Since the 9/11 attacks in 2001 some in the western world have drawn the conclusion that all terrorists are Muslims. This poorly crafted, yet well established hypothesis has, as I see it, two origins.
Firstly, the rise and news coverage of terrorism done in the name of Islam. It is best described as the logical fallacy, post hoc ergo propter hoc, which is Latin for, after this, therefore because of this. This leads to the presumption; Islamic extremists (A) use terrorism (B) to further their cause, therefore Islam (A) is the cause of terrorism (B), therefore removing Muslims (A) from the western world will end terrorism (B).
Secondly, the understanding of what terrorism is meant to achieve has also become warped in our western society. Again we observe the use of post hoc illogic to make terrorism seem as an anti-western tool for non-western countries. Completely ignoring what Brian Jenkins, an expert on terrorism, wrote in 1975, “terrorists want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead.”
Therefore the greatest tool for terrorists are fear. Without it they are just a bunch of people killing other people for no apparent reason or goal. Fear is used because they often have limited access to great numbers of combatants and efficient weaponry, so the ability to take control over a government is almost impossible. That is why they need to use fear to convince a government to change and move in the direction they want it to, and to do that they need to spread fear efficiently. That is why it is more effective for terrorist organisations to have more onlookers than dead people.
Terrorism is mostly effective when the terrorists’ goal has been established, and when the fear of an unknown attack has effectively been spread through society.
On 22 May our ideas about terrorism and Islam was again challenged when a British soldier was attacked and killed in Woolwich, a district in London UK. Because the attackers made it clear to those witnessing the attack they did it to send a message to the British army to, as one of the attackers claimed, stop the killing of Muslims.
Admitting that the attack was done in the name of Islam it was quickly concluded it was a terrorist attack. Which some in the media decided to put in their headline. Feeding on both the fear of terrorism and Islam in the western world — in the name of ratings.
The English Defence League swiftly used this as an opportunity to protest, blaming the attack on Islam as a whole. Painting every Muslim, again, as a potential terrorist. A blight on the western society, as they see it, that needs to be removed. Because if Islam is removed from the western society, according to the illogical post hoc conclusion, terrorism will also be removed. Completely ignoring the fact that international terrorism attacks has been in decline since the late 1980s.
In this day of age information can reach around the world within seconds thanks to the Internet. Which is why I decided to investigate if this attack, and reaction from EDL, would also have an impact on Australia. Which I found it would have, after discovering the Australian Defence League, located in Sydney, had planned a protest against Islam on Friday 26 May.
At first there were no mention of a protest by ADL members in Queensland, but after monitoring their Facebook page, a post from Restore Australia emerged. Saying an anti-Islam protest outside Queensland Parliament House in Brisbane on that same day as the ADL protest would happen at 4 pm, urging anyone opposing Islam to come along.
I decided to go there as a journalist a cover the event, to witness how it would unfold on the streets of Brisbane, as they had been urged by the police not to burn the Koran.
When arriving outside Queensland Parliament House on George St, which is a shared entrance for Queensland University of Technology [QUT], the presence of police was difficult to ignore. Earlier QUT had also advised their fellow students to avoid that area. A situation that most might find a bit surreal to happen in a country where the locals see themselves as laid-back and willing to give anyone a fair go.
It is tempting to say that the weather did not side with the anti-Islam protesters that day, as it was cloudy, cold and keeping most people outside a bit damp with random light drizzle. Which is why when the clock turned 4 pm and that no-one had apparently showed up yet, it was first assumed the protest would not happen. It was not until closer to 4.30 pm something started to happen.
A group of three people had arrived with a large banner for the Restore Australia foundation and some signs with anti-Islam scribblings on them. We were told Restore Australia CEO Mike Holt would arrive soon. Before his arrival a group of five had gathered, talking with the media why they do not want Islam in Australia. Making various claims. During that time Mr holt arrived to take part of the protest against, what was referred to as, Islamisation of Australia and introduction of Sharia Law.
Mr Holt said Restore Australia is working for the Australian people to be able to amend the Australian constitution, giving all Australians the right to initiate referendums.
“Then we can stop Islamisation of Australia,” Mr Holt said.
“We don’t want them imposing Sharia Law on Australia.”
The anti-Islam protesters were confronted and outnumbered by a group of students from QUT. At one point the discussion became a bit heated, shouting and swearwords from both sides, but luckily the situation never escalated to violence.
QUT student Ahmed El-Merebi said he studies constitutional law to uphold the constitutional rights in Australia and Sharia Law is only a religious code.
“Sharia Law derives from the law of Jesus, from the law of Moses and from the law of Mohammed,” Mr El-Merebi said.
“It [Islam] was founded upon Christian principles.”
Protester Stuart Boyd said we all came here for a peaceful demonstration and we all want to voice our opinion calmly.
“I am not against muslims, I am against Sharia Law,” Mr Boyd said.
“There is a lot of good people out there.”
Mr El-Merebi and Mr Boyd were there on opposite sides, disagreeing on most things. They did however agree the media might be culpable for inciting unnecessary conflict in society.
“The media holds the key,” Mr Boyd said.
Mr El-Merebi also made the point that we are brainwashed by the media. Which I as a journalist can understand why such harsh criticism is directed at my colleagues. As I pointed out in the beginning, the attack in Woolwich was instantly labeled as a terrorist attack. Which raises the question, when did a random stabbing of one person by two attackers become a terrorist attack?
It might have been one, but before we make that call, let us first wait for the investigators of that case gather the evidence, before we make such a hastily claim. Because all we have now as evidence are two people with dark skin, claiming they are Muslims and killed the British soldier because they accuse the British army of killing Muslims. There are more criteria to be fulfilled before you can attach the terrorist label on someone or an act. For now, all it was, yet still gruesome, a random attack (when this column was written).
This is exactly what the media, us journalists, need to be aware of. Sometimes we need to forget about who can publish something first. Rather focus on who can publish something accurate and factual.
Which is why I have decided to omit the worst things said from the protest, from both sides — those opposing Islam and those defending it. Not because I support censorship, but to avoid putting emphasis on stereotypes. It was a protest where the tension between both parties being there was evident. Enough tension there if a larger crowd were present it would easily provide more courage to each side to antagonise each other to fight with their fists rather than words. But it did not happen — this time.
It is of course tempting to say because of the few anti-Islam protesters there that they lost this round. But in reality, a confrontation like this is very similar to a war. One side will lose, either by force or by being outnumbered. But at the end of the day, in war, there are no winners, only casualties. We were all casualties that day. The anti-Islamists are casualties of fear, those opposing them are casualties of hate and us, the media, are casualties of being spreaders of this fear and hate.
On that day, we all died on the battlefield, only our spirits went home that day, giving the illusion we are still alive.
Utter the words police and excessive use of force in the same context, and most people will instantly think of the US. Then in the same breath of air, mention journalists and censorship, and most might instead refocus to China. That is what I’ve experienced; reading comments on news sites, following discussions on forums and on Twitter and when talking with people regarding such topics.
Excessive use of force by police is often attributed to the US while silencing the media is attributed to China. It’s a stereotype, an unfortunate one.
Wednesday last week, 16 May, changed that perception regarding such presumptions about the US and China. The use of excessive force and silencing the media can happen anywhere.
A group of Indigenous Australians had set up a Tent Embassy in Musgrave Park to protest the lack of rights they have in their own country – which were taken away from them in 1778 by the British.
The day before, Tuesday 15 May, they had been served with a final notice by Brisbane City Council to move-on and disassemble their Tent Embassy. This refusal was met with a warning that on Wednesday 16 May the Tent Embassy would be removed and disassembled by Queensland Police Service.
6 am on Wednesday 16 may it had been announced the police would move-in on the Tent Embassy.
At around 6 am about 200 police officers surrounded the Tent Embassy in Musgrave Park with 50-60 protesters and few journalists that had managed to enter before the police started their blockade.
Musgrave Park, which the Tent Embassy was located in, and its surrounding streets were closed and blocked for all access. You could leave, but police would not allow entry or re-entry to the Tent Embassy. Telling journalists, that if they would try to enter or didn’t comply with police orders, they would be subject to arrest.
After a two-hour long negotiation between the Tent Embassy and police, the police decided to evict people from the Tent Embassy and disassemble it. During negotiations the police offered less and less to the point the Tent Embassy felt they weren’t given any choice than to stand their ground.
The police moved-in en masse on the Tent Embassy, first targeting the media; telling journalists that if they did not move-on they would be arrested. When most of the media had been cleared out and stood far away the eviction started.
Wednesday 16 May was a day Australians were reminded that the government still doesn’t really care about the rights of the Indigenous Australians. It is also a day that should not only remind Australians, but also the world, censorship and threats directed at the media can and will happen anywhere – even in western democratic countries.
That day, silencing a minority and the media, happened in Australia.
The strength of the state is the gun. I finished this piece last week. It is 24 x 48 in. This highlights a problem we see in the media and more importantly one that is overlooked often by the media. The use of violence and it’s relationship to racism within police departments all across the United States.
You can purchase prints here on saatchi. Please help keep me painting by buying prints. What I make off them goes right back into canvas and paints so I can continue to paint. Any help is appreciated. This was originally posted on my personal blog here. And any help reposting and spreading this is greatly appreciated. I ask if you use the image if you could link back either to the saatchi page it is for sale on or the original post on my personal site. Thanks and enjoy…
There is only one black person in my GMB. Seriously. Just one. There are at least two queer white AMAB people. Lets put this into perspective. Less than 1% of people in the US are queer AMAB people. Less than 1% of people in Kansas City are queer AMAB people. 12.6% of US residents, however, are black, and even more – 28% – in Kansas City are black. Among working-class people, I’d imagine that that number is even more skewed. So why is it that the Industrial Workers of the World, Kansas City GMB, has only one black member?
I’ve come to a couple of conclusions based on speaking with her and from my own observations about how business is done here, and likely in a lot of other places as well.
First, the KC IWW has strong ties to UMKC. This is generally a good thing; several of our most active members are or were students while also working the sort of dead-end jobs students often work while in school. Several faculty members have been supportive and one is even a long-time IWW member himself. This also has an impact on outreach to the black community, however. Racial discrepencies exist in terms of children from working-class homes being able to go to college. It’s harder for black children from working-class backgrounds to go to college, and so even though UMKC’s campus is fairly diverse, a lot of those black students are likely from middle-class homes and hence not as interested in radical industrial unionism, which exists primarily to defend the working class. White students from working-class homes still, even in this economy where socio-economic mobility is tremendously limited to begin with, have an easier time than black students do. So we see a disconnect on college campuses across the country in terms of reaching working class students.
