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« … leftist protesters — No, I’m not a Neonazi !» declares Richard Spencer seconds before he gets punched in the face at a streetcorner
Image by quapan
RICHARD SPENCER: « … new world where the leftist protesters — No, I’m not a Neonazi »
BLACK FEMALE OFF-VOICE: « Do you like black people? »
YouTube automatic-translation strangely transforms "a Neonazi" into a "in do not seem like that long" …
« Spencer … was in the midst of telling an Australian TV crew in DC that he was not a neo-Nazi, while pointing to his neo-Nazi Pepe the Frog lapel pin. » Natasha Lennard
26th Jan: Richard 🐸 Spencer @RichardBSpencer
answers to .@natashalennard @thenation
« Have you considered that the usual response to last weekend’s activities is escalation? »
White nationalist Richard Spencer punched in the face camera while doing interview Clip uploaded by Sarah Burris on 20th January 2017
25th Jan: CALLS: 2.117.211, LIKES: 17.327, DISLIKES: 3.766
December 18, 2016: Trump Win Propels White Nationalism and Chauvinism to Center of US Politics
Historian Gerald Horne says social movements will need to adopt an international strategy in order to push back against the coming reign of terror for communities of color.
Dr. Gerald Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. His research has addressed issues of racism in a variety of relations involving labor, politics, civil rights, international relations and war. Dr. Horne has also written extensively about the film industry. His latest book is The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. Dr. Horne received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. from Princeton University.
transcript of the interview
Trump Win Propels White Nationalism and Chauvinism to Center of US Politics
KIM BROWN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Kim Brown in Baltimore. Convicted mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof was found guilty on Thursday of 33 charges related to the killing of nine black church parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina. During the trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence of Roof’s beliefs and racist values, including Confederate and Rhodesian flags found in his possession. Plus, he claimed to have committed the murders to start a race war because, "Black people are killing white people every day. What I did is so miniscule compared to what they do to white people every day."
Now Dylann Roof’s criminal actions were extreme but his views about black Americans and immigrants are representative of how these ideas are increasingly mainstream, the so-called alt-right. And, of course, we have seen this presented in President-elect Donald Trump, of course, on the campaign trail, his racist and xenophobic rhetoric along with some of this selections to his staff and cabinet have a lot of people concerned. But these are not new attitudes or behaviors in America, but why, in an ever-increasingly browning United States, are these beliefs seemingly on the rise and what are the roots of it?
Well, to discuss this we’re joined today with Dr. Gerald Horne. Dr. Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He’s also the author of many books including most recently The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. Dr. Horne, we appreciate you joining us again. Thank you.
GERALD HORNE: Thank you for inviting me.
KIM BROWN: Well, Dr. Horne, how would you categorize alt-right? Is this same old racism simply repackaged?
GERALD HORNE: I think that’s a fair assessment. The alt-right in many ways is a euphemism, it sounds like a rock band or a punk band. What we’re really talking about is white supremacy, what we’re really talking about is white identity politics, what we’re really talking about is white nationals, what we’re really talking about are descendants of the neo-Nazi movement, descendants of the Ku Klux Klan. We’re talking about racists, we’re talking about misogynists, we’re talking about anti-Semites. This is what we mean when we talk about the alt-right, whether we know it or not.
KIM BROWN: And there has been many expressing alarm that someone has been elected to the White House who is cozy with white supremacists, but surely this is not the first time for this, in the United States.
GERALD HORNE: Well, certainly not. I find it quite instructive that many people have drawn a parallel between the election of Andrew Jackson, a former slave trader who is on your currency in the 1820s, and the election of Donald J. Trump. That is to say that, that is an apt comparison, whether people realize it or not. Because when you elect a slave trader to the highest office in the land, you’re basically suggesting that certain denizens of North America have more(?) rights that the majority are bound to respect. And I’m afraid to say that the election of Donald J. Trump, in some ways, represents the kind of sentiment that led to the election of Andrew Jackson in the 1820s. That is to say, the propelling to the forefront of politics a certain kind of white nationalism, a certain kind of national chauvinism, a certain kind of bigotry.
