Slain Dallas Cop Might’ve Been A White Supremacist: Still A Hero?

Jesse Benn, Huffington Post, July 12, 2016

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Meet Lorne Ahrens.

Ahrens was one of the five Dallas cops killed last week. While mainstream media presented him as a family man, gushed over his imposing size, his sense of humor, and otherwise went to great lengths to humanize and memorialize him as a hero, a band of international Internet sleuths came together to research something the press failed to notice: Ahrens’ affinity for imagery associated with white supremacists. Right in one of the main pictures journalists and editors were sharing with stories about Ahrens, is an Iron Cross tattooed on his finger. With this tipping them off, the Internet sleuths jumped into action and quickly turned up more evidence of Ahrens’ white supremacist leanings.

Evidence in hand, they put together a meme cataloguing it and blogged about what they’d found.

A few friends and acquaintances of mine did the legwork and discovered that slain Dallas police officer Lorne Ahrens was a proud, open white supremacist. His ring finger bore an Iron Cross tattoo, his Facebook cover photo was a massive Thor’s Hammer symbol, and his left arm was emblazoned with a “crusaders’ shield,” common to those right-wing Christians who believe that Christianity is engaged in a centuries-long war with Islam. His Facebook likes included pages which bore similar iconography–more Iron Crosses and a Confederate flag or two.

Taken in isolation, each of Ahrens’ choices of imagery and his Facebook “likes” might be explainable. Taken in context, the band of Internet sleuths’ conclusion that “Ahrens was a proud, open white supremacist,” is hard to deny. Let’s look it over.

First, the Iron Cross. In spite of its use by the Third Reich, it isn’t an inherently a racist image. It’s popular amongst bikers, skaters, and a host of other groups in the United States. On the other hand, it remains in the Anti-Defamation League’s Hate Symbols Database and prevalent amongst white supremacists. So far there are no indications Ahrens was a biker or skateboarder.

Thor’s Hammer (Mjölnir) is in a similar boat as the Iron Cross as far as it not being an inherently racist symbol and existing in the ADL’s Hate Symbols Database. Unlike the Iron Cross, Mjölnir imagery is also used by Asatrúers–a Neopagan religious group. Regrettably, Asatrú beliefs also appeal to white supremacists, especially in prisons, as they see it as more purely white than Christianity. {snip}

Given his work in law enforcement and the ties between Asatrú and prisoners, it’s hard to believe Ahrens’ embrace of the Mjölnir was an innocent one. Beyond that, it appears he took the image from a t-shirt for sale that’s advertised with the not-so-subtle dog whistle to white supremacists: “‘Nordic Pride’ Shirt! Real Vikings will know what this means!” I’m no Viking, but I’m pretty sure I know what they mean.

Next, the Crusaders’ Shield tattoo. Again, by itself this might just be the mark of a hyper-masculine Christian, who believes his faith shields him from evil in some sort of ongoing biblical conflict. In the context of someone who publicly follows a range of Islamophobic Facebook groups and has an affinity for other white supremacist iconography, it becomes more damning. It also contradicts the argument that he picked the Mjölnir for his Facebook cover photo due to Asatrú religious beliefs, since it indicates Ahrens’ Christian faith. His funeral service is being held at a Baptist church as well.

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Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking. How dare I sully Ahrens’ good name after he’s dead. And to that I’d say if he was affiliated with white supremacy as he appears to be, his name was never good in the first place.

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