Filed under: Analysis, Anti-fascist, Northwest
White supremacists often try to hide their racism, because their abhorrent ideologies cause the communities in which they live to rise up against them. While it will surprise few people that racists are also often liars, it is important to not let the misdirections distract us from their true aims. Anti-fascist and anti-racist organizers often look out for what are called “dog-whistles.” These signals, slogans, signs, and symbols may be easy for many people to miss, as they are not as blatant as a Swastika or Nazi uniform. They are, in fact, designed to be hidden in plain sight, or obscured by irony or other cultural cross-reference. However, to both at-risk communities and racists alike, these dog-whistles stand out as coded symbols, betraying the hatred that is veiled within.
Jake Ott (aka Jake Von Ott) is a regional coordinator for the violent white nationalist organization Identity Europa, who had previously been witnessed shaking hands with white supremacist murderer and Patriot Prayer rally-participant Jeremy Christian, immediately after Christian lowered his arm from a fascist salute. At that event on April 29, Ott posted photos of himself on his Instagram pasting up white supremacist propaganda on the main street of an immigrant neighborhood. Ott was also seen that day offering a fascist salute to passing traffic.
On June 4, Jake Ott came to the Patriot Prayer rally with a small entourage dressed in various stages of impractical street-combat LARPing gear. Rose City Antifa had previously publicized Ott’s identity and activities with signs and social media posts before and during the rally, and he was nominally denied entry to Patriot Prayer’s rally by Oath Keeper security, while his Identity Europa disciples were allowed to participate.
Local journalist Mike Bivins, freelancing for Al Jazeera, gave Ott an uncontested video interview in which he disingenuously disavowed white supremacist views in favor of a supposedly more polite “white identitarian” position.
In an article for Al Jazeera on the day’s opposing rallies, Bivins summed up Jake Ott’s participation in this way:
“Speaking to Al Jazeera, Jake Von Ott, a 19-year-old Portland resident and a local Identity Evropa coordinator, rejected accusations that his organisation is made up of white supremacists, arguing instead that they are “white identitarians”.
In the run-up to Sunday’s rally, Antifa groups had published photos of Von Ott shaking hands with accused killer Christian at the April 29 protest.
The images were posted on social media outlets, while the walls of the business district were plastered were posters of Von Ott’s face accompanied by the suggestion that he could be the next Jeremy Christian.”
Bivin’s reporting, as is often typical with mainstream media reporting, accepts white supremacists’ duplicity at their word. Without even inquiring how “white identitarian” is functionally differentiated from “white supremacist,” this interview amplifies Ott’s contention that he is not racist. However, ample evidence is available that Ott holds quite virulent white supremacist and anti-semitic views. If reports of him giving the fascist salute, engaging with Jeremy Christian, and posting racially-charged Identity Europa propaganda are not enough, one can easily look at his other interviews on June 4.
Among the alt-right celebrities Joey Gibson (aka Patriot Prayer) invited to his June 4 rally in Portland OR was Tim Gionet (aka “Baked Alaska”), a fame-hungry social entrepreneur who has previously used dog-whistle racism to gain significant boosts in his recently-composed alt-right following. In a softball April 2017 interview with video blogger Tim Pool, Gionet addressed his prior anti-semitic remarks, categorized them as mere “trolling,” and appeared to express regret about the “unproductive” nature of such discourse. But those disavowals of white supremacism are offered only to sanitize the optics of these far-right celebrities, and give them a wider platform for preaching their fascist views. Since that interview, Gionet has continually trafficked in well-known neo-Nazi discourse such as “white genocide,” the “Fourteen Words,” and engaged with other Nazis to help them spread their message.
Tim Gionet spent most of the day roaming the area with a camera interviewing attendees, furthering his own far-right social media brand. One person he spoke with was Jake Ott. In this interview, Ott enunciates an implicitly racist “western chauvinist” position, until Gionet blows the cover on their dog-whistling game by asking him “can you tell me the Fourteen Words?”
The “Fourteen Words” are a white supremacy shibboleth. It’s title refers to the number of words in a particular phrase. This phrase is a liturgical call for white racial purity, and is used as a rallying call to the white supremacist genocidal ideology. It was originally coined by American white supremacist ideologue David Lane, a former member of the neo-Nazi paramilitary group The Order, which was responsible for several armed robberies, bombings, and assassinations during the 1990s.
Ott responds to Gionet’s prompt by immediately reciting the famous slogan.
Tim Gionet was explicitly invited to speak at this rally by Joey Gibson, despite repeated and constant protests by Portland residents who objected to white supremacists being invited into their community. And even as this racist performance occurs at Gibson’s own rally, conducted by one of his own invited guests, Gibson has the audacity to claim that he is not a hateful person, and has never done anything racist.
