Tag Archives: whites

The cultural war on white people

Image result for white walker

So popular within the American culture is the war on white people that the blue-eyed devil is the biggest villain in the very popular HBO TV series “Game of Thrones.” Just sayin’.

That headline is intentionally provocative, but it’s not entirely hyperbole. Discussion of civil rights and racial equality and interracial relations has, over the past few years, increasingly become less and less about reconciliation with whites and more and more about the demonization of and revenge against whites.

And it’s ironic, because many if not most of those seeking revenge against whites are non-whites (mostly black Americans) who have not directly been touched by the worst of what white Americans perpetrated upon non-whites (mostly black Americans) throughout U.S. history. (I think that I have fairly privileged non-white college students in mind the most.) And many if not most of the demonized whites of today have not perpetrated the worst of what white Americans perpetrated upon non-whites throughout U.S. history; they were just born white.

A dream was deferred — and racial revenge has been deferred, too.

The popular message to whites today is that you’re evil because you were born white. You cannot escape your whiteness, and therefore you cannot escape your evil, you blue-eyed devil.

This message is contained in even just the title “Dear White People” — the title itself is so offensive (“Dear Black People” or “Dear Hispanic People” or “Dear Asian People” wouldn’t be OK, but “Dear White People” is perfectly OK, you see, because all white people are evil) that I haven’t been able to get into either the movie or the TV show of that name.

I did get all the way through “Get Out,” the black-paranoia suspense movie in which the central message very apparently is that every white person is an anti-black racist and that no white person can be trusted by any black person.*

I guess that the white actors who appeared in “Get Out” thought that they were being good guilty white liberals by participating in this movie whose central purpose apparently is to tell its primarily black audience that Yes, you’re right, every white person is evil and is out to get you, and, given enough time, will betray you eventually.

That’s such a healthy message.

And this message was “confirmed” in the fairly recent incident in which Bill Maher bizarrely and unfunnily referred to himself as “a house nigger” on his HBO politicocomedic talk show.

Maher was “outed” as just yet another secret white supremacist, you see — his having had many black guests on his show over the years, his $1 million donation to Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and his black ex-girlfriends obviously all were just elaborate cover for his greatest love, which is, of course, to practice white supremacism — and so on his next show he had to undergo the obligatory flagellation (Bad white man! Baaad!). It was a fucking debacle.

As I have noted before, while white Americans were evenly split between Bernie Sanders and Billary Clinton in the Democratic Party primary elections and caucuses, what helped Billary win the nomination is that black Americans supported her over blue-eyed devil Bernie by a margin of three to one.

Ironically, the true blue-eyed devil was and remains Billary, but no matter.

And I expect Bernie to face anti-white (and anti-Semitic) sentiment from black voters again should he run for 2020. But we’re not even to talk about these facts, since they don’t fit the anti-white, only-whites-can-be-racist narrative that is so en vogue.

But could it be that treating a whole race of people like demons might actually induce some of them to act like demons, in a self-fulfilling prophecy? I mean, that has happened to some blacks due to the white demonization of them, has it not? Why wouldn’t it work in the opposite direction?

Lest you think that I’m going overboard here, there are these concluding paragraphs in Slate.com writer Jamelle Bouie’s piece on the recent KKK rally in Charlottesville, Virginia (to protest the removal of Confederate “hero” statues):

… But while the Klan is a faded image of itself, white supremacy is still a potent ideology. In August, another group of white supremacists — led by white nationalist Richard Spencer and his local allies — will descend on Charlottesville to hold another protest.

Unlike the Loyal White Knights, they won’t have hoods and costumes; they’ll wear suits and khakis. They’ll smile for the cameras and explain their positions in media-friendly language. They will look normal — they might even be confident. After all, in the last year, their movement has been on the upswing, fueled by a larger politics of white grievance that swept a demagogue into office.

The Klan, as represented by the men and women who came to Charlottesville, is easy to oppose. They are the archetype of racism, the specter that almost every American can condemn.

The real challenge is the less visible bigotry, the genteel racism that cloaks itself in respectability and speaks in code, offering itself as just another “perspective.”

Charlottesville will likely mobilize against Spencer and his group, but the racism he represents will remain, a part of this community and most others across the United States. How does one respond to that? What does one do about that?

I’ve been reading Bouie for years now, I believe it has been, and for the most part his discussions on racism and race relations have been fair, balanced and insightful, which you often don’t find in the discussion.

But the spirit of the paragraphs above is disturbing. Its message is that no white person can be trusted; we can’t go by the type of clothing anymore, so we can only go on the color of the person’s skin. Indeed, Bouie’s sentiment above mirrors the central thesis of “Get Out”: “The real challenge is the less visible bigotry, the genteel racism that cloaks itself in respectability and speaks in code, offering itself as just another ‘perspective.’ … What does one do about that?”

Indeed, if every white person probably is the enemy, what do you do?

Apparently the only hope that a white person has these days to get acceptance from non-whites, especially blacks, is to denounce his or her entire evil race in the strongest terms possible and to state strong agreement with every word stated by non-whites. But even that isn’t enough, you see, because the denunciations of one’s own evil, white race and the claims of sympathy and empathy with the non-white probably aren’t sincere. They’re probably just a cover-up for the blue-eyed devil’s true, inborn evil.

We cannot continue to “function” this way, not if we ever want interracial reconciliation. But therein lies the rub: Many (if not most) non-whites (blacks especially, very apparently) don’t want interracial reconciliation, because their entire identity is wrapped up in being a perpetual victim of the blue-eyed devil. (Often, even their income depends on it.) This victimization (real or fabricated) must continue for their identity (and, sometimes, their income) to remain intact, so they continually will find “proof” of this victimization whether it even exists or not.

I surmise that Bouie asked his concluding question (“What does one do about that?”) rhetorically, but I’ll answer it anyway:

You don’t worry about what other people think of you, as you have no control over that, for the very most part. You do, however, become concerned if anyone’s bigotry or hatred translates into words or actions that are meant to harm you.

As a gay man, I know that there are plenty of heterosexuals out there who claim to support equal human and civil rights for us non-heterosexuals but who actually are quite homophobic. Since we’re on the subject, I’ll add that more white Americans (64 percent) than black Americans (51 percent) support same-sex marriage (which to me is a pretty good litmus test for homophobia), so, it seems to me, a black stranger that I come into contact with is more likely to be homophobic than is a white stranger.

And as a white man I never know, when I approach, for the first time, a non-white person (perhaps especially a black person, given the ugly history between the two races in the U.S.) whether or not he or she hates whitey or whether he or she is willing to give me a chance (I do, after all, have blue eyes…).

But I don’t lose sleep over whether or not someone is an anti-white racist and/or a homophobe. Ignorance, bigotry and hatred would be and would remain that person’s problem — until and unless he or she committed a word (such as “faggot,” which black boxer Floyd Mayweather shouted at white boxer Conor McGregor on Friday**) or words and/or a deed or deeds that made it my problem.

I’d give that same advice to Jamelle Bouie and to every other black person with whom I can be an ally as long as he or she doesn’t have an intractable “Get Out”-style perception of me, just waiting until I finally, inevitably demonstrate my “true colors” (because I have, you know, just traded my pointy white hood for khakis).