KIM BROWN: Dr. Horne, how does the alt-right movement — and I’m actually loathe to use that term because it sounds like something, as you mentioned, like a pop band or a rock band, it’s a smoothing over of the terms white nationalists and white supremacists. But how does the 21st century alt-right movement, what characteristics do they share with white supremacist movements of the past?
GERALD HORNE: Well, I think that both movements, that is to say, the past and the present of white supremacy, fundamentally feel that this should be a "white man’s country". That is to say that, as Arlie Hochschild, the sociologist at Berkeley, puts it in her recent book Strangers in Their Own Land, the common ordinary perception of many Trump voters is that those of us who are not defined as white are somehow getting benefits that we did not deserve — that we’re cutting into to the queue, we’re cutting to the line. Even if we’re working hard and paying our taxes, that we, somehow, do not belong in North America.
Now, sadly, and unfortunately, many of those who are voting for Donald J. Trump may not hold such raw opinions, but the fact of the matter is, that by voting for Donald J. Trump, they’re fundamentally endorsing such raw opinions which means they are complicit in what could turn out to be a massive crime against humanity.
KIM BROWN: The Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked hundreds of hate crime incidents since the election of Donald Trump in November, but we’ve seen throughout history there has been these rise and falls in racism. I guess it’s burned hotter at different points in American history than it has others, and I’m thinking of, you now, in the Civil Rights era there was a visible Klan presence — the Ku Klux Klan was abducting civil rights workers, murdering them — and we had, I want to say a simmering down, but we didn’t see that type of violence towards people of color, let’s say, in the ’70s and ’80s from citizens. I mean, it can be argued that that anger or that violence, you know, transferred to the police force and it was taken out on communities of color in that way. But we seem to see it heating back up again. What does history tell us about these sort of ebbs and flows of how hot racism can burn at different points in time?
GERALD HORNE: Well, I think, one factor that we all need to focus on is the international situation. The international climate. What I mean is that in the 1960s, United States was on the defensive because it was in the midst of the Cold War where it was seeking to point the finger of accusation at the socialist camp, charging that camp with human rights violations and, in return, the socialist camp pointed the finger of accusation back at the United States, charging the United States with human rights violations because of treatment of peoples of color.
Now, with the dissolution of the socialist camp, that kind of international pressure has basically dissolved. And surprise, surprise, with the dissolution of that international pressure, once again you see the resurgence, you see the propelling of this ultra-right movement that is putting many of us in jeopardy.
KIM BROWN: So let’s talk about how this pertains to the potentially incoming administration of Donald Trump, his selection to head the Department of Justice, his pick for Attorney General, is Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama, who has a long history of fighting against civil rights, not only in his own state but doing so from the senate, as well. What does this speak to you about what people can expect in terms of racial justice from this administration?
GERALD HORNE: Well, unfortunately, it’s not just Steve Bannon of Breitbart News who is the chief political strategist of Donald J. Trump now ensconced in the White House — or soon to be ensconced in the White House. Of course, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is also the US Supreme Court. You know, I’m sure, that the Republican Majority in the Senate stonewalled President Obama’s attempt to appoint Merrick Garland to the seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia when he passed away in February 2016. The perspective nominees from Donald J. Trump, I think it’s fair to say, will continue the dirty work of Antonin Scalia, which in the first place, means gutting further of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, it means turning a blind eye to police terrorism. It means, basically, putting the stamp of approval on a kind of reign of terror that will be inflicted upon our community. That’s what’s in store for 2017 going forward.
KIM BROWN: So let’s look at that from the other side of the coin, Dr. Horne. How, historically, have communities of color responded to inflamed periods of racism? And what should, if you have any advice for communities of color, what should they do in the era Donald Trump?
GERALD HORNE: Well, some things that we’ve been doing, we need to continue doing. I’m speaking of the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the rise of mass protests in the streets, but I think what’s missing from our movement now is an international outreach. That is to say, taking our case, taking our concerns to the United Nations in New York, to the Organization of American States in Washington, DC, where it’s headquartered.
