He’s going with “America First” and saying he’s the peace candidate. It’s like it’s 1939.
— Eric Rauchway (@rauchway) June 8, 2016
.@dansenor @EliLake AMERICAN HERO CHARLES LINDBERGH WAS 100% RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING YOU TREASONOUS SWINE RATS!!?!!?!!?: https://t.co/qpXaLfrDmf
— )))Honorary Aryan((( (@HonoraryAryan) June 8, 2016
Trump is really broadening the appeal of the Republican party to so many new voices. https://t.co/itZzuD5zfP
— Eli Lake (@EliLake) June 8, 2016
The excitable fella with all the emoticons is probably, one hopes, just another Reddit-fueled edgelord trolling for lulz. The problem is, how do the rest of us tell them apart from the genuine racists and psychopaths? Here’s the Guardian‘s explanation of the extra parentheses now being sported by all the best twitter handles:
US antisemitism watchdog, the Anti-Defamation League, has added the “(((echo)))” symbol, used online by white supremacists to single out Jews, to its online database of hate symbols.
The group’s decision comes days after Google removed a Chrome extension that was being used by antisemites to add triple parentheses around the names of prominent Jewish public figures including Michael Bloomberg and New York Times journalist Jonathan Weisman….
The intersection of old-fashioned white supremacy and antisemitism with tech-savvy online groups centred around websites such as 4chan and Reddit has given rise to a movement loosely termed the “alt-right”. The echo symbol is just the latest artefact of that group’s thinking to burst into the mainstream, thanks largely to an article in late May from the NYT’s Weisman highlighting its use.
But the denigration of Jews online extends beyond the Trump supporters highlighted by Weisman. An investigation by Mic revealed how widespread the symbol’s use has become, largely below the radar of the mainstream.
“To the public, the symbol is not easily searchable on most sites and social networks; search engines strip punctuation from results,” wrote the publication’s reporters, Cooper Fleishman and Anthony Smith. “This means that trolls committed to uncovering, labelling and harassing Jewish users can do so in relative obscurity: No one can search those threats to find who’s sending them.”
The pair trace the origins of the symbol back to far right blog Right Stuff. “In Right Stuff propaganda, you’ll often read that Jewish names ‘echo’. According to the blog’s lexicon page, ‘all Jewish surnames echo throughout history’. In other words, the supposed damage caused by Jewish people reverberates from decade to decade.” The parentheses are used to imply that same echo textually…
Of course, the people who hate “Jews” this much aren’t any too happy about people of color (especially the one now occupying “their” White House), foreigners (especially the ones with ‘funny names’), “sexual deviants”, uppity women, or anyone otherwise “Aryan” who chooses to support the untermenschen. (Hillary’s “mixed blood” grandchildren are deplored as one more example of her perfidy; but then, Trump has Jewish grandkids too… )
If you’re curious, Jeff Goldberg (yes, I know), at the Atlantic, has “A Brief Introduction to the Pro-Holocaust Twitterverse”:
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
Hopefully this is an open thread . . .
I was sexually assaulted as a kid. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and off and on for the last few years. The discussion of the Stanford rape case a couple of days ago prompted me to want to mention it, after so far not telling anyone except my family and close friends, but I didn’t want to step on it, either by being the guy who responds to women dealing with sexual assault by saying we have it bad, too (on a relative scale, we don’t, even if there are plenty of cases in an absolute sense), or by comparing what happened to me to what happened to her, because I don’t think it was anywhere near as horrific.
But it still eats at you. For me, it was while I was in junior high school, and it happened several times; I didn’t keep count, but I know it was at least three. It happened in the hallways and classrooms, and because I was fully clothed through all of them, it didn’t occur to me at the time, or for a long time afterwards, that it constituted sexual assault. It always bothered and disturbed me, but it wasn’t until about five years ago that I really put the right name on what happened.