P.S. I have been following “Game of Thrones” for years now and await tonight’s season-seven premiere, but the fact that the show’s biggest baddies are blue-eyed “white walkers” — the symbolism of that — hasn’t been lost on me…

*The movie has its fatal flaws, of course, such as the central plot contradiction that anti-black white supremacists want their brains transferred into the bodies of black people.

Of course, contained within that contradiction actually is black supremacism — the idea/belief that it’s actually better to possess a black body than a white body, because if it weren’t, then why would these racist whiteys steal black bodies to inhabit?

Of course, plot contradictions in “Get Out” are to be pushed aside, because, again, its central, apparently-very-appealing-to-some message (aside from black supremacism, ironically) is that every white person is out to get every black person.

**To be fair and balanced, Conor McGregor, very apparently no towering genius himself, has made anti-black racist comments, but, to my knowledge, McGregor isn’t gay, and so when Mayweather hurled the epithet “faggot” at him, those of us who actually are “faggots” were just collateral damage, you see, and I don’t believe that Mayweather’s homophobia is at all uncommon among black Americans, who routinely hypocritically claim that ignorance, bigotry and hatred always belong to someone else.

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2020 is going to look a lot like 2016

Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced Bernie Sanders in Boston.

Boston Globe photo

Progressives U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren appeared together in Boston last week, as pictured above. Far from having gone away quietly, Sanders is fighting for such progressive goals as single-payer health care and free tuition at public colleges and universities. Unfortunately, there’s no reason to think that the 2020 presidential election won’t devolve into another fight between real Democrats (that is, actual progressives) and corporate, sellout Democrats who think that craven identity politics is a political cover for the establishmentarian, pro-corporate, anti-populist, ultimately treasonous Democratic Party to continue to ignore income inequality and to continue to support the socioeconomic status quo.

Bernie Sanders is, I think, going to run for the presidency again in 2020.

He hasn’t ruled it out, and he has remained in the public eye since the preventably disastrous November 2016 presidential election.

He put a book out in November (and his progressive comrade Elizabeth Warren has another book due out later this month), and while the establishment Democrats’ “plan” remains to just sit back and watch the Repugnican Tea Party, under the “leadership” of “President” Pussygrabber, implode (or explode, I suppose), Bernie is out there advocating for a progressive agenda that would improve millions of lives (as is Elizabeth).

Bernie will introduce legislation for single-payer health care, totally bypassing the bogus argument of corporate-friendly Obamacare vs. corporate-friendly Trumpcare (and necessarily so), and he and Warren have introduced legislation for free in-state community college and public four-year college tuition.

Oh, that shit can’t pass, I hear even so-called Democrats mutter.

Um, leadership is about leading — not following. Leadership is about convincing people to go in a new, better direction. Leadership isn’t about watching and waiting for your inept political opponents to hang themselves, and then to continue to stick with the status quo. Nor is leadership about jumping on board something that is progressive only after it’s clearly politically safe to do so, since the majority of the electorate already has gone in that direction (Billary Clinton, for instance, didn’t jump on board the same-sex-marriage bandwagon until after it was safe to do so, after the majority of Americans had already gotten there first [to be fair, ditto for Barack Obama]).

Actual leadership is selfless, it’s hard, and it can be risky — which is why the worthless, sellout, do-nothing establishment “Democrats” don’t lead, but follow.

Unfortunately, Bernie 2020 probably would run into what Bernie 2016 ran into: anti-white racism.*

Yup. I said it.

Bernie was rejected by many, many so-called Democrats primarily if not solely because of his demographics — they wrote him off as just another old white man. He was, yes, racially profiled.

How else to explain that Billary Clinton won the support of 76 percent of black Democratic primary voters and caucus-goers, while Bernie won the support of only 23 percent of them?

Bernie was less well known than Billary, that’s why, you might argue, but then there is this contrasting (and inconvenient) fact: among white Democratic primary voters and caucus-goers, it was much more evenly split — 48.9 percent supported Billary, while 49.1 percent supported Bernie, a difference of only 0.2 percent.

Clearly, there was something racial going on.

And it’s interesting that black Americans supported Billary Clinton to the degree that they did; the Clintons brought us “welfare reform,” a crime bill that filled our prisons disproportionately with non-whites, the job-killing NAFTA, etc.

Maybe blacks still struggle at least in part because they tend to vote against their own best interests. Just sayin’. (And I’m not picking on blacks — many, many Americans routinely vote against their own best interests, such as the poor and working-class white people who voted for Pussygrabber for president.)

Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, wrote this of Billary Clinton in February 2016:

Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary — or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded.

Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously.

Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required.

Hillary is looking to gain momentum on the campaign trail as the primaries move out of Iowa and New Hampshire and into states like South Carolina, where large pockets of black voters can be found. According to some polls, she leads Bernie Sanders by as much as 60 percent among African Americans. It seems that we — black people — are her winning card, one that Hillary is eager to play.

And it seems we’re eager to get played. Again.

The love affair between black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. He threw on some shades and played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show.

It seems silly in retrospect, but many of us fell for that. At a time when a popular slogan was “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand,” Bill Clinton seemed to get us. When Toni Morrison dubbed him our first black president, we nodded our heads. We had our boy in the White House. Or at least we thought we did.

Black voters have been remarkably loyal to the Clintons for more than 25 years. It’s true that we eventually lined up behind Barack Obama in 2008, but it’s a measure of the Clinton allure that Hillary led Obama among black voters until he started winning caucuses and primaries.

Now Hillary is running again. This time she’s facing a democratic socialist who promises a political revolution that will bring universal healthcare, a living wage, an end to rampant Wall Street greed, and the dismantling of the vast prison state — many of the same goals that Martin Luther King Jr. championed at the end of his life.

Even so, black folks are sticking with the Clinton brand.

What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work?

No. Quite the opposite. …

Read Alexander’s article, and fuck, just Google “What did the Clintons do for black Americans?” (While you’re at it, Google “What did Obama do for black Americans?”)

Clearly, black Americans had no logical reason to vote for Billary over Bernie, certainly not at the rate of 76 percent to 23 percent.

Still, myths die hard. Blacks understood that they were “supposed” to vote for Billary, and so they did.

And the race-based Bernie bashing continues. There were those black-supremacist idiots who called a crowd gathered for Bernie Sanders “white supremacist liberals” while they shut down Bernie’s planned speech in Seattle in August 2015. They had no coherent anti-Bernie argument; indeed, I’m sure that they were mostly if not wholly unaware of his record (including the NAACP’s having given him a score of 100 percent on their agenda [and former NAACP head Ben Jealous went on to endorse Bernie]). Bernie’s record didn’t matter to these black supremacists, you see, because Bernie’s sin was that of having been born while white.

Similarly, in a recent piece for Salon.com, Chauncey DeVega takes two sentences from recent remarks by Bernie (at the rally in Boston pictured above) and then runs with it.

Bernie said, as DeVega reported: “Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there.” (“Been there” as in he has met and spoken with these people, I presume he meant.)

Bernie immediately followed that up with, “Let me tell you something else some of you might not agree with: It wasn’t that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election.”

