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If Mayor Pete Is So Smart, Why Does He Say Such Dumb Things? – City Watch

ONE MANS OPINION-Just because I would vote for Mayor Pete does not mean I have a detached brain.

(1) Lame excuse: Mayor Pete must appeal to the left wing to win the nomination.

While this excuse may be legitimate for people of limited mental resources, a smart guy would find an honorable way to secure the nomination without kowtowing. When a candidate caters to positions that he knows are terrible, he lacks integrity and champions the notion that the nation needs more lies. Assuming Mayor Pete could win the election, now is the time for him to make integrity the foundation for his governing.

(2) Mayor Pete speaks of a yearning for reconciliation.

This naivet reflects three areas his intelligence has yet to tackle: Social Group Work, Keynesian Economics and American Political Philosophy. In that respect, he is no different than any other Dem or GOP candidate running for any office.

(3) People want blood, not reconciliation.

What Pete must do is say he will work for a centrist consensus even though neither side wants that. This fact represents a great opportunity for Mayor Pete. Heres how he could start building a centrist Congress to be his partner as President. Right now, he rejects both the extreme left and the extreme right. (This concept is not complicated. If you do not like bigotry, shun bigots.)

(4) Why Mayor Pete can reject both White Is Right and Identity Politics.

He is whiter than white so he can talk about the good things that white people have done, like the Declaration of Independence, and show how the Alt-Right stands for the antithesis of individual inalienable rights. As a gay guy, he can reject the divisive Identity Politics of Nancy Pelosi and the left wing. Most gays do want any special label; we want to be treated as individuals based on individual merit without liabilities and without special rights. No individual should face any discrimination or merit special treatment based on ascriptive status.

One thing that all GOP and Dem members have in common is that they are individuals. It is the political hacks like Pelosi and AOC who want to categorize individuals into arbitrary groups and then claim the individuals in those groups owe their allegiance to the Dems.

When the nation watches Mayor Pete reject extremist groups on the right and left after the election, the extremes will be without power. (The moderate GOP had no choice but to cozy up to the odious Freedom Caucus, as Pelosi made certain there would be no center.) President Pete will owe the extremes nothing. That means the Dems and GOP in Congress will also owe the extremes nothing. As a result, sensible Congressional members can return to yesteryear when Congress members with varying philosophies could still cooperate with each other for the good of the nation.

Now, during the primary season, Mayor Pete must lay the groundwork for his eventual governing. If he cannot do it now, why run?

(5) Keynesian Economics.

Like algebra, Keynesian economics holds true whether one understands it or not. There is one thing that probably unites all billionaires a hatred of Keynesian economics. Keynesianism does not rely on taxation to take wealth away from the super wealthy. Instead, it makes certain there are no super-duper wealthy. Under anti-Keynesian Obama, 90% of productivity increases went to the top 1%.

Complaining that the 1% does not pay enough taxes is not only closing the barn door after the horse gets out, but that horse is in another county. The best description for people who claim that the answer is tax the wealthy is a liar, liar pants on fire. The Keynesian answer is to structure the economy so that all people get a fair return on their efforts in the first place. Lets remember that the GOP and the Dems jointly presided over the anti-Keynesian demise of the working middle class.

(6) American Political Philosophy.

There is nothing more out of fashion and yet more praised in the abstract than American political philosophy. Here, Mayor Pete is at his worst. The nation was founded as a constitutional Republic which means it abhorred mobocracy. The role of the Electoral College is to make certain that the majority does not run roughshod over the minority so that California, Florida and Illinois would henceforth elect all Presidents and any cultural differences in between would be ignored.

The fact that Hillary was too self-obsessed to count electoral college votes and called the swing voters deplorables is not the fault of the Electoral College. Candidates have known since the Constitution was adopted that the point of the Electoral College was to force candidates to pay attention to smaller groups of people. In practice, it worked as designed. Hillary ignored the plight of the Rust Belt workers as she kept shoving down their throats the BS pablum about how great Obamas regressive economics had been for them. The opioid crisis began with Obamas deal with Big Pharma. Since Hillary had been Secretary of State, she used her position as the perfect foil to distance herself from the Obama-Geithner domestic fiascos and promise the white Rust Belt a New Deal a Democrat idea which she forgot.

(7) Mayor Pete should acknowledge the dangers of mobocracy.

He must realize that in a Republic, there are values more important than winning the most votes. Paying attention to the quality of life of all Americans is of paramount importance. In 2016, the Electoral College reminded us that parading to ones coronation on the backs of those who are suffering is not a winning formula.

(8) Climate Change.

What laws Congress enacts about climate change will not be decided during the election. The Presidential campaign is a disingenuous time to propose any plan of action since whatever is done will be decided by who is in power. The country can take reasonable steps on climate change after sensible people who understand science and its limitations hold sway in Congress. That means Mayor Pete must arrive in Washington with a centrist Congress who recognizes that President Buttigieg ran a campaign which freed them from the totalitarian control of extremists. Yes, he needs to reject group rights advocates of the Alt-Right which controls the GOP and the new Left which controls the Dems.

Millions of GOP Americans want freedom from their lunatic fringe, while the Dems have a growing resentment against the socialist anti-Semites who are aping the Alt-Right. If Mayor Pete wants to govern as a centrist President, then he must run a primary campaign that appeals to the moderates of both parties, rejecting the extremes on both sides. If he cannot figure out how to do that, then maybe he aint so smart after all.

(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at:Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com.Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Photo: JStone/Shutterstock. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

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If Mayor Pete Is So Smart, Why Does He Say Such Dumb Things? - City Watch

Let the alt-right have their ‘War on Christmas’ if it means more delicious cookies for the rest of us – PGH City Paper

It wouldn't be a Pittsburgh wedding without a cookie table. But why keep the tradition exclusive to happy couples? In the spirit of the season, Pittsburgh City Paper is celebrating the holiday cookie table. Were reviewing bakery favorites, family recipes, and grocery store staples until the table is full. click to enlarge

CP photo: Lisa Cunningham

Starbucks 2019 holiday cookie and coffee cup

Surely youve seen online trolls take to social media around this time every year to blast the coffee company for its supposed War on Christmas for its non-denominational holiday cup designs. (I mean, we all know you cant praise Jesus unless you drink a latte with skim milk and two pumps of hazelnut syrup out of a to-go cup plastered with the son of Gods face, right?)

But the festive (but not too festive) holiday cups havent been the only controversial item at your favorite American coffee company chain. Back in 2010, Starbucks customers cried foul when polar bear cookies with a scarf made out of red icing ended up looking like the animal had just gotten its neck slit. (Having the polar bears head raised high, with the scarfs red icing, extra thick, dripping down in two nondescript lines didnt help.)

If youve also got a sense of humor about these kinds of things or, if maybe youre equally as deranged? youll be happy to hear that this years snowman-shaped shortbread cookies still have a little bit of that bloody homage to their polar bear cousins.

CP photo: Lisa Cunningham

Black buttons, black eyes, and a black smile, paired with a tiny flash of a bright orange nose complete the characters design, with a delightful sprinkle of snow-like flakes of sugar along the bottom of the cookie as a final touch.

Paired with a latte (in a Merry Coffee cup, of course), this years cookie was a tasty treat with a soft texture, strong buttery flavor, and worth every one of the 390 calories it contains.

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Let the alt-right have their 'War on Christmas' if it means more delicious cookies for the rest of us - PGH City Paper

How did the OK sign become a symbol of white supremacy? – The Independent

The military is investigating whether a hand gesture displayed by cadets and midshipmen during television coverage of the Army-Navy football game on Saturday was meant to express racist sentiments.

The hand sign that was flashed on camera is one that has had a benign meaning for generations: It is commonly used to signal OK, or all is well. But in recent years, it has also been appropriated for other purposes, most notably as a way to signify white power. It has become an extremist meme, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Officials at West Point and Annapolis are trying to determine the cadets motives. Here is how the hand gesture became a fraught one.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Where did the sign come from?

Touching the thumb and index finger to make a circle, with the remaining three fingers held outstretched, is a gesture that people around the world have made for centuries, mostly in positive contexts. It is used for several purposes in sign languages, and in yoga as a symbol to demonstrate inner perfection.

Members of the ShieldWall Network, a white nationalist group, burn a swastika and cross during a party outside Atkins, Arkansas, U.S on March 9, 2019

Reuters

Members of the ShieldWall Network hold up balloons decorated as the face of Adolf Hitler and give a white-power hand signal as they celebrate the German fascist's birthday outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

Billy Roper of the ShieldWall Network attends a party at a home outside Atkins. The group primarily operates in Arkansas and includes three other members who were recently charged with assault in connection with the beating of a gay man, according to police reports

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network march to a rally opposing legal abortion and supporting gun rights at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas

REUTERS

Jeff Schoep, former chairman of the National Socialist Movement, speaks during a rally at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas on November 10, 2018

Reuters

Crosses lit by members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan burn outside Yanceyville, North Carolina, U.S., November 4, 2017. The Loyal White Knights is one of the largest Klan groups in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks extremist groups

REUTERS

Members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan prepare for a cross-burning outside Yanceyville, North Carolina, U.S., November 4, 2017

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network perform a Nazi salute as a swastika and cross burn during a party outside Atkins, Arkansas, March 9, 2019

REUTERS

High chairs are seen in a building owned by The Knights Party, a white nationalist group formerly named the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, outside Harrison, Arkansas, March 10, 2019. The organisation is opening an education center for the children of white nationalists

REUTERS

Chris Barker of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan addresses an audience before a cross-burning outside Yanceyville

REUTERS

A figurine of a black man being lynched inside the home of Chris Barker of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Yanceyville

REUTERS

John Carollo, a member of the ShieldWall Network, holds up a photo montage of (clockwise from top left) Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Adolf Hitler, founder of the American Nazi Party George Lincoln Rockwell, Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof and Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess, while attending a party at a home outside Atkins

REUTERS

Symbols of white nationalism are displayed on the jacket of a member of the National Socialist Movement as they gather in a parking lot before attending a rally at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network prepare a swastika for burning to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Atkins

REUTERS

A new member of the ShieldWall Network, Nicholas Holloway, and other members of the white nationalist group go boating to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Russellville, Arkansas

