Alt-Right Teen Mitchell Adkins Conducts Terrorist Attack

Another extremist carried out a terrorist attack by knife today. According to reports, a former student from Transylvania University in Lexington sought out female victims, stabbing two before being captured.

Despite the media’s love for terrorism-based stories, this one is getting little coverage. And despite law enforcement’s love of terror-related arrests, this one has yet to be (and may never be) charged as an act of terrorism at all. Some people might call you jaded if you believe this is related to the fact that the suspect, teenage Mitchell W. Adkins, is a white Christian conservative. Others might call you realistic.

As of this writing, Adkins has been charged with assault and endangerment. Law enforcement released a statement that they are still investigating motive.

To a large extent we may already know the motive from witness accounts. Adkins went from potential victim to victim, all women, asking them if they were Republicans or Democrats. He only attacked the Democrats:

The attacker walked into a coffee shop inside the Glenn Building on Friday morning, asked people their political affiliation, then went on the attack, one witness said. Adkins appears to have a history of publicly protesting what he considered the mistreatment of conservatives on college campuses.

“A guy came in, banged something, a hatchet or an ax, on the table and said, ‘The day of reckoning has come,’” Reynolds said. “He asked somebody what their political affiliation was, they said ‘Republican,’ and the guy said, ‘You are safe.’ And then I realized what was going on and started getting people out.”

This is an act of terrorism by all conventional definitions. Moreover, it is yet another terrorist attack committed by the extreme right. Keep in mind that right-wing domestic terrorist attacks still represent the greatest number of attacks in the United States. (Warning: FBI Link) This statistic does not include Islamic religious extremism, despite Islamic extremism also being a form of far right ideology.

Two years ago, Adkins posted an article on Buzzfeed titled Discrimination of Conservatives in the Liberal Arts. Here are a few excerpts from that article. They should shed light on the kind of person that views anyone left of them as a potential target:

“Earlier this year, the media became flooded with an article from an African-American student from Transylvania University who talked about how she faced discrimination on a daily basis due to her race. She mainly referenced the Fraternity Kappa Alpha for their representation on southern pride (this all happened in the early 2000’s when people were still proud to display a confederate flag).”

“Transylvania is also a Liberal Arts college, which isn’t related to Liberal politics, but does tend to draw in a Democratic majority. This is obvious in every single aspect of school here. And, as a strict Republican, it does tend to cause more problems then you may expect. I’m a full supporter of freedom of speech. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone should be free to share it. I’m even willing to listen to people discuss their beliefs, and I’m even in a class about feminism and gender, which is quite a liberal class if I may be honest. I’m always happy to hear what people think, but what I don’t respond well to is aggression and belittling me due to my political beliefs.”

“I’m no expert, but i’m fairly certain that the whole reason everybody doesn’t fly gay pride flags is because many people find it offensive. I know for a fact that if I walked around wearing a Confederate flag (also known as southern pride flag), I would’ve faced so much backlash that it would’ve resulted in some serious punishment for me.”

“Sweet, I get a fresh new start with fresh new people. I get to make my reputation however I’d like it. But within a week, I had already made several enemies with a single fact; I am a proud Republican. It’s amazing to me that when I listen to someone’s political opinion and then give my own, I’m the one who’s lashed out at for being a “racist” or “bigot”, some even go as far as saying “bane of society” or “fascist Nazi”.”

“When it came out that I wasn’t a whole fan of the whole gay marriage Supreme Court ruling or that my ideas of a former Bruce Jenner were that he was in no way whatsoever brave or respectable, that’s when things started to get out of hand. I lost friends left and right. People even went out of their way to not talk to me, to make me a social Pariah because I had different beliefs.”

“What confuses me, though, is the discrimination I’m faced with directly from those against discriminating.”

“You know, we’re kind of doing that thing Transy espouses of promoting “inclusion”? But no, you’re not inclusive at all.”

“Transy put out a special newsletter in the campus newspaper, “The Rambler” about how upcoming Halloween celebrations should be treated (this came out the week before Halloween). I figured, no big deal, don’t wear something too racist and you’re fine. It turns out, people were expecting quite a bit more than that. They demanded that members of organizations “not wear racially, ethnically, or culturally offensive costumes while representing their organizations.””

Let’s pause and reflect for a moment. This is a person who believes (or who claimed to believe) that the Confederate flag is not a symbol of racism or chattel slavery, but “southern pride.” That the offense people take to the Confederate flag, typically based on the historical association of the flag with slavery, is similar in some way to his own offense at a Pride flag.

