How white nationalists are trying to co-opt ‘Black Panther’White nationalists have sought to mischaracterize the title character — the superhero king of the fictional, secluded and wealthy African nation of Wakanda — as an “alt-right” ally in opposing immigration, diversity and democracy.By Craig Timberg, Drew Harwell and Steven Zeitchik… It claimed the superhero opposed immigration, diversity and democracy while favoring “ethno-nationalism” — a profound mischaracterization of the movie’s main themes, according to researchers at Data & Society, a New York-based think tank that studied far-right online conversation about the film.I’ve never heard of Data & Society before, but if, say, Morris Dees of the SPLC gets #MeTooed, they may have positioned themselves well to cash in in the lucrative hate industry.
Researchers said the episode seemed to mark a turn for white nationalists online. Instead of avoiding a cultural phenomenon that conflicts with their ideology, they have sought to subvert and transform it in hopes of recruiting followers and normalizing their views on white supremacy. The misinformation campaign also shows how such groups are increasingly propagating disinformation, by morphing breaking news and cultural touchstones into staging grounds for hateful ideologies and racist ideas.Malkia Cyril, the executive director of the Center for Media Justice, an Oakland-based nonprofit group, said, “The claim that the Black Panther hero, King T’Challa, represents the core beliefs of the alt right — isolationism, anti-globalism and racial homogeneity — is preposterous, and can only be asserted by white supremacists or people who really don’t understand the relationship between Africans in the diaspora and on the continent.” …“Wakandans are isolationist because they don’t want to become refugees,” said Kinjal Dave, one of the Data & Society researchers. “The far-right is isolationist because they don’t want to accept refugees.”[Comment at Unz.com]