Another issue is that many people hear about the IWW from friends and acquaintances, not just through google or facebook. One of the things I’d like this article to do is to make black people more aware of the IWW – the first union to organize colored workers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when other unions would not – in order to bring the black community back into the fold of the IWW. It’s sad but true that many social circles are still somewhat racially insular, however, so without breaking that ground to begin with, it will be difficult to move beyond being a very white organization.
How can we address this? I think we need to get off the internet, for one thing. While lots of working class people have internet access, many do not use it as a social network. By bringing outreach to working-class black neighborhoods, we can likely expand our reach within that community. Beyond that, it’s always important to take the issues and concerns of non-white members seriously. Black folks in the US today make up a big chunk of the urban working class, and the urban working class is exactly who the IWW is fighting for. Without their input, we’re not fully and adequately representing the urban working class.
Advertisement is notorious for pushing racist, sexist, heterosexist and oppressive stereotypes. Marginalization and oppression of a people are both reflected and reinforced in the popular media of the day.
These are not just an exception. Since I have gone quite a few years without a television I have grown more sensitive to the images and messages. I find that every time I turn on a T.V. or open a magazine I find sexist, racist, homophobic and ethnocentric images everywhere reflecting a sick society and perpetuating the illness.
“I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group”
Through work to bring materials from women’s studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men’s unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to women’s statues, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can’t or won’t support the idea of lessening men’s. Denials that amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages that men gain from women’s disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened, or ended.
Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that, since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of while privilege that was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.
I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks.
Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable. As we in women’s studies work to reveal male privilege and ask men to give up some of their power, so one who writes about having white privilege must ask, “having described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?”
After I realized the extent to which men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, I understood that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious. Then I remembered the frequent charges from women of color that white women whom they encounter are oppressive. I began to understand why we are just seen as oppressive, even when we don’t see ourselves that way. I began to count the ways in which I enjoy unearned skin privilege and have been conditioned into oblivion about its existence.
My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will. My schooling followed the pattern my colleague Elizabeth Minnich has pointed out: whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow “them” to be more like “us.”
I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.
1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.
3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
7. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.
10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person’s voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.
12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
16. I can be pretty sure that my children’s teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others’ attitudes toward their race.
17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.
18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world’s majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.
24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the “person in charge”, I will be facing a person of my race.
25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race.
26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children’s magazines featuring people of my race.
27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.
29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.
30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn’t a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.
31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.
32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.
33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.
36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.
37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.
38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.
41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.
43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.
44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.
45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.
46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.
47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.
48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.
50. I will feel welcomed and “normal” in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.
Elusive and fugitive
I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it down. For me white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one’s life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.
In unpacking this invisible knapsack of white privilege, I have listed conditions of daily experience that I once took for granted. Nor did I think of any of these perquisites as bad for the holder. I now think that we need a more finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege, for some of these varieties are only what one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be ignorant, oblivious, arrogant, and destructive.
I see a pattern running through the matrix of white privilege, a patter of assumptions that were passed on to me as a white person. There was one main piece of cultural turf; it was my own turn, and I was among those who could control the turf. My skin color was an asset for any move I was educated to want to make. I could think of myself as belonging in major ways and of making social systems work for me. I could freely disparage, fear, neglect, or be oblivious to anything outside of the dominant cultural forms. Being of the main culture, I could also criticize it fairly freely.
In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable, and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit, in turn, upon people of color.
For this reason, the word “privilege” now seems to me misleading. We usually think of privilege as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to over empower certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of one’s race or sex.
I’ve been a bona fide stalker and harasser of the Alternative Right at Gonzo Times and at my more cosmopolitan writings at Little Green Footballs. There is something really significant to this group of overt self described fascists and the fact that they are brilliant writers with a firm grasp of not just policy but of the meanings and implications of philosophy makes them all the more important. Their presence represents the rebirth of the intellectual right into a reclusive sect of philosophs, mending their gardens and musing to themselves just as postmodernists did in the 1960s.
Writer Keith Preston makes a fairly eloquent denunciation of Nietszche called “200 Years of Nihilism.” Here’s a taste:
Nietzsche predicted that it would be well into the 21st century before Western thought fully confronted the crisis of nihilism. It would thus far appear that he was correct. Western thought since the Enlightenment has attempted to compensate for the loss of the old faith by replacing the discredited Christian worldview with new faiths and new pieties. As these have become increasingly difficult to justify within a framework of rationality and a belief in inevitable “progress,” Western intellectuals have increasingly retreated into the irrational. This is illustrated by the curious phenomena of the present efforts by Western intellectual elites to embrace postmodernism, with its accompanying moral and cultural relativism, while simultaneously embracing the egalitarian-universalist-humanist moralistic zealotry popularly labeled “political correctness” and espousing with great piousness such liberal crusades as “human rights,” “anti-racism,” “gay liberation,” feminism, environmentalism and the like. Such an outlook, which combines extreme moralism in the cultural and political realm, complete moral relativism in the philosophical or metaphysical realm, and at times even falls into subjectivism in the epistemological realm14, is fundamentally irrational, of course. That such an outlook has become so deeply entrenched indicates that Western intellectuals are desperately working to avoid a full confrontation with the crisis of nihilism.
There’s alot to roll your eyes at in that paragraph, notably the parts about “anti-racism.” Anyone who actually knows people of color know that a self-belief and resilience is actually often stronger. Throughout the west coast of the United States, a conversation with the clerks at Hispanic and Asian restaurants will often reveal that these children have been given a clear course and occupation through their family business. This is in decided contrast to the white parents in the same city, who are often either parenting as absentee or parenting by textbook, the tradition of parenting that immigrant families still carry having been completely lost.
Likewise, in America’s black community, an admitted degree of nihilism has taken root, but like their white brethren a backlash of decency has burst forth. The films of Tyler Perry and the music of men like Lupe Fiasco, Common (yes, the guy that Fox News wants you to be scared of) and Kenderick Lamar have indicated a new path of self-belief in the black community.
Alternative Right is a racist and fascist staplet, though, so profound thoughts cannot be expected from such an outlet without stepping over some horseshit. The decline of order and self-belief in Western society was a self-inflicted wound. That the Alt Righters are fit to blame American society’s failings on Mexicans, blacks or whoever just illustrates the sociopathic nature of their fascism.
George Orwell put himself forth as a proponent of the “religious attitude” and this is effectively what Nietszche and his followers have declared war on. In the world of a religious moralist, certain things are simply off limits and men should be rescinded when they step across that line. A clear order, expressed clearly from day one, keeps children from falling into an ocean of chaos and confusion.
Philosophy has real life consequences. As a follower of Orwell, I have become comfortable with contradiction, embracing traditionalism while also repudiating the ugly forms of reactionaries. Orwell, unlike many progressives, recognized the need for a substituted order for any order that has been upended. For a recent example in American history, the increase in sexual harassment, pornography and the rise of the “pick-up artist” can be tied directly to the destruction by the Baby Boomer generation of sexual mores. This shouldn’t be laid completely at the feet of feminists, as the average feminist genuinely wanted equal pay for equal work, voting rights, opportunity in previously closed careers and freedom from sexual assault and harassment.
However, the Sexual Revolution did not take into account the restraints that the old conservative order had on men. It was common in more traditionalist societies for a man who impregnates a woman to owe a duty to that woman and her child, for fear of community ostracization. After the social revolution of the Baby Boomers, an explosion of broken families erupted throughout American society, with a level of deadbeat dads, child support and single mothers that indicated that that social faux paus was no longer respected. The children suffered the repercussions. No social framework replaced the old one, a warning that Orwell gave many times in his writings.
In contrast to Orwell, Nietzsche celebrated this form of societal destruction, as did acolytes like Ayn Rand (who, to anyone who knows how to decipher philosophy, elements of Nietzsche will be obvious and apparent). His famous proclamation “God is Dead” was not simply a proclamation of atheism but a declaration of the end of the societal programs that came with God, which included the “religious attitude” that Orwell so respected.
I’m a crazy man and I’ve known many crazy people. One of my best friends suffered two car accidents consecutively and, for quite a while, his blogs were filled with statements of Nietzschean nihilism. Nietzsche’s reaction against structure results in a predictable nihilism that makes life pointless and aimless. According to my mother, my father, who I have never met, held Nietzsche as his favorite philosopher. My father was paranoid schizophrenic and quite, quite mad. My only apparent communication with him was being taken to see him in a mental hospital. That’s a hell of a weight to carry around one’s shoulders, I know, but I’m comfortable with accepting it.
I’ve read through my father’s writings, which are petty in comparison to my writing skills, and the Nietzschean influence is quite clear. It’s 200 pages of poetic stanzas, written with the nihilistic ending proclamation “I Am God Himself!” The whole mess reads just like Thus Spoke Zarathustra: a giant bout of mental masturbation that could only be of value to someone who has given up meaning. Honestly, reading such hogwash is useful not for finding agreement but for inspiring one to persevere and achieve meaning.
The evolutionary psych story about humanity is that war, genocide, and the divisive “-isms” that keep humans in a perpetual state of conflict are inevitable expressions of an “us vs. them” tendency that is simply a part of our biological makeup.
It’s indisputable that people can adopt an identity that is essentially oppositional to another nation, race, religion or ethnic group, but how much of this tendency is nature and how much is nurture?
Only one human trait is truly immutable: adaptability. Children learn very quickly what they need to do to ensure their physical safety. In our dominance based society, a major element of required adaptation is siding with proximal agents in society vs. outsiders, real or–primarily–imagined.
In fact, examining the volume of propaganda that is directed at Americans, from the cradle to the grave it’s unsurprising the kinds bizarre and absurd expressions of xenophobia that crop up whenever the “enemies of America” (or of “real” America) come up in conversation.
Take, for example, this stream of . . . just really weird comments that popped about on Facebook and Twitter after the last month’s earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown in Japan. Citing Pearl Harbor (Pearl Harbor? Seriously?) as the counter-balance in some twisted version of karma is really, really fucked up.
Where did this enmity come from? There can’t be more than a dozen people alive on the planet that participated in the fighting at Pearl Harbor. Japan has been a more than cooperative American colonial forward base in East Asia for over 65 years. There are very few who derived their prejudice against the Japanese from lived experience, but a quick glance at “educational material” and popular culture should give a clue about where the animosity comes from.
