Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
The U.S. Government leads a global operation to make racist fascism ‘respectable’ again.
On 21 November 2014, in a vote at the United Nations on a Resolution opposing a resurgence of the racist-fascist ideology (opposing the ideology that’s commonly called “nazism”) which Resolution was titled “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that contribute to contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance”, 115 nations voted “Yes” to pass the Resolution, 3 voted “No” to reject it, and 55 voted “Abstain,” meaning they didn’t want to express a view on the resolution. An additional 19 didn’t vote at all on it (decided to absent themselves from that roll-call, for whatever reason — basically, not even saying whether they were neutral on it by voting “Abstain” — just said nothing at all on it).
The document that they were voting on had been posted complete on 17 November 2014, and is still posted in its entirety here. As can be seen there, it had been proposed by the following 29 nations:
Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, the Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkmenistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), and Viet Nam.
Each of its component 48 paragraphs was entirely moderate, such as these paragraphs, this core passage, from it (and a “Yes” vote on the Resolution meant that the given nation agreed with all 48 of its paragraphs, and so the Resolution was drafted to be extremely non-extreme throughout):
7. Expresses concern about recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons, and in this regard urges States to fully comply with their relevant obligations, inter alia, under article 34 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949;
8. Notes with concern the increase in the number of racist incidents worldwide, including the rise of skinhead groups, which have been responsible for many of these incidents, as well as the resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence targeting, inter alia, persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities;
9. Reaffirms that such acts may be qualified to fall within the scope of the Convention, that they may not be justified when they fall outside the scope of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association as well as the rights to freedom of expression and that they may fall within the scope of article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights2 and may be subject to certain restrictions, as set out in articles 19, 21 and 22 of the Covenant;
10. Condemns without reservation any denial or attempt to deny the Holocaust;
11. Welcomes the call of the Special Rapporteur for the active preservation of those Holocaust sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration and forced labour camps and prisons, as well as his encouragement of States to take measures, including legislative, law enforcement and educational measures, to put an end to all forms of Holocaust denial;
No nation was named — far less condemned or criticized at all — anywhere in the entire document. This was done so as to welcome support from each and every nation.
The roll-call on the vote, along with each nation’s vote on it, is posted here.
These are the 55 nations that Abstained:
Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Chad, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Sudan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yemen.
These are the 3 nations that voted “No”:
Canada, Ukraine, United States.
Among the 115 “Yes” votes on it, were:
Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Uganda, UAE, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and many others.
The reason there were 55 who voted “Abstain” is that the U.S. was dead-set against this Resolution (for the reason explained here). Some allies of U.S., such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, had sufficient control over the U.S. Government so that they were free to vote whatever way they wanted on this or on just about any other U.N. Resolution. (Those two nations, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are ‘allies’ of the U.S. not in the sense that they’re vassal-nations of the U.S. Empire, but instead that the U.S. is their vassal-nation — so, they were free to vote however they wished.)
Furthermore, if Israel had voted not to condemn nazism and Holocaust-denial, then Israel’s existing leader would have become replaced because of that scandal; and, so, Prime Minister Netanyahu, for domestic political reasons, had to vote (or to have his Government vote) “Yes” on it.
The Sauds could vote any way they wanted, because that royal family own their country and because the only entity specifically condemned in the Resolution was “Nazism during the Second World War,” meaning Germany’s Nazi Party, which the Saud family (having been vassals of the U.S. during WW II, not masters of the U.S. Government like today) hadn’t ever supported. The fact that Austria and Germany, now under U.S. control, voted “Abstain” instead of “Yes” on condemning the Nazi Party, means that even the two Nazi-controlled nations that FDR’s America had fought against in WW II are now on-the-fence as regards the Resolution that was presented to the U.N. General Assembly for a vote on 21 November 2014 to condemn the Nazi Party. The Obama Administration gave each of its vassals the option to “Abstain,” but pressed to vote “No” any nation that it demanded to vote “No,” which nations turned out to be only two: Ukraine and Canada.
The United States Government, under President Barack Obama, was actually leading the opposition against this Resolution.
Prior reporting, by me, about this matter, has included:
24 November 2014, “U.S. Among Only 3 Countries at U.N. Officially Backing Nazism & Holocaust-Denial; Israel Parts Company from Them; Germany Abstains”.
