Do not allow yourself to be hijacked:
The Russian troll farm suspected of trying to disrupt U.S. elections last year apparently infiltrated Charlotte during racial protests last year, BuzzFeed News reports. The online news site says the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency recruited U.S. activists to help stage protests in order to help divide the nation ahead of the 2016 elections.
Conrad James of the Raleigh nonprofit Living Ultra-Violet was among four activists who told BuzzFeed they never suspected they were being recruited by the Russians.
A good rule of thumb: If something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't true. That goes for fraud in general, and not just political stuff. The weird (and disturbing) part of this story is it wasn't just online shenanigans, there were a couple of flesh and blood perpetrators involved:
James told the news site he was contacted by BlackMattersUS, which the Russian news outlet RBC linked to the Russian troll farm. James said BlackMattersUS asked him to speak at a rally following the September 2016 police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, which sparked two days of protests.
James told BuzzFeed that he volunteered to organize the rally himself when he learned it had no organizer. The BlackMattersUS Facebook page, he said, connected him to a woman named Stephanie Williamson.
Williamson appeared with a white man who never spoke or smiled, James said, but gave him a bank card for microphones and loudspeakers for the rally and permits for the event. Williamson could not be reached Wednesday.
Oh, that seems legitimate. That was sarcasm, in case you missed it. Frankly, this investigation (if there even is an official one yet) needs to be moved all the way up to Mueller, with the quickness, before Stephanie Williamson (if that is her real name) disappears. Or is made to disappear. And I don't want to get all critical and shove in the knife deeper, but this:
Living Ultra-Violet’s Twitter feed describes itself as a “Millennial Think-tank intellectually innovating economic development, research, and altruism.” The Observer couldn’t reach James on Wednesday.
Is dangerously flirting with word salad territory. And considering you were naive enough to fall for this "silent un-smiling man handing you bank cards," you might need to remove the "intellectually" part of that mission statement, or whatever it is...