The facts, which one has to dig a bit to find, paint a different picture. The popular depiction involves a ruthless and brutal empire[ref]no argument there, btw[/ref] that, in an attempt to enslave the entire pacific strikes out at a peaceful merchant republic. This depiction, crafted, as always, by the victors served to put the United States on a war footing. Pearl Harbor was a story meant to ease the resistance to conscription going into the war, and to ease the collective conscience after Japanese cities were incinerated by fire bombings and, finally, annihilated in nuclear blasts.
The truth is less useful. Objectively, two empires, one small and resource starved and the other vast, expanding and reaching the height of its powers met in the western Pacific. A faction of the leadership of the United States, including large parts of the executive branch, wanted to go to war in Europe and intended to do so by drawing Germany’s Pacific ally into a conflict.
This bikecast/post isn’t intended to address this issue in depth. It requires the kind of care and attention to detail that I can’t generally muster. Luckily, the issue has been researched to death by just the kinds of minds by which one wants important issues researched to death. The evidence is overwhelming and the objections, as far as I can find, are few and feeble (and rebutted). This page of links from the Independent Institute has alot of good starting points for the interested.
In any case, the nature of the war, fought thousands of miles from California against an island nation far and away the technological and economic inferior of the United States required an enormous amount of propaganda. In retrospect, as each new generation of Americans confronts the nightmare of history’s only nuclear strikes, the tale requires an arch-enemy so lunatic that no alternative was conceivable but to vaporize hundreds of thousands of people to bring the war to an end.
And that is the legacy that is echoed in the comments about Japan today. Jingoism generated by a ruling class to support their decisions and those of their predecessors three generations ago.
If we have to demonize the Japanese in order to distract from the reality of the war in the Pacific, how much more demonization is required to justify the enslavement of a race?
The answer is, “quite a lot”–11 on a scale of 10 and we see the evidence for this in Western bigotry against blacks. This may be especially true in the United States where racial policy has been an political issue for three hundred years.
How does one justify the perpetual enslavement of a people? They have to be animals, unfit for a place in civilization, unable to control their impulses and desires, a danger to advanced society. If abolition is on the table, a strong and reliable political move is to drive into the public consciousness the most gruesome and horrifying stories of what will happen when the black race is freed.
If integration is on the table, the wise move is to tell these stories again. To create and fund “science” that supports racist conclusions, to integrate racism into every possible aspect of society: education, religion, community organizations, etc. The politician willing to do so and support others in doing so can have a long and prosperous career, since no one pays any heed to the wars he starts and the money he shunts to his supporters and allies.
The legacy of nationalized racial policy is what we see around us today. Racism isn’t a biological inevitability. It’s the result of an explicit policy of centuries of fear mongering for political power and financial gain.
The Entire Non-Christian World and The non-English-speaking Americas
Nowadays, our attention is turned to (at least) two new enemies who, we are told, seek to despoil our country. The muslims (or islamo-fascists) and spanish speaking central/south Americans and carribean islanders (aka mexicans or illegals).
Popular stereotypes of these people differ radically between 1900 and today. I go into some hand-waving detail in the podcast about my perception of these changes. Suffice it to say that the fanatical muslim and job-stealing mexican are inventions of the last 40 years. They were created specifically to allow monstrously inhumane treatment of human beings and vast appropriations of stolen money to the military-industrial-prison-security-congressional-comlex. The amount of energy and effort being put into the new stereotypes assure us that, in 100 years, people will still be clinging blindly to these beliefs.
And why the energy and effort? Greater fear and anger associated with these groups means more power given to the police, military and surveillance state and votes for anyone who promises protection from these “threats.” Nobody can speak against this most destructive of enemy imagery and hope to be taken seriously by the corporate media much less have any chance at political office.
To sum up, the quantity and ferocity of enemy-making propaganda has to be such that virtuous choices like withdrawing western troops from the middle east, allowing free travel over the southern border (or not going to war in 1941 or not owning black persons before 1865) are unthinkable.
We’re still reeling from the propaganda of the past, and new bullshit is being constantly heaped on top of the old. The perpetrators and agitators are those that benefit from hatred–those whose actual crimes: mass theft, kidnapping and murder, necessitate the creation of unfathomably evil foes. Only by projecting their own wrongdoings onto others can the perpetrators escape from scrutiny. Not only can they commit the most horrific crimes against humanity, they can do so in the name of protection people from the harmful other.
In the podcast, I reference Lloyd DeMause who makes a similar argument with regard to enemy imagery historically directed at children. Here’s a page of his online books. I’ve read much of http://www.psychohistory.com/htm/eln00_preface.html The Emotional Life of Nations and listened to some of the Origins of War in Child Abuse. Also, here’s a current example ad hoc ratcheting up of enemy imagery in wartime as various minorities are targeted as foreign mercenaries. Oh, and the movie I was trying to think of was Lawrence of Arabia
Economics is an incredible book. Writer Fanny Howe in a mere 134 pages does what conservatives have wanted to do for decades – lay out the failures, neurosis and narcissism of the Baby Boomer generation. Howe does this with finesse and, through the medium of fiction, is able to show the real life consequences of 1960s liberalism.
Fanny Howe is not a conservative, though I am sure reflexive progressives who came across this book would label her as such. She lays out what she portrays in the book as “the necessary errors” of 1960s liberalism.
A common thread throughout Economics is bad parenting, or a general lack of parenting at all. Howe starts off by telling the story of an elite, university employed white liberal couple in Massachusetts. It’s the late civil rights era and the couple, largely driven by the wife, Carol, whose husband John is detached at best, decide to adopt a black child as an example of their stalwart anti-racism.
They decide to name the child Malcolm, a name the author notes they never would have given to a white child. Malcolm’s gender also brings out a very nasty side in Carol and eventually drives her to abandon the child and her husband as she discovers something about herself in the process of her failed parenting:
Deep down, she didn’t like boys or men. Raised by her mother alone, she was not used to the other sex. Even her husband was, at heart, a stranger, and not fully welcome, as her mother and daughter were, into the heart of her affections.
Carol exports the job of mother to her husband John and only decides to take Malcolm out when attending demonstrations or meetings on the issue of race. She finds that the presence of a black child with her helps strategically to make her look like a caring, liberal woman. She realizes that she is a hypocrite and purges herself to her therapist. In “dealing” with the problem, she ends up deciding to give up Malcolm and leave her husband.
Several things with the child Malcolm end up occurring that only solidify her decision to leave her family and run off with her daughter. Carol begins to harshly bully Malcolm, expelling her failures on an innocent bystander:
“Don’t pretend you like me,” she would snap.
“I hate your smile,” she would hiss.
“Just go away.”
Hoping that her black child would “ward off danger” at racial politics meetings, she instead became reminded of her problematic parenting. Malcolm’s skin had started to peel drastically and during a meeting, a black woman came up to her and said that his skin needed oil. The woman even recommended the brand Johnson’s, but Carol could “only get the energy to oil his limbs twice,” leaving Malcolm’s skin ashy and patchy.
While at school, a teacher reports to Carol, Malcolm’s anxiety over his place in Carol’s family showed. A teacher called Carol and said that he would spend hours in school peeling at his skin. When asked, what he was peeling, he replied that he was peeling off “the black paint.”
When she eventually goes through with abandoning Malcolm, the social worker shows little sympathy at all, saying that he will be passed around from foster home to foster home. The social worker derides her for waiting an entire three years if the arrangement had been so terrible. When asked about the social worker by her husband John, Carol dismisses her concerns by describing her as a “fascist.”
The first story has the most impact, and the rest of the book follows suit. Howe is at her best in the book when race plays a strong role – as with one short story about a young black man living in Boston’s ghetto who develops a relationship with a white woman. The desire on his part to leave the hood is so strong that he ignores what he knows – that the relationship is false and that his girlfriend doesn’t really desire him but desires what he calls “some kind of image” of a black man, one that will uplift her feeling of righteousness on racial issues.
In this book, Fanny Howe opens up a box that has been largely closed: the story of parenting by the Baby Boomer generation. Unlike their parents, Baby Boomers had far higher divorce rates and rates of out of wedlock births. The Sexual Revolution, post-feminism and Roe vs. Wade made acceptable what would have been unacceptable in previous generations. The cultural effects of a large degree of absentee parenting has been felt by popular culture but rarely spelled out explicitly. It’s popped up a bit in film, like in the Jim Carrey film The Cable Guy, in which Jim Carrey plays a crazed cable guy who was driven mad after being placed in front of the television by a busy mother. It’s almost popped up in music, such as with the rapper Eminem, who had a public dispute with his own mother, who he claimed on several occasions suffered from Munchausen’s syndrome and substituted foster homes and prescription medication for direct parenting.
The box Howe opens up is a vast one and quick answers are only so useful. One of our writers at Gonzo wrote a piece called “It’s Not Easy For The Girls,” about how oppressive expectations bombard young girls. Fanny Howe’s work Economics is a good investment for anyone genuinely interested in the role of children in post-industrial American society.
Punk Johnny Cash has asked that I write more about the Alternative Right and their movement. We’ve had several excursions with them here at Gonzo Times, as I have when I written about them elsewhere. This article I hope to be a definitive piece aimed for republication in the Gonzo Times zine and a reference point for anyone who wants to learn more about this movement.
First, a definition for anyone who doesn’t know – the “alternative right” refers to a political category of white supremacists and patriarchalists who are seeking to make their ideology a burgeoning part of conservative politics in the United States, Europe, Canada and elsewhere in the “Anglosphere.” When “Alternative Right” is used with capital letters, it is a reference to the website Alternative Right, founded by Richard Spencer and Alex Kurtagic.
With a black man in the White House, record population of Muslims in Europe and Hispanics in the United States and economic strain on white, middle class America, they seem to view their ideology as having more selling power than any time in eighty years.
Eighty years is not a random number, in that instance. The alternative right is made up precisely of people that follow the ideology of Nazis and fascists of yesteryear. The online journal Alternative Right is filled to the brim with articles like “The Enigma of American Fascism in the 1930s.” In that article, writer Michael Kleen writes fondly of pro-Nazi groups that flowered during the 1930s as some sort of counterweight against Roosevelt’s New Deal:
In the third decade of the Twentieth Century, as the Great Depression dragged on and the unemployment rate climbed above 20 percent, the United States faced a social and political crisis. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was swept to power in the election of 1932, forcing a political realignment that would put the Democratic Party in the majority for decades. In 1933, President Roosevelt proposed a “New Deal” that he claimed would cure the nation of its economic woes. His plan had many detractors, however, and at the fringes of mainstream politics, disaffected Americans increasingly looked elsewhere for inspiration.
