Hiding behind Pepe isn’t very effective


There was a guy wandering around the edges of the Iowa City women’s march, putting up white supremacist stickers, and looking like this:

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. — photo by Zak Neumann

He was pursued, non-violently, and people were taking photos of him to document his activities. He hid in a building and started making phone calls. None of this was illegal, nor were any of the marchers doing anything illegal — he was just being obnoxious, and his sweat shirt was provocative, obviously intentionally so.

What struck me, though, was this bit of the story.

“I was standing outside MERGE looking through the photos I’d taken, when a young woman in a blue hoodie came up to me,” Sarsfield said. “She asked if I’d taken photos of her boyfriend. I asked her if her boyfriend was the one putting up the white supremacist stickers.”

“She said, ‘Yes,’ and that he’d called her saying he was in MERGE. She said she wanted me to delete the photos, because this whole thing was traumatic for them,” Sarsfield recalled. “She said he’s not a racist, he just likes to do these things to get a rise out of people.”

Really? REALLY? I know the 4chan crowd likes to maintain a pretense of ironic mockery, but there are limits. Dress like a racist, act like a racist, spread racist slogans, you are a racist. I don’t care if you’re hiding behind your cloak of anonymity, you are still a bad person.

It’s kind of peak 4chan, though, when a trolling white guy claims he’s traumatized because people take photos that might identify him. He’s boo-hoo-hooing because his words and actions might just catch up with him. And that’s not all he has to worry about — he has been identified, and he was previously found guilty of possessing child porn. He’s deplorable. It just gets me how badly these people try to deny their actions.

Comments

  1. Dunc says

    he’s not a racist, he just likes to do these things to get a rise out of people.

    Congratulations, you’ve succeeded, dumbass.

  2. nomadiq says

    Would a suitable response to ‘he just likes to get a ride out of people’ be, ‘we just get a rise out of taking his photo’?

  3. Larry says

    we just get a rise out of taking his photo

    And posting the pics on the internet where they’ll be seen by thousands where, you know, they’ll get a rise out of people.

  4. gmacs says

    Gonna echo #2 and #3 saying he clearly doesn’t enjoy getting a rise out of people unless it’s a very specific one.

  5. erichoug says

    Seriously, what was his plan here? To get a rise out of someone so he got into a fight? Good luck. He went to the march specifically to cause trouble. The courts tend to take a dim view of that sort of thing, especially when the instigator is a convicted felon.

    I am sure is PO will be having a friendly conversation with him about it.

  6. whywhywhy says

    So these creeps expect the anonymity of the internet to exist in the real world (at least for their own privileged asses). And they think they have the power to make that happen. I am so confused.

  7. doubtthat says

    “WHAT! I’m no racist, I just participated in that lynching for the lols and to trigger libs.”

  8. Marissa van Eck says

    Time to “get a rise” out of him by showing his employer–if indeed he has one–this little slideshow, no?

  9. whheydt says

    I didn’t follow the links. I don’t suppose the response to the request to delete the photos was< "What is his name?" Followed by a refusal to delete the photos.

  10. lumipuna says

    Apparently, showcasing the existence of a girlfriend (real or not) is a method to convince people you aren’t actually a white supremacist.

  11. devnll says

    “He’s boo-hoo-hooing because his words and actions might just catch up with him.”

    Now PZ, that’s hardly fair. He’s not boo-hooing. He’s hiding like the coward he is and sending his girlfriend out to boo-hoo on his behalf. Because the misogynist who likes posting deliberately inflammatory content at a women’s march “in order to get a rise” doesn’t like confrontation.

  12. says

    Onamission5@#19:
    If this is the same dude, the more than a hundred photos which led to his child pornography conviction and placement on the sex offender registry[…]

    Hey, be fair! He’s not a child pornography collector – he just role-plays one online.

  13. zetopan says

    So a child pornography collector who runs illegal on-line gambling has a girlfriend who is worried that her deplorable boyfriend will be publically recognized? I count no less than two deplorables here and they should both be widely publically exposed. Enablers and just as bad as the doers they support.

  14. Owlmirror says

    In fairness, if I were posting stickers during an alt-right/white-supremacist march, which were contrary to their worldview [Black Lives Matter — Yes to Feminism, No to Harassment — Support LGBT Rights — etc], I’d be pretty damn nervous if lots of people started taking pictures of me.

    That having been said, I hope I would have the courage of my convictions to NOT say (or get someone else to say for me, forsooth) “Oh, I’m not really an egalitarian, I’m just trying to get a rise. Lol, amirite?”

