Ctrl Alt-Right Delete Conference
I’m so excited to partner with HOPE not hate USA for this incredible event: Trump’s America – How the Far Right is Radicalizing American Politics. Please join us on June 28 in Washington DC for a day long conference devoted to better understanding all things Frog Squad.
Panelists will include representatives from The New York Times, ColorOfChange, and NARAL. More details about speakers will be out later this week, so keep an eye out! We’re putting together a program that I’m really proud of. You won’t want to miss this. I hope to see you there!
White Supremacists and the Upcoming US Elections
By Melissa Ryan
The white supremacists are running! Political coverage of 2018 is chock full of stories about nazis, white nationalists and white supremacists running for office this year. According to The Hill there are at least 8 known such candidates running for office this year. Patrick Little, perhaps the most well known nazi candidate even has supporters running anti-semitic robocalls on his behalf. Coverage of nazi candidates reached a fever pitch when the Huffington post ran a detailed article about Nathan Larson, a self-identified white supremacist and “quasi-neoreactionary libertarian” candidate who also happens to be a proud pedophile. Larson has run for office before but believes that he has a chance this time because “A lot of people who disagreed with someone like Trump … might vote for them anyway just because the establishment doesn’t like them.”
Meanwhile Trump and the GOP, eager not to repeat Alabama’s special election, have embraced Mitch McConnell-approved, more mainstream candidates. Even Steve Bannon, who less than a year ago was still bragging his ability to primary the GOP establishment and take down McConnell admitted recently that “People are starting to realize that the anti-establishment thing is kind of a luxury we can’t afford right now.”
Trump is careful whenever he’s made an endorsement to emphasize the candidate’s ability to win. He also reminds his base about Alabama and how they can’t afford another loss. Here’s what Trump never does: disavow their ideas. State Republican parties have given Trump cover, with the GOP in Illinois denouncing the Congressional candidate who won the Republican nomination and California Republicans kicking Patrick Little out of their convention. But as we saw after Charlottesville, Trump just can’t bring himself to disavow white supremacy and risk offending his base.
Racists running for and holding elected office isn’t a new phenomenon, especially at the local level. They’ve always been among us. Social media has shone a new light on candidates and elected officials with bigoted views, usually when they run their own Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’m glad that so many reporters are tracking these comments now. Voters deserve to know when a candidate holds bigoted views that will inevitably affect how they would govern.
Here’s what concerns me. Trump and the GOP are still pretty effectively threading the needle. The recent coverage of nazis running for office as if it’s a new phenomenon helps them do it. Because it focuses on the insane things that individual outlier candidates are saying rather than the normalization of these ideas. There have always been horrible people running for and holding elected office. The recent focus on these candidates gives Trump and the GOP an easy out.
Meanwhile white supremacists are building long term power in the Republican Party. The Daily Beast reports that Charlottesville speaker and far right YouTube personality James Allsup was just elected to a Republican Party post in Washington State. As a college student Allsup was President of Washington State University’s College Republicans and was forced to resign from the position after Charlottesville. White supremacist party building worries me a hell of a lot more than individual candidates. Having the infrastructure in place makes it a hell of a lot easier for the the next Nathan Larson, Arthur Jones, or Patrick Little run and win.
President Trump has as yet failed to condemn the white supremacists who are standing on the Republican party ticket in the upcoming elections. With a history of failing to condemn white supremacism, dating back to Charlottesville and beyond, this should come as no surprise.
Tommy Robinson is Not The Messiah, He’s a Violent Far Right Racist
Since the arrest and imprisonment of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) for contempt of court in the UK, a series of “#FreeTommy” events have taken place across the UK and around the world. Based on the incorrect and conspiratorial notion that he has been wrongly imprisoned, merely for reporting on a rape trial, pro-Tommy actions have taken place in America, Australia and across Europe in addition to large outpourings of support on social media.
The truth is that Lennon was already under a suspended sentence for contempt of court violations in Canterbury last year and is now rightly starting a 13-month prison term, after naming defendants in a case, the charges and details of the allegations they faced, as well as filming defendants and confronting them outside court. The court heard it could cost taxpayers “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds” if a re-trial had to be held.
Despite this, the Dutch newspaper Telegraaf thought it acceptable to describe Lennon as a “martyr of the working class” while other mainstream publications have ignored or played down his extremism.
Stephen Lennon, is a far right, Islamophobic extremist with an extensive history of violence and criminality.
- Some unique research from Digital Forensics Research Lab this week. #BotSpot: Sex And Sensibility “A horde of Jane Austen-quoting bots leads to Russian porn sites.” Fascinating stuff but be warned that some of the links cited lead to NSFW content.
- How The Alt-Right Manipulates The Internet’s Biggest Commenting Platform (Buzzfeed)
- A New Tech Manifesto: Six demands, from a citizen to Big Tech (Baratunde Thurston, Medium)
- Donald Trump’s trade war masks a darker agenda: Aiding the far right in Europe (Salon)
- Russia’s Troll Factory Just Launched A New Website Targeting Americans (Arc Digital)
- David Hogg’s family was swatted. That’s extremely dangerous (Vox)
- The Hate Report: The alt-right is down, but not out (Reveal)