Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Confronting Hate Online - Anonymous Unmasks the KKK

We could all tick off any number of ways that the Internet and social media have changed our daily lives, but observing the way that it functions as an online portal for hate and intolerance in the modern world offers us valuable insight into the human condition.

ISIS fighters in the Middle East may not have satellites, Tomahawk missiles, or aircraft carriers, but their use of online video to quickly spread horrific images of beheaded captives around the globe constitutes a weapon of almost unimaginable malevolence.

This week the BBC News morning report has featured interviews with young Muslim men from countries like Egypt and Jordan who've spent time in Syria or Iraq fighting for ISIS.

Many of them and their peers were indoctrinated into radical Islam after being exposed to online propaganda portraying Israel, the US and our allies in the fight against ISIS as crusaders bent on slaughtering innocent Muslims.

It's altered life in places like Mosul in northern Iraq where ISIS is using their foothold in the region to try and create an Islamic caliphate.

For some of these young converts, Websites and online videos made getting information on the different Jihadist groups to join almost like ordering clothes or books online.

One kid from Jordan talked about how his former passion for soccer was replaced by violent radical Islamic Jihad; he fought in Syria and now wants to travel to the Caucus region to join Russian separatists.

Viewed from a certain angle, the Internet is like nuclear power, or the media.

It has immense power to shape society and change the destiny of people and nations. The actual limits of it's power are still unknown, and it can be used for good - or for evil; depending on who's using it.

Closer to home, last week in Ferguson the global hacker collective Anonymous used it's power and resources to confront an unsettling resurgence in domestic hate group activity here in the US that's spiked in response to the racial unrest over the shooting of Michael Brown.

Local residents of Ferguson, Missouri were nervous enough about the possibility of public unrest once the grand jury releases its decision on whether or not officer Darren Wilson will be indicted for killing the unarmed teenager earlier this summer.

Then suddenly members of white supremacist/ domestic terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan threw their hood into the ring.

Coy of the KKK flier handed out in Ferguson last week
Not only did KKK members start showing up in Ferguson, this past weekend they also began handing out fliers (like the one pictured left) printed with warnings threatening potential protesters with violence should they take to the streets in the wake of the highly anticipated decision which is expected any day now.

Any number of homemade videos showing Klan members ranting about Ferguson and spreading absurd false rumors about plots concocted by people of color to embark on a campaign of raping the wives of white police officers began to surface on Youtube.

Those were the exact same kind of rumors the Klan used to spread back in the 19th and 20th century to justify their violent domestic terrorism and murder of innocent black people.

And sometimes Jews and Italians as well - Like the lynchings of Italians in New Orleans after police chief David Hennesy was murdered on October 15, 1890.

Go to Youtube and type in "KKK Ferguson" if you've got the stomach to watch these morons spouting off about Ferguson. I checked a few out, but I won't post links to that crap on my blog.

Here we are in the 21st century and the Klan is still trying to fan the flames of hatred and bigotry by slinging a fictional narrative of violent, sex-crazed African-American males plotting to set out across the countryside raping white women. Will they ever get over themselves?

Members of Anonymous were as outraged as other citizens of all races and backgrounds over the Klan's attempt to use the tragedy in Ferguson as a staging ground for some kind of white supremacist thuggery.

As a warning, Anonymous quickly began publicly posting the identities of Klan members online via Twitter, including individual's addresses, places of work, names of their children and links to their social media accounts.

Apparently NOT getting the message (or possibly understanding who Anonymous is and what they are capable of), some Klan members then began using their social media accounts to mock the efforts of Anonymous' online attacks.

So Anonymous seized control of the KKK's Websites and Twitter accounts.

They began using those same social media platforms and Web portals that normally channel hate, to post images like this one of a unicorn under a rainbow (pictured left) that Anonymous posted on the KKK's Twitter account.

Kudos to Anonymous for using their special blend of creativity, progressive politics and technological mastery of "all things Web" to put the Klan on notice that the demands for justice and human rights in Ferguson will not be used as some kind of KKK photo opp or membership drive. 

The Klan has a lot of balls calling the protesters outraged at officer Darren Wilson's shooting of an unarmed black teen with no criminal record "terrorists".

The Klan practically invented the word terrorism with their campaign of savagery, torture and lynchings in America.

The protesters in Ferguson are gathered there for one thing; justice. They're not there to pillage, rape or murder.

They, along with millions of people around the globe, are waiting to see if the legal system in in the state of Missouri will grant Michael Brown some measure of the due process he was denied when Darren Wilson shot him in the street like an animal.  

The Klan, or any other hate group for that matter, have no seat at that table; a table where citizens of all races, religions, backgrounds and nationalities are waiting to see that justice is finally served. 

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