The Daily Stormer was practically driven offline for insulting Heather Heyer, the woman who was murdered at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville who drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of Antifa and anti-racist protestors. But that didn’t deter Jason Kessler, the man who organized the rally, from continuing to disparage the victim of his demonstration, taking to Twitter to further denigrate Heyer and describe her death as “payback time.”
He has been deleting tweets since the controversy began to swirl, but the internet is quick to screen cap and has a very long memory. “Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time,” he wrote. He also linked to the Daily Stormer article that sent the white supremacist site scrambling for webspace after numerous domains and hosting companies refused to give their hateful rhetoric a platform.
However, Kessler first tried to claim that the tweet was sent out by a hacker, though he has since deleted that tweet, too. His latest excuse is that the Heyer tweet was the result of a cocktail of alcohol and drugs that had Kessler sleep-tweeting. “I’m taking ambien, xanax and I had been drinking last night. I sometimes wake up having done strange things I don’t remember,” he wrote. He also sought sympathy for the attention his Heyer tweet wrought, explaining “I’ve been under a crushing amount of stress & death threats.”
The passive language Kessler uses to describe what happened, saying the Heyer tweet “was sent from my account last night,” could be an attempt to distance himself rhetorically from the “heinous tweet.” It also plays into at least one of the unlikely and unproven conspiracy theories now forming in white supremacist chat rooms, with one attention-seeker claiming to have hacked Kessler’s account to post the Heyer tweet.