Tea Party Facebook Group Posts Racist BioShock Image Unironically

Tea Party Facebook Group Posts Racist BioShock Image Unironically

Remember all those sinisterly jingoistic posters that littered the floating city of Columbia in BioShock: Infinite? One of the more xenophobic images has made its way onto the Facebook page of an ultra-conservative political group in the US. Apparently, they didn’t realise the image was satirising their own party. We’d be laughing if it wasn’t so scary.

The National Liberty Foundation is a Florida-based group of radical conservatives associated with the right-wing group that calls themselves the Tea Party (amusingly, they briefly referred to themselves as ‘Tea-baggers’ before the obvious connotation was brought to their attention).

The group uses its Facebook page to post lots of right-wing meme images and racist links. Yesterday, they posted the above image, which looks a whole lot like an anti-immigrant cartoon.

Well, it is an anti-immigrant cartoon — it’s just from the video game BioShock Infinite, where it’s used as propaganda for the Founders, a group of totalitarian good ol’ boys who run the floating city of Columbia. They’re the video game equivalent of the Tea Party, and they’re portrayed as a nasty group of racist white men.

In other words, this Tea Party group just Facebooked an image meant to satirize the Tea Party.


As one Facebook poster succinctly put it: “Instead of trolling immigrants, you trolled yourself. Way to blow it idiots.”

Additional reporting by Jason Schreier.

(via @Holloboles)


    • Just this morning I heard on ABC News a republican tea parter saying that the ‘leader of the free world’ (Obama) shouldn’t have shaken Castro’s brothers hand at Mandela’s funeral.

      The phrase ‘leader of the free world’ in reference to American president’s is an ironic joke at best now. It’s more like one of those things you say to yourself to make yourself feel better in the hope that one day it might be true.

      Also if there was a leader of the free world I’d say it was Mandela.

      • Yep, the Communist/Terrorist/Knight of Malta Nelson Mandela was definitely a leader of the free world. Never mind that his party persecuted blacks not belonging to his tribe, and created the murder/rape capital of the world… the T.V. told me he was a great guy, so he must be!

          • Tell me what you know about the Knights of Malta. Tell me what you know about the global power structure. Tell me what you know about Neo-Colonialism… The Kotaku comment section is not a place for essays, but I do implore that you at least check out those topics. Then again, I don’t expect you to – I expect you to cling to egocentric ideals that put you in the right, and myself in the wrong. Until you take the time to dig into the history of the Earth for yourself, you will not be able to fathom the realities of this world.

          • I love your argument from authority and then your quick misdirection. Then you top it off with a nice condescending strawman remark to make it seem that anyone who disagrees with you is doing it out of egocentrism, or pettiness.

            Even if we don’t take all of that into account, you’ve immediately hurt your credibility with your nickname, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to a fair shot. You’ve made a bold claim. Now back it up.

            You accused anyone who supported him of being completely uneducated about the man because TV told them so. So again, explain to me why you are an authority on South Africa and Nelson Mandela. Otherwise your post is trolly troll troll at best and one more example of Captain Privilege taking up the banner of “Libertarian” and vomiting opinionated silliness instead of knowing anything about he political systems they rage against, or the attached socio-economic issues that arise from it.

            If you want to talk about Neo-Colonialism, I’ll give you a run for your money once you’ve stepped up to the plate and made some sort of coherent point about the first thing you said.

        • Do you even know what you screen name means. I suggest a google search of libertarian. If you a troll. Well played. If you are serious, read a book.

          South Africa is by no means a shining example of how society should be but, its not the worst that could have happened when power transitioned from the colonials to native africans. That would be Zimbabwe. That’s what happens when after decades of persecution someone seeks revenge and then some which is exactly what could have happen if Mandela wasn’t the person he is.

          • I know exactly what a Libertarian is, and that knowledge is based upon hours of research and numerous sources – not a simple Google search. Just because my opinion differs from yours does not mean I’m a troll. Tell me, do you know what Communism is? I’ll sum it up for you: It is a system of government where the State controls everything, including the population. Does that sound “free” to you?

