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Oct 21, 17

Gainesville: Media, Murder, and Complete Alt-Right Failure

Within the inner sanctum of my trash can this morning, I called a friend who was on the ground at Gainesville. They informed me that they had heard that after Spencer had ended his attempted speech early, spending over an hour calling hundreds of chanting protesters “babies” and saying that they “should all be ashamed of themselves,” he attempt to rally the few troops that had assembled together in a huddle to talk shop. Only two rows of mostly white polo shirt sporting neo-Nazis showed up, around 20 or so people, although various less obvious fascists had been sprinkled throughout the crowd recording protesters with go-Pros and cell phones. This was another low turnout for Spencer, as only around 30 neo-Nazis took part in in a 10 minute long photo op in Charlottesville a little over a week before.

The speaking event in Florida has several goals, and was designed to kick off a campus speaking tour across the country, and had been building ever since the disaster of Unite the Right in early August. For over a month, neo-Nazis had played up the event, planned for it, requested security for it from various neo-Nazi groups, and also threatened the University of Florida in court in order to get Spencer in the building. When the day came however, Spencer assembled even less adherents than in Charlottesville, and many of those that did show up, drove from as far away as Texas. The low turn out points to not only a drop in interest in the Alt-Right, but also a failing desire by many of its adherents to publically show up to demonstrations after Unite the Right. In short, Charlottesville hit them hard, and so far they haven’t recovered.

Based Black Pill

But low energy and numbers was only the start of Spencer’s failings. The Alt-Right drastically wanted to portray themselves as peaceful, orderly, and in control over their surroundings in the face of ‘rabid antifa.’ This is why Spencer traveled to Charlottesville in the weeks prior to the Florida talk, in part because he knew that the media would give him a warm welcome, but also because the publicity would generate more interest in his Florida appearance, and show them in a “peaceful” light.

That’s why what happened directly after Richard Spencer’s talk, didn’t help them one bit:

Shortly after Richard Spencer’s speech Thursday at the University of Florida — which generated so much controversy that the governor declared a state of emergency days before the event — a silver Jeep pulled up to a group of six to eight protesters near a bus stop and started to argue with them, according to the Gainesville Police Department.

The three white nationalists threatened the group, making Nazi salutes and shouting chants about Hitler, police said. One of the people hit the Jeep with a baton, and it pulled over. Tyler Tenbrink, 28, of Richmond, Texas, jumped out with a gun. A second passenger got out, and Colton Fears, 28, and William Fears, 30, of Pasadena, Texas, encouraged Tenbrink to shoot, according to the Alachua County Sheriff’s arrest report, yelling, “I’m going to f—— kill you,” and “Kill them,” and “Shoot them.”

Tenbrink fired a single shot that missed the people, police said, and hit a nearby building.

By the morning after Spencer’s speech, millions of Americans awoke to the news that three neo-Nazis, one of with over half a decade of involvement in white nationalist and Alt-Right circles, William Fears, had attempted to murder several people standing at a bus stop.

The news of the attempted attack flew in the face of the half-ass attempts by, (“Florida Was a Stunning Success for the Alt-Right”) and The Daily Stormer (“The Win We Needed”), to spin Spencer’s speaking event as a success. As news of the shooting spread however, was kicked off the Disqus commenting app, and The Daily Stormer refused to discuss it for an entire day. Meanwhile, Richard Spencer himself on social media platforms (at the time of this writing) has yet to put out a statement on the shootings, and on The Right Stuff forums, the pages and pages of posts were largely filled with dread over the previous day’s events. The following poster summed it up:

Ironically, only several days prior, posters on 4chan has predicted the Alt-Right’s own failure, again:

And a shit show they did receive!

In short, the Alt-Right seems to be losing its shit right now, and it doesn’t seem to know what to do. The spectacle, brand, and image that it had spent months building after Unite the Right just imploded in on itself; only further strengthening the perception of the Alt-Right as violent neo-Nazi murderers, not absolving them from it. They have no one to blame but themselves. 

Regardless of whatever goose shit smoothie the Alt-Right spits onto its websites and attempts to slam down the throats of its rapidly shrinking base, the reality is clear: their most horrific and nationally shunned failure, (the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville by a neo-Nazi), has essentially been repeated.

And this failure was not carried out by random youths, or someone that can be quickly written off, but instead by seasoned activists that are members of established neo-Nazi and Alt-Right organizations, and who also were in attendance at Unite the Right. In the case of William Fears, he has even claimed in the past that the Alt-Right and neo-Nazi movement have been “his home” since 2012, and he took part in a wide variety of movement activities, demonstrations, and events.

This is also not Fear’s first time in the spotlight, in the summer of 2017, he appeared in a viral video after he was choked by a militia member during a rally in Houston. “These are good memes,” he was recorded as saying, in reference to various signs he made with neo-Nazi messages. After Fears was removed from the rally, the entire Alt-Right, including and The Daily Stormer, backed him and attacked the Oath Keepers. Will they stand behind him now? 