This is also someone who echoed the “tolerant liberal” meme two years ago before it became popular. A broad intolerance of intolerance is treated the same in his worldview as an intolerance toward people for the color of their skin or their sexuality. In other words, all intolerance is equal. It’s the same, to these people, to be intolerant of a racist as it is to be intolerant of someone because of their race. Wait, I take that back. They’re fine with intolerance toward people based on race and sexuality.

A uniquely far-right spin on “free speech” is also at play. Despite being free to speak, even given a platform on his campus and through Buzzfeed, he felt that his free speech had been infringed upon. Why? Because the responses toward that speech were overwhelmingly negative. To some on the far-right this is actually what free speech means. If others don’t want to entertain and respect your belief, not merely your right to express it, then it somehow this violates your freedom of speech. Alternately, there are many on the far-right who know that this is not a free speech issue. Nonetheless, they’re also aware that using “free speech” in a victim context is an effective propaganda tactic. This is why far-right rallies are being billed as “free speech” events. Any negative responses to the far-right content itself can be spun as a negative response to speech itself.

More from his article:

“Listen to what your opponent has to say instead of drowning them out in a sea of voices like you did last year.”

“Nobody tried to understand my point of view.”

“Constructive criticism would have been a responding letter to the editor in which we could exchange ideas like civilized people. Honestly, it’s why I haven’t even written anything into the newspaper for a while because I’m scared of the repercussions from the student body. It shouldn’t be that way, and as it stands, it’s not even close to diverse and inclusive like you claim it to be.”

“If you’re automatically going to label everything that’s different from your opinion insulting, you are, indeed, a coward for wanting to cop out and exempt yourself from constructive debate.”

This drives home the previous point, that many on the right confuse freedom of speech with acceptance of what they say. They don’t seem to realize that hate has consequences. That while you can say whatever you wish, the First Amendment or the broader concept of “free speech” does not shield you from an overwhelmingly negative response from your peers. Free speech does not mean that what you say won’t make the entire campus hate you. It also does not mean that people are required to continue being your friend long after you’ve expressed hateful extremist political positions:

“Despite the face [sic] I left my past behind me, my present was too much for a friend to handle. I was very recently assaulted and literally thrown from his property after the mention of my support for Trump.”

There’s also a telling comment in his essay that the media and casual readers may overlook:

“All these people can reply with are words like “Bigot, hateful, intolerant, ignorant, etc.” So go ahead and enjoy your helicopter rides, I’m sticking to my beliefs.”

If you don’t know, “helicopter rides” is a meme popularized by the alt-right. From KnowYourMeme:

“Free Helicopter Rides” refers to extrajudicial killings known as “death flights,” in which military forces throw people from aircraft into large bodies of water. Online, the phrase is often used by members of the alt-right in jokes about executing their political opponents.

During the Argentine Dirty War from 1976 to 1983, the military reportedly executed an estimated 10,000 people, many of which were thrown out of aircraft into the Rio de la Plata or Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, the practice was also reportedly employed by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who ruled the country from 1973 to 1990.

The “helicopter rides” meme emerged in 2015, close to the same time Adkins wrote this article. This indicates that Adkins had been active enough on far-right political forums or image boards to digest and regurgitate the meme before it became popular. While Adkins is being reported as a “Republican,” which is likely true given the effective existence of only two political parties, he in fact represents the reemergence of an extreme political ideology much further to the right than mainstream conservative and Republican politics.

Mitchell Adkins Transylvania Terror Attack Pincohet
He loved Trump, FOX and right-wing death squads.
Adkins was apparently still active on far-right forums online up to the point of carrying out a terrorist attack. His Facebook contains current content by alt-right media figures and has links to extremist content, such as the pro-Pinochet fan page “Pinochet Helicopter Rides and Tours.”

Pot, kettle.
A final point, there is no shortage of absurdity in the fact that someone calling for the extra-judicial killings of everyone left of him had trouble making friends. This is someone who was, by his own account, an outcast in every sense. Despite being a racist and homophobic bully himself, Adkins devoted an inordinate amount of space to voicing his own feelings of being bullied, being an outcast, not being accepted nor being popular. This is a recurring trend with the American far-right, one seen repeating itself nearly every time we look into the backgrounds of right-wing terrorists.

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Reddit bans book on left-wing activism, anarchist moderator

Reddit, the fourth most-visited website in the United States, has banned the moderator of a popular left-wing forum, or subreddit, as well as a book on left-wing activism. The r/anarchism subreddit currently has over 70,000 subscribers, making it one of Reddit’s largest left-wing communities.

Moderator u/hamjam5, also the founder of Reddit’s individualist anarchism community, was banned by Reddit’s administration team for approving a post containing a link to the book An Anarchist Cookbook: Recipes For Disaster. Reddit administration stated that the book contained recipes for Molotov cocktails, although the book appears to contain no such recipes (full PDF).