REUTERS

Courtney Calfy, wife of Julian Calfy, helps to prepare a meal as members of the ShieldWall Network gather to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

John Carollo, a member of the ShieldWall Network, on the phone during a celebration of Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

A plaque on top of a flagpole with the number 1488 is carried by members of the National Socialist Movement as they attend a rally at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 10, 2018

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network John Carollo, Julian Calfy and Nicholas Holloway gather at a member's home before departing to disrupt a Jewish Holocaust memorial event in Russellville, Arkansas

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network burn a swastika to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

Chris Barker of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is seen inside what the group calls its church, next to his home in Yanceyville

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network go boating to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Russellville, Arkansas

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network, a white nationalist group, prepare to burn a swastika and cross during a party at a home outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network, a white nationalist group, burn a swastika and cross during a party outside Atkins, Arkansas, U.S on March 9, 2019

Reuters

Members of the ShieldWall Network hold up balloons decorated as the face of Adolf Hitler and give a white-power hand signal as they celebrate the German fascist's birthday outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

Billy Roper of the ShieldWall Network attends a party at a home outside Atkins. The group primarily operates in Arkansas and includes three other members who were recently charged with assault in connection with the beating of a gay man, according to police reports

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network march to a rally opposing legal abortion and supporting gun rights at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas

REUTERS

Jeff Schoep, former chairman of the National Socialist Movement, speaks during a rally at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas on November 10, 2018

Reuters

Crosses lit by members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan burn outside Yanceyville, North Carolina, U.S., November 4, 2017. The Loyal White Knights is one of the largest Klan groups in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks extremist groups

REUTERS

Members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan prepare for a cross-burning outside Yanceyville, North Carolina, U.S., November 4, 2017

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network perform a Nazi salute as a swastika and cross burn during a party outside Atkins, Arkansas, March 9, 2019

REUTERS

High chairs are seen in a building owned by The Knights Party, a white nationalist group formerly named the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, outside Harrison, Arkansas, March 10, 2019. The organisation is opening an education center for the children of white nationalists

REUTERS

Chris Barker of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan addresses an audience before a cross-burning outside Yanceyville

REUTERS

A figurine of a black man being lynched inside the home of Chris Barker of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Yanceyville

REUTERS

John Carollo, a member of the ShieldWall Network, holds up a photo montage of (clockwise from top left) Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Adolf Hitler, founder of the American Nazi Party George Lincoln Rockwell, Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof and Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess, while attending a party at a home outside Atkins

REUTERS

Symbols of white nationalism are displayed on the jacket of a member of the National Socialist Movement as they gather in a parking lot before attending a rally at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network prepare a swastika for burning to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Atkins

REUTERS

A new member of the ShieldWall Network, Nicholas Holloway, and other members of the white nationalist group go boating to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Russellville, Arkansas

REUTERS

Courtney Calfy, wife of Julian Calfy, helps to prepare a meal as members of the ShieldWall Network gather to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

John Carollo, a member of the ShieldWall Network, on the phone during a celebration of Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

A plaque on top of a flagpole with the number 1488 is carried by members of the National Socialist Movement as they attend a rally at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 10, 2018

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network John Carollo, Julian Calfy and Nicholas Holloway gather at a member's home before departing to disrupt a Jewish Holocaust memorial event in Russellville, Arkansas

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network burn a swastika to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

Chris Barker of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is seen inside what the group calls its church, next to his home in Yanceyville

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network go boating to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday outside Russellville, Arkansas

REUTERS

Members of the ShieldWall Network, a white nationalist group, prepare to burn a swastika and cross during a party at a home outside Atkins, Arkansas

REUTERS

The widely understood modern use of the sign for approval or assent seems to have arisen along with the term OK in the 19th century. Some researchers have traced the word to 1839, when Charles Gordon Greene wrote jokingly in The Boston Morning Post about it being an intentionally misspelled abbreviation for all correct. The term caught on, and the hand gesture, with the fingers forming something vaguely like an O and K, became closely linked with it.

How did it become connected to white power?

View original post here:

How did the OK sign become a symbol of white supremacy? - The Independent

VIDEO: Ben Shapiro harassed by Holocaust denier as he is out with his pregnant wife and children – TheBlaze

Ben Shapiro was accosted by Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes on Friday as he was walking with his pregnant wife and young children to a conservative convention in West Palm Beach, Florida.

In a video shared on Twitter by journalist Andy Ngo, Shapiro, 35, is seen crossing a street with his family as they were heading to TPUSA's Student Action Summit where he is scheduled to deliver remarks along with other conservative leaders, including President Donald Trump, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck. Shapiro was holding one of his young children with one arm and pushing a stroller with the other, as his expecting wife walked alongside them, when Fuentes approached the family with a handful of male supporters, known as "groypers."

"Ben! It's great to see you. Why did you give a 45-minute speech about me at Stanford and you won't even look in my direction?" said Fuentes to the Daily Wire's editor-in-chief who ignored him. A woman's voice is heard telling Fuentes: "Hey, hey, hey! He's with his kids!"

Fuentes, who is 21 years-old and reported to have "a long history of racist and anti-Semitic comments," continued following Shapiro about 10 feet behind him and yelled, "I know you're with your family but I can't get to you anywhere else!"

"That's our free speech warrior everybody. Champion of the battle of ideas!" Fuentes added as Shapiro walked away. A woman approached the far-right provocateur and sternly told him "He's with his children!" The video also shows several male voices discouraging Fuentes from approaching Shapiro.

Fuentes then turned to a small group of young men who were holding cameras next to him and said "I guess he's just like Palestinians using human shields, right?"

Nick Fuentes is a controversial online personality with a history of making overtly racist and anti-Semitic statements, according to Reason.

He also bragged on Facebook that he attended the 2017 white supremacist and neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia. A screenshot shows that Fuentes described the event as "incredible" and declared that "a tidal wave of wide identity is coming" and "you will not replace us" just hours after it was widely reported that innocent bystander Heather Heyer was killed at the march by a white nationalist.

Fuentes has also compared the Holocaust to baking cookies and questioned the number of Jews killed in the genocide, claiming "the math just doesn't add up." As TPUSA's Benny Johnson noted on Twitter, Fuentes has mocked Dave Rubin for being "gay and Jewish" and said Rubin hosts "a gay Jewish show."

He has also told a white woman that it would be "degenerate" for her to have intimate relationships with a black man.

Fuentes has a history of targeting mainstream conservative thought leaders who he claims have sold-out whites. His "groyper" followers have spent several months trying to disrupt events throughout the country featuring conservative speakers, such as Shapiro, Jonah Goldberg, and Charlie Kirk.

In early November, Shapiro delivered a widely-acclaimed speech at Stanford University where he denounced both the far left and the Alt-Right. During his remarks, Shapiro detailed how neo-Nazis and Alt-Right personalities like Fuentes try to associate themselves with President Trump to legitimize their movement, and do so to the benefit of the left.

Ben Exposes Leftists & The Alt-Right In Six Minuteswww.youtube.com

"First, you declare your allegiance to President Trump, and declare that you aren't really Alt-Right, even though you obviously are," he said, according to the Daily Wire. "You show up to lectures wearing a MAGA hat in order to get the media to cover it and in order to demonstrate that you're truly a representative of the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump."

"You call yourself 'America First,' hijacking Trump's slogan, but twisting it to mean 'white Americans first," Shapiro said in a reference to Fuentes whose program is called "America First." Shapiro added that mainstream news outlets "eat it up" because they "love nothing better than suggesting that Trump is a white supremacist, despite the fact that he has repeatedly condemned white supremacism."

The Young America's Foundation cut its ties with commentator Michelle Malkin in November after she vocally supported Fuentes as a leader of "the new right."

"There is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists," the organization said in a statement.

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VIDEO: Ben Shapiro harassed by Holocaust denier as he is out with his pregnant wife and children - TheBlaze

Military Officials Are Investigating Possible White Power Signs Flashed During the Army-Navy Game – Esquire.com

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDSGetty Images

At Saturdays Army-Navy football game, Army cadets and midshipmen appeared to flash a hand sign that has been adopted by white supremacistsand now officials say theyre investigating the incident.

During the game, which was attended by President Trump and held at Philadelphias Lincoln Financial Field, ESPNs Rece Davis reported live surrounded by students from the United States Military Academy and the Naval Academy. According to The New York Times, on at least five occasions, some of the cadets and midshipmen appeared to be making the sign.

The gesture, formed with one hand by touching the thumb to the index finger while leaving the other three fingers splayed, began being associated with the far right in the wake of a 2017 4chan hoax that attempted to spread the idea that the hand sign formed the letters "WP," standing for "white power." Aside from being well-known as the OK sign, the hand gesture has also been deployed as a part as the schoolyard circle game. But while its white supremacists associations may have begun a hoax, the symbol has since been adopted by real-life members of the alt-right and hate groups.

The Anti-Defamation League counts the gesture in its database of hate symbols, noting that "at least some white supremacists seem to have abandoned the ironic or satiric intent behind the original trolling campaign and used the symbol as a sincere expression of white supremacy." White nationalist Richard Spencer has been photographed using it, as has alt-right agitator Milo Yiannopolous. Most horrifying of all, after 50 worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand mosques were murdered, the alleged shooter flashed the sign during a court appearance.

Military officials told The Washington Post that they were investigating whether or not the cadets intended to signal support for white supremacist ideologies with the gesture. Last year, a member of the Coast Guard appeared to make the gesture in the background of a news broadcast. The Coast Guards official Twitter account subsequently tweeted that the organization had "identified the member and removed him from the response," writing that his "actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard."

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Military Officials Are Investigating Possible White Power Signs Flashed During the Army-Navy Game - Esquire.com

‘Knives Out’s Rian Johnson On The One Thing Missing From Modern Mysteries The Contenders NY Video – Deadline

Writer-director Rian Johnson took inspiration from his favorite Agatha Christie mysteries for Knives Out, which has has been holding its own with adult audiences at the fall box office. But he told the crowd at Deadlines recent The Contenders New York that he also wanted to write a modern-day original.

