Tag Archives: Southern Poverty Law Center

Let’s not give the neo-Nazis an air of legitimacy that they don’t have

Charlottesville, Virginia, Daily Progress news photo

A car driven by a 20-year-old neo-Nazi and registered Republican from Ohio plows through a crowd of anti-neo-Nazi/anti-fascist demonstrators yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one woman and injuring 19 others. Additionally, two Virginia state troopers were killed in a helicopter accident while policing the neo-Nazi rally that was dubbed the “Unite the Right” rally, ostensibly to protect a statue of Confederate “hero” Robert E. Lee from removal in the Virginia city.

I largely agree with Salon.com’s Amanda Marcotte’s research and opinion, which she had expressed before shit went down in Charlottesville, Virginia, yesterday, that, as the headline of her piece puts it, “It’s time to fight the alt-right — but not by actually fighting in the street.”

I, for one, have no desire to be anywhere in the vicinity of a showdown between the neo-Nazis — I reject the euphemistic term “alt-right”; these are garden-variety neo-Nazis, not anything new — and the anti-fascists/anti-neo-Nazis.

You could get stabbed, as multiple people were in a melee between the neo-Nazis and the anti-fascists here in Sacramento last summer, or shot, or severely beaten, perhaps even to death, or, as happened to several people yesterday in Charlottesville, intentionally hit by a car (and thus killed, as was one 32-year-old woman, or severely injured, as were several).

I surmise that few to none of these people demonstrating against the neo-Nazis who were seriously injured or killed had really thought that they might seriously be injured or killed, but it was predictable that they were at such risk.

In the end, is serious injury or death worth it where it comes to the fairly tiny minority who are neo-Nazis? What does it accomplish in terms of changing the overall social order?

Don’t get me wrong. Because a neo-Nazi and registered Repugnican (is there much difference between the two, especially among those who support “President” Pussygrabber?) murdered someone by car yesterday, demonstrating yet once again that yes, indeed, the neo-Nazis are much more likely to commit unnecessary, deadly violence than are the anti-fascists, in the court of public opinion I’d chalk this one up as a win for us anti-fascists.

But that came at the cost of three lives lost yesterday in Virginia because of a relatively small bunch of fucking losers who aren’t at all worth that cost.

Because the neo-Nazis are a relatively small group, I don’t know that it is at all necessary to go mano-a-mano with them in the streets. As Marcotte notes:

… To be clear, neo-Nazis and the like tend to be disorganized and unreliable, so there are decent odds [that the] Unite the Right [rally] will be poorly attended, and the resulting atmosphere will be one of comical pathos rather than the menace far-right forces are hoping for.

Unfortunately, as Bob Moser at the New Republic argued, there is one group that can help restore some lost dignity to the wannabe fascists: progressive counter-protesters. Yes, the very people eager to fight white supremacists in the street may, as Moser argues, be helping the cause of white supremacy. [Emphasis mine.]

“By confronting both the various breeds of white supremacists with fury and violence, we’re giving them better media attention and recruitment tools than the worst of the worst could ever hope to muster for themselves,” Moser argued.

He laid out a number of examples of how alt-right and KKK rallies are typically poorly attended by white supremacists themselves, and that the behavior of counter-protesters — who often outnumber the actual racists — are invariably used as propaganda by these groups to recruit more members online, which is where the real action is happening. …

Marcotte goes on later:

… As someone whose instinct is to run towards confrontation and not away from it, I decided to talk this out with Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, whom Bob Moser used to work for.

The SPLC also warns against counter-protesting, but, Beirich explained, this should not be confused with minimizing the seriousness of the white supremacy threat or claiming that ignoring bullies makes them go away.

“This is a legitimate [???] group of people in the United States who have growing political power and who have frightening views when it comes to minorities,” she said.

“I don’t find that you’re not standing up to bullies” if you resist the urge for angry confrontation, she continued. “I think you’re starving them of the oxygen that they live off,” meaning right-wingers’ pretense that they are constantly victimized, censored and assaulted, a narrative that tends to play better if they actually encounter violent confrontation in the streets.

Instead of counter-protesting, Beirich argued, progressives should speak out in other ways. She recommended speaking out online, lobbying politicians to fight hate crimes and holding counter-rallies at a different place or time. [I don’t know about that; such rallies could attract neo-Nazis, it seems to me, but of course, everyone has the First-Amendment right to assemble peacefully, and I don’t believe that people should cave in on their First-Amendment rights because some neo-Nazis might show up.]

“When you put on something positive that also gets coverage, it presents your community in a much better light, and it puts the focal point on the ideas that are the peaceful, caring ones,” Beirich said.

Holding rallies not centered around direct confrontation with the alt-right has, I’d argue, another benefit: It’s far more inclusive. Direct confrontation on the streets that may lead to violence is a tactic that naturally favors young, able-bodied people, especially men.

For women, disabled people, parents, older people and racial minorities that have stronger concerns about violence from white supremacists, the face-to-face showdown strategy can often be alienating. [Emphasis mine.]

Still, I totally get those who feel that holding hands and giving speeches about favoring love over hate doesn’t feel like nearly enough. People are angry and want, for very good reason, to screw with these guys a bit. Isn’t there any way to take the fight to the wannabe Nazis?

One thing that’s important to understand, Beirich noted, is that the alt-right “is an online movement, for the most part.” Some of its leaders have basically resorted to pleading with their followers to show up for actual events in the offline world.

That has had some effect, with bigger crowds at the American Renaissance Conference and other rallies, but the primary audience and organizing platform for far-right activism remains the Internet.

Even when alt-right folks gather in person, it’s mostly about getting group photos that can be used to recruit new followers online by promising a sense of community.

