What do you picture when you hear the word ‘racist’? Maybe a jackbooted skinhead marching with Nazi flag in tow? Or perhaps an old granddad who sits you on his knee and tells you about the time he first took a swing at someone of a different race? How about...a wholesome stay-at-home mum about to bake a fresh batch of cakes for you and your friends?
Granted, the latter isn’t what most people would imagine. But then most people have probably never delved into the weird world of Nazi homemaking advice. Racists like pie and tidy dining rooms too, you know.
To explore the mind of a homemaker with malice on the mind, we’re going to be stopping off at two of the internet’s largest hate sites: Stormfront and Vanguard News Network. With hundreds of thousands of members between them (and many more lurking guests besides), these are the places to be if you want to vent about that slightly Arabic-looking guy who looked at your daughter funny. Like a BNP voter's front room, but online.
Stormfront (and Where to Find the World's Greatest Cheese)
The first stop on our magical mystery tour is Stormfront, the world’s largest hate site with over 300,000 registered users. Its members past and present have included such luminaries in the white nationalist world as former Ku Klux Klan leader (and Stormfront founder) Don Black, Holocaust denier, former Congressman and KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, as well as your run-of-the-mill neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other race hate types.
As you'd imagine, much of the content on Stormfront is made up of posts eulogising dead Nazis, attacking minorities, discussing race 'science' and lamenting (or celebrating) current events and the way of the world.
However, tucked away among the vitriol and hate there is a side of the website that you wonder might be there accidentally: homemaking advice.
What brand of beans should one stock their pantry to prepare for the imminent global race war? Where can you buy energy-efficient lightbulbs from non-Jewish-owned businesses? Do any Stormfront members offer plumbing services so I can have a nice white Nazi come fix my leaky pipes? These are the sorts of threads that populate Stormfront's homemaking section.
A common theme is what to do when the world flips over and everyone joins gangs and paints themselves like in Mad Max. Obviously stockpiling white-friendly food is must (no tacos please). Beans, pasta, powdered milk and tinned vegetables are all in.
But the forum’s (even more) weird edges can’t be hidden for long. You know you’ve found a gem when you see a thread titled ‘The World’s Greatest Cheese Resource’ in a Neo-Nazi forum, and it does not disappoint. After the original poster links to cheese.com, user jeremymiller chimes in: “Mother’s milk is used in Europe”. OK.
“This should be a product the White pride enterprises could make for our own consumption so that we are not always having to buy this product from the enemy.”
That really gets user Kostadina going. “Sounds like a creepy feminist performance art thing to do,” they opine. “I see nothing about “Europe” but a lot about JEW YORK. Which I am not reproducing here. The Village Voice even thinks it's disgusting, which says a lot.”
“This should be a product the White pride enterprises could make for our own consumption so that we are not always having to buy this product from the enemy,” says Defend Out Homeland, helpfully.
“We make our own dairy products from goat milk. This way we avoid the enemy,” agrees Tenaj.
With the Great Cheese Villain duly avoided, our Aryan friends retire to chew on white-approved gorgonzola, or something. But in all seriousness, when even a discussion on the virtues of fromage quickly descends into talk of ‘the enemy’ and ‘JEW YORK’, you know we’re dealing with people in a constant state of paranoia, enemies everywhere they look.
And what better way to thwart these enemies? By raising your kids the ol’ fashioned (racial) way – after all, in the words of convicted murderer and racist hero David Lane, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” (AKA the ‘Fourteen Words’).
To further this aim, user Keelan has a bright idea: “I’ve been kicking around ideas for a European Heritage Coloring Book for Children.” You know, like Dora the Explorer, except with no Hispanic people.
Aside from the attempted racist humour (“Make sure you leave out the brown crayons!”, says ADAMANT), most posters in the thread are delighted. “This is a beautiful idea and I for one would like to know when I can order STACKS of these books for my grandchildren”, gushes BeautynBrains1488.
“This is a wonderous idea!”, comments RebelGirl91, before getting to the clincher: “I don't have any kids, but I'd save this for when I do have some… we need to start teaching our children at young age!”
A fear for the future, as reflected in the Fourteen Words, is an overwhelming driving force for white nationalists the world over. They see a world of changing demographics and they panic. When your mind is so worried for later generations, you do what you can to teach them what you believe, so your ideas don’t die with you.