That apparently wasn’t convenient to DeVega’s argument, though, so he left it out of his article, which he had begun with:

In the United States, white liberals and progressives have historically shown a serious inability to grapple with the realities of the color line and the enduring power of white supremacy. Many of them are either unable or unwilling to understand that fighting against class inequality does not necessarily remedy the specific harms done to African-Americans and other people of color by white racism.

That’s just a more academic, “nicer” way of calling Bernie Sanders and his supporters “white supremacist liberals,” methinks.

Bernie also had said: “We need a Democratic Party that is not a party of the liberal elite but of the working class of this country; we need a party that is a grassroots party, where candidates are talking to working people, not spending their time raising money for the wealthy and the powerful.”

DeVega didn’t quote that, either. Better to simply paint Bernie as a denier of racism, because it appears that the same black Americans who stupidly supported corporate whore Billary Clinton primarily out of black identity than even for their own best fucking interests are going to try to shove corporate whore U.S. Sen. Cory Booker down our throats as the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate.

Booker is black, you see, and for years he cravenly has promoted himself as the next Barack Obama, and it’s supposed to be enough that he’s black.

Booker, whose most recent big act was to vote in the U.S. Senate to deny Americans access to cheaper pharmaceuticals because he takes a lot of money from Big Pharma — I don’t call someone a “corporate whore” for nothing — very much appears to me to be the next one to take the mantle of being Best for Blacks (this mantle was passed from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama to Billary Clinton and, I surmise, now goes to Booker; the mantle keeps getting passed, even though no one who wears it actually does anything significant for black Americans).

If I’m “racist” for being a while male who has called Cory Booker a corporate whore, know that the managing editor of the Black Agenda Report, a Bruce A. Dixon, earlier this year called Booker a “corporate hooker” and a “corporate whore.” He wrote (the links are his):

After losing the White House to the most unpopular president in history, Democrats have lots to say, but even more to avoid saying, lest they expose themselves as every bit as much corporate tools as their Republican foes.

New Jersey [U.S.] Senator Cory Booker is their ideal spokesperson, a cynical, photogenic and utterly dependable corporate whore who can be counted on to keep the anti-Trump rabble safely inside the Democrats’ big stinky tent. …

The Democrats leading the charge against Trump must meet exacting qualifications. They have to be loyal servants of the one percenters, of banksters, hedge funds, charter-school sugar daddies and privatizers of all kinds. They must be dependable supporters of apartheid Israel, of military contractors, drone warfare and U.S. military interventions of all kinds around the world.

To boost their party’s fortunes in this new era, Democratic Party spokespeople need to be gifted hypocrites willing to pose as advocates of immigrants and champions of civil liberties going forward, even though they unflinchingly supported the biggest deportation and mass-surveillance regimes in history implemented by the Democrat who just left the White House.

They must focus narrowly on the handful of issues on which corporate Dems actually disagree with Republicans, like abortion rights [and, I’ll add, LGBT rights — and other identity politics], and not stray to areas which might indict their own party along with Republicans.

And they must absolve their party of responsibility for running an incompetent campaign by blaming the Russians. Hillary is history, but her big stinking tent is still there, and Democrats are crying for a “united front” against Trump, led by spokespeople who can stick to the corporate script.

Cory Booker is a great fit. As Glen Ford, who has followed his career in Black Agenda Report and Black Commentator since 2002, notes, charter-school sugar daddies from the Olin, Bradley and Walton Family Foundations and the Manhattan Institute funded his early career. Cory’s wealthy friends bankrolled and promoted a slick Hollywood documentary, “Street Fight,” to ensure his 2006 election to Newark’s City Hall. …

In 2010 on the Oprah show, Booker announced a $100 million “gift” from Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg to Newark’s public schools, whose budget was still controlled by statehouse Republicans, to implement the latest “run-the-school-like-a-business” nostrums of Cory’s old friends. Three years later, when Booker left Newark for the U.S. Senate, there was little to show for the money.

The one percenters take good care of their guy Cory, giving him three times the cash raised for all his opponents together in the 2013 Democratic primary, and he takes good care of them.

When the anti-Romney rhetoric in 2012 strayed to touch on how the hedge fund Republican actually made those millions, it was Obama surrogate Cory Booker who stepped up on “Meet The Press” to defend the predatory economics of hedge funds, calling outrage against disaster capitalism “useless rhetoric.”

After all, Goldman Sachs was and still is one of Booker’s major contributors. Cory hit the Senate just in time to vote for a major school voucher bill in 2014. …

Cory’s a whore, but a loyal one. If he did for passing motorists what he does for charter-school sugar daddies, hedge funds, Israeli apartheid and Big Pharma, he could be arrested for prostitution.

But Cory’s in the big time, and he’s a leading Democratic spokeshead against Trump. If you’re a Democrat, he’s one of your leaders.

He’s Cory Booker, corporate hooker.

The battle for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party continues. Ain’t nothin’ changed but the date.

To be clear, I wholly agree with Chauncey DeVega’s assertion that “fighting against class inequality does not necessarily remedy the specific harms done to African-Americans and other people of color by white racism.” It is a mistake to ignore racism (and other forms of discrimination) and to focus only on class and income inequality.

However, nor should identity politics supplant the battle against income inequality, and that’s what we saw happen with Billary Clinton’s awful presidential campaign, and that’s what has happened with the establishmentarian Democratic Party, because the establishmentarian Democratic Party’s corporate sugar daddies are OK with identity politics, since for the most part identity politics doesn’t threaten their obscene profiteering (indeed, they even have found that in many instances, they can profit from identity politics).

Significantly addressing income inequality, however, does threaten the establishmentarian Democratic Party’s corporate sugar daddies’ profiteering, and that’s why the establishmentarian Democratic Party has refused to significantly address income inequality for decades.

And further to be clear, a huge chunk of those who voted for Pussygrabber indeed were motivated, at least unconsciously if not always consciously, by racism. I believe that and so I wouldn’t have gone as far as Bernie Sanders did in his remarks (specifically I refer to his remark that “Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there”).

Or I at least would have said it differently; I surmise that Bernie’s meaning, which he did not express well, was that not all of the people who voted for Pussygrabber are racists and sexists and homophobes and otherwise deplorables.

I think that that’s most likely what Bernie meant and I think that that’s probably the truth; I think that there are some incredibly stupid white people who voted for Pussygrabber against their own best interests, incredibly stupidly truly believing that (billionaire!) Pussygrabber magically was going to “make America great again,” that he’d bring all of the jobs back, and with those jobs, the 1950s-era national prosperity. For those people, it seems to me, identity politics wasn’t their No. 1 concern; the economy and their own dismal personal experience of it was.

What Bernie is trying to do, I surmise, is get back some of those white voters in the Rust-Belt states who voted for Pussygrabber instead of for Billary and who thus threw the Electoral College to Pussygrabber. No, I don’t think that Bernie wants the racists and the sexists and the homophobes, but that he wants those whose No. 1 concern is the economy. But they probably won’t vote for a Democrat as long as the Democratic Party keeps calling them “deplorables,” as deplorable as many (if not even most) of them actually are.

White Americans still make up more than 60 percent of the nation’s population (per the U.S. Census Bureau), and calling them deplorable probably isn’t a great strategy to win a presidential election. Just sayin’. It’s the numbers, folks; whites remain the racial majority in the United States of America.

