Monday, January 4, 2016

"Y'all Qaeda", "VanillaIsis", "YeeHawd" & More (tweet examples & cultural explanations)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides examples of twitter group names and terms used for the so-called American militia who began occupying an Oregon federal building on January 2, 2016. Cultural explanations of those terms are also included in this post.

Three additional tweets about this armed occupation are also included in this post's Addendum.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, folkloric, sociological, and political purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

This post is not meant to suggest that only Black commenters use "Y'all Qaeda", "Vanilla Isis", "YeeHawd" and/or similar derisive names and terms to refer to the Oregon militants and/or other persons with the same or similar views. From the pictorial icons on twitter, it appears that Black commenters and non-Black commenters have used these names and terms.

Oregon Under Attack
Armed Militants Take Over a Federal Building in Oregon, and Social Media Cries Foul

The lack of federal and media response has prompted cries of hypocrisy and racism. by Rachel Handler, January 3, 2016
"On Saturday night, a group of armed militants broke into and occupied a federal building near Burns, Oregon, declaring their intent to break free of the “tyranny” of the U.S. government and encouraging likeminded folks from around the country to “bring your arms” and join the movement.

The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which was closed for the weekend but serves as the remote headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Land Management, followed a protest that included roughly 300 marchers, according to The Oregonian. The protestors took issue with the prosecution of two local ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven, who are due to report to jail Monday for igniting fires that spread to government lands (the two reportedly set the fires in the early aughts to cover up illegal deer-poaching on government property)."...

In contrast to previous peaceful protests in Ferguson and Baltimore—where police deployed tear gas against protesters and called in the National Guard—“not a police officer was visible” during the rally or the subsequent occupation, according to The Oregonian, nor has the federal government responded, despite the men’s avowal to kill for the cause if necessary. That disparity hasn’t gone unnoticed by social media, either, where users have adopted the hashtag #OregonUnderAttack and made the story less about the demands of the militia and more about the vastly different official response thus far to white protestors"...

From Vanilla ISIS & Y'All Qaeda: Oregon Gunmen Mocked On Social Media
Self-styled militia comes under a different type of fire.
by Ed Mazza, 01/04/2016 05:14 am ET
"The gunmen who have seized a federal building in Oregon claim they're patriots.

But on social media, many are calling the self-styled "militia" terrorists -- and mocking the group that has taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters with derisive nicknames.

Some are calling them Y'All Qaeda"

Th [sic] Internet has figured out whose behind the genius #YallQaeda response to Oregon
Published January 3rd, 2016 - 21:40 GMT via
We're sorry to keep on reporting about Oregon and the glorious Twitter response to come out of it. But someone needs to acknowledge the genius of #YallQaeda and its subsequent spawn, #YeeHawd.

It's only been a few hours since social media users began using the hashtags to describe the militiamen occupying a federal building in Oregon, and the Internet is losing its mind over the irony. And rightly so.

Some 150 gun-toting protesters began occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Sunday in what they say is support of two local ranchers' ongoing legal dispute. Social media users have wondered why this isn't being called a terror incident and musing about how much different it would be if the perpetrators were black or Muslim.

Of course, this also very serious discussion about rhetoric in the media—one that has raised legitimate questions of why most mainstream media organizations and law enforcement are reinforcing such obvious double standards. That's exactly what makes #Yeehawd such a great finisher....

The man behind the phrase [Yall Qaeda] appears to be sports reporter and TV journalist Jason Marks, who says he first used the hashtag in 2011 to refer to "fringe fans" of the Southeastern Conference, or SEC, a college athletic conference with members hailing mostly from the American South. Here's the tweet.
Jason Marks
‏@OnTheMarksRadio Mike Slive wants to make the bump rule history...sorry #YALLQaeda, you'll have to get Saban on something else."

