BAISEUR DE COUSINS, LOUISIANA — Local white white supremacist Chuck Palumbo “100 percent did not mean in any way, shape, or form,” to indicate to everyone who looked at a picture he posed for recently that he thinks “everything is okay.” Palumbo made a certain hand gesture in the news this weekend when the photograph was taken, he said.
“Hell no, I didn’t mean to say everything is okay with that picture! What kind of person thinks I’d do a thing like that,” Palumbo asked rhetorically. “Some other folks might be playing a punching game, or might be saying everything is okay, but I 100 percent did not mean in any way, shape, or form to imply that bullshit.”
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Palumbo said he’s seen the recent debate online over whether students attending the Army-Navy football game this weekend were flashing “white power” symbols behind broadcasters, or not. Chuck says he “can’t speak” for the students at the game, but when he contorts his fingers into a circle with his forefinger and thumb, leaving the rest of his three fingers to point outward away from the circle, he “ain’t sayin’ it’s all good” or playing a game where he gets to punch people who look at his hand.
“Other people can be doing that shit, I guess,” Chuck admitted, “but when me and my fellow members of various 8chan and Facebook groups do it? Hell naw.”
Mr. Palumbo says that he understands “some folks might even use it to try to troll overly sensitive libtards” into thinking they’re racist when they’re not. However, “beyond a shadow of a doubt” when he and his friends use the hand symbol, they are not trolling. Palumbo said he’s “grateful for the trolls,” though, because they help “muddy the waters” and that allows moderate white people to ignore blatant racism right in front of their noses.
“It’s funny to me that people would understand the confederate flag’s symbolism and even grasp the concept that the klan co-opted it for their messaging — messaging I totally agree with by the way,” Chuck told us, “and yet those same people want to pretend like the same exact thing ain’t possible for me and my fellow racists to do with a hand gesture.”
Chuck believes that the people using the hand gesture to troll sensitive liberals are helping him and his fellow white supremacists “move a big boulder up a hill.”
“The more people who use it ironically, the more it actually gets mainstreamed, and the blurrier the line gets,” Chuck said. “Eventually, if enough people do it to troll, then when someone like me, or maybe even an elected official, flashes that sign, people won’t know whether they’re joking, or really do support a racist agenda of wiping out non-white people from our continent. Basically, whether someone’s trolling or not, we ain’t, but the more people troll, the easier it is for us to slip our real shit by everyone, and that’s how dog whistles get made, fam.”
We asked Chuck if he thinks there’s some kind of danger to society at large if people start looking for racist symbolism in everything anyone does. This elicited a big, belly laugh from Palumbo. When he’d caught his breath, he answered.
“You mean you’re worried about people becoming paranoid about just how much racist symbology is found in American society when we don’t even have a functioning Voting Rights Act,” Chuck asked. “You’re concerned that people will start to think everything’s racist in a country that still has 30% of its populace in denial about how recently, historically speaking, it was still legal to force a person of color into a life of slavery, indentured servitude, sharecropping, or poverty? There are how many millions of black men still in prison for drug charges that average white folks would already be released from?”
More uproarious laughter.
“Sure, yeah. Go ahead. Knock yourselves out,” Chuck said. “Because for sure my friends and I aren’t worming our ways into positions of power and also mainstreaming racist symbols. Why would we ever do both simultaneously? That’s just crazy talk, sure.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.