            At least you can see past the façade of Obama, there is still hope for you. Try looking at all perspectives on Mandela, including those critical of him. Mainstream media will never give you that – one must branch out to discover the truth behind the propaganda.

          • Actually the idea of a communist government is that of a utopia, where the govt. is responsible for the citizens and there is a perfect distribution of wealth, which doesn’t play out well in real life. And saying Mandela is bad because he’s done bad things is pretty naive. There is no example of a perfect shining hero. However, he has earned enough merit to be praised. Also, saying he is a communist is completely out of the blue, since South Africa is totally not communist.

  • If you were a massive yankee xenophobe, and you didn’t know this pic was from Bioshock, you gotta admit that this would be the coolest pic ever. I mean, you can’t blame em for wanting to use an image like this.

    • It’s art! Anyone who tries to take it away is the PC police ruining this country! Browns taking our jobs everywhere and now we can’t even use a picture? I know my rights! This country has gone to hell!


      • I lived in America for 3 years and I travelled a lot. I met a lot of people and made left and right wing friends. I know people who people who say stuff just like what you wrote. In fact my Facebook feed has marriage equality stuff one minute, and stuff talking about Obama the dictator the next minute. I’m just sitting back eating popcorn.

        • Yeah, I worked in an ex-pat community for a long time. People from everywhere. Most of the Americans I met were cool people, but I met a few like that. They are amazing.

          • But I will say, my good ol boy friends were pretty generous people. They’d always invite us over for huge cookouts and feed all of my family and put us up for the night and offer to pay for things. They’re big on southern hospitality. And some of them were pretty progressive, having love for people of any culture or ethnicity. But you just never knew, huh? Each state over there is like a whole other world …

          • I used to date a well-to-do black girl from Durham, NC. Going to visit her family was bizarre. Everyone assumed she was from somewhere else, because she was well spoken, well dressed, and didn’t have a strong southern accent. I just didn’t talk and everyone thought I was a local boy because I’m big and white.

            It was a really strange time, but a lot of the people were super nice. A lot of people didn’t seem to realise that they were being kinda racist because they meant it in a positive way.

  • I don’t think satire is the right word. Satire is to mock, to be ironic, etc.

    The “racist link” was against another religion(Islam), which isn’t racist itself… racist is being discriminatory to other races. And with 9/11 and the war in the Middle East… it’s being fought because of that. So although it is a generalization, it is also true(as typically other religions do not have the same proportion of extremists willing to kill others with no provocation… e.g. Jehova witnesses aren’t going to C4 someone’s door and and Buddhists aren’t going to hold you at gunpoint as they’re typically “peaceful” religions.

    The Bioshock Infinite propaganda is propaganda, with racist imagery but with patriotic, religious and xenophobic words. I can see why people would identify with this. The image is full of American flags… so if you were American and patriotic, that’s a positive check. There is a cross, representing Christianity, so if you are Christian then that’s another positive check. “To GUARD against the foreign hordes” is also a defensive(passive) approach against those not in the American/Christian boat. Not to attack… to guard.

    Many thousands of people “like” that page, and that page supports a lot of “noble” things like truck drivers, the national guard and Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela, who was clearly black and foreign! And they don’t like their own president Obama. Think about the BI propaganda in that context(pro-Nelson, anti-Barack).

    A lot of people wouldn’t have played Bioshock Infinite, and so I think you should try to consider what position those 95k people that liked the page are taking before you assume that they are all like the KKK or racist villains in BI.

    • “Buddhists aren’t going to hold you at gunpoint as they’re typically “peaceful” religions.”

      You should read up on the oppression and persecution of Muslims by the Buddhist majority in Burma.