So for those who are attracted to the simple pleasure of screwing with Nazis, the online world is where to go to make fools of these fools. Beirich suggested reporting hate speech on social media, but there are an increasing number of ways for progressives  to use the same online tools used by white supremacists to organize against them. …

Agreed. Most of the fight indeed is within the court of public opinion, and a huge part of that fight is online, where public opinion increasingly is formed.

The majority of Americans already have fairly strong feelings one way or the other where it comes to neo-Nazis, it seems to me, but the vast majority of Americans never are going to go to a neo-Nazi rally. And who, exactly, are you converting at a neo-Nazi rally? Who there has an opinion that you can sway?

Let the 41-year-old virgins have their little neo-Nazi rallies. Let’s not give them the physical confrontation that they want and that they then use to recruit. It’s better to ignore them and thus to let them be embarrassed and to further weaken their ability to recruit. To confront them gives them the veneer of legitimacy and importance that they don’t actually inherently possess.

But don’t get me wrong; should these treasonous, far-right-wing motherfuckers ever truly become a significant threat to the well-being of those whom they hate — should they, say, begin to physically attack the objects of their hatred with anything that is like regularity and that is outside of lone-wolf actions — then yes, let’s face them in the street.

But if they’re just going to gather in public spaces from time to time and spout off, let them; and ignore them.

And yes, while we’re on the subject, the symbols of white-supremacist/white-nationalist terrorism need to be removed from public property.

The Confederate flag belongs in museums, not on any property that is supported with a penny of taxes. And Confederate statuary — such as the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, whose removal was approved by the city council but is now tied up in litigation (and which ostensibly was the reason for the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville yesterday) — has no place in public, either, especially in places that are maintained by tax revenues.

The Confederate flag and a statue of a Confederate “hero” — and let’s get this straight: no traitor who fought for the “cause” of perpetuating slavery can be a fucking “hero” — are not neutral, innocuous symbols of “history” or “heritage.”

They are terrorist symbols that are meant to strike fear into the hearts of certain members of those who see them, and no one should have to worry about being out and about in public and encountering terrorist symbols that are meant to terrorize them.

The war here for the most part is not against the white race, if there really even is any such monolithic thing as “the white race.” (“You will not replace us,” the apparently spooked neo-Nazis chanted this past weekend in Charlottesville, but whites still make up more than 60 percent of the U.S. population and so probably aren’t going to be “replaced” any year soon.*)

The war here is against terrorism — in this case, the domestic terrorism that routinely is perpetrated by the neo-Nazis.

We have to continue to fight against these domestic terrorists and traitors, and we have to do so intelligently and effectively.

Brawling with them probably isn’t the way to do that. Not right now, not yet, anyway.

P.S. Slate.com reports that the murderer by car was photographed with a neo-Nazi group earlier in the day by a news photographer yesterday, so no, the neo-Nazis can’t distance themselves from this guy. He is one of them.

Here is the news photo:

New York Daily News news photo

The perpetrator, whose name is James Alex Fields Jr., is the evil fucktard in the middle, fourth from the left and fourth from the right.

*That said, the racial composition of the United States doesn’t matter. It has changed throughout the decades and it will continue to change in the decades to come. At one time it was solely Native Americans, of course, and yes, in the modern era the U.S. is becoming less and less white, with Latinos being the fastest-growing non-white racial group in the U.S.

As a white man, I’m not troubled by this in the least. The only thing that is constant is change, and the change in racial demographics in the U.S. is a slow, gradual change, and for the most part it is a non-violent change except for the violence perpetrated by the neo-Nazis.

Finally, I am a proponent of racial mixing, socially, culturally and reproductively. Genetically and culturally, inbreeding is the worst thing that you can do; it only guarantees that your defects and weaknesses are repeated — and sometimes even amplified.

If racial “purity” were a good thing, then so many of the neo-Nazis wouldn’t be mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktards. The proof is in the pudding.

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Jesus fuck: Amazon.com plans black-separatist series called ‘Black America’

 

I found the (rather poor) graphic above posted with a 2010 blog piece on black separatism, but Amazon.com reportedly plans to put out an alternative-history series called “Black America,” in which black separatists create a new nation called “New Colonia” out of three former slave states. Black separatism is A-OK, but HBO’s “Confederate,” in which the Southern whites no doubt would be the villains, is not. This situation is not sustainable.

“I hope that these what-if-history-had-turned-out-differently television series don’t proliferate too profusely,” I wrote very recently of HBO’s plans for an alternative-history series called “Confederate,” adding, “but I don’t recall Amazon.com being called anti-Semitic for having resurrected Hitler [in its alternative-history series ‘The Man in the High Castle’], so I think it’s incredibly bullshit for the creators of ‘Game of Thrones’ to be called racist for planning to resurrect the South.”

I was, unfortunately, prescient. 

Slate.com reported yesterday that “now Amazon has revealed that it’s planning ‘Black America,’ a series created by Will Packer and ‘Boondocks’ cartoonist Aaron McGruder in which, as a form of reparations, black Americans have annexed three former slave states and founded a country of their own called New Colonia.”

Just: Wow.

Very apparently, Amazon is planning a series that glorifies black separatism when the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies black-separatist groups as hate groups along with white-separatist groups.

I mean, would Amazon, HBO, Netflix or any other mainstream entertainment corporation put out a series called “White America” about white separatists who had succeeded in gaining a portion of the nation for whites only? Methinks not, even if the whites in the series clearly were the uber-villains. It would be way too radioactive.

But in the current sociopolitical environment, black separatism apparently is A-OK.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course I get it that whites enslaved and then continued and still continue to oppress blacks, not vice-versa, at least at the institutional level (although sometimes it is vice-versa at the individual level, and I long have believed that one-on-one interactions are much more important than are groups, since we interact with others as individuals and not as entire fucking groups). And of course I get it that throughout U.S. history whites (as a group) always have had the numbers, the money, the power and the resources that blacks (as a group) have not, so that it hasn’t been a level playing field. And did I mention that whites enslaved blacks and not the other way around?

