOC is clothes-minded in luxe designer dress on The View," read the first story published by the New York City tabloid.

Ten stories later, the final headline read, "AOC says Thomas Jefferson 'was a progressive' president."

In between, there were stories on her singing along to Bon Jovi while on a road trip, criticizing Fox News and Hillary Clinton, and reviewing Flamin' Hot Cheetos.

A review of the Post's tag for the liberal lawmaker shows they usually write one AOC story every few days, so the sheer volume on Saturday stood out.

The tabloid's Twitter account, @nypost, tweeted them out one by one in just a matter of hours something that caught the eye of many observers online.

People wondered why the newspaper was so obsessed with AOC.

The prevalence of AOC stories and content across media and social media is not a new phenomenon. A BuzzFeed News analysis found more than 40,000 posts about her on Gab, a favored platform for the alt-right.

The liberal lawmaker has also been compared to Trump with respect to how she uses social media in order to dominate the mainstream media conversation.

New York Post Editor-in-Chief Stephen Lynch didn't respond to a request for comment, nor did reporter Jon Levine, who wrote the vast majority of the AOC stories on Saturday.

But the reason for the large volume of Post stories on Saturday appeared to be quite simple: Levine watched several old Facebook Live videos AOC had made several years ago and chose to write 10 individual small stories, rather than one large one, so they could each travel separately with their own headlines.

Hours after the stories were published online and caught people's attention, staff at the New York Post changed the headlines of Levine's posts to brand them as "The AOC Tapes," presumably to make clear that they were part of a series.

One story not by Levine and which was ratioed to high hell on Twitter criticized the democratic socialist for wearing a dress by designer Rickie Freeman that was selling at Saks Fifth Avenue for $232, marked down from $580.

Many of the replies castigated the paper for their fashion critique.

Others wondered if male politicians deserve the same scrutiny for their sartorial choices.

But others still subscribed to the Post's assessment that AOC was being hypocritical.

Seeking to clarify things and dunk on the Post, AOC wrote on Twitter that she doesn't buy most of her clothes outright.

She also criticized the double standard when it comes to the clothes worn by male politicians.

After her tweets, the Post updated their story to make clear AOC had rented the dress.

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The NY Post Published 12 AOC Stories In One Day - BuzzFeed News

White supremacists spread propaganda in the Lehigh Valley in 2019, ADL reports – lehighvalleylive.com

Last year was the first year in recent memory with credible reports of white supremacist groups spreading propaganda around the Lehigh Valley and Warren County, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL this month announced that distribution of white supremacist literature including racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ fliers, stickers and posters increased across the nation in 2019 with 2,713 cases, up from 1,214 the year before.

There were five documented instances of such literature locally from so-called alt-right groups.

The group Patriot Front was reportedly behind two instances last October in Allentown, including one reported on the Muhlenberg College campus. Two other occurrences in Bethlehem and Mansfield Township were from the New Jersey European Heritage Association, which the ADL says is trying to expand beyond the Garden State. Fliers with the logo of Identity Evropa, now known as the American Identity Movement or AIM, were seen in Hackettstown.

The ADL began tracking such propaganda in 2016. Similar fliers may have appeared in the Lehigh Valley before 2019 but the ADL may not have received a credible report before, according to spokesman Jake Hyman.

The organization tracks propaganda and other extremist activity on its HEAT Map, which stands for hate, extremism, anti-Semitism and terrorism. The map also documents anti-Semitic incidents in the Lehigh Valley since 2016 there were four reported in 2019, even with the two prior years and down from five in 2017.

NOTE: If you do not see the map and charts above, try opening this post in your Internet browser.

Steve Novak may be reached at snovak@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveNovakLVL and Facebook. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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White supremacists spread propaganda in the Lehigh Valley in 2019, ADL reports - lehighvalleylive.com

Documentary that examines recent rise of anti-Semitism in U.S. and globally will open in NYC on Friday – amNY

A new documentary explores the rising rates of anti-Semitism in recent years, both in the U.S. and across the globe, comparing the hate to a virus that can have different forms and spread anywhere.

Viral: Antisemitism In Four Mutations, directed by filmmaker Andrew Goldberg, opens in New York City on Feb. 21 at Village East Cinema, 181-189 Second Ave.

The film opens with a narration by actress Julianna Margulies, saying that anti-Semitism started a long time ago, and is based on lies about Jews being evil, conspiring and enemies of God. The lie evolved and spread like a virus, and still does, Margulies says.

The first section focuses on the far right in America, including the 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 people. The film takes a quick look at the history of anti-Semitism in America, before discussing the recent rise of incidents since the 2016 presidential campaign and Donald Trumps rise to power.

Survivors of the Tree of Life shooting are interviewed, and describe the horror of that day. A former white supremacist says that people frustrated with their lives can be the best targets for recruitment.

Former president Bill Clinton is also interviewed, noting that hate can spread on the internet and economic stagnation and a feeling of powerlessness can make people vulnerable to hateful ideologies. When a group is needed to be blamed, it often falls on the Jewish people, noted several people interviewed, including journalist Fareed Zakaria and commentator George Will.

