To make a more informed you. There will be many keywords in this story that I will try to remember to explain. The reason I write this piece is because terrorist communication can be so cryptic, that it almost needs a team to decipher the messages.
Here I am including a trigger warning of transphobic slurs, violence and general hate.
What/Who is the Alt Right? Alt right refers to a deviation of regular convervative views, thus Alternative Right. It is important to note that this group is considered extremist. Many alt right have ideas and beliefs embedded in mainstream conservatorship, but take the ideas and run with them in their own way. Alt right groups include Proud Boys, Oathkeepers and Patriot Prayer to name a few. These are just some of the prominent groups that we have confirmed played a part in the insurrection of the U.S. Capital on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Proud Boys also have their own hand signal sometimes referred to as the “Gotcha.” The pointer finger is placed connecting to the thumb, while the remaining three fingers stand erect from the base of the hand. You might remember this as a game you used to play when you were a child, now turned hate group communicator.
It should be noted that this is a culture that has roots in what we consider to be Incels. An Incel is a very hard thing to define. I would frame it in more of a way that people can take on the traits of an incel or that something/someone can have the attributes of Incel characteristics.
Incels, predominantly white cis men, believe they have been disenfrachised in life. They have a very “why bother?” attitude and believe that when they fail it is because the game is rigged instead of working to improve their life tactics. This is not a concrete definition, this is me doing my best to convey what an Incel is to a general audience. So also an Incel is not necessarily alt right, but pretty much all alt right believers are Incels. These groups are very associated with memes.
In fact it is important to state that MANY OF THE ALT RIGHT COMMUNICATE THROUGH MEMES. Different things or images can be symbols that they can communicate to each other.
To paraphrase Sarah Silverman, these groups communicate in a way that seems like a joke so that when/if they are caught, they can just play it off as if they were joking, but these are real ways that they communicate with each other.
Now that we have a vague understanding of who we’re talking about, I think it is important to move onto their language. If we do not take the time to understand what extremist groups are saying, we are remaining ignorant when lives are at stake. There are so many terms used by the alt right, but I am going to do my best to define some of them here in this article.
“Blackpill.” This is a reference to the popular Matrix movie in which the main character is presented with a red pill or a blue pill to ingest. (In this context red being right wing, and left wing being blue) Blackpill, refers to taking both, or not taking either and some believe this is to see the whole system as corrupt as it appears to be to them.
“GEOTUS.” This is a simple acronym meaning, “God-Emperor of the United States.” This is only referring to the notorious Trump.
“Transtrender.” This is a transphobic slur insinuating that tansgender people present themselves in a certain way to be trendy.
“Femoids.” This is a term that means (or what I can collect) is a feminist person who identifies as a woman and fights for women’s rights so much that they have no feelings and seem to be part android.
These are just a few of the terms associated with alt right people. Some of them seem to have initially comedic backgrounds, or at least rooted in them, but these are some of the many terms used to communicate ideas of mass organization, terrorist plots and violence.
If you think I am reaching, review this NPR article.
So what are some other symbols?
“14.” (As a number, hand gesture or other) This refers to fourteen words, “”We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
“88.” (As a number, or other) Sometimes combined with the “14,” to create “1488.” 8 is the eighth placement of the letter “H.” So “HH,” means “Heil Hitler.”
“((( echo )))” (This is used in text) The “echo” is used around a noun/proper noun to indicate that the person that it refers to is Jewish. So hate groups would type (for example) “(((He))) sits at his desk at 9:00 a.m. everyday.”
We can see now that alt right groups have very cryptic ways of communicating. What I have tried my best to iterate is that hate groups are not communicating with burning crosses as much as they are communicating all over the web with images that might seem harmless to the casual viewer. I encourage you, if you do not know what something means, try to find its roots.
Where can these people be? They can be everywhere and anywhere. They are nationwide, and they are in Kent State University.