Twitter isn't just Donald Trump's digital burn book of choice. In the wake of this weekend's white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, VA, social media has served as a de facto speaker's corner where one can express outrage, share news, and organize support for counterprotestors. Some accounts are naming and shaming the alt-right protestors involved in the Unite the Right marches; others are taking a critical deep dive into the claims the torch-wielding, slogan-spouting groups of predominantly white men are making.
Writer Julius Goat falls in the latter category. On Friday night, white nationalists swarmed the University of Virginia campus, chanting "You/Jew will not replace us" as they protested the planned removal of Confederacy memorials, including a monument in honor of General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park.
"I came to this march for the message that white European culture has a right to be here just like every other culture," protestor Peter Cvjetanovic told local news affiliate KTVN. “It is not perfect; there are flaws to it, of course. However, I do believe that the replacement of the statue will be the slow replacement of white heritage within the United States and the people who fought and defended and built their homeland. Robert E. Lee is a great example of that. He wasn’t a perfect man, but I want to honor and respect what he stood for during his time.”
Goat, however, easily dismantled this so-called threat of white oppression in a lengthy Twitter thread that currently boasts nearly a quarter of a million retweets and more than 400,000 likes.
"Imagine if these people ever faced actual oppression," Goat tweeted alongside a news photo of white male protestors at the rally. He went on to compare the plight of the straight white cisgender males to the discrimination facing other groups.
"Nobody is trying to legislate away their right to marry," he noted. "Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance to pay for 'male health care.'
"The law never: enslaved their great-grandparents; robbed their grandparents; imprisoned their parents; shot them when unarmed," he continued. "There is no massive effort at the state and local level to disenfranchise them of the vote. There is no history of centuries of bad science devoted to 'proving' their intellectual inferiority. There is no travel ban on them because of their religion. There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weaponry publicly."
Without being subject to racially motivated violence, watch lists, or deportations, white oppression, Goat argued, boils down to this: resentment over diversity and a perceived loss of power and privilege.
"We used to be the only voice," he tweeted. "Now we hold the only microphone. We face criticism now. We were free from it, because others feared the consequences."
Real oppression, he argued, is much uglier and more insidious.
"I would so love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year. Just to see. Give them a world where you ACTUALLY can't say Christmas. A world where the name 'Geoff' on a resume puts it in the trash. Give them a world where they suddenly get a 20% pay cut, and then 70 women every day tell them to smile more.
"Give them a world where their polo shirt makes people nervous, so they're kicked off the flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis. Give them a world where they inherited nothing but a very real understanding of what oppression really fucking is. Give them a world where if they pulled up on a campus with torches lit and started throwing hands, the cops would punch their eyes out."
His parting shot: "Put THAT in your Tiki torches and light it, you sorry Nazi bitches."
You can read, and retweet, if you feel so moved, the full thread below.
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