Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne has spent the majority of this year trying to spread COVID. He held in-person church services as the pandemic was breaking, continued gathering in-person over the summer without social distancing or any kind of mask requirement, and said back in August that anyone who took a potential vaccine would “be dead within a couple of years.”
Even today, the head of The River church in Tampa, Florida continues putting other people’s lives at risk.
… The vaccine they’re counting on is an RNA vaccine that actually changes your DNA. So they want to remove the God Factor out of people. They won’t feel God. They won’t… because a lot of the stuff was… really in the creation of the Super Soldier, which they wanted to bring about soldiers which had no emotions whatsoever. So a lot of the stuff, it’s all the End Time wicked plan of the Enemy to totally destroy humanity because he hates man…
To state the obvious, the preacher doesn’t understand science.
As news is emerging of vaccine breakthroughs and the very real possibility that effective shots are finally within sight, Howard-Browne urging his followers to avoid it at all costs:
The vaccine will not “alter your DNA” because that’s just not how it works. Nor is there a God gene that can be manipulated, nor is a vaccine capable of damaging your faith. (Rodney Howard-Browne is doing that all by himself.)
As expected, this Christian is already blaming a vaccine for destroying humanity after he’s spent months creating an environment for the virus to spread. He doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t care about your family. He doesn’t care about his own congregation. He only cares about himself. Everyone else can suffer. That’s what he believes Jesus would want.
Televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who just the other week expressed disbelief that Muslims could be elected to Congress, isn’t handling the election Joe Biden very well. (You would think a guy who declared the pandemic to be over back in March would have learned not to trust his own judgment…)
During a service over the weekend, Copeland laughed at the idea Biden was declared president-elect.
The media said what?! Hahahahahahahahahahaha.
The media said Joe Biden’s president. Haaaaaaaaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Haaaaaa. Haaaaaaa. Hahahahahahahaha. WOO! Hahahahahahahaha.
I mean literally laughed. Like… to the point that this video is just creepy.
Totally normal Christians, everyone. No masks. Just mouths wide open, laughing at… um… reality.
They don’t seem to realize that their laughter, like prayer, won’t change the outcome of the race.
Can someone create a mashup of Copeland and Paula White calling for “angelic reinforcement” to protect Donald Trump? It’s just non-stop evangelical insanity with these people.
The pro-Trump preacher explained in a sermon Monday that it’s “scientifically impossible to be an atheist.”
… the word literally means “no God.” No God. That’s what it means. So you can’t go changing the definition now, or you could create a new word. If you want to come up with a new word to say “I don’t believe there’s a God,” then come up with a new word. But if you want to use the word “atheist,” scientifically, there’s no atheists because you can’t definitively say there is no God, and I’ll prove it to you.
Jesus Christ, it’s this old argument again… It’s the idea that atheists claim to have all the knowledge EVER, which they can’t, therefore a virgin gave birth to someone who later rose from the dead. Notice that Morris never quotes any prominent atheist who agrees with that definition. He’s not playing video clips. That’s because he’s a liar.
Atheists, more than religious people, I would argue, are perfectly willing to admit there’s plenty we don’t know. As opposed to Christians like Morris who opened up one book and claim to have all the answers. If someone wants to pretend God exists, then the burden of proof is on him.
There are other standard rebuttals here, but let’s go with the simplest one: He’s lying about the definition of atheist. He’s lying because he’s a pastor and he knows his followers will never call him out on it. He’s creating a straw man in order to knock it down.
No one has ever “changed” the definition. No one needs to change the definition. Morris just needs to learn how to read. Christian apologists love to pretend “atheist” means someone who declares with absolute certainty that God doesn’t exist. The reality is that it means someone who believes God doesn’t exist. There’s a difference. (Agnosticism is something else entirely.)
You can be an a-unicornist, too. It doesn’t mean you’ve scientifically proven unicorns are fictional; it means there’s no convincing evidence to the contrary, so you don’t buy into the myth.
It’s ironic that a guy who stretches the definition of Christianity has the audacity to tell atheists they don’t understand their own label.
Kuwaiti academic claims semen-eating anal worms cause homosexuality
Mariam Al-Sohel claims homosexuality is caused by semen-eating anal worms
A Kuwaiti academic has claimed that she has developed a cure for homosexuality that targets semen-eating anal worms.
Dr Mariam Al-Sohel, who claims to have qualifications in “Sex Management,” appeared on Kuwaiti channel Scope TV to sell suppositories that she claims kills worms making men gay.
In a clip translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute Sohel claims that she has “discovered therapeutic suppositories that curb the sexual urges” of gay men and lesbians.
Mariam Al-Sohel: Homosexuality persists because of anal worm that feeds on semen
Sohel explains: “The sexual urge develops when a person is sexually attacked, and afterwards it persists, because there is an anal worm that feeds on semen.
“It feeds on sperm. So what I did was to produce suppositories which are to be used by certain people at a certain time, and it cures those urges by exterminating the worm that feeds on sperm.”
The academic, adds: “By the way, this is all science, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Of course not. It’s Prophetic medicine. It’s all in the books.”
Sohel goes on to claim that the treatment works for both gay men and lesbians, though it is unclear how exactly semen-eating anal worms would survive in most lesbian relationships.
Stars You Didn’t Know Were Gay Or Bisexual The Stars You Didn’t Know Have An LGBT Sibling The Straight Stars Who Went Gay For Pay
She adds that the treatments for gay men also include a balanced diet of foods “that increase their masculinity and build muscle.”
Sohel claimed: “Any food that is buried underground provides men with stability, strengthens their muscles and increases their masculinity.”
Semen-eating anal worms theory gets frosty reception
Unsurprisingly, LGBT+ campaigners are not convinced by her claims.
Gay German politician Volker Beck told The Jerusalem Post: “The cure for homosexuality is popular among religious fundamentalists. It is quackery and charlatanry.
“Such therapies and their apologists must be warned. Whether it is Sohel’s suppositories or from Catholic doctors in Germany, it is hocus pocus that reveals much about the mental state of these people.”
Mariam Al-Sohel claims homosexuality is caused by semen-eating anal wormsMariam Al-Sohel claims homosexuality is caused by semen-eating anal worms
British campaigner Peter Tatchell added: “This takes gay ‘conversion therapy‘ and quack medicine to new heights of absurdity.
“Anal worms that feed on sperm and make men gay? Foods that make them masculine and straight? This is the most bizarre homophobic nonsense that I have heard in ages.
“On a sinister level, it is another outrageous Islamic-inspired attempt to eradicate same-sex desires. This academic is mirroring failed Nazi attempts to cure homosexuality.”
Tatchell added that the clip “shows how dogmatic religion is the enemy of knowledge, truth and human rights.”
We greatly thank you for your on-going generous financial and enthusiastic personal support in appreciation for this site!
George Pell: Pope Francis removes Australian cardinal from inner circle
Restructure of Council of Cardinals comes as Pell faces prosecution in Australia for historical sexual offences
via Melissa Davey
Pope Francis has removed Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, from his inner circle in a restructure of his Council of Cardinals.
Pell’s position as the financial controller of the Vatican makes him the third most powerful person in the Vatican. He is facing prosecution in Australia for historical sexual offences and has taken leave from the position. Pell has strenuously denied the allegations.
The removal of Pell, 77, from the council does not necessarily affect his treasury position, which he technically still holds, and a Vatican spokesman would not comment further.
Two other council members – the newly retired archbishop Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, 79, and Chile’s Francisco Errázuriz Ossa, 85, who has been accused of concealing abuse while archbishop of Santiago – were also removed from the group of nine on the council, which is known as C-9.
A Vatican spokesman said Francis had written to the prelates “thanking them for the work they have done over these past five years”.
A key role of C-9, formed in 2013, has been to reform the bureaucracy of the Vatican and determine its policies and missions going forward.
But Francis has been under increasing pressure to restructure C-9 in the wake of growing concerns about child sexual abuse and other scandals in the church, with many angered that men accused of serious offences were determining the future direction of the church. The fact many of C-9’s members are elderly has also been a concern.
We greatly appreciate your on-going generous financial and enthusiastic personal support for this site!
It is insufficient to state the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness—that bloody heirloom which cannot ensure mastery of all events but can conjure a tailwind for most of them. Land theft and human plunder cleared the grounds for Trump’s forefathers and barred others from it. Once upon the field, these men became soldiers, statesmen, and scholars; held court in Paris; presided at Princeton; advanced into the Wilderness and then into the White House. Their individual triumphs made this exclusive party seem above America’s founding sins, and it was forgotten that the former was in fact bound to the latter, that all their victories had transpired on cleared grounds. No such elegant detachment can be attributed to Donald Trump—a president who, more than any other, has made the awful inheritance explicit.
His political career began in advocacy of birtherism, that modern recasting of the old American precept that black people are not fit to be citizens of the country they built. But long before birtherism, Trump had made his worldview clear. He fought to keep blacks out of his buildings, according to the U.S. government; called for the death penalty for the eventually exonerated Central Park Five; and railed against “lazy” black employees. “Black guys counting my money! I hate it,” Trump was once quoted as saying. “The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” After his cabal of conspiracy theorists forced Barack Obama to present his birth certificate, Trump demanded the president’s college grades (offering $5 million in exchange for them), insisting that Obama was not intelligent enough to have gone to an Ivy League school, and that his acclaimed memoir, Dreams From My Father, had been ghostwritten by a white man, Bill Ayers.
It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true—his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power. Trump inaugurated his campaign by casting himself as the defender of white maidenhood against Mexican “rapists,” only to be later alleged by multiple accusers, and by his own proud words, to be a sexual violator himself. White supremacy has always had a perverse sexual tint. Trump’s rise was shepherded by Steve Bannon, a man who mocks his white male critics as “cucks.” The word, derived from cuckold, is specifically meant to debase by fear and fantasy—the target is so weak that he would submit to the humiliation of having his white wife lie with black men. That the slur cuck casts white men as victims aligns with the dicta of whiteness, which seek to alchemize one’s profligate sins into virtue. So it was with Virginia slaveholders claiming that Britain sought to make slaves of them. So it was with marauding Klansmen organized against alleged rapes and other outrages. So it was with a candidate who called for a foreign power to hack his opponent’s email and who now, as president, is claiming to be the victim of “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.”
In Trump, white supremacists see one of their own. Only grudgingly did Trump denounce the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke, one of its former grand wizards—and after the clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, Duke in turn praised Trump’s contentious claim that “both sides” were responsible for the violence.
To Trump, whiteness is neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power. In this, Trump is not singular. But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies. The repercussions are striking: Trump is the first president to have served in no public capacity before ascending to his perch. But more telling, Trump is also the first president to have publicly affirmed that his daughter is a “piece of ass.” The mind seizes trying to imagine a black man extolling the virtues of sexual assault on tape (“When you’re a star, they let you do it”), fending off multiple accusations of such assaults, immersed in multiple lawsuits for allegedly fraudulent business dealings, exhorting his followers to violence, and then strolling into the White House. But that is the point of white supremacy—to ensure that that which all others achieve with maximal effort, white people (particularly white men) achieve with minimal qualification. Barack Obama delivered to black people the hoary message that if they work twice as hard as white people, anything is possible. But Trump’s counter is persuasive: Work half as hard as black people, and even more is possible.
For Trump, it almost seems that the fact of Obama, the fact of a black president, insulted him personally. The insult intensified when Obama and Seth Meyers publicly humiliated him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011. But the bloody heirloom ensures the last laugh. Replacing Obama is not enough—Trump has made the negation of Obama’s legacy the foundation of his own. And this too is whiteness. “Race is an idea, not a fact,” the historian Nell Irvin Painter has written, and essential to the construct of a “white race” is the idea of not being a nigger. Before Barack Obama, niggers could be manufactured out of Sister Souljahs, Willie Hortons, and Dusky Sallys. But Donald Trump arrived in the wake of something more potent—an entire nigger presidency with nigger health care, nigger climate accords, and nigger justice reform, all of which could be targeted for destruction or redemption, thus reifying the idea of being white. Trump truly is something new—the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorific—America’s first white president.
The scope of Trump’s commitment to whiteness is matched only by the depth of popular disbelief in the power of whiteness. We are now being told that support for Trump’s “Muslim ban,” his scapegoating of immigrants, his defenses of police brutality are somehow the natural outgrowth of the cultural and economic gap between Lena Dunham’s America and Jeff Foxworthy’s. The collective verdict holds that the Democratic Party lost its way when it abandoned everyday economic issues like job creation for the softer fare of social justice. The indictment continues: To their neoliberal economics, Democrats and liberals have married a condescending elitist affect that sneers at blue-collar culture and mocks the white man as history’s greatest monster and prime-time television’s biggest doofus. In this rendition, Donald Trump is not the product of white supremacy so much as the product of a backlash against contempt for white working-class people.
