Furries, frat party, or hate group? Atlantic City Fur Con has an identity crisis.
by Patch O'Furr
In February 2018, Radfox, a New Jersey furry, helped a small group of friends meet for a fun weekend party in a room suite at a casino. The success led Radfox to launch a real convention for a future date. The ad-hoc trial run was named Atlantic City Fur Con.
Behind the scenes, trouble was baked in from the start. Some members seemed to consider the purpose of the con to be frat-style partying and being “offensive“. This comment came in with the original story tip:
Apparently it was bad – lots of noise complaints, there was thousands of dollars in hotel damage. Someone pushed someone into the shower which broke the nozzle or something. Caused MAJOR water damage. It went through multiple floors and into the kitchen.
Review of the Telegram group for the event found lengthy discussion about thousands in damage. A pipe was broken and flooded 12 floors of the hotel.
This is only a minor part of the story. We’ve all made mistakes and had bad luck, and it’s only money, right? It’s not bad like trashing a person.
Radfox was asked for comment by direct message on Twitter on 2/24/18. He told me: “Everyone had a good time and kept within reason, there were no incidents with the hotel or their security.” I asked him again: is it really true there were no incidents with the hotel or their security? His last reply before blocking messages:
And then it got worse. After the party, the chat group (linked on the official website) kept talking about making a con. The group was full of edgy behavior, like dozens of hits for the word “nigger” covering a 7 month span. Frequent posters appeared not to be held to rules like this, until Radfox was asked to comment for this story.
A black furry criticized a stereotype meme in the chat. He called for better behavior if it was going to be the official face for a new con. In response, he was scapegoated for racist attacks. It came from known altfurries and included hate propaganda from a neo-nazi terrorist group.
Radfox redirected the discussion to a “no holds barred anything goes” chat group that was already set up long before as an “After Dark” for the main chat. Most of the story happened there. Hundreds of hate posts were made in there about the black furry who wanted better behavior. They called him “uppity negro”, nigger, “basketball American” and more. Radfox joined, watched the racist posting, and received intense peer pressure from members. To his credit, he told them he couldn’t support racism. They negged him as a “pussy” to discourage him from listening to complaints or trying to tone things down, and resolved to attack those who would try.
Radfox was only the host and didn’t bash anyone. Observers of this story defend him as a good person who runs inclusive parties. However he oversaw the event, and even designated a safe space for hate and used it for con business. It showed a deeper relationship to members than just people he “banned”, where the new chat was used during the hate posting to consult them about the agenda of the con. He didn’t agree with the peer pressure and wanted better behavior – at least for the public face – but let it go in private. That doesn’t solve the problem if members of this group will be involved in founding a convention.
That’s the story in a nutshell. A hotel was damaged and group members attacked a black furry for asking for better behavior. This report will look closer at who they are and what they represent, and ask: will they be attending or staffing a future event? And will fandom want anything to do with it?
A longer statement from Radfox plus over 200 screenshots gathered for this story will be shared in next parts.
Had a great weekend and trip with @ShRadow_Fox ! Thanks for inviting me out to hang with you and go to your con! ACFC was a blast I met so many awesome people! And partied all night. Hope next year we do something again! pic.twitter.com/YbcwLgdIyo— Riley Fox @Anthrocon @work (@Rileyyfox) February 12, 2018
(Please don’t use group pics to get mad at party goers – it’s not a good way to tell who was involved online.)
Let’s back up and talk about partying. I’ve never cared for complaints about fur cons forgetting art and being taken over by costuming, dancing and drinking. Parties are fine by me, and I think there’s more art than ever. When (*some*) graymuzzles lament about how back in the day, it was more about carrying a sketchbook and quietly drawing around a table, it sounds like old fogeys wanting early bed time. Things are getting bigger and more diverse, so let the kids play.
But sometimes a thing stares you in the face, and says here is The Problem. What happened in this story isn’t about creativity and positive expression. It’s the bad kind of party influence like you see with frats that do hazing, peer pressure and vandalism. Letting loose for fun shouldn’t include spreading hate for its own sake just to flex selfish power. But that’s how this event came to have haters consulted for its purpose.
