QAnon Leader Calls Himself 'the New Rosa Parks' in Cringey Speech on 'Digital Civil Rights Movement'
Far-right conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins was the administrator of 8chan, also known as 8kun—the visual message board boasting its complete lack of moderation.
On this site, white supremacists routinely posted vile memes, mass shooters shared their manifestos before committing atrocities, and an anonymous poster claiming to be a government insider with "Q" level clearance continued to foment a conspiracy theory that would drive hundreds of thousands of Americans to delusion.
The QAnon conspiracy web hinges on the deranged belief that former President Donald Trump was sent to expose a covert "Deep State" of satanic cannibal pedophiles secretly controlling the United States government. Once relegated to dark corners of the internet like 8chan, QAnon has made its way to the halls of Congress.
As the administrator of 8Chan, Watkins played a key role in amplifying QAnon. Some—like Cullen Hoback, who had unprecedented access to the Watkins for his HBO documentary on QAnon, Into the Storm—believe Ron Watkins himself was "Q."
Now, Watkins is ingratiating himself among far-right circles. He's partnered with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to lie that the 2020 election was stolen. He recently announced a run for an Arizona seat in the House of Representatives. And this past weekend, he addressed the crowd at "For God and Country Patriot Double Down," a conspiracy theorist convention.
In a bizarre speech, Watkins likened himself to Civil Rights Movement hero Rosa Parks, whose refusal to release her bus seat to a white man in segregated Alabama sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
AZ congressional candidate, QAnon Ron Watkins today: “We are living through a modern, digital civil rights movement… https://t.co/ssaP7H9bqS— Ron Filipkowski (@Ron Filipkowski) 1635127117.0
Watkins told the crowd:
"We are living now through a modern digital Civil Rights Movement, and you can call me the new Rosa Parks, because I've been out there, I've been getting canceled left and right over the past few years, I've been on the frontlines fighting so you guys can have a voice. ... I want to get on the bus. I want to get on the Twitter bus. I want to get on the Google bus. I want to get on the Facebook bus. I want to get on the Chase Bank bus. We have all been kicked off the bus."
Astonishingly enough, they applauded.
The reception on social media was much colder—especially to his absurd Rosa Parks comparison.
Ron Watkins: *runs site peddling explicit images of children, also plays huge role in sparking dangerous conspiracy… https://t.co/RVWbUWyj3A— Brandon Billings‘ Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (@Brandon Billings‘ Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow) 1635178589.0
Rosa Parks was fighting against segregation because the law made it difficult for black people to live peacefully i… https://t.co/s7IA4lyk5W— Reggie T. #Blacklivesmatter (@Reggie T. #Blacklivesmatter) 1635170513.0
Pretty sure Rosa Parks wasn't kicked off that Montgomery bus for spraying poison all over the bus... https://t.co/Lzj45mH03D— Politics1.com (@Politics1.com) 1635169613.0
QAnon Ron is not Rosa Parks. He is the guy who takes a s*** on the bus seat every time he gets on board (then encou… https://t.co/IQ5VKUTlgb— Robbie Sherwood (@Robbie Sherwood) 1635167777.0
Ron Watkins and Rosa Parks in the same sentence….um NO https://t.co/2js61JjXt7— DTrop 🌎🌞🌸🌺☮️ (@DTrop 🌎🌞🌸🌺☮️) 1635165249.0
The fantasies Watson has platformed and possibly even invented have repeatedly proven to be dangerous and even deadly.
Before long, just like QAnon, @GOP could be formally classified by the FBI as a national security threat. Trump’s… https://t.co/vVqEdWnTmi— wilfidde (@wilfidde) 1634131488.0
If Ron Watkins isn't Q, he has the closest access to find out who is, or he already knows. Qanon is a domestic terr… https://t.co/AbseBcqh1V— Modern Trailhead 🇺🇸 (@Modern Trailhead 🇺🇸) 1616168551.0