We know that President-elect Trump will seek to deport many people, particularly those of Mexican origin. We have a common concern with the Mexican government and certainly we need to be sending delegations to Mexico City to help to bolster our international effort. We also know that Donald J. Trump will be seeking to escalate tensions with China. I dare say that China will be seeking to reach out to Mexico because both governments will be in the crosshairs. We need to reach out similarly. I think that’s what’s missing from the recipe that has been concocted by our movement thus far.
KIM BROWN: And, Dr. Horne, just to go back for a moment because you reference the election of Andrew Jackson as an example of a white supremacist being elected to the White House in the 1800s. In the past century, have we seen a comparable white supremacist be elected? Because a lot of, you know, conservatives or white supremacists would say that, you know, racism went away after the Civil War and it’s been hundreds of years since black people were free, or freed out of bondage. But, in the last century or so, who have we seen that could qualify as a white supremacist be elected to the White House?
GERALD HORNE: Well, I would point to Woodrow Wilson who, even though he was Governor of New Jersey and President of Princeton University before entering the White House, was actually Virginia-born, and actually was a scholar who wrote some of the most racist histories that this racist country has seen thus far. Recall that it was Woodrow Wilson who screened in the White House, one of the first Hollywood blockbusters, I’m speaking of Birth of a Nation, the film produced and directed by D.W. Griffith which portrays the Ku Klux Klan as heroes who redeemed the so-called "white self". I mean, the sad and tragic part is that Woodrow Wilson is not necessarily unique or sui generis — he represent a decided strain in terms of the occupants of the White House, not only with regard to the 19th century but, I’m afraid, with regard the 20th century, as well.
KIM BROWN: Indeed. Well, we’ve been speaking with Dr. Gerald Horne from the University of Houston. He’s the author of the most recent book titled, The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. Dr. Horne, we appreciate your insight today. Thank you very much.
GERALD HORNE: Thank you for inviting me.
KIM BROWN: And thanks for watching The Real News Network.
January 22, 2017: Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer Got Punched—You Can Thank the Black Bloc A dispatch from inside the J20 protests. By Natasha Lennard
The transcendental experience of watching Roger Federer play tennis, David Foster Wallace wrote, was one of “kinetic beauty.” Federer’s balletic precision and mastering of time, on the very edge of what seems possible for a body to achieve, was a form of bodily genius. What Foster Wallace saw in a Federer Moment, I see in a video of neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting punched in the face.
You may have seen it, it’s a meme now, set to backing tracks of Bruce Springsteen, New Order, even a song from Hamilton. The punch, landed by a masked protester on Inauguration Day, lends itself perfectly to a beat. Spencer, who states that America belongs to white men, was in the midst of telling an Australian TV crew in DC that he was not a neo-Nazi, while pointing to his neo-Nazi Pepe the Frog lapel pin. A black-clad figure then jumps into frame, deus ex machina, with a perfectly placed right hook to Spencer’s face. The alt-right poster boy stumbles away, and his anonymous attacker bounds out of sight in an instant. I don’t know who threw the punch, but I know by his unofficial uniform that this was a member of our black bloc that day. And anyone enjoying the Nazi-bashing clip (and many are) should know that they’re watching anti-fascist bloc tactics par excellence—pure kinetic beauty. If you want to thank Spencer’s puncher, thank the black bloc.
The black bloc is not a group but an anarchist tactic—marching as a confrontational united force, uniformed in black and anonymized for security. Once deployed, the tactic has an alchemic quality, turning into a temporary object—the black bloc. On Friday, the bloc I joined in DC numbered well over 500, the largest of its kind since the antiwar protests over a decade prior. As I wrote in advance of the inauguration, if we recognize fascism in Trump’s ascendance, our response must be anti-fascist in nature. The history of anti-fascist action is not one of polite protest, nor failed appeals to reasoned debate with racists, but direct, aggressive confrontation. While perhaps best associated in the United States with the anti-globalization movement’s major summit protests nearly two decades ago, the black bloc is part of the longstanding visual language of international anti-fascism, or antifa. For example, bloc tactics have been used by European anti-fascists marching against neo-Nazis since the 1990s in Germany. The symbolic value of a large black-bloc presence at Trump’s inauguration resided in drawing a connection between anti-Trumpism and anti-fascism.
