A photo of YouTuber JoeySalads wearing a swaztika armband was widely circulated after the Charlottesville rally, but JoeySalads says it's fake news.
On August 19th, white supremacist groups from around the country gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia for the "Unite the Right" rally. The groups chanted old Nazi slogans through the night.
By morning, the hate groups and counter-protestors clashed. Heather Heyer, 32, a paralegal from Charlottesville who fought for equality in her community, died in a ramming attack. Hours afterward, two Virginia state troopers, Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, died in a helicopter crash monitoring the protest.
The world watched Charlottesville, and the world wanted to know who these white supremacists actually are.
Another photo that went viral in the wake of the rally was an old photo of YouTuber Joey Salads. The photo in the tweet is of Joey Salads in a Nazi armband, but it was taken at a Trump rally in California in March.
Joey's social experiment shows that Trump voters aren't white supremacists. But the photo of Joey in a Nazi armband at a Trump rally only undid the point he was trying to make.
Many defended Joey Salads when the photo went viral Tim Pool tweeted, "Joey did this as a prank/social experiment. This kind of mischaracterization is fueling the partisan split, but Lauren Duca of Teen Vogue responded, "The sincerity debate is total nonsense. Swastikas represent the murder of 6 million Jewish people. I don't really care if Joey was kidding."
Wearing a swastika armband is very symbolic, and of nothing good. Even wearing one as a joke has consequences.
Joey Salads, however, claims he's a victim of "fake news." Another one of Joey's “social experiments” involved holding up signs that say "Black Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter”, or staging a video where his car was vandalized for having Trump stickers on it.
In an article from last October about fake election news, Joey Salad's was profiled first for his "Trump Car Video”. The idea of the video was to park a car covered in Trump stickers in a “black neighborhood” and film it. The video when viral on conservative blogs like the Drudge Report with the headline “WATCH THEM SMASH ‘TRUMP CAR.’” In the video, Joey Salads signs off by saying, “As you can see from this video, the black community is very violent toward Trump and his supporters.”
But, it was completely fake.
Twitter user @xtorres filmed this footage of Joey staging the shoot with the hired actors clearly visible standing behind the camera.
So, Joey created a video of young African-American men destroying a Trump car just to get views on conservative websites and lied about it being genuine.
That's pretty disgusting.
But is Joey a Nazi? No, his photo was taken out of context completely. But is wearing a swastika in public OK? Absolutely not.
In response criticism for wearing a Nazi armband, Joey tweeted these photos of Sarah Silverman as Hitler on Conan and Chelsea Handler posing with an actor in costume as hitler. He says, "The same people who have a problem with me wearing a Swastika for a Social Experiment are OK with this."
Well, there are differences. Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler are performing a comedy show. Joey Salads is invading the public and lying to people. Also, those photos are taken out of context as well, Joey! Sarah Silverman dressed up as Hitler to prove a point.
And as for the idea that everyone is "OK" when comedians dress like Hitler... Silverman was widely denounced by the Simon Weisenthal Center, a major Jewish Group, for using Nazi imagery for mockery.
Joey isn't marching with white supremacist in Charlottesville, and shouldn't be thought of as a Nazi in any way. But, wearing a swastika in public, even for a joke, has consequences.And if you create fake news, you don't get to complain about being taken out of context.
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