• Member Since 19th Jul, 2015
  • offline last seen Yesterday

SweetBanana


Unapologetically Trans. She/Her. I like to write things, and get weird at times.

More Blog Posts41

  • 2 weeks
    Just be careful

    I don't think anybody was surprised by the outcome of the trial, given the judge's obvious bias and the prosecution being bumbling morons(by design I imagine).

    Its okay to be upset at it regardless.

    Just be careful if you're going to go out and protest. The verdict's gonna inspire others to go out looking for protests to "defend themselves". Which is the real tragedy in this case.

    2 comments · 94 views
  • 10 weeks
    Financial Straits

    So, since my last blog post on the matter back in Feburary, the donations that I received from you have helped me greatly. I'm now living on campus, medically transitioning, and in a much better spot.

    It's not much, but it is my own little space.

    Read More

    9 comments · 321 views
  • 14 weeks
    An update on me, what's been going on, and what will be happening

    So there's been some radio silence out of me for a while, and I figure I ought to give an update on how things are going.

    Read More

    10 comments · 194 views
  • 18 weeks
    I've got new stories!

    So I've got one commission done, and I've another one that I plan on finishing this weekend. They'll both be dropping on Sunday/Monday!

    1 comments · 75 views
  • 19 weeks
    So, I've been on HRT for a month

    And all I have to say is:

    Oof tiddy hurt.

    Read More

    11 comments · 229 views
Nov
1st
2020

How Vulnerable People are Radicalized(Or Why It's Important to Remove Alt-Righters and Cryptofascists from your Community) · 9:19am Nov 1st, 2020

So. Two days off from election day here in the US. The POTUS and the GOP have succeeded in managing to suppress mail-in-voting, because then they can't use their patented voter-intimidation tactics. Trump supporters are running around in truck rallies and being a public nuisance, spreading COVID-19 when they aren't threatening to kill you for having a BLM bumper sticker. So I figure right now is as good a time as any to get political. Because we can't afford to 'stop being political'.

So as you may know, the Brony community has a problem with Cryptofacists and their supporters(who really like to deign themselves as being 'impartial' and 'anti-censorship', and then post inflammatory stories during times of civil unrest so they can play the victim). You might ask yourself why is that, and as someone who managed to pull themself out of the alt-right, allow me to tell you:

THE ALT-RIGHT PREYS UPON VULNERABLE, YOUNG WHITE MEN

Nazis, fascists, and whatever variety they call themselves. They love disenfranchised young white men because they're very easy to manipulate. Especially when they've had hardships in their life, or feel emasculated by modern society and toxic masculine norms. The nazi finds a community filled with outcast white guys enjoying a thing that's considered nerdy and abuses their want to fit into a community. They take the outcast white dude's anxiety about economic concerns under late-stage capitalism, or other problems and sells bigotry as the solution. It's not the corporations and rich people hoarding the wealth that's screwing you over. It's those ******* trying to genocide you.

This video goes into depth over the subject far more than I could ever hope to put into words.

Rather than continuing to describe how the infiltration occurs. I'm going to tell you the story of let's call him Richard. Richard was born to a nuclear family wanting to start having children, only, Richard is the firstborn and his parents have little experience in raising a child outside of having siblings. It is unfortunate then that Richard was born with Autism, in a rather poor area of the south. Richard grew up fairly normal, perhaps not given enough attention due to the busy lifestyle of his parents. All was well, Richard played his gameboy and enjoyed life as best as his little heart could. Then, one day, he had to be dragged off to a new town, and a new school. Richard didn't do too well, his lack of social skills were extremely glaring in this new environment. So much so that teachers recommend to Richard's parents that he needed to be taken to a psychiatrist and diagnosed. Richard's parents, however, didn't do that. They ignored the problem and switched him on the behind whenever he acted up, just like their pappy and mammy did to them. The problem only worsened when he took a tumble at full-sprint and slammed his head-case into a metal staircase. He had sustained a brain injury, but because he was naturally quiet, not good with words and uncoordinated, it went ignored after the wound was stiched up.

