"Gotta Catch 'Em All" Sounds Very Different When Pikachu Is Dressed Like Hitler
Caution: Disturbing image, language below.
Last week the White Supremacist ("alt-right") website The Daily Stormer announced it had begun sponsoring the distribution of Nazi propaganda to children playing Pokémon Go. Crediting the idea to "an enterprising stormer", the website is encouraging supporters to distribute the flyers (pictured below) to white children hanging out at Pokémon gyms.
Vocativ first reported the story last week and since that time, Daily Stormer writer and proud racist Andrew Anglin doubled down on his efforts as he pushed back against supporters who took issue with co-opting the beloved game. Anglin claims flyers with racist slurs and Nazi imagery will draw in large numbers of preteens and teens because "...young boys like rebellious things. It excites them. It makes them interested. The flyer, in my view, was perfectly designed to appeal to young boys, and I think we're going to get a huge response once people start handing them out."
The flyer in question shows a Pikachu character dressed to look like Hitler and starts with a vile and vicious call out:
The back side of the flyer continues,
The race war is coming. The Jews are going to release the [n-word] on you, they're going to burn down your cities. They're going to rape your mother and your sister, they're going to butcher you all.
We need to organize and we need to do it quickly.
The first step is to vote for DONALD TRUMP. You are probably too young to vote, but you need to do everything you can to support his rise as GOD EMPEROR.
Not all White Supremacists seem to be on board with this extreme approach to recruitment, however. Responding to the "several negavite comments'" he's received, Anglin says on his blog that, no matter how harsh the flyer may be, it doesn't matter. Once people learn "that very extreme right-wing people exist, lesser extreme right-wing people become more socially acceptable in their minds." In other words, as long as there are people like Anglin around, Donald Trump's less extreme views on white supremacy will become acceptable in the mainstream world.
Further down, Anglin pushes the philosphy that his extreme beliefs are appealing in and of themselves. "In extreme situations, such as that which exists in modern America, people tend to be more drawn to extremism and extreme solutions." He says most people have long since stopped paying attention because "Trump has been called a racist six million times."
We're so desensitized to the claims of bigotry and racism that even "If the media were to present these flyers and say 'look, racist Alt-Right Neo-Nazi Pokemon conspiracy!!!!' it would simply be more noise."
Anglin's extremism is, oddly, so extreme to some people they've accused him of being "some kind of secret Jewish agent." To prove how absurd the accusation is, Anglin writes, "Why don't you go see if you can find someone accusing Allen Ginsberg of being a secret Nazi agent. If not, than there is some very serious misunderstanding going on (at the very least)."
But why Pokémon, and why childish arguments and tactics? As Anglin himself says, "The Daily Stormer was designed to appeal to teenagers, but I have long thought that we needed to get pre-teens involved in the movement. At that age, you can really brainwash someone easily. Anyone who accepts Nazism at the age of 10 or 11 is going to be a Nazi for life."
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