The NFTs ecosystem is now in vogue in the crypto market. It’s New York NFT Week, and things are off to a bad start. The release of a new documentary that accuses BAYC of being Nazi propaganda has begun horribly. In the one-hour documentary, YouTube maker “Philion” accuses the Bored Ape Yacht Club of employing race stereotypes and Nazi symbolism.
BAYC branded racist over Nazi dog whistles
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is a 10,000-strong series of anthropomorphized ape cartoons offered as NFTs. Since April 2021, the value has increased to over 5B USD, with several similar initiatives emerging as a result. The apes have various costumes and characteristics, most of which are racially motivated or have a military background.
The claim of racist symbolism in the collection has been a major talking point on social media throughout the year, with artist Ryder Ripps releasing a compendium of what he alleges is Nazi imagery and antisemitism in early 2022.
The act of degrading someone by comparing them to an ape/monkey has been performed for several centuries. There is a term for it: “simianization.” Throughout history, there have been many instances where dictatorial leaders used it to legitimize violence and racism against another group by dehumanizing them and comparing them to apes.
Simianization has been used against numerous ethnic groups, such as Jewish, Irish, and Asian people, but it is most commonly utilized against Black people. The apes in BAYC may appear harmless at first glance; however, several characteristics suggest they are intended to represent Black people and Asian people.
The BAYC conversation did not start this week; it has been around for a while. Since the project began, individuals have been discussing it on Twitter. Investigative journalism has exposed the truth behind BAYC. The video dropped like a bombshell, receiving hundreds of thousands of views and opening the door for “BurnBAYC” to trend on Twitter.
According to the documentary, bored apes are a “dog whistle.” What exactly is a dog whistle? It’s a secret political campaign that only a few people can comprehend, and alt-right trolls use it on 4chan.
The data gathered suggests that the group responsible for these images intentionally inserts Nazi dog whistles throughout their work. The newest video looks at the purported racial and white supremacist emblems concealed in plain sight by Yuga Labs in its most popular NFT collection, which has been linked to Nazism. Here’s a list of all of the BAYC Nazi NFT planted incidents.
The BAYC logo is strikingly similar to the Nazi Totenkopf insignia, with 18 teeth in the skull, a number that the ADL has linked to Adolf Hitler. The logos are also ragged at the edge, which is somewhat unusual for circular symbols.
The Kali Yuga is a key element of alt-right/traditionalist thinking, and it was adopted by a firm called Yuga Labs. Furthermore, René Guénon’s name has been inserted into the project in an attempt to associate it with traditionalism. Rene is credited with popularizing the Kali Yuga concept in the west and an alt-right icon inside one of their riddles. The BAYC NFT also contains the term “macaque,” which is a prejudicial epithet used against non-white people.
Centralized racism finds its way into the decentralized marketplace
The BAYC story is lengthy and thorough, with many twists and turns. It was meticulously planned by the creators, who took their time thinking it through. An example used frequently by supporters of the allegations compares the BAYC logo to that of the SS Panzer Division in World War II’s Nazi Totenkopf symbol.
One co-founder is named Gargamel, a Smurfs character who has been labeled as an antisemitic caricature of a Jew. Gargamel is also a popular term on 4chan to discuss Jews. It appears that Gargamel went to the trouble of trying to conceal the parallels in order to avoid being associated with this group.
Gargamel’s real name is Greg Solano, a writer who researched fiction about Nazis for his bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, he said he’d like to include a character like Hans Reiter (SS officer) in his writing.
Another co-founder, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, has the same name as an explicit movie from 1971 that features images of a boy in a fascist uniform raping a wedding adult. The original film is banned in the US and other countries because of child pornography.
Gordon Goner is another co-founder. It’s a full-word anagram for Drongo (Gordon) Negro (Goner). The second definition of Drongo in the dictionary is “stupid,” which is on 4chan and Australian slang, among other places. As of that, his name means “stupid Negro” Writers frequently utilize anagrams in character names, and they are frequently incorporated within video games, some of which Yuga Labs has claimed to play.
The film’s release date was undoubtedly planned since NFT events are supposed to occur in New York this week. The symbols, themes, and attitudes in the photos themselves display a neo-Nazi viewpoint and references to warfare, such as this “Prussian Helmet.” Many of the more particular characteristics are reminiscent of 4chan Pepe memes.
In an interview with the other founder, Gargamel confirms that “not a single thing in the collection is random.” He also compared it to the “iceberg theory,” adding there’s a secret encrypted meaning. Gargamel referred to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s words, “let the unutterable be conveyed unutterably,” which sounds strange when talking about bored apes.
At the end of the video, Rusnack makes a call to action, urging his viewers to urge BAYC NFT owners to “burn” their currency in an attempt to destroy the NFT:
The market has begun to react. Twitter was filled with a demand to destroy BAYC, and several celebrities have also been affected. This event has generated a lot of debate in Europe and the United States, and even celebrities who used BAYC NFT as their social media avatars, such as NBA star Steph Curry, have modified their avatar profile pictures.
The decentralized crypto-system was built to operate outside of the centralized entities. The market’s structure was constructed in such a way that it would not be harmed by recent issues. Blockchain and cryptocurrency developers also created the market with equity in mind. However, the current trends in the crypto market suggest failure.
The decentralized world has absorbed centralized struggles and systems. A small number of investors have taken over the market, resulting in recessions, inflation, fraud schemes, insider trading, and so on. And now, racism has made its way to the decentralized environment. What is left?