In the tradition of Christie ensembles, the all-star cast of the Lionsgate film plays possible suspects in a murder mystery. Daniel Craig is Benoit Blanc, the sleuth investigating the Thrombey family and their maid (Ana de Armas) after the death of patriarch author Harlan (Christopher Plummer). Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford and Jaeden Martell play the Thrombeys. They represent the 1%, with some specific 2019 digressions. For example young Jacob (Martell) is an alt-right online troll.

We see it today, its usually an Agatha Christie adaptation, Johnson, joined onstage by his producer Ram Bergman, told the DGA Theater crowd of Academy and guild voters. Its usually a period piece set in Britain. Its easy to forget that when she was writing, its not like she was a heavy political writer, but she was always engaging with contemporary British society of her time through her characters.

He added: I love the Agatha Christie adaptations, but the notion of doing an original and really plugging it into 2019 America, not just giving it a modern skin but using this little microcosm to look at that, that seemed like that could be really interesting.

The mystery unfolds in the Thrombey house, which is a character unto itself. One day we saw a picture, we said, This looks like the house, Bergman said. I took Rian there while he was still writing and we zeroed in on the house, but it took us like months and months to actually negotiate a deal. We literally cemented it like two weeks before we started filming.

Check out the conversation in the video above.

Go here to see the original:

'Knives Out's Rian Johnson On The One Thing Missing From Modern Mysteries The Contenders NY Video - Deadline

Im Tired: Controversial Star PewDiePie Is Taking A Break From YouTube, Deletes Twitter – Forbes

PewDiePie at the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 16, 2015 in London.

Topline: After facing years of criticism for his supposed ties to the alt-right, YouTube megastar PewDiePie announced over the weekend that hes taking a break from the platform and deleted his Twitter account, saying that hes tired.

Key background: Kjellberg is YouTubes most popular and recognizable stars, but hes been accused of anti-Semitism and racism over the years. In 2017, Disney stopped advertising with his channel after he paid actors to hold up a sign reading Death to All Jews in several videos (he said it was a joke gone too far). Months later he was caught saying the n-word in a gaming stream and later apologized.

White nationalists have since embraced Kjellberg. The Christchurch shooter used a popular alt-right meme subscribe to PewDiePie in a livestream before he went on to kill 51 people. And in a botched attempt to rehabilitate his image in September, Kjellberg rescinded a planned donation to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization combating anti-Semitism, after saying the donation didnt feel genuine.

Tangent: PewDiePie became the first individual creator to reach 100 million subscribers on YouTube in August, making him one of the most popular creators on the platform. Hes also one of the wealthiest. According to Forbes, Kjellberg raked in $15.5 million in 2018.

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Im Tired: Controversial Star PewDiePie Is Taking A Break From YouTube, Deletes Twitter - Forbes

‘Touching and Triggering’: ‘Knives Out’ sparks question of how to tell immigration stories – NBC News

This story contains spoilers for "Knives Out."

One of the season's hit movies has racked up a ton of praise and it's also spurred some vigorous debate.

"Knives Out, a murder mystery with an all-star cast, shows the tensions around Americans views of immigrants and the immigration process.

The movie, which has spurred Oscar buzz and recently nabbed three leading Golden Globe nominations, is on Top 10 film lists and has inspired heated questions about how to tell immigration narratives ethically and effectively.

Following the movie's release, many praised its depiction of undocumented immigrants in the United States, as told through Golden Globe-nominated Ana de Armas' character, Marta, the nurse and caregiver of family patriarch Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer).

As the murder investigation of Harlans death unfolds, so does some of Martas backstory. Her mother is undocumented, having come to the U.S. from an unspecified Latin American country, and this fact consumes Marta daily. Worried about her familys precarious legal situation, she tries to melt into the background, but the murder investigation led by the whimsical Benoit Blanc (Craig) launches her into a glaring spotlight.

Marta's employers are a family that includes both progressive, "New Yorker"-reading types, as well as alt-right conservatives who call Marta the pejorative term, anchor baby." They've tolerated Marta for coming to the U.S. the right way. But when they discover their inheritances from Harlans will are threatened and that Marta has undocumented family members, they direct their animosity toward her going so far as to frame her for Harlans murder and lord her mothers status over her head.

Marta may well have the last laugh in what many call a triumphant final scene.

On Twitter, author Daniel Jos Older posted, Knives Out didn't just open a wound for kicks and leave it open. It didn't make it melodramatic or shove in our faces the horror of deportation, and it didn't ignore it altogether, which most movies do.

"It acknowledged it as a reality and vulnerability of one of its characters, and an unfair advantage of others, and dealt with that, and kept it moving. That's what I want from art: honesty without berating, preaching, or manipulating. And a good time, which this was too of course, he wrote.

Not everyone thought the social commentary in the film was effective, however. Some Latino viewers criticized the film's handling of an issue that was perhaps a bit too close to home.

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Unfortunately Mr. Johnsons ambitions on this front reminded me that sometimes, well-intentioned art can backfire and offend (and even hurt) those its intended to champion, film critic (and NBC Latino contributor) Monica Castillo wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed. Through the character of Marta, Knives Out has a tendency to exploit its storys immigration angle, which left me feeling uneasy as strangers at the screening I attended laughed at real-life issues Im genuinely frightened of.

Luis Paez-Pumar, a freelance culture writer, echoed Castillos analysis.

Knives Out was a really fun movie that I almost entirely enjoyed, and yet I cant help but feel like the whole immigration stuff was a well-intentioned mistake of whiteness. Oh, well, Paez-Pumar tweeted.

Knives Out wasnt marketed as a movie dripping with social commentary; the trailer leads viewers to believe that the film is simply a comedic whodunit murder mystery drawing on Clue and Agatha Christies detective novels with an ensemble powerhouse cast.

But the differing perspectives are part of a larger debate on the ethical and effective ways to tell immigration narratives, experts say.

Media narratives about immigration must center around the people directly affected and they must show people are fully dimensional human beings, Ryan Eller, executive director of Define American, a nonprofit media organization whose mission is to shift the conversation about immigrants, told NBC News. Id love to see more filmmakers collaborate with people who have lived experience when taking on stories about immigration. Its so important for immigrants and people who come from mixed status families to not only be consultants on these projects, but creators of them.

Though Knives Out was directed, produced and written by Rian Johnson and does not appear to have much Latino representation in its crew, other experts thought that the film met the criteria of examining Martas immigration story with nuance.

Rian Johnson takes a familiar formula and revises it in a really progressive way, Charles Ramrez Berg, a professor in media studies at the University of Texas at Austin, told NBC News. He took an established genre, the whodunit form, and put a twist in it, by casting a Latina whos a professional, intelligent and not the murderer.

Anglos are people in movies and they can run the range of the complete spectrum of humanity. They can be good, they can be bad, they can be smart, they can be not so smart, Berg added. They can be everything. But when it comes to Latinos theyre not presented as people; theyre ignorant or illegal or immoral ... Theyre stereotypes.

Kristian Ramos, communications director of Define American, similarly praised the nuance of Martas character.

You have this Latina nurse who inherits all the money because of her hard work and her genuine relationship with her patient, Ramos said. She wasnt a caricature; she showed the difficulty of being undocumented. Her being there and being intelligent and kind, but also having a backbone and learning how to stand up for herself was subversive.

According to a study conducted by the University of Southern Californias Norman Lear Center and Define American, immigrant characters on television remain underrepresented and stereotypical. Of the more than 140 episodes of television the groups analyzed from 2017 and 2018, 11 percent of characters were immigrants and almost half of these characters had fewer than 10 speaking lines. While numerous studies have shown that immigrants dont commit any more crime than U.S.-born citizens, 34 percent of these television characters were connected to a past or current crime.

Once someone sees a stereotypical immigration storyline, it enables them to see them as second class citizens, Eller said. It impacts their abilities to see immigrants with dignity and respect and has real consequences, like the children kept in cages and the El Paso and Gilroy shooters who embraced a false narrative of invasion.

Theres been a long tradition of using documentary as a form to tell immigrant stories, according to Mauricio Espinoza, assistant of Spanish and Latin American Literature at the University of Cincinnati. The form, he says, takes advantage of emotional connections to present a story of a real person affected by a real issue. But while documentaries have long been an effective method of storytelling, fictionalized immigrant stories like Knives Out may be able to reach new demographics, he said.

Whether an immigrant narrative is told through a fictionalized or documentary form, however, Espinoza said its important to probe the motivations behind telling a certain story.

One of the dangers of having so much access to video technology everywhere it that it doesnt take long for stories with unfiltered, disturbing images to go viral, Espinoza said. We need to address these difficult situations, but we also cant dehumanize them. We need to question if sharing the gory details will help pave the way for change in policies or if theyre just sensationalism that will perpetuate the trauma immigrants have gone through.

The conversation about the Knives Out immigration plotline has been occurring as a video of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, a Guatemalan teenager who died in Customs and Border Protection custody has circulated online. The video, which was published by ProPublica earlier this month, shows Hernandez collapsing to the floor and has also stirred controversy about when to use graphic imagery in immigration narratives. After ProPublica posted the video, the late teenagers family released a statement to the Texas Civil Rights Project saying it was painful to have people watching him die on the Internet.

Stephen Engelberg, ProPublicas editor-in-chief, told NBC News that the publication believed the American people need to see this video in order to understand the actions of their government and what really happened to Carlos.

Espinoza suggested adding content warnings or additional steps before accessing violent or potentially disturbing imagery could help ensure immigrant narratives are shown in a respective and human way.

Berg added that were on the verge of breaking through to a new kind of narrative. The problem is its very hard to get anybody to watch. Its easier to dismiss it or look the other way, but we need to find a way to look at those hard and harsh realities.

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'Touching and Triggering': 'Knives Out' sparks question of how to tell immigration stories - NBC News

Owen Jones thanks people for support after being subjected to Twitter campaign of ‘pure hatred and abuse’ – Evening Standard

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Guardian columnist Owen Jones has thanked people for their support after an online campaign of "pure abuse and hatred" against him.

An offensive hashtag about the journalist began trending on Twitter on Saturday morning, with people using the trend to level a tirade of abuse at him.

But Twitter users quickly began speaking out against the hashtag, with one describing it as an example of "pure abuse and hatred".

Several also asked Twitter why it had allowed such a hashtag to exist.