The “anti-capitalist, anti-fascist bloc,” Friday’s black-bloc march, was just one among a number of direct actions called by organizers of the Disrupt J20 Inauguration Day protests. Unlike Saturday’s vast Women’s March, Disrupt J20 aimed to directly impede, delay, and confront the inaugural proceedings. This message was delivered with human blockades, smashed corporate windows, trash-can fires, a burning limousine, “Make America Great Again” caps reduced to ashes, and a blow for Richard Spencer. The police responded with fountains of pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, and the mass arrest of over 200 people, most of whom now face felony riot charges. Along with the Women’s March’s joyful scenes of togetherness, the disruptions of J20 should be celebrated as an opening salvo of resistance in the era of Trump.
The black bloc I joined met at Logan Circle, some two miles north of the inauguration parade route. We peered through bandanas to find friends. We gathered in bloc formation behind wood-enforced banners, filled the street, and began to march. The bloc takes care to stay together, move together, and blend together. Within minutes, bottle rockets were shooting skyward and bricks were flying through bank windows. You don’t know who does what in a bloc, you don’t look to find out. If bodies run out of formation to take a rock to a Starbucks window, they melt back to the bloc in as many seconds. Bodies reconciled, kinetic beauty. If that sounds to you like a precondition for mob violence, you’re right. But this is only a problem if you think there are no righteous mobs, or that windows feel pain, or that counter-violence (like punching Richard Spencer) is never valid.
We were heading south when riot cops cut us off just a few blocks from the unimpressive inauguration crowds. We ran, altogether, for some short minutes, which felt long. The Metropolitan Police Department doused us with pepper spray and dispensed flash-bang and smoke grenades, and finally trapped a large section of the bloc against a wall. These members of the black bloc were kettled there for over four hours, forced at various times to form human cubicles around those detainees who could no longer hold their bladders. The bloc never found full force en masse again, but clashes with cops, mild altercations with rowdy Trump supporters, and attacks on property continued throughout the afternoon and evening in fits and starts. At some point, someone punched Spencer. While the over 200 arrestees were held for 24 hours, jail support volunteers waited for them patiently while the Women’s March filled DC streets and then dispersed. The J20 detainees have been released, some with felony rioting charges to be tried in DC Superior Court next month—a harsh prosecutorial reaction that seasoned DC activists had not expected.
Not everyone can participate in a black bloc. Those with a vulnerable immigration status, or arrest records, or good reasons to fear police repression because of the color of their skin, often don’t participate in activities where the risk of arrest is high. Friday’s bloc was by no means all white, but it was predominantly white. If bearers of white privilege can do one thing, it is put ourselves on the line and take risks where others can’t. This was just one tactic. And numerous white participants I knew from Friday place racial justice front and center of their activist work. Disrupt J20 actions also included a series of temporary blockades at inauguration security check points, each representing different points of struggle, from the movement for black lives, to activists declaring “the future is feminist,” to Standing Rock and Indigenous rights, to queer resistance and more. A number of Trump supporters walk sheepishly from a line of blockading protesters shouting, “This checkpoint is closed.” These were small acts, but disobedient ones and the call to be “ungovernable,” which echoed through the Women’s March, will not be answered with obedient behavior.
To talk with any romance for the black bloc risks falling into the worst tropes of bombastic revolutionary writing. We don’t don black masks and become instant revolutionary subjects. We don’t necessarily achieve more with property damage than a larger, more subdued rally achieves. In every case, the standard of achievement depends on the aims of the action, and all of us are far from creating the rupture we want to see in the world. One broken window, or a hundred, is not victory. But nor is over half a million people rallying on the National Mall. Both gain potency only if they are perceived as a threat by those in and around power. And neither action will appear threatening unless followed up again and again with unrelenting force, in a multitude of directions. You don’t have to choose between pink hat and black mask; each of us can wear both. You don’t have to fight neo-Nazis in the street, but you should support those who do.
