AK Press allegations against Michael Schmidt

1024 posts / 0 new
Last post
Red.Black.Writings
Offline
Joined: 29-08-13
Dec 1 2015 21:14

I think it deserves a read and rings true. And yes, I have met Schmidt.

Although long, I can't see how he could have done anything shorter, given the length of the articles by Reid-Ross and Stephens and the

So, Reid-Ross and Stephens never even met Schmidt, never even went to South Africa, never even contacted the ZACF, and seem to have skipped 99% of everything Schmidt wrote and did. Also mangled what they did cite and invented citations.

And then concluded in their "chapter 5" that they can't actually prove he was a fascist infiltrator after all.

No doubt those who have made up their minds, or used the allegations to attacks everything from class struggle politics to Schmidt personally, will not be swayed.

And no doubt AK Press will not carry the reply, or revoke its claim that he was a fascist infiltrator, despite the journalists that it promised would prove its claim, failing to do so.

Red.Black.Writings
Offline
Joined: 29-08-13
Dec 1 2015 21:42

Long and apparently final reply by Michael Schmidt to AK Press "charges". Claims Reid-Ross and Stephens' journalism includes manufactured quotes, bogus citations, dishonest interviewing, factual inaccuracies, inconsistencies and selective evidence, and pretty much skips 99% of everything Schmidt has said or done or written. And their admission they can't prove their claim he was a "fascist" anyway. Plus they never actually met the guy or came to South Africa.

http://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.co.za/2015/11/michael-schmidt-african...

AES's picture
AES
Offline
Joined: 15-02-04
Dec 2 2015 01:11

https://medium.com/@areidross/michael-schmidt-and-the-fascist-creep-7525...

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Dec 2 2015 15:30

I've only skimmed MS' giant reply but from what I've read, its not very convincing. The "I have POC girlfriends" is so ridiculous and such a generic, stock response from white people called out on their racism.

In the end, people are going to believe what they want to believe, but I guess the question now is what happens when people or groups continue to have formal relationships with him.

AndrewF's picture
AndrewF
Offline
Joined: 28-02-05
Dec 3 2015 12:06
Juan Conatz wrote:
In the end, people are going to believe what they want to believe, but I guess the question now is what happens when people or groups continue to have formal relationships with him.

Thats why I'm awaiting the process that will look into this and make a decision. The only alternative is the sort of circles of mutual exclusion that happens when there is no process as people take sides around 'what they want to believe' and then proceed to try and use exclusions to force other to share their beliefs.

The turn to informality of the last decade has seen that sort of non-process reproduce itself over and over with very destructive outcomes. That mostly tends to be local but clearly won't be in this case.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Dec 3 2015 14:27

What process? Short of a legal one, it more or less has to be an informal one.

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Dec 3 2015 22:48
Quote:
Juan Conatz.... question now is what happens when people or groups continue to have formal relationships with him.

Those who believe him will continue on as before. Those who don't will shun those who do. And those who prolly have lots of questions but are not convinced either way (and believe there's merit on both end at the moment) will be squeezed.

I suspect there are some folks (like myself) who still want to hear from ZACF and LcVW before tying a bow on their thinking.

One thing no one has pointed out which prolly needs to be. When interviewing MS’ former boss, the authors actually outed MS as being a member of ZACF, something the boss did not know. I mean, folks just got to be cool about that sorta stuff.

FWIW, thus far I've found the stuff about the internal ZACF to be very weak on his behalf. The Terre Blanche piece weak. And the multiphotos of folks of color, a bit over the top, but I think I get it. The stuff about his love of lifes and etc etc, a bit much, but it is his life in that respect.

Loukanikos
Offline
Joined: 29-10-15
Dec 4 2015 18:47
Quote:
The turn to informality of the last decade has seen that sort of non-process reproduce itself over and over with very destructive outcomes. That mostly tends to be local but clearly won't be in this case.

