Tag Archives: Racism

The Alt-Right: Meet The Deplorables

hitler-salutes

I’ve began to feel as though I left a few things unsaid in my previous article, so consider this piece an addendum of sorts, albeit I fear, a slightly angry and unpolished one…

Hillary nailed it; the alt-right is deplorable. Though its adherents deny it one and all, they are white supremacists trying to fly under the radar with a quirkier sounding name. They insist that their detractors are simply too easily offended and don’t like free speech, or when this ruse fails, claim that they are only joking. But there’s never anything much to laugh at, and aside from the childishness of this defence, it reveals that they know very well just how sinister they are. Alas, all that appears to matter to them is their desire to push the boundaries of insult further and wider.

So who are the alt-righters? Well, they were the ones shouting ‘build the wall’ and beating up dark skinned people at Trump’s rallies. They’re the ones who want to stop all Muslim immigration and to ban the building of mosques. They’re the ones who do not wish to see a single refugee set foot in the developed world, especially if they look like they might be a day over 16 or aren’t close enough to death for their liking. They were the ones who insisted that Trump’s boast of sexual assault was just’ locker room talk’. They were the ones who spread malicious rumours about Barack Obama’s American citizenship, a barely concealed racist attack if ever there was one. They’re the ones who scream ‘femi-nazi’ at any woman who dares to have an opinion opposed to their own. They were the ones who scare mongered for years about the impact of immigrants on British society. They were the ones who deceived the electorate about the cost of EU membership and lied about where these make believe savings could be spent, for the sole reason of stopping foreigners coming to Britain. And last Saturday (19th November), in Washington DC, they were the ones shouting ‘Heil victory’ and throwing Nazi salutes back at Richard B. Spencer, the man who coined the term ‘alt-right’, while he told them that America was “a white country that belongs to us.”

Here is a taste of how some of the alt-right’s favourite spokespeople behave:

Katie Hopkins – Former ‘The Apprentice’ contestant and loudmouth columnist for The Mail Online.  If you thought the headline below was bad enough, her first paragraph reads: “NO, I don’t care. Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad.  I still don’t care.”

katie-hopkins

Milo Yiannopoulos – The alt-right poster boy.  Previously exposed as a plagiarist, he now writes a column for Breitbart News.  He thinks feminism is worse than cancer, and apparently at least 11,678 of his fans agree:

milo

Nigel Farage – Former commodity broker, one has to remind themselves that he has never been elected as a member of parliament, given his overbearing, unceasing presence.  He’s currently the acting leader of UKIP, the populist far-right party in the UK, and a favourite of Donald Trump.  Here he is fear-mongering about Britain being invaded by refugees:

nigel-farage-refugees

Raheem Kassam – He is the editor-in-chief of Breitbart News in London, the favoured news feed of the alt-right.  He’s also regularly obnoxious on Twitter.  Here he displays the misogyny and the disdain for disabled people that has become so characteristic of the alt-right world view:

raheem-kassam

These people are the dregs of society. Doubtless you’ll be familiar with the calls to hear them out and to try to understand the grievances of this mob. If there ever was a time to indulge such a menace in an unnecessarily generous nod to civility, that time has long since passed. These people now have what they wanted. They have effectively won the Presidency in America and they have thrown Britain into a political, economic and diplomatic crisis by dragging it out of the European Union. If we are to prevent them from destroying everything that we have come to cherish – the freedom, the tolerance and the diversity, then all there is left to do is mobilise and to fight back – peacefully and democratically of course, but most importantly everyone must resist the urge to merely hope everything will turn out alright, or worse, simply assume that enough other people will make a stand. Those who cheer on the Donald Trumps of this world are counting on this. They are banking on liberals continuing to sleep walk into obscurity. It was the naivety of liberals in the first place that enabled all of this because the threat has always been there – it never goes away. However, recently too many liberals have forgotten to check their privilege and have taken too much for granted. 2016 must act as the wakeup call, before it’s too late. There’s so much at stake – we can’t afford to lose anymore elections.

