In 2015 Reddit founder and CEO Steve Huffman made the decision to ban several virulently misogynistic and racist subreddits, including r/Rapingwomen and r/Coontown. One popular subreddit that routinely promotes conspiracy theories and racist rhetoric has seemed untouchable, however: the pro-Trump subreddit r/The_Donald.
Early last year the subreddit, billed as “a never-ending rally dedicated to the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump,” was ranked the 153rd most popular subreddit. And less than a day ago, a video by the Neo-Nazi podcasters at The Daily Shoah was heavily promoted on r/The_Donald, gathering at least 1.5 thousand upvotes.
The video, posted by user GANiggy and titled “TDS: Southern Poverty Fraud Center,” shows the co-hosts Mike Peinovich, Jesse Dunstan, and Alex McNabb discussing a civil suit filed by Glen Allen, a lawyer and former member of the Neo-Nazi organization National Alliance, against the Southern Poverty Law Center (“SPLC”).
Allen’s lawsuit, according to the conservative Daily Wire, accuses the SPLC of “abetting a theft, defamation, racketeering, and improper political campaigning” stemming in part from a 2016 article the civil rights group published about Allen. Allen is seeking $6.5 million in damages as well as the revocation of the group’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
Peinovich, McNabb, and Dunstan, whose promotion of white supremacy has been routinely called out by the SPLC, were ecstatic over the lawsuit. Peinovich in particular called for the SPLC to be destroyed, and said the attorneys working for it should “lose their Bar license” and “go to jail.” He ended his rant by encouraging more lawsuits against the SPLC.
The top commenter in the thread, who calls himself SomalisHave60IQ, wrote, “The SPLC is an anti white, anti Christian hate group that needs to be disbanded and have all of its attorneys disbarred.” This comment received 133 upvotes. The second highest upvoted comment accused the SPLC of being “anti-Christian,” while a response to that claimed “those people killed Jesus” — referring to the Jews.
One user, MikePeinovichdu13, wrote, “Best podcast ever. I hope it goes more mainstream, I’m hurt when I see that the Dan Bongino Podcast and the Ben Shapiro Podcast are the most listened podcasts in america, in right wing politics…” ItsOkayToBeCaucasian asked, “Why do we allow fraudulent anti-white organizations do operate within the US?” This question received 45 upvotes.
NormiesRiseUp told other r/The_Donald members to “Upvote this pedes they deserve some support.” “Pede” is short for “MAGApede,” the nickname r/The_Donald users gave themselves.
GasTheBikesRWN — whose name is a censored version of the white supremacist slogan “gas the kikes, race war now” — wrote “Why are we sending BILLIONS to Israel yet we supposedly can’t afford to protect our own border with a wall. AMERICA FIRST (not Israel!)” This received 42 upvotes and was met with praise from other users such as wiredconcepts who declared “SO MUCH THIS! Let the Jews run and pay for their own country.”
r/The_Donald is no stranger to promoting white supremacist tropes. According to an SPLC report from last year, the subreddit is rife with white nationalist slurs and slogans, including “white genocide,” the “great replacement,” “remove kebab,” “We Wuz Kangz,” “mudsharking,” and the “Day of the Rope.” Popular alt-right memes like Pepe the Frog and Le Happy Merchant are also disturbingly popular.