Washington D.C. Shooter Had A 'Yakub' Poster On His Wall, Causing The 4chan Meme To Go Viral During Aftermath

April 25th, 2022 - 2:41 PM EDT by Aidan Walker

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A photo of the shooter's apartment with a picture of Yakub on the wall, and a Tweet about the situation.

Raymond Spencer, a 23-year-old man from Virginia, shot four people and then killed himself in northwest Washington, D.C. last Friday. He reportedly fired at a school from his apartment across the street, and then at himself as police arrived. A video of the shooting was posted on 4chan by Spencer, and a photo later posted online of guns at his apartment shows Spencer was potentially involved in the memes of that platform as well.

A photo released by the D.C. police department of the guns Spencer used shows the only decoration on his wall was a picture of Yakub, a mythological figure described in the writings of Nation of Islam founder Wallace Fard Muhammad, and a widely circulating 4chan meme.

Upon release of the image over the weekend, many online expressed surprise that the shooter was an adherent as "yakub" trended on platforms like Twitter.

Yakub, who is associated with the biblical Jacob, is said to have created the white race through eugenics on the island of Patmos 6,600 years ago. While Louis Farrakhan, the current leader of the Nation of Islam, insists on the literal truth of the story, many within the religious movement interpret it more figuratively. On 4chan, self-proclaimed “Yakubites” ironically express admiration for Yakub on boards like /pol/ in order to attack Black people in a “/pol/ psyop.”

Others predicted that the Yakub meme would enter the culture wars and become a part of the public’s account of the shooting.

Posters also looked up the shooter on Wikipedia, finding an eccentric and disturbing profile.

Someone also edited the Wikipedia page of the school he fired on to say “A basedman shot at the school on April 22, 2022. The suspect is still at large," though it has since been removed.

The shooter’s purported ownership of the Yakub poster highlights a potential connection between certain kinds of online communities and violent actions in the real world. Three of the four people Spencer shot, including a 12-year-old girl, are in the hospital for their wounds.

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