I expected 8chan to be taken down after a supposed manifesto attributed to Patrick Crusius was posted on the imageboard forum. This happened on late Sunday, hours after the incident in El Paso. The takedown was endorsed by the site’s creator, Fredrick Brennan.
Update: 8chan, the online message board where an anti-immigrant manifesto was posted minutes before the El Paso shooting, vanished from the internet on Monday after a San Francisco company decided to stop providing vital network services to the site https://t.co/LBtmYUSas1
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 5, 2019
The New York Times, not shy about its ideological orientation, characterizes the site as follows:
In recent months, 8chan has become a go-to resource for violent extremists. At least three mass shootings this year—including the mosque killings in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the synagogue shooting in Poway, Calif.—have been announced in advance on the site, often accompanied by racist writings that seem engineered to go viral on the internet.
Mr. Brennan started the online message board as a free speech utopia. But now, 8chan is known as something else: a megaphone for mass shooters, and a recruiting platform for violent white nationalists.
It is also home to thousands of others who have nothing to do with white nationalism or mass shootings, but that is irrelevant to the emerging narrative pushed by the NYT and other establishment media outlets.
Due to months of relentless propagandizing about the supposed threat of white nationalism and the insistence Donald Trump is a racist, we have finally reached the point where irrational hysteria completely overshadows the First Amendment, which the state and its media argue has become a recruiting tool for white supremacists.
The internet and social media are also a megaphone for Antifa, a group that does not mince words when it comes to beating up and killing white nationalists or anybody within the political vicinity of the Alt-right and its muddled ideology. Antifa websites and social media accounts remain active.
This is how USA Today describes Antifa:
The primary goal is to stop neo-Nazis and white supremacists from gaining a platform rather than to promote a specific antifa agenda. The antifa groups are decidedly anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobia, but also by and large socially leftist and anti-capitalist…
A main goal is to try to deny fascists a public forum, which is why they turn out in numbers to physically confront neo-Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists at public demonstrations. They also step in to protect counter-protesters at such events.
In addition, antifa is particularly active in “doxxing,” or identifying neo-Nazis and like-minded individuals and disseminating that private information to the public and employers to discourage people from joining their ranks.
Mark Bray, a Dartmouth lecturer and the author of a book on Antifa, demonstrates profound hostility toward the Constitution and the First Amendment, an attribute he shares with the Nazis and communists who used similar tactics to marginalize and kill off those who opposed Nazi and Bolshevik totalitarianism.
Bray says the rise of fascism in the 1930s demonstrates that it was a mistake to allow such groups to air their views in hopes that public opinion would blunt their growth. “We should be wary of those who are more distressed about alleged violations of the speech of fascists than the actual violence they perpetrate,” he says.
In other words, if you support the natural right to free and unfettered speech, you’re with the fascists and probably a target for these masked thugs falsely identifying themselves as anarchists. Most Antifa members appear to be a 20-something version of the sans-culottes—and are largely sans any firm ideological basis short of mob action that can be exploited by the state and sensationalized by its media.
The threat is not a handful of white supremacists. The threat for Antifa, far too many Democrats, and a manipulative state is the fact you are born with the right to speak your mind and engage in political activity—yes, even nazism—without fear of violence and retaliation by people who have at best a tenuous grasp on history and collectively hate the First Amendment unless, of course, it applies to them.