Deplatformed far-right activist and mid-grade celebrity troll Laura Loomer scaled Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s walled Napa home today, along with a group of allegedly undocumented immigrants from Guatemala and a camera crew. In a two-hour live video posted to Periscope, Loomer and her allies at “United America First” can be seen deliberating about the best course of action over Pelosi’s opposition to a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.
This stunt is being treated as a brave act of political comeuppance, predicated on the deliberately obtuse gesture of equating America’s historical openness to (many but by no means all) immigrants as a personal invitation to make yourself a sandwich in Pelosi’s private residence. As Loomer says at the 1:11:31 mark, “Nancy said, ‘Everyone was welcome here,’ but then her doors are locked, so how are all these people going to get in? I don’t get it.”
Loomer uses a self-conscious tone that signals that she’s really speaking for the camera even though she’s ostensibly talking to someone standing right there. Later, when the police arrived and asked for identification, she falls back on the same performative shtick: “I was told IDs were racist,” she said more than once. “I’m so confused.”
It goes on like this for the duration of a feature-length movie. The dry chuckles grind to a halt, though, when Loomer compares her situation as a public figure banned from numerous platforms to the plight of DREAMers — especially as she made the supposed Guatemalans truck around her big cabana with the word “IMMORALITY” spray-painted on it.
“I’m getting banned everywhere,” Loomer says at one point, possibly referring to the reaction to statements equating CNN with ISIS. “What am I supposed to do? I’m so upset about this because I’m an American DREAMer [sic] and I’m being banned everywhere. I’m being banned on Twitter, on Facebook, I’m being banned on GoFundMe, on Venmo. … Even Uber and Lyft. I’m like, you know, not going to have a sanctuary. Nancy Pelosi says everyone is welcome here and I just tried to get sanctuary here at her multimillion-dollar estate.”
In other words, an unoccupied house with a locked front door constitutes persecution, once enough private companies decline to serve you.
How peculiar it is when conservatives voice these quibbles with the doctrine of private property and the prerogatives of the free market. It’s almost as if Loomer believes that property is theft. (And doesn’t the act of scaling a wall underscore the point that walls are more symbolic than substantial?) Pelosi, of course, wasn’t ignoring her like a Jehovah’s Witness selling Avon; the Speaker was in Washington all weekend, snowbound there with the rest of the city. Theoretically, Loomer should have known her quarry would elude her, since President Trump lied in an unrelated tweet today that Pelosi was in Puerto Rico. Or maybe she and her team deliberately planned this exercise for when Pelosi and any no-nonsense security detail were sure to be absent.
It goes a little further: Loomer admitted she attempted to break into Pelosi’s house. (“I just tried to go and her doors were locked.”) Although that particular crime only a misdemeanor in California, admitting it may or may not be one of the classic self-owns for which the alt-right is so widely known.
And there the stunt ended. For her part, Loomer seems to love doors. She’s the same far-right activist whom Twitter deplatformed late last year after she tweeted a bunch of Islamophobic stuff at then-Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. In response to the loss of her quarter-million followers, Loomer chained herself to Twitter’s Manhattan offices while wearing a yellow Star of David, implicitly comparing Twitter to the Nazis. Except she only cuffed an arm to one of the two doors, allowing anyone and everyone uninhibited ingress and egress. Twitter declined to press charges or draw further attention to the matter, which meant that the NYPD just stood there to monitor the situation and make sure it didn’t escalate.
For evidence of deplatforming’s effectiveness, remember Milo Yiannopoulos, the outrageous gay provocateur who is now in outrageous debt two years after Twitter banned him?
Still, it should be noted that the gravest danger to American democracy is not actually the alt-right. Rather, it is the Establishment right sidelining the more amateurish figures while co-opting their talking points, then giving those ideas primetime slots on the broadest platform of all.
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