The account “The Abowaffen Division” (@abodivision) is another fake Aboriginal account, this one more overtly linked to the far-right and more specifically the Alt-Right. With this fake Indigenous persona the person behind the account engaged in efforts to make the Indigenous people look like unreasonable and violent extremists.
The account name is a combination of “Abo” and “Waffen”. “Abo” is a derogatory term for an Aboriginal Australian. Waffen is taken from Nazi’s Waffen-SS. As the Holocaust Encyclopedia explains:
The Waffen-SS was the military branch of the SS. Units of the Waffen-SS took part in most of the major military campaigns of World War II. They were heavily involved in the commission of the Holocaust through their participation in mass shootings, anti-partisan warfare, and in supplying guards for Nazi concentration camps. They were also responsible for many other war crimes.
The account was created on the 17 of July 2018, it made 3 posts that month then was silent until January 2019. It made a post or two most months through 2019 and then became more active in January and February 2020. The timing suggests it is likely it is operated by a student either in high school or more likely university.
Twitter has taken action on this account before, but given its entire purpose is the promotion of hate and trolling it should simply be closed.
Evidence of an Alt-Right Connection
There are numerous indications of the account’s Alt-Right connection.
It seems likely the person behind it comes from the /pol/ community on 4chan or 8chan. (Note: 8chan has closed the /pol/ community after a series of deadly attacks, for more see our report into the Halle Attack.)
A tweet on May 25th 2019 says “we will make very special kek” if people send in memes. The Southern Poverty Law Centre explains, “Kek has become a kind of tribal marker of the alt-right”.
Another tweet says “Based and sinister pilled”. This is Alt-Right language, originally from 4chan / 8chan, referring red-pilling.
A link to 4chan / 8chan is further supported by the antipathy shown to Reddit. The two communities have an on-going rivalry.
Painting Indigenous Australians as violent extremists
One post refers to “the day of the spear” saying “the white dogs are gunna pay!” and shows a picture of a white adult and a white child labelled as “white dog” about to be speared.
The “Day of the Spear” is a play on the “Day of the Rope”, a fictional event in the white supremacist novel The Turner Diaries. In the novel the day is marked by those deemed to be “race traitors” being hung from lampposts, trees and utility poles by racist anti-government revolutionaries.
This next tweet repeats the “Day of the Spear” message and calls on Indigenous Australians to “take back your land”. The text in the middle repeatedly says “Whitey get the rope”.
In another post from 2019 they claim to be working with the IRA and call for “#onestruggle” “#siege” and “#fuckanglos”.
This tweet presents Indigenous Australians as lazy welfare recipients, similar to a number of memes we saw on other platforms.
The account first ran a poll on whether there should be a “women’s division”. A two thirds majority said no. This reflects the culture on 4chan which led it to things like Gamergate.
Later the account makes a post taking a swipe at women saying ” Ever since I let fucken women into Abowaffen this whole organisations just gone to fucken shit”.
Then there is the tweet attacking Kaylen Ward, an adult model, aka the Naked Philanthropist, who was raised around $1 million for the bushfires.
In a tweet referring to “chinky eyed dogs” the account says they will “sort” Coronavirus victims out. There is an implied threat of violence in addition to the racism.
Making light of genocide: Mocking the Stolen Generations
The reference to “Angloid murdersquads” is again a play on the Nazis, this time on the Einsatzgruppen. The Holocaust Encyclopedia explains:
See it live and report it. (This tweet is discussed again below.)
The Einsatzgruppen (task forces, special action groups) were units of the Security Police and SD (the SS intelligence service) that followed the German army as it invaded and occupied countries in Europe. Often referred to as “mobile killing squads,” they are best known for their role in the systematic murder of Jews in mass shooting operations on Soviet territory.
The Stolen Generations are the children of Aboriginal Australians who were forcefully removed from their home by the state and put into foster care.
In the “Bringing Them Home” report, the Australian Human Rights Commission (then called the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) concluded:
The Australian practice of Indigenous child removal involved both systematic racial discrimination and genocide as defined by international law.
When a child was forcibly removed that child’s entire community lost, often permanently, its chance to perpetuate itself in that child. The Inquiry has concluded that this was a primary objective of forcible removals and is the reason they amount to genocide.
His tweet makes light of that in its reference to the “Stolen Generator”, a common racist meme (various versions appear) which is dismissive of the Stolen Generations and paints Indigenous Australians as thieves.
The (((triple ellipse))) is used by the Alt-Right to identify people as Jewish. This tweet also, again, makes reference to the “Stolen Generator” as discussed above.
Avi Yemini tweeted that he had just survived a heart attack, the account responded “Mission failed, we’ll get em next time”. Avi is a Jewish far-right activist who actively promotes online hate against Muslims and who we have written about on a number of occasions. This response, bullying Avi and expressing disappointment that he didn’t die and a desire to “get em next time”, when he is in hospital recovering from a heart attack, is simply cruel. Given Avi’s support for the far-right, and the far-right nature of this account, the attack on him is likely not for his politics but because he is Jewish.
Attacks on Holocaust Education
In this tweet the account asks “Why are they teaching Australian kids about irrelevant shit like the Holocaust? They should be teaching kids about our struggles like the Angloid murdersquads and the Stolen Generator”.
This is an attack on Holocaust education, something fundamental to not only an understanding of history but also to human rights. Of course it isn’t surprising an account that seeks to glorify part of the Nazi SS in its name opposes the teaching of the Holocaust.
(A link for reporting this tweet was provided above)
Misreporting that Indigenous Australians are not able to get Coronavirus could (if people don’t realise the nature of this account) potentially lead to a disregard for safety measures putting people’s health, and public safety, at risk.
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This article is part of our March 2020 campaign tackling racism against Indigenous Australians. We are currently running a fundraiser to expand our April 2020 campaign tackling Islamophobia. The full plan for our campaigns in 2020 can be seen here.