Bleats

This German Town Fought Off The Far-Right With Beer, So Cheers!

Operation Beerbarossa was a big success.

When you’re faced with an enemy that can’t be defeated through conventional means, the trick is to fight smarter not harder.

And that’s exactly what a small German town did when pitted against a group of neo-Nazis descended upon them for a weekend of drinking beer while rocking out to marching songs.

According to Deutsche Welle, a far-right music festival called the Schild und Schwert Festival [Shield and Sword Festival] was held in the town of Ostritz in Saxony on June 22-23. Sensing that marching music, neo-Nazis, and booze is a more combustible combination than hydrogen and sparks, a German court imposed a ban on the sale of alcohol to prevent any potential violence from erupting.

It turned out to be a wise move as the police confiscated around 4,200 litres of grog from the 600 or so white supremacists who rocked up to the town. As satisfying as hearing neo-Nazis getting their beer taken from them by the police is, the locals had an even better trick up their sleeve.

Predicting that the neo-Nazis would simply get around the alcohol ban by buying more in town, the townsfolk bought out all the beer available at the local store, leaving all the gathered white supremacists in a frustrated, thirsty mess.

Damn it, we’re not getting drunk, we’re fighting Nazis!

This hoarding of beer would fall under the “just another Saturday” category for any other German town on any other weekend, but this act represented something of stand against neo-Nazism for the locals of Ostritz, which has a bit of an unsavoury reputation for far-right activism.

In addition to the lack of beer, the 600 thirsty neo-Nazis had to contend with the 1,400 or so police who were deployed to ensure no shenanigans would happen. It is reported that the number of attendees dropped on the second night though no reason was given why.

Maybe Nazi-tinged marching songs just don’t have the same power when you’re sober and being carefully watched by hundreds of cops.

All in all, the festival went off without too much drama as police dealt with “only” 32 crimes, including the arrest of the bassist from a right-wing band for wearing a balaclava, which is an offence under Germany’s anti-mask laws.

So to sum up Operation Beerbarossa, neo-Nazis had their grog taken from them, the locals bought out every drop of beer so they couldn’t get more, and they had to rock out while sober and under the watchful eye of police.

Sounds like it was a big success!

Twitter Refuses To Ban White Supremacists Because It'll Also Mean Banning Politicians

Banning ISIS content? No problem. Banning white supremacy stuff? Yeah, nah.

With all the deserved flak that social media giants have been copping recently in regards to moderating questionable content, some companies have started taking baby steps to correct the problem. Facebook has finally started banning anti-vax content while Twitter has largely eradicated ISIS propaganda off its platform.

However, this has led to a big question: if Twitter can get rid of ISIS content, why can’t it do the same for white supremacist stuff?

Despite Twitter’s policies against “abuse and hateful conduct”, racist and offensive idiots like Donald Trump and former KKK leader David Duke are still hanging around, prompting many to bombard Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey with replies of “Jack, ban the Nazis” whenever he tweets anything.

Well folks, best buckle up because the explanation will probably irritate you.

According to Motherboard, a Twitter executive spilled the tea and says that while algorithms are good for cleaning up all the rubbish that gets posted on Twitter, too much aggression can mean innocent accounts will get swept up in the cleanse. For ISIS stuff, that’s a small trade-off for Twitter since society is definitely all for being a bother to a few people if it meant getting rid of beheading videos and propaganda.

But for white supremacy, it’s a dicier prospect. Using that same algorithm approach means all the content from conservative Republican politicians in America could get swept up and Twitter are not particularly keen on getting on the bad side of those pollies since that’s like opening up Pandora’s Box of racist tweet replies.

When pressed on why this is, the Twitter executive handwaved it off by saying that while all of society are cool with the trade-off of banning a few innocent people if it meant no more ISIS content, not everyone will be cool with Republican politicians getting banned if it mean no more white supremacy content.

So in short, Twitter won’t ban white supremacy content because it might ban some offensive Republican politicians and the company don’t want to deal with the fallout, the deluge of angry tweets from the likes of Trump and his supporters, and the threat of political retaliation because some pollies no longer get to tweet all the offensive stuff they want.

Extrapolating a little bit, Twitter’s lack of action on white supremacy rubbish means that Australia will also be affected by the company’s lack of action.

Since our country sadly also has its share of white supremacists and horrible people in political positions of power (looking at you, Fraser Anning), it means they’re also going to be free to tweet out all the awful stuff they want and chances are they’ll get away with it.

At the moment, Twitter’s current method of moderating white supremacy rubbish is through human moderators carefully sifting through every unsavoury tweet. If history has taught us anything, getting humans to police content on a social media platform is a surefire way to get people to bang in stairwells to deal with the inevitable trauma so this definitely won’t end well for anyone.

Listen, Twitter, just because getting rid of offensive white supremacy content is a hard problem doesn’t mean you get a pass, racist Republican politician complaints be damned. If Facebook can do it, then surely you can too. The world will be better off without that sort of stuff in it and you can spare your poor employees from dealing with their tweet-induced PTSD by getting freaky with each other in office stairwells during their lunch breaks.

Racism Is Still Alive In Sports, Even If You Own The Company

Discrimination doesn't care if you're CEO, a player on the field, or a League of Legends fanatic.

Remember that time when Adelaide Oval refused to sell tickets to “Aboriginal people” during NAIDOC week? Well it looks like we’ve somehow hit a new low in the awful juncture that exists between “racism” and “sport.” In this case it’s technically esports but that’s just getting into semantics.

It is being reported that actor and former basketball pro Rick Fox is leaving his owner position at Echo Fox, an esports organisation he helped found in 2015, due to racist remarks made by a company shareholder.

Oh boy…

In an internal email reported from Rick to “all major stakeholders” at Echo Fox, he alleged “outrageous and abhorrent display of pure racism made by a significant Echo Fox shareholder as well as threats to [his] family” and has stated his intention to sever all ties to the company ASAP.

As for the triggering incident in question, apparently it was due to the use of a racial epithet towards former Echo Fox CEO Jace Hall from someone at Vision Esports, which is a big investor in Echo Fox.

But what really pushed Rick to leave Echo Fox was a source revealing that “most shareholders have tried to ignore” the issue in hopes that it will go away and he responded with a big “screw this, I’m leaving”.

Yes. Yes it is.

While racism in sports and esports isn’t anything new (sadly), this latest instance highlights how bad the problem is and far we still have to go before this it is eradicated.

It’s one thing to drop racial slurs mid-match (which is awful enough as it is) but it is another completely to have the owner of a popular esports company quit over some racist asshat, especially when said owner got into gaming to become closer to his son and has subsequently done so much for the esports scene over the years.

It goes to show that racism is an issue that is remains annoyingly alive in sports and it doesn’t give a crap whether you’re the owner of a big sporting organisation or a player on the field. The fact that Rick Fox, someone who has now experienced racism in both sports and esports, is stepping away speaks volumes to the problem and it’s something that needs addressing urgently.

With esports trying to establish itself as a “proper” sport, it looks like it just took a big step closer with this latest racial incident. All we need is players slinging slurs at each other and – oh wait that already happens as well.

Huh, maybe esports is already a proper sport and we all just didn’t realise. Time to hold a big esports event at Adelaide Oval and see what ticket policy is implemented.

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