Donald Trump And The Politics Of Hate

donald-trump

I started this blog primarily to write about, and to offer some resistance to, what I believed to be the greatest threat to our way of life – organised religion.  I must admit that I didn’t expect this to change so soon. But on the night of the 2016 US Elections, it did change. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that Donald Trump is the worst possible choice as the leader of the free world one could wish for. If every US citizen were to draw straws, you’d almost certainly be guaranteed a better option. Sure you might end up with someone who is uninformed, as Trump certainly is. They might even be a misogynist and a racist. But they’re unlikely to also be a world champion narcissist who, for example, thinks that they know more about Iraq and Afghanistan than US army Generals, as Trump has claimed to. Indeed Donald Trump is so uninformed, that his own ignorance is a stranger to him.

Much has been written about the character traits that ought to have disqualified Trump from the Presidency, but it’s worth reiterating a few of them, if only to soften you up for my conclusions, so here goes…

Donald Trump is a racist, a xenophobe and an anti-Muslim bigot. Whether or not his father was a member of the Ku Klux Klan is up for debate, but what is certain is that Donald’s real estate company was sued for racism. In two states, New York and Virginia, black applicants had their forms marked with the letter ‘c’ for coloured. One of his hotels, The Trump Plaza, was also sued for $200,000 for ensuring its black employees did not serve a regular customer who was known to be a racist, in order to accommodate him. Undeterred, Donald would go on to be the most prominent voice in the ‘birther’ movement, a patently racist motivated effort to have Obama’s tenancy of the White House cut short due to him being a Muslim, a Kenyan or some other apparently undesirable non-American. Of course there’s no doubt that what was really meant by all those who supported this despicable movement was that they didn’t want a black man sleeping in the same bedroom previously occupied by Madison, Jefferson, Adams and so on.

When Trump launched his Presidential campaign last year, rather than seeking to reset his reputation concerning minorities, he immediately quadrupled down, calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers and insisting that a 60 foot high wall be built along the US-Mexican border in order to keep them out. Trump then demanded that all immigration from Muslim countries cease immediately (Trump seemed unaware that Muslims also emigrate to America from Europe). Perhaps one of the most unsavoury and under reported events of Trump’s campaign was when he invited an organisation of women that exists solely and unfathomably due to their shared experience of having had a child murdered by an illegal immigrant, to stand alongside him at one of his rallies while he hate mongered to his mob. Deplorable doesn’t even come close.

Donald Trump is a misogynist who has no respect for women. It’s clear from the long history of his predatory behaviour that he sees women as objects without agency that he can do whatever he wants with. If you doubt this, just take another read of what he was caught on tape saying to Billy Bush in 2005:

“I just start kissing them… I don’t even wait. When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

It’s interesting to read the above statement in the context of the sexual assault allegations that have been made against him. Here is a list of those alleged attacks. The correlation with his own professed attitude toward how one can treat women is uncanny:

1980 – Jessica Leeds says Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt on an aeroplane

Early 1990’s – Kristin Anderson claims that Trump put his hand up her skirt and touched her vagina through her underwear on a dancefloor in a New York nightclub

1997 – Temple Taggart, Miss Utah 1997, says Trump twice kissed her on the mouth uninvited

1997 – Four contestants from the 1997 Miss Teen USA, including Mariah Billado, say Trump walked in on them while they were changing. Some of the girls were only 15 at the time, but that hasn’t stopped Trump from boasting about the incident

1998 – Karena Virginia accuses Trump of grabbing her breast at the 1998 US Open Tennis Championship

2003 – Mindy McGillivray says Trump grabbed her bum at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida

2005 – Rachel Crooks says Trump kissed her on the mouth uninvited outside an elevator in Trump Tower

2005 – Natasha Stoynoff, a journalist with ‘People’ magazine, claims Trump pushed her against a wall and forced his tongue down her throat while she was interviewing him at his Mar-A-Lago resort

2007 – Summer Zervos, former ‘The Apprentice’ contestant, says Trump kissed her on the mouth uninvited, grabbed her breast, and thrust his genitals at her during a meeting to discuss possible employment

2013 – Cassandra Searles, the 2013 Miss World winner, says Trump grabbed her bum after the event and invited her to his room

Please remind yourself how Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter who dared to criticise him. America, meet your new President, the man who now represents you on the world stage:

Video Link

Here are his ‘thoughts’ on climate change:

climate-change-trump

On abortion, Trump said the following in an interview with Chris Matthews earlier this year:

“You have to ban it… there has to be some form of punishment” (for the woman).

During a meeting with foreign policy advisers, Trump reportedly asked on three occasions why America can’t use its nuclear weapons. He also supports the proliferation of nuclear weapons to countries that currently do not have them, specifically naming Japan and Saudi Arabia as good starting points.