“We so obviously despise them, we so obviously condescend to them,” the conservative social scientist Charles Murray, who co-wrote The Bell Curve, recently told The New Yorker, speaking of the white working class. “The only slur you can use at a dinner party and get away with is to call somebody a redneck—that won’t give you any problems in Manhattan.”
“The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes,” charged the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, “is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now.”
That black people, who have lived for centuries under such derision and condescension, have not yet been driven into the arms of Trump does not trouble these theoreticians. After all, in this analysis, Trump’s racism and the racism of his supporters are incidental to his rise. Indeed, the alleged glee with which liberals call out Trump’s bigotry is assigned even more power than the bigotry itself. Ostensibly assaulted by campus protests, battered by arguments about intersectionality, and oppressed by new bathroom rights, a blameless white working class did the only thing any reasonable polity might: elect an orcish reality-television star who insists on taking his intelligence briefings in picture-book form.
Asserting that Trump’s rise was primarily powered by cultural resentment and economic reversal has become de rigueur among white pundits and thought leaders. But evidence for this is, at best, mixed. In a study of preelection polling data, the Gallup researchers Jonathan Rothwell and Pablo Diego-Rosell found that “people living in areas with diminished economic opportunity” were “somewhat more likely to support Trump.” But the researchers also found that voters in their study who supported Trump generally had a higher mean household income ($81,898) than those who did not ($77,046). Those who approved of Trump were “less likely to be unemployed and less likely to be employed part-time” than those who did not. They also tended to be from areas that were very white: “The racial and ethnic isolation of whites at the zip code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.”
An analysis of exit polls conducted during the presidential primaries estimated the median household income of Trump supporters to be about $72,000. But even this lower number is almost double the median household income of African Americans, and $15,000 above the American median. Trump’s white support was not determined by income. According to Edison Research, Trump won whites making less than $50,000 by 20 points, whites making $50,000 to $99,999 by 28 points, and whites making $100,000 or more by 14 points. This shows that Trump assembled a broad white coalition that ran the gamut from Joe the Dishwasher to Joe the Plumber to Joe the Banker. So when white pundits cast the elevation of Trump as the handiwork of an inscrutable white working class, they are being too modest, declining to claim credit for their own economic class. Trump’s dominance among whites across class lines is of a piece with his larger dominance across nearly every white demographic. Trump won white women (+9) and white men (+31). He won white people with college degrees (+3) and white people without them (+37). He won whites ages 18–29 (+4), 30–44 (+17), 45–64 (+28), and 65 and older (+19). Trump won whites in midwestern Illinois (+11), whites in mid-Atlantic New Jersey (+12), and whites in the Sun Belt’s New Mexico (+5). In no state that Edison polled did Trump’s white support dip below 40 percent. Hillary Clinton’s did, in states as disparate as Florida, Utah, Indiana, and Kentucky. From the beer track to the wine track, from soccer moms to nascar dads, Trump’s performance among whites was dominant. According to Mother Jones, based on preelection polling data, if you tallied the popular vote of only white America to derive 2016 electoral votes, Trump would have defeated Clinton 389 to 81, with the remaining 68 votes either a toss-up or unknown.
Part of Trump’s dominance among whites resulted from his running as a Republican, the party that has long cultivated white voters. Trump’s share of the white vote was similar to Mitt Romney’s in 2012. But unlike Romney, Trump secured this support by running against his party’s leadership, against accepted campaign orthodoxy, and against all notions of decency. By his sixth month in office, embroiled in scandal after scandal, a Pew Research Center poll found Trump’s approval rating underwater with every single demographic group. Every demographic group, that is, except one: people who identified as white.
The focus on one subsector of Trump voters—the white working class—is puzzling, given the breadth of his white coalition. Indeed, there is a kind of theater at work in which Trump’s presidency is pawned off as a product of the white working class as opposed to a product of an entire whiteness that includes the very authors doing the pawning. The motive is clear: escapism. To accept that the bloody heirloom remains potent even now, some five decades after Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down on a Memphis balcony—even after a black president; indeed, strengthened by the fact of that black president—is to accept that racism remains, as it has since 1776, at the heart of this country’s political life. The idea of acceptance frustrates the left. The left would much rather have a discussion about class struggles, which might entice the white working masses, instead of about the racist struggles that those same masses have historically been the agents and beneficiaries of. Moreover, to accept that whiteness brought us Donald Trump is to accept whiteness as an existential danger to the country and the world. But if the broad and remarkable white support for Donald Trump can be reduced to the righteous anger of a noble class of smallville firefighters and evangelicals, mocked by Brooklyn hipsters and womanist professors into voting against their interests, then the threat of racism and whiteness, the threat of the heirloom, can be dismissed. Consciences can be eased; no deeper existential reckoning is required.
This transfiguration is not novel. It is a return to form. The tightly intertwined stories of the white working class and black Americans go back to the prehistory of the United States—and the use of one as a cudgel to silence the claims of the other goes back nearly as far. Like the black working class, the white working class originated in bondage—the former in the lifelong bondage of slavery, the latter in the temporary bondage of indenture. In the early 17th century, these two classes were remarkably, though not totally, free of racist enmity. But by the 18th century, the country’s master class had begun etching race into law while phasing out indentured servitude in favor of a more enduring labor solution. From these and other changes of law and economy, a bargain emerged: The descendants of indenture would enjoy the full benefits of whiteness, the most definitional benefit being that they would never sink to the level of the slave. But if the bargain protected white workers from slavery, it did not protect them from near-slave wages or backbreaking labor to attain them, and always there lurked a fear of having their benefits revoked. This early white working class “expressed soaring desires to be rid of the age-old inequalities of Europe and of any hint of slavery,” according to David R. Roediger, a professor of American studies at the University of Kansas. “They also expressed the rather more pedestrian goal of simply not being mistaken for slaves, or ‘negers’ or ‘negurs.’ ”
Roediger relates the experience, around 1807, of a British investor who made the mistake of asking a white maid in New England whether her “master” was home. The maid admonished the investor, not merely for implying that she had a “master” and thus was a “sarvant” but for his basic ignorance of American hierarchy. “None but negers are sarvants,” the maid is reported to have said. In law and economics and then in custom, a racist distinction not limited to the household emerged between the “help” (or the “freemen,” or the white workers) and the “servants” (the “negers,” the slaves). The former were virtuous and just, worthy of citizenship, progeny of Jefferson and, later, Jackson. The latter were servile and parasitic, dim-witted and lazy, the children of African savagery. But the dignity accorded to white labor was situational, dependent on the scorn heaped upon black labor—much as the honor accorded a “virtuous lady” was dependent on the derision directed at a “loose woman.” And like chivalrous gentlemen who claim to honor the lady while raping the “whore,” planters and their apologists could claim to honor white labor while driving the enslaved.
And so George Fitzhugh, a prominent 19th-century Southern pro-slavery intellectual, could in a single stroke deplore the exploitation of free whites’ labor while defending the exploitation of enslaved blacks’ labor. Fitzhugh attacked white capitalists as “cannibals,” feeding off the labor of their fellow whites. The white workers were “ ‘slaves without masters;’ the little fish, who were food for all the larger.” Fitzhugh inveighed against a “professional man” who’d “amassed a fortune” by exploiting his fellow whites. But whereas Fitzhugh imagined white workers as devoured by capital, he imagined black workers as elevated by enslavement. The slaveholder “provided for them, with almost parental affection”—even when the loafing slave “feigned to be unfit for labor.” Fitzhugh proved too explicit—going so far as to argue that white laborers might be better off if enslaved. (“If white slavery be morally wrong,” he wrote, “the Bible cannot be true.”) Nevertheless, the argument that America’s original sin was not deep-seated white supremacy but rather the exploitation of white labor by white capitalists—“white slavery”—proved durable. Indeed, the panic of white slavery lives on in our politics today. Black workers suffer because it was and is our lot. But when white workers suffer, something in nature has gone awry. And so an opioid epidemic among mostly white people is greeted with calls for compassion and treatment, as all epidemics should be, while a crack epidemic among mostly black people is greeted with scorn and mandatory minimums. Sympathetic op‑ed columns and articles are devoted to the plight of working-class whites when their life expectancy plummets to levels that, for blacks, society has simply accepted as normal. White slavery is sin.
Nigger slavery is natural. This dynamic serves a very real purpose: the consistent awarding of grievance and moral high ground to that class of workers which, by the bonds of whiteness, stands closest to America’s aristocratic class.
This is by design. Speaking in 1848, Senator John C. Calhoun saw slavery as the explicit foundation for a democratic union among whites, working and not:
With us the two great divisions of society are not the rich and poor, but white and black; and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals.
On the eve of secession, Jefferson Davis, the eventual president of the Confederacy, pushed the idea further, arguing that such equality between the white working class and white oligarchs could not exist at all without black slavery:
I say that the lower race of human beings that constitute the substratum of what is termed the slave population of the South, elevates every white man in our community … It is the presence of a lower caste, those lower by their mental and physical organization, controlled by the higher intellect of the white man, that gives this superiority to the white laborer. Menial services are not there performed by the white man. We have none of our brethren sunk to the degradation of being menials. That belongs to the lower race—the descendants of Ham.
Southern intellectuals found a shade of agreement with Northern white reformers who, while not agreeing on slavery, agreed on the nature of the most tragic victim of emerging capitalism. “I was formerly like yourself, sir, a very warm advocate of the abolition of slavery,” the labor reformer George Henry Evans argued in a letter to the abolitionist Gerrit Smith. “This was before I saw that there was white slavery.” Evans was a putative ally of Smith and his fellow abolitionists. But still he asserted that “the landless white” was worse off than the enslaved black, who at least enjoyed “surety of support in sickness and old age.”
Invokers of “white slavery” held that there was nothing unique in the enslavement of blacks when measured against the enslavement of all workers. What evil there was in enslavement resulted from its status as a subsidiary of the broader exploitation better seen among the country’s noble laboring whites. Once the larger problem of white exploitation was solved, the dependent problem of black exploitation could be confronted or perhaps would fade away. Abolitionists focused on slavery were dismissed as “substitutionists” who wished to trade one form of slavery for another. “If I am less troubled concerning the Slavery prevalent in Charleston or New-Orleans,” wrote the reformer Horace Greeley, “it is because I see so much Slavery in New-York, which appears to claim my first efforts.”
Firsthand reports by white Union soldiers who witnessed actual slavery during the Civil War rendered the “white slavery” argument ridiculous. But its operating premises—white labor as noble archetype, and black labor as something else—lived on. This was a matter of rhetoric, not fact. The noble-white-labor archetype did not give white workers immunity from capitalism. It could not, in itself, break monopolies, alleviate white poverty in Appalachia or the South, or bring a decent wage to immigrant ghettos in the North. But the model for America’s original identity politics was set. Black lives literally did not matter and could be cast aside altogether as the price of even incremental gains for the white masses. It was this juxtaposition that allowed Theodore Bilbo to campaign for the Senate in the 1930s as someone who would “raise the same kind of hell as President Roosevelt” and later endorse lynching black people to keep them from voting.
The juxtaposition between the valid and even virtuous interests of the “working class” and the invalid and pathological interests of black Americans was not the province merely of blatant white supremacists like Bilbo. The acclaimed scholar, liberal hero, and future senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in his time working for President Richard Nixon, approvingly quoted Nixon’s formulation of the white working class: “A new voice” was beginning to make itself felt in the country. “It is a voice that has been silent too long,” Nixon claimed, alluding to working-class whites. “It is a voice of people who have not taken to the streets before, who have not indulged in violence, who have not broken the law.”
It had been only 18 years since the Cicero riots; eight years since Daisy and Bill Myers had been run out of Levittown, Pennsylvania; three years since Martin Luther King Jr. had been stoned while walking through Chicago’s Marquette Park. But as the myth of the virtuous white working class was made central to American identity, its sins needed to be rendered invisible. The fact was, working-class whites had been agents of racist terrorism since at least the draft riots of 1863; terrorism could not be neatly separated from the racist animus found in every class of whites. Indeed, in the era of lynching, the daily newspapers often whipped up the fury of the white masses by invoking the last species of property that all white men held in common—white women. But to conceal the breadth of white racism, these racist outbursts were often disregarded or treated not as racism but as the unfortunate side effect of legitimate grievances against capital. By focusing on that sympathetic laboring class, the sins of whiteness itself were, and are still being, evaded.
