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When Trolls Carry Guns: Were 4channers responsible for shooting 5 Black Lives Matter protesters?

Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis earlier this month
Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis earlier this month

Last night, according to various media accounts, Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis confronted three mask-wearing men at the protests who seemed to be acting shady. After a brief altercation, one or more of the men pulled out a gun and shot at BLM protesters, wounding five of them.

Police took two men — one white, one Hispanic — into custody in connection with the shooting, later releasing the Hispanic man. Two other white men, both in their twenties, turned themselves in to police this afternoon.

While we still don’t know all the details of the shooting, there’s some pretty compelling circumstantial evidence suggesting that the masked men (and perhaps a masked woman as well) were 4channers who had been lurking around the demonstrations for days.

Raw Story is claiming that

White supremacists have discussed various strategies online for sparking confrontation at the demonstration, which they described as a “chimpout.” …

They agreed to wear camouflage clothing and display a four of clubs to identify each other, and the white supremacist agitators argued over whether they should carry guns or wear Guy Fawkes masks.

Much of their language will sound familiar to you all. Raw Story continues:

The white supremacist mocked “social justice warriors” and other anti-racist whites, who they described in psychosexual terms.

“Best to act as much like a beta white as much as you can,” one the racists said.

Meanwhile, a video posted online shows two masked men in camo gear apparently on their way to disrupt the BLM protests; they refer to blacks as “dindus” (short for “dindu nuffin”), a racist slur popular amongst 4channers and white supremacists. (The video was apparently shot several days before last night’s shooting.)

While we don’t know for sure that 4channers — or the two men in the video above — were involved in the shooting, some 4channers are convinced of the connection.

In a 4chan /pol/ thread earlier today quoted by Gawker, one anon puts the responsibility on members of 4chan’s famously racist /pol/ board, as well as another 4chan board devoted to guns:

4chan in the news again. A bunch of /pol/lacks+/k/ommandos in Guy Fawkes masks just shot up a Black Lives Matter protest. Apparently the BLM protestors tried to assault them, the Anon’s ran off and when the BLM protestors chased after them the /k/ommandos shot them.

5 BLM supporters confirmed in the hospital.

Media hasn’t mentioned 4chan by name yet but these guys were on /pol/ a few days ago telling everyone how they were trolling BLM by attending their protests and open carrying.

Other 4hanners claim that the 4channers who talked about disrupting the protests were not the same people who were involved in the shootings yesterday.

If the connection to 4chan is as real as it seems on the surface to be, it’s yet another reminder that online talk can have potentially deadly real world consequences — even when the online talkers claim to be “trolling.”

The alleged planning emails quoted by Raw Story, with their references to “SJW faggots” and “beta white cuck[s],” are steeped in the language, and the aggrieved entitlement, not only of 4chan but of the broader manosphere; it’s the same sort of language used by readers of the cuck-obsessed white supremacist “pickup artist” Heartiste and more than a few GamerGate trolls.

Online hate is not somehow magically separate from the real world; it’s part of it. If the shootings last night were connected to 4chan, and it seems likely they were, they also show that the line between hateful “trolling” and “real” hate is exceedingly thin if not nonexistent. The shootings last night are what happens when “trolls” carry guns.

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Fabe
Fabe
6 years ago

Now watch as the right wing media paints the shooters as innocent by standers who where just defending themselves from a hate mob.

reymohammed
reymohammed
6 years ago
Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
6 years ago

“these guys were on /pol/ a few days ago telling everyone how they were trolling BLM by attending their protests and open carrying”

So the definition of trolling is anything from winding someone up on a youtube video’s comment section to shooting people.
I’ve always hated the “it’s just trolling” cop-out. It’s asking someone to go “Ohhhhhh haha good one mate, i don’t want to be seen as an uncool fool who got all worked up by your threat of raping me before you bury me in the woods. I mean, I *do* have a sense of humour, duh.”

Judas Peckerwood
Judas Peckerwood
6 years ago

I’m not optimistic about this country’s future.

Fabe
Fabe
6 years ago

@David

Figures,first they brag about their plans to antagonize a group then claim innocent

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

A lot of white people in the Twin Cities are afraid to go into North Minneapolis. While there are some issues with crime in that community, I’ve found most of the people I’ve met from there are good people. But I guess racist people aren’t too afraid to go into the predominantly black part of town if it’s to commit terrorism. It makes me sad there are people like that in my city, but it’s not a surprise or anything either.

mockingbird
mockingbird
6 years ago

OT but related:

Who needs Maxim when you can hate women on Reddit and 4chan?

http://flip.it/UrSlI

mockingbird
mockingbird
6 years ago

@Judas – We’re currently weighing a job prospect my husband has in Belgium.