But what do you envision as a formal process on the sort of scale this would require? There doesn't even seem to be sufficient "unity" on the various local levels to deal with more limited crises. Not sure how it would work in this case.

subcomandante_juan
Offline
Joined: 4-12-15
Dec 4 2015 19:04
Red.Black.Writings wrote:
Long and apparently final reply by Michael Schmidt to AK Press "charges". Claims Reid-Ross and Stephens' journalism includes manufactured quotes, bogus citations, dishonest interviewing, factual inaccuracies, inconsistencies and selective evidence, and pretty much skips 99% of everything Schmidt has said or done or written. And their admission they can't prove their claim he was a "fascist" anyway. Plus they never actually met the guy or came to South Africa.

http://drinkingwithghosts.blogspot.co.za/2015/11/michael-schmidt-african...

But then what do you say about his Nazi tattoo?

Loukanikos
Offline
Joined: 29-10-15
Dec 4 2015 19:16
Quote:
But then what do you say about his Nazi tattoo?

Ross addresses that (and more) in his response to Schmidt's response:

https://medium.com/@areidross/michael-schmidt-and-the-fascist-creep-7525...

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Dec 4 2015 19:31
Andrew F wrote:
I'm awaiting the process that will look into this

I'm sincerely curious. You're referring to "the" process, not "a" process. I presume this means that there is a process. Is this by the anarkismo network/ platformist organizations globally? ZACF? By someone else? If it is an anarkismo thing (and not saying this is a bad thing), what if other groups outside of this tendency disagree with the outcome of the process irrespective of the way the dominos may fall?

xx
Offline
Joined: 26-06-15
Dec 6 2015 12:22
Quote:
Ross addresses that (and more) in his response to Schmidt's response:

https://medium.com/@areidross/michael-schmidt-and-the-fascist-creep-7525...

There's heavy reliance on more annonymous sources in that article, and lots of assertions such as about fascists including Indians as Aryans and saying most fascists try to claim Black friends as a cop out - so what if they do? That doesn't mean having and referring to Black friends is inherently racist.

The quote from Seery is laughable as well, what sort of comfortable world is Reid Ross in if he thinks people can just talk about their anarchist affiliations with their bosses?

Lumpen's picture
Lumpen
Offline
Joined: 11-02-08
Dec 6 2015 14:29

Reading through Schmidt's reply (read the first third, skimmed the rest), I think AK Press were wrong.

Schmidt's denial is used as evidence of guilt, but it is difficult to see how else he could counter charges of racism other than his record.

Red.Black.Writings wrote:
So, Reid-Ross and Stephens never even met Schmidt, never even went to South Africa, never even contacted the ZACF, and seem to have skipped 99% of everything Schmidt wrote and did. Also mangled what they did cite and invented citations.

To be fair, it's not necessary to know or meet someone to have a critique of the things they do. Reid Ross and Stephens apparently presented themselves dishonestly and didn't want to show their hand to pursue a "gotcha" style of journalism, having decided that Schmidt was an undercover racist.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Dec 6 2015 14:35
Quote:
Reading through Schmidt's reply (read the first third, skimmed the rest)

Is this really a responsible comment that should be given any credence?

subcomandante_juan
Offline
Joined: 4-12-15
Dec 7 2015 01:21

SCHMIDT HAS A NAZI TATTOO -- A LEBENSRUNE -- ON HIS LEFT SHOULDER.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_symbolism

In his written defense, he says he has a "printer's symbol" on his left shoulder and "no ruinic tattoos" -- but he has TWO tattoos on that shoulder, the printer's symbol AND a LEBENSRUNE (also called the "Algiz Rune") right next to it.

Schmidt thus tells an unambiguous lie, because it is pictured in Chapter 2 of the Ross-Stephens article.

https://medium.com/@rossstephens/about-schmidt-how-a-white-nationalist-s...

What do his defenders have to say about his Nazi tattoo?

xx
Offline
Joined: 26-06-15
Dec 9 2015 08:21

Which the article goes onto say is also known as the Algiz rune - not explicitly racist.