The rise of Donald Trump and nationalism was important for the alt-right, who were previously in the distance and without encouragement, according to Jonathan Weisman, author of (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump.

They saw in the rise of American nationalism and in the rise of Donald trump a kindred spirit, says Weisman in the film.

The films other sections look at anti-Semitism in Hungary, with the nationalist government waging a campaign of blame and hate against investor and philanthropist George Soros; the far left in the United Kingdom, where there were widespread charges of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn; and Islamic radicalism in France, which has a high rate of anti-Semitic incidents, including a shooting at a kosher supermarket in Paris in 2015 where four victims were killed.

Despite different circumstances in each location, director Andrew Goldberg said they all shared some common themes of conspiracies such as Jewish people being in power behind the scenes. We had these four very specific examples where we felt it worked well, theyre so different yet they share so many of the same ideas, Goldberg told amNewYork Metro.

Goldberg said that some of the anti-Semitic movements can seem like abstract ideas, but it had an impact when he went to Hungary and saw all of the signs against George Soros and the extent of the propaganda campaign against him. You realize how enormous it is, Goldberg said. That was really eye-opening for us.

He said the situation in France, including the supermarket shooting, was entirely heartbreaking, and that everyone in the crew was upset during the interview with Valerie Braham, who walked through the ongoing pain of her husband Philippe Braham being killed in the supermarket attack. That was a very emotional interview, Goldberg said.

In terms of the global waves of anti-Semitism, Goldberg said, It has to get worse before it gets better.

He said he was asked if he would include recent waves of anti-Semitic attacks in New York City, where he lives, but the film had already been completed. Thats another example of the mutation of this virus, Goldberg said, and added that the film could have included 400 mutations but chose to focus on four.

When first putting the film together, Goldberg said he thought that ideas might emerge about how to combat the rise of anti-Semitism, but he quickly realized, thats beyond our capabilities to come up with something usable, he said. We like to think an informed population is the best first step.

More information about the documentary can be found at viralthefilm.com.

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Documentary that examines recent rise of anti-Semitism in U.S. and globally will open in NYC on Friday - amNY

Who Is Kaitlin Bennett, And Why Did Her Liberty Hangout Promote Holocaust Denial? – Snopes.com

Right-wing social media personality and trollKaitlin Bennett was the focus of a protest on Feb. 17, 2020, when students gathered and demanded she leave the Ohio University, Athens campus, where she and her entourage said they were attempting to film a video.

Bennett, who has served as a contributor to the Alex Jones conspiracy-peddling network InfoWars, is also the face of the far-right Liberty Hangout, which brands itself as the official home of Kaitlin Bennett and as a libertarian media outlet intent on promoting Austrian economics and property rights, although a recent tweet from the group promoted monarchy over democracy.

Bennett, who has previously stirred controversy by posting images of herself on social media posing with large guns, often on college campuses such as her alma mater Kent State in Ohio, is the founder of Kent States Liberty Hangout chapter, according to a university spokesperson.

Bennett is more recently known for conducting interviews for both Liberty Hangout and InfoWars in places where she is likely to encounter liberal-minded people in the hopes of instigating responses that entertain her right-wing audience. The results could be described as mixed at best, for her purposes, however. In January 2020, she was criticized for commentary that was viewed as hateful toward the transgender community.

Following a spate of news stories and social media posts about the Feb. 17 incident at Ohio University, several Snopes readers inquired about Bennett and one asked specifically, Did Kaitlin Bennetts group Liberty Hangout really tweet then delete these Nazi tweets?

Liberty Hangouts past social media statements have included homophobic commentary, asserting only the economically-privileged should be allowed to vote, and comparing themselves to Jesus.

A search of internet archiving tools confirmed that on Jan. 30, 2016, the Liberty Hangout Twitter account posted a poll asking other Twitter users to answer the question, Do you believe the Holocaust happened as weve been told? In response to that post, one user asked, What do you think and Liberty Hangout replied, It doesnt seem possible that 6 million were killed.

We contacted Liberty Hangout to ask who wrote and deleted the posts about the Holocaust, but received no response. We also reached out to Bennett via Facebook and received no response.

Holocaust denial is a key element in white supremacist ideology. It is defined by the Anti-Defamation League as:

A type of anti-Semitic propaganda that emerged after World War II and which uses pseudo-history to deny the reality of the systematic mass murder of six million Jews by the Nazis and their allies during World War II. Holocaust deniers generally claim that the Holocaust never happened, or that some much smaller number of Jews did die, but primarily to diseases like typhus. They also claim that legitimate accounts of the Holocaust are merely propaganda or lies generated by Jews for their own benefit.

Although no exact figure has been ascertained, there is no historical doubt that millions of Jews were targeted for genocide during the Holocaust. An estimated 6 million European Jews were mass murdered. Other groups were also targeted and killed over what the Nazis perceived as racial and biological inferiority, including Roma and Slavic people, members of the LGBT community, as well as the Nazis political opponents.

Liberty Hangout was co-founded in 2015 by Bennetts now-fiance Justin Moldow. It has long featured extreme commentary, including a number of pro-Confederacy posts. In 2018, Liberty Hangout published an article asserting that Its Time to Admit that Martin Luther King, Jr. Really Sucked. In February 2016, the group tweeted a meme depicting then-presidential candidate Donald Trump dressed in a Nazi uniform attached to the words Make Reich Great Again.

