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May 15, 2014 7

“Jews Vs. Nazis” Drinking Game Controversy

An offen­sive new Holocaust-themed ver­sion of the pop­u­lar “beer pong” drink­ing game has become a sub­ject of intense dis­cus­sion online and in domes­tic and inter­na­tional media. The game, dubbed “Jews vs.Jews vs  Nazis beer pong drinking game Nazis,” is played by set­ting up two groups of cups, one in the shape of a swastika and the other in the shape of a Star of David.

While the game has report­edly been played across the coun­try in the last few years, the most recent instance came to light after a Twit­ter feed ded­i­cated to anony­mous high school con­fes­sions tweeted a photo of cups set up for “Jews vs. Nazis” on April 27. The photo, which appeared to be from a high school in Florida, was sub­se­quently retweeted 1,800 times, favor­ited over 3,000 times, and cov­ered by the local news.

There are doc­u­mented instances of “Jews vs. Nazis” beer pong on var­i­ous social media sites going back to at least 2011. These pho­tos are fre­quently recir­cu­lated by peo­ple claim­ing they are from a recent event.

The photo from the sup­posed recent game actu­ally first appeared in March 2013 on Red­dit, a user-generated news site. It has since shown up on other blogs and web­sites where drink­ing games are a com­mon topic, as well as on a food blog and the web­site of a Col­orado radio sta­tion, which described five new ver­sions of beer pong for its lis­ten­ers to try.

The March 2013 photo, the most com­monly cir­cu­lated on social media, often also includes the game’s rules. In addi­tion to hav­ing the teams shape their cups into a swastika and a Star of David, the game’s over-the-top insen­si­tiv­i­ties include giv­ing the “Jews” the abil­ity to hide one of their cups as the “Anne Frank” cup and the “Nazis” the abil­ity to “Auschwitz” their oppo­nents, mean­ing that one of their play­ers must tem­porar­ily sit out.

Not only is this game pro­foundly offen­sive, its rules also encour­age anti-Semitism against the “Jew” team. The rules state: “Through­out the game you are sup­posed to talk a lot of s–t and say as many racist things as pos­si­ble to make it more enjoy­able. My Jew­ish friends actu­ally love this game haha.”

This game under­scores once more the crit­i­cal need for Holo­caust edu­ca­tion. A recent global poll on anti-Semitism con­ducted by ADL revealed that only a lit­tle more than half of the respon­dents had heard of the Holo­caust, though that num­ber was much higher in the U.S. where 89% of peo­ple acknowl­edged aware­ness of the Holocaust.

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December 20, 2013 1

Virginia Neo-Nazi Indicted On Threat Charges

On Decem­ber 11, a fed­eral grand jury in Orlando, Florida, indicted Vir­ginia white suprema­cist William “Bill” White on charges of threat­en­ing a Florida judge, a for­mer state attor­ney, and a law enforce­ment offi­cer. The six count indict­ment includes five counts of mak­ing threats over the Inter­net and one count of unlaw­ful use of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion information.bill-white-threat

The charges stem from e-mails allegedly sent by White to the vic­tims and from posts allegedly made by White on the com­ments sec­tions of sev­eral web­pages, includ­ing one belong­ing to the Anti-Defamation League.  The com­mu­ni­ca­tions fol­lowed on the heels of the May 2012 arrests of 14 mem­bers of the racist skin­head group Amer­i­can Front on con­spir­acy and other charges—the vic­tims all had some involve­ment in that case.  Iron­i­cally, almost all of the charges against the Amer­i­can Front mem­bers would later be dropped.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tions alleged to have been sent by White threat­ened to kid­nap, tor­ture, rape, and kill the recip­i­ents, their spouses, and their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.  Some of the com­mu­ni­ca­tions made pub­lic the home addresses of the victim.

In the threat­en­ing com­ment made on the Anti-Defamation League’s Extrem­ism & Ter­ror­ism blog, the poster (iden­ti­fy­ing him­self as “Joe Tomassi, Charles Man­son and Son of Sam”) wrote that “we are at your house, we are at your kids houses we are at your grand­kids houses and we are sit­ting out­side their schools” (punc­tu­a­tion as in orig­i­nal).  The mes­sage then pro­vided the home addresses of the vic­tims.  It demanded that author­i­ties release the arrested white suprema­cists “or we will be send­ing you a mes­sage writ­ten in blood.”