And as deplorable as many if not even most Pussygrabber voters are, I still put the onus for Pussygrabber’s “win” of the White House on Billary Clinton. She took the Rust-Belt states for granted because they’d gone to the Democratic presidential candidates since the 1980s, and so she’d thought that she already had them sewn up. She and her team of Billarybots in their bubble fucked up big time, Russia or no Russia.

I agree wholeheartedly with Bernie’s assertion that “It wasn’t that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election.”

If the Democratic Party fronts yet another corporate whore in 2020 — like Cory Booker — then the result will be the same. (Don’t even make me get into the cliche of the definition of “insanity.”)

The fight for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination will be much like the 2016 fight, I think, except that while the 2016 racial battle (Bernie was the “white” candidate and Billary the “black” candidate) for the most part wasn’t very openly, frequently nationally discussed, the racial battle will be quite openly and frequently nationally discussed in 2020 (well, starting no later than in 2019).

It really comes down to this: Which candidate is the most progressive? Which candidate is most likely to carry out policies that would benefit the highest number of Americans possible?

Would that candidate be yet another corporate whore, who has a long record of doing only what’s best for his or her corporate sponsors (and thus his or her corporate overlords)? Would that candidate be a corporate whore who only cravenly can run only on identity politics, since his or her actual record only shows what a corporate whore he or she actually is?

Or would the candidate most likely to carry out policies that would benefit the highest number of Americans possible (which is my non-negotiable litmus test) be an actual progressive, such as Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, who has a long actual record of opposing corporate malfeasance and standing up for the average American?

For those of us who oppose the illegitimate Pussygrabber regime, that’s our choice in 2020, as it was in 2016.

I’m sure that if the pro-corporate Democratic Party establishment fronts corporate hooker Cory Booker, it and the Bookerbots (Hookerbots?) will call those of us actual Democrats (that is, we true progressives) who oppose Booker “racist,” just as the Billarybots called those of us who rejected her for the very same reasons “sexist” and “misogynist.”

Calling those of us who rejected corporate whore Billary Clinton (because she is a corporate whore) “Bernie bros” didn’t win her the White House, did it?

Craven identity politics (including slandering one’s actually progressive political opponents as “racist” or “sexist” or whatever) won’t put Cory Booker or any other corporate whore who uses the label of “Democrat” into the White House in 2020, either.

We progressives can — and we will — keep on playing this game.

I and millions of other progressives simply won’t budge. We won’t rest until the Democratic Party is progressive again (or until it has been replaced by another actually progressive party).

Call us “sexist,” “racist,” “crazy,” “Communist,” “radical,” “extreme,” “hippie,” whatever slanderous bullshit you want to call us to lamely try to get us to acquiesce to your center-right, sellout, self-serving, pro-corporate, treasonous bullshit. Our days of supporting the sellout Democratic Party, which is just a hollow husk of what it once was, are long gone.

P.S. To be clear, I don’t want to understate the importance of the Democratic Party (or a new, truly progressive party) standing up for the civil rights of racial and other minorities. It’s that we must walk and chew gum at the same time. Engaging in identity politics (in the good, non-toxic way) or battling income inequality is a false choice. We must do both.

And of course Bernie Sanders can’t know what it’s like to be black. (Or Latino. Or a woman. Or gay. Or…) He can know only what it’s like to be Bernie Sanders. And the state that he has represented in Congress since the early 1990s, Vermont, is overwhelmingly white, which is what it is.

I believe that Bernie’s heart is in the right place, and that as president he’d do the right thing for the highest number of people possible, and that with continued dialogue, he would get even better in terms of understanding and representing minority groups’ concerns.

Sadly and pathetically, though, I sense that blacks’ biggest problem with Bernie hasn’t actually been that he has been deficient on black issues, but that he isn’t black. Under these black supremacists’ “logic,” a U.S. president (at least a Democratic U.S. president) from here on out must always be black, then, even though blacks are only 13 percent of Americans. (Gee, that’s fair! And so democratic!)

I’m gay, but I’m not going to demand that a presidential candidate be gay, even though we have yet to have our first out non-heterosexual president.

I’m going to demand only that a presidential candidate be progressive, and I’m always going to support the most progressive (yet still viable) presidential candidate, regardless of that candidate’s sex, race, sexual orientation or age (as long as he or she can still do the job, I’m not worried about a candidate’s age). Unlike it is for too many so-called Democrats, for me it’s not all about me and my own identity group. It’s about what’s best for the highest number of people.

The Democratic Party shouldn’t be the vehicle through which any minority group tries to gain political control of the majority. I will put that fact out there, because that’s what identity politics, in its most toxic forms, actually aims for: the tyranny of the minority over the majority.

That’s not progressive and that’s not democratic.

Finally, for the record, I’m fine with Elizabeth Warren as the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee if Bernie doesn’t run, but I’m concerned that her nationwide favorability ratings aren’t nearly as high as Bernie’s.

That disparity is due, I’m sure, because he already has conducted a presidential campaign, and thus is better known to the national electorate, and I surmise that Warren has been a victim of actual misogyny (recall that Yertle McConnell infamously said of Warren, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted”) more than Billary Clinton ever has been. (People just don’t like Billary, regardless of her sex. It’s her personality, her character and her record, not her XX chromosomes. [Nor is it Russia.])

What I hope happens is that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren keep working together as a dynamic duo. A Sanders-Warren ticket for 2020 would be incredible.

*To be fair, plenty of faux feminists also discriminated against Bernie because he is a man, and supported Billary for no other apparent reason than that she is a woman.

To support one person over another primarily because of his or her sex is to be sexist.

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Oh, no, you DIDN’T go there, Miss Thang!

University of Mississippi student Sierra Mannie, photographed above in 2013, makes many valid points in her now-famous screed against gay white men acting like black women (an epidemic of which I’ve been unaware), but apparently picks an easy target in gay white men and apparently displays disrespect for the life experiences of others while demanding respect for her own, a common mistake that too many black Americans make.

I am a gay white man. I, for one gay white man, do not feel like a black woman. Just putting that out there first thing.

I am responding, of course, to the now-(in)famous screed “Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture,” by one Sierra Mannie, which gained national attention when Time.com published it.

I agree with much of what Mannie says in her commentary, but much of what she says I find offensive — as well as (at least unconsciously) homophobic and apparently desirous of many black Americans’ apparent desire to remain The Only Oppressed Minority Group in the United States of America, Who Will Not Share Even a Sliver of the Victimhood Pie.

I agree, of course, that the vast majority of white Americans, regardless of their socioeconomic status, never can truly have any real idea of what it is like to be a typical black American, and therefore, out of respect for the life experiences of another group of people, it’s probably almost never OK for a white person to act black.

That said, for a white person to assert that it’s not OK for a black person to act white, but that that black person should “act black” (however “acting black” [or “acting white”] is defined) — that’s pretty fucking racist, right? So why does a prohibition against racism work only one way?

I disagree wholeheartedly with the widely held belief that racism is something that is only ever perpetrated by whites against blacks, and that therefore, only white people can be racist. There are plenty of racist blacks, and there are other races outside of black and white (yes, I do need to remind people of that simple fact) — here in California politics, for instance, lately it (the struggle for power, which is what politics is) seems to be the Latinos vs. the Asians — and it comes down to everyone of every race needing to respect everyone else of every other race. This isn’t only about blacks being protected from persecution at the hands of whites.