In 2015, Moldow interviewed Chris Cantwell, who gained notoriety as the Crying Nazi for his role in the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Cantwell as of this writing is in custody awaiting trial on charges that he made violent threats.

In September 2018, Bennett organized a rally at Kent State featuring Joey Gibson, the founder of the far-right, anti-Muslim group Patriot Prayer, best known for its provocation of violent skirmishes at rallies in the Pacific Northwest.

Provoking students on college campuses is not a new tactic. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the tactic has in recent years been favored by the far-right as a means of recruitment. Alt-right personalities know their cause is helped by news footage of large jeering crowds, heated confrontations and outright violence at their events. It allows them to play the victim and gives them a larger platform for their racist message. Denying an alt-right speaker of such a spectacle is the worst insult they can endure.

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Who Is Kaitlin Bennett, And Why Did Her Liberty Hangout Promote Holocaust Denial? - Snopes.com

‘Breitbart’ Editor in Chief Alex Marlow Coming to University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati CityBeat

Alex MarlowPhoto: Gage Skidmore

Conservative student group Young Americans for Freedom's University of Cincinnati chapteris bringing Breitbart Editor in Chief Alex Marlow to the UC campus to discuss "Division in America and What to Do About It."

The event takes place 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 at the Engineering Research Center Auditorium; doors are 6:30 p.m.

The stated goal of YAF UC is "to promote to youth the principles of limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, a strong national defense, and traditional conservative values."

And the Marlow event description on Facebook reads:

Called perhaps the most significant media figure in America, Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow brings his media expertise to the political division plaguing America. He will discuss the lessons learned from media legend Andrew Breitbart on living and winning in a divided country, and how Breitbart News Network does it everyday. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions during the following question and answer portion.

Alex Marlow joined Breitbart News as the organization's first employee in 2008, working closely with Andrew Breitbart until his death in 2012. Marlow ascended to the top of the Breitbart masthead in 2013 at just 27 and remains the youngest top editor of a major media publication in the United States. He also hosts "Breitbart News Daily" on SiriusXM 125, the Patriot Channel; and has been featured on the covers of "Time" and "Newsweek" and on Forbes Magazine's 30 under 30 list. While originally from Los Angeles, Marlow a U.C. Berkeley graduate now lives in Washington, D.C. with his family.

Doors open at 6:30 pm. Event begins at 7:00 pm.Venue: Engineering Research Center, University of CincinnatiParking: paid parking at Woodside Garage or Campus Green Garage on University of Cincinnati campus

Breitbartwas formerly helmed byexecutive chairmanSteve Bannon, who once referred to site as the "platform for thealt-right,"before he joined President Donald Trump's election campaign in 2016. Popular conservative pundit Ben Shapiro was an editor at Breitbart from 2012 to 2016. The controversial site also served as a platform for right-wing lightning rod Milo Yiannopoulos, once a Breitbart senior editor.

Breitbart has written extensively about "free speech on college campuses" and seems to thrive on controversy related to its allegations of left-wing bias at universities. In 2017, a talk at the University of California, Berkeley by Yiannopouloswas canceled due to massive protests. Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart shortly after, following the surfacing of a video in which he said relationships between younger boys and older men can be hugely positive experiences."

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'Breitbart' Editor in Chief Alex Marlow Coming to University of Cincinnati - Cincinnati CityBeat

Get your tickets now for Neil Gaiman in Conversation with N. K. Jemisin at Bard – Hudson Valley One

When N. K. Jemisins writings started getting nominated for Hugo and Nebula Awards circa 2010, she became one of the historically underrepresented black female speculative fiction authors singled out for verbal attack by a small cadre of World Science Fiction Society voters nostalgic for the days when only white male nominees were winning those prizes. Alleging a conspiracy to confer awards based on affirmative action, some disappointed alt-right prize-seekers tried for five years running to stack the Hugo ballot in favor of the militaristic space-opera style that they preferred. Their efforts backfired spectacularly, with No Award beating their nominees in nearly all categories; and the most overtly racist and misogynistic of their leaders had his WSFS membership revoked after calling Jemisin an ignorant half-savage on social media.

Jemisins revenge at the hands of more forward-thinking science fiction authors and editors must have been sweet: The Fifth Season, the first volume of her epic-scale Broken Earth trilogy, won the Best Novel Hugo in 2016. The second volume, The Obelisk Gate, took the award in 2017, as did the third volume, The Stone Sky, in 2018. It was the first and only time that an author has won the Best Novel award three years in a row, or for all the installments of a series. And those votes werent simply payback to some toxic reactionaries. The Stone Sky also copped a Nebula Award, widely regarded as the more literary annual high-profile science fiction prize (as opposed to the Hugos being seen as a popularity contest). Jemisins work is lauded by her peers at least as much for its elegant writing and powerful worldbuilding as for its thought-provoking treatment of politically and sociologically relevant issues such as genocide and climate change.

