Please Keep Your Digital Crosses Off My Digital Lawn

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Hello friends,

The other day I was looking through my new newsletter subscribers when I came across an email address from the following domain: the knights party . com (I've put some spaces in so it isn't live - you'll see why as you read on).

Something about it made me uncomfortable, so I decided to check it out. I was kind of hoping it was someone who had a thing for the Knights Templar, but no. The truth - or what appears to be the truth - is much worse than that. But I'll get to that in a minute.

I tried to access the domain, but it asked for an email and password to get into the site, which was another sign that something was odd. I dug a little more, and there was no way to access the site without giving those details, so clearly it wasn't meant to be public.

Then I turned to Google where, among other things, I found an article from the Southern Poverty Law Center. All the sources suggested that this is the new name for that triple K organisation many of us know, founded by David Duke. Apparently, it's an attempt to "rebrand" their particular flavour of hatred. (I'm not writing it out because I'd like this email to actually get through to you.) I expect many of my US friends already know this, but somehow I'd missed that particular development.

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Slightly stunned, I went back to the subscriber details to see if the subscription had originated in the mainland USA where that organisation was based. But it seemed to come from Dublin, so I guess racists use VPNs too.

Then I took a deep breath and thought about my next moves. First, I flagged the email address with beehiiv, hoping to find out if it was already on their radar. As I was writing this, I was still waiting for a response. Then I double checked with someone I trust, who confirmed that this was just as potentially dodgy as it looked. Then I banned the person from commenting, to forestall one of the ways they tend to target activists. My final move was to ban them from the publication completely, because I’m not taking any chances.

Targeted By Hatred

I really did not have being targeted by a white supremacist organisation on my bingo card, but it seems that's where we are. It's not the first time. The last time this happened it was the white parent and toddler group in North America - remember that story? - who tried to sign up with three different email addresses before I had them permanently banned.

And it may not be the last time either, given what I write about, but this organisation has a particular reputation, so it's especially worrying.

Given my location, I can be pretty sure I won't see any actual crosses on my lawn, but to them, my digital lawn is fair game. There are two things that tend to happen in these cases. First, they send hate to your email address or flood your comments. Second, they activate their friends to do the same. Having had this happen to me before, I can tell you it doesn't feel good.

This is part of the life of an anti-racism activist, and it's why many of us are burned out. The fact of having to wonder if you'll be targeted is exhausting. The risk, for many, that people may turn up on your doorstep to berate you, is alarming. And the likelihood of an inbox full of digital hatred is terrifying. Email hate cuts deep. And when organisations like that decide to target you and spread your name among their members, it can soon turn into an avalanche.

I will be glad if all this turns out to be a huge coincidence, but somehow, I don't think it is. So I'm steeling myself, because once you're on the radar of an organisation like this, it's not easy to get off it. It's not going to stop me from speaking out, but I'll be paying extra attention to new signups and comments, just in case.

Finally, I am not the only one going through this. Many others do. Even if I'm wrong, and again, I don't think I am, it will have taken a lot of emotional labour to assess and deal with the potential situation.

It's why Black and Global Majority activists need your support. Because being targeted by the triple k org is a high price to pay for providing anti-racism, anti-oppression and equality education, don't you think?

Thanks for reading,

Sharon

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I am an anti-racism educator and activist, Co-Founder of Mission Equality, the author of “I’m Tired of Racism”, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast.

© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2024. All Rights Reserved. This newsletter is published on beehiiv (affiliate link).

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