No, I Haven’t “Changed My Mind” About Whiteness and Racism: Responding to Nazi Web Trolls

First, they tried e-mail threats. When that didn’t work, one of their number called me at home. Still no luck, and so a few years later they decided to visit the neighborhood where my family and I lived and pass out thinly veiled death threats and fliers. When that too failed to put a dent in my writing, speaking, and educational work, they organized protests at two of my speeches this fall.

Time after time, attempts to intimidate me have failed miserably, and so now, the white nationalists and supremacists who see it as their job to attack any of us who combat their ignorance and hatred, have switched gears. Now, they have decided to switch to disinformation tactics, intended to discredit antiracists in the eyes of a public they hope will be gullible enough to believe whatever it is they say about us.

To wit, today, a website operated by white nationalists (but which fronts as a site focused on Diversity, and which gives no clear indication of its political slant on the homepage), published an article claiming that I had announced that I had “changed my mind” about racism, and was now embracing their white supremacist worldview, anti-immigrant nativism, and other aspects of their toxic and bigoted agenda. Written up as a news story, the blog post said I had made this announcement at a speech, in which my newfound embrace of white racism was met with the “hisses and boos” of my “former supporters,” and that police were needed to protect me from the mob afterward. Though a nice job of creative writing, and although it would have even been amusing had it been labeled as parody, the fact is, the neo-Nazis in question were seeking to pass it off as entirely real.

Two points here:

1) It is bogus. I have not changed my mind on matters of race, nor will I. I reject white nationalism, white supremacy, and indeed, the very concept of “the white race,” which I see as a scientific and cultural fiction, created by people of various European descents, so as to subjugate non-European/non-white peoples. The very concept deserves eradication. Note, I said the concept of whiteness deserves eradication, not the people currently called white. And;

2) Because this piece was not labeled as a parody, and because its author’s intent was obviously to discredit me professionally by making people think this “change of heart” was real — and that I was now endorsing white supremacy — it is legally actionable as libel. Libel laws allow a lot of leeway for skewering public figures, but not when fake words are put in their mouths, and suggested as being real. Had it been labeled parody or snark, they could pretty much say whatever they wanted, within reason, and not violate libel laws. But they did not do this. As such, I will begin legal proceedings against them, in the aftermath of the holidays.

I will not link to the piece here, nor mention the site’s name. They want me to do that so as to boost their pathetic traffic, I’m sure, but it isn’t going to happen. Just make note that if you hear something about me now rejecting my lifelong antiracism in favor of some retrograde white racist bullshit, it is indeed bullshit. And soon, it will be bullshit that costs its authors whatever pathetic financial resources they have managed to muster up…

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