Canadian Anti-Hate Network
While Inauguration Day dawned on the United States with an ample amount of concerns, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in without incident.
With the events two weeks ago in Washington DC, the silencing of President Donald Trump on major social platforms, and his condemnation of insurrectionists acting in his name, we find ourselves facing the same quandary we saw at the beginning of the Trump presidency: what happens now?
All across the vast fringe world of conspiracy theory, racism, and the intersection of both, there is a chaotic mix of reactions on either side of the border.
QAnon certainly is far from a mainstream theory. Its pervasiveness throughout the latter half of the Trump administration has made it a source of speculation and clicks for the media, and tremendous concern for researchers.
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While its memes and rhetoric absorbed any conspiracy theory it came across into its amorphous milieu, there is little question of its danger. In Canada, QAnon has existed alongside the Yellow Vest protests seen in multiple major cities across the country for around three years. When Yellow Vests dissolved into nothing but a few stubborn diehards in late 2019, Q was there to wrap the patriots into its warm embrace.
Canada has seen its own potentially tragic incidents related to QAnon, most notably when Corey Hurren attempted to gain entry to Rideau Hall the day after Canada Day last year. He brought with him a note for Justin Trudeau -- and four loaded firearms -- and left behind social media accounts with connections to QAnon.
Hurren now faces 22 criminal charges.
Q has been silent since the beginning of December, but the speculation and outrage abound since Biden took his oath of office.
The repeated bans and suspensions doled out by social media companies, and Parler’s lost servers and devastating data leak, sent many of its users running to other encrypted apps. Some realized that “trust the plan” might not be enough to expel the elite cabal of billionaire pedophiles who, along with Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga, and Biden - all puppets for “the Luciferian shadow government” - control the world’s political and media narratives.
“Nothing is happening. Past time if it was going to,” wrote one user in a room meant for Parler refugees (punctuation added for clarity). “No end of story. Now we either die fighting or die captive.”
“We were fucking lied to,” another responded. “Do you think Trump didn’t know?”
There is also, of course, the proposition that Trump remains the president, that the inauguration was only theatre, and Biden is either a CGI creation, or is being forced by his captors to play along.
In this narrative, the military is standing by to seize lawmakers by day’s end - if they haven’t already.
This disillusionment has already caught the eye of members of the North American neo-Nazi movement are looking to both Trump supporters and QAnon believers as potential recruits. These lost anons are now cannon fodder for more dangerous extremists -- potentially with disastrous results.
“Today is a good day. Don’t be discouraged. Our racial and political awakening is a white pill. Trump’s fraudulent loss was what normies needed to correctly recognize that the system is rigged against us. They want to totally replace you,” one US channel wrote, presenting the fascist “third position,” as the alternative to democracy.
“Abandon the lies and empty promises. Come home Western Man.”
Bandaids Will Not Heal These Divisions
When looking at the broad spectrum of extreme beliefs there is no clear roadmap for the way to transition people out of conspiratorial ideology, bigoted worldviews, and cultic thinking.
By poking holes in the black and white thinking and confronting their beliefs head on, people are now not only trying to save friends, relatives, loved ones, and fellow human beings from these dark corners of society. We are also trying to prevent real political violence. So many conspiracies trace deep roots back to antisemitism, and paint contemporary issues like the global refugee crisis, the past summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, and now, the pandemic, as tools of a subversive globalist elite to attack the status quo.
Some may never lift a fist in anger, many never stood outside the Capitol Building, and more still who have not fallen as deeply down the rabbit hole. All, however, are at minimum partially radicalized, teetering on the edge of reason, and have reached such a critical mass we are not questioning if more violence can happen, but when.
How do you pull millions of people back from the brink? This is a question few, if any, know the answer to.
It is a question, however, that should inform every decision the new Biden administration makes, from today onward. Trump and his disciples didn’t grow to this magnitude overnight, and the problem won’t be fixed on January 21, 2021.
This crisis may have started in the United States, but now it’s a global responsibility.
Follow Peter Smith @misterEpete on Twitter.