63red Safe, a new app in in the mold of Yelp that has disturbingly been referred to as a “Green Book” for Republicans, lists businesses receptive to proud Trump supporters looking to wear their MAGA hats and Trump 2020 shirts in public. While it seemed to come out of nowhere, the organization behind it has been around since 2015.
The app is an offshoot of the 63red website, a which calls itself a collection of "conservative tools" (which, frankly, is hilarious). The first of these tools to be developed was a web-based news aggregator that posts links from right-wing websites such as Breitbart, the Daily Wire, and National Review.
Founder Scott Wallace told the National Review this week that the app was borne out of a fear that conservatives are “under physical attack”.
The app uses four criteria to determine whether or not a business is "safe" for Trump supporters, including the business’ political leanings, its ability to protect customers attacked for their political beliefs, its social media profiles and, most notably, whether or not the business allows concealed carry under its state laws (if yes, this is considered a mark in its favor).
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Wallace ascribes much of this danger to the rise of the "socialist goon squads" and "antifa activists". But while he seems to be perfectly comfortable engaging in conspiracy theories, Wallace would like to discourage people from looking too deeply into the website’s name.
"Everyone asks. It means nothing at all, absolutely nothing," he told the Post. "It’s a good-looking logo. It’s a unique name."
Considering Wallace’s own website frequently highlights the most minute of details of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s personal life, and engages in conspiracy theories, it is doubtful that he would attach no significance to the name of his site.
What is more probable is that, while the "Red" clearly denotes the site’s right-leaning sensibilities, the number 63 is there in conjunction with a date that the site wishes to commemorate. After doing a bit of research, the years 1863 and 1963 contained a number of pivotal moments in US history that the site could be drawing from.
We compiled a short list of the five likeliest events in US history that 63red might be drawing its name from.
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863)
This would perhaps be the most appropriate option, as Lincoln’s affiliation with the Republican party continues to be a point of pride for conservatives. Additionally, freedom, liberty, and nationalism are among the major themes explored in the legendary speech, which are the same values the Wallace’s site claims to promote.
The only question is, if this is indeed where the name comes from, why is he so reticent in revealing it?
The Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863)
We now move quickly into far more tasteless territory. Wallace and his fellow conservatives making use of the app clearly see themselves as oppressed and ostracized from society, and Republicans have proven time and time again they have no scruples about drawing comparisons between their experiences and those of people of color.
It is possible that Wallace sees the site and app as a proclamation of conservative emancipation from the shackles of their perceived oppression.
Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech (August 28,1963)
Quite frankly, we wouldn’t put our money on this option, since much of what Dr. King called for in his speech runs counter to the values espoused by President Trump. But, again, the speech is renowned for speaking truth to oppression, a purported objective of conservative news sites like 63red, so it does remain a possibility.
Alabama’s Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Conner unleashes fire hoses and police dogs on thousands of civil rights protestors. (May 2, 1963)
This is a much more likely appropriation of a civil rights narrative. A well-known protest documented by a number of disturbing photographs, the event is seen as a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.
Given the frequent comparisons between the app’s purported goal of finding "safe" businesses for conservatives to visit, and the systematic racial segregation of the Jim Crow era, it’s entirely possible that Wallace sees himself in a similar light as those protestors.
President Kennedy is assassinated (November 22, 1963)
The politics surrounding this possibility are a little more messy. A liberal Democrat, Kennedy is not a figure that is typically renowned by conservatives. Still, the event looms large in American history, and there are a number of comparisons that Wallace could be trying to make with this event. He could be drawing a line between the assassination of Kennedy and the perceived character assassination of Trump and his supporters. Or, more alarmingly, as the site began during Obama's time in office, they could be seeing themselves as the aggressor in this scenario.
63red could come from any of these things, but it could just as easily be connected with none of them. It is difficult to speculate further, as the logic behind the name, much like the logic behind the app, seems to be fundamentally flawed.
Conservatives view themselves as being subject to persecution, but all evidence seems to point to the contrary. Just like how the apps idea of "safe" includes allowing the customer to carry a weapon while visiting a given location, 63red presents a skewed idea of what constitutes security and freedom of expression for all people.
The app was recently removed from both the Apple Store and Google Play because of a data breach, but the 63red’s official Twitter promises that it has reported the incident to the FBI, and that the app will return to online stores soon.