When David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, shocked the country in 1990 by almost winning one of Louisiana’s seats in the U.S. Senate, the apologists came out once again. They elided the obvious—that Duke had appealed to the racist instincts of a state whose schools are, at this very moment, still desegregating—and instead decided that something else was afoot. “There is a tremendous amount of anger and frustration among working-class whites, particularly where there is an economic downturn,” a researcher told the Los Angeles Times. “These people feel left out; they feel government is not responsive to them.” By this logic, postwar America—with its booming economy and low unemployment—should have been an egalitarian utopia and not the violently segregated country it actually was.
But this was the past made present. It was not important to the apologists that a large swath of Louisiana’s white population thought it was a good idea to send a white supremacist who once fronted a terrorist organization to the nation’s capital. Nor was it important that blacks in Louisiana had long felt left out. What was important was the fraying of an ancient bargain, and the potential degradation of white workers to the level of “negers.” “A viable left must find a way to differentiate itself strongly from such analysis,” David Roediger, the University of Kansas professor, has written.
That challenge of differentiation has largely been ignored. Instead, an imagined white working class remains central to our politics and to our cultural understanding of those politics, not simply when it comes to addressing broad economic issues but also when it comes to addressing racism. At its most sympathetic, this belief holds that most Americans—regardless of race—are exploited by an unfettered capitalist economy. The key, then, is to address those broader patterns that afflict the masses of all races; the people who suffer from those patterns more than others (blacks, for instance) will benefit disproportionately from that which benefits everyone. “These days, what ails working-class and middle-class blacks and Latinos is not fundamentally different from what ails their white counterparts,” Senator Barack Obama wrote in 2006:
Downsizing, outsourcing, automation, wage stagnation, the dismantling of employer-based health-care and pension plans, and schools that fail to teach young people the skills they need to compete in a global economy.
Obama allowed that “blacks in particular have been vulnerable to these trends”—but less because of racism than for reasons of geography and job-sector distribution. This notion—raceless antiracism—marks the modern left, from the New Democrat Bill Clinton to the socialist Bernie Sanders. Few national liberal politicians have shown any recognition that there is something systemic and particular in the relationship between black people and their country that might require specific policy solutions.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton acknowledged the existence of systemic racism more explicitly than any of her modern Democratic predecessors. She had to—black voters remembered too well the previous Clinton administration, as well as her previous campaign. While her husband’s administration had touted the rising-tide theory of economic growth, it did so while slashing welfare and getting “tough on crime,” a phrase that stood for specific policies but also served as rhetorical bait for white voters. One is tempted to excuse Hillary Clinton from having to answer for the sins of her husband. But in her 2008 campaign, she evoked the old dichotomy between white workers and loafing blacks, claiming to be the representative of “hardworking Americans, white Americans.” By the end of the 2008 primary campaign against Barack Obama, her advisers were hoping someone would uncover an apocryphal “whitey tape,” in which an angry Michelle Obama was alleged to have used the slur. During Bill Clinton’s presidential-reelection campaign in the mid-1990s, Hillary Clinton herself had endorsed the “super-predator” theory of William J. Bennett, John P. Walters, and John J. DiIulio Jr. This theory cast “inner-city” children of that era as “almost completely unmoralized” and the font of “a new generation of street criminals … the youngest, biggest and baddest generation any society has ever known.” The “baddest generation” did not become super-predators. But by 2016, they were young adults, many of whom judged Hillary Clinton’s newfound consciousness to be lacking.
It’s worth asking why the country has not been treated to a raft of sympathetic portraits of this “forgotten” young black electorate, forsaken by a Washington bought off by Davos elites and special interests. The unemployment rate for young blacks (20.6 percent) in July 2016 was double that of young whites (9.9 percent). And since the late 1970s, William Julius Wilson and other social scientists following in his wake have noted the disproportionate effect that the decline in manufacturing jobs has had on African American communities. If anyone should be angered by the devastation wreaked by the financial sector and a government that declined to prosecute the perpetrators, it is African Americans—the housing crisis was one of the primary drivers in the past 20 years of the wealth gap between black families and the rest of the country. But the cultural condescension toward and economic anxiety of black people is not news. Toiling blacks are in their proper state; toiling whites raise the specter of white slavery.
Moreover, a narrative of long-neglected working-class black voters, injured by globalization and the financial crisis, forsaken by out-of-touch politicians, and rightfully suspicious of a return of Clintonism, does not serve to cleanse the conscience of white people for having elected Donald Trump. Only the idea of a long-suffering white working class can do that. And though much has been written about the distance between elites and “Real America,” the existence of a class-transcending, mutually dependent tribe of white people is evident.
Joe Biden, then the vice president, last year:
“They’re all the people I grew up with … And they’re not racist. They’re not sexist.”
Bernie Sanders, senator and former candidate for president, last year:
“I come from the white working class, and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from.”
Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times columnist, in February of this year:
My hometown, Yamhill, Ore., a farming community, is Trump country, and I have many friends who voted for Trump. I think they’re profoundly wrong, but please don’t dismiss them as hateful bigots.
These claims of origin and fidelity are not merely elite defenses of an aggrieved class but also a sweeping dismissal of the concerns of those who don’t share kinship with white men. “You can’t eat equality,” asserts Joe Biden—a statement worthy of someone unthreatened by the loss of wages brought on by an unwanted pregnancy, a background-check box at the bottom of a job application, or the deportation of a breadwinner. Within a week of Sanders lambasting Democrats for not speaking to “the people” where he “came from,” he was making an example of a woman who dreamed of representing the people where she came from. Confronted with a young woman who hoped to become the second Latina senator in American history, Sanders responded with a parody of the Clinton campaign: “It is not good enough for someone to say, ‘I’m a woman! Vote for me!’ No, that’s not good enough … One of the struggles that you’re going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics.” The upshot—attacking one specimen of identity politics after having invoked another—was unfortunate.
Other Sanders appearances proved even more alarming. On MSNBC, he attributed Trump’s success, in part, to his willingness to “not be politically correct.” Sanders admitted that Trump had “said some outrageous and painful things, but I think people are tired of the same old, same old political rhetoric.” Pressed on the definition of political correctness, Sanders gave an answer Trump surely would have approved of. “What it means is you have a set of talking points which have been poll-tested and focus-group-tested,” Sanders explained. “And that’s what you say rather than what’s really going on. And often, what you are not allowed to say are things which offend very, very powerful people.”
This definition of political correctness was shocking coming from a politician of the left. But it matched a broader defense of Trump voters. “Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and just deplorable folks,” Sanders said later. “I don’t agree.” This is not exculpatory. Certainly not every Trump voter is a white supremacist, just as not every white person in the Jim Crow South was a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.
One can, to some extent, understand politicians’ embracing a self-serving identity politics. Candidates for high office, such as Sanders, have to cobble together a coalition. The white working class is seen, understandably, as a large cache of potential votes, and capturing these votes requires eliding uncomfortable truths. But journalists have no such excuse. Again and again in the past year, Nicholas Kristof could be found pleading with his fellow liberals not to dismiss his old comrades in the white working class as bigots—even when their bigotry was evidenced in his own reporting. A visit to Tulsa, Oklahoma, finds Kristof wondering why Trump voters support a president who threatens to cut the programs they depend on. But the problem, according to Kristof ’s interviewees, isn’t Trump’s attack on benefits so much as an attack on their benefits. “There’s a lot of wasteful spending, so cut other places,” one man tells Kristof. When Kristof pushes his subjects to identify that wasteful spending, a fascinating target is revealed: “Obama phones,” the products of a fevered conspiracy theory that turned a long-standing government program into a scheme through which the then-president gave away free cellphones to undeserving blacks. Kristof doesn’t shift his analysis based on this comment and, aside from a one-sentence fact-check tucked between parentheses, continues on as though it were never said.
Observing a Trump supporter in the act of deploying racism does not much perturb Kristof. That is because his defenses of the innate goodness of Trump voters and of the innate goodness of the white working class are in fact defenses of neither. On the contrary, the white working class functions rhetorically not as a real community of people so much as a tool to quiet the demands of those who want a more inclusive America.
Mark Lilla’s New York Times essay “The End of Identity Liberalism,” published not long after last year’s election, is perhaps the most profound example of this genre. Lilla denounces the perversion of liberalism into “a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity,” which distorted liberalism’s message “and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.” Liberals have turned away from their working-class base, he says, and must look to the “pre-identity liberalism” of Bill Clinton and Franklin D. Roosevelt. You would never know from this essay that Bill Clinton was one of the most skillful identity politicians of his era—flying home to Arkansas to see a black man, the lobotomized Ricky Ray Rector, executed; upstaging Jesse Jackson at his own conference; signing the Defense of Marriage Act. Nor would you know that the “pre-identity” liberal champion Roosevelt depended on the literally lethal identity politics of the white-supremacist “solid South.” The name Barack Obama does not appear in Lilla’s essay, and he never attempts to grapple, one way or another, with the fact that it was identity politics—the possibility of the first black president—that brought a record number of black voters to the polls, winning the election for the Democratic Party, and thus enabling the deliverance of the ancient liberal goal of national health care. “Identity politics … is largely expressive, not persuasive,” Lilla claims. “Which is why it never wins elections—but can lose them.” That Trump ran and won on identity politics is beyond Lilla’s powers of conception. What appeals to the white working class is ennobled. What appeals to black workers, and all others outside the tribe, is dastardly identitarianism. All politics are identity politics—except the politics of white people, the politics of the bloody heirloom.
White tribalism haunts even more-nuanced writers. George Packer’s New Yorker essay “The Unconnected” is a lengthy plea for liberals to focus more on the white working class, a population that “has succumbed to the ills that used to be associated with the black urban ‘underclass.’ ” Packer believes that these ills, and the Democratic Party’s failure to respond to them, explain much of Trump’s rise. Packer offers no opinion polls to weigh white workers’ views on “elites,” much less their views on racism. He offers no sense of how their views and their relationship to Trump differ from other workers’ and other whites’.
That is likely because any empirical evaluation of the relationship between Trump and the white working class would reveal that one adjective in that phrase is doing more work than the other. In 2016, Trump enjoyed majority or plurality support among every economic branch of whites. It is true that his strongest support among whites came from those making $50,000 to $99,999. This would be something more than working-class in many nonwhite neighborhoods, but even if one accepts that branch as the working class, the difference between how various groups in this income bracket voted is revealing. Sixty-one percent of whites in this “working class” supported Trump. Only 24 percent of Hispanics and 11 percent of blacks did. Indeed, the plurality of all voters making less than $100,000 and the majority making less than $50,000 voted for the Democratic candidate. So when Packer laments the fact that “Democrats can no longer really claim to be the party of working people—not white ones, anyway,” he commits a kind of category error. The real problem is that Democrats aren’t the party of white people—working or otherwise. White workers are not divided by the fact of labor from other white demographics; they are divided from all other laborers by the fact of their whiteness.
Packer’s essay was published before the election, and so the vote tally was not available. But it should not be surprising that a Republican candidate making a direct appeal to racism would drive up the numbers among white voters, given that racism has been a dividing line for the national parties since the civil-rights era. Packer finds inspiration for his thesis in West Virginia—a state that remained Democratic through the 1990s before turning decisively Republican, at least at the level of presidential politics. This relatively recent rightward movement evinces, to Packer, a shift “that couldn’t be attributed just to the politics of race.” This is likely true—the politics of race are, themselves, never attributable “just to the politics of race.” The history of slavery is also about the growth of international capitalism; the history of lynching must be seen in light of anxiety over the growing independence of women; the civil-rights movement can’t be disentangled from the Cold War. Thus, to say that the rise of Donald Trump is about more than race is to make an empty statement, one that is small comfort to the people—black, Muslim, immigrant—who live under racism’s boot.
The dent of racism is not hard to detect in West Virginia. In the 2008 Democratic primary there, 95 percent of the voters were white. Twenty percent of those—one in five—openly admitted that race was influencing their vote, and more than 80 percent voted for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. Four years later, the incumbent Obama lost the primary in 10 counties to Keith Judd, a white felon incarcerated in a federal prison; Judd racked up more than 40 percent of the Democratic-primary vote in the state. A simple thought experiment: Can one imagine a black felon in a federal prison running in a primary against an incumbent white president doing so well?