But while the early descriptions of HBO’s proto-embryonic “Confederate” give me the clear impression that the whites in “Confederate” will be the villains, Slate.com’s description of “Black America” sure sounds like a ringing endorsement of black separatism.

Slate.com further notes:

“Black America” was first announced in February, but Amazon kept the show’s details under wraps, saying only that it would be vaguely along the lines of “The Man in the High Castle.” But the controversy over “Confederate” has prompted the company to show their hand, undoubtedly because the premise of “Black America” sounds a lot like some of the things that critics behind the #NoConfederate campaign have suggested as possible alternatives.

The Deadline article focuses on the issue of reparations, saying “Black America” “may have a sense of wish-fulfillment” for, as Packer puts it, “black Americans who are suffering from the effects of slavery in various ways.” But the idea for the series verges on more intriguing terrain yet, suggesting how a U.S. devoid, or at least largely evacuated, of people of color might founder and fail, while the nation of New Colonia prospers. …

Wow. I could point to many nations in the real world that are run by blacks and not by whites that, to put it very mildly and charitably, don’t prosper, and then we could have the discussion as to how responsible whites (and white supremacism and white anti-black racism) still are for failed black nations and how much responsibility the black people in those failed nations should take for that failure, but I’m still blown away by the very idea of a black-separatist fantasy series being put out by any large, credible media company.

All of that said, as I have established, I am a strong supporter of the freedom of expression, and so no, unlike the self-serving, free-speech-hating, “safe-space”-loving assholes who already are protesting “Confederate” — no, actually, they’re not really “protesting” it as much as they’re trying to kill it before it even is born — I have no plan to join any public backlash against “Black America” that might materialize before it even airs (emphasis, of course, on “before it even airs”; we’ll see how I feel after it airs).

“Black America” sounds much worse to me than “Confederate,” but I don’t believe in prior censorship and I believe in the marketplace of ideas. Let Amazon do its thing and let the chips fall where they will. (I do a lot of business with Amazon and so I’d hate to have to boycott Amazon, so I’m hoping that if “Black America” actually materializes, it has cultural/social/artistic merit and isn’t essentially just a hate-whitey fest.)

And also as I have stated, I think that it’s fine for historically oppressed groups to have their own culture, their own novels, their own songs, their own television shows, their own movies, etc. As a gay man who always has been in a heterosexist dominant culture, I know how important it is for a subculture to have its own creations of artistic expression.

But separatism is something else.

The whole hate thing aside, how incredibly boring and soul-arresting it would be to be surrounded only by others who look, think and act just like you do. It sure might feel great at first, but then the soul rot would set in.

Yes, indeed, visit with the members of your own tribe regularly and often.

But then, at least on occasion and with some regularity, come back to the whole to share what you have to offer and to receive what others of other tribes have to offer.

The early description of “Black America” doesn’t seem to share that sentiment at all, and while I think that I can understand the appeal of black separatism to those blacks who have felt the grinding effects of white anti-black racism the most, I don’t see that black separatism ultimately is any better for them than white separatism is for whites or for the nation or for the world.

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The ‘Only Black Lives Matter’ set is only worsening the black-white division

Kori Ali Muhammad

Kori Ali Muhammad, who on April 18 in Fresno, California, slaughtered three white men for the crime of being white men, proclaimed from his jail cell, “They tell black people all the time to get over it. So I say get over it. There will be no pity party.” That view apparently is shared by many if not most of the “Only Black Lives Matter” set, who, like Muhammad, apparently view the cold-blooded murder of three white men as somewhere on the spectrum of nothing to worry about at all to wholly justifiable, given the ugly history of race relations in the United States of America.

Earlier this month, 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, a black man, went hunting for white people in Fresno, California.

Apparently he more specifically was hunting for white men, because he shot four white men, killing three of them: Zackary David Randalls, 34, of Clovis; Mark James Gassett, 37, of Fresno; and David Martin Jackson, 58, of Fresno.

The news media widely called these shootings “random,” because Muhammad didn’t know any of his victims personally, but no, they weren’t fucking “random.” The victims were profiled by their race and sex — even though, as Muhammad said himself of Fresno, “Black people are not being gunned down by police or hung [sic] in trees. It’s fairly civilized here.”

As a white man, albeit a left-wing gay white man, of course this news hit home. Had I been in Fresno that day, I could have been one of Muhammad’s victims, based upon my appearance alone. I mean, I fit his profile.

I don’t live far away from Fresno, and should a black supremacist nut job decide to go hunting for white men in my city, I could be his victim.

(Of course, the chance that any of us is going to be gunned down in the street by someone we don’t know is quite low; we’re much more likely to be killed in a car wreck, so I’m not worried about being out and about.)

I didn’t write about the Fresno slaughter because Muhammad, although he clearly is racist, clearly is insane — “This is bigger than me. This is just a warning. If America does not treat black people right, it will be destroyed by God,” he told the Fresno Bee of his murderous rampage on white men — and because news stories about an extremist and/or mentally ill member of one racial group doing something awful to a member of another racial group so often are taken, by the ignorant and the opportunist, to signify that all of the members of the offender’s racial group are evil.

For instance, I certainly don’t want to be grouped together with Dylann Storm Roof, the 23-year-old white-supremacist nut job who in June 2015 shot and killed nine members of a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in the hopes of starting a race war.

I was horrified by that race-based massacre, and I made a donation to the church where it took place.

It is tragic and outrageous that any individual of any race should be murdered in cold blood by a racist because of his or her race.

But the outrage and the tragedy isn’t felt by everyone (which is why I’m writing about the Fresno slaughter now).

