Early this month, white nationalist and pickup artist Matt Forney made a guest appearance on the white nationalist Red Ice Radio show hosted by Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff. On the July 8, 2016 episode of the podcast, Forney sat down to discuss the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Forney, right-wing activist with a long history of anti-black rhetoric, used his appearance as an opportunity to spread deranged conspiracy theories about their deaths.
Forney immediately begins picking apart supposed inconsistencies with Philando Castile’s death. In the case of Castile — a Minnesota man gunned down in front of his girlfriend and her daughter after being pulled over — Forney stated that when “you have someone who’s been shot and may be dying” you “transport them to the nearest medical facility.” However, Castile was “deliberately” taken to one that was “out of the way.” To Forney, this, combined with the fact that Castile’s mother was not allowed to identify his body, suggested that “something fishy is going on here.”
After cutting to a clip of Castile’s mother being interviewed on CNN, Forney asserted that “something happened with this shooting” that the police “don’t want to be known.” Lokteff suggested that something was amiss because Castile’s mother appeared to be insufficiently upset after her son’s death. “A mom who just lost her son would be a lot more worked up than that,” she claimed. Palmgren added that Castile’s girlfriend also acted “very calm in the car” and asked Forney if this was some type of “false flag” situation.
“Well, I’ve talked about this before, this is, uh, Black Lives Matter was planning a — this was according to the hack of DeRay McKesson’s Twitter account — they’re planning something called the ‘Summer of Chaos,’ which is mass uprisings in every city as well as, particularly trying to disrupt both the Republican and Democratic Conventions later this month, with the intent of trying to get President Obama to declare martial law and cancel the elections,” Forney explained. This supposed “Summer of Chaos” by Black Lives Matter activists never happened, of course, and was debunked by the website Snopes.
Forney also spread another pernicious rumor: that Philando Castille and Alton Sterling, another black man gunned down by police officers, were both active gang members. Forney cited white supremacist/wannabe muckraker Chuck Johnson’s website Got News in claiming that “Alton Sterling was a member of the Bloods” and Castile was a Crip. Johnson’s evidence that the pair were gang members? Sterling had a five-pointed star shaved into his hair in one photo, and Castile was photographed making a “W” sign with his fingers and was part of a Facebook group called “Crips” — which bore no affiliation to the street gang. Snopes likewise rated both of these claims as false.
Black activists, “with the media’s help,” have “ramped up this incredible hatred towards” cops, Palmgren said. “So surely they must be responsible at some stage here” for the recent spate of deadly violence against police officers.
Forney interjected, adding that “part of the reason why blacks have so much problems with the police” is because they are “more likely to resist arrest.” He cited as an example the vicious 1991 beating of black motorist Rodney King by members of the LAPD. King, who was on the ground and unable to defend himself while officers kicked him and clubbed him with batons, was in the wrong because he led police on a “multi-hour/mile police chase.” It’s the “same thing with all these other cases,” he explained.
Yes, this includes Laquan McDonald who was shot 16 times even as he lay on the pavement; Alton Sterling who was already pinned to the ground; and Philando Castile, who had a valid concealed carry permit and informed the officer he had a weapon in his car. It also presumably includes Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old with a toy gun in an open carry state who was shot to death within seconds of police arriving on the scene.
Lokteff brought up shootings in “diverse areas” (read: majority black) such as Chicago, which she insisted the media doesn’t report on. Except it is reported on and black activists have long worked together to try and curb that strain of violence. Meanwhile Black Lives Matter activists are railing against a particular form of violence: violence committed by the state against ordinary, often unarmed, citizens.
Palmgren again denounced the media’s focus on black men killed by police officers, playing a clip of an activist giving a speech against police violence and MN Governor Mark Dayton. He also mentioned what he certainly thought was a bombshell: that Philando Castile’s killer was Asian, not white. (Actually the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, is Hispanic, but I’ll set that aside for now.) This is completely irrelevant. Asian and Hispanic police officers can harbor anti-black biases. They are also not immune to a toxic police culture that encourages cops to cover up for other cops even in cases of corruption and police brutality. It even affects black cops, adding another layer of complexity to the situation.
But Palmgren still insisted that Black Lives Matter believes it is all “white peoples’ fault” and blamed this supposed narrative on “the media.” Forney concurred, adding, that the media is trying to “push a narrative” as they allegedly did in the Trayvon Martin case. The media, he alleged, realized that George Zimmerman was Hispanic and then, in an effort to blame white people, “decided to invent this racial category of ‘white Hispanic.'” There have been people who identified as “white Hispanics” and “white Latinos” long before George Zimmerman received national attention, so it was not something concocted by the media in 2012 to blame white people.