      • If you click on the link in the article “racist links”, it brings up a meme with a quote by Sir Winston Churchill “Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog”. But Islam isn’t a race, it’s a religion. Therefore it’s not racist. I couldn’t find anything racist on the page aside from the Bioshock Infinite poster… which isn’t exactly racist as I explained before. And they posted a tribute to Nelson Mandela on that page… which kind of also goes against the racist libel.

        • So your justifying your bigotry by pointing out you don’t support one kind of prejudice, just the other one. So everyone, lets be clear, your not racist. Its not promoting hate of people or unfounded statements based on their ethnicity, just their religion.

          As for your flippant “So although it is a generalization, it is also true”… REALLY? Hows this?

          Christianity endorses pedophilia!
          So although it is a generalization, it is also true(as typically other religions do not have the same proportion of “pedophiles” willing to “abuse Children and then cover it up at an institutional level”

          That work for you too? or do generalisations only work when its justifying your point of view?

          • MY bigotry? I support the English language. Btw it’s “you’re not racist”. If someone says something is racist when it’s not, I’ll call them out on it. If someone wants to peacefully practise their religion then more power to them. I am AGAINST people killing other people in the name of religion.

            It is true. Do you deny that some Islamic extremists kill others in the name of religion? You don’t see Christians blowing up the World Trade Center with commercial airlines. Or embassies. And yes there are extremists in all religions, but a message of Christianity is “love thy neighbour”, which is typically more of a peaceful goal, and you see them helping the poor and destitute.

            I am also against pedophilia, of course. As are most Christians/people. So yes it’s a generalization, and it’s also somewhat true… so that does work for me, but I don’t endorse it. I’m Agnostic. That means I don’t believe there’s a God, but I’m open to persuasion.

            It’s funny that I have been neutral and lots of people have downvoted me.

          • I support the English language. Btw it’s “you’re not racist”.
            LOL… My apologies if I offended you with my misuse of your in place of you’re.

            If someone says something is racist when it’s not, I’ll call them out on it.
            Again, with the English lesson? Seriously! Focus on the issue. It’s not year 9 English and your constant attempts to discredit the other side by pointing out errors in language to distract from the argument is quite ridiculous.

            If someone wants to peacefully practise their religion then more power to them. I am AGAINST people killing other people in the name of religion.
            As am I and I would go further in that I’m against killing people in general regardless of the motivation. But hey I’m sure that’s what you meant.
            It is true. Do you deny that some Islamic extremists kill others in the name of religion?
            Not at all. Some Fanatical Muslims have killed in the name of religion.

            You don’t see Christians blowing up the World Trade Center with commercial airlines. Or embassies.
            Umm… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Norway_attacks … Ohh wait you cover the fact that there are more than just Muslims that blow shit up too with the throwaway… “And yes there are extremists in all religions”
            Of course this is then covered by the obligatory “But a message of Christianity is “love thy neighbour”, which is typically more of a peaceful goal, and you see them helping the poor and destitute.” So its all good and these guys while Christian were not motivated by a loving peaceful religion. Funny you don’t give the same leeway for others.

            So anyway now we get to the core of my point … which you missed completely so i will spell it out.

            OF COURSE THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IN NO WAY CONDONES OR ENDORSES PEDOPHILIA. NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND DOES. ITS SICK DEPRAVED AND DISGUSTING. Some Christians have done it but its not their (Shit is that the right There/their/they’re?) Christianity that did it.

            Cmon man!! I used the pedophilia generalisation because I thought 1. Its so ridiculous that no one would take it seriously and therefore show my point how stupid generalisations are and 2. It may hit close to home to show you how it feels on the other side of a grossly inaccurate and fear mongering generalisation.

            I guess we can again blame my poor English for you not understanding this. I’m sincerely sorry. I hope it hasn’t been too traumatic for you dealing with my poor English. It was hard learning English for me, I went to public school.

            Ohh and Yes, it is funny you think of yourself as neutral.

          • Language is important because if you get it wrong, you send the wrong message. If you say someone’s racist, and they’re not, is that okay? If you say someone’s a bigot, and they’re not, is that okay?