Quoth the Mr. Tonight: “Hm…a race war in the US or WWIII kindling over there…decisons, decisions…I mean, over there, I at least probably won’t be hung as – what was it? – a beta-cuck white man*…”

* The kids had drifted off into another room to finish their homework and we’d just finished looking up info regarding amd discussing the shooting at the BLM rally.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
6 years ago

http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/rdju.gif

Wasn’t 4chan suppose to be going under?

Could it just go under?

It would help keep these assholes from finding each other and organizing this shit at least.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Trolls on Gawker, and I’m sure in many other places are running with the misinformation that one of the shooters was Hispanic and holding it up as some kind of proof that this shooting was not racially motivated.
http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view3/2971540/john-goodman-table-flip-o.gif

Johanna Roberts
6 years ago

Great, the chan trolls are in my backyard. :/ I hope everyone injured recovers quickly

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

“Feminists you should be F**CKING SHOT.”

I guess these guys think that some other Others should be SHOT as well.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

The most openly racist person I’ve ever heard towards black people was a dark-skinned man of mexican decent.

My roommate, once upon a time.

Just because someone is a PoC and deals with their own shit from white people doesn’t make them any less susceptible to siding with white bigots against other races that aren’t them. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy; nothing more.

Nequam
Nequam
6 years ago

All I can think of is that SNL sketch about pranks with Christopher Walken: “And then I pranked him to death with a tire iron…”

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
6 years ago

@WWTH

I remember the episode that gif was from and it legit frighten me.

scalyllama
6 years ago

Other 4hanners claim that the 4channers who talked about disrupting the protests were not the same people who were involved in the shootings yesterday.

#NotAll4channers anyone?

These jerks make me sick.

Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
6 years ago

Also, isn’t their choice of mask a bit… well, ironic? What’s wrong with the traditional white pillowcase with eye holes cut into it?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Pandapool,
Was it the one where Dan isn’t following his post heart attack diet and Roseanne kind of cracks from the stress of worrying about him and monitoring his diet and exercise like he’s a child and they have an epic blow out?

I love how dark Roseanne got sometimes. It was still a total sitcom but instead of doing the cheesy “very special” episodes, they opted for portraying issues in a very real way. The show tackled issues like child abuse, domestic violence, abortion, financial woes and racism so well. I also love how the cast, the wardrobe, and the sets were all convincingly working class and small Midwestern town look. I hate it when TV shows and movies have people who are supposed to be lower income in designer clothes and otherwise doing and buying things they could never afford in real life.

Sorry. It’s one of my favorite shows and while it’s pretty well regarded – setting aside everything that happened after they won the lottery – I still think it’s a little bit underrated and not taken seriously enough. I always take every opportunity I can to gush about it!

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his pronouns)
6 years ago

@WWTH

I like Roseanne a lot too and, yeah, I’m pretty sure that gif is from that episode. (John Goodman is just too scary good of an actor sometimes omg.)

I think TV Land was doing some long ass, rerun/marathons of it last year so I got to see a lot of episodes I’ve never seen before (because I was born in 1992 and had no interest in sitcoms). I only saw that episode once and it was entirely scary and memorable. D:

greyskye
greyskye
6 years ago

I’m in the twin cities, and for the last week the ID’s of these 2 guys along with descriptions of their vehicle and video evidence of their threats have been circling through local groups, ones not even related directly to BLM (I’m not in the BLM group and I saw the warnings pop up in 2 different local groups). They were reported to police, and all it would have taken is police talking to these guys and telling them to stop with their threats for this to not have occurred, however the police response was that as they were carrying guns legally, there was nothing they could do unless they hurt someone.

It’s amazing no one was killed by these two douchebags, and disappointing the police didn’t take the opportunity to be proactive and show the community they ARE looking out for them despite the dispute over Jamar Clark’s death.

It’s doubly sad also, because these 2 guys were deep in the nerd community, regular cosplayers & con goers. It feels like a betrayal to those communities as well as the awful racist attack it was. Their true vicious natures were not previously known to the communities, and this has been a big shock all round.

I’ve been watching the ripples, and on top of everything else going on it’s sad to see.

mockingbird
mockingbird
6 years ago

@pandapool –

(because I was born in 1992

comment image

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Mockingbird,
Right? Whenever someone I talk to online reveals they were born in the 90’s I feel old as fuck and I’m all like
http://i.imgur.com/DEFIqmH.jpg

LG.
LG.
6 years ago

Thanks for the coverage, David. I live in North Minneapolis, and this is all surreal.

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