I have never seen anything like this before. In an article on the Tea Party movement, the fantastic Christopher Hitchens wrote that people like Fox News host Glenn Beck have been “canalizing old racist and clerical toxic-waste material that a healthy society had mostly flushed out of its system more than a generation ago, and injecting it right back in again.” There have always been fringe groups in American politics, but in recent history they have been limited to groups like The League of the South, groups for old curmudgeons who don’t like their kids attending school with children of color.
What the alternative right is doing, however, is seeking to make mainstream political ideas that were long ago found by both American and European society as beyond the pale. Many figures in the movement, such as Kevin DeAnna of the Youth For Western Civilization (a group I will get to later in this article) and Andrew Yeoman of the Bay Area National Anarchists (BANA) have both written on the Alternative Right website that their movement is doomed to fail. Despite this, they have succeeded in attaining mainstream accolades.
Andrew Yeoman, representing his group BANA, has flipped the script on multicultural victimhood politics and used the rhetoric for “people of European descent.” He has been invited several times on Russia Today, the Kremlin based cable news network, to talk about such issues.
Yeoman is a self-satirizing sort. He obviously takes himself quite seriously but his ideology and group are extremely comical. Videos of Yeoman on YouTube can be seen of him and his group BANA holding a neo-Nazi car wash somewhere in the suburban Bay Area. Another video of him shows him protesting the film Machete for its apparent advocacy of “genocide” against “people of European descent.” The Coen Brothers would be wise to follow his strange antics, as he would make for a great character in one of their comedies.
More formidable than Yeoman is Kevin DeAnna. His group, the Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), was founded in 2008. Like Alternative Right, it’s an overtly racialist group but one that masks itself as a very mainstream organization. In the past few years it has managed to grow its numbers from American University in Washington D.C. to Michigan State University to Washington State University, its latest outpost.
DeAnna, like most everyone at Alternative Right, is a great writer. DeAnna has contributed several articles to that website, all of which were highly readable. His communication skills also translate to in person encounters, as he was very direct, clear and sociable in a video interview with him by Salon.com from the floors of CPAC 2011. Unlike the Alternative Right website, YWC has the endorsement of established politicians, with Colorado U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo being an honorary chairman.
A typical article on the YWC website will be one like “The Left Forum: Mixing Education and Extemism.” Such cliched articles are typical of conservative college groups, who have been bemoaning leftism on campuses for several decades. The really interesting stuff comes from DeAnna himself, who will post articles portraying Hispanic leader Cesar Chavez as an opponent of Mexican immigration. DeAnna knows the language of political Doublespeak quite well, and if left to his own devices, YWC would be able to mask its fascist core more properly.
The mask falls off, however, with YWC member blogs. One writer, William L. Houston of the University of Alabama, regularly shows what the YWC is really about, with his article subjects ranging from League of the South influenced diatribes about assaults on “Anglo-Celtic heritage” to a very revealing piece called “The Politically Incorrect Earthquake.” That article literally made the argument that Haitians suffered greatly in comparison to Japanese because of the natural inferiority of Haitians to Japanese.
What is supremely interesting about the alternative right is its being the real deal when it comes to right wing nationalism. There is no apologetics here or false moderation. In addition to folks like DeAnna, the alternative right is rife with people like Jack Donovan, an openly homosexual masculinist and advocate for a return to patriarchy. Like his more ethnically motivated compatriots on the alternative right, Donovan’s gender wars are motivated by real world changes.
The role of men is no longer clear in our society. Men are unanimously in every culture driven by a need for self-respect and, with no clear paradigm for manhood any longer, men are more at risk of losing that self-respect than ever before. As strange as Donovan is, his extreme approach (and ultimately retrograde, damaging and unsustainable) to this very real issue that many men are feeling to some degree is one of the more piercing points of the alternative right. It has gained him a review in Vice magazine by the controversial writer John Safran, who reviewed his book Blood Brotherhood And Other Rites Of Male Alliance. Safran’s analysis of Donovan is one you have to read to truly experience:
Jack Donovan is a very right wing homosexual. He’s bright, sincere and so idiosyncratic it’s hard to know where to begin. His first book, Androphilia, was subtitled Rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity, and railed against rainbow flags and lisps. He’s also a contributing editor to Alternative Right, an online magazine seen by many detractors – and supporters – as white supremacist. For this audience Donovan declares his homosexuality, then argues the case for accepting gays in the military and for welcoming gay workmates (the non-lispy ones, at least).
Now comes Blood Brotherhood, his contribution to the gay marriage debate.
Donovan thinks men, including gay men, are instinctual warriors. They like to fight and build things. To woo a woman, men temporarily suppress this instinct and become romancers. Flowers, snuggles, and white-frosted wedding cake. But this isn’t man’s natural state. So the question is: if two men want to commit, why go through with all this gay woman stuff?
Nevertheless, he likes the idea of a commitment ceremony. It solemnises honour, respect and watching each other’s back.
So if not a wedding, what?
Donovan proposes an alternative rite: a blood pact. Yes, as in opening a vein and mixing blood with your boyfriend.
Read the rest at Vice Magazine: JOHN SAFRAN’S CONTROVERSIAL BOOK REVIEW – Viceland Today
Donovan is a regular at Alternative Right, and fits in next to co-founder Alex Kurtagic. Kurtagic is a straight up neo-Nazi. His website advertises fiction books with premises of “What if Hitler lived?” and his site is adorned with a background of World War II era German military decorations. (Given the diversity of western military history, it should really be noted where someone’s head is at when decided to align themselves with Nazi military iconography.)
Spencer, on the other hand, was a regular contributor at the American Conservative and Taki’s Magazine before founding the Alternative Right website with Kurtagic. Kurtagic’s website features interviews with Spencer, one of which includes the always creepy as hell Spencer reminiscing over a vacation he took wherein his former boss, Taki Theodoracopulos, adorned a Wehrmacht helmet:
Taki is a man who resides in a couple of different worlds. Instinctually, Taki is a “paleoconservative” or “traditionalist” . . . or perhaps I should say “fascist” (I, of course, mean that as a compliment. I always have this image of him wearing a Wehrmacht helmet while skiing in Switzerland, as he related in one of his columns.)
Alternative Right had a pledge drive for $25,000 in order to propel their website forward. The site apparently reached that sum, which should illustrate that this is not a simple bump in the road. What the alternative right is selling is something that has an audience, one that is likely quite large. As controversial as this may sound, the most compelling move may be to address these issues that are crawling out from beneath the carpet of modern life, instead of pretending they do not exist. (John Safran and Christopher Hitchens are among few commentators with the balls to do this so far.) As any doctor can tell you, a tumor unaddressed will only get worse.
Jay Batman’s articles crystallized for me something I have seen on the rise for the last year or so.
In American society, and to a larger extent Europe, Canada and Australia, you’re seeing the rise of a movement that is best described as the “alternative right.” These guys are radical traditionalists, who through the election of a black president to the presidency in the United States, the rise of Hispanic and Muslim populations in Europe and America, have woken up to see a Western society that is no longer exclusively Western.
These guys may have just made snarky comments when George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan added women to the government or held demonstrations when Bush and Reagan opened the doors for immigrants but Barack Obama’s presidency, complete with a Latina on the Supreme Court and a black woman at the highest echelon of cultural authority telling them that they’re eating a crappy diet was just too much to take. Something had to be done.
That something is what you are seeing with websites like Richard Spencer’s Alternative Right, These guys aren’t prudent conservatives in the mold of Wayeed Ali who seek “organic change” over “forced change.” They’re radicals that want disruptive and forced change back to the past. Jay Batman fits smugly among these cretins, with his language alone fitting him squarely in the midst of these neo-fascists:
The violent torpedo of truth that is anarcho-misogyny continues to detonate in the minds of feminists and left-anarchists who simply can’t handle the reality that their ideology is a pale imitation of statism, less concerned with promoting equality than a standard of exceptionalism for women as a gender or a sex. Let’s take a look at some of the reviews offered up by the other side, shall we?
I’ve read and done research on the people who comprise the Alternative Right and they are the creepiest guys I’ve ever seen. I’m preparing a book on the subject. Richard Spencer has spoken fondly of more than a few things that decent people look at with disgust. Here’s a taste:
Yes. Taki is a man who resides in a couple of different worlds. Instinctually, Taki is a “paleoconservative” or “traditionalist” . . . or perhaps I should say “fascist” (I, of course, mean that as a compliment. I always have this image of him wearing a Wehrmacht helmet while skiing in Switzerland, as he related in one of his columns.) At the same time, he’s also connected with the fashionable New York scene (which is made up of people who are far cooler than I, that’s for sure.) And though in his 70s, he has the energy—and libido—of a 25-year-old. The “Taki legend” is definitely true. I remember in 2008 eating dinner with him at the Waverly Inn alongside a number of his old cronies and various pretty girls. It was definitely not your average night at the movies . . . I digress.
I suggest Jay Batman contact Spencer. Spencer loves publicity so he shouldn’t be hard to get a hold of. Batman will fit in like a glove with him.
The issues of race and gender seem to have blown up here at Gonzo Times. This has not been without resistance. The article I posted in October specifically seems to be getting a lot of attention. I have ran into the classic colorblind concepts in response to much of what was written. I thought to myself that I would lay off the subject a while and get to something more along the lines of economics or warfare but then I realized that the amount of resistance to discussing such concepts seems to be an indicator that there is a great deal that needs to be said, and that the problem is real.
We must not fool ourselves into thinking that they are issues we are immune to. I asked why certain people groups are less dominant in the libertarian and anarchist circles. This was often met with defense of what is. The libertarians seem to take an extremely right wing stance on the subject. They regurgitate the Rush Limbaugh take on racism. They wonder why people call them racist. If we are unwilling to discuss the issues how are we any different from the right wing who also refuses to discuss the issues?
The ‘race card’ ‘race baiting’ and other common right wing catch phrases seem to be brought up. Some of this is from an individuals desire to not discuss a problem and some of it is just from people who do not see the problems. Just about any people group is and can be ethnocentric. We are not immune to this. Looking outside and hearing others will help us to break free from this. We don’t see where our problems lie, but it is easy to point out the flaws in others. One of the things that I have done in Gonzo Times is to challenge my beliefs. This has led to much of the writing you read on the site.
