CPAC ‘We Are All Domestic Terrorists’ Digital Banner

In early August 2022, memes and tweets highlighted a purported banner displayed at the Conservative Political Action Conference, reading “We Are All Domestic Terrorists”:

A reverse image search indicated the image was first crawled on August 6 2022, in a post to Reddit’s r/SelfAwarewolves. That image appeared just as CPAC was starting up in Dallas:

Although the images shared to Imgur and Twitter looked nearly identical, the version shared to Reddit was slightly different — a second “We Are All Domestic Terrorists” banner was visible in all three at the top of the stage, and it was obstructed in a different fashion in the Reddit iteration. Subsequent versions shared on Imgur and Twitter showed an empty hall, but in the version on Reddit, an audience was seated in front of the empty stage.

Reddit commenters largely didn’t question the veracity of the image, rather asking things like:

What could possibly be the context for this?

As for the “context for this,” we located it on CPAC’s event-specific website. Under the “agenda” tab, a schedule for CPAC Dallas appeared.

“We Are All Domestic Terrorists” was a “talk” at 3:10 pm on Saturday August 6 2022. An information widget led to a popup describing the CPAC segment:

We Are All Domestic Terrorists

Session Description:

Don’t like woke gender identity and history classes taught to make Americans hate each other? Then you might be a domestic terrorist, at least according to Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland. During the pandemic, many Americans finally figured out what the Left wanted with their children. Thankfully, it unleashed a wave of proud parents fighting for the future of their kids and this country. They are taking over school boards and fighting to fund students rather than systems controlled by unaccountable and unpatriotic unions. – Located in Trinity Ballroom/ Main Stage

The speakers listed were far-right strategists and activists with a history of pushing disinformation: Mercedes SchlappIan PriorRyan Girdusky, and Julie Pickren, who was voted off the Alvin, Texas school district’s board of trustees after her appearance at the United States Capitol on January 6 2021:

On Jan. 6, Pickren was among thousands of Trump supporters who gathered near the White House to hear the former president falsely proclaim that the election had been stolen and to urge followers to march on the capitol.

In one of her Facebook posts, she described singing God Bless America outside while some of the protesters forced their way into the capitol building, alleging the false claim that the rioters were actually ANTIFA members, not Trump supporters.

On August 6 2022, Twitter user @Aycn shared a video with audio of an introduction for the talk:

In August 2022, images of a stage at CPAC’s “We Are All Domestic Terrorists” banner spread across social media. Although the banner was real and unaltered, it was part of a scheduled segment entitled “We Are All Domestic Terrorists,” described above.