But racism occupies a mostly passive place in Packer’s essay. There’s no attempt to understand why black and brown workers, victimized by the same new economy and cosmopolitan elite that Packer lambastes, did not join the Trump revolution. Like Kristof, Packer is gentle with his subjects. When a woman “exploded” and told Packer, “I want to eat what I want to eat, and for them to tell me I can’t eat French fries or Coca-Cola—no way,” he sees this as a rebellion against “the moral superiority of elites.” In fact, this elite conspiracy dates back to 1894, when the government first began advising Americans on their diets. As recently as 2002, President George W. Bush launched the HealthierUS initiative, urging Americans to exercise and eat healthy food. But Packer never allows himself to wonder whether the explosion he witnessed had anything to do with the fact that similar advice now came from the country’s first black first lady. Packer concludes that Obama was leaving the country “more divided and angrier than most Americans can remember,” a statement that is likely true only because most Americans identify as white. Certainly the men and women forced to live in the wake of the beating of John Lewis, the lynching of Emmett Till, the firebombing of Percy Julian’s home, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers would disagree.
The triumph of Trump’s campaign of bigotry presented the problematic spectacle of an American president succeeding at best in spite of his racism and possibly because of it. Trump moved racism from the euphemistic and plausibly deniable to the overt and freely claimed. This presented the country’s thinking class with a dilemma. Hillary Clinton simply could not be correct when she asserted that a large group of Americans was endorsing a candidate because of bigotry. The implications—that systemic bigotry is still central to our politics; that the country is susceptible to such bigotry; that the salt-of-the-earth Americans whom we lionize in our culture and politics are not so different from those same Americans who grin back at us in lynching photos; that Calhoun’s aim of a pan-Caucasian embrace between workers and capitalists still endures—were just too dark. Leftists would have to cope with the failure, yet again, of class unity in the face of racism. Incorporating all of this into an analysis of America and the path forward proved too much to ask. Instead, the response has largely been an argument aimed at emotion—the summoning of the white working class, emblem of America’s hardscrabble roots, inheritor of its pioneer spirit, as a shield against the horrific and empirical evidence of trenchant bigotry.
Packer dismisses the Democratic Party as a coalition of “rising professionals and diversity.” The dismissal is derived from, of all people, Lawrence Summers, the former Harvard president and White House economist, who last year labeled the Democratic Party “a coalition of the cosmopolitan élite and diversity.” The inference is that the party has forgotten how to speak on hard economic issues and prefers discussing presumably softer cultural issues such as “diversity.” It’s worth unpacking what, precisely, falls under this rubric of “diversity”—resistance to the monstrous incarceration of legions of black men, resistance to the destruction of health providers for poor women, resistance to the effort to deport parents, resistance to a policing whose sole legitimacy is rooted in brute force, resistance to a theory of education that preaches “no excuses” to black and brown children, even as excuses are proffered for mendacious corporate executives “too big to jail.” That this suite of concerns, taken together, can be dismissed by both an elite economist like Summers and a brilliant journalist like Packer as “diversity” simply reveals the safe space they enjoy. Because of their identity.
When Barack Obama came into office, in 2009, he believed that he could work with “sensible” conservatives by embracing aspects of their policy as his own. Instead he found that his very imprimatur made that impossible. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the GOP’s primary goal was not to find common ground but to make Obama a “one-term president.” A health-care plan inspired by Romneycare was, when proposed by Obama, suddenly considered socialist and, not coincidentally, a form of reparations. The first black president found that he was personally toxic to the GOP base. An entire political party was organized around the explicit aim of negating one man. It was thought by Obama and some of his allies that this toxicity was the result of a relentless assault waged by Fox News and right-wing talk radio. Trump’s genius was to see that it was something more, that it was a hunger for revanche so strong that a political novice and accused rapist could topple the leadership of one major party and throttle the heavily favored nominee of the other.
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” Trump bragged in January 2016. This statement should be met with only a modicum of skepticism. Trump has mocked the disabled, withstood multiple accusations of sexual violence (all of which he has denied), fired an FBI director, sent his minions to mislead the public about his motives, personally exposed those lies by boldly stating his aim to scuttle an investigation into his possible collusion with a foreign power, then bragged about that same obstruction to representatives of that same foreign power. It is utterly impossible to conjure a black facsimile of Donald Trump—to imagine Obama, say, implicating an opponent’s father in the assassination of an American president or comparing his physical endowment with that of another candidate and then successfully capturing the presidency. Trump, more than any other politician, understood the valence of the bloody heirloom and the great power in not being a n*****
But the power is ultimately suicidal. Trump evinces this, too. In a recent New Yorker article, a former Russian military officer pointed out that interference in an election could succeed only where “necessary conditions” and an “existing background” were present. In America, that “existing background” was a persistent racism, and the “necessary condition” was a black president. The two related factors hobbled America’s ability to safeguard its electoral system. As late as July 2016, a majority of Republican voters doubted that Barack Obama had been born in the United States, which is to say they did not view him as a legitimate president. Republican politicians acted accordingly, infamously denying his final Supreme Court nominee a hearing and then, fatefully, refusing to work with the administration to defend the country against the Russian attack. Before the election, Obama found no takers among Republicans for a bipartisan response, and Obama himself, underestimating Trump and thus underestimating the power of whiteness, believed the Republican nominee too objectionable to actually win. In this Obama was, tragically, wrong. And so the most powerful country in the world has handed over all its affairs—the prosperity of its entire economy; the security of its 300 million citizens; the purity of its water, the viability of its air, the safety of its food; the future of its vast system of education; the soundness of its national highways, airways, and railways; the apocalyptic potential of its nuclear arsenal—to a carnival barker who introduced the phrase grab ’em by the pussy into the national lexicon. It is as if the white tribe united in demonstration to say, “If a black man can be president, then any white man—no matter how fallen—can be president.” And in that perverse way, the democratic dreams of Jefferson and Jackson were fulfilled.
The American tragedy now being wrought is larger than most imagine and will not end with Trump. In recent times, whiteness as an overt political tactic has been restrained by a kind of cordiality that held that its overt invocation would scare off “moderate” whites. This has proved to be only half true at best. Trump’s legacy will be exposing the patina of decency for what it is and revealing just how much a demagogue can get away with. It does not take much to imagine another politician, wiser in the ways of Washington and better schooled in the methodology of governance—and now liberated from the pretense of antiracist civility—doing a much more effective job than Trump.
It has long been an axiom among certain black writers and thinkers that while whiteness endangers the bodies of black people in the immediate sense, the larger threat is to white people themselves, the shared country, and even the whole world. There is an impulse to blanch at this sort of grandiosity. When W. E. B. Du Bois claims that slavery was “singularly disastrous for modern civilization” or James Baldwin claims that whites “have brought humanity to the edge of oblivion: because they think they are white,” the instinct is to cry exaggeration. But there really is no other way to read the presidency of Donald Trump. The first white president in American history is also the most dangerous president—and he is made more dangerous still by the fact that those charged with analyzing him cannot name his essential nature, because they too are implicated in it.
Christian Church Leaders Charged With ‘Horrific Crimes Against Children’
Via Michael Stone
Horrific crimes against children: Leaders of a militant Christian church in New Mexico are under arrest for abusing and raping children.
According to reports, charges against leaders of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps include over 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and multiple charges of child abuse.
The Cibola County Sheriff’s Office says deputies arrested Deborah Green, Peter Green, Joshua Green, and Stacey Miller of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps Sunday morning. According to the group’s website, Deborah and her husband James are the “Generals” and command their army to spread Christian ideals throughout the world. They’re based out of Fence Lake in western Cibola County.
Vice reports on the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps:
Sect co-leader Deborah Green was arrested on charges that included failure to report a birth, child abuse and sexual penetration of a minor.
Peter Green, also known as Mike Brandon, faces 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child on suspicion of raping a girl “at least four times a week” from the time she was 7, according to court documents.
Joshua Green, the son of sect founders Deborah and James Green, was charged with failure to report a birth.
Stacey Miller faces one count each of intentional abuse of a child age 12 to 18, bribery of a witness and not reporting a birth.
Earlier today Cibola County Magistrate Court Judge Larry Dia ordered that the group’s leader Peter Green be held on $5 million secured bond, and co-leader Deborah Green be held on a $500,000 secured bond, according to a report via ABC.
PAYPAL :- we value your ongoing support and generous donations that assist the production of this site.
Your guide to dealing with anti-Muslim arguments on Facebook
There is valid, rational criticism of ideas, political, philosophical, religious or otherwise, but there are also conspiracy peddlers, racist morons, bigots, religious and political Right crackpots, media whores, charlatans, political opportunists, seeking to exploit social and cultural tensions and divisions, and emotive, imbecilic haters, all cowering behind counterfeit notions of “criticism of … ” in order to service their own radical religious or political agendas, profiteering from manufactured paranoia, hatreds, bigotry, racism, irrational thinking, anti-democratic ambitions and war-mongering.
The ‘enemies of reason’ are no less to be found in the latter demographic than in the perpetrators of primitive, arcane religious superstition and ultraconservative, theocon-fascism.
“I don’t hope to reform angry bigots. Like the world that produced it, bigotry is complex.” (Getty Images)
Have you found yourself facing a lot of Islamophobic sentiment online these days? So has Helen Razer
By Helen Razer
Apparently, the world is headed at high speed to hell in a handcart stuffed with cash, fossil fuel and bombs. I have no notion what to do about this complex mess. I believe that anyone who says that they do know what to do about this complex mess is fairly deluded. I don’t think the answer is prayer, compassion or reason. And I certainly don’t believe the answer is despising Islam.
Despising Islam is currently a fairly popular hobby. It’s a bit like Pokémon GO for people who haven’t got the hang of their smartphones yet. Or, it’s part of a long tradition of falsely finding a single cause for all the bad stuff in the world.
At various times in western history, we have blamed Jews, women, the devil, indigenous peoples and everyone not in the west for things, like poverty, that are our own stupid fault. Choose your victim, history. Gotta Catch Em All.
I don’t hope to reform angry bigots. Like the world that produced it, bigotry is complex. But, like the angry bigots, I too have moments of totally stupid simplicity. Every so often, I find myself arguing with angry bigots. I don’t do this with any hope of fixing angry bigots. I do it because making them feel bad feels good to me.
I too have moments of totally stupid simplicity. Every so often, I find myself arguing with angry bigots.
Yes. I know. This is not very noble. But, short of acquiring a PhD in international relations and political economy, redistributing all the world’s resources and wealth and convincing the UN it is a bunch of arse, that’s all I’ve got. Making myself feel better.
In an effort to make you feel better, I offer you an abstract of recent Facebook arguments with anti-Islam bigots. I will offer you a common argument, and then my response.
Oh. I should say that these are not intended for use by persons of the Islamic faith, who have had a lot of practice defending themselves. I do not presume to speak for Muslims. I am speaking only for shitty middle-aged white atheist ladies who enjoy being mean to idiots.
Islam makes women dress differently from men! Stop Islam!
Almost without exception, every society and culture and religion has different wardrobe conventions for women and men. Have you recently visited Australia? Just as an Australian man who dresses in a way that is perceived as too “effeminate” faces censure, a woman who fails to look sufficiently “feminine” will cop it.
Also, I am blocking you.
Islam has Sharia Law! The Quran is full of punishment!
Religious law is not peculiar to Islam. Have you heard of the canon law of the Catholic Church? Did you know about Judaism’s Halakha? Even those “non-violent” Jains Sam Harris told you about have codes, one of them being what we in the west would call suicide.
Look, fella. I believe in the usefulness of religious decree about as much as I believe you could find my clitoris with a torch and Google Maps. But, the thing is, people of all religions sometimes ask their clerics for rulings. Yes, it’s odd. No, unless it results in measurable harm to a person, it doesn’t harm your society or you.
The matter of religious law affecting state governance is, of course, another problem and, again, hardly peculiar to Islamic nations. And, the matter of extreme interpretation or misuse of religious texts is hardly just a Muslim thing, is it? Mussolini was pretty cosy with Mother Church. Just a few years back, Serbian priests blessed the forces that massacred and raped, whoops, Muslims. Like all institutions, and all texts, religion can get screwed up, especially in times of conflict.
Also, have you ever spent any time at all with the Old Testament? Swearing at your parents is a crime that demands your death (Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 20:9). So too, for men, not being circumcised (Genesis 17:14), having sex with a menstruating lady (Leviticus 20:18) or with another bloke (Leviticus 20:13). Oddly, beating the life out of one of your slaves gets a free pass.