Read the Reddit administration team’s message here.

An Anarchist Cookbook: Recipes For Disaster should not be confused with the 1970s The Anarchist Cookbook, a controversial non-political text subject to bans across the globe for oft erroneous musings on explosives, phone hacking/phreaking and illegal drugs. Nonetheless, suppression of An Anarchist Cookbook: Recipes For Disaster is reminiscent of the witch hunts surrounding the 1970s work.

An Anarchist Cookbook: Recipes For Disaster is currently available in the public library system.

An examination of the contents of An Anarchist Cookbook: Recipes For Disaster indicates that it is a broad survey on civil disobedience and direct action tactics. Although the book does contain topics on illegal actions, this must be expected in any thorough survey of activism, protest and civil disobedience. The bulk of topics covered in the book, however, are both legal and nonviolent. Included within are resources for survivors of domestic violence and chapters on legal aid.

The ban comes amidst an ongoing campaign by Internet trolls based out of 4chan’s /pol/ image board targeting anti-fascist and left-wing activists. Reddit has previously reprimanded the anarchist community, removing two related subreddits and banning the use of the phrase “bash the fash,” a popular anti-fascist slogan. Reddit’s hands-off moderation model and small staff is a dual-edged sword that makes it especially vulnerable to troll brigades, leaving Reddit administration unable to thoroughly investigate user reports of rule violations.

Meanwhile, multiple communities dedicated to promoting violence against left-wing activists remain on Reddit. This includes r/physical_removal, a forum similar to the Pinochet Helicopter Rides and Tours Facebook group that far-right terrorist Mitchell Adkins subscribed to before carrying out a knife attack at Transylvania University that left two wounded.

Raddit.me, a Reddit clone designed for security and to resist censorship, is slated to take over should Reddit close its left-wing communities.

Two gang members in critical condition after attacking working class protesters

Two gang members were seriously injured and left in critical condition after the International Workers Day demonstrations in Paris, France. Apparently intending a show of force, a contingent of France’s largest gang came to the demonstration armed and dressed in protective gear. After multiple assaults on demonstrators, two gang members suffered serious injury from demonstrators defending themselves with makeshift weapons. Both are now in critical condition in a Paris hospital.

A contingent of France’s largest gang, seen heavily armed at a working class demonstration in Paris, France. These two gang members were seriously injured after attacking working class demonstrators.

Anarcho-capitalists: When “Enemy Of The State” actually means “I belong to a literal neo-Nazi gang.”

As I was browsing this page on Patrick Sharp, an Internet troll and neo-Nazi who uses pictures of concentration camps in pseudo-advertisements for physical fitness, a picture caught my eye:

anarcho-capitalism

Here’s a young man sitting next to Sharp in an Atlanta cigar lounge. He’s wearing a t-shirt that looks like a knockoff of the one sold at Mises.org. The front features the profile of Murray Rothbard, the hyper-capitalist who coined the term “anarcho-capitalism.” Rothbard advocated that “cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment” and that we should “unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants.”

Somehow, empowering and unleashing the police was consistent with being an “enemy of the state.” Which is fitting, because the man in this photo is Jared Huggins, an Atlanta-based member of white supremacist gang Identity Evropa.

Perhaps some anarcho-capitalists can chime in and explain how National Socialism is consistent with opposing the state.

Happy May Day, Working Class

Today is May Day. Let’s reflect on everything we would not have without a militant labor movement that was willing to fight literal battles in the streets to secure their rights:

  • The minimum wage.
  • The 40-hour week.
  • The 10-hour day and the 8-hour day.
  • Work off on weekends.
  • Overtime pay.
  • Safety standards and regulations.
  • This and other labor holidays.
  • The right to strike.
  • The right to form or join a union.
  • Child labor laws.
  • Equal pay and anti-discrimination laws.
  • And much more…

And the battles have not yet ended, friends.

Reports of violence from neo-Nazi groups at Pikeville, Kentucky rally

Yesterday, fascist and neo-Nazi organizations held a rally in the town of Pikeville, Kentucky. Although the organizations are not native to Pikeville they targeted this small conservative community on the belief that white, rural workers who voted for Trump would be a receptive audience.

Instead, residents interviewed before the rally reported being “furious, scared and resentful.”

Despite early reports that there was no violence, an attendee of the counter-protest described post-protest violence from the neo-Nazi groups:

Antifascists showed up to the Pikeville event early, an hour before the Nazis arrived. Police were everywhere, Main St. was barricaded, and all connecting streets were barricaded as well. The Nazis were penned in next to the town Courthouse.

