White supremacists face a problem: if they openly stated what they believed, people would recoil in horror, yet if they don’t state what they believe how will they know where their friends are? The obvious solution is to use coded language, which at minimum will fly over the heads of normies and at maximum get parroted by them out of ignorance. So what sort of codes do white supremacists use?
“14 Words” is a reference to the most popular white supremacist slogan in the world: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The slogan was coined by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group known as The Order (Lane died in prison in 2007). … Because of its widespread popularity, white supremacists reference this slogan constantly, in its full form as well as in abbreviated versions such as “14 Words”, “Fourteen Words,” or simply the number “14.”
Trump’s been infamous for repeating white supremacist language, which isn’t surprising if his rumoured reading habits are true, but this has emboldened his supporters to break out the codewords. Both Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter have been caught spreading the “fourteen words” signal.
Coulter’s “14!” was overwhelmingly answered with “88,” a reference to another one of [David] Lane’s white supremacist terms. It stems from his “88 Precepts,” a list of statements on what he calls “natural law.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 88 is often used among neo-Nazis, because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet and 88 stands for “Heil Hitler.”
This is an actual story on an official government website with a 14-word headline starting with “we must secure”. This is not an accident. There are actual Nazis-who-call-themselves-Nazis at DHS.
That press release looks quite different from other White House press releases. It’s not connected to any action by the White House, and even when compared to fact sheets it’s lacking any paragraphs to give proper context. Posted on the 15th of February, it consists of 13 bullet points broken by 1 non-bulleted paragraph. It has a twin, also released on the 15th and also asking to “secure the nation,” consisting of a one-sentence opening paragraph followed by 15 bullet points.
That first release has an odd paragraph (emphasis mine):
The increase in claims filed is not associated with an increase in meritorious claims. As of FY 17, the asylum grant rate for defensive applications in immigration court is approximately 30%. On average, out of 88 claims that pass the credible fear screening, fewer than 13 will ultimately result in a grant of asylum.
Interviews to assess credible fear are conducted almost immediately after an asylum request is made, often at the border or in detention facilities by immigration agents or asylum officers, and most applicants easily clear that hurdle. Between July and September of 2016, U.S. asylum officers accepted nearly 88 percent of the claims of credible fear, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data.
While that and the non-14 bullet points are enough to calm his fears, they aren’t enough for me. Read back through the first press release, and you’ll see it loves giving two-digit numbers in percentages. Yet when handed the figure of “88 percent,” it dropped the percentage mark.
The popularity of “14 words” is both a blessing and a curse; it makes it easy for white supremacists to see their allies, but it’s also easily spotted by other people. If those press releases contained exactly 14 bullet points, there wouldn’t be any plausible deniability that a code was involved. A logical way to keep up the code, then, would be to dance around it a bit; throw out a lot of 13’s and 15’s instead, and have the normies tie themselves in knots debating if there’s a code there at all. After all, what are the odds that someone who uses white supremacist language, shows sympathy to white supremacists, and might have a white supremacist as their father, would go on to surround themselves with white supremacists or people sympathetic to their cause?
For white supremacists, however, there is no debate. All that confusion helps them get the word out that they’re not alone, that there are many other people sympathetic to their cause, and that some of those supporters hold the highest offices in the US of A. It’s a message to stay strong and keep the faith.