Red.Black.Writings
Offline
Joined: 29-08-13
Dec 9 2015 14:34

"What do his defenders have to say about his Nazi tattoo? "

Erm, what does his detractors have to say about his anarchist tattoos?

Or his 100s of anarchist writings? Not much really it seems. Rather focus on the tattoos -- except the anarchist ones ... that would complicate the narrative of the evil Michael Schmidt, Nazi-at-large, bwah-ha-ha...

The tattoo on his arm is a rune, but that does not make it a "Nazi tattoo."

With this logic, everyone who plays as "rune caster" in D&D must be a serious "Nazi."

Red.Black.Writings
Offline
Joined: 29-08-13
Dec 9 2015 14:44

This: "To be fair, it's not necessary to know or meet someone to have a critique of the things they do. Reid Ross and Stephens apparently presented themselves dishonestly and didn't want to show their hand to pursue a "gotcha" style of journalism, having decided that Schmidt was an undercover racist. "

I do see where you are coming from, but they did comment at length on South African politics, on Schmidt's personality, drinking habits, personality, on whether he does "soul searching" at Stormfront or was "deeply troubled," had bad taste in music and cars, rubbed some people up the wrong way etc.

So, I still do think its reasonable that they should actually have met the guy. What the article has is a caricature.

And if they want to do their research from abroad, fine too, but then they could have done a better job. They read around 4 of his articles (from hundreds online) and when they read the 4, they misquoted.

As you say, they had a template: "Schmidt was an undercover racist."

The problem was that they grabbed whatever could fit, even with some mangling, and discarded what didn't.

Red.Black.Writings
Offline
Joined: 29-08-13
Dec 9 2015 14:47

"There's heavy reliance on more annonymous sources in that article, and lots of assertions such as about fascists including Indians as Aryans and saying most fascists try to claim Black friends as a cop out - so what if they do? That doesn't mean having and referring to Black friends is inherently racist."

Agreed.

This retcon about white fascists loving Indians is nonsense. NF and BNP, anyone?

And white fascists in South Africa hate Indians, a key plank of the AWB and others being mass deportation from the country.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Dec 9 2015 15:21

I could care less about his tattoos. It's his writing about the poor little Boers, subject of hate crimes when they try to cheat black workers out of wages that bothers me. Of course, I say that as the class enemy; unlike the Boers and Schmidt who are the class itself.

subcomandante_juan
Offline
Joined: 4-12-15
Dec 10 2015 06:29
Red.Black.Writings wrote:
"What do his defenders have to say about his Nazi tattoo? "

Erm, what does his detractors have to say about his anarchist tattoos?...The tattoo on his arm is a rune, but that does not make it a "Nazi tattoo."...With this logic, everyone who plays as "rune caster" in D&D must be a serious "Nazi."

Red.Black.Writings: Schmidt himself bragged on his Stormfront profile about wearing a t-shirt with this symbol, the Lebensrune ("Algiz"), to express racist sympathies. I'll quote you Schmidt, verbatim:

SCHMIDT: "it's hard to be an open white racist in south africa, but i'm an obvious skinhead, and proudly and publicly wear a mjolnir around my neck, a nazi panzer sidecap and a lebensrune t-shirt...and because dumb-ass darkies don't get it (no big swastikas i guess), i don't get hassled by them. but proud young whites DO get the message and give me the nazi salute for expressing outwardly what they feel, but have been too afraid to express, perhaps until now...."

The Lebensrune ("Algiz") is the same symbol marking the white supremacist flags for the National Alliance, for the Volksfront (People's Front), and for the National Alliance. It was used by Nazis and is today used by white supremacists, who seek it out as merchandise in the same forum, Stormfront:

FROM STORMFRONT POSTER: : (https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t198259/)
"The black symbolizes militancy and the martyrdom of our Folk Heroes, the White symbolizes purity of Folk and ideal, the red symbolizes the working-class yeomanry which are the foundation of our people and the Volksfront organization, the rune 'Algiz' or 'Elhaz' also called the 'Life Rune' symbolizes life and protection."