The assailants were a group of very popular girls in the school. They all involved 3-5 members of the group crowding around me while I was at my locker or the blackboard so that no one else could see exactly what went on, with 1-2 of them fondling me while engaging in verbal humiliation. None of them lasted even a minute.
Junior high was a miserable time for me. With the benefit of hindsight, a lot of it was connected to my autism. Like a lot of high functioning, undiagnosed autistic kids, I was subject to a lot of bullying. On top of that, the school administration was a disaster and utterly useless in protecting anyone except perpetrators. Another kid pulled a knife and threatened me with it in class one day, in view of the teacher. When my parents took the incident to the principal, he dismissed it as kids being kids.
All of that played a role in the chronic depression I’ve experienced ever since, especially during high school and college, but it’s these three incidents that I can’t shake in memory. I’m sure a lot of that has to do not just with the sexual nature, but that the people assaulting me were very attractive, very popular girls. I have within me a misogynistic streak that I think I do a good job of restricting to my fantasy life and never acting out upon, but it’s there. These incidents are, I’m sure, high on the list of the causes of that. I hope I don’t act out on them, at any rate.
For those who have read Becoming Phoebe, it probably doesn’t surprise you that I started writing it not long after I really started to understand these assaults for what they were. It was the second impetus, that I haven’t talked about, the dark one, to go along with my discovery of women’s hockey. Again, I don’t want to draw a direct comparison between what happened to me and what what happened to her, because I don’t think the severity of them is at all the same. But that’s the thing about shame and humiliation: how much we feel doesn’t really have much correlation with any objective assessment of how bad something was. It’s why Phoebe tells Eddie late in the novel, “I long ago realized that there isn’t some competition for the most awful childhood. What happened to me has nothing at all to do with whether you feel lonely.”
And I hurt. One thing Phoebe and I have in common, though I’m not sure she’d phrase it this way, is that we feel that large chunks of our childhood were stolen from us. And I have no idea how to get them back.
Major Major Major Major
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Thanks for sharing, TTP.
I remember when I was much younger and brasher, I joined a group called the Anti-Racist Action, whose sole mission was to “not let the racists have the streets.” Some of the confrontations were violent, though never any I was involved in, and my father only seemed angry about it when he initially thought I’d joined the NRA, not the ARA.
Still, I recall him taking me outside one day and grilling me about the mission, the ideas, and my involvement in something like the ARA. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling of sitting there under the eye of the man I still consider to be one of the smartest people I’ve ever known, and realizing how incredibly silly it all sounded. He told me that to respond to these fools with confrontation and violence only validated them, made them feel like there was actually some conflict that was winnable, instead of realizing that they were marginalized jesters to any thinking person.
I think about that day a lot when I see the dark fecal underbelly of Republicanism exposed to light, because it makes me wonder just exactly how marginalized these people are when they’ve essentially seized control of one of the major American parties, with no one normally considered a leader in that party stepping up to confront it. Is their quest for tax breaks so all-consuming? Their need for profit truly and literally more important than anything else they claim to love?
It makes me wonder if we aren’t facing the truest test of American mettle in my lifetime: the test of whether we really will let the racists have the streets.
Our meetup in Pasadena was really nice, there were quite a few regulars there as well as some infrequent commenters and lurkers.
360 degree – Pasadena meetup
A.L., I’ve got some pics let me know how do get them to you if you want them for a post.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I feel you.
I don’t know how to get those years back. I had my own problems, very different from yours, at the same age.
My stepfather was a violent and abusive man. He would tell anyone that would listen how worthless and hated I was and beat me regularly with or without an imagined reason. Once, he was on a particularly nasty racist rant and I dared say “not all black people are bad”. I thought he would kill me. I got away with a broken rib. My mother sat and watched the whole thing; the only action she took was to turn her back to me when I got my neck loose enough from his hand choking me to turn my head and look at her. I cannot describe the feeling of utter despair and aloneness. The rest of the assault left me in a heap against the wall as I tried to cover up from his kicks.