The alternative hashtag#SolidarityWithOwenJonesDaysoonbegan gathering momentum as people jumped to the journalist's defence.

Jones has now responded to the abuse, tweeting a light-hearted message: "Yer Das taking the divorce well, I see."

He then shared a tweet which called for the abuse to stop, adding:"Bless you lot.

"I might look like I've walked off the set of Home Alone, but if I can survive fascists chasing after me on the streets, I can get through a hashtag set up by alt right weirdos who need their hard drives checking."

He also responded with a heart emoji to a tweet which told him to "ignore the b*******."

Jones, 35, is a Labour Party activist who is outspoken about politics.

In August he was attackedoutside the Lexington pubin Islington, north London, while celebrating his birthday.

At the time of the incident, Jones has said he believes he was targeted because of his anti-fascist politics and warned that divisive rhetoric is emboldening some on the far right to become violent.

Jones is pictured with outgoing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at the party's annual conference (Getty Images)

Outgoing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn later sent a message of "solidarity" to Mr Jones and said it was an "attack on free speech".

Three men have - James Healy, 39, from Portsmouth, Liam Tracey, 34, from Camden, and Charlie Ambrose, 29, from Brighton - all pleaded guilty to affray.

Healy admitted a further charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He denies the attack was motivated by homophobia and will now face a trial of issue in front of a judge to decide whether that was the case.

You've kept Europe safe, PM tells troops as he serves up Xmas turkey

Also earlier this year, the political commentator shared a video on Twitter showing him being accosted by a group near Parliament, including men wearing Union Jacks.

He has previously vowed to quit social media because it is "completely and utterly depressing".

They could be heard calling him a "traitor" and a "horrible little man".

The Standard has contacted Twitter for comment.

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Owen Jones thanks people for support after being subjected to Twitter campaign of 'pure hatred and abuse' - Evening Standard

Unmasking the Alt-Right: Real-World Implications of a Virtual Movement – The McGill International Review

The first article in this series discussed the psychology behind alt-right radicalization onlinewho is most vulnerable to extremist indoctrination, the risk factors correlated with such vulnerability, and the forms that the process of radicalization can take. Now, the next question to be asked concerns the actual implications and dangers of online alt-right extremist movements and their recruitment efforts. We have seen too often that radicalization in the virtual world can lead to real-world violence; we have seen terrible acts of mass violence that have been connected with members of the alt-right online, such as in Christchurch and El Paso. But are these acts of violence the only dangers posed by the activities of the alt-right online? The second part of this series will explore whether, in a hypothetical world devoid of the tragedy of alt-right violence, the virtual activities of the alt-right would still have real-world implications.

There is a tendency in alt-right activity to weave dark humour into online content, meaning that the rest of us often struggle to distinguish between honestly-held, hateful beliefs and ironically-presented hate speech. A leaked style guide from a neo-Nazi site proves that this is actually a tactic of the alt-right in some cases: The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not.Anonymous imageboards like 4chan are not dedicated to any specific ideology, which makes it especially difficult to determine whether or not users actually believe the appalling things they are writing, or whether it is all part of some sort of ironic, competitive game to see who can say the most abhorrent thing, or share the most despicable, hateful meme.

The first article in this seriesdiscussed the dangers of anonymous-poster imageboards like 4chan. This danger stems from the power such sites have to provide exposure to alt-right content and to engender a link between violence, hate, and commonplace humour in peoples minds. Inherent to the structure of 4chan itself is a tendency to provide gateway content to extremist discoursewith a single click, users can be taken from one thread discussing video games or current events to another thread full of hate-ridden rants against minorities and women. 4chan users near-ubiquitous use of darkly ironic humour with regard to almost any subject means that terroristic violence, hate crimes, and bigotry are talked about in such a way thatmake people laugh and belittle their importance. This creates a link between toxic content and humour: people find themselves amusedby hateful thoughtswhether they accept them or notmaking hate speech appear more readily acceptable and less harmful.

Dr. Ghayda Hassan is the founder and director of the Canada Practitioners Network for the Prevention of Radicalization and Extremist Violence (CPN-PREV) and a UNESCO co-chair on Prevention of Violence Radicalization and Extremist Violence. She gives credence to the idea that, in certain cases, users of sites like 4chan may be participating in a collective exorcism of hate-feelings which they dont actually accept. That is, people may congregate online and express feelings of hatred which they neither accept, nor believe; indeed, they may even appear to advocate hate crimes, without actually subscribing to any part of what they are saying.

We all have hate-feelings, says Hassanhaving hate-feelings is part of being human. Neither acceptingnor acting on these very human feelings, however, isnatural, andboth can lead to discourse and actions which the majority of us would consider utterly inhumane. Normally, says Hassan, we have positive social spaces in which we can experience and express our feelings of hate without it meaning that we actually want to destroy the target of our hate. The danger comes when these constructive spaces are replaced by unmediated online platforms where real-world regulatory processes no longer exist. In the real-world, people around us react to our expressions of hate and help us to understand hate-feelings and how to deal with them in a healthy way. Online, however, anyone can say anything anonymously, and there isnt always a constructive reaction or discussion that follows in order to help somebody work through their hate-feelings in a positive way, explains Hassan.

There is the obvious concern that online alt-right content and recruitment efforts will generate more hate and inspire more radicalization, or at least expose more people to extremist ideologies than would be the case without this virtual outlet. While this may be the case, expressing hate-feelings online, even without mediation to help you interpret and dismiss them, doesnt mean that an individual will act on those feelings in real life, says Hassan.Although the risk is certainly greaterwith the lack of divide that once existed between the virtual world and the real world, activities in the virtual space can bleed into the real world, desensitizing people to violence and prejudice, and normalizing expressions of hate.

Dr. Hassan points out that, while there is certainly no guarantee of social upheaval in the foreseeable future, a look at history shows us that increased polarization of the population and increased hate around otherness can contribute to civil conflict. Thus, radicalism and expressions of hate speech that occur in the unmediated arena of the Internet have the potential to increase hatred towards others. Previous wars have all been accompanied by highly de-humanizing discourse, she continues, and we are definitely preparing the social space for a more tense relationship that, [in the] long-term, may lead to civil unrest or disruption.

Carrie Rentschler, an Associate Professor of Communications Studies at McGill University, focuses on social movements and media activism. She points to online hate-speech and the alt-rights tactics of doxxingas well as rape- and death-threats as culprits in the creation of an intense culture of fear. In such a culture, people, particularly women, are afraid to speak out against hate and condemn the alt-right for fear of retaliation against themselves or those they are close to. Whether or not rape- and death-threats are realized, the fear of that realization is often enough to shut down would-be vocal opponents of the alt-right. The very threats made by radicals online are harmful, says Rentschler; whether it is carried out or not, the threat itself says you are not safe.

Examining the practice of doxxing gives us a better understanding of just how scared targeted individuals can be. Doxxing is an attempt to stop the target from participating in a certain kind of discourse, engaging with a particular cause, or challenging a specific group or ideology online. Doxxers destroy an individuals privacy and anonymity online in an attempt tolegitimize their threats and make the target feel exposed, vulnerable, and afraid. Doxxers will reveal the real name, occupation, face, and even address about loved ones of the targeted individual. By frightening and shaming their opponents into silence, doxxers create a culture of fear wherein people are threatened away from voicing their opinions. It is a tactic used by both the alt-right and their opponents, and hasunfortunately become increasingly mainstream.

Rentschler explains that when people are afraid to challenge hateful ideologies for fear of harm being done to them or their families, our society becomes one in which the hate-mongersare empowered because there are fewer and fewer voices to counter hateful, radical ideas. Rational discourse and debate can no longer take place when too many people are frightened into silence, andhate-speech is made dangerously prominent and powerful in such a society.

Online hate speech has the potential to indoctrinate non-radicals into extremist ideologies, normalize certain kinds of violent or discriminatory discourse, desensitize people to the idea of viewing of even committing acts of violence, and create a society in which people are afraid to stand up and speak out against hatred and violence. Knowing all this, one might ask: what steps can we as a society take to combat the powerful effects of online extremism, and to protect ourselves from its influence in the real world?

Rentschler emphasizes the importance of de-platforming, moderation, and holding people to higher standards on internet platforms. There is promising evidence that banning users who share hateful and extremist content on social media platforms is an effective way to reduce the amount of hate speech that is shared. Holding people to particular standards online is essential, says Rentschler, but currently, there is very little in place to stop online hate speech and harassment. Likes, popularity votes, and upvotes are key to the proliferation of extremism online, Rentschler explains; the more popular content is, the more available and accessible it is made. This means that the more likes an alt-right post receives, the more mainstream exposure it might be given.

In terms of developing a solution to mitigate dangerous online activity, while some might think that it would be easier to discuss and challenge toxic ideas through free debate so as to prevent their normalization and acceptance into mainstream society.However, when asked, Rentschler was more skeptical: Im not sure that the fact that its out there means were discussing it and debating it, says Rentschler; unless were actively and constantly challenging such speech, its relative prominence might do far more harm than good.

And what about free speech? Isnt it important that we defend the right of even the most bigoted extremist to freely express themselves, even if what they say is abhorrent? Rentschler points out that at a certain point, the right to free speech of the alt-right infringes on that same right of those who would stand up against them, exemplified in part by the effectiveness of doxxing and similar practices. Theres an important question to be asked, she saysWho cant speak, out of fear of harassment and harm? We might champion free speech as a pillar of what makes ours a free and safe society, but when it comes to online extremism and the very clearconcerns it poses in the real world, the issue is far from black and white.

Featured imageflat screen computer monitors on table photobyKaur KristjanonUnsplash.

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Unmasking the Alt-Right: Real-World Implications of a Virtual Movement - The McGill International Review

How to Fight the Alt-Right Online in 2020 – Houston Press

The reason that the Russian attack on the 2016 election worked so effectively is because of the way that the internet abhors moderation. From massive waves of false information spread virally on Facebook to the dark web corners where QAnon was born, the hands-off ideology allowed fascism and the alt-right to, in their own words, meme a president into office. Its not the only reason that Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office, but it is a massive factor that cannot be overstated. If we want 2020 and politics beyond to be different, we have to begin the process of cleaning the radiation off the wasteland of the internet.