Also, I am blocking you.
Muslims Bomb People! Including Children!
The targeted death of all persons, especially children and civilians, is abhorrent. Again, this is not a Muslim specialty. We will never know the number of non-combatants killed by drone strike. We may never know the civilian toll of the Iraq war and the cruel sanctions that preceded it.
What we do know, especially following the Chilcot Report, is that the ongoing conflict between apparently Muslim forces and apparently democratic ones is often irrational, always horrific and very difficult to get one’s head around, as the best minds in foreign policy will tell you.
But, you know. You go Glen Coco. Blame The Muslims.
Also, I am blocking you.
Why Can’t Muslim Middle Eastern States Be More Reasonable, Like That Nice Place, Israel, Which Never Brings Religion Into Anything?
You mean, the same Israel that just appointed as the chief morale-booster to its defence forces a guy that says it’s technically okay to rape Arab women during combat? Or, do you mean another Israel?
Here’s a link. Here’s another one. They are from Israeli press. You will find that many Israeli and Jewish people are just as disgusted with the appointments of persons like Rabbi Eyal Karim as Muslim people are with the self-appointment of douche-lords from Islamic State.
Which brings us to your next question, before I start blocking you,
Why Don’t Muslim People Ever Condemned the Actions of Others?
They do. All the time. Including the Australian Grand Mufti who said, after the Paris attacks last year, “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims … at this time of unspeakable horror”.
A Muslim could tattoo France’s tricoleur one on cheek, “sorry” on the other and all the Quranic passages that counteract all the other Quranic passages which recommend battle. You’d not see it. Just like I’m no longer seeing you because YOU ARE BLOCKED.
Right. I figure these may save you some time. If you think any of the arguments are useful, don’t feel bad about cutting-and-pasting them from Helen. You will find that the bigots just cut-and-paste from the One Nation website—or, if they are a bit posh, the worst writing of Christopher Hitchens.
PAYPAL :- we value your ongoing support and generous donations that assist the production of this site.
League of the South president says Trump’s presidency will bring ‘no mercy to Jews and minorities’
As white supremacists and KKK organizations rally in celebration of Donald Trump‘s victory, the president of the neo-Confederate organization League of the South promised to show “no mercy” to “the enemies of our God, our Folk and our civilization.”
In a statement posted to the LOTS website after Election Day, Michael Hill also vowed to “drive a stake” through the heart of “the globalist-progressive coalition of Jews, minorities, and anti-white whites.”
Once the globalist-progressive coalition of Jews, minorities, and anti-white whites stops reeling in confusion from the results of yesterday’s election, we can expect them to start striking back with trickery and violence. Thus, we as Southern nationalists face both danger and opportunity.
Now, more than ever, we need tight organization and numbers to help drive a stake through Dracula’s heart and keep him from rising once again to menace our people and civilization. No mercy should be shown to the enemies of our God, our Folk, and our civilization. None would be afforded us.
In a statement the following day, Hill advised his fellow neo-Confederates that if they “don’t finish the job by routing your enemies and driving them into the sea while you have the chance, they will re-group and be back at your throats in no time! You have been given a reprieve by God (probably undeservedly so); do not give your enemies and His a reprieve.”
Their goal is to dispossess you of everything. If you have not heard that over the past year, then you have not been listening. Just what the hell do you think multiculturalism, diversity, and tolerance are all about? Your enemies care nothing about those things. They are merely used as weapons against you for your dispossession and ultimate destruction. The sum of their effect is White Guilt.
These media elites (and others of their elite ilk) look forward to the demise of old white America and the rise of a new paradigm in which they will hold sway. You will be dispossessed, sequestered in the equivalent of ghettos, and will be a despised and hated minority in the country your ancestors built.
He ended the statement by demanding his compatriots “get busy with Southern independence.”
“We need our own country, and it must be run by us for our own interests,” he wrote. “It must once again be White Man’s Land.”
PAYPAL :- we value your ongoing support and generous donations that assist the production of this site.
“It was the great Catholic world on the frontiers of which he lived, whose influence was all around him and whose territories he had known by travel which inspired his [Mohammed’s] convictions.”
Today the West often views Islam as a civilisation very different from and indeed innately hostile to Christianity. Only when you travel in Christianity’s Eastern homelands do you realise how closely the two are really connected, the former growing directly out of the latter and still, to this day, embodying many aspects and practices of the early Christian world now lost in Christianity’s modern Western-based incarnation. When the early Byzantines were first confronted by the Prophet’s armies, they assumed that Islam was merely an heretical form of Christianity, and in many ways they were not so far wrong: Islam accepts much of the Old and New Testaments and venerates both Jesus and the ancient Jewish prophets.
Significantly, the greatest and most subtle theologian of the early church, St. John Damascene, was convinced that Islam was at root not a separate religion, but instead a form of Christianity. St. John had grown up in the Ummayad Arab court of Damascus, where his father was chancellor, and he was an intimate boyhood friend of the future Caliph al-Yazid; the two boys’ drinking bouts in the streets of Damascus were the subject of much horrified gossip in the streets of the new Islamic capital. Later, in his old age, John took the habit at the desert monastery of Mar Saba where he began work on his great masterpiece, a refutation of heresies entitled the Fount of Knowledge. The book contains an extremely precise and detailed critique of Islam, the first ever written by a Christian, which, intriguingly, John regarded as a form of Christian heresy related to Arianism: after all Arianism, like Islam, denied the divinity of Christ. Although he lived at the very hub of the early Islamic world, it never seems to have occurred to him that Islam might be a separate religion. If a theologian of the stature of John Damascene was able to regard Islam as a new- if heretical- form of Christianity, it helps to explain how Islam was able to convert so much of the Middle Eastern population in so short a time, even though Christianity remained the majority religion until the time of the Crusades.
The longer you spend in the Christian communities of the Middle East, the more you become aware of the extent to which Eastern Christian practice formed the template for what were to become the basic conventions of Islam. The Muslim form of prayer with its bowings and prostrations appears to derive from the older Syrian Orthodox tradition that is still practised in pewless churches across the Levant. The architecture of the earliest minarets, which are square rather than round, unmistakably derive from the church towers of Byzantine Syria. The Sufi Muslim tradition carried on directly from the point that the Christian Desert Fathers left off while Ramadan, at first sight one of the most foreign and alienating of Islamic practices, is in fact nothing more than an Islamicisation of Lent, which in the Eastern Christian churches still involves a gruelling all-day fast.
As shown by the artwork above, the Middle Ages also viewed Islam has a heresy. In Dante’s Inferno, Canto XXVIII, Muhammad is depicted as “twixt the legs, Dangling his entrails hung, the midriff lay Open to view…” Muhammad suffers the punishment of the schismatics: having his body rent from chin to anus for how he rent the Body of Christ.
PAYPAL :- we value your ongoing support and generous donations that assist the production of this site.
Interview with French extremism researcher Olivier Roy
″Radicalisation is not the result of failed integration″
After the attacks in Brussels, Olivier Roy cautions against rashly linking Islam with terrorism. In interview with Michaela Wiegel, the Islam researcher explains the real problem with jihadism
Mr. Roy, do you see a connection between terrorism and failed integration in European immigration societies?
Olivier Roy: I don’t think that Islamic radicalisation is the result of a failure to integrate. That’s only a pseudo-problem. Many of the young people who take up the banner of jihad are well integrated. They speak French, English and German. Islamic State (IS) has established a French-speaking battalion precisely because the young French and Belgians hardly speak any Arabic. The problem is not a lack of cultural integration. Even as they break with their society, the European jihadists remain dedicated to a very Western model. It is nihilistic, which is not at all in accordance with Islamic tradition. They have in many cases developed a fascination with the aesthetics of violence they know from movies and videos. In this sense, they are more like the students who ran amok in Columbine High School or the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.
So immigration and jihadism have nothing to do with each other?
Roy: For me, the high percentage of converts is a very interesting indicator. Nowhere else in Muslim culture is there another organisation like the IS with its 25 percent converts. So cultural explanations alone are not enough to establish what makes IS so attractive. What′s more, young people without an immigrant heritage are also drawn to the idea of jihad.
How then do you explain the terrorists′ invocation of Islam?
Roy: I am not denying that there is a religious dimension. It is important, because it means the jihadists can reinterpret their nihilism as a promise of paradise. Their suicide becomes a guarantee for eternal life. I only want to emphasise that these young people do not come from the Muslim community. Most of them have no religious education and have rarely visited a mosque. Nearly all were previously petty criminals. They would drink alcohol and take drugs.
Fascinated by the aesthetics of violence: ” Even as they break with their society, the European jihadists remain dedicated to a very Western model. It is nihilistic, which is not at all in accordance with Islamic tradition. They have in many cases developed a fascination with the aesthetics of violence they know from movies and videos. In this sense, they are more like the students who ran amok in Columbine High School or the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik”, asserts Roy
What role is played by Europe‘s colonial past?
Roy: The left wing’s post-colonial vision is inadequate. In my opinion, Islamist radicalisation can neither be attributed to current foreign policy nor to colonial crimes. These young radicals never talk about the war in Algeria, even if that is where their grandfathers came from. They usually don’t even know anything about it.
Why do so many siblings commit to jihad?
Roy: These are young people who want to make a radical break with their parents’ generation. Their parents have not inculcated them with Islamic culture. By going radical, they view themselves as better Muslims than their parents. Parents in Europe condemn their children for joining the jihad, unlike Palestinian parents, who usually approve of the violent acts perpetrated by their offspring. European parents say: I don’t understand what motivates my daughter or my son. A new conflict between generations is being fought out here. This also explains why it is so often siblings, brothers in most cases, who break away together from their parents. The IS fighters are members of the same generation, siblings or childhood friends.
So, in your view, the terrorists are the result of a particularly vehement generational conflict?
Roy: Most jihadists are “born again”; with radical Islam, they get a new lease of life. That’s why there are so few jihadists who are part of the first generation of immigrants. That generation still grew up in the traditional Islamic faith. It was not until the second generation of immigrants that a break with the past occurred, because the passing down of religious beliefs stopped working. Most terrorists belong to the second generation of immigrants.
Grief and sorrow following the terror attacks in Brussels: 32 people died during the suicide bombings carried out by Islamist terrorists last Tuesday, while 100 of the injured still remain in hospital
So you agree with Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who is against holding a debate on the breeding ground for terrorism?
Roy: No, on the contrary: I want to contribute to the debate on the breeding ground for terrorism. Valls is currently courting populism; he has moved away from the left and become more authoritarian and anti-intellectual. The breeding ground for terrorism has to be researched. To my surprise, I find myself increasingly working with psychologists and psychoanalysts. Risk-taking behaviour among young people has soared, accompanied by a fascination with suicide and violence. We have to devote more attention to this dimension.
Do you think this is a common phenomenon among young people?
Roy: Yes. In Italy, for example, two young people just murdered one of their peer group. When apprehended, the only justification they could give for their act was that they wanted to experience what it feels like to kill. The press has called them crazy. But if the young people had screamed “Allahu Akbar” before the deed, they would be perceived as terrorists.
Your compatriot the Islam researcher Gilles Kepel accuses you of downplaying the Islamic dimension of terrorism.
Roy: The fact that he’s upset is a good sign – it means he is trying to come to terms with my theses. He doesn’t like me pointing out the psychological dimension. In my opinion, though, we urgently need to take a multidisciplinary approach when tackling the phenomenon of Islamist radicalisation.
PAYPAL :- we value your ongoing support and generous donations that assist the production of this site.
With New Defence Minister, Israel Pivots Further Towards Open Racism
By Michael Brullin International Affairs
PAYPAL : we greatly appreciate your continued support and donations.
The failure of Israeli liberalism has made the ascent of a far-right and openly racist leader sadly in keeping with the country’s mainstream politics, writes Michael Brull.
By the time you read this, Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the right-wing Israeli party Yisrael Beiteinu, may be Israel’s new Defence Minister. In this article, I want to set out who he is, who he will replace, the context, and the significance of Lieberman’s rise.
They Can Take Their Bundles And Get Lost: Liebermanism
Lieberman led an election campaign in 2009 with the slogan “no loyalty no citizenship”. He frankly advocated revoking citizenship for the “disloyal”, and even a “right of expulsion”. It was understood that this referred to Israeli Arabs. Lieberman is frankly opposed to liberal values. He has explained that when Zionism and democracy clash, “the Jewish and Zionist values are more important”. He has also advocated, in the context of a two-state agreement, transferring parts of Israel with large Palestinian populations out of Israel, and into the Palestinian state. This would strip those people of Israeli citizenship, effectively disfranchising them and transferring them into another country.