I don’t easily trust people and have been a complete failure at relationships. I also can’t get back those years of being afraid all the time and never ever being able to show it.
Send them to her via e-mail at AnneLaurie at verizon dot net.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@inventor: What I did have was great parents. They may not have understood how to help me a lot of the time, but that wasn’t from a lack of desire or effort.
The community college system I teach for had us do some mandatory training, which I usually find annoying and trivial, but this time it covered how to detect and handle bullying. I was the kid in my class who was on the receiving end of verbal bullying, and nobody had any interest in doing anything about it or anything resembling useful advice on how I could deal with it, so seeing it covered formally gives me some hope that things are moving in the right direction.
The training talked about how bullying can lead to depression, and I thought, yep, that’s what happened to me. It’s part of why I’m an atheist: I can’t see my experience at a parochial school being compatible with the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing God who loves me. Either He (definitely a He the way we were taught) didn’t know, He didn’t care, or He couldn’t do anything about it. And this isn’t something that requires armies of avenging angels or lightning bolts, softening the hearts of my classmates or inspiring the teachers with some ways of dealing with the situation would do.
Anyway, I hope this isn’t too whiny or looking like an entry in a “who had it worse” contest; I just see some heartbreaking similarities in the situations and want to commiserate. I hope things are better for you now, TTP, and that you can move along and live the life you want.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Thanks for sharing your story.
@Steeplejack: Okie Doke.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: That good. It’s important to remember the kindness as well as the cruelty. I had friends who provided refuge, and I will always be grateful.
You learn something new every day at BJ.
Y’all want arbeit macht freis with that?
@NotMax: Not if Arby’s macht dem.
Major Major Major Major
@NotMax: @Damien: Ugh, I feel so bad about laughing
@NotMax: Fries at the meetup last night were pretty good.
I’m watching Rachel Maddow now, they’re interviewing the head of the White Nationalist party. It’s in a restaurant, I’m now having a craving for french dip. The restaurant is Philippes, home of the french dip(there is a dispute about whether the french dip was invented at Philippes or Coles(not our bloghost)).
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Thank you for courageous writing. I feel so incredibly angry at the girls and the other kids and adults in your school, and also at what this culture has done to boys by telling them that abuse and assault of their bodies is anything less than serious and horrible crime. I believe we’re just beginning to understand the extent of these crimes and the forced silence. I’m very sorry for what you’ve experienced. It’s understandable that you were deeply affected. I’m amazed at your power to write about pain.
@inventor: Thanks for your insights and for mentioning refuge. Had a violent biol. father, sadistic with the insults and ridicule, the effects live on for me and my brother, though he’s been dead a long time.
@BillinGlendaleCA: I’m now having a craving for french dip.
That’s kind of funny, thanks for the laugh.
@Aleta: The white nationalist was a dip, but I immediately recognized that it was at Philippes. I love their french dip sandwiches, much better than Coles.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
Serve him au justice.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Heh, the important thing to remember if you’re in LA and go to Philippes is to ask them to double dip the bread.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
That was so powerful.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I thought Marine le Pen was the French dip.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: For a while people were using brackets or parentheses or something to symbolize hugs. Damn the thugs for messing that up.
Thanks for sharing, TTP. That is one powerful story.