The question is: how do we do that? With Kamala Harris out of the race, the Democrats seem to have lost the only candidate who wished to tackle online hate speech and fake news as a major issue, maybe because Harris was the candidate who drew so much of it herself that an entire sub-culture grew just to debunk it. That means that whatever happens will have to be because of pressure that the people put on the next leader, whoever she may be.

But its not an easy thing. Even as someone who never misses an episode of Ian Danskins Alt-Right Playbook I can tell you that as hard as it is to understand the alt-right, knowing how to combat them is even more difficult. I spent a little time in my own head and talking with experts, and here is what I can propose for the coming year.

First, if you are dealing with an individual that you actually know such as a family member and close friend, you might be able to deprogram them after a lot of time and effort. Deprogram might seem like a loaded word, but as Danskin points out in How to Radicalize a Normie and the Endnote video supplement, many aspects of the alt-right and QAnon especially are essentially cult-like and will require dedication to combat. Much like how many people do not want to admit a substance use problem in the house, the desire to play down alt-right radicalization of a loved one as merely a difference of opinion is strong.

Most of us are not licensed counselors, and the idea of kidnapping someone to deprogram them went out of vogue in the 1970s. As a person who wants to help, its important to forge a relationship with the affected party by connecting with them through other things like mutual interests. In-person hate group participation dropped dramatically in 2013 as white nationalists and other reactionaries realized that a decentralized, leaderless movement housed on message boards and other spaces would keep them from falling prey to the usual state controls that ended previous groups. One year later, Gamergate happened as a test of the theory with pleasing results to hateful bigots, and it's now become the standard. In-person groups still exist, and there is a lot of overlap, but its this approach that led to things like 8chan becoming a place that has been directly linked to multiple murders.

Opposition to the things your affected loved one says will only reinforce their problems. As a general guide, its best to either steer them away from those topics of conversation and onto things that belong to the two of you instead of the alt-right. If they insist on engaging, ask questions calmly and non-judgmentally without trying to debunk. The alt-right deals in memetic content and in-jokes as an isolation mechanism. Forcing people to articulate why a pizzeria is secretly a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton often makes them realize how stupid it sounds. If youre very patient and very lucky, you might be able to eventually nudge them into counseling and get your loved one back.

Thats unfortunately the only way to fight this as individuals, but what about as a society? Thats even harder, and it will require a lot of activism.

The primary opposition right how is will. Companies like Facebook simply feel no need to tackle the issue, and with 8chan the current owner is mostly immune to financial repercussions (8chan has never made any money) and legal ones (owner Jim Watkins currently lives in the Philippines so good luck serving a subpoena). On top of that is Americas fervent dedication to an absolutist interpretation of free speech despite the fact that American fascists and hate groups have consistently reframed the argument about what they say as an attack on their right to say it. The average American is for free speech, with no desire to look at the fine print of the matter.

Because of that, I wouldnt start trying to jail Mark Zuckerberg over not fighting hate speech or fake news too much. Even if you take on people much further down the food chain such as Mark Meechan (Count Dankula) who taught his dog to give a Nazi salute when asked "Do you wanna gas the Jews?" you often end up starting a giant backlash that empowers people who use free speech arguments to protect white nationalism. As a Gamergate target myself, it is frustrating that there seems to be little to no legal repercussion for the online hate mobs, but often the case is that its just practically more harm than its worth to prosecute even when laws are broken.

Nonetheless, these companies can be influenced by the free market to change and it is probably the best path forward. Twitter, for example, has taken a much harder line against white supremacy content after years of being bashed for allowing it to thrive. Reddit as well has cleaned up its act considerably, recognizing that the constant bad press for being home to so many racists was hurting its image. They are far more careful about banning boards or quarantining sub-reddits. Its definitely a step in the right direction, small as it may seem to people who still get attacked through the sites.

8chan is currently down because even though its hard to hit Watkins for his work personally, the people who have to host the site increasingly want nothing to do with it. Storm Front as well, the traditional home of neo-Nazis online, has found it much harder to find a home for their brand of rancid mayonnaise. All of that comes from pressure on the people who control where the platforms are hosted. These are conservative companies that generally dont want any trouble, and they have every right to tell a client no thank you without raising the specter of official censorship.

Companies like PayPal, Patreon, and Venmo are also susceptible to pressure. Groups like the Proud Boys and people like Milo Yiannopoulos have systematically found themselves ousted from platforms that enable them to raise money for hateful causes. As their reach declines, so does their influence. Fighting hate by going after their servers and payment sources has been a proven tactic over the last couple of years. It should continue in earnest.

Legislation has a place as well as a way to put public pressure on companies. Its a bit early to see if grilling by members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will have much of an effect on Facebook, but its a start. One law I would personally like to see is something mandating a certain amount of human moderators per number of users, and also mandating they be regionally distributed wisely. Non-English speakers should not be the primary moderators of American content, for instance.

Its important to understand that companies like Facebook are perfectly capable of fixing a good chunk of the problem. They simply dont want to. There is this idea that all this can be solved with a better algorithm to automatically shut down hate speech. Algorithms have their place. Facebook launched a great one after the Christchurch shooting to take down content. That said, there is no substitution for human oversight as any woman who reacted to a rape threat with men are trash and ended up with a suspended account will tell you. I landed in Facebook jail for a week over sharing this with a text description for the blind. We need people, not cost-saving bots.

Theres this misconception that we can improve technology to deal with the alt-right and hate speech. While monitoring bots can get better, they only care about what we teach them and they do not contextualize adequately. Well build a machine that can beat nearly anyone at chess but well probably never build one that can beat hardly anyone at Dungeons and Dragons. There must be an increased human presence on the ground that has adequate incentive to fight the problem. A corps of workers in this country who have the human capacity to understand the problems and the ability to fight it, will change the argument in ways that mindless machines built to replace human thought never will.

We have to care if anything is going to be done because left to their own devices companies will just do whatever is profitable no matter the risk to everyone else. Make no mistake, the rise of the alt-right and the new fascist movement in America is big, powerful, and mostly operating un-checked right now. These spaces have already bred multiple killers. And they continue to empower far-right interests by inundating our public consciousness with hate and falsehoods. Its not censorship to demand that lies be treated like lies and its not the death of free speech if Nazis arent allowed to have a 100,000-member Facebook group.

But it will only stop if we start to agree that there is a problem and demand that people who can make a difference do so. The loved ones in your life who have been led astray by toxic online communities deserve and need your compassion to be free of them. The corporations that make millions off these highly-engaged groups and the radical right politicians who benefit from fake news and hate speech do not. They must be pressured into doing something about it with every tool we have at our disposal as a democracy and a free market. If a large enough shift occurs, it will become the new, less-hateful normal.

And that is poor ground to grow the next fascist leader in.

Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.

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How to Fight the Alt-Right Online in 2020 - Houston Press

The Internet Is Coming to Taylor Swift’s Defense After an Alt-Right Troll Tweeted About Her Egg Count – Yahoo Lifestyle

Taylor Swift fans are fervent, sure, but nothing truly brings a community together like a man whittling a successful woman down to her reproductive parts.

On Monday night, far-right Canadian Youtuber known for his promotion of scientific racism and eugenics," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, wrote, I cant believe Taylor Swift is about to turn 30 she still looks so young! Its strange to think that 90% of her eggs are already gone 97% by the time she turns 40 so I hope she thinks about having kids before its too late! Shed be a fun mom. :).

Understandably, the Twitter factions rioted in the comments. And, let me tell you, the burns were sick.

RELATED: Why Taylor Swift Said Demi Moore's Memoir Was One of Her Favorite Books of 2019

Honestly, if you somehow cant come to your own realization that posting about a womans egg count is a bad and very gross idea, maybe consider the fallout?

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The Internet Is Coming to Taylor Swift's Defense After an Alt-Right Troll Tweeted About Her Egg Count - Yahoo Lifestyle

Michelle Malkin Appears on White Nationalist YouTube Show – Right Wing Watch

Michelle Malkin appeared on the YouTube channel of prominent white nationalist content creator Vincent James on Tuesday, where she applauded young alt-right supporters for having come to the epiphanies that for me took a long time in the making.

It appears that Malkin, after becoming a pariah among mainstream conservatives, has decided to lean into her support among the far-right.

Writers and members of the mainstream GOP began distancing themselves from Malkin after she explicitly endorsed anti-Semitic and white nationalist YouTube political personality Nicholas Fuentes in a speech at UCLA in November. Subsequently, Young Americas Foundation cut ties with Malkin. Washington Examiners Tiana Lowe chided Malkin for affiliating with racists because [Malkin] sees them as the most potent allies available to back a militantly xenophobic agenda. Jonathan S. Tobin wrote in the New York Post that Malkin thinks these haters are allies in a crusade to halt all non-European immigration (ironic, since Malkins parents were Filipino immigrants).

Malkin said she met Vincent James, who also goes by the pseudonyms of Vincent Foxx and Vincent James OConnor, at the UCLA event, adding that it was excellent to make that connection. James is a far-right YouTube political entertainer who often pushes white nationalist and conspiratorial content and was spotted perusing the perimeter of the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference with Fuentes.

During her 42-minute interview with James, Malkin said her recent embrace of the self-described groyper alt-right made sense to her because it was in line with the type of politics she had been trying to engage in for the last 25 years.

I feel like theres a good synergy and partnership here because thats the work that Ive been trying to do for 25 plus years. Its been frustrating because so many people dont care. And so, when I see a glimpse, a glimmer of a spark of energy and hope and optimism, yeah, hell yeah, Im going to run to that, Malkin said. Thats what I did.

Earlier in the interview, James had vouched for Malkin to the groyper crowd, which recently co-opted Trumps America First slogan to brand its latest efforts.

I cant stress this enough. Michelle Malkin supports America First. Michelle Malkin tells the truth. Michelle Malkin is standing up against the conservative establishment, James said.

In one portion of the duos conversation, James asked Malkin to stop him when one of the following policy proposals sounded white nationalist: an immigration moratorium for at least 10 years, prosecuting employers who hire undocumented immigrants, banning welfare for undocumented immigrants, and requiring high school students visit a third-world country so that they see how great they have it here.

Malkin did not stop him.

