Super Happy Fun America (SHFA) is best known locally for their first event, the Straight Pride Parade of August 31, 2019. However, SHFA is simply a re-branding of the alt-right and white supremacist formations that have been organizing in Greater Boston since early 2017.
SHFA began as Resist Marxism (RM) and refined its strategy of using “culture war” issues and internet meme culture to attract Trump supporters and more traditional conservatives. Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman founded RM in 2017, after he became alt-right famous for breaking a stick over the head of an antifascist protester in Berkeley, CA.
From 2017 through the end of 2018, he organized and attended rallies using buzzwords like “Second Amendment rights,” “free speech,” and vaguely defined “freedom” while featuring speakers and attendees known for their history of violence and bigotry. Investigative reporting, consistent exposés online, and public demonstrations succeeded in revealing RM’s true anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, racist, misogynist, and fascist ideologies.
In June 2019, RM rebranded as SHFA with their announcement of the “Straight Pride Parade.” At its helm were Mark Sahady, John Hugo, Samson Racioppi, and Chris Bartley, community activists and journalists were quick to point out these same individuals have ties to the violent alt right. As with all public actions, the Boston Police Department provided protection to the white supremacist action and subsequently initiated a police riot against the thousands of people in attendance, resulting in more than 30 arrests and many injuries against LGBTQ people and their allies.
This year, 2020, SHFA’s major themes have been opposing Black Lives Matter, praising police departments immediately after police killings in other cities, advocating to “re-open” Massachusetts, and support Trump’s re-election campaign. Their actions continue to attract an array of para-military, far-right, and overly white supremacist groups and individuals – sometimes openly displaying Nazi paraphernalia.
Why They Matter:
- SHFA/RM works to make far right and white supremacist ideologies palatable to more mainstream individuals
- SHFA/RM is run by individuals with clear and demonstrated ties to violent white supremacist groups such as Patriot Front, American Guard, III%s, and more.
- SHFA/RM’s passive and suspected active collaboration with police creates conditions for state violence against ordinary people standing up for racial justice and liberation
- Milo Yiannopoulos
- Chris Bartley
Articles about Super Happy Fun America:
- Hate groups migrate online, making tracking more difficult, Aaron Morrison, The Associated Press, Updated February 1, 2021
- “A fairly devout group of Neo-Nazis.’ Local white supremacist group has been active in recent weeks”, Danny McDonald, Boston Globe, July 14 2020
- “A Timeline of Fascist Activity in Boston, 2017-Present”, CORINNAJK, Solidarity Against Hate – Boston, July 2 2019
- “Exclusive: Leaks show how Boston ‘free speech’ group acts as a front for far-right organizing” ThinkProgress 5.18.2018 https://archive.thinkprogress.org/resist-marxism-front-for-far-right-organizing-9bd959325ae1/
- “Far Right Group Behind Boston’s “Straight Pride” Also Organized ‘Reopen’ Protest”, William Rivers Pitt, Truthout, May 5th 2020
- “Homophobic Stunts in Boston Part of Long-Term Far-Right Pattern”, Dan Feidt & Jenn Schreiter, Unicorn Riot, February 21, 2020
- “The organizers behind Boston’s Straight Pride Parade should concern you,” Casey Quinlan, ThinkProgress, July 6, 2019
- “‘Straight pride’ parade organizer has held and attended far-right events Rallies and protests organized by Mark Sahady have often been small, with attendees vastly outnumbered by opposing groups”, Jason Wilson, The Guardian,June 8, 2019
- “Far-Right Street Brawlers Just Can’t Escape Their Violent, Hateful, and Bigoted Roots”, David Neiwert, Daily Kos, May 27, 2019
- “Massachusetts has a white supremacy problem. Pride Month is just the latest victim”, Amaad Rivera, Commonwealth Journal, June 14th 2019