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October 17, 2013

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

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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