Malkin alleged that conservatives know and believe that demographic changes in the United States could negatively affect them, but says they dont talk about it publicly for monetary reasons. (Malkin does not seem to consider the possibility that conservatives could try appealing to immigrants instead.) Malkin also praised America First activists who hung a banner over a bridge in Virginia that featured a design scheme remarkably similar to the one used by American Identity Movement, the rebranded white nationalist group Identity Evropa.

During his interview with Malkin, James scrolled through her Twitter profile and revealed that he is the operator of The Red Elephants Fan Account on Twitter. James has been banned from Twitter before, and banned users often pose as fan accounts to gain access back onto the platform.

James has appeared on a neo-Nazi podcast and was filmed in 2017 asking members of Rise Above Movement, a violent white supremacist group, to recite the white supremacist slogan 14 Words on camera. Members of that white supremacist group have since faced federal charges for engaging in violence at the 2017 Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The same year, James blamed Jews for social media bans, saying that the people responsible for fact-checking articles on Facebook were very similar in DNA to [Facebook COO] Sheryl Sandberg, who is Jewish. James once kept a Holocaust denier on his payroll who later ran the failed Senate campaign of neo-Nazi Patrick Little.

As Right Wing Watch reported in 2018, James uses his platform tohostprominentwhite nationalistspeakers and sympathizers,bolstersuch white nationalist organizations as Identity Evropa,stokeracist fears about immigrants,advancerace war narratives, andspeakto aggrieved white people at-large. Last year, James dedicated one video to arguing that the Trump administration should not hire black people and especially not black women.

James denies having ever advocated for anti-immigrant, white nationalist, or anti-Semitic ideas, claiming such accusations are a tactic of communists.

Excerpt from:

Michelle Malkin Appears on White Nationalist YouTube Show - Right Wing Watch

Tucker Carlson hosted a guest with white nationalist ties to help him promote a run for Congress – Media Matters for America

Fox News Tucker Carlson recently hosted Pete DAbrosca, a congressional candidate who has ties to white nationalism and has supported the bigoted, anti-immigrant campaign of a group known as groypers, who are trolling conservative public events with anti-Semitic dog whistles and other hateful rhetoric.

Since DAbrosca announced his congressional bid and anti-immigrant platform over the summer, hes been lauded by far-right personalities and publications including Ann Coulter and the white nationalist publication VDare and appeared on the conspiracy theory outlet Infowars (which he had also appeared on before). In that most recent appearance, he agreed with the host that Democrats get elected through illegal voting and defended the leader of the groypers, a far-right media figure, Holocaust denier, and pro-segregation activist named Nick Fuentes who hosts America First on YouTube.

Carlson himself has a long history of promoting anti-immigrant white nationalism and espousing talking points that align with the beliefs of DAbrosca and Fuentes. This commentary has included repeatedly promoting the great replacement conspiracy theory, referring to a group of migrants at the southern border as an invasion that is absolutely destroying America, and arguing that Mexico is trying to change the demographics of the U.S. to sway elections. Hes called the idea that white supremacy is a serious problem in the U.S. a hoax and said immigration makes America poorer, dirtier, and more divided.

During his December 6 appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, DAbrosca promoted his plan for a 10-year immigration moratorium, a proposal that fits with Carlsons previous denigration of immigrants:

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Tucker Carlson hosted a guest with white nationalist ties to help him promote a run for Congress - Media Matters for America

Trumps Executive Order and the Rise of Anti-Semitism – The New York Times

The threads tying much of the anti-Semitic violence to white nationalist ideology are impossible to ignore. Those seams grew ever clearer in Charlottesville, at Unite the Right, where demonstrators displayed swastikas on banners and shouted slogans drawn from Nazi ideology, like blood and soil. When white nationalist Richard Spencer was interviewed about the role of anti-Semitism at the rally days later, he said Jews are overrepresented on the left and establishment as Ivy League-educated people who really determine policy while white people are being dispossessed.

The president himself has trafficked in anti-Semitic stereotypes, frequently endorsing crude, negative caricatures about Jews. On Saturday, speaking before the Israeli American Council, Mr. Trump said that Jews should support him because Senator Elizabeth Warrens wealth tax would put them out of business.

A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well, youre brutal killers, the president said. Not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me. You have no choice.

Criticism of the presidents executive order has come from across the ideological spectrum. The Foundation For Individual Rights in Education, a group that advocates free speech on campus, often for conservatives, said the executive order would impermissibly threaten the expressive rights of students and faculty at institutions across the country.

Senator Brian Schatz, a liberal Jewish Democrat from Hawaii, summed it up: The idea that a college campus would have its views on Israel regulated by the federal Department of Education? Oy Gevalt.

Mr. Trumps executive order points agencies to the definition of anti-Semitism prepared by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. This definition includes several examples of speech that should be covered by the First Amendment, like claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor. For this reason Kenneth Stern, the lead author of the definition, wrote in The Times that it shouldnt be applied to higher education. The agencys definition was prepared for data collectors writing reports in Europe, not for government officials policing campus speech.

It is true that anti-Israel speech, whether on campus or in Congress, makes some Jews feel unsafe, especially those who feel that Zionism is intrinsic to Jewish identity. Some worry that critics of Israel too often blame all Jews for the actions of the Jewish state halfway around the world. Others share critics concerns about Israeli actions but find themselves unwelcome as allies, because of hostility toward the Jewish state.

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Trumps Executive Order and the Rise of Anti-Semitism - The New York Times

How Alexander Downer set off a chain of events that may lead to Donald Trump’s impeachment – ABC News

Updated December 10, 2019 18:38:20

He's been the subject of alt-right conspiracy theories, labelled an "errand boy" for Hillary Clinton, even accused of being a leftist spy.

Australian diplomat Alexander Downer's warning to his US counterpart in London was the "tipping point" for an FBI probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election and, even now, may form part of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

Now, thanks to the release of a watchdog report, we know what he said.

It started with a night out at the Kensington Wine Room, a posh bar in London, in May 2016.

As Australia's High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Downer was meeting with a member of Mr Trump's campaign team, George Papadopoulos.

According to Mr Downer's account of the night, Papadopoulos revealed information about Russia's plans to interfere in the US election before the release of tens of thousands of emails authored by Mr Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton, a claim Papadopoulos has denied.

"[Papadopoulos] said one of the reasons [Trump would win] was that the Russians might release some information which could be damaging to Hillary Clinton," Mr Downer said previously.

In a diplomatic cable to Canberra, Mr Downer downplayed the significance of Papadopoulos's apparent prediction.

But when WikiLeaks subsequently dumped the Clinton emails, Mr Downer requested a meeting about an "urgent matter" with his counterpart at the US embassy in London.

A report by US Department of Justice inspector-general Michael Horowitz has today revealed exactly what the then-high commissioner said.

Referred to in the report only as a "friendly foreign government official", Mr Downer said that Papadopoulos "suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs Clinton (and President Obama)."

Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe characterised Mr Downer's statement as a "tipping point" in the July 2016 decision to open an investigation into Russia's attempts to interfere with the 2016 election.

"Because not only was there information that Russia was targeting US political institutions," the report states.

"Now the FBI had received an allegation from a trusted partner that there had been some sort of contact between the Russians and the Trump campaign."

The FBI's probe led to US special counsel Robert Mueller's two-year investigation into election meddling, which congressional Democrats may now use as evidence that Mr Trump obstructed justice as they start drawing up articles of impeachment.

In short, Mr Downer's suggestion that the Trump campaign "received some kind of suggestion from Russia" set off a chain of events that, along with more recent claims about Ukraine, are likely to see Mr Trump impeached by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and tried in the Senate.

It's no wonder Trump allies have gone after the former Australian foreign minister.

Many of the theories that spread in right-wing chatrooms originated with Papadopoulos himself. He has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that Mr Downer recorded their now-infamous wine bar meeting on his smartphone.

Papadopoulos and other Trump supporters often cite a theory that the intelligence services of several countries, including Australia, had a secret plan to disrupt Mr Trump's campaign.

Mr Papadopoulos served a 14-day prison sentence last year after admitting he had lied in a 2017 interview with the FBI, hindering their investigation.

The wild theories have made it all the way into the halls of power.

Republican senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump supporter, gave credence to the tale, suggesting in October that Mr Downer was "directed" to seek a meeting with Papadopoulos.

He wrote that "US intelligence communities" accepted "information from an Australian diplomat who was also directed to contact Papadopoulos and relay information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

In a letter to Senator Graham, published on Twitter, US ambassador Joe Hockey rejected the assertion.

There were also claims that by reporting the matter directly to the US embassy in London, Mr Downer did not go through the correct diplomatic channels.

Mr Graham even implied Australia might be working against Mr Trump by initially refusing to release the text of Mr Downer's report.

Today's report offered a 476-page deep-dive on the origins of the Mueller probe. Mr Downer's role as the "friendly foreign government" (FFG) official is scattered throughout, but the main focus is the FBI's propriety.

There's no criticism of Mr Downer or Australia's role, and it's conceivable that, had the inspector-general discovered wrongdoing, he would have found the space to mention it in such a sweeping report.

US Attorney-General William Barr told The Australian that Mr Downer "did the right thing in supplying that information; the FFG has acted at all times just as we would hope a close ally would".

"We are grateful that we have such friends," he said. "What was subsequently done with that information by the FBI presents a separate question."

Only time will tell whether the Australia/Downer conspiracy theories will fizzle out, starved of fuel.

In the meantime, Mr Trump's allies may find alternative sources of ammunition in the report's pages.

The inspector-general ultimately "did not find any documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI's decision to conduct these operations," which contradicts Mr Trump's "witch hunt" narrative.

However, a substantial portion of the report criticises the FBI for failing to meet its own standards of accuracy and completeness in filing applications for surveillance into a member of the Trump campaign.

One low-ranking FBI lawyer may even face prosecution for altering a document related to FBI wiretaps.

Mr Trump described the report's findings as "a disgrace".

"It's far worse than I would've ever thought possible. It's an embarrassment to our country. It's dishonest."

A separate review is also underway, led by prosecutor John Durham, who was handpicked by the President's ally, Mr Barr.

In a rare statement, Mr Durham publicly said he disagreed with today's report, as did the Attorney-General.