My father and mother both survived abusive family situations. Mom could and would talk about some of it with my sisters and I, but dad has never discussed much of it except in small doses. This is somewhat ironic, because he had a four decade career as a clinical psychologist. Anyway, my siblings and I have all discovered little things over time and the bits and pieces we have woven together are helpful to know, I suppose, but actually frustrating because so much of his story is untold and still bottled up inside of him, at least to us as his family. He never laid a hand on us physically, and was not in the least bit emotionally abusive. But man, was he walled off in his own universe a lot of the time, sometimes deeply mired in depression and dealing with bi-polar dosorder. It’s really very sad to watch your parent struggle with these things even at age 80. I guess I want to tell this here to say to folks, tell your stories to your loved ones and familiies, if you can manage it, and assuming they’ll be supportive and understanding, and when you think they can handle it. I didn’t know my grandfather beat my dad and his brother mercilessly until I was almost out of high school, and only because my mom told me as much. I didn’t know his mother abused him sexually until I was almost 30, and again it was my mom who talked about it, and later told dad, who then opened up on the topic for about five minutes. I don’t know if I’m out of line or if those of you who have survived abuse think I’m crazy or just don’t get it; or whatever, but I really believe more openness with, again in the right supportive context, would be a good thing for society in general. Thank you to those who can and do speak up, and positivity and love and support to those of you who haven’t found your voice yet. I hope you do find your voice and can tell your story some day.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
My post was in response to you.
I was sexually abused and bullied (sometimes sexually) mercilessly as a child and well into my teen years. Many years later I tried to tell my mom about the abuse as she was boasting that she was very careful to protect me during my childhood. Well, she completely ignored me and continued on to the next topic, and to this day I don’t know if she did not hear me or she did not want to know. I haven’t talked to anyone about it since. So my experience with sharing did not go well.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I’m sorry that happened to you, and it’s courageous to share that and help move someone else to a better understanding of the aftermath of sexual assault. This resonates especially:
because I knew a registered offender who had been repeatedly molested as a young child himself and he made a similar statement about himself and what he knew he had done to his own victim. Our society’s shame and denial about these assaults has to be removed and we need to confront that this happens and the long term damage it does so that we can try to end it. Telling your story helps others tell theirs. Thank you.
@rk: This is terrible too. If you haven’t gone to counseling, it could help to try to share again in a safe and supportive environment with a therapist. I’m sorry that your mom wouldn’t acknowledge your attempt to tell her, that had to feel devastating. Families often aren’t able to be the support we need, that’s why therapy was invented. You deserve that support, I hope you try again to get it for yourself. And thank you too, for sharing what has to be horribly painful to think about and discuss.
@Damien: Nihilist Arby’s? Funniest thing on Twitter (except for Cole of course)
@inventor: That’s so awful that you went through that from your stepfather and that your mother didn’t protect you. I’m so sorry that happened to you. Too many of us suffer in silence. Don’t. Find a group or a therapist and get the support you should have been given when you were being abused. It won’t give you back the past, but it may help give you back a happier future. You deserve that for surviving.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
I’m sorry and angry that so many go through this kind of thing. My lost chunks were at 5 years old at the hands (ha!) of my pediatrician. Not much you can do but soldier on, as they say.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: That sounds really familiar to me, TTP, and I’m very sorry to hear it.
With me the grief I got from junior-high mean girls never crossed the line to physical assault (that was all from other boys). But the girls were fond of verbal harassment in the form of gross sarcastic sexual come-ons, a lot like what women get all the damn time from random men–and I even got the same “oh, she just likes you, you should enjoy it” garbage from adults when I mentioned it.
The other thing I remember is that the administration cracked down hard on fighting after a series of disruptive, extremely public fights in the halls, but they did little or nothing to discourage regular bullying; so the upshot was that you couldn’t even fight back against bullies without getting in trouble. Not that I was a competent fighter, but I wasn’t going to start.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
Sending you much light. What wrong, terrible, and unfair things were inflicted upon you. What a wretched school. How criminal you had to bear such horror.
Thank you for telling us so we can be part of telling you, and child you, how we wish none of that cruelty had ever happened. Those girls should have been stopped and punished. Wrap yourself in our hugs.
May your gift of beautifully using words continue to uplift you and us.
@debbie: OMIGD, horrible.
Me too, that you and so many others did.
@MazeDancer: Beautifully put.