24.01.2017: Warum Neo-Nazis nicht gehauen werden dürfen Und Schadenfreude über den Schlag gegen Richard Spencer nicht cool ist. Auch ironisch nicht. Echt nicht.
Kommentar von Friedemann Karig
• Alt-Right-Gründer Richard Spencer wurde geschlagen: War das okay?
Seufz. Dass man es immer noch aufschreiben muss, nervt ja eigentlich am meisten. Aber meine Timeline läuft über vor dieser dick aufgetragenen Ironie, die den harten Kern der Botschaft aufweichen soll wie bei einem moralischen Tiramisu. Sie sagen: Eigentlich ist es nicht okay, Menschen zu hauen. Aber Neo-Nazis – vor laufender Kamera, hihi, vielleicht als Meme geremixt, hoho, mit cheesy 80er-Musik unterlegt, hehe – dann halt doch.
Richard Spencer, seit seiner „Hail Trump“ Rede zur US-Wahl weltweit bekannter amerikanischer Neo-Nazi, hat eins auf die Fresse bekommen. Von einem schwarz vermummten Antifaschisten. Bei einem TV-Interview in Washington. Während ansonsten bemerkenswert friedlicher Proteste. Ohne ernsten Schaden. Und das Netz johlt. Genau wie sein Anführer Trump ist Spencer zum Netz-Witz verkommen, oder besser: Der Moment, in dem ihm ein Fremder ansatzlos aufs Maul haut.
Ironische Distanzierung bei gleichzeitiger Verbreitung – genau so machen es gerade Millionen Pazifisten. Mit einem Gewaltvideo
Und während auf der ernsten Ebene doch diskutiert wird, ob man (Neo-)Nazis schlagen dürfe, springt der große Humor-Fleischwolf namens Internet an. Und bietet auch den ethisch sensibelsten Linken in meinem erweiterten Netzwerk die Möglichkeit, das Video zu feiern. „Ich bin gegen Gewalt. Aber irgendwie kann ich trotzdem nicht aufhören, hinzuschauen. Was stimmt mit mir nicht?“, schreibt jemand. Und teilt das GIF mit dem Angriff. Ironische Distanzierung bei gleichzeitiger Verbreitung – genau so machen es gerade Millionen Pazifisten. Mit einem Gewaltvideo.
Der Druck scheint hoch. Die letzten Jahre haben uns, die friedlich-liberalen „Gutmenschen“, langsam gekocht wie den Frosch im Wasser. Gegen alle Unverschämtheiten, Bosheiten, gegen Trumps Pussygrabbing und Höckes Holocaust-Hetze, gegen Populismus und Rassismus und gegen den ganzen Dreck auf Facebook und Twitter waren wir machtlos. „When they go low, we go high“, forderte Michelle Obama uns auf. Lasst euch nicht auf deren Niveau herunter. Der Klügere gibt nach. Die andere Backe und so.
Haben wir versucht. Und mussten mitansehen, wie die Arschlöcher dieser Welt unsere Offenheit und Friedlichkeit nicht als Angebot oder wenigstens Waffenstillstand annahmen. Sondern ausnutzten. Wie sie jeden Kompromiss, den wir ihnen ließen, verseuchten mit ihrem Gift.
Also schlagen wir jetzt zurück. Mit einer Faust. Und den Bildern davon, zur Not eben ironisch verbrämt. Denn natürlich wissen wir, dass Gewalt falsch ist. Immer. Gegen jeden. Sogar gegen den Neo-Nazi mit den rasierten Schläfen und den Maßanzügen, der alles verkörpert, was wir verabscheuen. Aber jetzt, wo es nunmal passiert ist, gönnen auch wir aufrechten Linken uns ein kleines bisschen Schadenfreude. Haben wir das nicht auch mal verdient?
Die Haltung: Wenn die die Fakten verdrehen, dürfen wir Gewalt verdrehen. Was für ein Quatsch
„That wasn’t a punch. That was an alternative hug“, schrieb die Amerikanerin Shannyn Moore auf Twitter, und lieferte uns Ironikern eine clevere Doppel-Codierung, um moralisch aus der Nummer raus zu kommen. Die Haltung: Wenn die die Fakten verdrehen, dürfen wir Gewalt verdrehen. Was für ein Quatsch.
