UPDATE: I posted this blog post at ~11 a.m. today, 1/11/2012, and by ~10 pm it had been posted on Stormfront’s “Newslinks and Articles” forum. The main objection seems to be that I called them “White Supremacists” rather than “White Nationalists” (it’s in inverted commas in the thread’s title); in the post I’ve changed all references to White Supremacists to White Nationalists, which is what Stormfront bills itself as. This change is a considered one: mainly because I don’t want to be accused of representing Stormfront falsely.
There are supremacists, separatists, and, as far as I can see, as many different views as there are members on Stormfront. My post made it seem as if it was all White Supremacists. This change is done more from journalistic concern rather than a concern about offending the users of Stormfront.
We should talk about Stormfront.
When I was eight I desperately wanted an ant farm. I wanted to watch a society function in mugshot profile, see its secrets laid out in front of me, wanted to be able to look through glass and think “ah-ha, ants, this is where you keep your eggs” and “oh-ho, ants, this is why you hate the Jews”.
This is artlessly analogous to my fascination with the world’s largest White Nationalist website. Especially the business with the Jews.
Think of Stormfront as Racist White Google. It’s the campfire “racial realists” (their term) gather around to tell ghost stories about minority encounters, Johnny Law and shadowy conspiracies. On Stormfront people live their lives around a big, ugly, all-consuming hate, and you need to come with me and resist the urge to tap on the glass. These are real people, people with views I find singularly awful and close-minded and paranoid but real people nonetheless, linking each other cat pictures and race hate.
When I first visited Stormfront it looked terrifyingly efficient. There were the ominously named forums for “Strategy & Tactics” and “Self Defense, Martial Arts and Preparedness”, the forums organized by country and region and, more than anything, the sheer number of racists, the numbers beside each forum showing me how many White Nationalists were online at any given time looking for advice on martial arts and weaponry. As I write this it’s midnight and at least 21 racist Australians are talking to each other, probably with one hand supporting their tired, racist heads, typing about the news and non-whites and non-whites in the news. Han_solo is congratulating hatemonger on his great idea.
Then you realize that just like the rest of the internet, everyone is a lot worse at this whole “togetherness” thing than you expected. Even racists don’t like other racists. Arguments that would on other forums be about hardcore gamerdom or the amount of weight each man could lift are here about who is a True White, who is a “mudshark” (a white who fraternizes with non-whites; cf. “Mudblood”). Flame wars start with accusations of non-whiteness, definitions of slurs and hate-jargon are argued over:
Who’d have thought that someone who still used the term jungle fever would be anti-change?
A sticky’d forum topic purports to have rebuttals for 120 Liberal Arguments. Reminded of the pack of 100 Greatest Pick Up Lines I got from my fun uncle in year 10, I click on it, wondering what it will feel like to suddenly become a racist 240 sentences later:
I have no idea who has ever started an argument with Point 64. [TomNote: I had a joke here about the numbering of the arguments but then Stormfronter british74 stated that the numbers are references to pages in a book rather than contiguous argument listings. On the upside, it was a pretty shitty joke] I leave the topic unconverted and with the bizarre sensation that I’ve just read a terrible, terrible play.
A thread about World of Warcraft, Blizzard’s ubiquitous timesink, exists so Stormfronters will know which races are White Nationalist approved. Apologists try to make cases for their orc characters (green-skinned, jut-toothed, pig-nosed) by saying “well, if you read into the lore, they actually have honour and are a strong independent people, free of barbarism”, and they then genuinely finish those arguments with “unlike the blacks”.
DO you have a secret fetish for being a Jew who is directly at war with the White races because if so I can just say that we DO NOT LIKE YOU
Stormfront has its own dedicated “High Fantasy & Lord of the Rings” subforum, nestled between advice on preparation for the coming race wars and sticky’d posts limply banning swastikas in forums avatars and signatures (for image purposes, because even right-thinking American white people can still hate the Nazis). No devoted sci-fi forum: in sci-fi, race isn’t an issue any more, certainly not the way it is in Lord of the Rings where a devoted Stormfronter can watch a film pitting an all white fellowship against the animalistic, tribal and above all black “other” of the orcs, goblins and Uruk’Hai. Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts talk about trying to stealthily convert fellow roleplayers to their side by making orcs a demonstrably inferior race, by making all the party’s allies Aryan elves, by making players wipe out settlements of mixed race abominations to progress.
Steampunk is claimed as a “white aesthetic movement” because nothing says Ubermensch like cogs, moustaches and Britain. If you don’t know it, this is Steampunk:
Steampunk harkens back to a better age, before Affirmative Action, Political Correctness and most of all, Rap Music. Of course, who’s forgotten the Golden Age of Victorian England? The time of Child Labour In Mines, No Penicillin For Anyone and Loads Of Murdered Prostitutes, with a blessed absence of Rap Music for all.
I browse Stormfront because, for one, I want to keep informed with my local racists. Sure there’s often a smugness to it, like in 2008 when Barack Obama won the Presidency and the site sputtered with rage for a split second before the massive tide of racists angry with “The Obamanation” took it offline, but mainly (I hope) it’s because I want to understand. I want to know what it’s like to live with Hate, to have it over your shoulder and at the back of your mind.
And, of course…
I want to know what it’s like when your culture of hate doesn’t particularly like you, either.
This is part 1 of 2 (maybe more, honestly) of a series on the author’s regrettably continuing fascination with Stormfront.