Richard was emotionally neglected, his angst only deepening as his father became ill and became a bitter cripple for a few years. Richard began to watch atheist videos in the early 2010s because he was dissatisfied with his parents' religious views and their actual practices. He didn't really like his parents, and why should he? They ignored him, forced him to go to a building and to a routine that he hated. Full of grating sounds, awful lighting, and nasty smells. He didn't even have a neighborhood of other kids from his youth, instead, he had some grass and a forest. His parents had internet, however, and Richard looked there for a community and a sense of belonging. He found it in several fringe groups until he stumbled upon MLP after hating about it. His curiosity overcoming any repulsion he had, and before long, he fell in love with it. The message of love and tolerance, although his teenage mind said it was 'stupid and girly' resonated within him. He hadn't had much in his life.

For a while, he was fine. He enjoyed his community. Then, his bullies grew up and became physical. Richard couldn't really fight back, he'd get in trouble, and then his parents would yell at him and threaten him with action. Richard became even more hateful, spiteful, and anxious. One day, while in a Skype call, Richard heard news that 4chan was raiding Tumblr. Then, Richard stood one foot out and fell deep into the rabbit hole. The bigotry sold there was easily swallowed by him, his heart darkened from neglect and bullying by his peers. Some of whom weren't white.

Richard lapped it up, and then he found that he really liked it when it was nighttime. There was no one bothering him, he could do whatever he wanted in peace. There was only one problem however, Richard was mentally ill and paranoid. Unfettered internet access, a hormonal mind, and left-side scarring meant that all the creepypastas and horror he consumed became quite real. He hallucinated scary things out in the night, and he kept quiet because talking about them would draw their ire.

It got so bad Richard slept through his classes, drawing the concern of his teachers. It was ignored at first, and then Richard went to highschool. The new environment became so stressful that Richard couldn't take it anymore. After falling asleep in class, and having them all yell at him. He had a panic attack, and his parents, who could no longer ignore the large growing man that could injure someone, finally went to go and get help. He was diagnosed with high functioning autism, and then his brain injury was found out about. Drugs were the initial prescribed solution, but they made Richard disassociate so he quietly stopped taking them. His therapist helped him far more than the doctors did.

Of course, it was too late for Richard ideologically. He had already fallen down the alt-right's slippery slope and even managed to swallow the JQ. To a paranoid teenager, who saw an enemy in nearly everyone, it made perfect sense. He continued to believe this, and his parents continued ignorance in dragging him to church to try and change him only deepened the mistrust he felt for the world in general.

Then, Trump came around. I hardly need to tell you what that entailed. Richard, of course, ate it up. Even if Trump wasn't as far right as one would have been led to believe. Richard's parents were very right-leaning, and although not overtly racist, they supported racist euphemisms and policies. Richard never stood a chance to begin with. Trump got elected, and Richard felt as though the world would improve. He graduated high school, and was removed from the cage he had been in for the past twelve years.

Now that he was free, the pressures on him loosened up. His paranoia no longer had constant stimulation, he no longer had to stress about his perception around several hundred other people and 'violent minorities'. He took college classes, and slowly began to dwindle down his time on 4chan, 8chan, and other alt-right media. The pressures lessened even further when he moved away from his childhood home, and to a new place. Although not entirely unfamiliar, it was still a big step and he was in a liminal moment. Emotionally vulnerable, he stopped going to those sites altogether, although he still held his views from them.

Then, Richard entered the workforce properly and began to have his own money. He began to consume even more media, media that was more representational and stuff that he thought was cool. Without visiting the chans, he couldn't tell if the media had been properly vetted. About this same time, Richard came upon a philosophy class, and has his poisonous 'feelings don't matter, people are machines' viewpoints ground to dust by a smart professor. This singular man, although he doesn't know it, or perhaps he did. Tipped over the dominoes in Richard's minds. His connections to the alt-right dwindled even further, the only remaining holdout being a sort-of-alt-right friend and an alt-right discord server.

