Good morning and welcome to Hell World.
Late last night Donald Trump (the president) tweeted that he would be instructing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to look into the situation in South Africa regarding land seizures from white farmers. Why did he do this, you might be wondering? Well, why does he do anything: because he’s a big time racist with brain worms.
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.” @TuckerCarlson @FoxNewsAugust 23, 2018
From lies about immigrants in Sweden to farmers in South Africa, when Trump uses white supremacist talking points he is getting the ideas from Tucker Carlson. Tucker Carlson is single-handedly bringing white supremacist talking points into our national political discourse. https://t.co/UA5lRuUgDXAugust 23, 2018
I cannot overstate the frequency with which white nationalists talk about the plight of white farmers in South Africa in podcasts and online forums.August 23, 2018
The South African government was not pleased at the tweet, you might not be surprised to hear. I’d say our ambassador to South Africa is going to have a bad day over there today but we don’t currently have one.
Given the white identitarian obsession with what they call a “genocide” of white farmers in South Africa, this might be some of the furthest down the white nationalist rabbit hole the president’s ever gone. https://t.co/WyGhZ7UaytAugust 23, 2018
For decades the black population of the country was legally prohibited from owning land, living on, or owning businesses on huge chunks of the country. When apartheid ended in 1994, that amounted to some 90% of the available land. By 2017 that number had dropped, somewhat, to around 72%. A number of laws have been passed in recent years attempting to rectify that by redistributing land in a more equitable fashion, but the process has been slow, and people are growing impatient.
Naturally, advocates for the white minority group, and in particular a group called AfriForum, have attempted to frame the entire process as white genocide at work, something that all of the worst people imaginable have picked up on as a way to forward the concept of white victimhood:
There is actually evidence, by the way, that the number of violent attacks and murders on farms in South Africa is actually going down.
Now for the kicker, as we turn directly to Farm Attacks: Here's the infographic showing that farm murders have actually DECLINED in recent years. Yes, DECLINED. #LandExpropriation #DonaldTrump #FoxNews https://t.co/qpeK9uMmRV pic.twitter.com/r1ts1KhVE5August 23, 2018
Rather than expose the supposed plight of white South Africans, Southern’s and Hopkins’ nationalist tourism does more to expose the fringe network of white supremacists and far-right trolls working in concert to advance a narrative of white victimhood. While the obsession with mythical white genocide in South Africa has long sustained the interest of white supremacists worldwide, interest in the topic among a younger generation of far-right online personalities is a newer phenomenon that people like Southern and Hopkins are clamoring to exploit.
Some other reading from me this week:
How a Pro-Israel Group Has Weaponized Lana Del Rey for Propaganda Purposes
There’s a war underway for the soul of Lana Del Rey, and this time it’s not between two 37-year-old bikers with face tattoos. The ethereal singer found herself at the center of a fierce debate over the weekend when news emerged that she would perform at the Meteor Festival in Tel Aviv later this week. via Observer
Tired of Nazis in Your Twitter Mentions? Try Mastodon.
A funny thing happened over the weekend. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave an interview to CNN in which he said his platform had what he called a "more left-leaning" bias, a puzzling statement that only added to his recent concessions to the far right—from apologizing to conservative activist Candace Owens to protecting Alex Jones and his company InfoWars.
That same day, Eugen Rochko, the developer behind Twitter competitor Mastodon, was taking an entirely different tack. Asked by a Mastodon user why his network was silencing “alt-right” groups, Rochko made his position perfectly clear.
“Nazis are bad and I don’t want to give them a platform for recruiting,” he said. When this person pressed him—in frustrating troll fashion—about the specific meaning of the word Nazi, he doubled down. “That bullshit doesn't work on me man.” via Esquire
What's happened with Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort?
On any given day the Trump administration has proven itself capable of compressing what would under any other presidency be weeks worth of news into a few scant hours. The sheer rate of controversies compels us to move onto the next before last has been fully digested. It’s safe to say that Tuesday, however, was not just any other day, as Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a raft of campaign finance violations shortly after a guilty verdict arrived in the case of Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, for bank and tax fraud. via The Guardian
How many people has the president trolled since Melania Trump’s cyberbullying speech?
Donald Trump’s targets since Monday’s speech read like a retread of his Greatest Bullying Hits – Robert Mueller and his “witch-hunt”, “fake news”, even his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions – with a few new twists thrown in to keep people guessing. via The Guardian