I could go on of course. There’s hardly a topic you could name that Trump hasn’t said multiple stupid, divisive or truly dangerous things about. The point that I’m trying to ram home is this; his victory wasn’t about economics. It was about hate, plain and simple. Surveys have shown that the average annual income of Trump voters is $72,000 (£57,000). No one chanted about trade deals at his rallies. They screamed “Trump that bitch!” and physically attacked people with dark skin or who simply looked a bit different. If you haven’t already, you really must check out Jared Yates Sexton’s live tweets from a Trump rally in Greensboro in June this year. They’re truly terrifying: https://storify.com/case_face/a-trump-rally-in-greensboro-anger-in-here-is-palpa.

It’s patently ridiculous to suggest that a white man, born into extreme privilege, who has hob knobbed with the rich and famous, including billionaires and Presidents, his whole life, and who hasn’t paid federal income tax for the best part of 20 years, represents the outsider or the hard working men and women of America. One of the great things about the internet age is that everyone has the key information. Everything that I wrote in the first 1,000 words of this article was outlined ceaselessly every night on television and was constantly trending on social media. No one could have been under any illusions as to what they were voting for, and no one surely could have imagined that Trump was really what America needed to be great again. The 60 million people who voted for Trump simply didn’t care. They were fully prepared to burn the house down in service to their lust for hate. For most, it was hatred of ‘the other’ (blacks, Latinos, Muslims, homosexuals, women), for some, it was hatred of Hillary. But I would argue that the latter reveals more than many seem willing to entertain because if you believed it was more important to block Hillary’s path to the Presidency than to resist the sexism and racism of Trump, then in my book you just don’t care enough about sexism and racism. One does not have to travel too far into our past to witness the consequences of such indifference. Sadly, many on the left were also culpable here, and ultimately they too played their part in handing Trump the golden ticket.

So what now? Depressingly, with the Senate and Congress also lost to the GOP, America and the rest of the world can only cross its fingers and hope we get through this with Western civilisation still intact. It’s that bad. Going forward, liberals must learn to recognise fascism when they see it, and be prepared to set aside their petty squabbles to unite against it. They must also learn that elections are largely about personalities, and just as Miliband and Corbyn proved inadequate to resist Farage and the brexiteers, so too was Hillary Clinton incapable of garnering enough support to defeat even an obnoxious buffoon like Donald Trump. Good luck everyone.

UKIP’s Conjuring Trick (And What We Can Do About It)

UKIP

On the 22nd May 2014, 4.3 million UK residents voted for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in the European Parliament elections.  That’s about 1 in 10 of all UK adults.  Bearing in mind we are talking about a political party that wishes to privatise the NHS, legalise handguns, introduce a flat rate of tax (though they are apparently ‘re-thinking’ this), outlaw gay marriage, remove women’s rights to maternity leave, re-introduce hunting with dogs, and is led by a man who is proud to boast of his disdain at hearing foreign languages and his desire not to live next door to people of certain nationalities, this looks pretty alarming on the face of it for all moral, tolerant, liberal people.

And it is.  Although it’s true, as one tweeter put it, that Nigel Farage can’t even move a wheelie bin as his party have no seats in the House of Commons, control no councils and the European Parliament is still dominated by pro-EU members, UKIP do have one heck of platform.  They may look and sound like the BNP (that’s because they are almost indistinguishable on policy and rhetoric!), the BNP have never managed to mobilise 10% of the population, gain almost 40,000 members, or be recognised by OFCOM as a major political party.  When we consider all of this alongside the British Social Attitudes Survey released last week, that reported, amongst other things, that 30% of British people admit to being racist, we should perhaps be a little worried about the direction in which our politics may be heading.

