Sunday, February 10, 2019

Leader in supposed far right group reportedly denied personal banking services by Chase, taking "deplatforming" to a new level



Saturday, there was a disturbing story that Chase Bank had closed the personal account(s) of Enrique Tarrio, an individual said to be in the leadership of the Proud Boys, although black and Cuban.  This story needs to be read in the context of a Daily Beast report by Aron Gupta in April 2019 that POC are joining the group for reasons that would seem ironic, to say the least.  

Timcast broke the story Saturday on his main YouTube channel.


Tim Pool’s video focused on a story from “Big League Politics” which NewsGuard marks as red.  But WeatherInternal and TiPolitics, not rated yet, carried the story.
  
I have noticed that many “conservative” sites are marked red by NewsGuard.

The story included a photo of the letter from Chase.

However, Slate, which is marked green by NG, had reported that payment processors had removed support for Proud Boys merchandise.  There seems to be a suggestion that Roger Stone's arrest has something to do with all this. 

It’s important to get the facts right on this group, and there still seems to be some factual controversy among journalists as to whether this group really is “dangerous” to others. Wikipedia characterizes the Proud Boys unfavorably, although it says that the stories that the FBI has labeled the group have been retracted.  Southern Poverty Law Center, whose characterizations of some groups has led to controversy and even libel litigation, had labeled them as hate.  However some Proud Boys members had been arrested after a scuffle with police in a brawl with Antifa  (Daily Beast). 
  
Milo Yiannopoulos had been denied a Patreon account because of his past association (on at least one event) with the Proud Boys.

It is very disturbing that anyone’s personal banking account would be closed, absent evidence of criminal use (which has not been reported). Pool mentions China’s social credit system and wonders if we are heading for the same place.

On the other hand, some people believe that at some point you have to accept peer support for the idea that a particular group has become an enemy, and this is very much a perception with the alt-right and far-right, much more so than it was even with radical Islam a few years ago. It is very difficult to report objectively in a heavily tribalized, polarized political climate.

Trump’s election and behavior, along with the US’s own sorry history with respect to past slavery and race, make the alt-right “threat” more real to many people today.

Banks and payment processors, as we have seen according to evidence with the Patreon problem, seem much more spooked by the American and European far right than they have been with radical Islam.  Lior Leser (YouTuberLaw) has been working on an FTC complaint about possible collusion among payment processors. 

We’ll have to see if major news outlets talk about Tarrio’s loss of personal banking services.

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