Politics of Hate category archive
One more time, “freedom of speech” does not mean freedom from consequences.
Words fail me.
Alfred Doblin tries to draw conclusions from the departure of Steve Bannon from the White House. He is not optimistic that it portends substantive or positive changes. A nugget:
. . . Bannon was the connector to the angry white men of America, the people who probably wear their red Trump hats in the shower. Breitbart News peddles a particular flavor of America: Call it Dirty Vanilla. It’s all white, but not so pure. The so-called alt-right and the white nationalists who want to genuflect at Confederate altars saw Bannon’s presence inside the White House as a sign that they won the election and that Trump – as mercurial as a thermometer – was going to set America to their thermostat.
Judging from the president’s comments since Charlottesville, in which he has stood up for white supremacists and the Confederacy and, in response to terror attacks in Spain, continued to promote a lie about Gen. John Pershing, pig’s-blood-dipped bullets in the early-20th-century Philippines, and Muslim terrorists, Trump cannot help himself from being Trump. So I have limited hope that the removal of Bannon changes everything. But it is a start.
Lance Dotson, a Republican operative from Maine, offers his diagnosis of the Republican Party’s current pathology:
Follow the link for his reasoning.
Dick Polman reports that, as Trump administration spokespersons were not to be found on the Sunday yak shows, the networks turned to the D-list. He stands aghast at Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s, performance on Meet the Press. Here’s a bit from his column (emphasis added–follow the link for the whole article):
Was Falwell offended when Trump equated Nazis and white supremacists with those who showed up to oppose Nazism and white supremacism? Was Falwell offended when Trump said there were “very fine people” among the marchers who carried Nazi flags?
Ah, nope. Falwell replied: “I didn’t hear anything there that would offend somebody.”
Falwell sorta conceded that perhaps Trump could’ve been more sensitive to “my friends in the Jewish community,” that perhaps “he could be more polished and more politically correct.”
(Hang on a sec. Since when is it “politically correct” to condemn Nazis? Didn’t we conclude as a nation, on a bipartisan basis 75 years ago, that Nazis were bad?)
He goes on to report that Falwell asserted that Trump “spoke from his heart.”
If this is indeed the case, and there is no reason to doubt it, said heart is not a pretty place. Nor are the hearts of ones who would defend it.
As I’ve noted several times, today’s Republican Party is the creation and the legacy of Richard Nixon. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” his decision to woo bigots and racists during his second campaign drew them into the party and they have no commandeered it.
Leonard Pitts, Jr., sums it up; here’s a bit:
Its machinations have delivered to the GOP the presidency and both houses of Congress. Yet seldom has a party controlled so much and looked so bad doing it. Republicans find themselves saddled with an incompetent president elected on an implicit promise to make America white again. Under him, they are able to accomplish exactly nothing. They cringe as he suggests moral equivalence between bigots and those who protest them. As if all that were not bad enough, a newly revived hate movement now arrives, looking to cash in its chits.
Farron scornfully points out the the Trump administration is already working on deceptive campaign 2020 commercials.
Der Spiegle devotes another editorial to Donald Trump, and this one is a barn-burner. I find this telling sentence:
Follow the link for the rest of the sentences.
Werner Herzog’s Bear takes down the talking point that removing memorials to American traitors is somehow “destroying history.” (History can be misinterpreted, reinterpreted, explored, even forgotten, but it cannot be destroyed, for its fruits are all around us.) Here’s a nugget (emphasis in the original):
Confederate monuments created a white supremacist usable past.Other people have written about this, but it bears repeating: the vast majority of Civil War monuments in the South were built during the height of Jim Crow. They were not immediate responses to the war. They are also intended to push a certain interpretation of the war, the “Lost Cause.” This narrative essentially said that the white South was the superior side fighting for a just cause, and only lost due to the material superiority of the Union. These monuments defended the old slaveocracy at a time when lynchings and other incidents of racial violence were accelerating. By being erected after Reconstruction and during Jim Crow, they are not mourning a defeat in the Civil War, but actually celebrating the victory of white supremacy in its aftermath. Context matters.
Writing from disgust, Robert F. Lyons protests Donald Trump’s and the Trumpkins’ immigration proposals by telling the story of his Irish immigrant ancestors.