VNN (and the History of the Sausage)
VNN (tagline: ‘No Jews. Just right’) is the younger, brasher, uglier brother of Stormfront, run by the chronically unpleasant Alex Lindner. While the Stormfront mods put up a weak show of being a family-friendly civil rights for whites website, VNN is the proud thug who flies a swastika flag from his bedroom window. Speaking of which, unlike on Stormfront, Nazi flags are permitted on VNN, as are the vilest racial epithets.
Repugnant it might be, but VNN does have unintentional comedy moments of its own. Alongside beauties like ‘#1 Coconut Oil Thread’ (as opposed to all those other inferior coconut oil threads) and ‘The Mysterious Origins of a Food That's Always Been Funny: The Sausage’ lies the curiously-confessional title ‘I Eat Ruffle Chips Smothered in BBQ Sauce’. Where Stormfront is somewhat practical, VNN is just odd.
In a thread discussing food waste in America, user Nate Richards comments insightfully: “…most of what I eat comes from the salvation army. You don't have to sign up at this one, it’s not a ‘food box’ handout based on income. Anyone can come load up on this stuff… You can barter these to non-whites and mental defectives.” So thoughtful!
User Crowe followed up by ruminating on the five year old peanuts he just ate: “They weren't as crunchy as fresh ones, but it didn't make me sick or give me the shits.” He was having a merry old time until user James Dovery popped up with: “One of thee most cancerous molds [sic] grows on peanuts.” Crowe didn’t post again in that thread.
“The most important decision a woman makes in life is who she lets get on top of her.”
But as any self-respecting white nationalist will tell you, schools are merely propaganda centres teaching anti-white lies. Better to homeschool your kids, and what better teacher is there than Alex Lindner himself?
Here’s what he has to say about homeschooling girls: “The most important decision a woman makes in life is who she lets get on top of her.” Please, Alex, do go on.
And go on he does. He recommends teaching girls a (true) story of a man who tore his scrotum on a piece of machinery and then stapled it together again. Apparently, this aptly demonstrates the “incredible intensity and impersonality of the male sexual drive”. But that’s not all: “draw out the lessons of his self-surgery and eventual reporting to a formally qualified surgeon for better repair - as these highlight the strengths and weakeness [sic] of masculine toughness.” Truly, a lesson for us all (but mostly girls, we assume).
Why do these homemaking forums exist? What can they tell us about the racist community?
Your initial reaction to these threads was probably along the lines of a big fat ‘WTF’. I know mine was. Nazis are thugs, right? So why are they interested in discussing cheese-making and insulating their lofts?
To the average Joe raised on the Nazi caricature, this all seems very odd, even a little disorientating. It’s certainly not what we’ve come to expect from such racist malcontents.
But if we’re to combat the pervasive spread of far-right ideas, we need to move beyond the concept of the cartoon-cutout racist, the one with the goosestep and stiff Nazi salute. That simply doesn’t reflect the reality.
These people are not going to B&Q or Mumsnet for their advice; they’re frequenting a race hate website. That’s because, to them, racism is more than a simple idea that they can compartmentalise in their brain and forget about; it's a way of life. This is their community, as it were.
Reinforcing that, a survey of Stormfront's women-only forum by Tammy Castle PhD and Meagan Chevalier found that most women posters used the sub-forum as a form of social media, to connect with other women who share their views.
More broadly, Don Black himself has stated that he uses Stormfront to reach like-minded people whom he otherwise would not be able to contact. Certainly the combination of increased reach and anonymity afforded by the internet is a strong force that binds people whose views are not normally popular within polite society.
When you’re so despised by the world around you, you learn to distrust it. You stop consuming any kind of mainstream media (run by Jews, they say), you stop associating with those who find your views objectionable, and you retreat into the only community that welcomes you – other racists.
That’s one reason why, for all our efforts to counter it, racism is still alive and well. The people who go to Stormfront and VNN seeking homemaking advice are happy being outsiders – it’s their identity. They go online to ask for help in what seems like an inappropriate place because, in actuality, it’s the most appropriate place, because it’s the one place that they can associate with likeminded people.
This is important to understand, because not every racist wears Klan robes. They’re university lecturers, politicians and historians. They’re the friendly neighbour whose political beliefs are only revealed after he murders an MP. As the Brexit aftermath has shown, racism is alive and well in the UK when most of us thought it moribund. If we’re only on the lookout for the swastika-wearing skinhead, we’ll miss half the people out to divide, not unite, our beautifully diverse communities.
Not every racist is as easy to identify as Curtis Allgier or Bryon Widner. But understanding the ties that bind them together – including discussions of cheese and homeschooling – can help us fight them more effectively.
Lead Image: MailOnline