Veteran Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar reported that Lieberman offers even more extremism to his supporters when speaking in Russian. In 2004, Lieberman said to the local weekly Tel Aviv – “essentially, that it is necessary to transfer 90 per cent of Israel’s Arabs to the territories, including residents of Acre, Jaffa and Sakhnin.” The less extreme version of Lieberman said, “They have no place here. They can take their bundles and get lost.”
Lieberman thought the way to achieve a “real victory” in the attack on Gaza in 2008-2009 was by treating the Palestinians like the Japanese were treated “in the last days of World War II”. He also threatened to bomb the Aswan Dam in Egypt in 2001. This would have killed millions.
Reports in Ha’aretz suggest that he used to belong to Kach. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it was a theocratic terrorist organisation, led by the eventually assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane. Scholar of Israeli extremists Ehud Sprinzak wrote that a “typical speech” by Kahane included warnings that the “Arabs are cancer, cancer, cancer in the midst of us”. If Kahane were allowed two months as defence minister, “you will not have a single cockroach around here! I promise you a clean Eretz Yisrael”.
In more recent years, Lieberman and his party have pushed a raft of anti-democratic legislation within Israel. Last year, he said that Arabs “who are against us, there’s nothing to be done – we need to pick up an axe and cut off his head”. During the war on Gaza in 2014, he urged a boycott on Arab businesses striking against the war. More recently, he has supported the Israeli soldier who murdered an unarmed Palestinian lying on the ground.
How Lieberman Got The Gig
Moshe Ya’alon is the Defence Minister who resigned, paving the way for Lieberman. After the Israeli soldier murdered an unarmed and injured Palestinian, it was clear that the public was on the murderer’s side. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu briefly condemned the murder, before changing his position to suit public opinion. Ya’alon did not, which Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer described as political suicide.
On May 4, another controversy arose on Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the deputy chief of the Israeli army, Major General Yair Golan, compared Israel to Nazi Germany, saying there were “signs of them here among us today”. Netanyahu rebuked Golan, as did most of Israel’s right-wingers. Then Ya’alon, speaking to Israeli army officers, urged them to speak their minds, and to be “brave not just in the battle field, but also at the discussion table.” Even if they weren’t part of the mainstream, even if it differed from “political leadership”. Shortly afterwards, Netanyahu summoned Ya’alon to a meeting. It was claimed that the purpose was to clear the air, and he certainly had no intention to relieve Ya’alon of his position as Defence Minister. Naturally, it was only a few days before Netanyahu dumped Ya’alon and offered the position to Lieberman.
Ya’alon: The Moderate Who Called Palestinians A Cancer
Since being dumped as Defence Minister, Ya’alon has sought to reinvent himself as a principled opponent of extremism and racism, who has struggled to defend decency. He wrote on Facebook that “I fought with all my might against manifestations of extremism, violence and racism in Israeli society, which are threatening its sturdiness and also trickling into the IDF, hurting it already”. He said “to my great sorrow, extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel and the Likud Party and are shaking the foundations and threatening to hurt its residents. Sadly, senior politicians in the country have chosen the way of incitement and segregation of parts of Israeli society instead of unifying it and bringing it together.”
As the great Israeli journalist Gideon Levy observed, Ya’alon “was IDF chief of staff during the Defensive Shield offensive in the West Bank in 2002 and for Operation Days of Penitence in Gaza in 2004, operations that sowed horrifying death and destruction. Perhaps it was then that the bestialization of the IDF began.” Ya’alon was also the Defence Minister during the last war on Gaza, killing over 2000 Palestinians, including over 500 children. Even the pathetic whitewash of a UN report noticed the tactics may not have been totally moral, commenting on “the razing of entire areas of these localities by artillery fire, air strikes and bulldozers”.
Ya’alon has also lashed out against human rights organisations and progressive NGOs. Breaking the Silence is a courageous organisation that publishes collections of testimonies from Israeli soldiers about what they do in the occupied territories. Ya’alon said they have “malicious motives” and banned them from events with the Israeli army. A few months ago, Ya’alon accused them of treason. Later he slightly qualified this claim, saying “We are looking into the matter.” This wasn’t glib rhetoric – he actually did order an investigation.
In 2002, Ya’alon compared the Palestinians in the occupied territories to cancer, and claimed he was merely “applying chemotherapy”. In the years leading up to 2008, Ya’alon worked at right wing think tanks, “emerging as one of the most forceful critics of two-state-solution orthodoxy,” according to Ha’aretz.
Back in 2009, Ya’alon called Peace Now a “virus”. This caused some controversy, but the context makes it worse. He said to “save the country… we must deal with the issue of the virus that is Peace Now and, if you will, the elites, their damage is very great. From my point of view Jews should live in every part of the Land of Israel forever.” That is, continue colonising the West Bank, and oppress the Palestinians forever. His comments were made at a meeting of the Jewish Leadership Movement, the Feiglin movement within Likud.
While Ya’alon now weeps crocodile tears over extremists taking over Likud, Moshe Feiglin is no less extreme than Lieberman. Feiglin referred to the Palestinians as “inferior” and “parasites”, positively agreed that Zionism is racist, and even found much to admire in Hitler and Nazism. In 2014, he called for concentration camps in Gaza, after using “maximum firepower”, cutting off their water and electricity, and giving a “generous economic support package” to Gazans to leave to other countries.
Lieberman In Context
Much of the political outcry in Israel about Lieberman’s rise by mainstream political figures is about as credible, with war criminals like Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak rushing to call Lieberman’s appointment a sign of fascism. Most of the Israeli political mainstream is infected with racism and war crimes. Lieberman is only unusual for being more overtly racist, and having less blood on his hands due to having less power.
For example, Ehud Barak was Defence Minister of Israel during the first massive attack on Gaza in 2008-2009. He was the Prime Minister who destroyed the viability of the Israeli Zionist left by saying there was no partner for peace after the Camp David debacle in 2000. He followed this up with his response to the Second Intifada – firing a million bullets within a month. In an interview with historian Benny Morris, he explained frankly that Palestinians can’t be trusted because “They are products of a culture in which to tell a lie…creates no dissonance. They don’t suffer from the problem of telling lies that exists in Judeo-Christian culture. Truth is seen as an irrelevant category.” Sophisticated racism like that is even fit for American liberals in the New York Review of Books.
Tzipi Livni, regarded as a dovish centrist, stated plainly in negotiations with the Palestinians that “I am against law – international law in particular.” Livni also repeatedly suggested in negotiations that Palestinian villages within Israel be transferred to a Palestinian state, thus embracing the Lieberman plan. She bragged that Israel “displayed real hooliganism” during the attack on Gaza in 2008-9: “which I demanded”. The point of the attack was that it “restored Israel’s deterrence … Hamas now understands that when you fire on its citizens it responds by going wild – and this is a good thing.”
Overt racism among Israeli political officials is by now almost standard. Israel’s Minister for Culture referred to Sudanese people in Israel as a “cancer”. Israel’s Justice Minister posted an article referring to Palestinian children as “little snakes”, advising that their mothers be killed to prevent the raising of more “little snakes”. Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister, in charge of the Civil Administration of the occupied territories, said that the Palestinians “are beasts… not human”, and that Jews have “a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual.” The Education Minister said to a Palestinian MK “When you were still climbing trees, we had a Jewish state here”. And “I have killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there is no problem with that.”
The Significance Of Lieberman’s Rise
In a military-obsessed country, Lieberman’s lack of military experience has often been counted against him. As Defence Minister, Lieberman will probably get the chance to put his own stamp on the next Gaza massacre. While he has often attacked the government from the right for being too soft on Palestinians, in power he will have to trade demagogy for policy. If he believes his own rhetoric and tries to implement it, disaster looms for the Palestinians, and even for Israel. However, if Lieberman serves as Defence Minister with some prudence, and doesn’t show any obvious signs of incompetence, he could put himself in a strong position to become Prime Minister.
Seven years ago, I observed that the political mainstream could have marginalised Lieberman into irrelevance in the 2009 election. It didn’t happen. On the left, Barak criticised him for lack of military experience – he was only “big on words, not on action”. The lack of meaningful opposition to Lieberman’s authoritarianism and racism helped legitimise him. Liebermanism has meant the dismantling of vestiges of liberalism for Jews in Israel, and the use of overtly racist rhetoric. Since then, both have become standard. Every election has included political competitions to appear tough on Arabs and Israeli leftists, and most major parties have supported his legislative agenda, and even embraced it as their own. Lieberman as Defence Minister isn’t a shocking development, but a logical culmination of where Israel has been heading for years.
PAYPAL : we greatly appreciate your continued support and donations.
Alleged killer of British MP was a longtime supporter of the neo-Nazi National Alliance
via Hatewatch Staff
PAYPAL : we greatly appreciate your continued support and donations.
Thomas Mair, alleged killer of British MP Jo Cox, was a longtime supporter of the neo-Nazi National Alliance.
Jo Cox, a member of the Labour Party in the British Parliament, died Thursday after an attack by a lone man who shot and stabbed her in West Yorkshire following a regular public meeting she held with constituents.
Jo Cox (AP Images/Yui Mok/PA)
Her alleged killer is Thomas Mair, 52. According to eyewitness accounts, which are still under investigation, Mair was armed with a knife and a gun, either antique or homemade, and may have shouted “Britain First” when he attacked Cox, a possible reference to the far right Britain First party, whose leader, Paul Golding, is a former member of the white nationalist British National Party. The Daily Telegraph reported that Mair’s brother claimed Mair has a “history of mental illness,” and neighbors called him a “loner,” but he also has a long history with white nationalism.
According to records obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center Mair was a dedicated supporter of the National Alliance (NA), the once premier neo-Nazi organization in the United States, for decades. Mair purchased a manual from the NA in 1999 that included instructions on how to build a pistol.
Mair, who resides in what is described as a semi-detached house on the Fieldhead Estate in Birstall, sent just over $620 to the NA, according to invoices for goods purchased from National Vanguard Books, the NA’s printing imprint. Mair purchased subscriptions for periodicals published by the imprint and he bought works that instruct readers on the “Chemistry of Powder & Explosives,” “Incendiaries,” and a work called “Improvised Munitions Handbook.” Under “Section III, No. 9” (page 125) of that handbook, there are detailed instructions for constructing a “Pipe Pistol For .38 Caliber Ammunition” from components that can be purchased from nearly any hardware store.
The NA may be best-known for the work of its now-deceased founder, William Pierce, a former physics professor who also wrote racist novels. One, The Turner Diaries, tells the post-apocalyptic fictional story of a white man fighting in a race war that may have provided inspiration for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
The Daily Telegraph also reported that Mair was a subscriber to S. A. Patriot, a South African magazine published by White Rhino Club, a pro-apartheid group. The club describes that magazine’s editorial stance as opposed to “multi-cultural societies” and “expansionist Islam.” According to the Daily Telegraph, a January 2006 blog post attributed to the group described Mair as “one of the earliest subscribers and supporters of S. A. Patriot.”
Cox, 41, known as a rising star in the Labour Party, was an advocate for Syrian refugees. She had worked as an aid worker in developing countries and went on to become head of policy at Oxfam. She had also worked as an advisor to Sarah Brown, wife of the former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in women’s and children’s health campaigns. Cox was elected to Parliament in 2015 and quickly gained a reputation for taking on her own party’s leadership. She supported staying in the European Union in the face of the upcoming so-called “Brexit” referendum, which will determine whether the UK leaves the European Union.
The “Improvised Munitions Handbook” is among the books purchased by Mair from the National Alliance, which includes these instructions for building a homemade gun.
Order Mair made in May of 1999 from National Vanguard Books. Includes handbooks titled “Chemistry of Powder & Explosives” and “Improvised Munitions Handbook.”
PAYPAL : we greatly appreciate your continued support and donations.
Franco Ferrada who fed HIMSELF naked to the lions claimed to be God’s prophet
The former soldier who stripped naked and fed himself to the lions at a Chile zoo never got over his mother dying from breast cancer when he was 11, it has been reveal.
Franco Ferrada, 20, launched himself into the lion pit at Santiago Zoo in front of horrified onlookers on Saturday while claiming to be a prophet sent from God.
He left a note in the pocket of his abandoned clothes to be a prophet and declaring the end of the world was nigh.