SCHMIDT'S TATTOO ON NEO-NAZI FLAGS:
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us%7Dnalln.html
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us%7Dnaz.html#volks

So...
1. Schmidt knows the Lebensrune/Algiz is used as a racist white supremacist symbol by "proud young whites" like those on Stormfront, as he says it himself.
2. On Stormfront, he brags about comfortably displaying it because it isn't understood by "dumbass darkies": the idea being that it is obscure to popular knowledge, but recognizable enough for white supremacists to salute.
3. He is "investigating" the white supremacist right-wing and understands the Lebensrune symbol to be one of their racist symbols.
4. He got a TATTOO of it, knowing all this.
5. He conveniently failed to list it in his defense after noting the other tattoo on his left shoulder (coincidence?!) and then told an unambiguously lie, saying he has "no ruinic tattoos" (just happened to forget that one!!). The picture shows the ruinic tattoo clearly.

Red.Black.Writings, XX, all other defenders, you must be asking us to believe what? This is like a D&D screenname for a magical avatar?

I'll ask again, what do you make of Schmidt's Nazi tattoo?

akai
Offline
Joined: 29-09-06
Dec 10 2015 07:21

I think your argument is correct. He clearly knows what white racists see in these symbols . I think we are dealing with, at the very least, a manipulative personality who is used to getting away with any shit with anarchists, most of whom he considers intellectually inferior to himself.

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
Dec 11 2015 16:26
S. Artesian wrote:
I say that as the class enemy; unlike the Boers and Schmidt who are the class itself.

Wait. What? So "the Boers" are all collectively the employer class?

That's got to be one of the most self-contradictory supposedly anti-racist, pro-class politics statements I've ever seen. Congratulations.

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
Dec 11 2015 16:53

Meanwhile...

It's been over two weeks since MS stated in his defence statement of 26 Nov, that he intended to release the full transcript of the interview he had with ARR on his blog. So far nothing. And there was never any explanation of why he didn't release it there and then on the 26th.

I can't think of any other obvious motive for both sides not wanting to release the full transcript other than that they both think it damages their own story.

Given they both rely repeatedly on it, I don't think it's unreasonable to say that it's impossible to accept that either side is being honest until they release the transcript.

Also I think akai's statement

Quote:
I think we are dealing with, at the very least, a manipulative personality who is used to getting away with any shit with anarchists, most of whom he considers intellectually inferior to himself.

Is fair comment, based on what we have in front of us so far.

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Dec 11 2015 16:54
ocelot wrote:
S. Artesian wrote:
I say that as the class enemy; unlike the Boers and Schmidt who are the class itself.

Wait. What? So "the Boers" are all collectively the employer class?

That's got to be one of the most self-contradictory supposedly anti-racist, pro-class politics statements I've ever seen. Congratulations.

Did you read the article by Schmidt? If not, please do. And tell me if it doesn't reek of the "poor, oppressed" Boers, subject to concentration camps by the British (which they were), terrible discrimination, (which they were not).

Do you know anything about the Boer history, and the ascendancy of the Boers over South Africa, and I'm talking about Boers as a social category? The Boers as a land-owning classing; expelling by force the indigenous peoples? Exploiting them mercilessly, under the authority of apartheid? The Boer ideology as wrapped up tight with fascism?

Do you know anything about the history of South Africa?

I'm not the one proclaiming the Boers are entitled to a "homeland;" I'm not the arguing the Boers are victim of hate-crimes. And I'm not the one ignoring what the Boers were as a social category in the history of South Africa and the rise of apartheid. Mr. Schmidt is. And since he wants to identify the Boers as a current specific social category, it is essential to counteract that perversion of the real history of that social category-- just like we oppose the myth of the "poor oppressed" Southerners, victimized by carpetbaggers, scalawags, marauding ex-slaves, the Freedmen's Bureaus, etc.