Nigel Farage’s ‘achievements’ are all the more remarkable when we observe just how un-correlated his rabble-rousing is with reality.  Here are some statistics:

  • The UK population is approximately 64 million.  Around 56 million are white (approximately 87% of the population).
  • 7.5 million UK residents are immigrants (approximately 12% of the population).  About a third of these are from within the EU.
  • Between 2000 and 2011, immigrants were 45% less likely to claim benefits than people born in the UK and 3% less likely to live in social housing.
  • Between 2000 and 2011, immigrants arriving from within the EU contributed 34% more in taxes than they claimed in benefits, whilst British people paid 11% less in tax than they received.
  • 5% of UK residents are Muslims.
  • In the 2011 census, approximately 3.6 million people identified themselves as homosexual (approximately 6% of the population).
  • Between 2002 and 2012, total incidences of recorded crime in the UK fell from approximately 5.7 million to 3.5 million, including plummeting homicide and violent crime rates.  See the table below:

UK Gov Crime Statistics

These numbers hardly represent a United Kingdom being overrun by non-whites, foreign nationals, Muslims and homosexuals (not that that would be a problem of course!), who are destroying our once great nation by living off of benefits and causing spiralling rates of violent and sexual crime.  Yet all last week I had to listen to UKIP voters explaining that they don’t recognise their own country anymore.  Really?!

So how has Nigel Farage done it?  How has he convinced so many people of such pernicious untruths?

As has been the case time and again throughout human history, he has exploited the genuine misfortunes of people who are struggling to adapt to a fast changing world and (I suspect deliberately) misdiagnosed the cause of their problems in order to give his own prejudices a day in the sun.  To put it bluntly, he has spread lies about certain minority groups that he doesn’t like, apparently merely because he doesn’t like them, and is using this false narrative to convince people that those minorities are the root cause of their problems.  Let’s look at some more numbers:

  • In 1960, life expectancy was approximately 65 years.  In 2014, it is 78.
  • In 1960, 23 out of every 1000 babies born died before their first birthday.  Nowadays, less than 5 do. 
  • In 1960, the UK population was 52 million.  In 2014, it is 64 million.
  • By the end of the 1960’s, UK immigrants already totalled more than 3 million.  See the table below:

Population Growth

This ought to make it clear that the UK has been hurtling toward an emergency for decades.  Our population has increased by 12 million over the past 50 years (or almost 25% in half a century) but only about a third of this is due to immigration.  Thus the recent increase in the rate of immigration has only accelerated our confrontation with this emergency by a few years.  The jobs being taken by those damn foreigners that UKIP despise so much (which is odd because I thought they were mostly claiming benefits?!), would soon be unavailable in any case.

The truth is that the stresses currently being experienced in the UK are a microcosm of what is happening across the developed world (which is why many other countries are also witnessing a rise in the popularity of their far right political party’s).  We are quite simply victims of our own success.  Due to massive improvements in medicine and nutrition, the ‘baby boomers’ are refusing to die, and though we’re now having less babies over the long term, more are making it to adulthood fit and healthy.  Technological advancements have reduced the numbers of labourers required in agriculture and industry, have allowed us to import much of our produce and have enabled the offshoring of, for example call centres and helpdesks.  Though it might not seem so due to 24 hour News channels thrusting conflicts into our living rooms in high definition, we are living in increasingly peaceful times, meaning there is no longer a need to have large scale standing armies.

In short, most modern towns and cities are now painfully over-crowded and so we spend a lot of our time in queues and traffic jams.  Juxtaposed to the improvements in standards of living is the fact that even well qualified graduates are currently struggling to find work due to there being many more people and far fewer jobs.  And such is the huge demand for everything, prices are sky rocketing.  Life is hard and many people are angry and confused.  Unfortunately, this is fertile ground for the likes of UKIP and Nigel Farage.  For all too many it is enough simply to point a finger at the person with an unfamiliar accent and they will (inaccurately) fill in the blanks themselves.

Clearly then, along with disease, poverty, nuclear weapons proliferation, climate change and terrorism, over population is one of the huge questions that our generation must find an answer to.  And as with all the other issues listed above, we will not find the answer in isolation.  UKIP’s insistence upon leaving the EU and ‘closing the doors’ is guaranteed to fail to resolve the problems facing modern Britain simply because it has almost nothing to do with them.  That is not to say that the EU is perfect in its current form, but we must certainly seek to cooperate with, influence and build a strong European State.  The equal opportunities, fair minimum wage and other social welfare and health care advantages available in Britain must be nurtured and strengthened at home and exported abroad, so that other countries are equally appealing places to live, work and raise a family.  We must also of course increase tax revenue to pay for the ever growing demands on our social services.  Whilst it’s impossible not to notice that the very wealthy are in a good position to contribute to this, we should also cease to subsidise whims of fancy with the public purse.  The tens of billions of pounds spent every year funding organised religion and fighting the drug war can no longer be entertained, even as sport.  This money is entirely wasted (actually it’s worse than that – it pays for failed policies that harm society), yet it would all by itself fill the current funding gap within the NHS, with more than a little spare change left over.

