by Patch O'Furr
The infamous Confederate fursuit got a lot of views on social media. The issue started with complaints during Anthrocon and Midwest Furfest in 2015. By no coincidence, the symbol was pushed on the fandom at the same time as racist mass murder by Dylann Roof led to taking down Confederate flags across the USA. Then in 2017, during a huge amount of positive news about Anthrocon, the issue bubbled up again like a turd in a punchbowl.
The fursuiter is Magnus Diridian, AKA Rob Shokawsky. He was previously known for causing disturbances by copying the fursuit of Lemonade Coyote to exploit his death for attention. For several years, Magnus was reputedly banned from MWFF and Anthrocon. He came back to troll with the Confederate fursuit and a Trump sign that violated AC’s Code of Conduct:
Any action or behavior that causes significant interference with convention operations, excessive discomfort to other attendees, or adversely affects Anthrocon’s relationship with its guests, its venues or the public is strictly forbidden and may result in permanent suspension of membership.
Harassment includes … Conduct, dress, or speech that targets, threatens, intimidates, or is otherwise intended to cause distress to other attendees, or to members of protected classes (such as those based on race, age, religion, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual identity).
Magnus chose to bring that suit even though he has many others. There’s no pretending that it was anything but forcing politics on others, since he admits he did it because of “attack” on the flag. According to his helper, he was even “ghosting” the con to do it. He could have attended like anyone else if he didn’t set out to cause entirely predictable negativity. To be perfectly clear, Magnus was an antagonistic outsider who did not register or support Anthrocon.