eo nazi trollmaster Milo Yiannopoulis has come a long way from his days of social media domination. Once upon a time, he was the golden boy of the alt right, favored for his poison pen, sarcastic tongue, and uncanny ability to claim multiple minority statues while actively advocating for the hate of said minorities.
In his heyday, Yiannopoulos could command armies to harass SNL actress Leslie Jones, and was known to hold forth extensively on such scintillating subject matter as "Why Black Lives Don't Matter." In late 2017, however, Yiannopoulos' hateful house of cards came tumbling down when it emerged that the white supremacist firebrand had made comments seeming to endorse pedophilia.
In the aftermath, all but his most loyal legions fled, he lost his invitation to speak at conservative conference CPAC, as well as a $250,000 book deal with Simon and Schuster.
But where did Yiannopoulos come from?
The answer, as with most things on the internet, starts with Gamergate.
Do you remember Gamergate? In August 2014, the labyrinthine, toxic internet saga began when the ex-boyfriend of a female game-developer wrote a series of blog posts accusing her of having slept to the top.
The resulting internet fracas exposed long-hidden racial and sexist tensions in the gamer community and larger internet culture. In the middle of all this emerged Yiannopoulos, a racist, misogynistic export from the United Kingdom, gleefully prodding his army of trolls to greater heights of racist and sexist excess.
Yiannopoulos was every white supremacist’s dream – a gay, catholic half jew unabashed in his love for “black dick” and extremely well versed in the art of dog-whistling his hatred for feminists, jews, people of color, women in general, and any and all categories that did not fit into the category of straight white male.
Even better, he had an ace up his sleeve – plausible deniability.
To those who excoriated his penchant for wearing an iron cross medallion, indulging in light readings of Hitler, and fondly posting a Holocaust meme or two, there was his jewish heritage, conveniently passed down on his maternal side.
Naysayers about his racism against black people could look to his loud and frequently proclamations of his love of “black d*ck,” which he even went so far as to lionize in a column for Breitbart during which he asked, “am I racist for not dating white dudes?”