Why is it that when the issue of gender is brought up so many libertarians are upset? I see few libertarian publications addressing the issues, they are too busy with their heads in economics as the end all answer to every problem. Are race or gender issues really something that will be solved with economics? If you believe such then you really are clinging to a Utopian belief of libertarianism. Some are offended and call me a communist. Some jump to the conclusion that the only answer is the state. I will say now that the absence of a state is not the answer to racism or sexism. I will also state that currently under the state we see proof that the answer is not the state. It has not been eliminated under the state or outside of the state. When we present real workable solutions to these issues outside of the state maybe then the label of racist and sexist might fall away. As long as the issues are considered non-issues and we look away the labels will stick.
This article is not about racism or sexism specifically but the reaction of the libertarian and some anarchists when the issues are brought up. These are issues deeply ingrained in society and our perspectives of what is and should be. It is in our entertainment, news, media and in our language. I am not implying or stating that libertarians are racist. I am not saying that all white men are racist. I am however stating that there are some reactions to race and gender issues when I bring them up here and other places from libertarians that are counter productive.
I am often attacked or quickly brushed aside when I bring up the issues. The issues of race and gender are met with hostility by many within libertarian circles. Shall these issues continue to go under our radar? The right wing tends to wish them away and pretend there is no issue of race or gender. They often point to the symptoms of the problem as the justification of the problem. Those who cling to the state for an answer and do not wish the state to address this issue I ask why is it you look to the state for justice in other areas of injustice but not this one?
We tend to quickly address issues pertaining to race and gender with one word solutions. For those who are facing such issues one word is not sufficient. Our movement should be listening to those who have been impacted by these problems. The idea that we are just going to accept racism is absurd. The injustices of racism and sexism are the issues we should speak out against. We do not accept the injustice of rape, theft or murder. Why then should we accept these? If this is a movement that embraces oppression then I want nothing to do with it. I would rather join the ranks of the womanists.
Often the issues that come up I do not think are complete racism. They often may come from people with truly good intentions not seeing the barriers that are being put up. This barrier is often one of ethnocentrism. This is not unique to the white man any more than it is exclusive to other people groups. This is one that can throw up barriers and often leads to being blind of the issues that impact another. How myopic is your perspective? I’m certain that mine can be at times but the problem is that we do not see our own blind spots easily.
Many right libertarians spend a great deal of time reading Austrian theories and delving into economic discussions only to get the same redundant sound bytes from Rachel Maddow fans in response. The frustration is there that people have not taken the time to learn about an issue or to truly comprehend what it is you are saying or where you claim the problems lie. They just come back with phrases that they hear recited daily in the news. The issue of race is often met with the same wall. Countless intellectuals have studied these issues and some libertarians almost steal the right wing responses to these issues they have not taken the time to research or learn about. Many libertarians can often become the sound bite replay they so often are frustrated with.
There are libertarians who have addressed these issues. There is often a strong movement towards patriarchal apologetics that seems to attract many. I would dare say that many who I know either see it as a non-issue or are afraid to speak out on this topic for fear of the reactions they will receive. I have met a hostile reception on many occasions in addressing these issues. Then there are those who have also embraced it with open arms or at least without taking a defense. Taking a defense when bringing up certain disparities is indicative of a problem that may be laying under the surface here.
You must choose to deny the issues or confront them. They will not go away and we will not be able to move forward until we have confronted them. The denial will not homogenize society. It will only create greater rifts and support oppressive social norms.
I predict that my calling this subject out will be met with quick uncritical dismissals. I will be called a ‘communist’ or be said to be ‘playing the race card’. These are the common reactions. I also suspect that many will deny that any issues of race or gender exist. I hope that people will open dialogue and seriously begin to discuss issues or race and gender instead of continuing to look the other way.
I want to be clear that many libertarians have done so and are not guilty of trying to quiet the discussion. Many have left insightful comments and have not thrown up a defensive wall when these issues come up. I was not planning on writing on race or gender this week. It just so happened that the beginning of the week it was a topic that many writers here brought up by coincidence. I had issues of the EPA and government footing the bill for corporate PR to discuss, but those took a back seat after the strong reactions I got from what was brought up earlier this week. At first I just considered avoiding race issues but then realized that I was caving and allowing this issue to be shut down. I can not let that happen.
The King hearings have been compared to McCarthyism, but McCarthy went after political ideology not racial and ethnic groups, that was Hitler. New York Republican Senator Peter King is using tax dollars to go on an Islamophobic witch hunt in the United Sates. Peter King supported by the right wing will go down in history with the infamous like Goebels and McCarthy.
The narrative in the United States is disturbing. Take a look at the Center for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a wonderful group. The front page is full of refuting terrorism. The sad reality is that one people group is on the defense against such things to the extent that they have to publicly refute the prejudice assumptions from the masses. I do not see conservative sites being forced to state they are not terrorists. Maybe if we called the terrorism they bring to the world in their holy wars they may have to go on the defense. The big difference is that CAIR does not support terrorism where as the GOP does only under pretty names that legalize and self justify their murder and destruction. The U.S. doesn’t have ‘suicide bombers’ their bombers stay behind computers so they can distance themselves from the lives they are taking. It helps with the dehumanization of their victims.
All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% that Aren’t
King and his ilk are hellbent on going after Muslims in the U.S. when only 6% of terrorists are Muslim. Even Jewish extremism which is at 7% is more than Muslim extremism. How often do we hear of the threat of Jewish Extremism? Well outside of Nazi Germany? These numbers biased because they are coming from FBI data. This is the FBI data that does not count it’s action of terror. This is the same U.S. gov that does not record the numbers of innocents it kills. This is the same government that does not keep tally of the victims of it’s Police or Military.
As the demonization of a people group increases the state has seen fit to go after them to make them answer for the prejudice views against them despite the facts the prejudice supersedes the reality in a call for witch hunts.
King points to symptoms of the problem for justification of his hearings. One symptom of the problem of prejudice and racism is institutionalized racism. This is most often in the form of demonization and targeting of people groups by law enforcement. Law enforcements targeting of these people groups is the reason King gives for looking at this population. Using the symptom of the problem as justification for the problem is a common excuse for prejudice. Here it is institutionalized from the police all the way up to the Senate and nightly on Fox and other news outlets that tell us to fear Islam. I am more afraid of the one who claims to have authority to murder and does not question this murder than I am of people who are being assaulted by mass media and state.
We hold people without warrants. We have detention facilities like gitmo focused on imprisoning Muslims without a trial. Migrants families seeking amnesty are detained like the Japaneese in World War II. Just how much further will the U.S. go? I warn you it’s not over yet. They will take as much liberty as possible. The sentiment in the country is a bit too much like Nazi Germany, if you doubt that the article: Playing the Race Card, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Immigration, shows a bit more in relation to Islamic relations.
Where are all the black men? They’re behind prison bars from the white mans laws. Where are all the white men? They’re in corporations and in city halls. This alone is proof of the institutionalized racism in the United States. 13% of the population is black. 46% of the prison population is black. White kids get to go to court with their lawyers daddy bought and tell how sorry they were for doing what the patriarchy did not like. The black kids get to go to prison, get records and struggle to find someone who will hire them. We blame the victims we put behind bars while they are doing nothing less than what many of the heads of state have done. The white man justifies this by pointing to Uncle Tom in blue. The cracker no longer cracks the whip, they blow their horns and sirens, caging men in their little blue cars with their little hand chains all backed by the murder of their gun.
Red, white and blue are still the colors of the slave owners and men who raped black women like Thomas Jefferson. Have you considered the laws that put slave owners and rapists in power over their victims just may not be the laws we want to base any society off of? I hold this truth to be self evident, all men are equal, it was your documents and force that elevated your patriarchy over others. This hierarchy is not gone. The whips of the slave masters are now the chains of the ‘peace officer’.
I am the son of immigrants and patriots. On one side my family was the cracker. He cracked the whip. That cracker’s name is well known. He was a president and a ‘revolutionary’. He was the patriarch John Adams. On the other side my family was refuge migrants in the second world war. I often choose to identify with the refugee seeking freedom from Hitler’s invasion, the side of my family that did not grow up speaking English. I dream more and more of fleeing this empire for the ‘socialist’ country of my matriarch, my grandmother.
They speak of the country being ‘bankrupt’ as if the problems were the finances. The reality is that it was always morally bankrupt. The privileged can easily point to the victim and place blame for not bowing to the dictates of the masters that have oppressed in the United States Empire for the last two hundred and thirty some years. Their scribbles on paper are somehow seen as the measure for morality. It has justified their murder of the brown people in the middle east, their assault on the brown people from south of their turf and the attack on the brown people in their inner cities. White America has declared war on anyone that is brown or foreign. Ethnocentric blindness helps when they justify their assault on humanity. White man’s burden was supposed to be a thing of the past. The sad reality is the mindset is dominant in the mind of every cracker who worships this system of injustice.
Slave Labor Easy Source For Corporate And Government Profit
Disturbing Implications For Racial Minorities
“As prisoners become sources of profit for the State, we can guarantee one thing: there will be more of them.”
Over 40,000 prisoners are currently in Michigan state correctional facilities. Michigan is just one state of 50, and has less than 4% of the U.S. population.
Although black people make up only 13% of Michigan’s population, they make up an astounding 58% of all state prison inmates. That means that in Michigan a black person is over 8 times more likely to end up in prison than a person who is not black.
Under existing law, prison officials can control virtually every aspect of a prisoner’s life. They can decide he or she will not have sex, even without any law providing for that. They can decide when he will get up, and when he will go to bed. They can decide how much money will be spent on his food, and how it will be spent. They can set rules for prisoners, and punish prisoners in many ways, including depriving them of all food but “nutri-loaf,” or tasteless, ground-up leftovers pressed into a loaf. They can decide who gets to visit a prisoner, and for how long. They can force a prisoner to sleep on a metal grating without a mattress. They can decide how long a prisoner must wait before he gets medical treatment. They can decide that the prisoner will spend 24 hours a day in his cell, or 12 hours a day doing backbreaking labor. It is up to them.
In many states there is a move to privatization of jails and prisons. Instead of being run by the Government, they will be run by private corporations for profit.
The labor of the prisoner belongs to the State, but when the State transfers their interest to a private corporation, the labor of the prisoner belongs to the corporation. A corporation will run the lives of prisoners, and decide how they shall labor and what they shall labor at. See any chance for profit here?