To wit, Chauncey De Vega, Salon.com’s resident Only Black Lives Matter writer, who in his latest piece (rather directly and revealingly titled “Why I Don’t Write About Anti-White Hate Crimes Like the Fresno Murders”) pretty much admits that he makes a living by stoking racial tensions (à la Al Sharpton, I suppose), writes in the piece that he’ll start writing about anti-white hate crimes committed by blacks when white people show him what he deems to be the sufficient level of concern about anti-black hate crimes committed by whites.

Wow.

If the race of the victim of a race-based hate crime is what matters to you before you can show empathy or concern over the wrongdoing (even when it’s murder), then you’re a fucking racist yourself. You don’t care about humanity as a whole; you care only about the members of your own race, which makes you a racial supremacist. There is no fucking way around that.

I do not argue, of course, that whites and blacks, as groups, are on equal footing in the United States of America. Of course they are not. They never have been and very well may never be.

But we don’t interact with entire groups of people. We only can interact with other actual human beings.

In De Vega’s worldview and argumentation, he shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about the three white men who recently were slaughtered in Fresno because of all of the horrible things that other white men have done to other black people throughout history up to the present.

Just: Wow. Has white racial hatred made so many blacks equally hateful? Racial hatred seems to be pretty contagious to me.

De Vega’s given reasoning for why he doesn’t write about anti-white murders by blacks is almost convincing. He writes (the links are his):

… I chose to not write about the murders in Fresno because I try to be a voice for the voiceless and the marginalized. Kori Ali Muhammad has been arrested. He will almost certainly be punished to the fullest extent of the law. As documented by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights organizations, black and brown people who kill white people are sentenced much more severely than whites who kill people of color. Because of this fact, Muhammad is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison. (California has not executed anyone since 2006, but if he’s convicted he might well be a candidate for this.)

Anti-white hate crimes are extremely rare in the United States. To obsess over them is an akin to Herman Melville’s fictional Captain Ahab chasing his great white whale.

There are other matters more deserving of my time and attention. [!]

Since Donald Trump’s election there has been a record increase in hate crimes against people of color, Jews and Muslims. After the election of Barack Obama in 2008 as president, there has also been a large increase in the number of white supremacist hate groups. …

Because it doesn’t fit his narrative of black people good, white people bad, De Vega doesn’t tell you that during the Obama years, the number of black supremacist hate groups (yes, those groups exist) also grew significantly; in 2008 there were 112 of them, and in 2016 there were 193 of them, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (to which I have donated and encourage you to, too), which also notes that in 2016, there were 130 Ku Klux Klan groups in the U.S.

I have to suspect that the main reason that De Vega and his ilk don’t want to talk about black-on-white crime is that it doesn’t fit their politically and personally rewarding narrative that it’s only ever that blacks are the victims of whites; blacks always are the victims and whites always are the perpetrators, not just in crimes but even in everyday conflicts and disagreements.

So when things like the Fresno slaughter make the news, it’s wildly inconvenient. Cognitive dissonance is a beeeeyotch.

But De Vega’s claims about the statistics overall seem to check out, although his snark about “chasing [a] great white whale” is quite hyperbolic, based upon the actual statistics. The Chicago Tribune noted in January of this year:

The horrific beating of a mentally disabled white man in Chicago by four black assailants broadcast on social media is highlighting anti-white hate crimes at a time of increased racial strife in the United States. [I wrote about the Chicago incident here.**]

But federal statistics and experts say anti-white incidents remain a smaller percentage of overall hate crimes. Anti-black hate crimes are still the largest number of cases.

According to the 2015 FBI hate crime statistics, the latest available, there were 613 anti-white-related crimes out of 5,850 total cases. That’s around 10.5 percent of all reported hate crimes, and within the yearly average, federal numbers show. [To me, 10.5 percent isn’t “extremely rare,” as De Vega claims anti-white hate crimes are. To me, “extremely rare” would be something like 1 percent to maybe a few percent.]

By comparison, the FBI reports there were 1,745 anti-black hate crimes or about 30 percent of all reported incidents.

Jews were the most targeted religious group that year and were victims of 11 percent of all hate crimes. It’s not clear how many anti-Jewish hate crime victims also may have been attacked because of their race. …

Of course, there are a lot more white people to commit race-based hate crimes against blacks than there are blacks to commit race-based hate crimes against whites. Non-Hispanic whites make up about 62 percent of the American population, whereas blacks make up only about 13 percent. If we’re going to talk about the percentage of hate crimes, we have to look at the relative size of the population of the offenders.

Again, I wholly concede De Vega’s point that historically and presently, black Americans, who always have been outnumbered by white Americans, have had it a lot harder than have white Americans. That is inarguable.

But I find it incredibly cold-hearted to be able to feel nothing for the victim of a hate crime because he or she isn’t a member of one’s own group.

De Vega’s column, methinks, demonstrates that for many (if not even most) black Americans, “Black Lives Matter” truly means “Only Black Lives Matter.”

Whether the “Only Black Lives Matter” stance is justified or not — De Vega apparently believes that it is, but I have real problems with his apparent argumentation that compassion for the individual in the present should be disregarded because we should focus instead on entire groups of people throughout history to the present — I can tell you that the “Only Black Lives Matter” stance is not going to win a national (that is, a presidential) election.

And that’s because, again, around 62 percent of Americans still are guilty of the crime of having been born white.

And to tell them, the majority of Americans, that for a white person to murder a black person in cold blood out of racism is dead wrong and should induce us to take our anger to the streets — but that it’s not even worth our attention when a black person murders a white person in cold blood out of racism — is not the way to get them on your side.