Back then it didn't gain much speed. But in the last few hours its taken on a new, arguably better serving, life of its own as the sharlpy [sic] satiric answer to a pretty pitiful media and law enforcement response to the Oregon siege. And while that occupation is still alive and kicking, at least we have #YallQaeda, and its story of origin."...
Pancocojams Editor:
The group names "Y'all Qaeda" (Yall Qaeda), "VanillaIsis", and the terms "YeeHawd", "Infantada", "YokelHaram" and more are being used on twitter to mock the so-called "American militants" and self-described "American patriots" who took over an Oregon federal building on January 2, 2016. These terms convey the view that the intolerance and narrow-mindedness of those people, and, more generally, American Christian fundamentalists and/or American Republicans are considered to be parallel to the intolerance and narrow-mindedness of the Middle-Eastern terrorist groups the Taliban, Al-Queda, and Isis. “American Taliban” and “teahadist” are two earlier referents for the same American groups and/or population/s referred to by the derisive names "Y'all Qaeda", "VanillaIsis", and more.

These featured tweets are given in no particular order with their source article or twitter page noted. I've assigned numbers to these tweets for referencing purposes only. Those numbers correspond to the "Explanation" section that is found below.
Example #1:
Colin Miner ‎@cominer
"Whomever came up with #YallQaeda to describe the Oregon militia, I take my hat off to you. And then put it back on and take it off again."
12:24 PM - 3 Jan 2016

Example #2:
PatOndabak ‎@PatOndabak
"Whoever coined the hashtag #YallQaeda is brilliant. Redneck terrorism has descended on Oregon."

12:32 PM - 3 Jan 2016

Example #3:
Brandon Friedman
"#YallQaeda makes no sense to me because the militia people are from the West and Upper Midwest, not the South. Have to go with #VanillaISIS."

6:00 PM - 3 Jan 2016

‘Y’all Qaeda’: Twitter users mock Oregon right-wing militia action — and it’s awesome
David Ferguson, 03 Jan 2016
Example #4:
David Roberts


5:23 PM - 3 Jan 2016

Example #5:
Brienne of Snarth
"#YallQaeda follows a strict interpretation of Shania law."

Example #6:
W. Kamau Bell Verified account 
"Dumb dumb dumb da da dumb dumb.
Dumb dumb dumb dumb da da dumb dumb #VanillaIsis baby"

From Th Internet has figured out whose behind the genius #YallQaeda response to Oregon, Published January 3rd, 2016 via
Example #7:
‏"@pfunk1130 Oh, waitaminute!!!! We have #YallQaeda AND #YeeHawdists?!?!?! Y'all tew much, Twitter...y'all TEW MUCH!!!!"

Example #8:
From People are mocking the Oregon 'militia' on social media by calling them 'YallQaeda' and 'VanillaISIS' by Harrison Jacobs
ⓉⒶⒷ (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧
"So some religious militants took over some territory, threaten violence, and are calling for like-minded believers to join them. #YallQaeda"

Example #9:
John Hulsey ‎@JohnHulsey
"#YallQaeda waging #YeeHawd on America and we're still calling it a "peaceful protest."
It's domestic terrorism and we need to shut it down."
11:58 AM - 3 Jan 2016

Example #10:
Kevin M. Kruse ‎@KevinMKruse
"Some other great suggestions from my mentions: #YokelHaram #YeeHawdists #VanillaISIS #Talibundy"
2:47 PM - 3 Jan 2016

1. Y'all Qaeda (Yall Qaeda) - a play on the words "y'all" and the Middle Eastern terrorist group "Al-Qaeda".

Y'all is an informal variant of the words "you all". Y'all is usually associated with poor and working class people, particularly from the Southern region of the USA, although it is used elsewhere by Black and non-Black people.

A drawing of a fake poster [billboard] on Y'all Qaeda's twitter page distinguishes between "Y'all Qaeda" and "Them Qaeda" (the Middle Eastern terrorist group". However, the people using the referent "Y'all Qaeda" don't associate that group with all Americans (people in the USA)- just the people who (they believe) are acting like American Taliban.