Under the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, slavery is not illegal. Slavery is illegal unless it is for conviction for a crime. In that case, slavery is perfectly legal.
The actual text of the Thirteenth Amendment (with some emphasis added) is as follows:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Two hundred years ago, slavemasters justified their acts of enslavement by blowing all out of proportion some minor flaws of those being enslaved. Because the black slaves had difficulty with a foreign language (English), and did not have a good education, and did not understand the slavemasters’ way of doing things, they were called stupid. Because their sexual practices and manner of dressing were not those of the slavemasters, they were called immoral. Because they objected to being slaves, they were called troublemakers. All of their differences were said to make them inferior. All this was said to justify their enslavement.
Today, slavemasters again justify their acts of enslavement by blowing all out of proportion some minor flaws of those being enslaved. Today, it is drug use. To a rational person, taking drugs is no worse a moral flaw than drinking alcohol, or overeating, or watching too much tv. Taking drugs is no worse than what our President, Vice President, Speaker of the House and Supreme Court Justices have done. To a rational person, selling drugs is no worse a moral flaw than working as a clerk in a liquor store, or owning stock in a corporation like Kroger’s or Safeway that sells butter to fat people. The drug user is said to be “immoral,” and a “troublemaker,” and this is said to justify his or her enslavement.
Drug laws make is possible to sweep up hundreds of thousands of young men and women in the prime of their lives, and confine them for life to being the slaves of some profit-making corporations. Like a war party raiding a small African village 400 years ago, the present day war parties of police go into our cities and suburbs and round up healthy young men and proud young women and send them off to where their labor can be owned by someone else for the rest of their lives.
That is slavery.
Although a large number of white people are enslaved, blacks are rounded up at over 8 times the rate for whites, making this to some degree racially based slavery.
As reported by Mark Langford of UPI, Texas is a leader in the enslavement industry. Union leaders like Joe Gunn of the Texas AFL-CIO are upset that his union members have to compete with slave labor, which brings down the wages of all workers. And, the State Government loves every minute of it, because they get a cut of the profits. A large number of prisoners, normally a drain on the state treasury, turns into a financial asset. As prisoners become sources of profit for the State, we can guarantee one thing: there will be more of them.
Although many prisoners have trouble finding jobs in the real world, they make ideal employees in the prison setting. After all, they can’t exactly talk back, or go on strike, or hope for promotion. Once trained, they cannot leave to go to another employer. You can strip search them after work to ensure no employee theft. Most importantly, with prisoners doing the work, “absenteeism is very low,” says William Meehan, president of U.S. Technologies. Slave laborers working for him make electronic parts that go to such companies as IBM and Motorola. Meehan closed a plant in Austin, Texas and laid off the workers so he could hire prisoners.
With slave industry legal, not only the prisoners suffer; all working people suffer from depressed employment and depressed wages. However, since profits are up, folks like Meehan are making out as well as the folks who ran the agricultural slavery that prevailed in Texas before 1865. So, we have come full circle in only 130 years. Is it any wonder that top industrialists back any plan that will keep the prisons full?
The major corporations that own the major media outlets have launched an all-out attack on tobacco companies, aided by greed of governments nationwide to have more money to carry out their pet projects. Because the tobacco companies are corporations, this attack at first glance looks like it is not a plan of corporate America. But look at the realities. Who owns the networks? Who owns the major newspapers? Who has the most influence in Congress?
“It is undisputed that using tobacco is not good for one’s health, but isn’t it also true that being in prison is not good for one’s health?”
It may just be a coincidence, but the fact is that if tobacco is outlawed, hundreds of thousands of tobacco criminals will be subtracted from the regular labor force and added to the slave labor force, and the American work force will be divided and demoralized by having to compete with slaves. Aren’t those things that would benefit the interests of corporations?
It is undisputed that using tobacco is not good for one’s health, but isn’t it also true that being in prison is not good for one’s health? The breakup of families by incarceration of the parents will not be good for the health of parent or child. The impoverishment of families by imposing fines and forfeitures and taxes to pay for it all will also not be good for their health. The cutting off of access to higher education, and the disabling employment effects of a criminal record will not be good for the health of young men and women, and their descendants for who knows how many generations. And then there are the health effects of violent police raids, wars among tobacco-supplying criminal gangs, murder of snitches, etc., etc. These health effects are never factored into the equations of drug and tobacco policy makers.
As with drug prohibition, with tobacco prohibition we will certainly see a general increase in the level of violence in our communities, and in return get at best a modest decrease in use of the banned commodity.
The increase in prisoners will certainly have disturbing implications for the minority communities from which the majority of prisoners will come.
Regardless of the intentions of individual pro-Prohibition activists, tobacco crime will result in expanding opportunities for corporate profit and political control through expanding prison populations, just as drug crime is doing today.
What has changed over the last 400 years? Not much. Only the improved cleverness of the slavemasters in latching on to ingenious rationales to cloak their crimes.
The 1958 film “City of Jazz” is a poignant piece that spoke openly of the oppression of blacks. 65 people volunteered to work on the film for free. The ideas in the film parallel the struggle of the oppressed with the structure of Jazz. I ask the libertarians who watch this movie just how does the philosophy of liberty fit with the ideas presented about a people whose past and future was stolen from them.
The film shows a dynamic between blacks and whites that was not commonly accepted in 1958. It is a liberating dynamic compared to what most media portrayed blacks as in the time. It was the first time blacks openly challenged whites in film. It features the music of Sun Ra who is a rather interesting figure I wish to talk about in a future post as well as music by John Gilmore. Sun Ra was oppressed not only because of his color but also because of his strong stance against fighting in World War II.
The status update reads:
This is continuing off of the earlier post White Power White Privilege I left with some questions that will be answered most likely in the next post. This one is going to expand on more of the concepts that I touched on in White Power White Privilege.
I received a comment outside of the site that said the article White Power White Privilege sounded like ‘Class Envy’. As I stated before there is a desire to dismiss the issues brought up. ‘Class Envy’ dismisses it on many levels. The phrase rejects that there is a race issue and embraces this norm. If it does not reject it then the phrase simply ignores it with a conveniently dismissive catch phrase. Furthermore it embraces the ‘is ought’ fallacy. It accepts that there is a class disparity and places blame on the lower class in putting blame on the the lower class by assuming there is a negative in opposing class by dismissing it as ‘envy’. This brings about an anti-government fallacy. I am an anarchist. I am not naive enough to believe the answers lie in eliminating government, but in how we address the issues outside of the violence of a state. The anti-government fallacy is that if we end government the problems magically disappear. This anti-state misconception believes that the current disparities are proper and their presence in the dismissal of state action in that area is right or just. The right wing and many other groups are full of this mindset and still cling to the violent force of the government.
This once again goes back to the idea that they only see government as beneficial to their wants and not to the wants as others. None of this questions the ethic or morale of ordering society in the archaic means of violence and force. The only evolution that has occurred in the thousand years of government is that the swords turned to guns, the soldiers took off metal armor and put on blue or green depending on who they are directing the force at and the cages are build with more modern materials. So the mindset that what was should still be and what is ought to be still remains. There is often no desire to address the issues that plague us until the issue impacts the individual directly. What the state has failed to do so far is to rectify many of the issues, and it has failed to come up with any resolution outside of the initiation of force.
To solve the issues we have to strike the root. We often treat the symptoms of the disease instead of attacking and eliminating the disease. We see cough drops as the sure to strep throat because it temporarily subdues the telling sign of the disease. As others look on they do not hear the cough and assume there is no sickness. The root is seen only as government by many libertarians. I am not claiming government is the sole problem. I am not claiming every action of the government has been evil. I have always pointed to the unethical nature of government. Based on this there are other relationships outside of the state that fit that unethical nature. It is our responsibility to point those out and to oppose them as we do when it is within the state. There is a tendency to excuse the action of a business or a corporation that acts in a manner that the state acts by some, Kevin Carson has rightfully coined the tern Vulgar Libertarianism to address this group. The vulgar libertarian often presents a world of tyranny only by private business and not by private business working with the state. I do see many of the Ayn Rand ‘libertarians’ in this fashion, but I do not want to group all of one group in this insulting category. On the other side there is also the desire for some to excuse such violations on personal levels. I can most immediately see this within race and gender issues. There is a hierarchy of race and gender.
The sad reality is that often the victim is left to defend themselves. Look at the civil rights movement. It wasn’t a movement of the patriarchy fighting for the rights of individuals who were being abused and murdered. It was the victims who stood up and opposed the way they were treated that started it all. All too often the victim is given the blame. The rape victim is attacked for their actions or dress leading up to the rape. This is seen with phrases like ‘she was asking for it” or ‘she should not have been’. It is sad but this is the reality of how much of society currently reacts. We hear the word ‘illegal’ used constantly to blame the migrant for the abuse that the state heaps on them.
We looked at power held over others outside of the context of a state. I wish to point out a conflict of focus and language that occurs. The greater libertarian movement and anarchist movement focuses on relinquishing power and giving up power. When you approach a group that has had power taken from them and preach about how you wish for people to give up power you are more than likely going to loose them. Why would they wish to sign up for giving up more power? One group often is attracted to messages of empowerment which sound like a contradiction to what the anarchist or libertarian preaches on the surface level.
To go further in this direction look at the rhetoric of the libertarian. Freedom, liberty and rights are three words thrown around quite a bit by some. These are the same phrases used by the slave masters used to justify their way of life. These words were perverted by the oppressor. This brings us to the problem of white male anarchism and libertarianism we must confront once again. We have a movement using the rhetoric of the oppressor in race and gender. The greater movement is dominated by white males. Is it a shock that this movement is more appealing to this narrow group? This is historically the people group who has promised such things and delivered the exact opposite.
We must face this reality. We are stagnant and narrow minded. Many of us are stuck in these egocentric world views which hinders the progress we could make.
Reality is that people are concerned with immediate needs. If one is hungry, thirsty, cold or oppressed their concern will be meeting those immediate needs. They will not be as immediately concerned about people being slaughtered in the middle east. Why would one be concerned with ending the state or creating a stateless society in the long term when they don’t know where their next meal will come from if it does come at all? No, I am not speaking specifically about poverty & hunger. I am saying that the issues that hinder and confront many are issues we seem to not give a shit about. Cato is busy trying to tell people they need to let corporations run the world. Reason is telling us we need more porn.
