The following is a short analysis of an extract of a thread from Stormfront, a white supremacist web forum.
Firstly, I will present the texts of the thread I will analyse, followed by an analysis.
Title: Gays want to contaminate the blood supply with HIV (posted July 11th, 2014)
Post 1: Their latest cause is to protest rules barring them from donating blood. These rules are in place because of the high infection rates of male homosexuals.
(Link to article: West Hollywood blood drive protests FDA exclusion of gays as donors. In Los Angeles Times
Post 2: Destroy Hollywood!
Gays donating blood is far too risky. Whether they want to admit or not, they do spread HIV. Says a lot about queers that they are so selfish to want to infect an entire population in order to feel better about themselves.
Post 3: Homo scum!
Post 4: Allowing gays to donate blood is like allowing known terrorists to oversee our water supply. It’s a madhouse we’re living in.
Post 5: Yeahhh about that…
Quote: Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) a represent approximately 2% of the United States population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV. In 2010, young gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24 years) accounted for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons aged 13 to 24, and 30% of new infections among all gay and bisexual men. At the end of 2010, an estimated 489,121 (56%) persons living with an HIV diagnosis in the United States were gay and bisexual men, or gay and bisexual men who also inject drugs. (CDC website)
Post 6: This goes to show just how far the pro-gay agenda pushers are willing to go to destroy the norms of America.
While blood donations are screened for diseases why would someone who knowingly has HIV/AIDS donate blood? And we all know that gays who have HIV/AIDS will attempt to donate just out of anger or spite.
It’s bad enough that we have mentally unbalanced people with other diseases trying to donate just to get money to do drugs or buy booze, now we are going to add psychopathic AIDS carriers to the mix.
Only in Amerika!
Post 7: Damn the gays!
Now they want to contaminate all of the human race, may they suffer in hell for this!
Post 8: Gays want to contaminate everything.
Post 9: The jews do too.
They are the biggest pushers of the gay agenda.
In the title of the thread, the writer refers to gay men as Gays. In using the word gay a noun rather than an adjective achieves the function of referring to a person or group of people in terms of sexual orientation alone. By doing so, the writer excludes all other qualities or characteristics which could identify the group. Such a referential strategy may be considered as prejudice. The writer then states that gays, therefore all gay men, want to contaminate the blood supply with HIV. Thus, this predicational strategy linguistically attributes a stereotypical negative trait with all gay men, namely that they and all diseased, and secondly, that they wish to spread HIV by contaminating the blood supply.
The first post begins with the words, Their latest cause is to protest. By use of latest, the writer is constructing gay men as a group who habitually have issues to publicly protest about, and due to the regularity of such causes and protests, the writer implies that the current concerns, and perhaps all issues of gay men are therefore inconsequential. The writer continues by stating that the protest concerns being disallowed from donating blood. The poster then states that such a rule is in place due to the high infection rates of male homosexuals. The poster implies this is related to HIV infections, as stated in the title of the thread, although no empirical data is provided support this claim. However, the writer uses a different reference for gay men than the one employed in the title. In this instance, male homosexual, is used, a term which would be more commonly found in a medical discourse. Therefore, it can be seen that the writer attempts to construct the statement as authoritative by using such a referential term. A link is then posted to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the title of the article is: West Hollywood blood drive protests FDA exclusion of gays as donors. The describes a group of gay and bisexual men who protest in West Hollywood against being disallowed from donating blood for life by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to their sexuality. However, none of the posters on the Stormfront thread mention that the protest is organised in a manner which is beneficial to the community and contributed to the local blood drive. The protesting gay and bisexual men brought heterosexual friends to donate in their place and wear a sticker stating that they donated blood in place of their friend who was barred. This positive aspect of the protest was ignored by the Stormfront writers, who focused on negative constructions.