Wir haben zwar nicht selbst zugeschlagen. Aber der Antifaschist, der hat zugeschlagen. Auch, weil wir darüber lachen und uns insgeheim freuen. Den Schlag vor der Kamera anzusetzen war schlau von ihm, vielleicht sogar Taktik. Der Angreifer wusste: Wenn das gut geht, geht es um die Welt. Weil wir, die „Gutmenschen“, es verbreiten. Mit oder ohne Ironie. Der Schlag ist damit sofort symbolisch geworden. Als seltene Ausnahme, die unsere Regel der Gewaltlosigkeit bestätigt.
Normalerweise teilen wir solche Videos nicht. Und darum ist es umso wirkungsvoller in seiner psychologischen Botschaft: Wir können auch anders. Und wir sind im Recht. Das erinnert mich in der Mechanik an Terroranschläge, die absichtlich vor laufenden Kameras durchgeführt werden, damit ihre Wirkung sich maximiert.
Diese Faust, ihre Verbreitung und vor allem das ganze Haha und Hoho, das es als Gleitmittel schmiert, nerven. Weil es den Graben an einer empfindlichen Stelle vertieft: dem Humor. Unsere Ironie verstehen viele Leute sowieso nicht. Wenn wir sie dann auch noch benutzen, um Gewalt zu relativieren, zu Recht nicht. Schon fragen die ersten Eierköpfe auf Twitter hämisch: Na, was ist jetzt mit eurer Toleranz? Seid ihr etwa gar nicht so gut, wie ihr immer tut? Ist Gewalt als Meme okay?
Die Faust nervt. Weil bei dem bösen Spiel mit den lustigen Videos jemand der Spielverderber sein muss. Weil dann jemand wie ich so einen belehrenden Text mit einer eigentlich selbstverständlichen Forderung schreiben muss. Weil sonst so viel Unsinn stehen bleibt. Zum Beispiel dieser Tweet von Julia Schramm, ex-Piratenpolitiker, Buch-Autorin und Netz-Publizistin: "Wie wir nach der Shoa ernsthaft darüber diskutieren, ob Nazis gewaltsam gestoppt werden dürfen, erschließt sich mir nur widerstrebend."
Widerstrebend, aber hoffentlich doch noch. Hier kommt noch ein letztes Mal die, je nach Perspektive, schlechte oder gute Nachricht: Das Gewaltmonopol, die Menschenrechte, sogar der ganz normale Anstand gelten auch für Neo-Nazis. Die Shoa für eine andere Argumentation heranzuziehen, ist platt und schäbig und öffnet Türen für noch platteren und schäbigeren Missbrauch. In dem Moment, indem wir nicht mehr leben, was wir predigen, haben sie gewonnen.
Mit den Richard Spencern dieser Welt braucht man nicht diskutieren. Aber den viel zu vielen Leuten, die ihnen momentan zuhören, denen kann man etwas Wichtiges zeigen: Wir sind besser. Wir halten uns gegenseitig aus. Ohne Fäuste. Also kommt doch rüber. Wir haben die besseren Drinks und das bessere Essen.
Und wenn jemand geschlagen wird, ist er für uns kein Loser. Dann hat er es nicht verdient, weil er einen schlechten Deal gemacht hat. Dann ist er nicht selbst schuld, egal woran er sonst für uns schuld ist. Wenn bei uns jemand geschlagen wird, lachen wir nicht darüber wie Trump und seine Fans über den Reporter mit Behinderung, den er im Wahlkampf nachäffte.
Mitsamt seinem blauen Auge hat Spencer sich mittlerweile in einem Video-Statement zu dem Angriff gegen ihn vor laufender Kamera geäußert. Er sei zwar nicht zu Boden gegangen durch diesen „hinterhältigen“ Schlag, habe aber gelernt, in Zukunft nicht mehr so naiv zu sein, sich selbst in Gefahr zu bringen. Für Spencer ist klar: „Wir sind jetzt in einem Bürgerkrieg (‘cold civil war’).“ Die Alt-Right-Mitglieder müssten nun gemeinsam aufstehen und für die eigene Sicherheit sorgen.