In her acceptance speech for her third Hugo, Jemisin said of the naysayers who suggest that I do not belong on this stage, that people like me cannot possibly have earned such an honor, that when they win it its meritocracy but when we win it its identity politics I get to smile at those people, and lift a massive, shining, rocket-shaped middle finger [the Hugo trophy] in their direction. But she also cited the little voice inside me that constantly, still, whispers that I should just keep my head down and shut up and let the real writers talk. That nagging symptom of impostor syndrome is an affliction shared by another multi-Hugo-winning author, Neil Gaiman, who will welcome Jemisin to the stage of the Sosnoff Theater in the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on the Bard College campus on Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m.

This event marks a welcome resumption of the always-stimulating In Conversation With series that Gaiman began hosting when he joined the Bard arts faculty in 2014. For a while there was one each spring and fall semester, featuring such eminent artist guests as Laurie Anderson, Art Spiegelman, Armistead Maupin and Audrey Niffenegger and drawing attendees from far and wide. But sadly, for the past couple of years, the Conversations have been on hiatus. Gaiman has been spending most of his time in his native England, performing the all-consuming duties of showrunner on the Amazon Prime Video dramatization of Good Omens, the novel he and the late Terry Pratchett co-wrote in 1990 about a demon and an angel who join forces to avert the impending Apocalypse because theyve grown fond of living among humans.

Good Omens is done now; it was well-received on both sides of the Pond, with the chemistry between David Tennant and Michael Sheen in the lead roles drawing especial praise. At this writing, Gaiman is in Australia where his wife, singer/songwriter/musician Amanda Palmer, is wrapping up a concert tour. Hell soon be back at his home base in Woodstock, resuming his teaching responsibilities at Bard, and the Conversations are back on. Between the affable host and his stellar choice of guest, this live event promises fans of speculative fiction a most enjoyable evening of freewheeling talk. Jemisin has a brand-new novel, The City We Became, coming out in March, but shell be available to sign other works in the lobby following the program, courtesy of Oblong Books.

Tickets to Neil Gaiman in Conversation with N. K. Jemisin cost $25 general admission, $5 for Bard undergrads and can be obtained by calling the Fisher Center box office at (845) 758-7900 or visiting http://fishercenter.bard.edu. May 2 may seem a long way off, but this show should sell out quickly, so act now.

Neil Gaiman/N. K. JemisinSaturday, May 2, 7:30 p.m., $25/$5Fisher Center for the Performing ArtsBard College, Annandale-on-Hudson(845) 758-7900, http://fishercenter.bard.edu

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Get your tickets now for Neil Gaiman in Conversation with N. K. Jemisin at Bard - Hudson Valley One

‘The playbook is the American alt-right’: Bolsonaristas follow familiar extremist tactics – The Guardian

When Jair Bolsonaros culture secretary published an official video paraphrasing Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, it wasnt just Brazilians who were stunned. The video, in which Roberto Alvim called for a rebirth of art and culture in Brazil while Adolf Hitlers favourite Wagner opera played in the background, sent shockwaves around the world.

Alvim was sacked within hours, as Brazilians asked: was this an aberration, a one-off, or even a communist trick? And what did it say about the far right presidents communications masterplan?

Analysts said the use of such extremist tactics is typical of the brinksmanship, trolling and meme tactics used by the US alt-right who are often referenced by powerful members of Bolsonaros government.

The term alt-right was popularised by white supremacist Richard Spencer and has been linked to Stephen Miller, a white nationalist and senior adviser to Donald Trump who has himself benefited from far-right support and at times nodded to it.

Pushing the limits and goading liberals are classic alt-right tactics, said Rodrigo Nunes, a political philosophy professor at Rio de Janeiros Pontifical Catholic University.

This is done in the US by people on the fringes of the public debate, and here it is done by people in the government, Nunes said. Sending messages to people in the most extreme fringes of the far right.

Alvim denied knowing he had quoted Goebbels. Brazilian media reported that he was well aware that he was echoing Hitlers propaganda minister and even joked he would be called a Nazi.

The playbook is the American alt-right, Nunes said. In that sense, Brazil is the first alt-right government in the world.

Its not hard to find other such rightwing dog-whistle messages around Bolsonaros government.

His congressman son, Eduardo, and special adviser of international affairs Felipe Martins both have Twitter profile pictures which use a sci-fi, collage aesthetic called vaporwave or fashwave associated with the alt-right.

Martins profile quotes Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night the Dylan Thomas poem quoted in the manifesto of far-right terrorist Brenton Tarrant, accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch mosque attacks.

These are common tropes, said Alexandra Minna Stern, a professor in the American Culture department at the University of Michigan and author of Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate. In turn, the US alt-right is interested in Brazil because they like Jair Bolsonaro and the way he and his supporters have used social media, she said.

Another alt-right favourite is the Latin phrase deus vult (God wills it) a Crusader slogan which has often been used by figures in the alt-right as well as Alvim and foreign minister Ernesto Arajo.

The Bolsonaros also use offensive statements to distract media attention from damaging scandals. In the past month alone, the president told a reporter he looked terribly like a homosexual as explosive details about a money laundering inquiry into his senator son Flvio swirled. Last week, he said on Facebook live that Indigenous people are increasingly becoming human beings just like us.