White is cur­rently in cus­tody in Vir­ginia serv­ing a sen­tence for a 2011 fed­eral con­vic­tion on threat charges.  He also awaits sen­tenc­ing on a more recent con­vic­tion of threat­en­ing his estranged wife. White also pre­vi­ously served two years in fed­eral prison fol­low­ing a 2009 con­vic­tion on threat and wit­ness intim­i­da­tion charges.  In that case, White used his web­site to encour­age vio­lence against the fore­man of a jury in Chicago that con­victed Matt Hale, a promi­nent white suprema­cist, of solic­it­ing the mur­der of a fed­eral judge.

White, a long time white suprema­cist, is the for­mer head of the now-defunct Amer­i­can National Social­ist Work­ers Party, a small neo-Nazi group; prior to that, he was a mem­ber of the neo-Nazi National Social­ist Movement.

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September 13, 2013 0

Florida Cop-Killer Harbored Extremist Views

Social net­work­ing post­ings and links made by a Florida man who killed a Char­lotte County deputy reveal a vehe­ment loathing for Pres­i­dent Barack Obama as well as sym­pa­thy for a vari­ety of racist and anti-Muslim causes.jay-vanko

On Mon­day, August 2, Sergeant Mike Wil­son of the Char­lotte County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domes­tic dis­tur­bance call at an apart­ment build­ing in Port Char­lotte.  As he entered the stair­well of the build­ing, Jaroslav “Jay” Vanko, 49, fired at the deputy from the top of the stair­case, mor­tally wound­ing Wil­son in the chest above his bul­let­proof vest.  Vanko killed him­self soon after as police sur­rounded the building.

Why Vanko decided to resort to lethal vio­lence is not clear and may never be known.  How­ever, Vanko’s pro­file on the social net­work­ing web­site Face­book, as well as his post­ings else­where on that site, pro­vide con­sid­er­able insight into many of his views and opinions. 

Vanko’s on-line writ­ings clearly reveal that, in the years since his arrival in the United States from the Czech Repub­lic, he had devel­oped an attach­ment to a vari­ety of far right-wing causes that ranged from main­stream to extreme.  One of Vanko’s most cher­ished causes was the issue of gun rights, but he tended to be most emo­tional on the sub­ject of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, describ­ing Obama as a “snake” and a “scum­bag” who “lit­er­ally make me a sick” [lan­guage as in orig­i­nal post­ing].   Accord­ing to Vanko, Obama was seek­ing a rise in crim­i­nal activ­ity in order to jus­tify mass gun con­fis­ca­tion.  “That is exactly what Lenin did,” Vanko wrote, accus­ing Obama of seek­ing to “spark [a] social­ist revolution.”

As dis­turb­ing as such com­ments are, even more dis­turb­ing are some of the other causes that Vanko sup­ported.  Among Vanko’s Face­book “likes” were a vari­ety of racist, white suprema­cist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim Face­book pages, includ­ing “Amer­i­can White His­tory Month,” the anti-Muslim “United States of Amer­ica Defence [sic] League,” “Islam Free Planet,” “The Counter Jihad Report,” “Boy­cott Halal,”  the anti-government extrem­ist “Three Per­centers III%” page,  the racist and anti-Muslim Eng­lish Defence League,  the page for con­spir­acy the­ory talk show host Alex Jones, and many sim­i­lar pages.

His “likes” also included sev­eral Face­book pages tied to white suprema­cist groups, includ­ing the page “Save the White Peo­ple in South Africa,” asso­ci­ated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations and other white suprema­cist groups, as well as the page for the Amer­i­can Renais­sance, a white suprema­cist mag­a­zine pub­lished by long­stand­ing racist Jared Tay­lor.  In a post­ing he made to the South Africa page, Vanko offered his own opin­ion of the white race:  “I love whites, most beau­ti­ful peo­ple on planet.  We need to fight it on daily basis, not deal with sav­ages on any level and ignore them every­where” [lan­guage as in orig­i­nal posting].

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