Last week we had a conversation about one of those “Nice Folks” problems: the kind you have when Nice Folks say the things that run around in their head out loud – and are surprised when people get mad. Surprised and confused; cause they’ve been talking like that for years, and nobody said much about it. If you need an update, you can find it here
Long story short: Margo pulled herself off-line; was in tears for days; worried about her kids – a lot; and went to the police. Or not.
Because she stayed online the whole time – under one of her “alt” profiles, and just kept playing for attention; was laughing about it the day it happened – and ultimately had this to say:
Because, ultimately, it was all about getting the attention.
What Margo was doing was using hate-speech to get attention; and that’s a big part of what WTF – Kamloops does for entertainment. “Nate ofs” are a favourite target – because there’s so many of them around Kamloops – because it is on Indigenous land. It’s a particularly popular target for Kamloops wits like “Xes Lana” who should be name “Toidi Lana”, and comes from Abbotsford – and Glen Schnyder, who lives in Saskatchewan. They think it’s funny to share their hateful thoughts; and they’ve found a Safe Space to do that.
When we first wrote about what was going on at WTF – Kamloops we got the predictable response: they went ballistic. Some of their brightest lights demonstrated their non-racist status by finding a random person on our blog to harass and threaten – who just happened to – well, you know the kind of people they like to target.
We waited a while, then messaged a few people on their admin list: the person who started the page and two others. But we didn’t hear back from them: we heard from Al Baer and “Kyle Alexander”, who goes by the name Allison Dirkson in the real world. Al wished us well, and “Kyle” reported us so we got locked out of Facebook for the day. And that’s how you find out who is really in charge.
So there’s Al Baer, fronting for the organization. It didn’t take long to figure out what he was about:
He’s a simple man: pretty much lives on an intellectual diet of Nature Quotes – a few feeds! – and Hate Speech. Because ERBL is a nationally known hate group – as detailed by the CBC and – surprisingly – us. So Al’s the pig in the poke; which tells us a great deal about what’s happening here.
You see: ERBL’s trick is to use their people to take over social media sites for their hateful purposes – and their hateful purpose has been – for years – to degrade and dehumanize Indigenous people in any way they can; using the general background noise of Canada’s strongest racist stereotypes to collect their own little band of Social Injustice Warriors.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
A few years ago, they tried doing that in Thunder Bay, with a not-so-bright politician named Tamara Ward Johnson. However, we were watching them; so when one of our contacts let us know they were joining social media groups in Thunder Bay, we documented what they were doing in articles like this. The result – for them – was a disaster. A few of the Snowflakes involved are still haunting the interwebs looking for someone who will listen to their story, and another Safe Space. Tamara Ward Johnson – safe to say – is no longer in politics.
And then there’s Dayleen Van Ryswyck. My guess is there’s something in the water in Kelowna.
Why are we talking about this? Because these same folks who took over WTF – Kamloops – despite most of them not living in Kamloops – have also taken over WTF – Kelowna as well as Ranting & Raving in the Interior. As a matter of fact, when we dropped our first story, they were pursuing a campaign of harassment and impersonation against the founding administrator of R&R; looking to take over her page by posting hateful comments while spoofing her profile on various sites in Western Canada. Either they have a lot of time on their hands – or they’ve got a plan.
When people start using racial denigration and dehumanization to build their little group’s solidarity and influence, they are walking well-trodden ground – and they usually have a plan.
And now, a little history – with an Easter Egg in it: you get to meet Colonel Klink’s cousin. It’s not much, granted, but I’ll bet you never knew that Colonel Klink was Jewish…
You see, we’re just coming up on an interesting centennial. The year 2018 will be the hundredth year since the government of Turkey contacted the New York Life Insurance Company to tell them that they wanted to cash in the policies for all the Turkish Armenians who had bought insurance with the company; apparently a lot. And the Turkish government knew for sure that the people who were listed as heirs to those folks wouldn’t be collecting on the policies – ever. This is the same Turkish government which says – to this day – that there was no genocide against the Armenians.
The dead Armenians – with no heirs.
Long story short, the Turkish government were among the losers in the First World War; the Allies tried to prosecute the people who killed all those Armenians; and found that there were no laws – at all – against killing millions of people. And because people never “let it go”, the Armenian survivors got that money – just 3 years ago. And a few Armenians made sure that the Generals who organized the massacre didn’t live very long. The fact that those Armenians had to take the law into their own hands puzzled a guy named Raphael Lemkin, who actually came up with the word “genocide”to describe what had happened – and made sure that there was a law against genocide by the end of Second World War; which came in handy, as it turned out. But that’s another story.
