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Why are #GamerGaters so quick to excuse an anti-Semitic caricature of Anita Sarkeesian that's literally derived from Nazi propaganda?

The other day, I posted a screenshot of an 8chan comment featuring the drawing above, a crude caricature of Anita Sarkeesian that’s a not-very-subtle variation on a racist and anti-Semitic cartoon that originally ran in a neo-Nazi newspaper.

Here’s the original, in all its crapitude:

A_world_without_jews_and_blacks
The original neo-Nazi cartoon that inspired a thousand 4chan threads.

Let’s face it! That is one fucking awful cartoon.

Now, if that picture — or at least the grinning fellow on the left — looks familiar, it’s because he’s been that’s turned into a meme (“Le Happy Merchant”) that’s proven popular with 4channers and Stormfronters alike.

Given that GamerGate itself has its origins on 4chan — and in an IRC channel populated mostly bey 4channers — it shouldn’t come as a complete shock that #GamerGaters, some of whom refer to Sarkeesian as “Jewkeesian,” have repurposed the image into a caricature of one of their most hated foes. Sarkeesian isn’t actually Jewish, but for whatever reason this doesn’t seem to faze her anti-Semitic non-admirers.

GamerGaters like to claim that this sort of bigotry “isn’t what GamerGate is really about,” and that anti-Semites and other bigots are fringe elements in their movement, if not “false flagging” feminazi shills trying to make GamerGate look bad. Here, one GamerGater makes that point with as much sarcasm as he can muster:

https://twitter.com/JakALope044/status/525839519161917440

This would be a much more convincing argument if GamerGaters weren’t so quick to excuse and/or explain away the anti-Semitic imagery every time it rears its ugly head.

Here’s one active GamerGater who wants everyone to know that, actually, it’s about ethics in game journalism.

https://twitter.com/SlushStuff/status/524266371069517824

But she has a pretty unusual notion of what “not hate” is, given that she posted this picture several days later:

B06oYLtCUAA3yhPThis lovely little drawing combines the racist caricature of Sarkeesian with another bit of neo-Nazi propaganda that’s been floating around the internet for a while, and which had already been repurposed as an anti-Muslim comic. In other words, @SlushStuff has posted a mashup of a neo-Nazi cartoon that’s already been used in another bigoted mashup.

Hey-Rabbi-antisemitic-cartoon

We can’t blame @SlushStuff’s glee in posting this on her ignorance of the sources of the cartoon in question; she’s well aware that the picture is based on anti-Semitic propaganda. She just thinks this isn’t a problem, because reasons.

https://twitter.com/SlushStuff/status/526342650375704576

https://twitter.com/SlushStuff/status/526396368609615872

Then again, @SlushStuff doesn’t seem to have a problem with straight-up racism either.

https://twitter.com/SlushStuff/status/521793824621088770

This is a common reaction amongst GamerGaters when confronted with this particular work of, er, art. When srh, who tracks GamerGate bigotry on Twitter, posted the tweet at the top of this post, here are some of the reactions she got, in a seemingly unending discussion that extended over hundreds of tweets. (These aren’t all successive tweets; see here for the whole thread.)

aas1 aas2 aas4 aas4two aas5 aas6 aas7

Yep. That’s right. A guy whose avatar is a white dude in an American Indian headdress (comedian Jim Norton, FWIW) is lecturing people about what is and what isn’t racism.

aas8 aas9 aas10 aas11 aas12 aas13 aas14 aas15  aas16aas17

aas18

At this point I “noped” out of reading the rest of the thread before my head exploded from all the nonsense.

tumblr_n32wezVes41tw1vhco1_500

GamerGate claims to have an anti-harassment squad, but when someone posts caricatures of Anita Sarkeesian that are not just inspired by but probably literally traced from Nazi propaganda, these are the guys who show up.

To quote the robot bartender in The Fifth Element, do you want some more?

Here’s more.