Are you, Ocelot, really that blind or ignorant that you don't see/know what Boer "national liberation," or Boer "self-determination" is?

The evidence is that indeed you are both that blind and that ignorant.

Loukanikos
Offline
Joined: 29-10-15
Dec 11 2015 17:40
subcomandante_juan wrote:

I'll ask again, what do you make of Schmidt's Nazi tattoo?

It is easy to look up Schmidt's own words on Stormfront. His name there is Karelianblue. It is clear that he is well-versed in the meaning of fascist and white supremacist history and symbolism, which is why his "defense" is so obviously filled with lies. Here is what he says on Stormfront about his tattoos:

"Regarding the supposed 'degeneracy' of tattoos, while I do understand and approve of the 'my uniform is my skin' position (the truth of this is always dead certain in a race-war), I see no historical reason to utterly reject tattoos. Every race has historically marked its skin with symbols relevant to its culture and whites are no exception, whether they align spiritually as Christian, Norse, Teutonic, Celtic or other. My tattoos include my 14th Century family crest which includes two crescent moons as symbols of the Crusades my ancestors fought in, a Scythian chieftain's tattoos from the 5th Century BC (the oldest tattoo known; the Scythians were a white horse people who ruled the steppes from present-day Ukraine to the Altai Mountains), and a lebensrune. It demonstrates (unlike stick-ons) that I am serious about my heritage."

From photos we've seen, at least two of those tattoos are clearly inked on his body: the lebensrune and the Scythian chieftain tattoos. Both are widely understood symbols of white pride in fascist circles (search for "Scythian" or "lebensrune" on Stormfront). In his written defenses and in various Facebook comments, Schmidt pretends to have no knowledge of the white-supremacist meanings of his tattoos. The same is true of the pendant he wears: on Stormfront he calls it a mjolnir; to his anarchist critics he insists it is an Icelandic cross. It is, in fact, known by both names, but he pretends to only know the one without explicit fascist connotations, despite having used the other among fascists.

In his defense, he also points to his anarchist tattoos. Red.Black.Writings echoes that "logic" here. But as Ross says in his response to Schmidt's defense, no one ever said he doesn't have anarchist writings—or tattoos. Bringing them up only serves to cloud the issue and demonstrates a serious lack of knowledge about how National Anarchists and Third Positionists operate: they combine anarchist (and other left) ideology and symbolism with white supremacist shite. That is the whole point of their entryist strategy.

[although it is somewhat funny that, for his Billy Bragg tattoo, he managed to find maybe the one quote that mentions skin: "Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own / Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone?"]

S. Artesian
Offline
Joined: 5-02-09
Dec 11 2015 19:59
Quote:
they combine anarchist (and other left) ideology and symbolism with white supremacist shite. That is the whole point of their entryist strategy.

Exactly. Hence the pathetic homilies to the poor, oppressed Boers.

akai
Offline
Joined: 29-09-06
Dec 11 2015 22:25

The descriptions on Stormfront seemed too involved and too personal for undercover investigation. Anybody who actually knows any antifascists who try to go on such forums for information know that they do not go about identifying real personal information. Nor do they bother to give such complicated histories and explanations when more primitive posts suffice. The whole story with this is very fishy to me. And the explanations he makes in his defence about the tattoos, as already mentioned, don't hold up given he clearly discusses the symbolism.

Red.Black.Writings
Offline
Joined: 29-08-13
Dec 13 2015 23:21

Ocelot says as "the class enemy; unlike the Boers and Schmidt who are the class itself." Then in another post "The Boers as a land-owning classing; expelling by force the indigenous peoples? Exploiting them mercilessly, under the authority of apartheid? The Boer ideology as wrapped up tight with fascism?"

You sound like one of those people who claim all white American Southerners were slave owners, when only a minority were, and of that minority, an even smaller minority owned the majority of saves.