That said, again, insensitivity to the life experiences of those of other races (and of other demographics) is pretty inexcusable, and I have to agree for the most part with Mannie’s assertion to the gay white man that “you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. It is not yours. It is not for you.”

While I, for one, haven’t seen anything like even a mild epidemic of gay white men acting like black women, I will assume, for fairness’ sake, that Mannie has, and so, for those gay white men who truly act like black women — like, all the fucking time — I would also tell them, like Mannie does, to “cut it the hell out.” (That said, of course they have the right to act as they please. The right to act like an asshole is the right that most Americans probably exercise the most.)

That said, the United States is a cultural hodgepodge, where words and phrases and idioms and gestures are thrown into the mix to the point that often if not usually many if not most of those using them don’t even know their origin. You don’t get to fucking trademark (so to speak) words and phrases and idioms and gestures that end up in the American vernacular. If you think that you do, then you need to cut it the hell out.

I’m sure that many times I’ve used words, phrases and idioms (and maybe even a gesture or two) that originated within the black community. I’m an American who speaks American English and functions within the American culture, which, again, borrows from so many sources. I’m allowed to do that. Do I believe that I’m a black woman, or even that I truly can know what the typical black woman experiences in the United States of America? Of course not.

Many if not most of Mannie’s complaints about the general oppression of black Americans are valid enough, but why (at least in this one piece of hers) does she chose gay white men as the target of her anger?

Is it because we gay white men, as a group, aren’t as powerful as are straight white men, because we gay white men are a safer target, less likely to fight back? Is it because we gay white men are considered weak, effeminate, passive, submissive, so that we can be fucking punching bags for everyone?

Mannie conveniently does not mention in her screed the fact that there remains a shitload of homophobia among black Americans. To give just two of many possible examples, exit polls showed that about 70 percent of black Californians voted for the anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8, and many if not most black Americans didn’t start to ease up on their homophobia until Barack Obama came out (ha ha) for same-sex marriage in May 2012. It’s rather pathetic and sad that it was an external source — the pronouncement of the nation’s first black president — that inspired them to ease up on their homophobia (or to ease up on at least their public homophobic statements) instead of their own internal sense of right and wrong, their own internal sense that all oppression, and not just the oppression of blacks, is wrong, wrong, wrong.

I’ve seen this uber-hypocritical dynamic too many times: black Americans demanding fairness and respect for their own group — but only for their own group. No, fuck that and fuck you, if that’s how you operate. If you can’t respect me, then I cannot respect you. (Or, at the very least, if you refuse to respect me, you make it very difficult for me to respect you, and I want to respect you.)

Again, Mannie’s anger seems grossly misplaced to me. She writes:

… Black people can’t have anything. Any of these things include, but aren’t limited to: a general sense of physical safety, comfort with law enforcement, adequate funding and appreciation for black spaces like schools and neighborhoods, appropriate venues for our voices to be heard about criticism of issues without our race going on trial because of it, and solid voting rights …

Agreed, for the very most part, but it’s gay white men who are the main oppressors of black Americans? Really?

I am one gay white man who has no interest in pretending to be a black diva (whether there is anything wrong with that or not) and who supports fairness and justice for all black Americans (for all Americans and for all human beings). It is inarguable that, among other things, black Americans are incarcerated at an incredibly disproportionate rate (because of racism, of course), that many if not most of them are wage slaves (as are many if not most of all Americans), that black Americans routinely are mistreated (even sometimes extra-judicially executed) by racist law enforcement officers, that black Americans do not have adequate access to quality health care and to quality education, and that conservatives (most of them white) want to strip black Americans of their vote under the guise of “preventing voter fraud” and/or “preserving election integrity.”

I want to help black Americans fight these evils and right these wrongs, but black homophobia — as well as black racism — make it difficult for me to do that. I’m to assist your group while you attack and degrade mine? Really?

And, ironically, pseudo-progressive, DINO Barack Obama has done little to nothing for black Americans, whose quality of life has improved little to not at all under his watch, yet for the most part, mind-blowingly, black Americans don’t hold Obama to account for this — apparently primarily because he’s black and they don’t want to criticize one of their own. (And to many if not most of these same blacks, if you are a white person who criticizes Obama at all, even for his inexcusable lack of assistance to black Americans, you are, by definition, a “racist.”)

So Obama is let off the hook, but let’s blame the gay white man!

Mannie continues in her screed:

… And then, when you thought this pillaging couldn’t get any worse, extracurricular black activities get snatched up, too: our music, our dances, our slang, our clothing, our hairstyles. All of these things are rounded up, whitewashed and repackaged for your consumption. But here’s the shade — the non-black people who get to enjoy all of the fun things about blackness will never have to experience the ugliness of the black experience, systemic racism and the dangers of simply living while black. Though I suppose there’s some thrill in this “rolling with the homies” philosophy some adopt, white people are not racially oppressed in the United States of America.

White people are not racially oppressed in the United States of America. …

Again, the American culture is a patchwork quilt, so to read Mannie whine that “our music, our dances, our slang, our clothing, our hairstyles … are rounded up, whitewashed and repackaged for your consumption,” sounds like selfish and juvenile territorialism that is woefully unaware of American history and culture (where, just like with the Borg, so much is assimilated), and for the record, non-blacks experience plenty of pain and suffering. Blacks don’t have the monopoly on the pain and suffering thing. All human beings experience pain and suffering.

And while white people as a group are not systemically/institutionally racially oppressed in the U.S.A., you cannot have interpersonal relations with a whole fucking race of people. It’s the one-on-one interpersonal interaction where the rubber meets the road, and on the one-on-one level, yes, white people can be the victims of racism. If you are a non-white person who hates white people and treats white people out of this hatred — for no other reason than that they are white — then you are committing acts of racism. You are a racist yourself, but, by being a member of a historically oppressed racial minority group, you feel justified in your own racism, and no doubt you hypocritically define racism as only something that white people ever commit.

It all is about respect, which includes respect for others’ experiences. I agree with Mannie’s assertion that

… The truth is that America is a country that operates on systems of racism in which we all participate, whether consciously or unconsciously, to our benefit or to our detriment, and that system allows white people to succeed. This system also creates barriers so that minorities, such as black people, have a much harder time being able to do things like vote and get houses and not have to deal with racists and stuff. You know. Casual.

But while you’re gasping at the heat and the steam of the strong truth tea I just spilled,what’s even worse about all of this, if you thought things could get even crappier, is the fact that all of this is exponentially worse for black women. A culture of racism is bad enough, but pairing it with patriarchal structures that intend to undermine women’s advancement is like double-fisting bleach and acid rain. …

Actually, it gets even worse than that. Black lesbians, for instance, have to deal with racism, sexism and patriarchy and homophobia (for which, I must admit, I respect and admire them considerably), but mention of black non-heterosexuals and black non-gender-conforming individuals, who routinely are victimized by even members of their own family (and who thus have much higher levels of such problems as suicide attempts, addiction, incarceration and contraction of HIV and other STDs), is conspicuously missing entirely from Mannie’s screed, which adds to its air of rather petty self-concern and homophobia.