After one anti-GamerGater posted a screenshot of Mary’s post featuring Sarkeesian painting fake threats on a wall, one #GamerGater had this response.

aas22

Here yet another GamerGater claims that the caricature is mocking Sarkeesian, so therefore it can’t be anti-Semitic:

Oh, wait, is this yet another GamerGater making the same terrible “argument?” Why yes, it is:

And, oh, it gets weirder. Here a GamerGater responding to a critic who was pointing out an instance of GamerGaters using “Le Happy Merchant” in an infographic … by suggesting he was “Jew-shaming.”

https://twitter.com/emvarez_dota/status/526379494580695041

And here’s a GamerGater who uses “Le Happy Merchant” as his fucking avatar … accusing Sarkeesian of anti-Semitism. And spelling it wrong.

B1RZD5pIEAAhWFH.png large

I could keep going, but after this, is there any point?

Bottom of the barrel, consider yourself scraped.

EDIT: Added more info on the source of that second Sarkeesian cartoon.

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Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

gjkssghxgbn | March 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Not going to lie, this is messed up. I support Gamergate, btw.

I know this is a little late, but seriously?

If you say this is “messed up”, but you turn around and say you still support them, it’s obviously not that “messed up” to you then. You’re still supporting them and their use of neo-nazi imagery. If I saw a majority of any group I was a part of doing this shit, I would have ex-communicated myself and denounced the whole damn thing at the first sign of this. This shit is not okay.

From one gamer to another, do yourself a favor: If you really believe in ethics in game journalism, and/or you disapprove of the Neo-Nazi bullshit, the harassment of women in the gaming community, whatever, abandon ship now. It’s too far gone to save. GamerGate is a toxic pile of garbage with these kinds of people in it.

Otherwise, you will be lumped in with the assholes, and I think you don’t want that. Just go and start a new discussion aside from GamerGate, and try not to make the same mistakes they have. There are ethical concerns in gaming, to be sure, but Gators are too far gone to discuss anything with, dude. They’re too focused on their bullshit arguments and harassment victims.

Walter D Wormack
5 years ago

The poor, poor, besieged, put upon white “gamers”. Everyone’s just being so gosh darned MEAN, and NASTY to them, oh, it’s just terrible.

rugbyyogi
5 years ago

The ‘lack of originality’ is a feature, not a bug. When communicating via symbolism, it’s important to have recognisable symbols. For those who don’t ‘get’ the symbols, it’s vital to show the origin of images, their pedigree and provenance to demonstrate they are what they are – as David has done. Even if you don’t quite ‘get’ the symbols, most people can still pick up that it’s anti-semitic because even modern images like Le Happy Merchant builds on hundreds of years of stereotyping imagery of Jewish men. The image carries with it a whole host of negative stereotypes which have been portrayed elsewhere and thus don’t need to appear in any given image to have those associations. So it matters not that Sarkeesian is of Armenian descent, the image has double power – another kick to the Joooz, and associating her with all the negative qualities the Joooz are meant have.

Incidentally, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I heard the ‘Jews have horns’ thing, which is apparently still said – I know people who’ve been confronted with that. But a quick look at medieval imagery of Jewish men showed consistent images of them wearing ‘horned hats’ – which were first worn apparently by choice and fashion (go figure, medieval peeps liked their funny hats) and later mandated in some areas. It struck me that it seems a likely origin of the Jews and horns thing (conflated with demon imagery, too, I’m sure) – the power of repeated imagery and iconography lasts and lasts. And that’s why people do it.

Hugh Ballz
Hugh Ballz
1 year ago

I’m glad I’m using like 4 adblocks to navigate this shit tier website. Just saying.

MX_misc
MX_misc
1 year ago

Oh look, another troll rears its ugly head.

Funny how I’m not getting unwanted ad popups… but then, I don’t visit shady porn sites like GGers & other MRAs do.

What, precisely, about WHTM makes it “shit-tier,” eh? Besides exposing misogynist BS for what it is, thus triggering the poor delicate MRAs?

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[…] could be a study. There’s threads on Stormfront discussing [and approving] of GamerGate. The anti-Semitism that we’re seeing now in the hashtag has been underlying for months. People are saying it’s only now these groups are […]

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