Not all of the symbols of white nationalism and neo-Nazi ideology are as easy to recognize as the swastika. In the same way the producers and videographers at PBS didn’t immediately realize that a woman they were profiling was sporting white power tattoos when she flashed the Celtic cross and “88” on her skin, it’s easy for everyday people to overlook common symbols.
Maybe you saw this tweet from Ann Coulter…
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 5, 2017
…and thought nothing of it.
Plenty have speculated, though, that it’s a reference to the “14 words” that white nationalism centers around.
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) January 5, 2017
The words are as follows: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
White supremacists often invoke the number to refer to that slogan.
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) January 5, 2017
This is appalling. So are the number of people replying with “88.” This is now becoming normalized “discourse” from powerful media members? https://t.co/Ebbmc4KOSL
— Gaby Kirschner (@gabykirschner) January 5, 2017
— Allison Tolman (@Allison_Tolman) January 5, 2017
Did Ann Coulter just come out of the closet as a literal Nazi? Her followers sure think so, and there’s no obvious alternate explanation. https://t.co/hv2eLGayAl
— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) January 5, 2017
in case you missed it, ann coulter has gone full david duke white supremacist https://t.co/d5vdNiTQZP
— BAKOON (@BAKKOOONN) January 5, 2017
Notice of the “14” wasn’t limited to those loudly decrying what it could be referencing. The Twitter account of The Right Stuff, a podcast for American nationalists, supplemented the number with a tweet completing the phrase “14 words.”
— TheRightStuff (@ThaRightStuff) January 5, 2017
Other accounts, like ones full of tweets that are anti-woman and ostensibly anti-people of color, also took note and added references to other symbols, like “88”:
Ann, there are 88 ways I could tell you I love you.https://t.co/RjWotdZjf5
— ≠Chateau Emissary≠ (@ChateauEmissary) January 5, 2017
— Veronica ?? (@PotluckPolitico) January 5, 2017
Dog whistle: heard pic.twitter.com/yKmfKJxLIr
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 5, 2017
— Caerulus Rex™ (@rex_caerulus) January 5, 2017
Some are suggesting that the 14 refers to the number of days until Donald Trump takes office.
— Nadia (@redpillchick) January 5, 2017
— DeplorableJim ? (@LifeLibertyGuns) January 5, 2017
As “Racist Sherlock” points out, there are 15 days until the inauguration; as “Deplorable Jim” points out, she’ll need a “better alibi” for why she tweeted the number today.
In fact, the idea that she’s simply counting down to the day President Barack Obama leaves office has been floated a few different times, but given that there are no other entries in what would be the “countdown” — no 12, no 13 — that suggestion isn’t gaining much traction.
Some have suggested Coulter posted “14!” as part of a heretofore silent countdown to *the day before* the day Obama leaves office… fyi
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) January 5, 2017
We’ve reached out to Coulter to ask what the tweet means.
UPDATE — 3:16 p.m. EST:
Intrepid readers have pointed out that Coulter has been sporadically counting down to the inauguration for a few weeks.
While that still does not explain why she chose today to re-up her countdown, nor does it negate the fact that numerous white supremacist accounts have responded with “88” and similar slogans and symbols, it has been noted.
UPDATE — 4:11 p.m. EST:
After asking what the tweet meant, Mediaite received the following response from Coulter:
the same thing I’ve meant the last 50 times I tweeted the number of days obama has left in office. are you retarded?
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.