And the notion that virtually all white people have it so great based upon their whiteness smacks of a lack of personal knowledge of very many actual white people. Mannie writes:

… At the end of the day, if you are a white male, gay or not, you retain so much privilege. What is extremely unfairly denied you because of your sexuality could float back to you, if no one knew that you preferred the romantic and sexual company of men over women. (You know what I’m talking about. Those “anonymous” torsos on Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam, show very familiar heterosexual faces to the public.) The difference is that the black women with whom you think you align so well, whose language you use and stereotypical mannerisms you adopt, cannot hide their blackness and womanhood to protect themselves the way that you can hide your homosexuality. We have no place to hide, or means to do it even if we desired them. …

Very thinly veiled behind the “argument” that non-heterosexuals aren’t victims of oppression because we non-heterosexuals, if we wish, can pass for heterosexual — which is not actually the case for many if not most of us non-heterosexuals — is the sickeningly heterosexist, homophobic belief that, for the comfort of heterosexuals, we non-heterosexuals should act heterosexually, whether to do that is at all natural for us and whether or not it violates our own fucking souls. Because pretending to be who and what you are not isn’t oppressive or anything!

I certainly hope that the vast majority of blacks don’t wish that they could camouflage themselves as whites in order to go along to get along, but instead appreciate and celebrate who and what they are, so for blacks to apparently suggest camouflage to us non-heterosexuals is incredibly degrading and offensive as well as insensitive.

I agree that such an ugly thing as white privilege exists in the United States of America and elsewhere on the planet, but again, it all comes down to our one-on-one interactions, since we can only actually interact as individuals with other individuals. Respect has to occur at this ground level of the individual. Stereotypes and generalizations and preconceived notions have no place in respectful interpersonal relations. You can never encounter a whole fucking group of people. You can only encounter an individual. I cannot state this simple but woefully overlooked fact too much. You don’t want me to make assumptions about you based upon your race or your gender or sexual orientation or other demographics. I don’t want you to make such assumptions about me, either – such as that because I’m a gay white man, I have no real problems, that I’m rich (because I’m white and/or because I have no children), that I’m a slut (because I’m gay), that of course I’m racist (because I’m white), that I will be your fucking punching bag because I’m passive and weak (because I’m a gay man), etc.

So, I would cut a deal with Mannie and those who think like she does: I will continue to try to do my part to examine and solve the problem that is racism (including, of course, the problem of white privilege). Ditto for the problem that is sexism and patriarchy. This is the duty of every American (and of every human being). And you do your part to examine and solve the problem that is heterosexism and homophobia, and the problem that is selfishly, hypocritically and narrow-mindedly demanding respect and equality for only your own group.

Because I guaranfuckingtee you that while the minority of gay white men who might, at least at times, act like black women grate on your nerves, we gay white men, for the very most part, are not your enemy, and I further guaranfuckingtee you that the true oppressors (or, at least, the worst oppressors) love it when we, the historically oppressed, are at each others’ throats instead of at theirs, where we should be.

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Desperate wingnuts dust off Obama video to engage in race baiting

It’s always entertaining when the Repugnican Tea Party traitors — whose all-white-or-almost-all-white gatherings, including, of course, the Repugnican Tea Party National Conventions, resemble KKK rallies — accuse blacks of being racist.

In apparent response to Mittens Romney’s hidden-camera remark in May that he has written off 47 percent of Americans, the wingnuts have dragged out a 2007 video that “proves” that President Barack Obama is “racist.”

But there is no fucking comparison between the two videos.

Where to begin?

Then-U.S. Sen. Obama knew that he was being video-recorded in June 2007. Mittens had no fucking idea that he was being video-recorded just a few months ago. So this wasn’t Obama speaking to a cabal of his supporters in, to his knowledge, secret. That was the case, however, with Mittens. Context is everyfuckingthing.

Also, Mittens’ statements in May are a lot more recent, of course, and thus a lot more pertinent to the presidential campaign of today.

And really, we’re dredging up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright again?

Really?

This is all that the wingnuts have? A repeat of their pathetic 2008 presidential campaign? Then they’ve lost already. (Well, they have lost already, but just sayin’…)

I agree with most of what I’ve read about what the Rev. Jeremiah Wright reportedly has said publicly — most of his “controversial” statements strike me as “no-fucking-duh!” statements — and, far from having a problem with Wright, I have lambasted Obama for having thrown Wright under the bus, for having distanced himself from Wright because of the white supremacists and their anti-black race-baiting.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to the white supremacists who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party, represents the bogeyman that is the Angry! Black! Man!, you see, and the KKK’ers gather ’round enthusiastically to lynch (politically speaking [these days]) this bogeyman.

It’s difficult to label Barack Obama an Angry! Black! Man!, since the cool, calm and collected Obama either just never has been an Angry! Black! Man! or has been very, very disciplined throughout his public/political career to keep any inner Angry! Black! Man! tightly under wraps, apparently having considered it politically fatal to do otherwise.

I mean, fuck — there is a reason that Barack Obama and neither Jesse Jackson nor Al Sharpton became president, isn’t there?

You’re not allowed to be angry in the deeply dysfunctional United States of America, no matter how deeply you have been wronged. Anger is a normal human reaction to significant to severe injustice, but in the U.S., especially among the wingnuts, displaying anger is considered akin to being mentally ill, or at least emotionally unstable, especially if the angry person is a member of an historically oppressed minority group. (Right-wing white men get away with displaying anger a lot more than do the rest of us, don’t they?)

I’d love to watch Barack Obama just fucking go off in public just once, but we very most likely will never see that.

The white-supremacist wingnuts’ game, though, is pretty fucking transparent: Since Obama doesn’t play the role of the Angry! Black! Man!, let’s try to make him “guilty” by association! That Rev. Jeremiah Wright is an Angry! Black! Man! — and Obama once sang his praises! Therefore, Obama is a closet Angry! Black! Man!

Also, Obama pointed out — correctly — in the “damning” 2007 video that the wingnuts have dredged up as some sort of proof of something, that the victims of Hurricane Katrina have been neglected, before and after the hurricane hit Lousiana in August 2005, primarily because most of Katrina’s victims are/were black.

Um, that’s just a fucking fact. The fact is that the victims of Hurricane Katrina were considered expendable. The vast majority of Katrina’s victims were poor black people, not even poor white people. (Was even one rich white person killed by Katrina? I doubt it. Hundreds of poor black people, however, were.)

To point out these fucking facts does not make Obama or any other black person “racist.”

It’s incredibly shameful that Katrina’s victims overwhelmingly have been black Americans (I write “have been” because the suffering hasn’t ended), but that’s a national stain that the nation needs to fucking deal with, not try to keep covered under the red-white-and-blue carpet.

This ugly stain under the carpet is the problem, not the person who simply points out its continued existence when the rest of us would rather just ignore it and act as though if we just don’t talk about it, it doesn’t fucking exist and we therefore are guilt-free.

But in the sick and twisted, evil “logic” of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors (and other assorted white-supremacist wingnuts) among us, it is “racist” for a member of an historically oppressed race to even talk about unpleasant history.