Thats part of the spectacle, like the shock and awe going on in the US, said Stern.

Like Trump, leading Bolsonaristas are good at plausible deniability making an extreme comment, then withdrawing it or claiming it was misconstrued.

Eduardo Bolsonaro and finance minister Paulo Guedes have both said Brazil could reintroduce notoriously repressive legislation from Brazils military dictatorship if street protests like those in Chile were to erupt. Both later backed off, but the subject had entered the national conversation.

And while Alvims conservative art competition has been suspended, many Bolsonaristas still believe that Brazilian culture is decadent, infested with leftist ideals, and in need of a conservative transformation.

Its back to Nazi ideas of what is degenerate art, how young families are being corrupted, Stern said. [The idea] is out there and its entering the discourse.

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'The playbook is the American alt-right': Bolsonaristas follow familiar extremist tactics - The Guardian

Its okay to be white posters put up in Bristol city centre – The Independent

A number of posters with the phrase "it's okay to be white" have appeared around Bristol city centre since Monday.

The posters, which feature no other messaging or branding, have been criticised on social media and by residents.

Students from the University of Bristol have taken to Twitter to express their anger.One said: These posters have been put up on campus. My university, ladies and gentlemen.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

A University of Bristol spokesperson toldThe Independentthey were asking people to take them down and contact security services if seen on university premises, although said currently they are only aware of those in the wider city.

A lecturer in criminology from the University, Dr Victoria Canningtold The Independent that she first saw one of the messages on a lamppost in Park Street in central Bristol on Tuesday morning. She walks the route regularly and hadnt seen it before.

I really dont want to give it airtime but this is obviously following on from things like the appearance of Laurence Fox on Question Time, there is a correlation, she says. Dr Canning says she heard other posters were elsewhere but were removed quickly by students.

A young boy holds a placard reading 'migration is beautiful' during the march against racism demonstration in London.

Getty

Protesters rally in Warsaw under the slogan 'Tired of racism and fascism'.

AFP/Getty

An anti-racism demostrators chants with chains around his neck during a march against racism.

Getty

People getting ready to march against racism in Vienna.

Twitter/Wriseup

Anti-racism demonstrators take part in a rally through the city centre of Glasgow.

Getty

An anti-racism demostrator holds a placard readin 'Laundry is the only thing that should be seperated by colour'.

Getty Images

Thousand of protesters demonstrate against police brutality and in defense of migrants and those without papers in Paris.

EPA

Anti-racism demostrators hold placards and chant during a march organised by the group Stand Up to Racism as an expression of unity against racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

Getty

A girl poses for a photo during a rally against the EU-Turkey deal blocking mass migration into Europe in Athens.

AP

Aamer Anwar a prominent Scottish lawyer joins an Anti-racism rally through Glasgow city centre.

Getty

Anti-racism demostrators hold placards and chant in London's march against racism.

Getty

A man in Glasgow holds a banner reading 'refugees welcome'.

Getty

Anti-racism demostrators let off flares during the march against racism in London.

Getty

A protester in a grim reaper disguise holds a shield reading 'State racism, no impunity for police brutality against those without papers' in Paris.

EPA

Migrants who live in Greece chant slogans during a rally against the EU-Turkey deal blocking mass migration into Europe, in Athens.

AP

A young boy holds a placard reading 'migration is beautiful' during the march against racism demonstration in London.

Getty

Protesters rally in Warsaw under the slogan 'Tired of racism and fascism'.

AFP/Getty

An anti-racism demostrators chants with chains around his neck during a march against racism.

Getty

People getting ready to march against racism in Vienna.

Twitter/Wriseup

Anti-racism demonstrators take part in a rally through the city centre of Glasgow.

Getty

An anti-racism demostrator holds a placard readin 'Laundry is the only thing that should be seperated by colour'.

Getty Images

Thousand of protesters demonstrate against police brutality and in defense of migrants and those without papers in Paris.

EPA

Anti-racism demostrators hold placards and chant during a march organised by the group Stand Up to Racism as an expression of unity against racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

Getty

A girl poses for a photo during a rally against the EU-Turkey deal blocking mass migration into Europe in Athens.

AP

Aamer Anwar a prominent Scottish lawyer joins an Anti-racism rally through Glasgow city centre.

Getty

Anti-racism demostrators hold placards and chant in London's march against racism.

Getty

A man in Glasgow holds a banner reading 'refugees welcome'.

Getty

Anti-racism demostrators let off flares during the march against racism in London.

Getty

A protester in a grim reaper disguise holds a shield reading 'State racism, no impunity for police brutality against those without papers' in Paris.

EPA

Migrants who live in Greece chant slogans during a rally against the EU-Turkey deal blocking mass migration into Europe, in Athens.

AP

The its okay to be white messaging originated on internet forum 4/Chan in 2017 and was conceived as a US poster campaign to create a left-wing media backlash in response to a harmless message.

The posters appeared at universities across America, including the University of California, University of Washington and University of Regina in Canada.

They were widely supported by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, as well as alt-right figures including former Klu Klax Klan grand wizard David Duke.