In the first article we briefly looked at how this divide exists. This time I intend to state that we need to begin to acknowledge this. We need to look for it in culture, society and what we say or put out there. We will only be able to grow if we look at the truth. Do not fear the truth it will not hinder you unless you are in a battle to suppress truth which leaves you in the same category as the oppressor and the state. I challenge you to look for it everywhere. Watching T.V. do we see how our lives should look even on commercials? You should be white suburban and middle class. This is the norm.
Start bringing up the issues of gender and race. Start challenging people even those you agree with. We need to start asking tougher questions. We need to start truly tackling this stuff at the root. We will be tackling more soon in the next part of this series. I wish to tackle more on race, gender, immigration, culture and poverty. There is much more for us to tackle here. We must stand there, look the cold hard truth in they eyes, see it for what it is and not back down when it is uncomfortable or ugly.
Every time someone challenges society by pointing out white privilege, gender privilege, cultural privilege or any other accepted hierarchy within privilege classes this tends to provoke anger from the privileged class. There is a reactionary attack against the messenger and anger to these cultural disparities being brought up. Some claim it is an attack on whites, others claim to point it out is an attack on their culture, religion or the patriarchy of some sort.
This should be of no surprise. The group who has the privilege will not wish to see that there may be oppression that has granted this privilege. To gain this superiority one must marginalize another thus this marginalization and oppression will flare up. Questioning the hierarchy within this will result in what brought it about. The privileged will justify their privilege often through the re-victimization of the oppressed. They will place the blame on the oppressed for being oppressed. It is true that many libertarians fall in with this category.
Normality is relative. Culture tends to create a egocentric perspective of the world that distorts perception of other cultures and people. To claim there is a norm is often to cling to the culture one has been raised in and conditioned to accept as the norm. The good clean christian white suburbia is often a place we see this.
If you drive to the suburbs of just about any U.S. city you can begin to see it. If you are living in a suburb you may have to leave the suburb to see how others live. In the suburban world we see many areas of privilege. The state subsidized sprawl in catering to the upper class and an upper middle class. With the social subsidies many of these people never challenge despite their rhetoric against the social subsidies for other cultural groups. They tend to attack things like taxation only when it benefits someone outside of their norm.
In the creation of their white suburban havens they have seen fit to allow other people groups into their presence only upon assimilation to their culture. If one wishes to partake in the great wealth they must leave behind their culture and submit to what the dominant race has deemed appropriate to be accepted in their circles. Often this leaves marginalized not with positions of power within these classes but in the lowest positions available.
I walked into a Panera Bread the other day while I was in the suburbs. I come from a neighborhood where many migrants and minorities own the businesses and hold power. Some may call it urban or inner-city. I walked into this Panera Bread in this white upper middle class neighborhood in Johnson County Kansas. The place was packed. There was not one person that was not white except for behind the counter. There behind the counter was an array of migrants and various brown people waiting on and serving the rich white people. Nobody seemed to be shocked or bothered by this. The only white person behind the counter working in the place was the white upper-middle class manager. As I watched the rich white man order about the poor brown people directing them to serve the rich white people I could not see how anyone in the United States could even begin to claim that we do not have a race problem in AmeriKKKa. I was relieved to make it back to the city where things went back to normal. No more black and brown servants waiting on the rich white man. I think I may have sworn off Panera Bread at this point.
It’s not just in one chain Cafe, it is everywhere in the suburbs. The vast majority of minorities take the absolute lowest positions in their culture when they are present. Every so-often you will find a Black man (much more often than a black woman) who has made it in the white man’s corporations. Most successful businesses I see ran by migrants or black people are isolated to the inner city. Why? I touched briefly on some of that in my article White Flight Levittown Suburban Segregation, and I will touch on more of it in the future.
For now I wish to get back to the concept of a cultural norm. People are blinded by their cultural norms and see them only as natural because it is an accepted way of life they have grown accustomed to. The rich white people in Panera Bread were not shocked that they were being served by underpaid minorities. They did not question for it is a cultural norm. They did not wonder what leads to this and they do not see it as unacceptable. If some did they most likely would turn to the rarely challenged initiation of state violence as a solution. As a part of their norm they see the United States as glorious and necessary acceptance of the lesser of two evils.
In this world it is common to oppose taxes based on the fact that some poor person in the city is somehow abusing them or oppressing them. This is all going back to the blame the victim talk I spoke of earlier necessary to maintain the superiority of their own people group. These people rarely if ever oppose taxation on the basis that taxation requires violence to obtain it. They continue to oppose taxation because it would benefit another person. The violence of the state is often praised in these areas. The Police are put on a pedestal in these areas. It is the police that keep the poor and brown in check, so they continue to perceive it as a necessity. Their news tells them how the poor and brown are a danger to them. They are told that the Muslim and the inner city black man are out to get them, and they fear this. They feed into the lies of migrants destroying the economy.
All of these ideas are subtly spoken of often if not explicitly stated. At times they realize there is a form of classism or racism so the answer to them is just to not mention it or mention the color of someones skin as if not speaking of the problem solves the problems.
We now turn our eyes to the city where I live and have lived. It is easy for me to point out the flaws of the suburbanite, for it is always easier to see the flaws in the ones who are not yourself. I grew up in Cleveland Ohio. Early in life I had a negative perspective of other white people and a negative perspective of suburbs. The rich were seen as pampered and weak. They were seen as fearful, and there were many common insults that came into play regarding the cultural norms of the white suburbanite. So, there is not a one way thing going on here, but I will always attempt to err on the side of the oppressed, poor or marginalized over those with power and privileged.
One of the norms I have seen is the rejection of Police within the city. There is a sentiment among many that the police are the villain. Those who are poor or in the city seem to see the negative of the state not in the paying for programs but in the guys with guns that are coming after them. In this respect I very much find that my norms are more affirmed within the culture of the city. So here we see how the virtues and horrors of the state are perceived drastically different between these cultures. The privileged shows love and devotion to the power of the state that the poor are often oppressed by.
Now back to the idea of norms. Which is the norm? What about the many migrant communities and other cultures and sub cultures within these cities?
There is no conclusion, I am working on part two of this which will hopefully be posted soon. There we will hopefully look at gender and religion in relation to all of this. And we will begin to challenge more acceptance of classism within the United States. Think of this as the introduction article to these topics.
Wow. I’m pretty familiar with Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement but I had never heard this speech before. Indeed the only person who can make you free is yourself – not money, the state or anyone else.
The message there should be absorbed by all people of all colors. The key to your advancement is in yourself.
We should croak the Tea Party because it has done nothing but bring out the worst in people, and has done more in the way of dividing this country than of fixing it.
“I do miss George Bush. Compared to these
teabaggers and the people who are pandering
to them, he looks like a professor.”
The Tea Party movement is a testament to exactly what is wrong with politics, and our country, today. I’m not saying this because I believe that every single member of the movement is a racist, and I’m not saying it because I believe that protesting the “business-as-usual” approach to government is a bad thing. Not at all. I actually think that protesting the status-quo is probably the most healthy action that citizens of a democracy can take. After all, if the citizens of a democracy lose their right, or will, to protest…well, then the notion that we are living in a democracy at all is a fallacy.
The problem with the Tea Party is this: It’s not anything new. It’s not some new way of thinking. And, it’s not at all a separate entity. If the Tea Party movement were actually giving the public at large something new to think about that would be one thing. But, the fact is that the Tea Party movement is just an off-shoot of the Republican party & is spouting nothing but conservative rhetoric. So, to the supporters of the “movement” reading this, where the hell is the protest in this movement?
The Tea Party (Republican Party 2.0) is mobilized against a president whose term has seen the least amount of policy change, in terms of party turnover, in the history of the Democratic Party. So, taking that into account, who is your beef with exactly?
So, the Republicans are under siege from a movement that is nothing more than an extension of their own party, the Democrats are masquerading as Republicans, and the Tea Party is forging ahead as though they’re just minutes away from changing the world… You see the problem? This country is in arguably the worst shape it has ever been in. The Republican & Democratic Parties should be focused on getting this country back on track, but instead they are both too focused on the doings of a travelling road show to get anything of significance done.
People have e-mailed me to “inform” me that the movement is providing an alternative to “everyday politics in this country”. That sounds great, but I’m not buying it. Here are my final thoughts on the movement:
The Tea Party was born of the fear that the principles & values of the country at its core were in jeopardy?
I agree with this notion, but the loss of principles & values, especially by those who’ve run this country, happened a long time ago.
Those who were involved with the movement, in its earliest form, were genuinely concerned with the way the government was being run?
I can believe this as well. Aren’t we all more than a little concerned with how the government is/has been run? I’m sure every citizen, especially post-Vietnam/Nixon, would respond with a resounding ‘Yes’ to that question.
The Tea Party is racist?
I truly do my best to not judge an entire group upon the actions of a few within it… But, in all honesty, the Tea Party has been hijacked by individuals & groups who see the demonstrations as a way to spout racially charged epithets at a black president. Plain and simple. So, while not every single person who is involved with the movement is a racist, the platform that the Tea Party encourages has been compromised by hateful, racist people.
The Tea Party is a legitimate third party?
No. Hell no. Pay attention to their stances, their ideals, and the people running as Tea Party candidates, and you’ll see why I’ve dubbed them, “Republican Party 2.0″.
Of all the issues that inevitably come up whenever the Tea Party is brought up, race is the biggest one by far. Without a doubt, I’ll be receiving e-mails from those of you who believe that the movement is a full-blown racist mobilization, and from those of you who believe that the racism slam is an attempt to derail the movement by means of “race-baiting”. I’ve already given my view on the role that racism plays within the movement… Watch these two videos & draw your own conclusions:
- The Altered Statesman
Originally posted at The Altered States of Munley
It seems that the current anarchist movement is dominated by voices of white males. I have noticed a divide in gender, culture and race. It seems that there are few voices of minorities or women dominate in Agorist, Mutualist, Libertarian or Anarchist circles. Why is it that these concepts are embraced more by white males than other people groups? Yes we can point to a few people out there of diverse backgrounds and people groups, but they are few and far between.
We are a minority in our views. I would be willing to say that we anarchists are of one of the least accepted of political philosophies. Within this group we are gaining more and more of a voice, we are growing, but we are really growing mostly within groups of white males. It does seem that many are attracted to certain economical stances that are heavily saturated with white males and traditionally attract white males. I feel that we far too often pass over social issues that seem to be the focus of others. Do we need to change our narrative and dialogue? Do we need to re-evaluate our beliefs? Do we need to challenge our philosophies with perspectives and beliefs of others?