This is their “argument” in their latest desperate attack upon Barack Obama, a race-baiting attack employing the bogeyman of the Angry! Black! Man! that only demonstrates their racism, not Barack Obama’s or anyone else’s.

I haven’t planned to vote again for Barack Obama, given how much he has caved in to the traitors on the right and has not enacted the progressive agenda that he at least implicitly promised us on the left that he would, but I can tell you this: A sustained, race-based and racist/white-supremacist attack on Obama by the right-wing traitors from now until Election Day probably would be more than enough to induce me to give him my vote again.

You lost the Civil War, you treasonous bitches.

You don’t want a rematch.

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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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Anarchists attack white supremacists. Hell, yeah!

Updated below (on February 29, 2012)

CHP officers hurt by Occupy protestors

Sacramento Bee/sacbee.com photo

Members of the apparent white supremacist group “South Africa Project” arrive at the California State Capitol today. The group very apparently is using real and/or fabricated killings of whites by blacks in South Africa as a cover to push a white supremacist agenda. The sign with the apparently PhotoShopped image of the injured little white girl reads, “Genocide cannot be justified” — something that is awfully interesting to hear a group of white people proclaim. But today, it’s white people who are the victims, you see.

I work near the California State Capitol building here in Sacramento, and I noticed during my lunch break today that there was a decent-sized group of people demonstrating on the Capitol grounds. This is common at the Capitol; protests, demonstrations and gatherings there are so common there that they’re easy to ignore. California is, after all, the nation’s most populous state and there are a million causes and issues, and throngs of people often travel to the Capitol for their causes.

A co-worker of mine told me as I was returning from my lunch break that members of the Occupy movement were protesting some white supremacists at the Capitol. I should go check it out, he said. My lunch break was over, so I couldn’t, but all the same, where there are white supremacists gathered it’s probably volatile and therefore your safety might be put in jeopardy, so even if I’d had the time to check it out, there is a good chance that I wouldn’t have.

But I read the headlines afterward.

Reportedly, some members of the Occupy movement threw bottles and other objects at the white supremacists as the white supremacists were leaving the Capitol grounds. (Unfortunately, I missed all of this.) Reports The Associated Press today (text in bold is my own emphasis):

Sacramento, Calif. — At least two law enforcement officers were injured [today] during a clash with members of the Occupy movement who were at the state Capitol to counter a rally by a group protesting violence by blacks against whites in South Africa.

The clash erupted in the afternoon as California Highway Patrol and Sacramento police officers were escorting about 35 members of the South Africa Project to a parking garage after their protest outside the Capitol building.

About 50 members of Occupy Oakland began throwing cans and bottles at the South Africa group and at the officers. The Occupy members then clashed with the officers as people with the pro-whites group hurried into the parking garage.

“It was the activists across the street engaging the officers,” said CHP officer Sean Kennedy.

Two officers suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital. CHP Capt. Andy Menard said one officer who was struck in the face by an object was released from the hospital. The second officer was getting X-rays after apprehending a person suspected of throwing objects, Menard said.

Kennedy said the officer who was struck by an object was showing signs of possibly being affected by some type of chemical or pepper spray.

The CHP arrested three members of the Occupy group on suspicion of disobeying an officer.

The violence abated after a large contingent of law enforcement arrived at the scene, about a block from the Capitol.

The clash followed a tense afternoon during which peace officers kept the two groups separated outside the Capitol.

Members of the South Africa Project were trying to draw attention to what they said is black-on-white violence in that country. Organizers said similar demonstrations were planned in other states and elsewhere in California.

The group was mostly male and white, some with shaved heads and prominent tattoos.

Many of the Occupy protesters, some wearing hoods or masks, said they came from the San Francisco Bay area to counter what they called a racist group affiliated with former Louisiana Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Occupy protesters had been cursing at the South Africa Project rally and at officers keeping the two sides apart.

Ryan Stark, 26, who said he is part of Occupy Sacramento, said he joined the protesters challenging the South Africa Project protesters because there needed to be a showdown.

“I didn’t throw anything … but these sorts of demonstrations need to happen,” he said, referring to the counter protest. “They do have the right to say what they want, but we’re not going to let it fly.” …

“South Africa Project” apparently is new. There is no entry for it in Wikipedia, and Wikipedia has an entry for fucking everything. However, the group’s shitty website gives me the impression that the group indeed is a white supremacist group that is using the real and/or fabricated killings of white South Africans by black South Africans (because white South Africans never have killed or otherwise oppressed any black South Africans) not only as a cover for pushing white supremacism, but as a tactic to stir up hatred — and probably violence — against blacks by whites here in the United States.

And The Associated Press’ description of the “South Africa Project’s” demonstrators — “mostly male and white, some with shaved heads and prominent tattoos.” Hmmm. Does that sound like anyone we already know and love?

(Hey, if you think I’m being inaccurate or unfair, look at the group’s own pictures of its little dog and pony show at the California State Capitol today on its own bad website and then draw your own conclusions.)

That is not free speech, the incitement of race-based violence, even if such incitement is communicated in code (as the white supremacists, including Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders, like to communicate these days).

Therefore, in my book, white supremacists who are trying to spread their disease of race-based hatred in public don’t deserve personal protection in public.

The cops who got mildly hurt today got hurt because they were protecting, shielding — dare I say, thus even aiding and abetting — the white supremacist scumbags. (And if the cops now are being pepper-sprayed back, as the AP news story seems to suggest, well, maybe that’s what you call karma…)

Also, let’s be clear: The description of the Occupy/“Occupy” protesters who threw the objects — “some wearing hoods or masks” — sounds to me like a description of anarchists, who are a group that is distinct from the Occupy movement, and a group that pre-dates the Occupy movement by years.

Hey, if you don’t trust me, here is photographic evidence of the Occupy/“Occupy” protesters who counter-protested the white supremacists at the Capitol State Capitol today:

CHP officers hurt by Occupy protestors

Sacramento Bee/sacbee.com photo

“WHITE POWER IS HORSE SHIT.” I love that sign. Anyway, with the exception of a few, including Captain America, which is a hoot (really — I think that someone wore that costume to counter-protest white supremacists is pretty fucking funny), those “Occupy” protesters are wearing black and they have their faces covered, which is the garb of the typical anarchist — and not the garb of the typical Occupy protester.

Anarchists often infiltrate left-leaning gatherings and raise hell. That’s their thing; peaceful protests that don’t change anyfuckingthing because they don’t threaten the status quo are not the anarchists’ cup of tea.

I can’t say that I blame them for not demonstrating “nicely,” in a way that does not offend the powers that be — and thus in a way that is utterly ineffectual. We claim that we have free speech in the United States, but such “free” speech in reality often if not usually means only speech that cannot jolt the status quo. And the status quo sure the fuck needs jolting.

I have nothing against the anarchists. Anyone who goes after white supremacists who dare to spew forth their filth in the public square is fine with me, and the imagery of a bunch of supposedly bad-ass white supremacists fleeing from a mob of Occupy/“Occupy” protesters (most if not all of them actually anarchists) — the way that blacks have had to flee from mobs of white supremacists — is gratifyingly amusing.