Roll the story forward a couple years, and you get to Victor Klemperer, author of “The Language of the Third Reich.” As a brilliant Jewish linguist, he wasn’t able to work in Hitler’s Germany, and the Nazis couldn’t kill him, because he was married to an Aryan woman; so he pretty much had to do what linguists do without thinking about it: listen carefully to people and how they use their words. He was in a pretty unenviable position as a Jewish man, because everyone around him was throwing some pretty loaded words at him – you can imagine! But as a linguist? Things were pretty good for a linguist.
Victor Klemperer got a front row seat – literally – to a massive change in the German language, as the Hitler regime introduced new words and concepts to dehumanize and slander Jews – in preparation for murdering them: the Language of the Third Reich. Words matter, and Klemper wrote down all of the ones that were directed at him, establishing the way that language helps people to think of the worst kinds of things as normal. “Parasite” is what they call your neighbour when they draw a target on him;”Transport” is when your neighbour gets taken away; “Aryanization” is when you get to take their house and furniture. Of course, if you talked to Nice Folks later, they always thought their neighbours would be coming back from whatever vacation the SS had taken them on. Definitely, they definitely though they were coming back.
Sixty years later, Rwanda: millions killed; but this time there were people actually taping the radio calls to “exterminate the cockroaches”, “fill up the mine shafts”, and “use the traditional tools of our liberation” – machetes, by another name. All these things fit under “Normalization”: making horrible thoughts into regular discourse; making viciously racist attitude into “humour”. But those outsiders just kept on rolling the tape – detailing the hatespeech; logging the way that the broadcasted hate speech directly caused people to respond by actually factually robbing, raping, and killing people. Consequently, at the other side of the genocide, the Rwandans came up with another word: “genocidaire”.
That’s what the Rwandan government called the radio announcers who used language to dehumanize and denigrate people – so they could be robbed, raped, and murdered. When Rwanda put the announcers on trial for genocide – just like the generals.
Because it’s been established for a long time that language DOES matter – and little nests of haters can do a lot of damage; especially when they are trying to take over multiple sites on social media. It’s called “genocidal ideation”: creating language that allows people to think that some other people are less than human, “parasites”, “expendable”. And it’s always used as a preparation for some major act of fuckery. Always.
So let’s have a look at some of these folks: these upstanding citizens who feel they can dehumanize others:
Apparently this one has trouble learning from her experiences – at least when it comes to empathy. Does anyone know what they call someone who has an problem with that empathy thing?
Strangely, the charge above is the same charge that the founder and leader of ERBL was wearing when the CBC thought she was an “internet activist”; before we set them straight. After we chatted with them, her contribution was described as “racially charged internet trolling.” Cause we’re all about educating folks – especially Nice Folks: the kind that enjoy bullying people; who think it’s funny to dehumanize people who have never done anything to them – just because, ya know, some folks are born to be their targets.
In our next screenshot, be sure to watch for that empathy thing in the comments. It’s regarding the take-over of the R&R page:
Here’s people at the end of a game they’ve been playing: speaking entirely without empathy about the person who has just gone through a campaign of harassment and impersonation; a person who has simply quit because the personal cost of that harassment and impersonation was too high for her.
And to what end? “We’ve had a successful coup!”
The fact that they were once again targeting a woman of Indigenous origins?
A complete coincidence! And those transported neighbours are definitely going to be coming back for their houses and furniture!
What they don’t know is that – when they reached out and started harassing random people because they were mentioned in our blog – there were literally hundreds of other people looking on – as the bright-lights once again targeted – well, you know…
And there are a ton of other folks in their area who are tired of their games and have started passing on screenshots and information through multiple channels. As we did with ERBL, as we did with Tamara Ward Johnson; we’ll be reporting what we find until we don’t have to. We’ve got a lot of people working with us – and we’re recruiting more every time the haters think they’ve got a good plan. Because they just can’t help being venal and stupid. It’s that empathy problem: they just can’t see what they look like from the outside.
Some are managers at car dealers which depend – a lot – on Indigenous business.
Some are running for the board of their local credit union.
Some work for local health authorities.
And all of them know better.
If these folks are so set on taking over social media sites so they can influence people; if they really think it’s okay to dehumanize and slander people because of the ethnicity they’ve been randomly assigned by the Indian Act; if they really think that preventing others from standing up to such hate is okay; then clearly they have their own special picture of what their society should look like: I mean, aside from the Ultimate team that looks like the Austrian Ultimate Olympics team for 1938. We’ll be looking at some of the leading lights of WTF – Kamloops next. There WILL be more court records.
Like they say in Louisiana, “Y’all lay down with trash; ain’t gonna get up clean.”