Delusions: Franco Ferrada – identified in these pictures by the Chilean media – threw himself into the lion pit in front of horrified onlookers at Santiago zoo, taking all his clothes off before he was mauled
Problems: Locals say he had never gotten over being abandoned in a orphanage at the age of 11, when his mother died unexpectedly of breast cancer and his alcoholic father refused to care for him or his siblings
Injured: The only way to save his life was to put down the two lions which were attacking Mr Ferrada, who is now recovering in hospital with serious wounds to his face, skull, neck, shoulders and groin
‘The apocalypse has arrived, and I will know when it shall come,’ he wrote. ‘I am the prophet and I have returned for my people.’
It is unclear whether he was trying to end his life, although witnesses at the zoo spoke of how he recounted to them the biblical hero, Daniel, who was thrown to the lions but saved by an angel sent by God.
Surprised: Mr Ferrada had been described as ‘happy’ by those who know him. Pictured: Mr Ferrada, as claimed by the Chilean media
Along with his scribbled prayer, two strange drawings of lions were found in Mr Ferrada’s wallet by paramedics as he was rescued from the cage and transferred to his Santiago emergency room.
It is thought the episode may be in some way related to the death of his mother from breast cancer almost 10 years ago.
Mr Ferrada was put into care – and ‘never forgave his alcoholic father for abandoning him’, according to friends. It is said his father was driven to drink by the loss of his wife.
‘Franco appeared to be a very happy young man on the outside,’ said a shopkeeper in the Puente Alto district of Santiago, where the Ferrada Roman family live. ‘His actions at the zoo surprised us all, but his family is very troublesome.’
‘They are notorious in Puente Alto for being very raucous and often drunk,’ said Mr Castellano, who comes into contact often with the Ferrada family.
Today, Mr Ferrada, who is listed on Facebook as having worked at Burger Kind in Santiago, Chile, has no relationship with his father, and joined the army following his discharge from the state orphanage system in order to escape his mental demons, according to many who knew him in his home town of Puente Alto.
Currently recovering in the Santiago hospital Clinica Indisa, with wounds to his face, skull, neck, shoulders and groin, Mr Ferrada is one of nine children.
In 2006, following the death of their mother, Ruth Aurora del Carmen Roman Villegas, all nine children were taken into Chile’s SENAME state care system when their father refused to care for them.
Belief: It is unclear whether he was trying to hurt himself. He told witnesses about the story of Biblical hero Daniel who was thrown to the lions – shortly before he threw himself into the pit. Pictured: Mr Ferrada, as claimed by the Chilean media
Unable to help: The attack occurred in full view of visitors, who could only watch in horror
Safety: The entrances to the lion enclosures were closed off after the attack. Zoo director Alejandra Montalva said she was ‘deeply affected’ by the deaths of the two animals
Mr Ferrada’s older brother Jose Luis Ferrada is serving a jail sentence for alcohol-related crimes, while his other siblings live in the impoverished Puente Alto district, an area known for its high crime rates.
He left the state care system at 18 to join the army, where he served in the base at Coyhaique for 18 months, in the Chilean state of Aysen.
‘He was a very happy boy,’ said his military colleague Gonzalo Molina, ‘It’s so strange for me to find out he had psychological problems.’
Following his discharge from the army in 2014, Mr Ferrada was living in the centre of Santiago with other young friends, and working in a warehouse for a Chinese business.
His grandmother Nolbertina Muñoz told the Chilean media. ‘The death of his mother was very difficult for Franco. After that he was always very concerned with taking care of his brothers and sisters.’
But she added: ‘He visited me last weekend. He seemed happy and told me he was very content.’
Despite his friends and family being unaware of his mental suffering, the cracks in Franco’s psyche began to show. On Mother’s Day he wrote an emotive message on Facebook lamenting his loss.
‘Mummy, it’s been nine years since you left for the arms of the Lord,’ he wrote.
‘I always remember the sacrifice you made for my siblings and me. How I would love to have you here, to hug you and kiss you and feel your protecting warmth, just as when I was born.’
Anger: Neighbours speak of Ferrada being put into care after his mother’s sudden death from breast cancer when he was 11 – saying he ‘never forgave his alcoholic father for abandoning him’. Pictured: Mr Ferrada, as claimed by the Chilean media
Change: He joined the army once he left care, with colleagues remembering him as a ‘very happy boy’. Pictured: Mr Ferrada, as claimed by the Chilean media
In the following days he wrote a shorter, cryptic message – saying: ‘Only I can write my life.’
And three days before throwing himself naked to the lions in which two of the beasts mauling him were shot dead, he wrote: ‘I’m here to give you love.’
Santiago Zoo is now considering legal action again against Mr Ferrada, accusing him of trespass for climbing into the lions’ enclosure.
Zoo director Alejandra Montalva said: ‘He trespassed into an area where the public are not normally allowed and we understand that he forced the roof of the lion’s enclosure.
‘It was from there that he jumped, took off his clothes and started to attract the lions.’
She said she was ‘deeply affected’ by the deaths of the two lions, a male and a female.
‘The zoo has an established protocol because people’s lives are very important to us,’ said Montalba.
She added that there were no fast-acting tranquilizers available to stop the lions from mauling the man.
One witness, Cynthia Vasquez, said zoo security guards were slow to react and that the animals did not attack the man as soon as he entered the enclosure.
‘He entered the enclosure from above and the lions started to play with him, and then after they attacked him,’ she said.
She added security ‘first they threw water, evacuated the people and only later fired shots’.
She also said the man was ‘shouting things about Jesus’.
A father who was at the park with his young son, told news channel Chilevision: ‘Everyone started screaming when they saw him.’
Another witness added: ‘There were a lot of children there, and parents covered their eyes while it was going on. He was screaming religious things.’
The news channel said a suicide note that was found inside his clothes made allusions to the apocalypse as being a reason for his attempt to take his life.
By Saturday evening, Mr Ferrada was said to no longer be in a life-threatening condition.
Dr Sebastian Ugarde of Indisa Clinic said his heart almost stopped.
He added: ‘He suffered several injuries and trauma to the head and the pelvic area. We have high hopes that will recover and that will be fine.’
Mugshot photos of Radovan Karadžić by the Yugoslav and Bosnian police
Christian Fascist Radovan Karadzic Convicted of War Crimes and Genocide
THE HAGUE (Netherlands)
A United Nations tribunal has convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for leading a campaign of terror against civilians in the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II.
Karadzic, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in lethal ethnic cleansing operations, the siege of Sarajevo and the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995, in proceedings that were likened to the Nuremberg trials of former Nazi leaders.
During his trial, like WWII Catholic and Christian-fascist dictators before him, Karadzic confessed he waged to what he believed was a holy war; a crusade sanctioned by priests, church, Christ and god, a “just and holy” war he declared.
Karadzic was saluted by the Greek Orthodox Church as “one of the most prominent sons of our Lord Jesus Christ working for peace.” The church decorated Karadzic with the nine-hundred-year-old Knights’ Order of the First Rank of Saint Dionysius of Xanthe.
The Ecumenical Christian Patriarch Bartholomew announced that, “the Serbian people have been chosen by God to protect the western frontiers of Orthodoxy.”
The prosecution presented recorded testimony and transcripts of Karadžić’s political speeches. In one Karadžić is quoted as saying “Sarajevo will be a black cauldron where Muslims will die,” and that “They will disappear, that people will disappear from the face of the earth.” In another Karadžić is quoted as saying that “Europe will be told to go fuck itself and not come back till the job is finished.”
Satko Mujagic, a former prisoner held by Serb forces for more than 200 days, said that Karadzic was responsible for “ethnic cleansing and blood”.
“I’m very glad that this man finally got what he deserved,” he said.
Mujagic said the verdict should also have a broader effect on Bosnia’s Serbs, Muslims, and Croats.
“Honestly, I hope this sentence will mean something for people in Bosnia, because many people deny what has happened – people deny war crimes. I hope this means something for reconciliation in the country,” Mujagic said.
About 100 survivors gathered outside the UN tribunal as judges inside read out verdicts on some of the worst atrocities committed in Europe since World War II.
One banner read: “Srebrenica, we remember the 8,372 victims of genocide.”
Karadzic had long been accused of orchestrating the 1995 slaughter after Serb forces seized the UN’s Srebrenica “safe area” in eastern Bosnia.
Corespondent Emma Hayward, reporting from The Hague, said the pain of some survivors hadn’t gone away, but added that there was a sense of relief among the families and victims after the verdict.
“When we heard about Srebrenica, we heard about the Muslim men and boys who were taken away from their families and systematically killed,” said Hayward.
Some Bosnians outside the tribunal denounced the 40-year sentence saying it was grossly inadequate for the mass crimes committed.
“For me as a victim of genocide, I’m afraid this is some political game,” said Munira Subasic. “But I still believe in this court’s prosecutors, probably they’ll prepare more evidence for the appeals process so we hope to be satisfied at the very end.”
Karadzic was also acquitted on another genocide charge relating to events in 1992, a move that angered some Bosnians.
“Genocide didn’t only happen in Srebrenica but across all of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as persecution, suffering and everything we lived through,” said Zumra Sehumirovic outside the court.
A psychiatrist by vocation, Karadzic emerged as the Bosnian Serb political leader shortly before Yugoslavia began disintegrating in a series of wars in 1991. His military chief, general Ratko Mladic, is still on trial on similar charges.
To Bosnian Muslims and Croats, Karadzic is synonymous with war, death, and destruction.
The Arabic Translation of The God Delusion Has Reportedly Been Downloaded 10 Million Times
by Terry Firma
I’m not sure about the legality, but if Richard Dawkins isn’t bothered by the copyright ramifications, then neither am I.
An unauthorized PDF translation of Dawkin’s The God Delusion, by Iraqi emigrant Bassam Al-Baghdadi, who lives in Sweden, has reportedly been dowloaded ten million times,
… with 30 percent going to Saudi Arabia. Bassam said that there were over 1,000 downloads on the very first day after he uploaded it, and the numbers only climbed as the translation was picked up and shared on the blogs, websites and forums of prominent Arab atheists. The book has prompted unprecedented controversy and debate in the Arab and Islamic worlds.
The translator received…
… you’ll never guess this!…
… death threats and accusations of conspiring with the Zionists to corrupt the youth. He was forced to close his social media accounts and stop posting for a while. …
In the Arabic translation of The God Delusion, under the title, Bassam added the words: “This book is banned in Islamic countries.” It is fortunate and wonderful that the banning of books in the Arab and Islamic worlds is no longer feasible in our new age of information. I was able to read the book while I was still in Morocco, where I was born. Some atheist friends even managed to get hold of the book in Saudi Arabia. The dark times of censorship, in which knowledge for the people was confined to carefully curated books and resources, are gone and will never return.
According to Kacem El Ghazzali, writing for the Huffington Post, Dawkins was unaware of the translation until El Ghazzali brought it to his attention at a 2014 skeptics conference in Switzerland. It’s to the great biologist’s credit that he apparently raised no big stink about it.
As for El Ghazzali, who was born in Morocco but now makes his home in Switzerland, he says he owes
… a tremendous debt of gratitude to Richard Dawkins, and to others who guided my journey from the hells of religious dogma to the oasis of free thought and enlightenment.
If you’d like a copy of the Arabic God Delusion, you can download it here.
“We’re in a climate where Christians are being mass-murdered and driven out of the Middle East. Russia is violently propping up the Shia regime in Syria, Iran may already have a nuclear weapon, and the United Nations routinely persecutes Israel. Many Christians believe that Islam is evil, and the followers of Muhammad may spawn The Anti-Christ.”
As you might however have gathered from the article’s title, his worry is not the pending annihilation of our home planet and the eradication of all life at the hands of his particular Middle Eastern god, Yhwh, but rather the somewhat annoying fact that evangelicals, like himself, are broadly considered “crazy” by the general public when they start hollering the end is neigh. It’s an honest complaint, and…
‘Satan Dancing With Delight’: The Religious Right Reacts To The Legalization Of Gay Marriage
Submitted by Kyle Mantyla
This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, effectively legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.
Christian Right’s Head’s Explode!
Needless to say, anti-gay Religious Right activists and Republican politicians who have repeatedly warned that such a ruling would literally destroy America have not reacted well, as exemplified by Bryan Fischer, who fired off a series of tweets declaring that Satan is now dancing in the streets of America:
Human Rights Group Puts GOP Presidential Contender Ben Carson On ‘Extremist Watch List’
Author: Jameson Parker
If 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson was trying to distinguish himself from the crowded field of conservatives eager to win the nomination, he may have just done it in the worst possible way.
