When I saw this article pop up in my news reader, I instinctively rolled my eyes (well, not literally, but in that in-my-head cognitive manner approaching dismissive disdain), but as I’m wont to do, I continued reading. From the department of taking one for the team, I would like to report my findings after reading the Washington Post’s “A black man went undercover online as a white supremacist. This is what he learned.”
Theo Wilson, a Denver-based poet/actor, created a Youtube channel several years ago and began posting videos related to race (and does it take much imagination to deduce Wilson’s angle?) and immediately his comments were awash in racist trolls, slurs and all.
After engaging in endless sparring matches in the comments section, Wilson began to notice something curious: His trolls seemed to speak a language unto themselves, one replete with the same twisted facts and false history. It was as if they had all passed through some “dimensional doorway,” arriving from an alternative universe where history, politics and commonly accepted facts had been turned inside out.
Typical MSM/Liberal ploy: prior to your agenda-laced dirge, erect the parameters of your self-enclosed reality (which are ultimately debatable) as universally implied and devolve from there. The Washington Post feeds into this paradigm as long as it befits leftist narratives.
Curious about where his trolls were getting their revisionist history lessons, Wilson, 36, — an award-winning poet and actor from Denver — decided to go undercover in their world. In 2015, he started by creating a ghost profile named “Lucious25,” a digital white supremacist who appeared to be an indigenous member of the alt-right’s online echo chamber, he said.
It is easy to assume a false online identity, but monopolistic tech companies, entirely in the pocket and spiritual bosom of the elite Left, do their mightiest to extinguish all such avenues leading to anonymity. Curious that the Left doesn’t have a problem with people like Wilson playing White Supremacist for the sake of “research” and good online copy.
Within a few weeks Wilson’s alternate identity was questioning President Barack Obama’s birthplace, railing against Black Lives Matter and bemoaning people he called “race-baiters,” such as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. After several months, he was a disaffected fixture on alt-right websites that draw white supremacists — such as Info Wars and American Renaissance — and in the comments section of racist YouTube videos.
…and now cue the predictable Post injection of subjectivity which enables their writers to bounce around gratuitously within their predefined bubbles with nary an ounce of critical thought.
During his eight months as a racist troll, Wilson never revealed his true identity. When it was all over, Wilson said, he came to appreciate the way in which the far-right media bubble disables its participants — offering an endless stream of scapegoats for their problems but no credible solutions.
Despite the predictable racially-conscious screeching, I was surprised to note that Wilson’s assumption of a “White” identify appears to have softened his opinion of those groups he adroitly infiltrated during his undercover engagement. In a Q&A with the Post, his observations, while not exactly fawning of the Trumpian Right, seemed tempered by a thin veneer of empathy, even commiseration. Specifically, in these exchanges:
You mention that in their forums they’re also seeking “answers” to questions. What are they trying to resolve?
In today’s America, they’re struggling to understand why they’ll have less opportunity than their father’s generation. They also want answers to basic questions about race in America, such as: What’s the point of multiculturalism? Why can only black people say the “N” word? How is racism not over when LeBron James and Oprah have huge bank accounts? How is affirmative action anything other than reverse racism? Why shouldn’t I be proud to be white if someone else is proud to be black?
You mention that they also have some “fair points.” What are they?
I think it’s a fair point that leftists are widely tolerant of all kinds of people, but are often quite hateful to those who honestly hold conservative values. There are people who actually believe in God with all their heart. There are people who cannot cognitively resolve a guy kissing a guy. It doesn’t mean they’re seconds away from a hate crime. There is a legitimate human need to want to hold on to tradition in any culture.
Wow. Those are some very insightful allowances from a member of the Racial Left. Wilson recognizes, and expresses, the dynamic that brought Donald Trump to power. Wilson’s time spent masquerading appears to have planted a perspective in his mind he would not have attained solely by ricocheting around in the MSM’s echo chamber. He recites many of the Right’s grievances while refraining from opining on the presumptive skepticisms he surely harbors. And the ability to recognize the Right’s right to its views without implying violence or prejudice is quite illuminating.
I like that Wilson, while an idealist on many levels, is also a pragmatist. He avoids Utopian dead-end platitudes that the Left voraciously consumes. He continues in response to several ensuing Post questions:
- The Internet is sort of what a car is to road rage. The glass and steel create this bubble of perceived safety, which amplifies people’s rage, but keeps them from having to deal with the consequences of that rage. There is an honesty that is exposed in the process.
- All they [tools for accessing the internet] do is reinforce our wants and desires, so if these desires are immature, we never grow. Racism is a comfy cage, and technology hasn’t provided the key for getting out. We need to have courageous, face-to-face conversations with difficult people outside of the security of our laptops.
- Just because this experience made me more compassionate doesn’t mean I’m more hopeful. My compassion comes from knowing these people are still so vulnerable to social programming. But the social forces that make racism commonplace aren’t necessarily going away. Look at what happened in Charlottesville, for example. How did a brand-new generation of white guys get that hateful? They never joined their dad in a lynch mob. They never smelled the burning flesh of a Negro in a town square or lived in Jim Crow America. And yet, they still adopted those hateful attitudes. That doesn’t make me hopeful at all.
Wilson escapes the Pollyanna-ish absolutism that afflicts most of Cultural Marxist thinking. He understands the state of our world is inexorably on a downward plunge because human nature is innately fraught with self-interest and narrow-minded bigotry and that most importantly, this is not the realm of only Whites or Conservatives; everyone shoulders this load of dystopian perpetuation.
Wilson, not quite the racial charlatan, likewise is hardly ready to embrace the disaffection of the new Right, but he has swallowed the Purple Pill.
Better than nothing.