  15. EigenSprocketUK says

    If he also went to Tiki marches and posted equivalent stickers “to get a rise out of them”, he might have a point. And a few broken bones and medical bills to prove that he succeeded. Go on Pepe boy, do it; do it and we’ll believe you.

  16. woozy says

    In fairness, if I were posting stickers during an alt-right/white-supremacist march, which were contrary to their worldview [Black Lives Matter — Yes to Feminism, No to Harassment — Support LGBT Rights — etc], I’d be pretty damn nervous if lots of people started taking pictures of me.

    One assumes one will take one’s own personal bravery into account before taking actions. I’m human and were we living in a police state that criminalized with jail and torture descent I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be brave enough to protest. I don’t know if, I think I probably would be but I might not be, I am brave enough to face an white-supremacist march and engage them.

    But whatever I am brave enough to do, if I’m brave enough to do it, I can’t then claim I’m too traumatized to be held accountable for my actions. They’re *my* actions. If I’m not accountable for them, who else would be?

  17. unclefrogy says

    I would not be so hard on the “girl friend”
    if things are what they often are with fellows who like to get a rise out of others, I would suspect he might be a domineering type guy in personal relationships especially with regards to “girl friends”.
    uncle frogy

  18. zibble says

    @27 unclefrogy
    Unless he picked his girlfriend up from that playground near his work, she’s capable of making decisions and leaving him whenever she wants. Let’s not delude ourselves that there aren’t female pedo deplorables too.

    The only one I feel bad for is that poor cat.

  19. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    zibble @28:

    he’s capable of making decisions and leaving him whenever she wants.

    I’m going to preface this by pointing out that this is all speculation, we know nothing of his relationship with his girlfriend, we know nothing of his, or his girlfriend’s, life. That said, way to blame a (hypothetical) victim. Oh, she was abused and didn’t leave him? That is blaming the victim.

  20. TheGyre says

    I thought guys wearing hoodies were subject to being stalked, confronted and then shot dead when they objected. That is the rule here in the USA, ain’t it? Am I missing some important factor? *Head scratching* Nope. I can’t see it.

  21. gijoel says

    Oh look it’s snowing again, for I have found yet another precious snowflake.Jesus Christ the 4chan mob can dish it out, but they sure as fuck can’t take it.

  22. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    TheGyre, I think it’s because he’s not carrying Skittles.

    I prefer to think the progressives were neither carrying nor carrying homicidal grudges.

  23. secondtofirstworld says

    Actually, I have to make one correction, it’s not the 4chan crowd anymore, theirs is 8chan, one that allows continuously to post offensive material.

    As for blaming the victim… yes and no. There’s feeling abandoned by one’s peers to the point an abuser feels more alluring, and then there’s being co-defendant. I’m talking taking part in abusing kids (to avoid punishment for themselves) to taking part in kidnappings. Also, no totalitarian and authoritarian clique and regime works without parallel hierarchies, i.e. wiling women, so it would be a disservice to not assume she isn’t a radical herself.

    Internalized misogyny can be more than welcomed if feminism threatens the established pecking order local women have. We may like it or not, despite all well intentioned laws, the steering of people with higher education and lower income background from jobs with higher income affects the necessity of women needing to work or not. Supporting liberalism means a wider competition for majority men who then wouldn’t be able to afford their wives and girlfriends not working. Then there are those women who view their own authority threatened by giving women choice thus why they support dictators.

  24. rietpluim says

    In fairness, if I were posting stickers during an alt-right/white-supremacist march, which were contrary to their worldview [Black Lives Matter — Yes to Feminism, No to Harassment — Support LGBT Rights — etc], I’d be pretty damn nervous if lots of people started taking pictures of me.

    I wouldn’t compare the women’s march to an alt-right/white-supremacist march.

  25. Owlmirror says

    @rietpluim:

    I wouldn’t compare the women’s march to an alt-right/white-supremacist march.

    Fair enough. I’m not sure if there’s a good example of reversal of circumstances. Maybe putative anti-egalitarians not otherwise known for violence or violent rhetoric?

    Also:

    I was wondering if people here read this article: New Atheism’s Idiot Heirs.

    PZ blogged about it when it first came out.

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2017/10/17/poisoning-of-a-movement/

  26. rietpluim says

    Okay, thanks. I came across the article on Twitter and didn’t recognize it as the one discussed in October.

  27. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I saw the photo, and my first thought was, “Gee, I wonder if he’d be less of an asshole if we all pitched in and bought him a chin.” But, then, I’ve always been a slave to my good and trusting nature.

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