, 25 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
1. Here's a thread about what history can teach us about the ways racial terrorists build sympathy and support for their movements by using distinctive, yet also seemingly innocuous language.
2. The present day examples are the NZ and SD murderers, whose manifestos were filled with statements that seem bland enough. "White genoc*de is bad." "It's ok to be wh*te." "Cultur*l Marxism is dangerous." etc.
3. It's easy to imagine a scenario in which a college student says one of these things in class. What should the prof do? Is this person signalling that they're a white nationalist? Or are they innocently repeating phrases they've heard in conservative media? Hard to say for sure
4. Murderous racial terrorists have relied on this sort of linguistic ambiguity for years. For example read this transcript of a seemingly innocuous conversation that occurred on a Mississippi radio program in November of 1963.
5. "Local organizations have emerged to thwart revolutionary takeovers of local governments. They dealt with these problems in an orderly and peaceful manner. You should really join one of these wholesome organizations to protect the American way of life!" Sounds great, right?
6. Every person in MS listening to this radio conversation would have understood that the "revolutionary activity" was an effort to enroll black people to vote, and that the "peaceful" resolution involved the terroristic murder of a civil rights activist. snccdigital.org/events/jimmy-t…
7. Note also their pride that the liberal NYTimes had praised the work of the good white people of Greenwood, MS in maintaining peace & order. The NYTimes did not sanction the terroristic murder, they sanctioned the myth that the ppl making this radio show were good faith actors.
8. This is the way the segregationists in the South got support from "respectable" Northerners and white Southerners too "proper" to dirty their hands w/ vigilante violence. Radio shows like this laundered racial terror w/ language that, to the untrained ear, sounded innocent.
9. You'll never believe who had happily appeared on this same radio program only 4 yrs earlier. Barry Goldwater, one of these folks' favorite politicians who would in '64 become the GOP nominee & win MS for the GOP for the first time since Reconstruction.
10. Playing plausibly deniable footsie with racist terrorists has long been a feature of conservative politics in America. Trump is more hamfisted and unashamed about it than his predecessors, but he sure didn't invent it.
11. Here's a fuller explication of this 1963 radio show by the White Citizens Council of Jackson, Ms. There's a link to the actual recording. I urge you to give it a listen. The day's topic was the August '63 March on Washington.
12. I think this history might be of some use as we try to figure out how to help #JackStopTheHate. It's not going to be easy, because racist terrorists have long been adept at using language that simultaneously communicates and masks their intent.
13. If the NYTimes had more black reporters from the South in their newsroom in the spring of 1963, they would've been less likely to fall for the pablum that the "moderate" white people had sold them about what happened in Greenwood.
14. Maybe if @jack hired a few people with expertise around right wing extremist groups, he'd do a better job thwarting the efforts of these terrorists to use his platform to gin up new recruits like that SD killer. Cause that's sure what they're doing nowadays.
@jack 15. If @jack thinks an algorithm that can pick up bad terms or images is going to solve the right wing extremism problem on his website, then he's underselling how creative and savvy these terrible people are and have always been.
@jack 16. I get the sense that these Silicon Valley dudes think white supremacists are all gap-toothed, beer bellied, uneducated, unshaven hicks sitting around getting drunk on cheap beer in dilapidated trailers...that such folks are easily outwitted. Not the case, never been the case.
@jack 17. @jack and his ilk remind me of this episode from 1964. A group of white northerners are being trained to head south to register blacks to vote. When shown a film of a stereotypical white southern racist they start snickering. snccdigital.org/events/volunte…
@jack 18. The SNCC volunteers who were training these recruits stopped the film and chastised them. "You think this guy's funny or dumb?" Men like that would condone and even encourage murder in order to maintain white supremacy.
@jack 19. The new recruits soon came to realize they were underselling the seriousness of what they were up against, for news of the murder of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner reached them as they boarded the busses to head to the south.
@jack 20. If we respond to the recent acts of political terror as if they are outliers, as if they're just actions taken by pathetic loners, then we are being as dumb as the NYTimes was in 1963 when they let respectable white Southerners convince them that the KKK were just dumb hicks.
@jack 21. Playing plausibly deniable footsie with racist terrorists. salon.com/2015/09/29/i_e…
@jack 22. Playing plausibly deniable footsie with racist terrorists. washingtonpost.com/archive/politi…
@jack 23. Playing plausibly deniable footsie with groups that honor racist terrorists from the nation's past (in this case the Sons of Confederate Veterans). snopes.com/news/2017/02/1…
@jack 24. Playing plausibly deniable footsie with racists. washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/…
@jack 25. Here's an article on Reagan that makes the same basic point I'm getting at here, only more effectively than I have. h/t @_SunshineRising for the reference. slate.com/news-and-polit…
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