In a first, the human rights watchdogs at Southern Poverty Law Center named a likely Republican contender to its “Extremist Watch List” for his attitudes and actions towards gay people and endorsing “biblical economic practices for 21st century America.” There are several other candidates who may be equally homophobic, but it would be hard to match just how unapologetic Carson is about it.
Carson, whose hatred of Obama is matched only by his hatred towards homosexuality, has made a name for himself by saying outlandish, vitriolic accusations designed specifically to rile up the ultra-conservative base. He has latched onto the premise that he, and other conservatives, are under constant assault by political correctness which is trying to prevent him from being able to express his ideas. If that’s true, Carson must be quite courageous because the “PC police” haven’t prevented him from saying the most offensive things imaginable.
When speaking about liberals, Carson likes to compare them to Nazis.
“I mean, [our society is] very much like Nazi Germany,” Carson told Breitbart News, after declaring that we were living in a “Gestapo age.” “And I know you’re not supposed to say ‘Nazi Germany,’ but I don’t care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.” [source]
He’s insisted on (then subsequently defended) the assertion that Obamacare is the worst thing to happen to America since slavery.
But his particular brand of bigotry sails most fully when he’s condemning homosexuality, a sexual orientation that he sees as no different than pedophilia. He once remarked to Fox News’ Sean Hannity:
“Marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Association, a group advocating pedophilia], be they people who believe in bestiality—it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition.”
Despite those comments (and many more), Carson’s star within the Republican Party is rising. In recent months, as Carson toys with a presidential bid, he has been rubbing elbows with some of the most hateful groups in the country, shoring up the people who will likely be his most fervent supporters.
In June 2014 he keynoted an event sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, a hardline group opposed to same-sex marriage. He was a featured speaker at the Tea Party and far right-dominated Western Conservative Summit in Denver the next month, where he won the delegates’ straw poll of potential 2016 presidential candidates, running ahead of well-known right-wing politicians like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. And the Pacific Justice Institute, listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBT hate group, announced in July 2014 that he would keynote its “Celebration of Justice: Restoring America” conference in October.
In joining the “Extremist Watch List,” Carson gets placed next to some dubious company. He shares the list with such icons of hatred as former KKK leader David Duke, Westboro Baptists Church’s recently deceased leader Fred Phelps, and Scott Lively, the American pastor currently facing charges of crimes against humanity for helping enact Uganda’s genocidal anti-gay laws.
RADDATZ: Let’s talk about some specific, and you talk about leadership and you talk about big, bold, fresh ideas. What is your big, bold, fresh idea in Syria?
WALKER: Well, I think – I go back to the red line.
RADDATZ: Let’s not go back. Let’s go forward. What is your big, bold idea in Syria?
WALKER: I think aggressively, we need to take the fight to ISIS and any other radical Islamic terrorist in and around the world, because it’s not a matter of when they attempt an attack on American soil, or not if I should say, it’s when, and…
“With widespread apathy about what passes for religious education in schools, our classrooms are increasingly being used by religious groups to carry out their missionary work. Terry Sanderson explains how Australian parents have led the way in removing evangelists from schools.” The
interesting characteristic of an undersea earthquake or a tsunami is that, for the most part, it is silent until it reaches land. Using that as an analogy one could say an undersea earthquake has erupted within the ranks of Victorian school principals and their school councils and has reached land. Its objective: to end the practice of religious education programs in their schools. This earthquake arrived last week when a courageous school principal, Joe Kelly from Cranbourne Primary School, went public on the nature of Christian Religious Education (CRE), being provided by Access Ministries, the organisation providing the service to public schools in Victoria. Mr Kelly’s concerns were the subject of an
article by Konrad Marshall
in The Age newspaper on 17th February.
Mr Kelly stated that he would no longer allow Access Ministries in his school. “It is not education,” he said. “It has no value whatsoever. It…
At first it was easy. Bernardi, Joyce and Pyne have always been a satirist’s dream. You just have to repeat what they’re saying and most people laugh and tell you that you have a marvelous control of irony. And since his election, Abbott has made himself look even more ridiculous than that trio – which, I think you’ll agree – is an impressive achievement.
At first it was easy. Bernardi, Joyce and Pyne have always been a satirist’s dream. You just have to repeat what they’re saying and most people laugh and tell you that you have a marvelous control of irony. And since his election, Abbott has made himself look even more ridiculous than that trio – which, I think you’ll agree – is an impressive achievement.
Going from “elect us for a strong economy” to “what do job losses have to do with us” in the space of a few months ranks with George W. telling us that the French didn’t have a word for “entrepreneur”. But then, we had Scott Morrison’s “Well, what do you expect when people leave the safety of the compound?” changing to “Sorry he didn’t leave the compound, but we’ll have a full inquiry into this and no, I’m not answering questions, I never answer questions because that…
I finished Tony Judt’s Postwar–a book which ends as it begins, with Europe in process–just in time to catch the most recent reported musings of Phil Robertson. Here he is offering Christian marriage counseling to a young man:
I said “Well son, I’m going give you some river rat counseling, here. Make that sure she can cook a meal. You need to eat some meals that she cooks. Check that out. Make sure she carries her Bible. That’ll save you some trouble down the road. And if she picks your ducks, now that’s a woman.”
They got to where they getting hard to find, mainly because these boys are waiting until they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ’em. Look, you wait ‘til they get to be twenty years-old and the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they’re about fifteen or sixteen and they’ll pick your ducks. You need to check with Mom and Dad about that of course.
In many parts of America, this is an argument for statutory rape. More specifically, it is an argument for men seeking to elide the power of grown women, by seeking their sexual partners among teenage girls. This style of svengalism is generally seen as repugnant to our morality. Phil Robertson believes that society should withhold civil rights from consenting gay men, while allowing men like him to push the age of consent to its breaking point. The contradiction here is as predictable as it is ridiculous. The loudest of doomsayers, so often, carry the weightiest of sin.
Postwar ends with a Europe of Hitler’s nightmares–darker, older, less Christian. The continent is teetering, its welfare state endangered, its peace, uneasy before the genocide in the Balkans. One get the sense that Judt believes that Europe has accomplished something–relative prosperity, democracy in most of its countries, lengthening life spans, acknowledgment of the Holocaust. But Judt believes in a world of actions, not monuments, and not shibboleths. Democracy is a struggle, not a trophy and not a bragging right. This is not a matter of being polite and sensitive. It is understanding that we live on the edge of the volcano, that the volcano is in us. Judt is keenly aware that late 20th century Europe’s accomplishments could be wrecked by the simple actions of men.
When I lived in Paris, this summer, I loved walking across Pont Neuf. There was something to the idea that I was standing on a bridge older (by centuries) than my entire homeland. When the murderous demagogue Slobodan Milošević rallied the Serbs, at Blackbird’s Field, he was appealing to a memory older than Columbus. But Pont Neuf could fall next week. And everyone knows what followed Milošević’s words.
Vulgar nationalists often point to Europe as evidence of something that all humans, from Phil Robertson on down, strive for–certain civilized ground. And yet the greatest proponents of such certainty, of Utopia, of exceptionalism, of soloutionism, of Stalinism, of Bibles, of Qurans, of great civilization, and complete theories, are so often themselves engineers on the road to barbarism. What Judt wants us to see is the tenuousness of human creations, and thus the tenuousness of the West, itself. Having concluded that Europe (though not its Eastern half) has finally, in fits and starts, come to grapple with the Holocaust, he grows skeptical:
Evil, above all evil on the scale practiced by Nazi Germany, can never be satisfactorily remembered. The very enormity of the crime renders all memorialisation incomplete. Its inherent implausibility—the sheer difficulty of conceiving of it in calm retrospect—opens the door to diminution and even denial. Impossible to remember as it truly was, it is inherently vulnerable to being remembered as it wasn’t. Against this challenge memory itself is helpless
But memory is constantly invoked. When Nicolae Ceauşescu’s henchmen begin to turn on him, they condemn him in predictable terms:
Romania is and remains a European country. . . . You have begun to change the geography of the rural areas, but you cannot move Romania into Africa.
But Romania, is, indeed, in Africa–the Africa of European imagination, the Africa which justified slavery, which brims with rape, murder and cannibalism. All of Europe lives in that imagined, projected Africa. In a little over a decade, in the middle of the civilized continent, 14 million people were killed.
From Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands:
No matter which technology was used, the killing was personal. People who starved were observed, often from watchtowers, by those who denied them food. People who were shot were seen through the sights of rifles at very close range, or held by two men while a third placed a pistol at the base of the skull. People who were asphyxiated were rounded up, put on trains, and then rushed into the gas chambers. They lost their possessions and then their clothes and then, if they were women, their hair. Each one of them died a different death, since each one of them had lived a different life.
Snyder quotes the poet Anna Ahkmotova addressing the legions of the dead–“I’d like to call you all by name.”
I don’t think there’s anything original in the blood of Europe that allows for this kind of human misery. And I don’t think there’s anything in the blood that allows for Pont Neuf, either. Nations seem to require myth. Romania’s governing history is filled with big men, autocrats and despots. But the European super-nation has long needed to believe itself above the world, above native America, above Asia, and particularly above Africa. The truth is more disconcerting: The dark continent has never been South of the Sahara, but South of Minsk and East of Aachen in the jungles of the European soul.
That the enemy is us, is never easy to take. Yesterday, Confederates routinely accused Northerners of attempting to reduce them to slavery. Today, men who convene with Confederate flags at the White House, accuse the president of racism. Yesterday, the civilized man accuses you of barbarism, while practicing sophisticated human sacrifice to the God Of Nations, while reducing his lordly estate to a house of the dead. The homophobe accuses you of sexual immorality and damns you to hell, while preaching a gospel which would make wives of children.
I don’t have any gospel of my own. Postwar, and the early pages of Bloodlands, have revealed a truth to me: I am an atheist. (I have recently realized this.) I don’t believe the arc of the universe bends towards justice. I don’t even believe in an arc. I believe in chaos. I believe powerful people who think they can make Utopia out of chaos should be watched closely. I don’t know that it all ends badly. But I think it probably does.
I’m also not a cynic. I think that those of us who reject divinity, who understand that there is no order, there is no arc, that we are night travelers on a great tundra, that stars can’t guide us, will understand that the only work that will matter, will be the work done by us. Or perhaps not. Maybe the very myths I decry are necessary for that work. I don’t know. But history is a brawny refutation for that religion brings morality. And I now feel myself more historian than journalist.
“History contributes to the disenchantment of the world,” writes Judt.
…most of what it has to offer is discomforting, even disruptive—which is why it is not always politically prudent to wield the past as a moral cudgel with which to beat and berate a people for its past sins. But history does need to be learned—and periodically re-learned. In a popular Soviet-era joke, a listener calls up ‘Armenian Radio’ with a question: ‘Is it possible’, he asks, ‘to foretell the future?’ Answer: ‘Yes, no problem. We know exactly what the future will be. Our problem is with the past: that keeps changing’. So it does—and not only in totalitarian societies.
All the same, the rigorous investigation and interrogation of Europe’s competing pasts—and the place occupied by those pasts in Europeans’ collective sense of themselves—has been one of the unsung achievements and sources of European unity in recent decades. It is, however, an achievement that will surely lapse unless ceaselessly renewed. Europe’s barbarous recent history, the dark ‘other’ against which post-war Europe was laboriously constructed, is already beyond recall for young Europeans.
Within a generation the memorials and museums will be gathering dust—visited, like the battlefields of the Western Front today, only by aficionados and relatives. If in years to come we are to remember why it seemed so important to build a certain sort of Europe out of the crematoria of Auschwitz, only history can help us. The new Europe, bound together by the signs and symbols of its terrible past, is a remarkable accomplishment; but it remains forever mortgaged to that past. If Europeans are to maintain this vital link—if Europe’s past is to continue to furnish Europe’s present with admonitory meaning and moral purpose—then it will have to be taught afresh with each passing generation. ‘European Union’ may be a response to history, but it can never be a substitute.
In the warped mind of Anders Breivik, his murderous rampage in Oslo and Utøya earlier this year were the first shots in a war in defence of Christian Europe. Not a religious war but a cultural one, to defend what Breivik called Europe’s ‘cultural, social, identity and moral platform’. Few but the most psychopathic can have any sympathy for Breivik’s homicidal frenzy. Yet the idea that Christianity provides the foundations of Western civilization, and of its political ideals and ethical values, and that…