The President says he is waiting for Mr Durham's report.

Topics:donald-trump,government-and-politics,world-politics,us-elections,united-states

First posted December 10, 2019 10:54:45

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How Alexander Downer set off a chain of events that may lead to Donald Trump's impeachment - ABC News

The False Romance of Russia – The Atlantic

Read: Russias twin nostalgias

In his landmark 1981 book, Political Pilgrims: Travels of Western Intellectuals to the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba, Paul Hollander wrote of the hospitality showered on sympathetic Western visitors to the Communist world: the banquets in Moscow thrown for George Bernard Shaw, the feasts laid out for Mary McCarthy and Susan Sontag in North Vietnam. But his conclusion was that these performances were not the key to explaining why some Western intellectuals became enamored of communism. Far more important was their estrangement and alienation from their own cultures: Intellectuals critical of their own society proved highly susceptible to the claims put forward by the leaders and spokesmen of the societies they inspected in the course of these travels.

Hollander was writing about left-wing intellectuals in the 20th century, and many such people are still around, paying court to left-wing dictators in Venezuela or Bolivia who dislike America. There are also, in our society as in most others, quite a few people who are paid to help Americas enemies, or to spread their propaganda. There always have been.

But in the 21st century, we must also contend with a new phenomenon: right-wing intellectuals, now deeply critical of their own societies, who have begun paying court to right-wing dictators who dislike America. And their motives are curiously familiar. All around them, they see degeneracy, racial mixing, demographic change, political correctness, same-sex marriage, religious decline. The America that they actually inhabit no longer matches the white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant America that they remember, or think they remember. And so they have begun to look abroad, seeking to find the spiritually unified, ethnically pure nations that, they imagine, are morally stronger than their own. Nations, for example, such as Russia.

The pioneer of this search was Patrick Buchanan, the godfather of the modern so-called alt-right, whose feelings about foreign authoritarians shifted right about the time he started writing books with titles such as The Death of the West and Suicide of a Superpower. His columns pour scorn on modern America, a place he once described, with disgust, as a multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial, multilingual universal nation whose avatar is Barack Obama. Buchanans America is in demographic decline, has been swamped by beige and brown people, and has lost its virtue. The West, he has written, has succumbed to a sexual revolution of easy divorce, rampant promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, feminism, abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, assisted suicidethe displacement of Christian values by Hollywood values.

This litany of horrors isnt much different from what can be heard most nights on Fox News. Listen to Tucker Carlson. The American dream is dying, Carlson declared one recent evening, in a monologue that also referred to the dark age that we are living through. Carlson has also spent a lot of time on air reminiscing about how the United States was a better country than it is now in a lot of ways, back when it was more cohesive. And no wonder: Immigrants have plundered America, thanks to decadent and narcissistic politicians who refuse to defend the nation. You can read worse on the white-supremacist websites of the alt-rightdo pick up a copy of Ann Coulters Adios America: The Lefts Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellholeor hear more extreme sentiments in some evangelical churches. Franklin Graham has declared, for example, that America is in deep trouble and on the verge of total moral and spiritual collapse.

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The False Romance of Russia - The Atlantic

Henry Louis Gates Talks Reconstruction To Alt-Right, Trump And Voter Suppression – WFAE

WFAE's Gwendolyn Glenn talks race, Reconstruction, voting and more with award-winning author and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates.

Henry Louis Gates, a renowned and award-winning filmmaker, author of two dozen books, a professor and director of African American studies at Harvard University, has written about race in America. He explores the Civil War, Reconstruction to Jim Crow, the civil rights movement and the state of race relations today.

Gates spoke at UNC Charlotte Tuesday for the schools 2019 Chancellor Speaker Series and at the uptown campus to school donors and city leaders. WFAE's "All Things Considered" host, Gwendolyn Glenn, caught up with him to talk about race, voting, economics and other issues.

Gwendolyn Glenn: Let's talk about the message that you want to leave people with. You'll be talking with students, faculty from UNC Charlotte and also a lot of city leaders here in Charlotte. What's the message you want to leave today?

Henry Louis Gates: It's very important for people to understand the history of Reconstruction, the period following the Civil War and its rollback because it is a precursor to the period that we're experiencing today. Between 1870 and 1877, 2,000 black men were elected to public office, including Chris Rock's great-great-grandfather, who was elected to the House of Delegates in South Carolina. But within a few years, poof all that disappeared.

Glenn: And I was going to ask you about that because you talk about that in your book and I think in an interview I heard you compare that roll back after Reconstruction to Jim Crow and on to what's happening now with the Trump administration and that rollback.

Gates: Reconstruction was 12 years of unprecedented black freedom followed by an alt-right rollback. And we're living through a period of eight years of a beautiful, brilliant, black family in the White House. A brilliant black president followed by an alt-right rollback. So the lesson of Reconstruction is that rights that we think are permanent, the right to vote, birthright citizenship, and the right of a woman to determine the fate of her own body. We think that these are inviolable. But they're not they're subject to the interpretation of the courts and sometimes the executive orders and that is the crisis that we're facing today. So what happened in Reconstruction can happen again. The most important way, the most devastating way that Reconstruction was rolled back was through voter suppression.

Glenn: And looking at today when you hear charges of voter suppression even right here in North Carolina you hear people talking about how laws are being changed. Compare that to today?

Gates: We see voter suppression happening throughout this country but particularly where there are strong black voting blocs in North Carolina and in other states. And we have to be on guard. We have to fight back and we have to register black people and like-minded people to vote.

Glenn: Well, Charlotte has had issues like that where you have had a lot of distrust by African Americans of the police department. You have economic gaps between the races and you've had a lot of unrest surrounding fatal police shootings, white police officers and black victims. How does Charlotte compare to the rest of the country? Does it sound like most cities large cities like this? How does it compare?

Gates: I'm not an expert on Charlotte or black-white race relations or relationships between the community and the police but I know that throughout the country obviously anyone who's watched the news knows that for the last several years and much longer, there have been basic problems between the police and the black community.

I don't think it's only a racial thing. I think it's a class thing as well. I think that poor people are disenfranchised, poor people across the board feel alienated from all representatives of the power structure, the police included. And I think that one of the most important developments has been having police officers wear video cameras and also the fact that the people being stopped by the police have smartphones and are recording their interaction.

Glenn: Are you optimistic about common ground and also you dedicated your book to the Emanuel Nine. Why was that important to you?

Gates: Well, I did one of the last interviews with Reverend Clementa Pinckney for my series Many Rivers To Cross, which was 500 years of African American history. And I liked him very, very much and I admired him. And right now I'm filming a series on the history the black church. And Mother Emanuel plays a pivotal role both during slavery because it was the site of the plot of a famous slave rebellion in Charleston then it was shut down in 1832 and then reopened in 1865.

So when I heard that Reverend Pinckney and the other eight innocents at Mother Emanuel had been killed it just tore me up because I'd been there, I'd filmed there, I knew him. But if you would have asked me cold...if you had said a terrible racial tragedy happened in Charleston at a black church where do you think it was? I would have said Mother Emanuel because it was a symbol of black freedom. It was a symbol of black resistance during slavery and a symbol of black freedom during Reconstruction.

Glenn: Well, thank you very much.

Gates: Thank you.

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Henry Louis Gates Talks Reconstruction To Alt-Right, Trump And Voter Suppression - WFAE

Shallow Woke-Scolding Won’t Save White Boys From the Alt-Right – Patheos

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In a recent article, the newspaper formerly known as the New York Times offers an eye-catching headline: Racists Are Recruiting. Watch Your White Sons. The image is an inspired piece of pop art: a blond-haired, gangly boy disappearing into a giant iPhone made of writhing snakes. One shoe is still outside the phone, the shoelaces untied. The tag on his shirt sticks out against his neck. Its a perfect visual encapsulation of vulnerability entrapped by evil.

The author, Joanna Schroeder, is a mommy blogger with bylines at the Huffington Post and other outlets who frequently writes about raising sons. In recent months, she has become especially vocal about the alt-right, white nationalist gamer culture, and the vulnerability of boys to online Nazi recruitment. This article is a summary of what shes learned and wants to pass on to other moms like her.

So far, so good. Alt-right online culture is indeed toxic, callous and dangerous, and it is indeed perilously easy these days for disillusioned young men to fall down a rabbit hole and wander into some very dark places. Ive spent years warning friends to educate themselves and take the alt-right phenomenon seriously, learning to recognize the kinds of memes and linguistic tells that typify the right-wing fringe. When young people no longer get what they need from the mainstream, they will wander to the edges, and there they will encounter the sort of ideological static cling that makes for very strange bedfellows. I speak from experience as someone who has been politically homeless for my entire adult life.

All of which is to say, we could use a smart, thoughtful op-ed clearly outlining what the alt-right actually is, the actual dangers it poses to our boys, and the actual best ways for parents to become informed and preempt its influence.

Unfortunately, Ms. Schroeders piece is not that op-ed.

Schroeder bursts out of the gate with what is meant to be a darkly ominous opening anecdote about a car ride with her sons. She overhears them in the back seat with friends crowing Triggered! over a meme on their phones, whereupon she tells us with an absolutely straight face, I almost lost control of the car. If the reader here begins to wonder whether Ms. Schroeder is quite up to the task of calmly navigating land transportation, the rest of the article wont set his mind at rest.

In another anecdote, delivered in ponderous blow-by-blow, she recalls catching a Hitler meme on her sons phone out of the corner of her eye and snatching it to have a closer look: Hold on a minute. Was that Hitler? I have been unable to track down the original meme, but if Ms. Schroeders interpretation is accurate, the gist of it seems to be the kind of elaborately unsavory joke that can in fact find its ultimate origins in alt-right troll dens. As Schroeder tells the story, her son hadnt even been aware of the meaning of the meme and liked it assuming it was innocuous.

It may be worth interjecting here that alt-right memery can indeed turn very ugly very fast, uglier even than the rather clumsily veiled meme Ms. Schroeder seems to be describing. In general outline, the idea of noting the earmarks of an alt-right meme and teaching your son to practice caution isnt unreasonable. Dramatically snatching away your sons phone the moment an image of Hitler flickers on the screen, then writing a New York Times op-ed advertising for the whole world that he accidentally liked the wrong kind of meme on Instagram: slightly less reasonable.