The sightings in Bristol are the first time they have appeared in England, after a brief spate in Scotland: in Dundee in September 2019 and then Perth in December. Police Scotland confirmed they were looking into the matter.Scotland's deputy first minister John Swinney condemned them.

Dr Canning says the posters need to be criticised even if outrage does play directly into the hands of the creators.

She says: To try and orchestrate outrage to then suppress it is a form of social silencing the very people who point the finger and say you are hysterical are the ones creating these mechanisms to silence us because no one wants to speak out against them.

She also disagrees with the idea that the slogan is a harmless message. This is only a harmless message if we choose to ignore structural inequalities. We dont live in an era of equality.

There has to be a recognition by society that although white working classes can experience problems, such as the impact of austerity, these are largely economic problems. For non-white people they experience additional problems of criminalisation and racism, like stop and search.

Saying that is not to say that [white people] dont experience social harms but there are specific things that white people do not experience, she says.

Dr Canning says it concerns her that the white victim construct - which was previously restricted to far-right narratives - is becoming more widely accepted by disillusioned people.

In times of austerity we arent looking up for the people causing us problems but looking around us and those fractures grow.

I remember years ago there were protests at the suggestion Nick Griffin would go on Question Time as a representative of the BNP. Things have shifted since then, she adds.

Dr Canning says it is also interesting that they have chosen to post them in Bristol. It is interesting that someone has chosen to put it up in Bristol which is generally seen as a liberal, left-leaning city, she says.

The slogan was also used on t-shirts sold by British far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, and has been tied to the All Lives Matter campaign.

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Its okay to be white posters put up in Bristol city centre - The Independent

Spoken Word muddies the issue of consent – Chicago Reader

Playwright and MPAACT founding member Shepsu Aakhu was inspired to write this campus sexual assault drama by a conversation initiated by one of his two college-aged sons, "two Black males living a life completely free from my daily protection." The fear he has on behalf of his family is palpable and, regrettably, well-sourcedconversations about the prevalence of misogyny and assault on universities often sidestep the reality that young Black men in this country still live under an unjust cloud of suspicion. And yet, as justified as Aakhu's anxiety is, the politics and attitudes behind Spoken Word are virtually indistinguishable from those found on men's rights forum comment sections, amounting to a panicked screed against the very idea of verbal consent.

If that reads as loaded or unfair, consider the plot here: Izzy (Jelani Pitcher) and Paris (Nadia Pillay), two young adultskids, reallyhave a clumsy but ultimately consensual (if nonverbal) attempt at sex. Misinterpreting her roommate's caginess about that night, a white SJW caricature (seemingly inked by alt-right favorite Ben Garrison) puts Izzy on social media blast, making him a pariah on campus.

After days of silence, Parishand in hand with Izzynotifies the college administration that no assault occurred, but a cartoonishly villainous administrator admonishes them both and insists the young man face consequences despite the supposed victim clearly stating no wrongdoing occuredbecause the word "yes," this play's other antagonist, wasn't spoken. Director Lauren "LL" Lundy's production features some strong performances, particularly by Veronda G. Carey as a dean (who sees no conflict of interest in sitting on the board overseeing her son's case), but the script's improbabilities cast an ugly pall over the whole affair.v

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Spoken Word muddies the issue of consent - Chicago Reader

Trump supporting congressman bizarrely claims AOC wants to ‘force you to eat nothing but kale and quinoa’ – indy100

Staunch Trump supporter, alt-right sympathiser and GOP congressman Matt Gaetzfound himself a cosy spot in his happy place: Fox News.

And because middle-aged Republican men are literally obsessed with everything AOC(as are we, tbf) that was the topic of conversation. Specifically, her comments last week that the Democratic party is a "center or center-conservative party."

In response, Gaetzcalled her "a socialist" (he also called her "Alex" which we suppose is better than when he kept calling her "attractive"). The actual dictionary definition of socialism relates to the means of production being controlled by a collective (such as the government) as opposed to individuals. But Gaetz had an altogether different definition which we've never heard of, and are pretty sure would be pretty baffling to Marx too.

She wants to fundamentally change everything, where unless the government is forcing you to eat nothing but kale and quinoa while you're riding around on your non-gender specific unicorn to your next Pocahontas rain dance, you're just not woke enough.

The clip has been widely circulated on Twitter overnight after it was posted yesterday by the actual show it was aired on. Somehow they must have thought it made them look good...

Delightfully, it appears to have backfired.

Gaetz might like to know that actually quinoa is now problematic and unicorns are genderless anyway. Next time maybe he could find a more accurate cliche.

Original post:

Trump supporting congressman bizarrely claims AOC wants to 'force you to eat nothing but kale and quinoa' - indy100

A YouTube Doc Exposes What Went Down at the "Unite the Right" Rally – Hyperallergic

From Charlottesville: The True Alt-Right

Since 2017s notorious Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, everybody wants to make a movie about white supremacists. Taika Waititi made one. Terrence Malick made one. Christian Petzold made one. Spike Lee, characteristically, made the most pointed one, ending BlacKkKlansman with a smash cut to real footage of the carnage in Charlottesville. But as these filmmakers mythologize the past in order to warn about history repeating itself, the narrative of the present is actively being rewritten by the alt-right (or as theyll be referred to here, Nazis) in an effort to cover their tracks and obfuscate the truth. We disavow Nazism or were nonviolent, the Nazis say; there were very fine people on both sides, the president says.