Indeed, I surmise that, perversely ironically, the “Only Black Lives Matter” set is largely responsible for the rise of “President” Pussygrabber. If we’re going to say that white racism brought us “President” Pussygrabber — an awfully convenient excuse to wholly ignore what an incredibly shitty campaign that Repugnican-Lite sellout Billary Clinton ran — I’d say that it wasn’t only white racism, but black racism, too, that accomplished that wonderful feat.***

And memo to the “Only Black Lives Matter” set: You can’t win a presidential election with 13 percent of the population. That’s just math. You need allies, and you don’t gain allies by telling them that they’re evil because they don’t kiss your ass in the manner in which you decree they should kiss your ass.

In the end, the only way that race relations in the United States can improve is within our one-on-one interactions. Entire groups of people don’t interact with each other; only we as individuals interact with each other — as individuals.

If we’re going to see each other as only a representative of the worst of an entire group of people instead of as individuals, of course racism never is going to change.

Unfortunately, there are too many individuals out there whose entire sense of identity — and even some whose incomes — are based upon keeping racial differences alive and well.

*The Southern Poverty Law Center writes of black supremacist hate groups:

… Although the Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes that much black racism in America is, at least in part, a response to centuries of white racism, it believes racism must be exposed in all its forms. White groups espousing beliefs similar to black separatists would be considered clearly racist. The same criterion should be applied to all groups regardless of their color.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Violence begets violence; hate begets hate; and toughness begets a greater toughness. It is all a descending spiral, and the end is destruction — for everybody. Along the way of life, someone must have enough sense and morality to cut off the chain of hate.” …

Yup.

Also, I’ll note that while I use the term “black supremacist,” the Southern Poverty Law Center uses the term “black separatist.” To me the terms are synonymous, as white separatists of course are white supremacists.

**I wrote:

… Before any white people get all indignant and high and mighty over this unfortunate case, we must remind ourselves that also in the news is the ongoing trial of 22-year-old white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof, who shot and killed nine black church members in cold blood in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015.

Just as Roof is not representative of all white people, the four young black people who appropriately have been charged with hate crimes against the mentally disabled young white man (yes, black-on-white crime can be a hate crime, even though there are plenty of assholes and idiots who would claim otherwise) are not representative of all black people.

A minority of the members of all races are capable of inhumanity to other human beings, ranging from verbal abuse to torture to murder.

It’s ridiculous for the right or the left or for any member of any race to use incidents of race-related crimes to indict all or most of the members of an entire race.

These ugly race-related crimes come crashing into our national consciousness via the media, and the media should report them, but we shouldn’t take the incidents out of context, assert that they represent a larger pattern that they don’t represent, or try to selfishly use the incidents to reinforce our own pre-existing, narrow racial-political worldviews and agendas — or, worst, try to use the incidents as an excuse to commit our own crimes against other human beings, feeling “justified” in doing so. …

***Not only did the “Only Black Lives Matter” set, with their black supremacist worldview, offend some whites to the point that they were more likely to vote for Pussygrabber, but in the primary elections and caucuses, blacks supported Billary Clinton over Bernie Sanders by a ratio of about three to one.

I believe that blacks rejected Sanders largely if not mostly because they perceived him to be just another old white man. (How much black anti-Semitism played a part in blacks’ rejection of Sanders I can only guess, but apparently anti-Semitism is significantly higher among blacks than it is among whites.)

So out of their anti-white racism (and possibly if not probably also out of their anti-Semitism), the “Only Black Lives Matter” set supported the weaker Democratic presidential candidate, Billary Clinton (seen as the “black” candidate, despite her record and her husband’s record of harming blacks), helping to put Pussygrabber in the White House.

Way to go!

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Haters’ minds are in the toilet, as usual

Updated below (on Saturday, November 9, 2013) 

This is what it’s about — not about horny heterosexual boys trying to get at the heterosexual girls in the girls’ bathrooms, as the wingnuts blatantly are lying about a California law that protects transgender public-school students. But even that said, the law is about a lot more than the bathroom, anyway.

In July, the California state Legislature passed a piece of legislation titled AB (Assembly Bill) 1266, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed on August 12.

AB 1266, which is not long, can be read in its entirety here.

AB does at least a few things where the biological sex and the gender identification of public-school students are concerned.

To me, perhaps the biggest substantive change that the new law makes is that it mandates that “A school district may not require a pupil of one sex to enroll in a particular class or course, unless the same class or course is also required of a pupil of the opposite sex.”

If I understand English correctly, that means that public schools in California may not have sex-segregated and sex-specific courses. When I was in junior high school (in Arizona), for instance, all seventh-grade male students were required to take shop, but no female students ever were required to take shop, and all seventh-grade female students were required to take home economics, but no male students ever were required to take home ec.

At my junior high school, which was comprised only of seventh- and eighth-graders, eighth-graders could take shop or home ec, regardless of their sex. Seventh-graders, though, had no choice, but were funneled into shop or into home ec solely based upon their sex.

Under AB 1266, in California, such sex-segregated class requirements — boys must take shop and girls must take home ec — are no longer allowed (again, if I understand English correctly).

AB 1266 also proclaims that “Any school personnel acting in a career counseling or course selection capacity to a pupil shall affirmatively explore with the pupil the possibility of careers, or courses leading to careers, that are nontraditional for that pupil’s sex.”

I remember the principal of my junior high school summoning a bunch of us seventh-grade boys into his office after we’d signed up to take home economics the next year. We’d already taken our required one year of shop,  and, not wanting to take a second year of shop in eighth grade, we signed up to take home economics instead.

I remember the principal trying to talk us out of taking home ec. A few of us boys caved in to his pressure, but most of us (including myself) took home ec anyway. (I am gay, but most of the other boys who also decided to take home ec instead of another year of shop were not, to my knowledge, also gay.)