That’s not partying right:
PARTY TIP: The only thing we should hate is hate.— ANDREW W.K. (@AndrewWK) December 4, 2014
PARTY TIP: Focus on love, partying, and bringing joy to the people around you.— ANDREW W.K. (@AndrewWK) August 29, 2017
What set them off: A key moment was a screenshot from the New Jersey furry chat where Trenton, a black furry, criticized the coded-black Ugandan Knuckles meme. The worst part was a post with the character hung on a noose. He didn’t call them nazis, but asked them to be adults and put more effort into comedy besides just dumb offense. Apparently that was so unreasonable that it deserved extreme retaliation.
Trenton’s concern was attacked as “PC dictatorship”. When Radfox moved offensive behavior to a new chat, they said one SJW was making him bow down to conformity and “shilling”. They said it would kill free speech and stop them from “being themselves”. They said Trenton was the problem, he should be banned, and called him “dindunuffin” for ruining their fun. Bad behavior made him speak up, and they doubled down and called him a nigger because he complained.
Then here’s some of the post history of the chat they were defending from his request.
Radfox answered complaints about “SJW’s” and defended caring, because the bad behavior made about 10 other people privately complain and drop out of his group. Apparently they were reluctant to speak up. But it didn’t matter to members who piled on him for listening to “one SJW”. They wanted Trenton banned.
Banning Trenton as well as others would be a perfect example of defective “centrism”. Compare the above posts and look at how much they got away with. And Trenton was the problem for speaking up once? Do you think this explains why nobody else did before? Thankfully Radfox didn’t fall for it.
The most aggressive were about 6 outspoken altfurs and a dozen supporters. They attacked Trenton’s concern to the extent of filling the chat with zoo porn and hate propaganda. If you look for the source of the propaganda, it’s a neo-nazi terrorist group in the news for murder called Atomwaffen Division.
1/ Last month, we revealed Sam Woodward—the accused killer of Blaze Bernstein, a gay Jewish student—belonged to the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division.— ProPublica (@ProPublica) February 23, 2018
We’ve uncovered 250,000+ messages from the group’s secret chat room. We want to show you some of them. https://t.co/fxXpKKS1ud pic.twitter.com/b6IuPu2pV4
An Atomwaffen member murdered a student in California and earned approval from the other neo-nazis. They planned terrorist attacks to start a race war. Group access is tightly controlled. The New Jersey furry group poster (Jerreh) is known for altfurry posting history that ties to outside neo-nazi activity.
The news report above discusses the neo-nazi propaganda and it’s maker (Denton):
“Records and interviews show Denton goes by the name Rape in the online conversations, and he appears to be involved in nearly every aspect of the organization. He shapes Atomwaffen’s ideology, chooses designs for its distinctive black-and-white posters and online propaganda, and selects the books that new recruits must study as part of their initiation.”
These posts followed it in the New Jersey furry group, showing their “ironic” behavior and sincere belief.
Radfox appears to have fallen in with a bad crew. To his credit, he didn’t make it worse by bending for peer pressure, but his friends are still pushing for retaliation. Threats have already been received to Dogpatch Press for planning this report, before it was published.
I’d love to know what enabled them to slide into fandom and act like this behavior is OK while nobody told them no so far. Radfox may not know the extent of how bad the altfurries among his friends are. Can he be supported to part ways with haters?
Parties are rad. It’s not rad to get some obnoxious, selfish assholes who don’t seem to be creating art or bringing anything positive to a community full of queer nerds. And assholes who support hate are antithetical to what furry is. These things can’t coexist. Personally, anyone who thought so would be no friend of mine.
What is this even doing near the fandom? Pick one… hate or furry.
- Part 2 will look deeper at over 200 screenshots showing the events, the perpetrators, and their ties to hate groups.
- Part 3 will share statements and threats received from people in the story.
Reminder to anyone pushing for retaliation, who look the other way about your own group: Racist is as racist does, and like Chris Rock said –
If 10 guys thinks it's ok to hang with 1 Nazi then they just became 11 Nazis. Alt right / white supremacist it's just nazis. Fuck Nazis.— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) August 15, 2017
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