With this in mind, the threat that Charlottesville confronts us with is a subject perhaps best suited for documentary, a form that at least aspires to convey a more concrete sense of truth. And I posit that the most definitive and vital documentary about Charlottesville (as well as Neo-Nazism more broadly) is the almost hour-long YouTube video Charlottesville: The True Alt-Right, made by the popular video essayist known only as Shaun.

Because todays Nazis tend to be extremely online as a recruitment strategy, plenty of footage exists of the event by way of various live streams (some extant, some since deleted) filmed by the Nazis themselves. In The True Alt-Right, Shauns mission statement is simple: We should look at it. You cant get more truthful than a direct video of the event, after all, he says. Working in a uniquely 21st-century form of found footage, Shaun pieces together on-the-ground footage, after-the-fact interviews, still images, and text from the police report to construct a full and unflinching picture of the days oft-disputed events.

For the first half of the video, Shaun introduces his cameramen of intersecting Nazi streamers and traces their advancement into Charlottesvilles Emancipation Park, alternating between dynamic ground-level video footage and a flat, birds-eye view of the obviously flawed police action plan. This contextualizes the Nazis increasingly violent actions against counterprotestors, as last-minute changes to the plan sent them marching into the exact wrong location the designated counter-protest zone with no police escorts or intervention policy for when conflicts arose.

Shaun parses these dense bureaucratic documents and cryptofascist character constellations with his trademark droll, sardonic narration, which makes for a strangely compelling and often amusing experience. This is a big part of his appeal as a video essayist. (Im partial to the moment when he introduces Mike Enoch, host of the podcast The Daily Shoah, as a lovely chap after a bit of a pause.)

Most of Shauns work is visually sparse by design. Hell occasionally display text that the viewer can read along with his narration, but often his videos will rest on a static image of a skull wearing sunglasses over a dull grey background, leaving it to his dulcet tones to hold the viewers attention. Charlottesville, however, is energized by a strong sense of visual language.

The best examples of this can be found in the middle section, when Shaun reads over still images of police documentation as the Nazi cameramen and the counterprotestors gradually find themselves in greater conflict. Although no act of violence or moment of unrest is commented on directly, the viewers attention is continually drawn by the busyness of the visuals, with skirmishes often breaking out just beneath the still images or at the very edge of the frame.

The video Shaun works with here is extremely low-res, captured on always-in-motion smartphones in broad daylight and constantly compressed by limited live stream upload speeds. The images are blurry, pixelated, and sometimes datamoshed to hell. No artistic choices were happening in the creation of this footage, but the spartan, handheld quality is accidentally perfect, capturing the ugliness of an infamous day when digital hate found corporeal form and shed real blood. Its the most visceral artifact of what happened there that were ever likely to have.

Shauns approach also allows him to play a game of Spot the Swastika (or Swastika-Adjacent Iconography), the vast array of which on display here debunks the post-hoc Nazi talking point (parroted by Donald Trump) that not all of those people were white supremacists. They were or at the very least, they were content to join forces with them. The acceptable amount of Swastika flags at the rally, Shaun says, would be zero If youre willing to walk under a Nazi flag with a bunch of Nazis and make no effort to disagree with them or counter the things they say, then youre a Nazi.

In the final stretch of Charlottesville: The True Alt-Right, Shaun provides a rhetorical analysis of the dialogue recorded on these streams, which should dispel any lingering doubts regarding exactly what these people hope to achieve. Before presenting a four-minute montage of the conversations these Nazis have in private, he utilizes a technique unique to YouTube as a medium: He invites his viewer to skip forward to a certain time-stamped moment if theyd prefer not to experience an uninterrupted onslaught of hate speech. Skipping this, however, would mean missing the most mask-off moment of the entire project: a man leading a call-and-response of Gas the k*kes, race war now! The man calls this the first precept of the true alt-right.

This video should serve as a wake-up call for people to understand just how seriously to take the reemergence of Nazism in America, especially as they continually attempt to rehabilitate their image. This is exactly how we should remember these people, Shaun says in the final minutes. Charlottesville: The True Alt-Right stands as a testament to that memory.

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A YouTube Doc Exposes What Went Down at the "Unite the Right" Rally - Hyperallergic

The right wing thinks there are more trans murderers than trans murder victims – LGBTQ Nation

This Aug. 17, 2015 photo provided by Randall Jenson, lead advocate of the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, shows an altar made by the friends of Tamara Dominguez during a memorial service for her at her home. Dominguez was run over multiple times and left to die on a Kansas City street. Photo: Randall Jenson, Kansas City Anti-Violence Project via AP

One thing you can guarantee about the right wing: When it comes to LGBTQ issues, it has an uncanny ability to turn reality on its head. The latest example is typically offensive. According to a new bogus report, the problem isnt transgender women getting murdered. The problem is that they are much more likely to be murderers.

