While I’ve somehow managed to live as a white person for more than five decades without once feeling persecuted over the color of my skin, the 24/7 White Grievance Media sees an America (or, rather, a dwindling majority of very concerned white folks) under existential threat. In other words, it’s easy to sell grievance to conspiracy-primed racists who greedily swallow performative nonsense like a flock of deranged pelicans scarfing down perilously over-microwaved Hot Pockets.
It’s pretty easy to get on the TV these days if you’re sufficiently determined. I imagine if you called Tucker Carlson’s producers and told them you’re a white guy who was standing behind a Black guy in the doughnut queue at a Circle K and the Black dude took the last two crullers—even though you’d clearly remarked on how delicious they looked—there’s a decent chance Tucker would mention you at the top of his show.
Case in point: An apparent astroturf group that was dreamed up by a right-wing organization has been sending flyers to people in Dallas’ wealthy, predominantly white suburbs. The flyers demand that local parents keep their children out of Ivy League schools to make room for more students of color. The pseudo-organization, Dallas Justice Now, also threatened to publish the names of any parents who refused to sign the no-Ivy pledge.
It sounds too “good” to be true, right? Almost like it was purposely concocted to chafe the taint of drunk Uncle Steve, who hates the Ivy League eggheads in charge of so many of our leading institutions, but nevertheless wants said eggheads to remain a soothing shade of ecru.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Scant public information is available about Dallas Justice Now or its leadership. The group hasn’t replied to the Observer’s inquires, but the group’s website traces back to a right-wing PR firm called Arena. Online research also connects Arena to Keep Dallas Safe, an organization run by a confirmed astroturfer, suggesting there may be deeper connections between these efforts in terms of funders and strategy.
One of the local anti-fascists who combed through the website’s history told the Observer that they “noticed [Dallas Justice Now] had backdated blog posts from before their website was up, and so we started looking through their posts.” (The researcher requested to remain anonymous.)
It didn’t take long for the researchers to locate source code that led back to Arena in an archived version of Dallas Justice Now’s website. From there, they found a server that showed several similar testing sites, including one for Keep Dallas Safe.
Oh, damn. That’s sleazy, huh? Yes, what we really need in this country is more brave patriots willing to sluice napalm onto our country’s long-smoldering racial tire fire.
And there’s even more (alleged) dirt on this gaggle of (allegedly) smarmy astro-Smurfs (to see the unrolled version of the following thread from attorney Geoff Bowser, click here).
Bowser went hunting for the only person publicly associated with the group, Michele Washington.
Then Bowser went looking for more information about the group responsible for the flyers.
Next, Bowser looked for previous media coverage of the group, and found a very unlikely “journalist.”
Bowser followed the trail to the website where Fairley published her “journalism.”
Needless to say, right-wing media latched onto this story like a pair of Putin-branded nipple clamps on Donald John Trump’s inglorious, special sauce-festooned bosoms. The story showed up on PJ Media, The Daily Mail, and Tucker Carlson Tonight, among other places, because fact-checking is for leftist cucks, apparently.
The right-wing machine wants white people to be very afraid. Very, very afraid … and angry.
Conservatives know how triggering it is for white people when people of color begin insinuating themselves into institutions that were once forbidden to them, and particularly when they demand equal access. There’s been one whole Black president, they lament, and there are even BIPOC superheroes now. Now they want to go to Ivy League colleges? Slow it down, folks. Maybe everyone else can get in after another generation of Kushners is done painting the hallowed halls of Harvard with Coors Light and crushing mediocrity.
It made comedian Sarah Silverman say “THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT” and prompted author Stephen King to shout “Pulitzer Prize!!!” (on Twitter, that is). What is it? The viral letter that launched four hilarious Trump-trolling books. Get them all, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Just $12.96 for the pack of 4! Or if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.
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