I should congratulate Okage Antifa for finding me on Gab. Discovering an account which I created under my own name (as I have always done since Fidonet days) takes some serious Internet detective skills. I could have joined Gab pseudonymously and many whose circumstances are different than mine do just that. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay wrote The Federalist Papers under the nom de plume “Publius.” I have chosen John Hancock’s approach.
Alas, while they were busy making fascists afraid again Okage Antifa forgot to look after their own Internet privacy. A quick look at earlier Okage Antifa tweets reveals 2015 links advertising compositions by “Lamar Gabriel.” With a bit more digging we discover Lamar Gabriel, leader and apparent sole member of Okage Antifa and Trident Antifa, is a 29 year old atheist and practitioner of “ecstatic dasein” living with his parents in Haleyville, Alabama. But though I might mock Lamar’s security (not to mention his politics and physique) I must admit some of my Gab posts are a wee bit, well, problematic.
I could tell you “Hacker X” took over my Gab feed or I could say that Lamar created those posts to frame me. It is easy enough to delete embarrassing material and I doubt Lamar saved the incriminating evidence on archive.is or any similar service. But I’ve left my feed untouched as he found it. Though I may balk at owning my “privilege” I have always owned my words.
I might tearfully tell you I’m seeking help for the sickness that drove me to post those memes. I’m certainly no paragon of mental stability: I wouldn’t trust myself with firearms or loan myself large sums of money. Alas, the M’Naghten Rule does not apply here. I was fully aware those memes were offensive. In fact. that’s why I posted them! I not only accept full moral and personal responsibility for my actions, I insist on it.
Perhaps I should tell you those posts “don’t represent the real me.” Sorry, can’t do that either. The shocking, scatological and offensive have long been staples of comedy: the court jester could joke about important issues no one else dared mention. My sense of humor is so black it was raised by its 34 year-old grandmother. (See what I mean!) I’ve been shitposting for over a quarter century now and have no intention of stopping.
So am I explaining away my bad behavior with “can’t anybody take a joke?” Not exactly. I don’t want to gas Jews any more than Buzzfeed’s Joe Bernstein wants to kill straight White men. I don’t believe Blacks are monkeys any more than the New York Times’ Sarah Jeong thinks Whites are groveling goblins. But Bernstein and I understand that offensive and shocking goes a long way in Clickbait World. Jeong and I both know success lies in giving your audience what they want. Sure, we were all just joking. But that’s not all we were doing.
Publicists used to brag their movies were banned in Boston and their plays censored by the guardians of public morality. Nothing is more tempting than the lure of the forbidden: remember how well that “don’t eat this apple” command worked out? Edgy comments that offend somebody other than your target audience mark you as a brave crusader willing to express hard truths. (The fact that Bernstein, Jeong etc. face no real dangers for their statements is generally elided). The folks on Gab bond over racist humor the way audiophiles bond over stereo equipment.
What of the people I might drive away? What of them indeed. I became a “White Supremacist” when I acknowledged that White people exist. I became a “Nazi” when I said Europeans have a right and duty to preserve their heritage and culture. I became an “anti-Semite” when I asked those yammering about my White privilege to contemplate their Jewish privilege. Anybody who might be scared away by a Tyrone Blackman or Happy Merchant meme wrote me off a while back. There’s no profit in placating people who hate you.
You may wonder what’s to be gained in catering to racists. My friend CB (whom I’ve written about earlier on Pendulum) thinks the White Right a bunch of softies who will never take the battle offline. I can see where he’s coming from. We have a generation of young White men who learned everything they know about war from xBox and everything they know about women from Pornhub. They are unemployed, uncouth and generally unimpressive. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us if we’re ever going to rouse them from their Cheeto-stained gaming chairs. But they are my brothers and I will rouse them if I can.
Rouse them to what, I hear you asking nervously. Given my druthers I’d like to arouse them to peaceful political action aimed at addressing their grievances. Barring that, I will encourage them to do what is necessary to secure the existence of our people and a future for our children. For my daughter’s sake I would see violence avoided if possible. For my daughter’s sake I would resort to violence if necessary.
I would not see Annamaria growing up amidst a civil war. Neither would I see her growing up in a world where 11 year-old boys dance for tips at gay bars and those who complain are attacked for their “homophobia.” I would not have her learn to hate others for their skin or their ancestry. Neither would I have her hate her own. Only a few are able to make history: most of us just endure it. I will make for my daughter the best history I can and teach her as best I am able how to endure what is beyond our power to change. And I will fight with everything I have for spaces where we can say what is offensive so that there will always be a place where we can say what is true.