Here are three selected tweets which were published prior to the Oregon occupation that include the mocking group name "Y'all Qaeda":
[from Y'all Qaeda twitter page]:

Thomas Alascio ‏@headhunter69 , 29 Nov 2015
Ted Cruz once again demonstrating that he is a proud card carrying member of Y'all Qaeda.
Ted Cruz Describes Alleged Planned Parenthood Shooter As ‘Transgendered Leftist Activist’
Nov 29, 2015 Think

"Mackeith Jones ‏@MackeithJones , 29 Nov 2015
I will, from this day forward, refer to right wingers/republicans as "Y'all Qaeda" because let's be honest. That's what they are."

"Jake Turk ‏@71djt, 2 Dec 2015
Jake Turk Retweeted Zaibatsu News Ⓜ️
I'll give Dubya that much. He did at least go through the motions, and it pissed off a lot of the Y'all-Qaeda base.
Jake Turk added,
Embedded image permalink
Zaibatsu News Ⓜ️ @ZaibatsuNews Unlike The GOP Presidential Field, Former Pres. G.W. Bush Separated Islam From Terrorism "

2. The use of the term "Y'all Qaeda" and the reference to "redneck terrorism" reflect long held negative attitudes in the United States toward poor people living in rural areas (living in the country, meaning the opposite of the city).
Definition for "redneck" from
"a white person who lives in a small town or in the country especially in the southern U.S., who typically has a working-class job, and who is seen by others as being uneducated and having opinions and attitudes that are offensive"

3. VanillaISIS (VanillaIsis)- a play on the word "vanilla" meaning "white" and the acronym ISIS, the Middle Eastern terrorist group

The derisive group name "VanillaIsis" is a variant form of the name "WhiteIsis" which television host Trevor Noah and a Muslim man portraying a senior correspondent used to describe Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump in an episode of Noah's television program The Daily Show

4. "YeeHawd" (yeehawdist) is a play on words on the Arabic term "jihad" (jihadist) as well as the American words "Hee Haw".
"Jihad... is an Islamic term referring to the religious duty of Muslims to maintain the religion. In Arabic, the word jihād is a noun meaning the act of "striving, applying oneself, struggling, persevering"...

Muslims and scholars do not all agree on its definition. Many observers—both Muslim[6] and non-Muslim[7]—as well as the Dictionary of Islam,[3] talk of jihad having two meanings: an inner spiritual struggle (the "greater jihad"), and an outer physical struggle against the enemies of Islam (the "lesser jihad")[3][8] which may take a violent or non-violent form.[1][9] Jihad is often translated as "Holy War",[10][11][12] although this term is controversial”...
"Yeehaw or Yee-haw is an interjection expressing joy or exuberance and is stereotypically associated with Cowboys in various portrayals of the American Old West in the Western genre of film, television, radio, and literature in the 20th Century."
Reflecting its use as the title of that influential television series, the term "Yee-haw" is now closely associated with country people from the American West as well as in other regions of the USA. "Yee Haw" is mostly considered a put-down for those people.

YokelHaram - is a play on the English word "Yokel" and the Arabic word "haram" and/or "harem".
"used as an insulting word for a person who lives in a small town or in the country far away from cities and is regarded as stupid"
"The Masjid al-Ḥarām (Arabic: المسجد الحرام‎, literally "the sacred mosque"), also called the Sacred Mosque, and the Grand Mosque[2] or Great Mosque of Mecca, is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds Islam's holiest place, the Kaaba,[3] in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Muslims face in the Qibla (direction of the Kaaba) while performing Salat (obligatory daily prayers)."
"a house or part of a house in which the women of a Muslim household live

the women who live in a harem in a Muslim household

a group of women who are associated with one man"
Thanks to commenter slam2011 for this likely source for the "Haram" part of the derisive name "Yokelharam": slam2011January 6, 2016 at 5:03 AM
"Yokelharam may reference 'Procul Harum'? a 60s English band whose biggest hit was 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'."...

Read that full comment below.