I don’t remember the principal’s exact “argument” (this was in the early 1980s…), but, in retrospect, my guess is that it was his personal belief that boys shouldn’t take home ec, and so he was going to try to dissuade us from doing so. (No, taking home ec did not “make” me gay. That was a pre-existing condition, so to speak.)

Had AB 1266 been the law of Arizona at that time, it would have been illegal for the principal to try to dissuade me and the other boys from taking home ec; he wouldn’t legally have been able to try to shove his own backasswards gender-role biases down our throats. (And had AB 1266 been the law of Arizona at the time, of course, I wouldn’t have been forced to take shop, which I hated, unless the girls were forced to take it, too.)

So I’m happy that today’s public-school students in California are set not to have to experience what I did, which was having backasswards/conservative/wingnutty gender roles shoved down my fucking throat.

I write “are set” because AB 1266 is set to go into effect on January 1, 2014.

But not if the haters get their way.

They’re in the middle of a campaign to gather enough petition signatures to put AB 1266 up for a “yes” or “no” vote before California’s voters in November 2014 (this process of reversing a piece of legislation at the ballot box is called a referendum).

The haters’ deadline to turn in the required number of signatures (more than half a million of them) is within less than a week. If, after their signatures are examined, they meet the signature requirement, AB 1266 will not go into effect on January 1, but will be suspended until after the voters of the state weigh in on it in November 2014, a year from now.

The intended effect of AB 1266, that I can discern, is to make public-school students feel like it’s OK to be themselves. The intended effect of AB 1266, that I can discern, is to cut down on such problems in our public schools as gender-identification-related (and sexual-orientation-related) bullying (including, of course, physical violence), ostracism, depression, drop-outs, and yes, suicide. It’s to help make every public-school student feel safe to be who he or she is, regardless of whether he or she possesses the XY or XX chromosomes and regardless of whether he or she identifies with the gender associated with his or her chromosomes.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

In that same spirit, it does no one any injury for his or her peer to identify as a male or as a female, regardless of whether his or her peer possesses the XY or XX chromosomes. (There are some rare variants of the XY or XX chromosomal set-up, but let’s please keep this simple…) It neither picks anyone’s pocket nor breaks anyone’s leg, so to speak. (Ditto for same-sex marriage, of course.)

But this is the portion of AB 1266, the very last sentence of AB 1266, that the wingnuts have focused upon like a hate-and-ignorance-filled laser: “A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.” (Emphasis mine.)

The wording is, admittedly, vague. “Facilities” can encompass a lot. Presumably, “facilities” includes restrooms and locker rooms.

However, sexual activity isn’t supposed to be going on inside of school or public restrooms and locker rooms anyway.

You’re not supposed to be exposing yourself to others in restrooms. The last time that some male apparently exposed himself to me (he proudly displayed his erection to me, to which I did not outwardly react at all) in a men’s restroom was many years ago, and he did it at a urinal, so that he could have plausible deniability, apparently. My point is that other males just aren’t showing me their junk in men’s restrooms (whether I’d want them to or not), and I assume that in women’s restrooms, too, women aren’t exposing themselves to each other.

So I don’t understand how it hurts anyone should a transgender student use the restroom of the gender the student identifies with. I can, however, see a problem with, say, forcing a male-to-female transgender student to use a restroom that is restricted for use only by biological males. Maybe this student will avoid using the boys’ restroom like the plague in order to avoid being beaten up.

I can see that because, unlike the wingnuts, I possess a degree of fucking empathy.

Communal (versus individual) showers in public schools are, in my opinion, a bad idea (the film versions of “Carrie” aside) — we should afford our students their privacy, just as we adults want our privacy — and so that shouldn’t be an issue anyway, but, on that note, let me say that I recall, in junior-high-school P.E., being rather aroused by my naked male classmates, with whom I was forced to take communal showers. (Luckily, I never got an erection, if memory serves. [Yeah, that’s something that I think that I’d remember, given the homophobia of that time and place…])

The wingtards who falsely paint AB 1266 as allowing horny (straight) boys to take showers with girls and to use their restrooms overlook the fact that gay male students and lesbian students routinely take showers with and share restrooms with members of the sex to which they are attracted. Indeed, non-heterosexual students don’t have the option of showering with or using the restroom of the sex to which they are not attracted. And this has been the case forever. Duh.

AB 1266, if it stands — if it is not overturned by the voters (who tend to be significantly more trans-phobic than homophobic) — does have details to be worked out. For instance, what would be the criteria for a public school to have to acknowledge that a student is transgender? Would the student have to dress as and act as the gender the student claims? Or would the student’s word be enough? Would a psychological evaluation have to be done to determine that yes, indeed, this student is transgender?

And, of course, how would post-P.E. showers be worked out in schools that for some reason still have communal showers?

But these details are worth working out, because no student should experience discrimination that makes his or her getting a decent education difficult to even impossible.

AB 1266 is about much, much more than (presumably straight, horny) boys using the girls’ bathrooms (for sexual kicks), but, just as the wingnuts lie through their venom-filled fangs about same-sex marriage, which neither picks anyone’s pocket nor breaks anyone’s leg, the wingnuts lie about AB 1266.

Wingnut Randy Thomasson, for instance, of the Campaign for Children and Families (which sure sounds nice, like the Campaign for Puppies and Kittens), proclaims, on his hate group’s website (yes, the Southern Poverty Law Center says that Thomasson’s organization is a hate group), SaveCalifornia.com:

If you’re like me, you’re angry about the Democrats’ new law requiring transsexual school bathrooms on every public school campus.

As you know, AB 1266 — cobbled together by homosexual-bisexual-transsexual activists, the immoral teachers’ unions, and their Democrat [sic] state representatives, who control California state government — forces all K-12 government schools to permit biological boys into girls’ restrooms, showers, clubs, and sports teams, and biological girls into boys’ restrooms, showers, clubs, and sports teams. …

That is, of course, a wildly gross exaggeration of AB 1266’s actual intent, “to permit biological boys into girls’ restrooms, showers,” etc., and to permit “biological girls into boys’ restrooms, showers,” etc.