It would be far more constructive for Schroeder to introduce her sons to figures like David French and Ben Shapiro, who have been on the receiving end of alt-right hate mail. There was, for instance, the ugly incident when alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos tweeted a picture of a black baby at Shapiro upon the birth of his son. (This is part of a running viciously racist meme involving what black men might do to white mens wives.)

However, Ms. Schroeder is apparently incapable of computing the idea that the alt-right wouldnt be Ben Shapiros biggest fans. While rattling off her list of extremist media, she careens breathlessly from 4chan to PragerU to The Daily Stormer to Jordan Peterson, barely pausing to note that some of these things might not be exactly like some of these other things.

But of course, such an article wouldnt be complete without an obligatory Jordan Peterson reference. While conceding that Peterson and other IDW figures are more mainstream, Schroeder casually wedges the clinical psychologist in between paragraphs about white supremacist outlets and gaming forums. She writes that Petersons conservative perspectives on feminism and gender are very popular among young men and often are a path to more extreme content andideologies.

This, from the advice columnist who offers tips on ethical sexting and writes open letters to her sons telling them that love and sex neednt have anything to do with each other, or that she will be proud if they can become cool enough to bed multiple girls (or boys). Meanwhile, Jordan Peterson tells boys that casual sex is an oxymoron and offers practical advice on how to quit pornography, something Schroeder should appreciate. Here he is chatting with a fan who came to a healthier understanding of sex and sexuality by taking Petersons wisdom to heart. A clinical psychologist right in my own town also shared a story with me about a young man who was the archetypal aggressively foul-mouthed, female-objectifying, porn-addicted high school jock, until he encountered Peterson. The difference before and after, she said, was as night to day.

I also note that in the course of her research, Schroeder found an author who conjectures that young men are drawn to toxic online communities because they want to feel as if theyre part of a heroic struggle. All the more reason why she should be a fan of someone like Jordan Peterson, who also understands this deep need in young men but encourages them to channel it towards personal improvement, costly relational investment (like maybe marrying the girlfriend Ms. Schroeder would say they could just go on bedding without marriage if they feel like it), and taking on family and community responsibility. Yes I know, Im hopelessly naive.

But clearly, Ms. Schroeder doesnt need my advice. Her game plan is all mapped out. In a column entitled 18 Ways to Raise Feminist Boys, Schroeder suggests such helpful tips as buying dollies for your boy toddler, or playing house and asking him if hed like to be the mommy. She has guides to media consumption too, including lists of female-centric book and TV series to make sure your boys read/watch, plus invaluable tips on how to handle old media (Have your teens brainstorm the ways in which James Bond shouldve shown more respect).

Ms. Schroeder also shares her secret sauce for deconstructing terms like snowflake. Whos more of a snowflake, she asks her son with relish, the person who wants people to stop using racial slurs and mocking of gay people, or someone who complains about the phrase Happy Holidays at Christmastime? (A bit that would no doubt have been very cutting-edge in 1991.)

She also has a game plan for teaching her sons how to think about race, particularly recommending Shelly Tochluks Witnessing Whiteness as a how-to guide. One blurber gives this taste of the book: Shelly Tochluk brings to light the most important book about race in a generation. Is whiteness bad in itself? When is it just part of the social, historical and cultural legacy of a people? And what is the prison/poison that this legacy bequeaths us? Tochluk herself informs her readers that Our first step is to identify the ways our whiteness emerges. Our first step is to become witnesses to our whiteness. (p. xvii)

If Ms. Schroeder sincerely believes any of this is going to have any measurable, helpful, useful effect on her white sons, I dont know what to tell her. Truly, I dont.

Some might say I am being too harsh with someone who, for all her foolish and ineffectual finger-wagging, at the end of the day is still a mom of boys who is genuinely scared of at least some things she should be scared of. I confess, the sort of person who instructs teenage boys that their sex lives and their love lives can run on parallel tracks does not awaken my better angels. But the tiny grain of truth buried in Schroeders smarmy fluff is that there is a real threat on the right-wing fringe that can have an attraction for boys and young men who are bored, aimless, and looking for a transgressive thrill.

Ironically, her brand of woke-scolding could not have been better calculated to put off the sort of young man who already feels he is being constantly scolded and doesnt understand why. In other words, exactly the sort who wanders into alt-right Internet forums. But by sweeping all non-conforming right-of-center commentary outside the Overton window with one grand gesture, Schroeder cuts them off from the antidote. In fact, she should be so lucky if she catches her sons watching a Jordan Peterson lecture on YouTube. They might have actually learned something about manhood. They might have actually learned something about human nature. They might have learned something about what makes evil men do evil things. And in the process, they might have learned something about their own hearts.

But hey, at least shell make sure they learn about ethical sexting. So theres that.

See the article here:

Shallow Woke-Scolding Won't Save White Boys From the Alt-Right - Patheos

In Sri Lanka, Cartoonists Take on the Alt-Right – Fair Observer

It has been traditionally accepted in modern societiesthat the media play a key role in the way they function. Journalists counteractthe abuses of power by governments, frame political issues and are implicitlyrecognized as being part of the political system with a remarkable amount of socialinfluence.

In countries where the political systems are broken, and where journalism can often carry a risk to ones life, the role of journalists becomes even more critical. They become witnesses against oppression who flag the voices of the unheard, bringing to light facts and events that either fall below the radar or are purposely suppressed. In 2018, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expressed concern about media safety in Sri Lanka and asked all social actors to defend the freedom and independence of the press, as well as to protect journalists rights. In a 25-year period, from 1990 to 2015, 32 journalists have been killed on the island according to data by the IFJ.

This is not the complete picture, however. Some citizens, who have disappeared over the years, are not on the list of the official victims. There is the case of cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda who, after phoning his wife, never reached home on January 24, 2010. Eknaligoda frequently used his pen to depict corruption, human rights abuses and the erosion of democracy in Sri Lanka. Almost a decade on, he is still missing, while his case remains open. His wife, Sandya, has been restlessly fighting for answers despite death threats, abuse and harassment she and her children have faced over the years.

The genre of political cartoons, which includes satireand caricatures, usually conveys editorial commentary on politics andpoliticians, as well as current events, and plays a vital role in theconstruction of the political discourse in society. Political cartoons aresymbolic illustrations that can also become powerful communicative weapons. Theyare hugely efficient at transmitting messages and do so in the most economicalway. Few words are needed, often coated in witty humor and usually making useof hyperbole and satire in order to question authority and probe socialproblems.

To some extent, cartoonists nowadays are like modern jesters, like those in the Middle Ages who were allowed to tell the truth to the king without risking their heads being chopped off. The big difference, however, is that cartoonists, unlike those merrymen of yore, are not safe. Many have been threatened and even killed for being considered offensive, such as those who lost their lives in the 2015 attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Undeterred, Sri Lankas cartoonists have taken on the extremists flaming inter-ethnic conflict on the island.

Even though there is no far-right movement as such in Sri Lanka, according to Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, a Sri Lankan diplomat and academic, what is rising across the country is a type of religious alt-right movement, with the distinctive markers that define its core constituency and its social consciousness. Some of the markers that make the Sri Lankan alt-right unique, in his opinion, are the role of the clergy/ex-military interface, the dominant ideology, and the mentality and dynamics within the clergy. Assuming a defensive attitude, these extremists are constantly looking for and finding threats to the Sinhala-Buddhist identity, mainly in the form of Sri Lankas multi-ethnic and multi-religious community.

Focusing on the post-civil war era, after 2009, minorities in Sri Lanka have not enjoyed a peaceful coexistence with the Buddhist majority. The new preferred target has been the Muslim community that makes up barely 9% of the islands population. Systematic attacks against Muslims have become a constant, with several high casualty incidences recorded in the cities of Aluthgama in 2014, Gintota in 2017 and Digana in 2018. In some of these cases, violence was instigated by the speeches delivered by the ultra-nationalist Buddhist monks, who have acted with impunity under the government of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and now under President Maithripala Sirisena. This ethno-religious, ultra-nationalist alt-right in Sri Lanka has been shaping the agenda of both the previous and the current administrations.

As Professor Javadeya Uyangoda, a constitutional expert and political scientist, suggests, there is a consolidation of a hard right-wing alternative to a weak and shaky democratic regime option, represented by groups of extremist Buddhist monks. One such group is the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force), which organizes anti-Muslim actions, both online and offline. It has initiated boycotts of Muslim companies and halal products, opposes Muslim womens clothes, stages protests outside Muslim-owned retail outlets and the Embassy of Bangladesh in Colombo, spreading hate speech in public meetings and on social media. The group have also expressed a wish to see a Hitler-type military ruler come to power in the elections scheduled for later this year.

In this political environment, cartoonists become central voices to call out those abuses of power. Their real social function, equivalent to that of journalists, may pass unnoticed by the average reader. In this sense, cartoonists are activists vital for society but threatening for the authorities, since they can easily reach the common man who may not have the time or the capacity to read lengthy articles filled with convoluted political jargon.

Sri Lanka has always had a strong tradition of political cartoons, but currently the genre seems more robust than ever. Among the best-known artists working today are Awantha Artigala, Gihan de Chickera, Dasa Hapuwalana, Sajith Bandara and R.C. Pradeep. Their daily cartoons are easy to consume and direct in the brutality they betray.

Sri Lankan cartoonists have been speaking up against extremism and racism backed by the alt-right, the unconstitutional measures adopted by the government, the periodic bans on social media following outbreaks of ethnic conflict and the wave of Islamophobia that arose after the devastating Easter Sunday attacks earlier this year. They have never lowered their voices, brandishing their pens together with their political conscience and bravery as their only weapons.

Political cartoons are a symptom of a healthy society. Together with the political opposition, members of civil society, activists and journalists, cartoonists are essential actors in democratic and non-democratic spaces. Lets hope that one day, Sri Lankan cartoonists will be able to satirize peaceful and positive events in their homeland.

*[The Centre for Analysis of the Radical Rightis a partner institution ofFair Observer.]

The views expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observers editorial policy.

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In Sri Lanka, Cartoonists Take on the Alt-Right - Fair Observer


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