CowTippingTerrorists - reflects negative attitudes toward rural people (cowboys); reflects the view that the Oregon occupiers of the federal building are domestic terrorist. [Also, see the name "SaturdayNightTreason" in that list.

#FailQueda - reflects negative opinions regarding the views and the actions taken by the Oregon occupiers

#Infantada - a play on the English word "infant" (reflecting a very low opinion about those adults' actions) and a play on the Arabic word "intifada"
"Intifada (انتفاضة intifāḍah) is an Arabic word literally meaning, as a noun, "tremor", "shivering", "shuddering".[1][2] It is derived from an Arabic term nafada meaning "to shake", "shake off", "get rid of",[1] as a dog might shrug off water, or as one might shake off sleep,[3] or dirt from one's sandals,[4] and is a key concept in contemporary Arabic usage referring to a legitimate uprising against oppression.[5] It is often rendered into English as "uprising", "resistance", or "rebellion"."

Example #5:
Shania law - a play on the Arabic term "sharia law" and probably also a play on the name of Canadian country music singer and songwriter Shania Twain who is considered to be "the Queen of Country Pop"

sharia law
"the code of law derived from the Koran and from the teachings and example of Mohammed; "sharia is only applicable to Muslims"; "under Islamic law there is no separation of church and state""

Example #6
Read the entry for Example #3.

Example #7:
Y'all Qaeda and Yeehawdist - Read the first entry for Y'all Qaeda and the entry for "Yeehaw" in #4.

Example #8:
Read the first entry for Y'all Qaeda.

Example #9:
Read the first entry for Y'all Qaeda and the entry for "Yeehaw" in #4.

Example #10:
Talibundy = a referent for the Oregon militants and others who share their beliefs. That referent is made by combining the beginning of the word "Taliban" with the last name "Bundy".

Cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and sons were part of an armed standoff April 5, 2014 with the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, over unpaid grazing fees on federally owned land in southeastern Nevada.

Cliven's son Ammon Bundy appears to be a key spokesperson for the people who are occupying the Oregon federal building.

Selected tweets about this occupation from
"‘Y’all Qaeda’: Twitter users mock Oregon right-wing militia action — and it’s awesome" by David Ferguson03 Jan 2016

Bernie Sanders ‎@BernSanders2016
"And people say white privilege doesn't exist. Smh" #OregonUnderAttack
4:21 PM - 3 Jan 2016
Smh = "shake my head" (This gesture can mean exasperation, and/or amazement, and/or disdain etc.)

Cenk Uygur
"Let's be clear: If Muslims had seized a federal building, they'd all be dead by now. #whiteprivilege #OregonUnderAttack"
5:02 PM - 3 Jan 2016

Danielle Muscato
"News flash: If you take over a gov't bldg with guns and make a "goodbye" video, you are terrorists, not a "militia." #OregonUnderAttack

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. Yokelharam may reference 'Procul Harum'? a 60s English band whose biggest hit was 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'. The origins of the band's name are much disputed, but the best research I've seen traces it to a Burmese Blue cat owned by a friend of one of the band. It was a pedigree cat and its name on the breeder's certificate was actually 'Procul Harun'. The band decided to call themselves after it, but got it slightly wrong.

    The cat's name was a mash-up of Latin and Arabic. The breeder was one of the first to bring Burmese cats to Britain, and she registered them all under the prefix 'Procul', which means 'far away' in Latin - because they came from a long way off - and then each kitten had a personal name, in which the breeder tried vaguely to reflect their 'eastern' origin. 'Harun' or 'Haroun' is an Arab name, supposedly equivalent to 'Aaron'.

    Some websites claim the name is Latin for 'far from these things' - but apparently that would correctly translate as 'procul his'.

    And a Happy New Year to you and the blog, Azizi :))

    1. Greetings, slam2011!

      Thanks for your comment. I think you may be right regarding the source for the "haram" part of "Yokelharam". I'll add that idea to the post.

      Best wishes and happy new year to you also!