            I think you’re right in that I’m not neutral. But I WAS trying to be objective. And for Christianity, one of the ten commandments is “Thou shall not kill”. It’s a CORE foundation of the religion. If you do google searches, you can find multiple instances in the news of people encouraging killing or actually killing in the name of Islamic religion/Sharia law. E.g. Stoning to death, embassy/plane bombings, suicide bombers, and even a child in Australia bearing a sign to behead people.

            Anyway I would like to end this discussion, thank you.

          • Sure we can end it. I can see its pointless with you anyway.
            1.6 BILLION Muslims in the world and your judging them all based on what a few hundred extremest dickheads.

            I’ll just leave you with this…

            Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats or views other people with fear, distrust, hatred, contempt, or intolerance on the basis of a person’s opinion, ethnicity, race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.

          • I just wanted to point out that most religions have a “Thou shalt not kill” clause in their base teachings. As far as the Bible is concerned, the Old Testament is rife with exceptions (Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” – the same book the commandments are included in). Despite the sixth commandment, Christianity still saw the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Irish Conflict (just to name a couple). Killing in the name of a religion is not specific to any group of people or religious followers.As an aside, I agree that language is important, but context, meaning and syntax are significantly more important than grammar or spelling. You can miss out on a lot by dismissing the experiences and views held by others because they screw up the “your/you’re” rule. English is not an easy language by a long shot, whether it’s your first language, your second, or your fifth.

          • You don’t see Christians blowing up….
            Yes you do. You most certainly do. As you also mention the Irish elsewhere I suggest you look at the number of civilians killed in Ireland by Christians with bombs. You really don’t get it… Read what you have typed – you are neither neutral or well-read…

          • That was ethnics/political/land based rather than religion. Their commandment is “Thou shall not kill”, and although there was a lot of killing in the past, it does not tend to happen in this day and age.

            I’d like to end this discussion, thanks.

    • Well if they appropriated a picture to represent their group – without playing the game or understanding the context of said picture – they are idiots.
      Said picture clearly contains asian caricatures and a juxtoposition of them with notions of white liberty and freedom. If they chose this picture and that is not what they represent or strive for – they are idiots.

      • If you go to a cricket field with your friend or son or someone and there’s a cricket bat there and some balls, and you decide to play a bit with it, are you an idiot? What if said cricket bat were used for a murder, and had the blood wiped off? You don’t know the history of the cricket bat, you just take it as face value. It’s a cricket bat. The picture by itself is a picture. Do you look up the origins of every picture on the internet? I sure as hell don’t. I don’t agree with them, but I see why they would post that picture.

        It also contains white caricatures, appropriate for the time period! It looks like there’s a caricature of a white Irish guy with an Irish bowl hat and a beer in there. Take that picture, then mix it with tributes for a black Nelson Mandela on the same facebook page, and what do you get?

        • Ignorance is what you get. Your example is also a straw man and ridiculous. The cricket bat is not being used as a representative communication for an organisation. I most certainly would look up the information regarding a picture I posted on my web site – facebook page or in an e-mail. Particularly if my organisation was political. The Irish guy is both a commentary on class and racism. Look up some Irish/British history and you will realise the ignorance arising from your comment.

          • Actually I’m aware of a lot of the crap that went down between the Irish/British. And yet you do not seem to be aware of the point that I was trying to make.

            The Kotaku article said that that facebook page had a racist link, and the link was religious, not racist. Upon looking at the facebook page, it is apparent that the group does not seem to be openly racist from what they’ve posted, and the Nelson Mandela tribute supports this. They did use a picture from Bioshock Infinite, which is a game that includes racism as part of its storyline… and yet the picture clearly emphasizes God and Country and not racism. YOU said “white liberty”, and yet the Irish caricature is in fact… a white person. So you have the juxtaposition of white vs white. Apparently the formal statement from the group was that they do not tolerate racism either! So that just goes with exactly what I was saying. So yes, maybe that group was ignorant… but there is no evidence to suggest they are racist. It is libel to say they are.