He thought about it less and less, and his positions on their issues began to slowly de-radicalize. His alt-right behavior had ostracized him from several communities, and the urge to belong was even stronger now that he no longer had parents to rely on, crappy as they may have been. Then his discord server got nuked, and he had no connections left to the alt-right. About this same time, COVID-19 hit and the mask really began to slip. His workplace grew to be uncomfortable, and his initial denial over the virus being 'just a flu' dwindled. He was hit with the terrible behavior of old white people and his fellow Trump supporters.

Richard didn't feel much kinship with them anymore, they treated him like dirt. Like the bullies he dealt with in school. A small thread of his beliefs still held on. With more free time during the pandemic, he rejoined the brony community. Unfortunately right before the Atlantic piece dropped. Richard initially supported the people who were 'against censorship' as he believed they had some form of artistic merit even if it was racist. Richard continued to be an essential worker, and get treated like repeated trash by his company. His coworkers leaving, making him work short-staffed while he had to deal with karens.

He slowly began to see that the corporations were the problem. He had rarely been treated wrong by the minorities at his work, the cunts had usually been middle-aged and white, sometimes sporting Trump regalia. His fear over his fellow man having a different skin tone had been abated. Richard had been anti-police from the inception, seeing them as perpetrating violence for the state. His dislike of the police distanced him even further from the right and from Trump. How dare those pigs barge into someone's apartment over some drugs, and shoot a sleeping woman 22 times. Why do they keep murdering people, weren't they supposed to be the good guys? Why was all of the right following people who would stamp on their 'thin blue line' asses if their masters told them to?

Finally, Richard stumbled upon several leftist channels, blogs, primers, and other material and the veil was finally lifted once and for all. He saw the maggots that had eaten through his brain throughout his entire life and felt a rage that someone lied to their whole life can experience. His childhood and teenage years had been robbed from him, wasted away in hatred and stagnation. Anger spurred him on further, to learn even more about why society had become so awful, and here Richard finally stands. A changed man, a man, who with a push provided from the members of this lovely community, clawed his way out of the alt-right.

I was Richard. Now, I am someone else. I will carry that burden and shame with me wherever I go, and it's that fire under my ass that'll keep me from sinking back into my old political haunts. I've grown tired of having to hate, of seeing other people suffer.


Don't let alt-right recruiters into your communities, don't let new Richards be created. Get in contact with your moderators, ban cryptofacists, and punish the behavior of their supporters.

If you know a Richard, chances are, you're not going to be able to pull him out yourself. Human beings are designed in such a way that they'll entrench themselves in their beliefs further if you try to challenge them. It's why attempting to debate with the right is a fruitless venture, they don't intend to change their minds and will use little tactics to piss you off. You don't have to tolerate Richards at all, you can exclude them, and as a former Richard. I don't blame you. But, if you can stomach them, and want to see them become better. Be sure to give them gentle 'nudges'. Feed into their desire to feel like they belong, and comfort them when they're having issues. Chances are, it won't be a quick process, but with a few messages in Discord or other media. You might lessen the fascist party by a member.

Comments ( 22 )

Thanks for sharing your story.

Aragon #2 · Nov 1st, 2020 · · 8 ·

Can't be easy to write something like this, so I'm glad you did. This was a very good blog.

Problem with the alt-right and this kind of predatory behavior towards disenfranchised, isolated people is -- sometimes even when they realize that the beliefs themselves are wrong, it's the sense of unity that makes them stay. They were specifically recruited because they were lonely; getting away from the one group where you feel part of something, even if you disagree with the ideological core of said group, is extremely difficult.