‘How to save the world’ is a detailed manuscript few of us have the time to write, but we can be sure of some general themes; we know that the emancipation of women is a good cure for poverty.  Free universal health care is an obligation of any moral society, as is the tolerance and equal treatment of people from all countries, of all skin colours and of all variants of consensual sexual preferences.  The strict control of firearms has never come up short of useful for reducing violent crime and murder rates, particularly in relation to gang disputes, and a concern for the welfare of animals is also a vital health check for any community as it is inextricably linked to how people tend treat each other.  This list could hardly be more opposed to the policies of UKIP and most other far right wing groups, and so it should be obvious that it is essential for our survival and progress that we reject them.

But how do we convince the disillusioned that Nigel Farage is a false prophet?  As ever, facts are our best weapon.  You will find that almost everyone you know thinks that immigrants disproportionately claim benefits and that violent crime is on the rise, due at least in part to mass immigration.  Likewise, although Eastern Europeans, homosexuals and Muslims make up only about 15% of the UK population combined, many people seem to imagine these groups are individually approaching the majority (again, it wouldn’t matter if they were, but proving they’re not goes a long way to exposing the false narrative).  We must all be on high alert to such erroneous statements and be ready to set people straight.  Knowledge of the true state of affairs directly impacts how people view the world.  Clearly this is not a guaranteed win – the religious debate has taught us that.  Some people do prefer to live in ignorance, but such is the extent of the misinformation doing the rounds, correcting it must be a great place to start.

So argue.  Argue as if your life depends on it.  It is possible that, in Britain at least, those who believe in fairy tales will avert serious consequences of their delusions regarding the nature of the cosmos, but we can all be sure of a reckoning in this lifetime if we take a wrong turn on the political spectrum at this crucial moment in our history.  Voting will probably help as well…


Wear The Poppy With Pride

Poppy

On the 4th August, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany to defend Belgium, and by proxy France, after Germany had set its ‘Schlieffen Plan’ in motion (a military operation intended to defeat Belgium, France & Russia in six weeks).

On the 3rd September, 1939, Britain declared war on Germany again, this time to defend Poland from Hitler’s search for ‘Lebensraum’ (living space) for the German people in the east.

In June 1992, a UN force, including British soldiers, entered the Bosnian war to protect Bosnian Muslims from the unfolding massacres being perpetrated upon them by Serb & Croat forces (with the encouragement of at least some Catholic Priests).

Currently, our soldiers are in Afghanistan and Iraq attempting to help re-build those societies and protect their people, having freed them from the suffocating, violent and all too often deadly consequences of living under religio-fascist dictatorships.  Whether you think this is a good thing or not, this is what they are doing.  They are risking their lives to protect the rights of women, to defend freedom of speech and to advocate the necessity of democratic, secular governance for a peaceful world.  As it’s a particular passion of my own, I think it’s worth mentioning that they are also saving animals from cruel practises such as bear baiting and dog fighting.

Of course one should never forget the vital contributions made from across the commonwealth, in the first and second world wars in particular, to assist the propagation of our most deeply held principles.  People from India, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada for example selflessly gave their lives alongside British troops.

And so it goes on.  Our shores have not been seriously threatened since 1588 and have not been breached since 1066.  The proudest moments in the recent history of our armed forces are represented by its defence of others, whoever they maybe, against nationalistic or religiously inspired aggression.   Whenever we have let ourselves down on the international stage, as for example we’ve undoubtedly done so on occasion in Northern Ireland, it has largely been due to us forgetting the core values for which we are generally, sometimes begrudgingly known for across the globe.

How distressing it must be then for those who’ve sacrificed so much for such noble, liberal, humanist causes, to see their legacy distorted by a section of the remembrance fraternity.  Some members of certain organisations (you know who they are), often whose essential business it is to ask for respect and support for our soldiers, far too often stain their reputations with racist, xenophobic and Christian rhetoric that are precisely not the values our soldiers fight and die for.  They are in fact the very evils being resisted.

So please wear the red poppy with pride this Remembrance Sunday.  But be sure to take a moment to consider what it truly stands for.  Let’s take back this fitting occasion from those who are perpetually angry and fearful of a changing world.