Shooter Tyler Tenbrink with Augustus Invictus, organizer with the Proud Boys and Kyle Chapman and speaker at Unite the Right.

In short, there’s really no way to spin this in a positive light for the Alt-Right. If they do try and spin it, a large section of their base may simply leave the movement, or they may choose like Trump supporters to continue to swallow large amounts of lies. Whatever happens, these three neo-Nazis aren’t going to get out of looking like neo-Nazis. They also aren’t going to remove themselves from the image that they have created of continuing escalating violence in the aftermath of large scale defeats.

The Media Is Even Dumber That You Think It Is

Around the same time that over 1,000 people were swarming the campus in Gainesville, both The Washington Post and The New York Times were running op eds wagging the big liberal white man finger at young people protesting. The Washington Post op ed even went so far as to say that it was because of protest that the media was forced to report of neo-Nazis and the Alt-Right, and only if people would go home, they could stop.

We really need to take a minute and say fuck you to The Washington Post. Only a week before, media around the country was cleaning the lint off Richard Spencer’s dick, and helping him facilitate a photo op in Charlottesville – with no counter protest. Beyond that, much of the glowing admiration of the Alt-Right and free publicity that received in 2016 came long before large scale street confrontations were taking place. Like Trump, the Alt-Right was as much a media creation as it was anything, and if the media wants to place blame on an outside agent for it’s growth, they should start to look inwards towards themselves, not at grassroots social movements fighting to defend human communities.

Moreover, several media outlets such as USA Today and Salon ran articles that applauded the handling of Spencer’s visit by the University of Florida, and claimed that the campus’ drastic clampdown on the large scale mobilization in order to facilitate Spencer’s event “worked” because more people “understand now even more clearly what [Spencer] is about.” What complete horseshit.

But the real reason liberals and Centrists are applauding the massive police buildup against a broad and popular mobilization against violent neo-Nazis was for another reason: they’re actually more afraid of us. 

They Were Never Here to Protect Us

Both Milo’s “Free Speech Week” and Spencer’s speaking event at the University of Florida follow a similar trajectory. They both were made possible by people with access to vast amounts of money and resources, as well as their ability to issue legal threats. But more over, the University itself was always more interested in preventing rowdy demonstrations, student occupations, and riots than they were in stopping potential violence from the Alt-Right against everyday people and even students.

This is where liberals and Centrists fail to pay attention to what is actually happening on the streets, and vice versa we should stop listening to anything they fucking have to say. For in the build up to Free Speech Week and in its aftermath, Alt-Right trolls and Milo supporters harassed leftist bookstores, beat up people on the street, harassed student activists, and put up racist and reactionary posters and flyers. Yet in the eyes of many in the media as well as University officials, the almost $1 million dollars wasted on police was well spent because buildings weren’t occupied and no windows were broken.

Likewise in Gainesville, in the buildup of Spencer’s event, both IGD and Unicorn Riot showed that neo-Nazis were planning to target Jewish and black centers, and that various groups running the event had histories of violence and plans for bombing and murder sprees. Even after those plans were then put into practice, due to the fact that both media and police helped facilitate an event for the neo-Nazis, the media and those in power still claimed that they had carried out a successful event not because they kept people safe, but because disruption had been avoided.

Of course, even this is a lie – the entire event was disrupted, drowned out, and various neo-Nazis were punched, maced, and chased off campus, but still a spectacle was created that seemed to contain and manage the violence in a way that made those in power feel like they were in control – which was the entire goal of the State all along.

This was a reality that was lost on many people on social media that day, tweeting about #NoNazisAtUF, but then literally thanking the same police that had high powered guns pointed at their heads. In short, the police militarization and build up was not created to keep people safe, but instead to facilitate Spencer’s event and stop any sort of uprising or revolt from taking place. Within this context, neo-Nazis were given protection and free reign, allowing them to organize and target those they sought to murder.

Sweet Sad Irony

What I think is the sweetest and saddest irony, is that the easiest, cheapest, and safest way the University could have responded to Richard Spencer speaking would have been to have literally – done nothing. If it had allowed him access to the room but had instructed no police to be on duty, over 1,000 people would have entered into the room, removed the neo-Nazis, kicked them out, and send them packing to their cars before lunch time. But of course, that’s not going to happen. Institutions of power will continue to serve their own interests and will use these events as places for their police to train and try out new toys.

When people think back on August 12th and remember the success and power of #NoNazisAtUF, remember something else as well. Had that bullet hit its target, the blood wouldn’t have just been on the Alt-Right’s hands – but on the State. We keep us safe, not the pigs. As the old Freudian slip goes, “The police are not here to create disorder, they’re here to preserve disorder.”

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The Grouch laughs equally at liberal and Alt-Right fuckery. Naming names and calling them. Forever :-[

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