So getting out is sometimes harder than just realizing "Hey, xenophobia is bad, isn't it?" It's a sad reality but it's a reality anyway; humans are social creatures. Takes a lot of strength to get out like that, and being able to put ideological integrity above the desire to be part of a group is nothing to scoff at.

I'm genuinely happy you got out, and it must've taken a lot. I hope with time you see this less as a shame to carry and more a matter of pride. Being sucked into this mentality and crowd was a matter of bad luck and circumstances you couldn't wholly control. Getting out was an active choice. Keep that in mind, and give 'em hell, mate.

So this story kind of helped something click in my head, and to explain what it is I want to kind of go for a walk.

When I first came out as trans (and earlier, as an AMAB person in the fandom who at the time was publicly in a relationship with a man), I used to say to friends that I didn't volunteer for the culture wars, I was conscripted.

For (visibly) non-cis, non-white, non-straight folks, the cultural battle playing out around us is something you kind of end up being part of not because of any ideological commitment, but because being who we are we can't avoid taking part in it. Even if I never say a word about politics - and for a long time my writing on this site just didn't, I wrote a smutty mystery and some blogs about writing - I can't avoid being part of the cultural battle in online spaces because I talk about being trans. Around 2016 I started to lean into writing about this kind of stuff more, but even then it was mostly me (early into my transition process) working through my feelings about that and about Trump's recent election.

As a white trans lady I always sort of resented my position in all that. I mean, I grew up AMAB and comfortably middle class. For most of my life even if I was a weird kid who got relentlessly teased and ostracized, I wasn't a political figure. Now I kind of was, whether I wanted to be or not. That's not a fun shift to go through.

What clicked for me reading this post is that the resentment I feel about that and the resentment the alt-right plays on aren't too far off from each other. They're both ultimately frustrations born of the culture, country, and economic system we all live in. They both have that link to understanding that there's supposed to be a normal, a promised life that isn't being delivered, a safe place for us to exist, and it's not being provided because other people have obstructed it. The alt-right just substitutes minorities for everyone who actually wields the social, political, and economic power who could change the system.

I used to think being conscripted into the culture war was a thing that only happened to minorities and queer folk. Now I realize it's more than us. Everyone pulled into the alt-right system through these channels is, in a way, also being conscripted - it's just that in the case of the alt-right, there's someone standing there actively pushing them toward that inevitable conclusion. The army recruiter who preys on poor kids who have no other economic opportunities and the /pol/ shitposter preying on dissatisfied MLP fans have a lot in common.

There's bad news and good news about that. The bad news is shit's fucked. The world is literally on fire, we have a limited time to reverse or adapt to the material consequences of what's happening right now, and old men disproportionately guard the keys to the power to change that and will stop at nothing to keep that power from being given back to the masses.

The good news is that means ultimately, we all have a lot more in common than the alt-right wants us to believe we do. The folks who actually hold power don't care if you're black, white, gay, straight, cis, trans or even if you're alive or dead. They care about continuing to wield more wealth than any human should be reasonably allowed to accumulate and more power than any one person can carry. Even if you're in the majority-power groups of America, we are all ground under the heel of empire in the end.

But there's a lot more of us than there are of them. And by realizing that and joining together, we can make that empire collapse under its own weight.

What part of your story supports the idea that people need to be excluded? It would appear that your way out was through interaction with non-radicals, and that being excluded exacerbated the issue and prolonged the problem.

5390379
You exclude Richards because they'll create more Richards. The meme is infectious. Richards has to let themself be vulnerable to non-radicals if they're going to change, and that is when you nudge them.

5389987

5389990

5390108
Thank you all for your wonderful and supporting comments.

5390380
...But the radicalization as described had nothing to do with neutral online communities. There's a great difference between this site and the political boards of 4chan. It seems like your entire story goes against the statement that such people should be pushed away, because that just drives them into places that radicalize them further (such as, again, 4chan).