As of today, there are conflicting reports as to the web location of The Daily Stormer. TPM reports that it has moved to the Dark Web. My attempt to connect to several variants of its name at a dot-ru address yielded a 404.
As I said earlier, I wouldn’t explore the Dark Web on a bet. It’s not that the Dark Web is all bad–it isn’t–but it’s not worth it to me to learn what’s safe and what’s not.
This is your country on Trump.
“It was just something stupid that we thought would be funny, but it didn’t turn out to be funny at all,” the boy told Fox 13 Memphis. “It wasn’t supposed to be racist.”
Alfred Doblin savages Donald Trump’s response to events in Charlottesville, Virginia, noting that he demonstrated that he values his rabid, bigoted base more than his country. Here’s a bit:
No mention of white supremacists. Later, during a press conference held at his golf club in Bedminster, the president said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”
Many sides? There aren’t many sides to hatred, bigotry and violence, only one side: the wrong one.
It appears that the resurgent racist right is receiving a reaction that it did not expect.
They are certainly not gaining new followers, and I suspect the push-back has taken them aback. If not for them, Confederate monuments that have been or are being removed in many cities the past week would likely still be standing and still be relatively uncontroversial, by which I mean, images in the background of day-to-day life, not issues in the foreground.
This is in no way to downplay racist right’s danger to the polity. Stupid, hate-full, angry men (and it’s mostly men) with guns (and nuclear codes) are inherently dangerous. Rather, it is to point out a tiny little ray of sunshine peeking through the thunderclouds.
Whether the clouds will break is a whole nother issue. So long as the
Southern Strategy Republican Party maintains dominance via voter suppression, gerrymandering, and other dirty tricks, optimism escapes me.
In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Chris Johnson argues forcefully that the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, traces back directly to the influence of white Southern culture and the racism in which is was conceived and which still undergirds far too much of it. Indeed, he goes so far as to posit that white supremacy (and, by extension, any ideology of supremacy), is inherently violent. Here’s a bit (emphasis added):
But there was only one such divisive ideology on display on Saturday — racism, and it was advocated by just one group, white nationalists. The violence was instigated by those who think that because they are Caucasian they should be recognized as more authentically American and deserving of preferred status.
Such an ideology is inherently violent, because someone who thinks that way is not going to tolerate “just getting along” with those he views as inferior if they are granted equal treatment under the law. Supremacists view that as a source of grave injustice. And a sense of injustice has always been a motivator for violent acts.
In The Seattle Times, Angela Uherbelau discusses how fascists, white supremacists, and their dupes, symps, and fellow travelers would use the freedoms guaranteed in the United States Constitution to undermine this very fragile experiment in democracy.
Most Americans automatically recoiled at the racism on full display in Charlottesville — the swastikas, the Confederate flags, the “Jew will not replace us” chants. This type of hate is easier to rebuke because it is blatant. Harder is to look someone in the eye at a “free-speech” rally, who claims to be misunderstood, and ask why, exactly, they turned out to hear a speaker like Tim “Treadstone” Gionet, who tweeted “Jews Control the News.” Harder to interrupt a neighbor or a family member or a friend who parrots Trump’s corrosive propaganda that the violence in Charlottesville had its roots in anything other than racism.
White supremacists — whether they’re marching in the streets or drafting memos in the White House — cloak themselves in the mantle of free speech because they know that term strikes a deep chord, a patriotic chord, in countless Americans. They aim to twist one of our country’s most sacred rights into a weapon to destroy our fragile web of civility and common decency.
The Constitution protects freedom of speech. It does not promise freedom from consequences.
In The Roanoke Times, mental health professional Maurice Fisher offers a clinical profile of a white supremacist, stressing in the beginning that it is a theoretical exercise and not a case study of any particular individual.
Here’s one item; follow the link for the rest (emphasis in the original):
Third, a white supremacist is generally narcissistic, self-centered and selfish. Any issue with which the white supremacist is confronted is turned into an issue about the quasi-benefit of being white. In terms of narcissism, the white supremacist is angry with any other individual or group of individuals who fail to appreciate how great he or she is.
Sound like anyone who is constantly in the news?