2 Gryphon punches down on a critic – what can we learn from this?

by Patch O'Furr

Quick: What’s the difference between a car driven into a crowd by a terrorist, and a swimming pool? That’s a question about the video below from 2 Gryphon.

He was reacting to a video criticizing his beliefs about hate groups. Like neo-nazi marchers who murdered a woman in 2017 by driving a Dodge Challenger into a crowd – (with participation by haters from the furry community, leading one to kill himself in March 2018.)

2 Gryphon claims to be respectful of the critic Tantroo McNally, AKA Sonious. a furry news writer and Youtuber. At the same time, his reaction was punching down on an easy target with 369 subscribers in front of his 28,000.  That’s unusual. Sonious doesn’t get other ratings like this, and it pushes down search results. With so much unbalance, it’s hard to get both sides. Everyone likes both sides, right? So let’s give a deeper look to what Sonious was criticizing. This was the source of it all:

To be accurate, Jews weren’t causing hate against Nazis when Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, started a war and exterminated them. In fact Jews were scapegoated with fraudulent conspiracy theories to make them seem malevolent. That’s a key ingredient of antisemitic hate speech, then and today – so it’s a real dick move to insinuate that opposing nazis is hate. This is the definition of false equivalence.

Sonious took issue with this, like any informed person would. He raised a subsequent tweet by 2 Gryphon:

According to 2 Gryphon, more people die in pools than by hate crimes, so we should care more about pools than haters. That’s the implication of bringing it up, out of the blue, to move the goalposts of a discussion. Sonious did nothing to downplay other deaths, and of course we can care about pool safety AND stopping hate groups at the same time. There was no justification to change the subject.

2 Gryphon was doing Whataboutism:

Like 2 Gryphon, except funny

Remember when pools took over a country and rounded people up for genocide?  Actually, they’re inanimate, regulated for safety and not a growing threat. But hate groups are actively recruiting with an agenda that leads to murder. It’s like having regular pools vs. people working to poison the water. (Or use cars or whatever does the damage.) One sits there with a good use and the other doesn’t. That’s why there’s public advocacy against hate groups. Like from the Southern Poverty Law Center, who certainly aren’t approving misuse of their work for whataboutism.

2 Gryphon’s video shows another bad faith tactic. After saying something ignorant, he has a habit of denying he actually said, alluded, meant, implied, or insinuated anything like that, with extremely pedantic hairsplitting. (Pettifogging is a good word.) This helps him deflect responsibility to have things both ways – like punching down on a critic while calling it “respect”. (Two-faced is a good word too.)

2 Gryphon can claim misquoting to play victim, and use false equivalence to claim he cares about ALL hate. But he’s not doing anything to stop support for hate groups [1][2][3][4][5] any more than he’s saving lives in pools (like he brought up.)

He claims to want education for nazis, but instead, he just slams people who don’t like them. His response to Sonious was 20 minutes of acting like an out-of-control-Challenger at the truth. That’s a lot of effort to avoid owning a misinforming, inaccurate comment. Here’s another one:

How to fix stupidity? We could start with his. With total respect, of course!

To be respectful, comments about people being hateful to Nazis happen all the time. Often they come less from malice than from ignorance and failure to think critically. Especially with young people who don’t have a major personal stake in engaging the lessons of the past. Such comments need to have context of history and how they’re frequently deployed to justify bigotry and worse.

Since 2 Gryphon cited the Southern Poverty Law Center as a good source, I asked a journalist contact there for help to inform him. They sent me a quote about Holocaust denial – something I just showed happening in screenshots from altfurries.

From Memory, Myths, and Meanings. Why?: Explaining the Holocaust, by Peter Hayes (pp. 331–332):

A vocal group of deniers persists in asserting that gas chambers did not exist and genocide did not occur during the Third Reich, that the number of Jews who died in World War II was small and an incidental outcome of the fighting, that the evidence mentioned above consists of forgeries or coerced testimonies, and that Jews and communists contrived the “hoax” of the Holocaust after World War II in order to discredit Germany, extract money from it, and gain support for a Jewish state in Palestine. Calling themselves “revisionists,” these deniers drape themselves in the trappings of scholarship, but their strained arguments so clearly resemble the conspiracy theories that animated nineteenth-century antisemitism that their role as the real driving force behind denial shows through.

Arguing with people who believe this nonsense is pointless, because the real source of their belief is not evidence or reasoning but incorrigible and circular fantasies about Jewish power and malevolence.”

The book by Peter Hayes, a world expert on the topic, explains how Nazis in hiding in South America essentially invented modern Holocaust denial. So by definition it’s not just a conspiracy theory, as 2 Gryphon suggests with his moon landing comparison – it’s honest-to-God Nazi propaganda. Countless scholars have concluded that the principle factor motivating Holocaust denial is not merely “stupidity,” but antisemitic hate.

What we can learn from 2 Gryphon’s reactionary stance:

  • Nazis didn’t rise from being hated and aren’t just innocently stupid.
  • Opposing them isn’t “hate,” it’s being an informed citizen.
  • Enabling them by punching down on critics isn’t neutral, centrist, or informed advocacy.
  • Presenting this as “free speech” vs “SJW’s” is a self serving, cooked-up controversy, not supported by sources who were cited.

While he’s spreading misinformation, can he be any more manipulative and self-serving? Yes. Watch him use a common trolling tactic (with explanation):

It’s very corrupt for 2 Gryphon to tell people that correcting misinformation leads others to believe it, when he means “to believe me“. Don’t trust anyone who manipulates an argument to their advantage like that, or plays dumb on purpose.  (Like lying that they don’t know what nazis are).  Don’t be a tool.

This shows why he lost convention stages. Digging in with an incorrigible, circular claim isn’t very entertaining. He styles himself as a “shock jock” entertainer, but controversy with increasingly smaller targets and less honesty is a cheap high. It never gets as good as it used to be. At this point, the most shocking thing he could do is kick the habit and be funny and informative instead.

On a positive note, I want to close with something informative – Sonious’ World In Rooview channel. Here’s some more good stuff, including a previous video about 2 Gryphon. It’s likely that Sonious became a target for reaction because of it – (the same thing happened when I did a critical article, and 2 Gryphon avoided answering it but picked a different article to slam. It seems like a predictable play.)

Give Sonious a follow to encourage his good work and help everyone enjoy a better informed fandom.

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