Given that Pikeville had passed a mask ordinance and that the Nazis dressed in black, Antifa wore normal clothes, but with red bandanas.

Street medics and other supporters handed out water and snacks, while the rest shouted, blew whistles, tooted vuvuzelas, banged drums, and taunted the Nazis. It was relatively peaceful, but a man did hop the barricades to go one on one with a Nazi. The cops shoved him back into the protest area.

When the Nazis left, 30-odd riot police showed up to funnel the protest group away from their cars during their departure.

Afterwards, a car full of Nazis drove past a few comrades, aimed handguns at them out the windows, and threw a flashbang at them. No police response to that, of course. Nobody was injured and the people of Pikeville seemed happy that we came out to support them after finding that their store closures and university evacuation weren’t needed.

Update: some dumbass nazi fired a gunshot into the air on the way out

Dave Mistich also reported a gunshot as the neo-Nazis departed the venue:

gun shot Pikeville Kentucky Nazi

The Traditionalist Worker Party is the same neo-Nazi organization that was responsible for multiple stabbings and hospitalizations at a Sacramento rally last year. Matthew Heimbach, the organization’s leader, is also the same man who was filmed punching a black woman at a pro-Trump rally. Heimbach has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, claiming that Trump inspired him to punch the woman. He currently has an active warrant out for his arrest.

A local reporter described being unable to find Pikeville residents who supported the white supremacists. Additionally, that the neo-Nazi organizations were outnumbered by the opposition.

Although this was billed as an armed rally, it seems that relatively few neo-Nazi protesters were armed. This is a good thing, given what little firearm discipline they seem to have had. However, they did have lots of tiny homemade shields:

… intimidating.

The Far Right Will Hang You Out To Dry

As I was browsing far right media while writing about the arrest of Mitchell Adkins, the alt-righter who stabbed two women in a terrorist incident, I began to notice a trend. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the far right quickly moved to distance itself from Adkins. This might seem obvious: distance yourself from terrorism. But I’m not saying the far right tried to distance itself from the machete attack itself. No, by and large there was approval of that act. “Liberals being attacked with knives?! It’s happening!”, to paraphrase The Daily Stormer’s take. What I’m saying is that they immediately moved to distance themselves from the person, Mitchell Adkins.

Perhaps this was due in large part to the fact that Adkins is a sad case. And I mean this sincerely. This is someone who was most likely raised to be hateful. If not by his immediate family, by his environment. We aren’t born hating, after all. He probably was bullied as a child and a young teenager, there’s no reason to doubt his accounts of that. He was isolated, out of shape and – as much as I hate to go there – physically unattractive.

In short, he could be the poster child of the far right.

Had Adkins been an anti-war protester who poured blood on a nuclear installation he could have had support from the entire anti-war and anti-nuclear movement. Had he been an anarchist or a communist he could have relied upon multiple solidarity and prison support networks. However, because he was a far-right extremist he can only expect to be ridiculed and mocked by the very people he identified with.

There is no solidarity within the far-right. It’s extremely unlikely that you will be rendered aid or considered a hero. In fact, the more successful the attack the less likely you are to be supported. While the far-right would love for right-wingers to go out and massacre homosexuals, communists and people of color in the streets, in practice the people who try and do this will be shown no support whatsoever. The right eats itself. “You go first, bro,” is the motto. And it’s a fitting motto for a movement whose base consists largely of isolated trolls on the Internet. This is the same mindset we expect from people who think watching you jump off of a bridge would be awesome but would never do it themselves.

This is worth keeping in mind if you’re a fan of helicopter ride memes. You can circle-jerk to those all day, but when push comes to shove if you think you’re going to spark the race war or anti-communist cleansing then you’ve got another thing coming. You will be hung out to dry by the very people who you thought would support you.

There is no doubt that Adkins, playing on far-right meme boards and Facebook groups, thought that he finally found some niche that accepted him. Now he is in jail facing multiple felonies. His life will be more or less ruined. And when he is eventually released he’ll find that the response to his fifteen minutes of fame by the people he thought were on his side is overwhelmingly negative.

White Lives Matter

What “White Lives Matter” means, for the few people who have yet to digest the dog whistle:

White lives may matter, but do neo-Nazi lives? Probably not very much.

“White Lives Matter” is not the uncontroversial statement that the lives of people with white skin matter. Rather, it is a reactionary rebuttal to the Black Lives Matter movement — a movement that began as a direct response to disproportionate police violence toward individuals with black and brown skin.

An actual photo of white lives mattering.

Photos courtesy of Lois Beckett from the Guardian:

Armed neo-Nazis prepare for potential clash in small Kentucky town