5390397
I didn't come out of my positions due to rational debate. You can't rationally debate with Richards. Richards have to hurt in their lives and suffer hardships before they become mentally vulnerable enough to switch ideologies. I was lucky that I became vulnerable around the same time that I rediscovered this community, and that there was a glut of leftist politics and primer to begin my change.

5390548
It sounds less like they "need" to be excluded and more like you hate who you used to be and have projected that hate onto others. Even know, you're saying that not being pushed out of this community is what saved you... do you really want to prevent others that same chance just because they're not there yet?

Comment posted by 2Merr deleted Nov 2nd, 2020
Jessi #11 · Nov 2nd, 2020 · · 14 ·

You kind of sound like a nutter.
'Everyone I don't like, or may have different views that don't fall into my box, is a Richard' -- You.

5390605
Except that was never stated anywhere at all. I explicitly pointed out cryptofascists and alt-righters, not everyone who disagrees with me. If you had taken the time to read it, you might have figured it out.

5390550
That doesn't mean we tolerate their actions when they start crap. Temporary exclusion and requiring atonement works well in that regard.

5390609
"Temporary exclusion" would seem to be a very different tone from "remove". As for it being "only cryptofascists and alt-righters"... Let's examine the term "cryptofascist" for a second. It means, quite literally, someone who is a fascist in secret. Or, as it tends to work in reality, you believe they're a fascist based on assumptions about their positions that they've never stated and any attempt they make to deny that they actually hold the positions that you put on them is just evidence of their guilt. This isn't hyperbole; some of the people you're thanking for support in these comments have participated in witch-hunts where the accused has literally been told things like "I didn't read your comment because I know what it will say" and yes, the actual statement "denying it just means it's true". This, by the way, was in the context of accusing someone who has posted multiple well-loved gay shipfics of "homophobia" because he'd disagreed with some of them on an entirely unrelated subject. The idea of "cryptofascism" is inherently dishonest, it is used to attack people for things they haven't said and to justify refusing to give them a chance to "redeem themselves".

Here's what I understand to be the true radicalizer: It's not "recruiters", it's radicals from the other side. Even your own story supports this; you cite in your initial push towards leftism:

Richard didn't feel much kinship with [the alt-right commenters] anymore, they treated him like dirt. Like the bullies he dealt with in school.
...the cunts had usually been... sporting Trump regalia.

Right-wingers "excluded" you, and that pushed you to the left. Excluding people while being expressly left-wing pushes people to the right.

Now for the big one, and then I'm out for the night... or morning, I guess, because my sleep schedule is upside-down right now. You say it's only about opposing the "cryptofascists" and "alt-right". But... do you acknowledge that there are people who are neither of your ideology nor of the far right? Because the entire tone of your blog implies it's one or the other; you couldn't leave the alt-right without entering the far left. And if that's how you view things, that has implications. It means that anybody who disagrees with you on something is classified in your head as "not far left", and the only other option available to put them in is "far right", and suddenly disagreeing with you on one thing is, in fact, enough to get called a cryptofascist. Perhaps you aren't even aware of this thought process, but that can be revealed with a simple question: Can you name anybody who you're okay with who isn't a far leftist? Anyone at all?

Aragon #15 · Nov 2nd, 2020 · · 8 ·

5390614
Oh my god you're the titanium dragon stan aren't you.

This isn't hyperbole; some of the people you're thanking for support in these comments have participated in witch-hunts where the accused has literally been told things like "I didn't read your comment because I know what it will say" and yes, the actual statement "denying it just means it's true". This, by the way, was in the context of accusing someone who has posted multiple well-loved gay shipfics of "homophobia" because he'd disagreed with some of them on an entirely unrelated subject.

Ahahahah. You're never going to forgive the people for telling that guy to fuck off, right? You saw a dude posting Hitler quotes for five hours, and went "you know what, this is the hill I die on. This is the man I will defend to Hell and back." Classy.

Making fun of you aside:

The idea of "cryptofascism" is inherently dishonest, it is used to attack people for things they haven't said and to justify refusing to give them a chance to "redeem themselves".

