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October 17, 2013 57

Arkansas Racist Billboard Part of White Supremacist Strategy

racist-harrison-billboard

Source: harrisonar.net

An anony­mous white suprema­cist recently caused a stir in Har­ri­son, Arkansas, by leas­ing a 12’ x 24’ bill­board in order to dis­play the racist phrase “Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White.” 

This is not a ran­dom slo­gan but rather a strat­egy that has emerged in recent years on the part of white suprema­cists to try to reverse alle­ga­tions of racism by imply­ing that any­body who speaks out against racism is some­how there­fore “anti-white.”

The pro­po­nents of this strat­egy are fol­low­ers of elderly white suprema­cist Bob Whitaker, a for­mer Repub­li­can con­gres­sional aid and minor Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion appointee in the 1970s and 1980s who embraced white supremacy and began writ­ing for neo-Nazi publications. 

Whitaker’s fol­low­ers con­sider him an “expert” on polit­i­cal pro­pa­ganda and have adopted his belief that the key to suc­cess­ful pro­pa­ganda is to come up with sim­ple slo­gans and end­lessly repeat them.  To this end, in the mid-2000s Whitaker devo­tees such as Tim­o­thy Mur­dock, who under the pseu­do­nym “Horus the Avenger” runs the White Rab­bit Radio web­site, came up with what they call the “Stop White Geno­cide Mantra” or sim­ply “The Mantra.”

The “Mantra” is a short, eight-paragraph state­ment based on Whitaker’s racist views that claims that con­cerns about racism are essen­tially cam­ou­flage for the “ongo­ing pro­gram of geno­cide” against the white race.  It ends with the phrase “They say they are anti-racist.  What they are is anti-white.”  From the “Mantra,” Whitaker adher­ents devel­oped the shorter phrase, which they end­lessly repeat, “Anti-racist is a code for anti-white.”  

Whitaker and Mur­dock fol­low­ers plas­ter this slo­gan every­where they can—across the web, in ban­ners over free­ways, as signs or stick­ers, and more.  Every month, white suprema­cists cre­ate peti­tions with this slo­gan on the White House’s “We the Peo­ple” peti­tion Web­site.  “Mantra” fans have lit­tered the white suprema­cist web­site Storm­front with the phrase so often that it has irri­tated even other white suprema­cists on that site. 

The Har­ri­son bill­board is sim­ply the lat­est effort in this white suprema­cist rhetor­i­cal strat­egy, one that has no more chance of main­stream suc­cess than any pre­vi­ous white suprema­cist slo­gan has ever had, from “White Power!” to “We must secure the exis­tence of our peo­ple and a future for white chil­dren.”  How­ever, as the bill­board has been leased for a year, Har­ri­son res­i­dents may have to put up with this ugly racist slo­gan in their midst for some time.

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July 24, 2013 4

Foul Ball: Hate Speech, Twitter & Baseball

In the past week, the abil­ity to spread hate about eth­nic and reli­gious minori­ties in real time has twice played out on Twit­ter in the con­text of baseball. ryan-braun-twitter-hate

After Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers out­fielder Ryan Braun was sus­pended from Major League Base­ball for the remain­der of this sea­son for using per­for­mance enhanc­ing drugs, some Twit­ter users responded by post­ing dis­tinctly anti-Semitic messages.

Among the tweets that can be found when search­ing for Braun on Twit­ter are:

  • leave it to a jew to cheat the sys­tem, deceive peo­ple, then tar­nish other’s rep­u­ta­tions. Fuck you asshole
  • Ryan Braun jew’d us!
  • Ryan Braun didn’t make a mistake…he cheated, lied about it and than got caught…fuckin jew
  • Of course Ryan Braun was juiced out of his mind. How else could a Jew be that great at any­thing besides accounting

While anti-Semitic tweets about Braun did not start with his sus­pen­sion, the recent tweets fol­low a bar­rage of racist tweets in response to singer Marc Antony’s singing “God Bless Amer­ica” at Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in New York on July 16.

While Anthony is an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen of Puerto Rican descent, numer­ous offen­sive tweets made the rounds, say­ing  “shouldn’t an Amer­i­can be singing God Bless Amer­ica?” and imply­ing that Anthony is actu­ally from Mex­ico or Cuba, gen­er­ally assert­ing  any­one who is Latino in appear­ance is not inher­ently American.

ADL ardently sup­ports the right to free speech, but believes that social media and other Inter­net sites also have an oblig­a­tion to police their com­mu­ni­ties and con­front those who pro­mote anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of hate speech.

Twit­ter has no terms of ser­vice or com­mu­nity stan­dards that address aggres­sive or mali­cious behav­ior on the ser­vice. Addi­tion­ally, Twit­ter does not pro­vide even the most basic “Flag­ging” mech­a­nism for com­plaints which is widely used on the expe­ri­enced plat­forms run by Google and Facebook.

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