Thomasson’s manipulative, lying rhetoric Orwellianly doesn’t even allow you to consider the fact, the reality, that there are biological females who consider themselves to be males and vice-versa. No, the “Democrat” Party, you see, just wants to turn our public schools into sex orgies! After all, we all know how “immoral” those teachers’ unions are!

Yes, this is hate speech. This is language that, as the Southern Poverty Law Center correctly states, increases the likelihood of hate crimes being directed at a certain group (in this case, non-gender-conforming individuals [and non-heterosexuals, too]).

I hope that the haters don’t get enough valid signatures on their hateful referendum. If they do, just as was the case with Proposition Hate (which Thomasson supported also, of course), at the minimum, millions of dollars will be blown on the ballot-measure campaigning.

And while I’d love to think that a majority of California’s voters would uphold AB 1266 if it went to the November 2014 ballot, as I have noted, the typical American these days unfortunately is more accepting of a gender-conforming non-heterosexual than he or she is of a non-gender-conforming individual, especially a transgender individual.

“Gay is the new black,” left-wing radio show host Randi Rhodes was saying almost a decade ago, when George W. Bush used same-sex marriage as a huge wedge issue in his 2004 “re”-election campaign (even though his campaign manager at that time, Ken Mehlman, is gay [Mehlman, whose treason I will never forgive, came out in 2010]).

We’ve come a considerable way on equality for gay men and lesbians since then. Illinois just this week became the 15th state (in addition to the District of Columbia and some other jurisdictions within states) to legalize same-sex marriage, and ding, dong, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) is dead, and so is the euphemistically named “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA).

But in most jurisdictions of the United States it’s still wide-open season on transgender individuals, and AB 1266 is a step toward the realization of actual liberty and actual justice for all — an idea and an ideal that the wingnutty, treasonous haters always have hated.

Update (Saturday, November 9, 2013):

In case you doubt anything that I wrote, above know that yesterday, in front of a local store, I saw a stupid white man, a “tea-party”-looking type, collecting anti-AB 1266 petition signatures. His hand-drawn sign, which he’d affixed to his table, called for “no co-ed bathrooms,” which is not, of course, the heart and soul of AB 1266, and hilariously, he also had written on his sign, “boys in boys and girls in girls,” which sure looked like an advocacy of homosexuality to me, but which meant “boys in boys’ bathrooms and girls in girls’ bathrooms.” (These are the same fucktards, of course, who didn’t know what “teabagging” means…)

Anyway, this asshole, of course, was totally misrepresenting AB 1266, and so when he shouted to me and my same-sex partner as we passed by his table, “All you have to do is sign [the petition]!”, I remarked to him, “I have read the law. You are totally misrepresenting it.”

To this he had no response, which is not a surprise, since the use of words isn’t his strong suit. (Lying and hating are his talents.)

If you think that non-gender-conforming students don’t have any significant problems in our public schools, know that in Oakland this past week, a 16-year-old thug set fire to the skirt that an 18-year-old was wearing while the latter was riding a public bus. The 18-year-old, whose birth name is Luke Fleischman, reportedly considers him-/herself neither male nor female, but “agender” or of “nonbinary gender,” and goes by the name Sasha.

Sasha now is in a burn unit in San Francisco with second- and third-degree burns. (I would contribute to Sasha’s recovery fund, but they’ve met their goal and aren’t accepting any more donations right now.)

This shit happened right here in California, and it’s exactly this kind of shit that AB 1266 was meant to stop.

But the “tea-party” traitors and their ilk are perfectly OK with gender-conformity-related persecution, even such persecution of minors, continuing. (Because Jesus and God want it that way!)

But probably more common that such attacks as the one on Sasha are such incidents as the eighth-grader in Kansas who recently was suspended from school for carrying a purse. Reports a local news outlet:

A 13-year-old Kansas eighth grader says he was suspended from school for carrying a purse.

Skylar Davis says the Vera Bradley purse is his form of expression. He adds that girls carry purses, so he should be able to do the same. Skylar’s vice-principal disagreed and told him to stop carrying the bag.

When Skylar refused, he was suspended. His mother questions the suspension because she found no mention of bags or purses in the school handbook.  She also questions the timing since Skylar has been carrying the bag since August.

The school has not commented on the suspension.

So fuck, not only do our non-gender-conforming students have to take prejudice, discrimination and abuse from their peers, who at least perhaps can be at least partially excused for their actions because of their immaturity, but our non-gender-conforming students have to experience such treatment even from the so-called “adults” whose duty it is to foster their well-being. (This news story, by the way, leads me to believe that very little has changed in many if not most American public schools since my bigoted asshole of a principal in junior high school tried to talk me out of taking home economics.)

I hope that Skylar’s family sues the school for the suspension that was based upon prejudice, discrimination and bigotry. And the chauvinistic vice principal needs to be reprimanded at the very least, and such suspensions need to cease and desist.

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Wade Michael Page and the two Americas

 Wade Michael Page is seen in this undated picture from a myspace.com web page for the musical group "End Apathy"

Wade Michael Page (shown in some news images above), who was 40 years old when he was killed yesterday as he was committing a heinous hate crime, didn’t look so different from the way that I look.

He was and I am a brown-haired white man in his 40s with a shaved head and a goatee. His eyes appear to have been hazel or green and mine are blue, and I have no tattoos, but still, just looking at us, just from appearances, you might assume that he was and I am on the same page.

But he was and I am not even in the same library.

Page, who yesterday gunned to death six people at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before he was gunned to death by a police officer, held a very different vision of what the United States of America should be than do I.