Our authors that have founded many of our beliefs are also white males. Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Murray Rothbard, Lysander Spooner and Samuel Edwin Konkin are many of the pantheon of philosophers we often study. All of them white males. I can say that I seem to see a small minority of white women who also embrace our belifs and have helped to perpetuate them like Voltairine de Cleyre, but they are much less dominate. It is difficult to find people who are not white within this pantheon. The writers and philosophers popular culture in general studies seem to have the same demographics. So, why is it? Where are people from other people groups? Have we all too often overlooked the writings of others that we agree with on many areas because they wrote in the confines of a state?
It seems that many who are radical among other people groups tend to look at concepts of empowerment. We often look at an abolition of power. Where exactly do these differ and why exactly is there a divide? I stand strongly on the philosophy of non-aggression as a foundation of what I believe. Is there something about this that opposes empowerment? I feel at home with the radical left often. I agree with them mostly on every issue except for the few I feel they deviate from non-aggression. I tend to be more of a mutualist on property rights which is why I do not agree with a hard right libertarian anarcho-capitalist perspective. Is there a need to build a more robust mutualist perspective and tome of writings? Would something like that begin to bridge the gaps? What about our beliefs is not attractive to Womanism? At times I read womanist writings and blogs finding that I agree with much of what they say. Do we need to change focus?
I have written here for quite a while and the majority of the comments, writers, contributors and fans I have collected over those years have been white males. Is it there a sort of ethnocentrism present we do not see?
What is the unknown racial and gender divide that is present in the anarchist movement? Or is this divide known and overlooked? I feel that we have a far way to go. When we are led by a more diverse group of thinkers and writers I feel we will be on a more accurate path. Apparently our Anarchism is not for everyone because many reject it. I do not feel that all blame can be placed on others for embracing the state, for I see a dominant anti-authoritarian philosophy strong in many other groups we seem to not embrace, or they seem to not embrace us. I do want a form of solidarity.
I have a great deal of respect, admiration and agreement with the Black Liberation Movement from the 60′s and 70′s. This interview of Angela Davis really got me thinking of this:
I do see many of my beliefs and those of others mirrored in what Angela Davis has to say in this interview. Here is a Woman who is speaking of the prison system of a form of terrorism and the violence of the state.
…. And, don’t put words in my mouth.
I’ve been receiving emails from readers who want to hear my thoughts on the Tea Party movement. One reader actually queried my interest in writing a post in support of the movement. He went on to say, “I assume you are with the movement. After all, you did advocate a strong third party”. Well, yes I do advocate a strong third party (the reader referred to my posting of The Altered States Manifesto in May of 2009).
However, the Tea Party is not a strong third party. The Tea Party is a branch of the Republican Party. Plain and simple. And… I don’t like the things I’ve seen from the Tea Party movement. I’m sure there will be a few more emails fired off at me after this, but that’s never stopped me before…
The following is a picture that I nabbed from Leo Sigh. I know that one picture of one particular person does not encapsulate all involved in the movement… But, I also know that it certainly doesn’t help their cause either…. Especially when the man behind the sign is the founder of TeaParty.org, Dale Robertson. While Robertson later claimed the picture that surfaced was a digitally manipulated stab at his credibility… I find it hard to believe since the photo first appeared on an official Houston Tea Party website. Why would an official TP site be bent on damaging the credibility of one of their own?
Do you really mean to tell me that a man who has no qualms about carrying a sign that spouts such overtly racist trash is not surrounded by at least a few like-minded people? Please. I truly hope you, and America, are smarter than that.
Now, of course not every single supporter of the Tea Party movement is a racist. I’m not suggesting that. Most of the official literature & appearances they make seem to convey a message that I’m sure a lot of Americans can relate to right now. The government is completely fucked up. Government has gotten too big. Officials need to be held accountable. Somebody, anybody, should answer for the goddamn mess that we, as a country, are in. Yes, somebody.
I’m not naive enough to believe all of the bullshit that the Democrats are peddling around either that GW Bush & his cronies are 100% to blame for the economic state of our country. As with every rough patch, the signs were being ignored for longer than a decade that a terrible storm was coming. I know that the country basked in an unprecedented glow of economic stability during the Clinton years… But… Honestly, that brain dead asshole The Situation (of ‘Jersey Shore’ shame) could have been president during the Technology boom of the early 90s and the economy still would have been great. So, let’s not go there.
BUT… the eight years that Dubya was in office certainly took a toll. Without a doubt. And, I wonder who it was that supported Bush throughout his presidency? Surely it couldn’t have been the Republican castoffs that now make up the Tea Party nominees? Right?
The Obama presidency, so far, has completely dispirited me. Obama the candidate was electric. He had the whole world in the palm of his hand. I can’t remember the last time I actually looked forward to hearing someone deliver a speech, but that’s what Obama did… He was a drawing card. A damn great orator. Obama the president has lost most, if not all, of his oomph. He’s done little to change my view of the presidency as the ultimate figurehead gig in the world. The man (and someday woman) who is president means absolutely nothing because they will do whatever the hell they are told to do. Special interest groups & high society run this goddamn country. Don’t forget it.
So, is the Tea Party movement really supposed to change anything? Just who are these (ahem) teabaggers?
How about Mark Williams? If you don’t know who he is… He is the Conservative Party USA, radio host, and author of It’s Not Right Versus Left, It’s Right Versus Wrong; Exposing the Socialist Agenda and Taking Back America One Tea Party at a Time, (2010).
While in the midst of protest in regards to the proposed mosque that is to be built near Ground Zero in NYC, Williams (the chairman of Tea Party Express) also made the following statement on his blog: “The monument would consist of a Mosque for the worship of the terrorists’ monkey-god“. That’s racist strike number two.
And then there was the Springboro, OH incident in which Springboro Tea Party founder Sonny Thomas tweeted the following: “Illegals everywhere today! So many spics makes me feel like a speck. Grrr. Where’s my gun!?” After the slur made the rounds on Twitter & other social networking outlets, other Tea Party officials declared the comments “classless” & said that his comments did not represent the Tea Party as a whole. I’m sure they don’t, but in my book… That’s still racist strike number three, and you know what that means sports fans… Yer outta here!
So, Marcus W. in Arizona… Just because this ‘movement’ is qualifying in the minds of many right now as a Party… Don’t assume that I am “with the movement” or that I’d like to write something “helpful” for the cause. You know what happens when you assume something…
I’m going to say this as seriously as I possibly can. If Glenn Beck continues on the path of rage and hate that he is on, calling Barack Obama a “racist” and “the devil” or hosting a thinly veiled neo-white nationalist festival on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, there is going to be blood in the streets. This is not hypothetical. It has already started happening:
On his Monday radio show, Glenn Beck highlighted claims that before he started targeting a little-known, left-leaning organization called the Tides Foundation on his Fox News TV show, “nobody knew” what the nonprofit was.
After that, we’ll go here:
And guess what? Everybody in America would have found out about the Tides Foundation last week if Byron Williams had had his way. He’s the right-wing, government-hating, gun-toting nut who strapped on his body armor, stocked a pickup truck with guns and ammo, and set off up the California coast to San Francisco in order to start killing employees at the previously obscure Tides Foundation in hopes of sparking a political revolution.
Thankfully, the planned domestic terrorist attack never came to pass because California Highway Patrol officers pulled Williams over for drunk driving on his way to his killing spree. Williams quickly opened fire, wounding two officers during a lengthy shootout. Luckily, Williams wasn’t able to act out the ultimate goal of his dark anger — fueled by the TV news he watched — about how “Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items,” as his mother put it. Williams wasn’t able to open fire inside the offices of the Tides Foundation, an organization “nobody knew” about until Glenn Beck started targeting it.
Penn Jillette, a great libertarian guy, mistakenly compared liberal arguments that Beck is creating a dangerous political environment with blaming video game creators for shootings or the Beatles for the acts of Charlie Manson. This conclusion has logic to it but it doesn’t hold water since Beck is flirting pretty strongly with ideologies and figures that are knee-deep in genocidal movements of the past and have not been brought out of the attic and into the mainstream for decades, while bragging about making people aware of organizations that fans like Byron Williams have attempted to take out.
Video game creators and the Beatles are doing no such thing and simply creating products for enjoyment.
Beck surely is aware of these events and has not toned it down, instead upping the anti by trying to use the legacy of Dr. King to boost himself. I’m refraining from labeling him a “racist” or “bigot” but there’s alot going on with Beck that is very uncomfortable.
For example, one of his favorite Twitter profiles is that of “MalevoFreedom,” who said “Embrace White Culture!” (“White culture,” whatever that is, being something Beck has accused Obama of having a deep hatred for.)
The sort of climate that Beck is fostering is the sort that will not end pleasantly. Some of the unpleasantries were seen at his “Restoring Honor” rally on August 28, and would have been even worse if he hadn’t forbidden signs:
Signs touting links between Martin Luther King and communism are something this country hasn’t seen since the 1960s. The resurgence of such sentiments, and at a rally held on the Mall on the anniversary of his “I Have A Dream” speech, is profoundly disturbing.
Anyone who cares about this country, civil rights, race relations or a culture of decency should be deeply concerned about the hate that Glenn Beck is selling.
Even Bill O’Reilly, another host at Fox News who has Beck regularly on his show, has said that he is weary of the approach of Beck to combatting Obama:
MY COLLEAGUE GLENN BECK thinks that the forty-fourth President of the United States is a subversive, a man bent on changing America into some kind of socialistic nanny state that might, God help us, actually resemble France. Beck passionately believes that Barack Obama is a danger to everything Beck values. So Glenn has moved aggressively to challenge the President by using his daily radio and television programs to illustrate the radical stuff he believes is being promoted by the Obama administration.
Rush Limbaugh and many other conservative radio commentators believe pretty much the same thing: that the President is a force for pernicious change, a committed socialist in a two-thousanddollarsuit.
These guys pound President Obama into pudding just about every day, and millions of Americans are spooning up the dessert.
But I’m not so sure this scorched-earth strategy aimed at the President is good for the country. I favor a more surgical approach.
There’s an old quote by James Baldwin that is very appropriate. “People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.” Glenn Beck would be very well advised to keep that quote in his mind. I will refrain from judging Beck personally but it is quite clear that his rhetoric is attracting some of America’s most unattractive and long denied elements.