Stung by derisive comments that followed their use of tiki torches at their Charlottesville rally this summer, supremacist groups around the country say they’re now using the new SmartTorch app for their events.
“Our goal has always been to stoke fear in the hearts of liberals and progressives and other snowflakes that the white supremacist movement is for real and it’s large,” says Richard Spencer, leader of a white supremacist think tank based in Alexandria, Va. “Obviously we can’t do that if people are laughing at or mocking our torches. That’s why we’ve found the new SmartTorch app indispensible for our rallies.”
Spencer’s organization was one of dozens that rallied in Charlottesville, Va., in August to protest the removal of Confederate statues there.
The rally, which brought together the Ku Klux Klan, neo Nazis, and other so-called alt-right groups, sparked widespread condemnation. It also sparked widespread derision at the participating groups’ use of tiki torches, which are commercially produced to provide lighting for outdoor parties and picnics.
“We stand by our use of the tiki torches but we also get why they sparked mirth on the far left,” says Christopher Cantwell, a white supremacist who’s been labeled “the crying Nazi” for crying after he was arrested for pepper spraying counter-protesters at the Charlottesville rally. “The new SmartTorch app enables us to maintain the mystery and mystique of torch lit rallies without inadvertently giving fodder to late-night comedians who, desperate for cheap laughs, unfairly stigmatize a fine American product.”
The new SmartTorch app comes with two fearsome torch styles: Spanish Inquisition and Catacombs. A third style, modeled on the popular tiki torch, is intended for parties and picnics, but some supremacists are continuing to use the style for their rallies.
“The lie that people were laughing at our use of tiki torches is fake news,” says Chuck Dannie, head of the Northeast Alabama chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. “That’s why we’re sticking with the tiki torch style for our rallies. We think the liberal’s jokes are part of a campaign to minimize or delegitimize what we’re doing. Well, what we’re saying is, we’re here. We’re your next-door neighbors. We’re the guys who solve your computer problems at work. We’re the guys who sell your auto parts or vacuum cleaner parts at your neighborhood store. In other words, we’re the guys you see wearing khakis and polo shirts—and, by the way, carrying a tiki torch at the rally. We’re you, in other words.”
The app is $3.99 and available for both Apple and Android phones.
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