          • Dude. You know nothing. Your ignorance is appalling. The British classed the Irish as a different race!

          • No. I get what you’re saying. It is the subtext of your own ignorant and xenophobic words that are upsetting everyone. Why would anyone care about your opinion of thiz group when your own words display your own prejudices?

        • Holy shit, Gwenclone… Your ability to create false comparisons and then yell at everyone for improper use of grammar is something special.

      • They are not my words. They were Sir Winston Churchill’s(apparently). I don’t agree with that group. But I somewhat see where they are coming from, and was trying to be objective. There are a lot of people who follow Islam/are Muslim and it’s not a problem. Then again, there are those that murder others due to this, and that’s a very large problem.

        When I read the Kotaku article, I expected that group would be KKK-ish. But upon looking at their page, I realized that I had been somewhat mislead. There were images like “Taking Christ out of Christmas leaves just a mess”… which I somewhat agree with in that it’s taking political correctness to the extreme, and the tribute to Nelson Mandela, and commending truckers for helping support their nation, and the national guard for defending their nation. They seem against Obama which I don’t agree with, as I like the guy.

        • Re-read your words. You are agreeing. You state ‘although it’s a generalisation it’s true’. Further – posting a picture or tribute to Mandella or anyone does not make you – not racist. In fact its use as a facade to fool ignorant Christians seems to have worked.

    • In practice, most of the reaction against Islam is against those who “look islamic”, i.e. those of a middle eastern appearance.

      Take 4 people:
      (1) An active islamist of northwestern European stock
      (2) An active Christian of middle eastern stock
      (3) An active Islamist of middle eastern stock
      (4) An active Christian of northwestern European stock

      Which 2 of these are most likely to be stopped at an airport checkpoint? My guess would be (2) and (3). I think you would have trouble finding people who honestly disagree.

      That’s not discrimination by religion but by race. True, to some extent it’s “race by association” because it’s not necessarily easy to spot religion by appearance. However, in practice it’s discrimination by race, and the word for that is racism.

      BTW, if you think Christians are necessarily peaceful, read up on the Crusades. The history of Northern Ireland may also be instructive (although I always suspected that conflict was more about Irish-vs-English than Protestant-vs-Catholic).

      There were 2977 deaths (excluding the hijackers) from 9/11. The invasion of Iraq has caused 14968 civilian casualties from the actions of US forces (so that excludes suicide bombs and actions by terrorists) per http://www.iraqbodycount.org. Yes, it’s good to know that we live in such a peaceful society.

  • I do love the thinly veiled political motive these op eds contain. I wonder if Chris felt so bemused with the Brady Campaign’s repost of “rape can last 30 seconds, murder lasts forever” joke anti-gun meme.

    • What’s the motive here?
      Oh! Is it “racist shit heads don’t realise they made fun of themselves”? Because I’m ok with that. Racists are shit heads. That’s not veiled politics for you, that’s an outright statement.

  • Did you see the way they tried defending posting this picture?

    To all the publications and visitors to our site who wrote about our post of December 14th, regarding the “BioShock Infinite” Propaganda.

    We have a zero tolerance policy on racism and have removed the post, as it has done its job. We are not the “Red Cross” and firmly believe that the Constitution and the future of America is at stake. The reality is our voice is rarely heard in the media let alone in DC. Thus we are and will remain unapologetically Constitutionalists.

    We want to let you know you brought us the best site advertisement we’ve had all year… We were litterally flooded with new people not only laughing at us, which we expected, but also congratulating us on seeing things differently and having the guts to post it…

    We invite all the media to visit us whenever you need a good story and hopefully all the hordes of people will follow you as well… It’s time they heard the other side of DC politics and if our plan works, we should be gaining many new readers now that they know we’re here.

    tldr; We knew that it would create an uproar and now we have a a lot of page views! Thanks for all the bad press, we win, you lose

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