  2. A lot of media attention has been given to the way that people have used play on words of Arabic (or Arabic sounding) terms to mock the group of White militants who are still occupying a United States federal building in Oregon. However, I've found little to no mention, other than on this pancocojams blog, about how a number of the derisive names and terms for that group (and for others who are believed to have the same or similar beliefs) reflect negative views towards White poor people and/or White working class people from the American South and/or from the American West, particularly ranchers (modern day cowboys).

    The made up names/terms "Y'all Qaeda", "Yeehawd", "Yeehawdist" and "Yokelharam" are a few of the mocking names & terms that reflect that cultural/regional bias. The referent "ShaBubba" also should be added to that list.

    Here's information about the word "Bubba" from
    "1. Chiefly Southern U.S. brother (usually used as an affectionate term of address).

    2. Slang: Usually Disparaging and Offensive. a term used to refer to an uneducated Southern white male."
    The prefix "sha" is found in these Arabic personal names for males, among other Arabic names/words:

    Shafiq, Shafeeq - Kind, compassionate, tender
    Shahid - Witness
    Shahir - Well-known, famous
    Shakib - Present, gift, reward
    Shakir - Thankful
    Sharaf - Honor
    Sharif, Shareef - Honest, honorable, noble, distinguished

    As a reminder, both Black and non-Black commenters are participating in the twitter originated practice of creating and using mocking names and terms for that White armed militant group that is still occupying a United States federal building. And as far as I can tell, that practice didn't originate on Black twitter.

    Read a 2011 pancocojams post contains information & comments about the stereotypes that are shared for (American White) Hillbillies and African Americans.

  3. "Cowliphate" and "talibanjo" are two additional mocking names for the so-called militants who are Still occupying the Oregon federal building without any noticeable law enforcement intervention.

    As is the case with the derisive names/terms "yeehawd" and "yallqaeda" "cowliphate" and "talibanjo" reflect the United States' negative attitudes toward the poor and working class.

    "Caliphate" combines the English word "cow" with the Arabic word "caliphate". Here's the definition of "caliphate" from": A caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة‎ khilāfa) is a form of Islamic government led by a caliph (Arabic: خَليفة‎ khalīfah —a person considered a political and religious successor to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad (Muhammad ibn ʿAbdullāh), and a leader of the entire Muslim community.[1] "

    The word "cow" refers to the fact that the occupiers are cattle ranchers.

    The made up group name "talibanjo" combines the name of the terrorist group "Taliban" with the American English word "banjo". The Online Etymology Dictionary provides this information for the word "banjo":
    "banjo (n.) Look up banjo at Dictionary.com1764, American English, usually described as of African origin, probably akin to Bantu mbanza, an instrument resembling a banjo. The word has been influenced by colloquial pronunciation of bandore (1560s in English), a 16c. stringed instrument like a lute and an ancestor (musically and linguistically) of mandolin; from Portuguese bandurra, from Latin pandura, from Greek pandoura "three-stringed instrument." The origin and influence might be the reverse of what is here described."

    The banjo was introduced to the United States by enslaved Africans and early on was most often played by Black musicians. However, the banjo has become most closely associated with the mostly Anglo-American (White) old time music and country music genres in which it is a central instrument. As such the banjo has become a coded way of putting down (deriding) rural White people.

  4. Here's an excerpt of a dailykos dairy that is written by a blogger who has family in Burns, Oregon:
    "...The people of the rural West are indeed overwhelmingly white, and were it a group of racial minorities with guns storming a federal building—even, I suspect, one in Harney County, Oregon—I have no doubt that the locals would be demanding the place be stormed at once.

    But there is more than white privilege at work. The militiamen personify the great contradiction between the myth of the West, of the toughest of the tough eking a living out of marginal land with no help from anyone outside the local community, and the reality that they have always been dependent of federal largess and, historically, federal troops to protect them from the previous occupants.

    ...The people of Burns want the militia gone. The sheriff's department wants them gone. [Update: The local Native people want them gone from what they consider their land.]" ...