There's something ironic about you accusing SB of attacking people by things they haven't said by putting words in their mouth. I say think about this one a couple more times.

Y'know, you tend to imply in your comments that good things happen in the center: far left is as bad as alt-right, etc etc. Yet I only see you in leftist blogs, arguing with OP and generally defending the alt-right and freedom of speech and Titanium Dragon and so on, while I have literally never, ever, seen you do the same to the right-wingies. I'm sure it's a massive coincidence, but like, to make it a bit easier for you to understand:

Can you name anybody who you're okay with who isn't a far leftist? Anyone at all?

Can you name anybody who you're okay with who isn't at least massively right wing. Anyone at all.

Like, I get it, seeing a blog post of someone going "I suffered heavy depression and isolation as a kid and was recruited by a group that fetishizes xenophobia, and now I'm out and think xenophobia is bad" is somehow offensive to you, but also like, at least try to not be so transparent.

5390614

It means that anybody who disagrees with you on something is classified in your head as "not far left", and the only other option available to put them in is "far right", and suddenly disagreeing with you on one thing is, in fact, enough to get called a cryptofascist. Perhaps you aren't even aware of this thought process, but that can be revealed with a simple question: Can you name anybody who you're okay with who isn't a far leftist? Anyone at all?

FanOfMostEverything. My Mom, who, bless her, reads a lot of Niles Ferguson and I will one day have to have a talk with about that. Haven't seen 'em in a while, but there's some folks down at my local game store who I like and won't be naming because that's meatspace stuff. I'm not sure what this gotcha is supposed to prove here, I'm literally an anarchist who made a blog that was, in part, about anarchism as a political ideology and this is sort of a trivial exercise.

So I'm gonna have to assume you're either 1) really, really bad at creating argument or 2) acting in bad faith and attempting to intimidate OP. For your sake I am assuming 1).

Your post as a whole is laughably off-topic. OP announces that he's been in a toxic environment in the fandom, and your response is to challenge him on a personal experience based on the fact that he uses the language "cryptofascist". Even if you disagree with that language, bless your heart but I don't think anyone in 2020 can disagree that far-right groups exist on the internet. I'm not even sure that you've grappled with the fact that the key to this post is that the OP uses himself as an example, rather than singling out other individuals within the fandom.

The idea of "cryptofascism" is inherently dishonest, it is used to attack people for things they haven't said and to justify refusing to give them a chance to "redeem themselves".

I don't need to attack people for things they haven't said. Neither does OP. They are not quoting specific individuals, they are talking about a larger social movement. If you find yourself aligning with the alt-right despite claims not to be, then I think others speculating about whether you're crypto is a pretty fair outcome and probably the least of your worries.

OP also consistently uses himself as an example, meaning at some point they were crypto, and telling them "no, you can't say that about yourself, the concept is dishonest!" is frankly laughable.

Fantastic blog! Glad to see you managed to get out.

Great writeup, and happy to see you out of that hole. Take care.

Sunny #19 · Nov 4th, 2020 · · 2 ·

Congrats on the escape, and I totally know that story, since it was me, but I'm old enough that the alt right hadn't coalesced so I was a sarcastic Gen-X mold teen asshole of the 'I dont see color' sort.

Until I read Robert Anton Wilson and things began to shift, but the full shift took a good decade (And MLP was a fucking godsend because this show is basically 'How to Be a Person, for Autistic People'

I just like to point out one major flaw here if you remove the right-leaning you have to remove the left, as well as both groups, prey on the VULNERABLE some or Lenin and Marx's best supports where young white men some of who by today's standards would be at risk or easy to manipulate so do one better take away both sides ability to prey on the weak of the herd

5429461
An enlightened centrist take on this blog about how Nazis are bad. I'm not advocating for joining up for the fucking Soviet Youth.

Thanks for ripping your mask off though.

Login or register to comment