Jack the Second
@The Lodger: Don’t give up on hugs just yet. We let them have the Charlie Chaplin mustache; no more, I say! As long as the internet keeps hugging and hugs more people than ever, I’d wager the white supremacists will eventually give up on the echo, being too ashamed to be seen as hugging Jews.
I honestly think this is the basis for a lot of anger in the world today. Abuse destroys trust, and you can’t have a community without trust.
A neighbor’s son was abused while attending a religious pre-school. It was apparent something happened, because he started wearing layers of clothing even though it was summertime in Dallas. When the mother went to the school, she was shunned.
@debbie: Soldier on but share. All the stories are horrific and although the pain doesn’t go away, hopefully sharing helps.
@Jeffro: Nihilist Arby’s is hilarious. Thanks for that!
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Wow. I am so sorry that happened to you. It’s amazing to me what a sink of brutality our teenage/young adult years can be.
I am just about to embark on “Becoming Phoebe” btw.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
And how many of these twitter Nazis run around with futah anime avatars on line looking for cyber gay cyber sex with black men? I think just about all.
TTP: I understand. I was a favorite target of bullies in Junior High. I remember my Dad going to the school, but nothing happened. The main bully laid off after I walked up to him and hit him so hard his nose bled. The verbal abuse continued and until I graduated high school I spent every lunch hour finding places on campus to hide. A quiet corner of the library, an isolated place on school grounds, an empty classroom. It’s a terrifying age and you survived it. not without scars, but you survived.
@Central Planning: Nihilist Arby’s
They’ve got the meats.
You don’t want to know where they came from.
I had a coworker who had been sexually molested by her father all through childhood, as well as her 3 sisters. I guess it was good that she was able to talk about it by the time I knew her and had a good marriage apparently. One of the things she talked about was that she and all her sisters had many memories of their father going to the other sisters rooms at night and knowing what happened but until they had therapy, they had few memories of it happening to them. After he died and they finally were able to tell their mother directly with no evasions, according to my friend, mom seemed to genuinely not have seen the obvious and to be horrified. He was physically abusive to the wife as well. they learned in therapy that this is common, a self protection mechanism, not remembering. That brings up some notorious examples of false accusations but in this families case, more than one sister had the same recollection. Women in a terrible situation for a long time can not see. So that is how a mom can turn away. Anyway, my friends mom was present when she explained that and she agreed and said she didn’t remember these events.
it seems inadequate but we all need to pay attention around us.
Trump U might have failed. But Trump is doing a great job of educating us on intolerance.
Have we learned enough to finally see this site stop promoting the “proud member” of the League of the South.
Current “widom” from the League :
I can’t be the only one who noticed the Twitter-Nazi version )))FOO((( also distinctly resembles an emoticon of spread buttcheeks, with the GAPING ASSHOLE standing proud in the middle…
Scratch any racial, ethnic, sectarian, or sexual orientation/gender identity prejudice hard enough, and you’ll always find anti-Semitism right along with it. Always, every time. And you usually don’t have to scratch–given sufficient validation by authority figures or peers, it will come bubbling out all on its own.
Okay, I say “always,” but sometimes the person who holds the prejudice is him/herself Jewish. But even then, given how often prejudice is driven by self-loathing, it may well be true.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: [[hug]] – to you and to the other survivors here. Nobody should have to go through that – at any age (for me it was early 20s and a hookup gone wrong). And nobody should have to go through the recovery alone without having people out there who can support you and affirm your worth and humanity.
I’m sorry your experience was bad, but I feel like I should highlight what I said at the end of my post:
I know lots of people can’t or don’t speak out, for many different reasons, which is why I said it has to come in the right context. As I said, I hope sincerely you can find your voice and tell your story and find support.
Junior high seems designed to evoke the worst in humanity, both in students and staff. I’m so sorry, TTP and Matt McIrvin; girls are perfectly capable of sexual assault and sexual shaming. That they are the perpetrators less frequently doesn’t erase the damage.