The second poster begins by stating: Destroy Hollywood! Such a declaration may have been made as the writer considers Hollywood to be a liberal community in which gay and bisexual men are allowed to publicly air their grievances concerning laws which exclude them from participating fully within society, and therefore, in the writer’s opinion, warrants obliteration for such liberalness. The poster continues by declaring: Gays donating blood is far too risky. Such a stereotypical statement is made regardless of the fact that the majority of gay men are healthy, as the article in the Los Angeles Times described. The writer justifies the claim by stating that gay men spread HIV. This labelling of all gay men with this negative trait can be seen as fallacious, as the majority of gay men do not spread HIV, although such a stereotypical construction is used as a justification to prevent healthy gay and bisexual men from donating blood. The poster continues with: Says a lot about queers that they are so selfish to want to infect an entire population in order to feel better about themselves. In this instance the writer labels gay men as queers, a pejorative derogatory term for sexual minorities denoting deviance. They are further constructed as selfish and wanting to infect an entire population with HIV. Such an argument is often made, as the data throughout the book will demonstrate. Not only are gay men constructed as deviant, but also as spreaders of disease who intend to weaken the white race by infecting white people with HIV and AIDS.
The third poster on the thread contributes by labelling gay men as Homo scum. Homo is a contemptuous term used to label gay men, while scum is a disparaging label which is employed to depict a person as the lowest form of life, as worthless.
The fourth poster continues the theme of opposition to allowing gay men to donating blood by making a comparison that by doing so, it would be as irresponsible as allowing terrorists to control the water supply, both would result in catastrophic consequences for the general public. The writer continues by making a statement criticising society and declaring that it is a madhouse for even contemplating allowing gay men equal rights. Furthermore, such a statement disparages the governments, past and present, for allowing such as state of affairs to exist.
In the fifth post, the writer quotes from the website Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a text which presents statistical information regarding HIV among gay and bisexual men. The use of statistical information from creditable sources is a means by which the Stormfront member attempts to justify the stance taken to the previous posters, namely that allowing gay men to donate blood will result in the spread of HIV among the general public. However, such an approach is flawed as the information provided in the quote primarily focuses on a narrow age group of gay and bisexual men, as well as on new cases of HIV. Furthermore, the protesters were demonstrating against a blanket, lifelong ban against all gay men, regardless of their health status, an issue which was not mentioned by the quoted article, or in fact by any of the posters. Gay men are stereotypically depicted as carriers of the HIV virus, and therefore a health risk to the heterosexual in-group.
The writer of post 6 introduces a conspiracy theory to the thread, namely that the pro-gay agenda pushers are willing to go to destroy the norms of America. It is not stated who the pro-gay agenda pushers are, although as will be seen on numerous occasions throughout the book, such a conspiracy theory is commonly articulated whereby Jewish hierarchy within society are deemed as attempting to weaken the white race through numerous strategies including the acceptance of homosexuality within mainstream society in order to weaken the hegemony of whites by dissolving the moral standards of the white people. The writer goes on to claim: we all know that gays who have HIV/AIDS will attempt to donate just out of anger or spite. Once more gay men are constructed fallaciously with a stereotypical negative trait, explicitly that gay men who are HIV carriers will attempt to infect others with the virus. Additionally, the writer claims that this is common knowledge with the phrase we all know, thereby making claims as to the accepted and shared knowledge of the in-group. The writer continues the post by constructing gay men as psychopathic AIDS carriers, again a derogatory construction. The writer concludes with the exclamation: Only in Amerika! The usage of this Russification of America may indicate the writer’s opinion that American society is in decline rather than resembling Russia, a country in which gay men are discriminated against much more than in the USA.
The writers of posts 7 and 8 reiterate and therefore disseminate the fallacious negative argument that gay men wish to contaminate heterosexual society with the HIV virus. Post 9 returns to the conspiracy theory, but in this case, the writer names the Jews as being responsible for promoting gay rights within society. As previously described, this conspiracy theory articulates that Jews promote gay rights as a means to weaken white hegemony.
Thus this short analysis of an extract of a thread on Stormfront has demonstrated some of the negative, derogatory referential strategies which are used by Stormfront members to label gay men. It has also shown several stereotypical, pejorative traits which have been fallaciously attributed to gay men, as well as demonstrate the presentation of a conspiracy theory against gay men.