And who knows? When/if the shit really hits the fan, I might join the anarchists’ ranks. (Black is slimming anyway…)

But, for the time being, it’s unfair and inaccurate that the corporately owned and controlled mainstream media continue to refer to fairly obvious anarchists as members of the Occupy movement when, in fact, these anarchists might not claim the Occupy movement and/or the Occupy movement might not claim them.

Your typical member of the Occupy movement does not pelt plutocrats or white supremacists or their witting or unwitting protectors, cops (many of whom are white supremacist themselves, or who at least protect and serve the white power structure), with objects.

Not yet, anyway.

P.S. Does any of this remind anyone of the American Civil War? Is this what we are headed toward — a rematch of the Civil War? Might we be presented with the opportunity to crush the white supremacists once and for all?

Update (February 29, 2012): “South Africa Project’s” home page has been updated since I first wrote about it. Now, there is a video that prominently features notorious white supremacist David Duke on the hate group’s home page. (I guess that they’re not bothering to pretend anymore.) The hate group’s home page also now features an image of a little white girl praying, accompanied by this text: “Dear Lord, please protect my big brother and my daddy and my uncles and my oupa [grandfather?] from those savages that are raping and murdering us.”

Wingnuts, not known for their subtlety, are fine with exploiting children to try to advance their ignorance and hatred — this little girl never asked to be exploited like this, and could not agree to such use of her image, since she is too young to consent, is too young to understand racism and white supremacism, but is at the total mercy of adults — and it strikes me that a child in the Middle East certainly might pray to God that the killings and maimings and other violent abuses and the wrongful incarcerations of their family members by white occupiers comes to an end. (Ditto for Palestinian children…)

At any rate, after Apartheid* in South Africa, I just can’t feel sorry for the white people there. Anything that might be happening there now that disfavors whites probably would be what you call karma, and karma is always just.

*Wikipedia notes of Apartheid:

Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party governments of South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority non-white inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained. Apartheid was developed after World War II by the Afrikaner-dominated National Party and Broederbond organizations and was practiced also in South West Africa, which was administered by South Africa under a League of Nations mandate (revoked in 1966), until it gained independence as Namibia in 1990.

Racial segregation in South Africa began in colonial times. However, apartheid as an official policy was introduced following the general election of 1948. New legislation classified inhabitants into four racial groups (“native”, “white”, “coloured“, and “Asian”), and residential areas were segregated, sometimes by means of forced removals. Non-white political representation was completely abolished in 1970, and starting in that year black people were deprived of their citizenship, legally becoming citizens of one of ten tribally based self-governing homelands called bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states. The government segregated education, medical care, beaches, and other public services, and provided black people with services inferior to those of white people.

Apartheid sparked significant internal resistance and violence as well as a long trade embargo against South Africa. Since the 1950s, a series of popular uprisings and protests were met with the banning of opposition and imprisoning of anti-apartheid leaders. As unrest spread and became more violent, state organisations responded with increasing repression and state-sponsored violence.

Reforms to apartheid in the 1980s failed to quell the mounting opposition, and in 1990 President Frederik Willem de Klerk began negotiations to end apartheid, culminating in multi-racial democratic elections in 1994, which were won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela. The vestiges of apartheid still shape South African politics and society.

So: According to the hate group “South Africa Project,” we are to feel sorry for whites in South Africa today, despite their long history of depriving black South Africans of their equal human and civil rights, based upon their race. We’re to cry in our beer for these white supremacists. We are to focus on their more recent woes and totally ignore the crimes against humanity that they perpetrated upon others over a very long period of time.

Again, one word comes to mind:

Karma.

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‘Black’ is the ‘new’ black?

The Associated Press has an odd “news” item — timed for Black History Month, apparently — that many if not most black Americans don’t like to be called “African-American.” The AP story begins:

The labels used to describe Americans of African descent mark the movement of a people from the slave house to the White House. Today, many are resisting this progression by holding on to a name from the past: “black.”

For this group — some descended from U.S. slaves, some immigrants with a separate history — “African-American” is not the sign of progress hailed when the term was popularized in the late 1980s. Instead, it’s a misleading connection to a distant culture.

The debate has waxed and waned since “African-American” went mainstream, and gained new significance after the son of a black Kenyan and a white American moved into the White House. President Barack Obama’s identity has been contested from all sides, renewing questions that have followed millions of darker Americans:

What are you? Where are you from? And how do you fit into this country?

“I prefer to be called black,” said Shawn Smith, an accountant from Houston. “How I really feel is, I’m American.”

“I don’t like ‘African-American.’ It denotes something else to me than who I am,” said Smith, whose parents are from Mississippi and North Carolina. “I can’t recall any of them telling me anything about Africa. They told me a whole lot about where they grew up in Macomb County and Shelby, N.C.”

Gibré George, an entrepreneur from Miami, started a Facebook page called “Don’t Call Me African-American” on a whim. It now has about 300 “likes.”

“We respect our African heritage, but that term is not really us,” George said. “We’re several generations down the line. If anyone were to ship us back to Africa, we’d be like fish out of water.” …

This is news? Since when did the majority of today’s black Americans prefer to be called “African-Americans”?

If “white” isn’t offensive (and it isn’t), then why would “black” be offensive? And “black” is economical — one syllable, as opposed to the seven-syllable “African-American.”

“African-American” seems too politically correct and stilted to me — its use seems overly conscious of race. “African-American,” it seems to me, is used primarily by whites who are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with blacks, just as those who are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with us gay men and lesbians call us “homosexual(s)” — a term that the vast majority of us gay men and lesbians don’t use to refer to ourselves.

But even aside from that, “African-American” a poor term to denote one’s race.

If you want to be technical, all human beings had their origin in Africa, so every American, strictly technically speaking, could be called an “African-American.”

And not all black Americans, it seems to me, consider Africa to be the place of their heritage — they could consider Brazil, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica or one of several other nations to be the place of their heritage, not entirely unlike how it’s woefully inaccurate to term all Latinos as “Mexicans,” as though Mexico were the only nation that produced Latinos.

And, as the two black individuals are quoted as having said in the AP story above, “African-American” connotes a connection to Africa that many if not most black Americans don’t really feel — any more than I feel a connection to whichever foreign land my ancestors came from (the United Kingdom, I believe, but I’m not certain of that). I don’t call myself an “Anglo-American” because I’ve never set foot in the UK and I am generations removed from it — and because “white” is one syllable versus six, and I believe in keeping it simple. (Ditto for the clinical-sounding term “Caucasian” — why use three syllables when “white” is perfectly acceptable?)

I routinely use the term “black” to refer to blacks and never have been corrected by a black person, and I generally believe in using the term that the majority of the members of a group use to refer to themselves. Thus, I say “black” and not “African-American” (and certainly not “Negro” or “colored” or another woefully outdated term), “Latino” and not the outdated “Hispanic,” “Asian” and certainly not the horribly outdated “Oriental,” and “Native American” and not “Indian” (since Native Americans are not from India and since here in the United States we have plenty of people who are from India or who are only a generation or two removed from India, and so to call Native Americans “Indians” is to confuse them with actual Indians).

Like the use of “homosexual,” though, the use of such terms as “African-American” and “Oriental” is useful in identifying bigots — or if not outright bigots, individuals who obviously aren’t very familiar with the group of people they’re referring to, or they’d be using the term that the group uses to refer to itself.

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