Fact is, round 80,000 white farmers owned all the arable land in the 87% of South Africa that was reserved for whites by the end of apartheid. The white population by then was well over 5 million, the Afrikaner/ Boer section around 60% of that. So, 80,000 out of around 3 million were farm owners, and not all those farm owners were ethnic Boers/ Afrikaners.

So, Boers / Afrikaners are not a class, but an ethnic group. Most were working class, which is why the apartheid government bought votes (as did the segregationist government before it, 1910-1948) by legislating job colour bars. There was a long tradition of trade unions with Afrikaner members, some even Communist-led, e.g. the Garment Workers Union led by the Jewish Communist (Stalinist, really), Solly Sachs (later banned and exiled).

The third biggest union federation in South Africa right now is Solidarity-MWU, which is basically an Afrikaner nationalist outfit that makes a lot of noise about opposing affirmative action.

Why am I explaining on libcom that class matters?

Ocelot:
> "Do you know anything about the history of South Africa?"

I think I do. And I can see you don't.

Red.Black.Writings
Offline
Joined: 29-08-13
Dec 13 2015 23:20

Tattoos ...

subcomandante_juan says that "Schmidt himself bragged on his Stormfront profile about wearing a t-shirt with this symbol, the Lebensrune ("Algiz"), to express racist sympathies," so he knew full well what the tattoo meant. A quote was then provided where "Schmidt" goes on about supposedly dressing like an "obvious skinhead" and wearing the rune etc.

But there are problems with this argument.

What you are quoting is one of Schmidt's fake online personas. You can't mix this with his real persona unless you can 100% establish that he was not doing undercover research work. And you can't do that without demolishing his whole case in "African Anarchist" for this claim. Which you haven't actually done.

Then this whole story about being an "an obvious skinhead" and so on just does not ring true.Dressing like an "obvious skinhead" in South Africa would make you look like a complete weirdo. And unless you assume that "KarelianBlue" is right and the "dumb- !@#$%^&* darkies don't get it," it is seriously improbable that an "obvious (white) skinhead" walking around with all this Nazi symbolism in Johannesburg would not get (seriously) "hassled."

And, to date, no one but no one has been able to produce a photo of Schmidt as an "obvious skinhead." For sure if Reid-Ross had one it would be all over the net.

So how do we know the whole "obvious skinhead" story was not complete BS? Why cite as true?

Also, none of us have any idea when Schmidt might have got the tattoo or for what reason. You link it to the Stormfront "Schmidt" but for all you know, he got it in high-school thirty-five years ago because he was an idiot, or in the army - all before he became political. You simply should not assume that he got the tattoo "knowing all this," because you have no idea when or why he got it!

Schmidt in his long "African Anarchist" defence also explains he was preparing for the possibility of meeting right-wing people for interviews. If he had got the tattoo in the past, why wouldn't he just re-purpose it to make him sound more credible?

Then you go onto mention that "The Lebensrune ("Algiz") is the same symbol marking the white supremacist flags for the National Alliance, for the Volksfront (People's Front), and for the National Alliance. It was used by Nazis and is today used by white supremacists..."

Which is great except its not a symbol used in SOUTH AFRICA and would signify pretty much nothing to anyone, "proud young whites" in South Africa included. So it'd be a very very weird choice. This is not a study of symbolism in Western Europe. Its a world apart. (The "Volksfront" you cite is not, by the way, the short-lived South African one of the 1990s - which did not use an Algiz).

In fact if you can find a single South African white right group that uses an Algiz, please provide a link or a scan. Willing to bet you can't.

Then "Loukanikos" puts his oar in: "the lebensrune and the Scythian chieftain tattoos ... are widely understood symbols of white pride in fascist circles."

Please provide a single bit of evidence showing that "Scythian chieftain tattoos" (no, not vague online references to "Scythians" generally) are symbols of white pride in fascist circles."