A Media Darling Sells Her Soul For a Fist Full of Silver
In Facebook’s world, there are three types of political activists.
1. Those on the far-left who examine everything any politician or media type says,
2. Far-right types who read the headline and if it falls into their propaganda breathlessly pass it along, and
3. Those somewhere in the middle.
The latest online controversy appears to be a video made by alt-right media darling Lauren Southern. Blond, blue-eyed and catering to the male fantasy, Southern has built a name for herself. But it’s a name that has also caused her, and her musings, to be rejected by every rational American — even by many of the 36 who still admit to admiring Trump.
The latest is a video allegedly shot in France and showing “Syrian refugees” lined up waiting for transportation to other parts of Europe.
Take a look:
Possibly the most popular host for Canada’s alt-right, Southern often inserts herself into crowds where the main views are opposed to her own. She’s glad to become a spectacle by jumping into spaces where visible minorities are talking about their rights and explaining their political positions.
Southern sees herself as a ‘commentator.’ She feels it’s her life calling to counter the “mass amount of left-wing media” in Canada.
Her Tactic: Sow Doubts
Southern likes to hide under a fur lined hood hiding her face until she’s surrounded by her beefy bodyguards. Then, she’ll pull back the hood, exposing her easily seen identify and plunge into the crowd — often going for the most outrageous sign.
At a recent protest in Quebec, she was confronted about her coverage of a mass shooting at a Quebec mosque. Alexandre Bissonnette, a white man who expressed anti-refugee views, killed six Muslims as they prayed. Initial reports had mistakenly identified a Muslim as the suspect. Unlike other news outlets, the Rebel — and Southern — didn’t correct the story until 24-hours later.
The tactic of seeding doubts and raising questions that run contrary to the media is fruitful for Southern and Rebel. Founded by anti-establishment and right-winger Ezra Levant, the outfit pulls in millions of views every month on YouTube and has drawn the attention of four contenders for leadership of the federal Conservatives.
Southern has almost a quarter-million Twitter followers, a best selling book, the endorsement of American alt-right-winger Ann Coulter and a slew of high profile speaking gigs on her resume.
Southern’s shenanigans have not been without controversy. She has:
Shown up at a Slutwalk with a sign saying, “there is no rape culture in the West.”
Faked transitioning genders as a ruse so she could interview transgender activists.
Called Black Lives Matter a “divisive and violent movement.”
Falsely claimed BLM had caused more deaths in the last 30-years than the KKK has since it was formed.
Southern doesn’ thave the same name recognition as white supremacist Richard Spencer, disgraced former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos or right-winger vlogger Tomi Lahren, but she is in that strata. Together they have managed to remerge as a band of provocateurs spouting old, extremist views in a shiny package.
Lopsided and False Narratives
Southern’s statements and coverage attempt to trigger fear in Canadian and American audiences regarding Muslims’ presence in Western nations.
“Lopsided and false anecdotes provide a one-sided outlook and leave those who lost critical thinking skills to assume Muslims only have a negative impact on communities,” said Amira Elghawaby of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.
List much of the political right; Southern makes all-embracing generalizations with statistics removed from their context. For example, Southern claimed at least 20% of Muslims in Europe commiserate with terrorists.
A pair of public opinion polls from the last four years suggest that between five and fifteen percent of persons in Muslim nations had a ‘favorable’ or ‘positive’ view of ISIS, other studies show corresponding levels of affirmation within the overall population.
Southern, like most right-wing commentators, fails to appreciate the subtleties of Islam.
The facts are more complex and Southern, in typical right-wing fashion, chooses to ignore statistics which don’t support her pre-determined viewpoint.
Patreon, the crowd funding site popular among activists, has barred her as well. Southern has proved to be a liar at worst and ill-informed at best.
Easy, Anti-Intellectual Bullshit
Southern takes a similar approach to Black Lives Matter as she shares incomplete information on the group she disparages possibly the most.
“Most of these killings are cops getting shot by black men,” Southern says. “If you’re a police officer and you see an African-American with a gun, it’s, yeah, ‘I’m going to fire.’
Southern also argues white Americans are more apt to be shot by law enforcement than blacks. Southern disregards BLM’s anger as a consequence of ‘brainwashing by activists and mainstream media.’
As normal, Southern’s statistics are disingenuous. Although more white Americans were killed by cops in 2016 in total, the likelihood of a black American being shot and killed by a cop is two-and-a-half times greater.
The co-founder of Tronto’s Black Lives Matter chapter, Sandy Hudson, said, “We can’t permit Southern and her ilk to redefine the story. That is what they are tactically attempting to do and what they have accomplished in some instances. People must resist that simple, anti-intellectual bullshit.”
Southern’s determination to hold to her opinion even when shown the facts that destroy her reasoning was on ample exhibition in Washington DC on inauguration day. Southern didn’t know who she was talking to and ignorantly questioned two employees from Slate.
“Do you know what portion of Muslims are terrorists?” Slate’s video editor Aymann Ismail asked Southern.
“No,” responded Southernly. “But I understand there is a meaningful percentage which is extreme.”
Ismail and his co-worker schooled Southern on Sharia law, the various versions and how Muslims are carrying the brunt of — and fighting — the war on ISIS.
Ismail dominated the conversation.
Cultura Warrior Or Male Thirst Profiteer?
With Southern’s normal frame and feminine body, the alt-right has an untapped reservoir of male attention for females like Southern. When Rebel booted Southern, she noticed that showing more flesh and getting direct financial contributions through Patreon and Paypal by men was more lucrative than working longer hours for Rebel.
Garnering male attention online with her constant presence, Southern has attracted hundreds of thousands of mostly male followers. She doesn’t fail to catch an opportunity to show herself in suggestive poses and revealing clothing. For her part, Southern has always been candid about enjoying the attention her male followers give her.
What’s The Truth?
Who knows. It appears Southern is willing to do — or say — the most outrageous thing which will get her publicity and money right now.
One Reddit user had this to say:
Lauren Southern is an internet Nazi, and the only people that care about her are Nazis.
He may be on to something.
Jerry Nelson spends much of his time poking Trump’s meth-addled, uneducated fans with a pointy stick and is currently writing a book of muskrat recipes as well as a scrapbook of his favorite death threats. His life’s aspiration is to rule the world with an iron fist, or find that sock he’s been looking for. Feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments — or join the million (seriously) or so who follow him on Twitter @Journey_America.
Never far from his Marlboro’s and coffee, Jerry is always interested in discussing future writing opportunities.