Page reportedly was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1998 for “patterns of misconduct” and was “ineligible for re-enlistment.” He also was a white supremacist. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and individuals who are involved in hate groups:

Wade Michael Page was a member of two racist skinhead [musical] bands – End Apathy and Definite Hate, a band whose album “Violent Victory” featured a gruesome drawing of a disembodied white arm punching a black man in the face. In the drawing, the fist is tattooed with the letters “HFFH,” the acronym for the phrase “Hammerskins Forever, Forever Hammerskins.”

The Hammerskins is a nationwide skinhead organization with regional factions and chapters that once dominated the racist skinhead movement in the United States.

Both of Page’s bands played with a revolving lineup of musicians, and their music was at one time featured on the Hammerskin Nation record label. In 2010, Page and his band mates – including Brent Rackley, a member of a Confederate Hammerskins chapter in North Carolina — played at a racist music festival called Independent Artist Uprise in Baltimore. Other bands featured at the show were Blue Eyed Devils and Max Resist, both influential mainstays on the hate music scene.

“Blue-eyed devil.” As one who possesses blue eyes, I never want to be mistaken for a white supremacist.

I don’t believe that the United States of America should be a white-majority nation, either in numbers or in political power. (Even when whites have only a plurality in terms of their population in a certain area, they still tend to wield majority political power in that area.)

I don’t believe that the racial makeup of the United States of America matters. An American, to me, is anyone who lives here. (I’m not even concerned about his or her citizenship status.) I am not disturbed that racial demographics in the U.S. are shifting, so that whites increasingly are becoming a minority in the nation as a whole. (Whites already are a minority in many regions of the nation.)

I don’t believe in an American monoculture, which is what Page and his ilk apparently have wanted: a culture of white, patriarchal, usually theocratic so-called “Christians” who believe that those who are different — those whose race or beliefs or language or customs or sexual orientation or gender identification differ from the white monoculture’s or from what the white monoculture dictates these things “should” be — should be relegated to ghettoes, driven out of the U.S. and/or even exterminated.

A monoculture of any type is dangerous. Biologists will tell you that when a species does not allow in some genetic diversity, that species’ genetic defects, which are not washed out, then, so to speak, will then threaten the species.

Ditto for culture. The closed-off white monoculture envisioned by Page and his ilk is a recipe for ruin because it lets in nothing different and new, making adaptability to a changing environment difficult to impossible.

Only by allowing in diversity can the United States of America adapt to a rapidly changing world. Others possess what the white monoculture does not possess — and what it needs. (And yes, even the white monoculture has some valuable things to offer other cultures.)

Far from the white supremacist viewpoint, mine is much like that of the late Mexican philosopher, politician and writer José Vasconcelos, who in his long essay “La Raza Cósmica” (“The Cosmic Race”)* urged the intentional mixing of all of the races in order to maximize the gifts that the various peoples of the world possess.

It’s a Utopian vision, I know. Indeed, Vasconcelos even calls the achievement of such a society “Universópolis.” You don’t get much more Utopian-sounding than that.

But is this vision really any different from the vision statement that is printed on our nation’s seal and on our currency: “E pluribus unum,” Latin for “out of many, one”?

I hold that this vision, however Utopian, is a much higher vision than that of Wade Michael Page, who was just one of millions of white American men (and women) whose vision, whether they openly admit it or not, is that of continued white supremacy — a right-wing, racist vision akin to that of Nazi Germany.

I hold that the vision of “E pluribus unum” is the true American vision, although the history of the United States of America is one big violation of this vision after another. Indeed, the American ideals were violated even as they were created. But because the vision repeatedly has been violated by those who have yet to rise up to it is no reflection upon the validity and the strength of the vision itself.

Speaking further of the truly American vision, I take the words associated with the Statue of Liberty quite seriously:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me …”

Therefore, I see anti-immigrant sentiment as deeply un-American. Anti-immigrant sentiment is as American as apple pie, you might argue, and I would agree with you that yes, in what we have seen throughout U.S. history to this present day, it sure is, but in terms of the vision, of the ideal, it is quite un-American. 

The six Sikhs whom Wade Michael Page gunned down in cold blood — five men and one woman who ranged in age from 39 to 84 — they, I am guessing, were among the “masses yearning to breathe free.” They, I am guessing, responded to the promise that the United States of America had made to them that it wanted them, that it would embrace them, that it would grant them some freedom, or at least some opportunity.

They met a white supremacist coward’s bullets instead.

They met his bullets because he very apparently considered them to be a threat to his continued survival and that of the group(s) to which he perceived himself to belong.

I consider them and others whose culture is so different from mine not to be a threat, but to be an opportunity — an opportunity to learn more, to discover more, to grow, to expand my concept, and theirs, of what it is to be a human being on planet Earth in this cosmos.

Rather than spray Sikhs with bullets, or even with rubber bands, I’d much rather spray them with questions. I’d rather compare notes.

That doesn’t mean that I’d ever become a Sikh or a Muslim or a Hindu (yes, white supremacists, they’re all different) or that I’d learn a foreign language that is incredibly difficult for someone whose first language was English to learn, such as Mandarin or Cantonese or Japanese or one of the Russian dialects.

But it means that I’m not afraid to share the same space with people who significantly are different from me, and it means that I’m willing to engage in cultural exchange that benefits everyone.

Although they might look the same on the surface, there truly are two United States of Americas.

One of them is represented by the likes of Wade Michael Page.

I am proud to represent the other one.

*Written in 1925, the essay contains some sentences that seem racist or at least stereotypical today, so I don’t endorse every word that Vasconcelos put down in his essay, but I do endorse his overarching ideas, and it does seem to me that, as Vasconcelos posited those many decades ago, Latin America might offer the United States its best hope for salvation, which is ironic, given the United States’ historic oppression of Latin America.

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