Unter #punchanazi lassen sich viele Menschen darüber aus, wie gut es sei, einen Nazi zu verprügeln, vor allem einen wie Richard Spencer. Hier hat sich vor allem ein Account hervorgetan: @punchedtomusic twittert in kurzer Folge das immerselbe Video der australischen Fernsehanstalt, jeweils unterlegt mit verschiedenen Musikstücken, wobei der Schlag auf Spencers Kopf stets im Takt liegt.
24Jan: Before You Cheer the Attack on Richard Spencer, Consider the Strategy.
A nation where political assault is the norm is democracy at its crisis stage. By Michael Malice @ observer
On June 7, 2012, people in Greece and around the world watched a woman get hit in the face three times on national television. Liana Kanelli was a member of the Greek Communist party, despite the fact that Communists killed over 100 million people in the 20th Century and frequently engaged in genocide and ethnic relocations. The Soviet concentration camps preceded and inspired Hitler’s version.
Her assailant was Ilias Kasidiaris, a member of Greece’s Golden Dawn party. If there is any European party to which “neo-Nazi” can be applied without stretching the term, the Golden Dawn is it; their logo evokes the swastika itself. For anti-communists, the televised assault was a cheap thrill at best, but the reaction worldwide was of horror and disgust.
Last weekend, Richard Spencer—who coined the term “alt-right”—was similarly punched in the face on national television. Here the term “neo-Nazi” might be less apt but only marginally so. Spencer prefers to call himself an “identitarian,” but his Radix journal publishes such titles as Race Differences in Intelligence, Understanding Jewish Influence and The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Underman. I’ve seen no references to him advocating genocide, but a slippery-slope argument would be easy to make.
Many cheered the assault. But what, precisely, is the strategy here? Mussolini’s fascism was famously incoherent as an ideology, as he insisted on willpower being enough to force reality to work as the people would desire. It was a grittier, more intense version of President Obama’s “Yes, We Can!” But if slippery slopes can take us from racist arguments to full-blown genocide, they work in other ways as well.
We live in an age where “fascist,” “Nazi,” “racist,” “isolationist,” and “KKK” are regarded as synonymous. Yet far more southern racists than urban feminists fought Hitler and his legions during World War II. The current claim is that everyone who voted for Donald Trump effectively endorses a white supremacist agenda. Are 63 million Americans deserving of a punch to the face? Perhaps. But how would this play out? Red states are far more heavily armed than the gunless urban centers that form the basis of the anti-Trump coalition.
Kellyanne Conway was and remains accused of knowingly working with white supremacists. Steve Bannon was explicitly called a Nazi by former DNC chairman and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. And Politico just reported that writer Julia Hahn would be joining the White House; she’s already been decreed a white supremacist by the Twitterati. Unlike Richard Spencer, these people have real power to implement their views. If we’re at a point where White House staff, including women, should be freely assaulted, then arguments against fascism become laughable.
Many of us can remember the disgust we felt when the largely apolitical Michelle Obama was booed at a NASCAR event. One can’t fight a coarsening culture by ratcheting up the antagonism and aggression. Once violence becomes normalized as a means of political discourse, that on its face is a fascist society.
It’s no coincidence that the August 2014 Ferguson riots preceded the Republican landslide election that November. When the average person sees violence, they turn to law-and-order types to restore civility by any means necessary. It happened in the 1968 presidential election as well. Trump has spoken out against civil unrest more strongly than any president since Ronald Reagan. He has the will and the power to crack down on the populace if it came to that—and he would be rewarded for it by the voters, not punished. Does anyone really want that?
Hitler was almost certainly behind the 1933 Reichstag fire that allowed him to declare emergency powers and effectively become a total dictator. As Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.” If there is anyone who can exploit crises to his advantage, it is certainly President Trump. A nation where political assault is the norm is democracy at its crisis stage. There are far better ways to effect change, no matter how good they might feel.
Image by TheoJunior
Christmas gift idea #417