The website National Justice describes the epidemic of anti-trans violence as a myth created by the controlled press as a result of transmania. The site argues that because only 24 cases of trans women being murdered have been documented by activists, the actual rate of homicide is less than half than that of the average American.

Of course, just because there are only 24 known casesdoesnt mean there have been only 24 murders.(In fact there have been at least 25, and those are just the cases that we know of.) Police often dont identify a victim as transgender, so theres no way to capture an accurate tally of the victims. Moreover, theres no national database from which to draw accurate information. Finally, some cases simply go unreported.

But in its quest to score points, the right is happy to dismiss murder victims. The low murder rate transgenders enjoy [!] is thanks to the plethora of specialized public and private employment, health, housing and other services they have in big cities, which average people have no access to, the report says.

All of which will comes as a big surprise to trans people who experience just the opposite on a daily basis.

Having identified the low, enjoyable murder rate, the article turns to the real problem: trans murderers. The report collects anecdotal stories about trans people committing crimes and somehow arrives at the conclusion that trans women are 58% more likely to be murderers than be murdered.

Its true that some murders are committed by transgender people. Its also true some murders are committed by clergy.People from all kinds of backgrounds commit murders.

But thats not the point for the right. The point is that the bigots are the real victims. Hence, the conclusion of the National Justice article:

The fact that a man is six times less likely to be killed if he takes female hormones and wears womens clothing is proof positive that its normal people who are in dire need of advocacy.

While it might be easy to dismiss an alt-right website as just another example of lunacy, the fact is that the lies those sites promulgate end up in places like Fox News. In a media environment where nothing is too crazy or too wrong to be repeated, dont be surprised if this bogus claim ends up in the national conversation all too soon.

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The right wing thinks there are more trans murderers than trans murder victims - LGBTQ Nation

The Monsey Attack Shows Anti-Semitic Violence Isn’t Always Tied to the Far Right – Reason

The Jewish community of New York City is reeling after a string of alleged hate crimes, including vandalism targeting Jewish institutions and a horrific Saturday night attack on a rabbi's home in the suburb of Monsey that left several people seriously wounded.

The alleged assailant, Grafton Thomas, entered the rabbi's home shortly after 10:00 p.m. during the seventh night of Hannukkah and began slashing people with a longsword.

Thomas's motivations are unknown, and friends report that he is mentally ill. But he is an African American man, which means that he probably wasn't motivated by white supremacy, a connection to the alt-right, or a fondness for the rhetoric of President Donald Trumpall of which are often posited as explanations for a purported spike in anti-Semitism in recent years.

Last May, when I testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties about a supposed rise in white nationalism and hate crimes, I cautioned against hyperbolic interpretations of the data that would cause policymakers to be overly fearful. Indeed, the perpetrators of these attacks often do not fit the profile of the kind of MAGA-worshipping alt-right terrorist that the House subcommittee hearing was so worried about, particularly in New York City, where so many of the recent incidents have taken place. "The overwhelming majority of the alleged perpetrators in New York are either black or Hispanic, and casting anti-Semitism as an issue pitting Jews against various other minority groups threatens to re-agitate problems that many in the Jewish and surrounding communities hope no longer exist," wrote Tablet's Armin Rose in a July piece about anti-Semitism in New York City.

Though far-right anti-Semitism is the most familiar type for a media obsessed with finding the anti-Trump angle to every news story, there is indeed plenty of contempt for Jewish people on all ideological and racial-identity-based extremes. Campus leftism is sometimes tinged with anti-Semitism, and progressive activists have often associated with known anti-Semites. The Jersey City shooters had a connection to the Black Hebrew Israelites, a black nationalist cult best known for precipitating the Covington incident.

This is not to say that Thomas, by virtue of being black, is a likely member of the group or an activist for a leftist or black nationalist cause. In fact, it would be unsurprising if he had no broader motivation. Murder is usually non-ideological: Just a tiny number of killings each year can be credibly connected to a political agenda.

"There is little evidence that these attacks are ideologically motivated, at least in terms of the ideologies of hate we are most familiar with," wrote Batya Ungar-Sargon inForward.

The left shouldn't ignore anti-Semitism when its perpetrators are inconvenient targets who contradict the progressive doctrine of intersectionalitya doctrine that grants sainthood to the marginalized while glossing over very real infighting among different historically oppressed groups. The same goes for the right, which often turns a blind eye to anti-Semitism among its own ranks.

And everybody should make sure that they aren't succumbing to unfounded panic in general. It's right to be very concerned, and very angry, about attacks and intimidation directed at Jewish people, but we should also demand more reportingand more accuratereportingabout the scale of the problem. Nationally, it's not clear that anti-Semitic violence is rising dramatically, since tallies often include anti-Semitic taunts, schoolyard bullying, and online writings. And while anti-Semitic incidents have increased in New York City by 53 percentfrom 111 incidents to 170from 2018 to 2019, according to the NYPD, the overwhelming majority of anti-Semitic incidents are classified by police as "criminal mischief," which typically means vandalism and graffiti. Just 13 percent of incidents involved violence.

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The Monsey Attack Shows Anti-Semitic Violence Isn't Always Tied to the Far Right - Reason


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