Jake Ott recites white supremacist slogans for Baked Alaska
Shortly before this interview with Ott, Gionet’s livestream featured an exchange with another alt-right micro-celebrity, far-right conspiracy theorist Brittany Pettibone. Pettibone had just spoken with Ott and summarized her understanding of the situation in this way:
Brittany Pettibone: They called him a white supremacist but he says he’s not a white supremacist.
Tim Gionet: Well, I think that the person who most knows if you’re a white supremacist is yourself.
Brittany Pettibone: If you’re a white supremacist, if you truly are, I think you’d be proud of that fact and you’d say it. Why would you want to be a secret white supremacist?
Why, indeed, might someone want to be a “secret white supremacist?” In Rose City Antifa’s article published prior to the 6⁄4 rallies, we quote Ott himself on the matter. In an online video, he says that he is unable to hold explicit Identity Europa rallies in the Portland area because as an obvious white supremacist threat, he would be opposed and shut down by the community. Instead, Jake chooses a strategy of entryism; attending far-right events like the ones organized by Patriot Prayer and using them as platforms for recruiting among potentially sympathetic crowds. Therefore, anyone willing to do their research can answer Pettibone’s query– entryism is the explicit strategy of the “secret white supremacist.”
After having heard Jake Ott obediently parrot neo-Nazi slogans at the command of an alt-right micro-celebrity, there should be little doubt as to his true character. For those who still doubt, we offer a trove of disgusting screenshots posted by both Jake and his Nazi mother, Shelly Renee Frank (aka Shel Von Ott) in a closed Nazi Facebook group where they participated frequently until early April, when they were ejected because other Nazis in the group accused them of seeming too Jewish and of dating black people (they defended themselves vociferously against these charges).
Content warning: the materials below display extreme white supremacist rhetoric as well as fantasies about racialized murder.
Here Jake can be seen making disgustingly racist remarks about the children of non-white parents.
Here Jake utilizes a Nazi meme about “degeneracy” to ridicule his younger brother for dating a non-white person and to rail against the evils of “race-mixing:”
In this post, Jake fantasizes about murdering refugees while on vacation in Germany. multiple Nazis encourage him to follow through in the comments.
One of Shelly Frank’s many Nazi-themed posts:
One of Ott’s many anti-Semitic posts:
It is imperative that we do not listen to the meager disavowals that racists give to the mainstream media. Instead, we must look to their actions to determine whether or not they are a threat to the community. When we look at the evidence, we see that Jake Ott is a violent, dangerous, and rapidly-radicalizing white supremacist who is networking to expand the web of influence Identity Europa is able to wield in the Portland, Oregon area. We find that Tim Gionet is a micro-celebrity within the virulently racist alt-right sector of contemporary politics because he constantly spreads white supremacist memes, discourse, and ideology among people who will perpetrate racist physical violence against our communities.
And alongside these two disgusting figures, we must also consider Joey Gibson: the person responsible for bringing these two into downtown Portland, along with their racist cohorts, and many other bigots. Regardless of how many times he claims he is “only for love,” when the media quotes these disavowals, it ignores the racists that attend his events, and furthermore, the incidents of racist harassment that have followed each and every one of his rallies.
A partial sampling of the fallout of Joey Gibson’s recent events:
- Jeremy Christian’s violent attack, which occurred after he attended Joey Gibson’s April 29 “Free Speech” rally on 82nd Avenue.
- Anti-Semitic banners were hung over I-205 on June 4, by Neo-Nazis on their way to Joey Gibson’s Free Speech rally that day.
- Attendees of the June 4 Free Speech rally then harassed middle schoolers with racist fliers, and shouted bigoted slurs at them.
- Joey Gibson stood with and defended the bigoted Street Preachers, who harassed and incited violence against members of the Portland Pride parade. Members of Gibson’s American Freedom Warriors group also attended Seattle Pride with the Street Preachers.
- The Good in the Hood festival received racist threats of mass violence, which claimed to be “free speech,” in the style of Gibson’s racist rally attendees. Gibson notably did not lift a finger to defend the festival, even though the threats were explicitly more hateful and violent in nature than those levied against the 82nd Avenue Parade that precipitated Gibson’s April 29 rally.
- White supremacist posters were found on Division Street in Southeast Portland.
Gibson will once again throw a “Free Speech” rally on June 30 in downtown Portland, threatening to bring these same white supremacists to the Riverfront Blues festival. Stand with Rose City Antifa on June 30, and tell Gibson once again that his enabling of racist hate will not be permitted in our city.