Bored Ape Yacht Club racism allegations are the talk of Twitter once again. This time, the claims come from a recent viral YouTube video titled “Bored Ape Nazi Club”. The video from the YouTuber Philion offers a rundown of different pieces of “evidence” previously published by BAYC antagonist Ryder Ripps.
Where did the racism claims against Bored Ape Yacht Club originate?
As mentioned above, this is far from the first time that these claims against Bored Ape Yacht Club have surfaced.
Back in January of this year, Ryder Ripps took to Twitter with what he argues is substantial evidence that the Bored Ape Yacht Club is filled with racist dog whistles, white supremacist signifiers, and esoteric racism. Ripps even went as far as to publish his theory on the domain, GordonGoner.com.
Of course, Gordon Goner is the alias of one of the BAYC co-founders. To that end, Ripps stated that he chose the domain, “so when people search the co-founders’ name this info comes up.”
To sum up Ripps’ argument, he maintains that Bored Ape Yacht Club hides its racism in plain sight – through imagery, codes, and alt-right memes. In addition, Ripps suggests that one needs a reasonable understanding of 4Chan and internet culture in order to catch these signals.
This point is especially highlighted in Philion’s YouTube video. In it, the YouTuber repeatedly speaks on how white supremacists use highly coded communication on 4Chan. As Philion explains, this is all a part of the plan. In essence, the video argues that BAYC is all an elaborate, racist troll job in the style of neo-Nazi communities on 4Chan.
The YouTube video doesn’t exactly build on the accusations of racism by the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Really, it just takes Ripps’ website and put it into video form. Although Philion does include considerable extra context on 4Chan culture and the role it plays in heavily online alt-right movements.
One significant addition to the video not present in Ripps’ January commentary comes right at the end. To explain, the video concludes with a call to action for people to use the hashtag #BURNBAYC on Twitter. The idea being that people would use the hashtag as a part of a viral campaign.
Specifically, Philion calls on people to pressure Celebrity Bored Ape holders to burn their BAYC NFTs. Evidently the video – currently at almost 370K views – resonated with thousands of people. At least, enough that the hashtag found its way to Twitter’s trending page for most of the day following the video’s release.
But that’s not the only call to action at the video’s end. Philion also points people to Ryder Ripps’ infamous and recently launched RR/BAYC collection. The addition, along with the video’s effusive praise of Ripps, has led some to question the intention of the video. Indeed, some have painted it as a simple grift, believing that the video is just using the timing of Ape Fest to draw attention to Ripps’ NFT collection.
What to make of the Bored Ape Yacht Club racism claims?
So what can we say about the racism claims against the Bored Ape Yacht Club? Is it a valid conclusion formed from ample evidence? Or is it all a giant conspiracy from someone with a grudge against Yuga Labs? Well, Judging by reactions on Twitter, there are sizeable numbers of people in both camps.
Short of any hard evidence – for example, if there were outright messages between BAYC founders plotting the scheme – the claims made by Philion and Ryder Ripps are virtually impossible to either verify or disprove. In fact, Philion would say that the BAYC founders are master trolls, and that part of the point is making it so that only a few in-the-know people would see the signs.
As far as providing undeniable proof of racism in the Bored Ape Yacht Club? The video doesn’t quite meet that standard, though its methodology is certainly intriguing. Of course, you could always watch it and decide for yourself. Just be warned that the video is an hour long.