I started to write about this story a couple of days ago, but stopped because I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I’m still not sure, but here goes anyway, for what it is worth.
On Saturday afternoon there was a demonstration in Washington by a small group of identically clad and masked men, many of them carrying American flags. They reportedly were members of a group called the Patriot Front, which is said to be white supremacist:
A beautiful night at the Lincoln Memorial interrupted by demonstrators chanting “reclaim America.“ The crowd gave them the finger and exchanged profanities. pic.twitter.com/Z2voculi9Z
— Andrea McCarren (@AndreaMcCarren) December 4, 2021
Everything about this scene is weird: the identical clothes, the masks, the plastic shields, the greaves. I don’t know; maybe white supremacists actually dress and act like this. I can’t say, as I’ve never met one.
Twitter conservatives promptly questioned whether the whole thing was staged by the FBI. For example:
It must be the FBI's attempt at parody. Knee pads and little plastic shields? Really? Try harder, FBI.
— TJBLyon (@HighAndLowLife) December 5, 2021
Things then started to get even stranger. Stephen Green writes:
But here’s where it gets really weird.
I *believe* the first person to tweet about the supposed fascist march in DC was this pretty lady. pic.twitter.com/GMs2ALDNAi
— Jarvis (@jarvis_best) December 5, 2021
Links omitted in what follows:
There’s an entire thread devoted to this mysterious young lady, who joined Twitter just last month and whose existence can’t be verified anywhere else.
Her face, experts say, appears to be an AI blend from photos easily found on an internet image search.
Jarvis, who spotted “Sheryl Lewellen,” tweeted, “There is no google history for anyone named Sheryl Lewellen. She joined Twitter a few days ago.”
So this facebot tagged a bunch of journalists in a tweet warning that “500 men with riot shields are marching in #WashingtonDC” — and that days-old account somehow managed to go viral.
Shortly after going viral, the account’s name changed to “Patriot Front,” and started posting pro-Patriot Front material instead of warnings.
Insanity Wrap just checked, and “Sheryl Lewellen” has had “her” account suspended for unknown reasons.
Most recently, the Washington Post headlines that “experts say” a “white supremacist march in D.C. was pushed by a fake Twitter account.” The article is behind a paywall, so I don’t know what it says.
I have no idea what to make of this. Was the D.C. rally, minimal as it was, a legitimate product of the Patriot Front? To what extent does such an organization actually exist, independent of federal infiltrators? How many of those who participated in Saturday’s demonstration were FBI agents? None? Some? Most? All? Why did this tiny demonstration get so much publicity when, for example, the annual March For Life draws hundreds of thousands of participants and gets little or no press coverage? What is the story with the apparently fictitious “Sheryl Lewellen”? Was she created by the Patriot Front? Or by the FBI? “She” apparently spread the word about the rally by tagging journalists. How did “she” know that journalists would jump on a report of a white supremacist rally at the Lincoln Memorial?
Heh. Just kidding about that last one. Everyone–even a non-existent AI construct–knows that journalists are desperate for news of white supremacists, the demand for which vastly exceeds the supply. White supremacists, whatever that term may mean, seem oddly reticent compared with, say, Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters, who make their presence known by burning down large sections of major cities.