21 June 2015, “America’s U.N. Ambassador Continues Standing Up for Nazis”.
20 August 2017, “Trump’s Fascism versus Obama’s Fascism”.
The only mainstream U.S. newsmedium that covered this matter at all was CBS, which headlined, on 17 November 2014, four days prior to the vote on it, “U.S. votes against anti-Nazi resolution at U.N.”, and reported that:
The United States says it was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism over freedom of speech issues and concerns that Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors.
The resolution entitled “Combating glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” was approved by the U.N.’s human rights committee on Friday with 131 in favor, 3 against with 48 abstentions.
Ukraine and Palau were the other no votes.
That was reporting only a preliminary vote, even before the Resolution was presented for an actual floor-vote of the entire Assembly. (Obama lost Palau, which ended up reversing totally and voting “Yes” on it, but then he gained Canada as their replacement third “No” vote on it.) That news-report received little exposure at CBS or elsewhere. At CBS News online, there were only 25 reader-comments to it. Typical was: “So we voted against anti-Nazism because it would deprive the Nazis the freedom of expression to demand banning the freedom of expression.” Readers accepted at face-value what was being said. CBS issued no subsequent news-report on the matter, to correct nor even to clarify anything in their cryptic report. However, that reason which had been represented as having been given to CBS for America’s intended vote against the Resolution was not the actual reason that America’s U.N. Ambassador gave for it, as I reported, after the vote, on 24 November 2014:
If Ukraine, whose government the U.S. had installed during the U.S. coup in February 2014, had been instructed by the U.S. to vote in favor of the Resolution, they would have done so. The government that the U.S. coup overthrew, would probably have abstained on a Resolution such as this (because it was trying to be accepted both by the United States and by their own neighbor, Russia, which the U.S. Government is obsessed to conquer), but the newly installed Ukrainian Government was being ruled by members and supporters of Ukraine’s traditional two nazi parties and thus would have voted for the Resolution only if the U.S. Government had instructed them to do that. They might then have laughed in private about the matter, but they would nonetheless have done whatever they were instructed by Washington to do. After all, they had to — the U.S. had placed them into power.
In fact, even prior to America’s takeover of Ukraine, Obama’s U.N. Ambassador had been one of only three nations voting “No” on a previous U.N. Resolution, titled “Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, which had passed the General Assembly on 20 December 2012, little over a year after the secret planning for the Ukrainian coup had started at the U.S. State Department, and little over a year prior to the coup itself. The other two pro-nazi nations, on that occasion (since Obama hadn’t yet replaced Ukraine’s government by nazis), were Canada, and the Marshall Islands. (America’s U.N. Ambassador at that time was Susan Rice.) Ukraine, then under the President whom Obama was soon going to overthrow, was one of the 57 nations to vote “Abstain.” 120 nations voted “Yes,” on that occasion.
The only international poll that has asked the question “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?” found that by an overwhelming margin, the United States was mentioned by more people throughout the world than any other. But Americans chose Iran as being the most dangerous country. That was a scientifically sampled poll by WIN/Gallup, of 67,806 people in 65 countries, and was published on 30 December 2013.
Anyone who wants further, and up-to-date (as of August 18th), information on how nazism proceeds in our time, under U.S. international leadership, will find that here.
By now, it seems clear that the leading feature of today’s nazism is its hypocrisy. George Orwell already had that figured out, in his prophetically futuristic dystopian 1949 novel, 1984. But the real version, of nazism in our era, fascinates me even more than does the fictional one. Not even Orwell’s genius could match it, in my book.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
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26.08.2017. 22.31, “OffGuardian” је написао/ла:
> Admin posted: “Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org > The U.S. Government leads a global operation to make racist fascism > ‘respectable’ again. On 21 November 2014, in a vote at the United Nations > on a Resolution opposing a resurgence of the ra” >
Israel is a ‘vassal’ state of the USA? What is this, April Fool’s Day?
The USA is a vassal state of Israel, which is proven by all the free money, weapons, political cover/backing we give that Apartheid nightmare.
Israel–thru its confederates–control our economy thru their grip on the FED, the US Treasury and those TBTF banks, It as turned Congress into a cheap whorehouse, who cackle gleefully anytime Israel is carpet-bombing Gaza, with US provided bombs.
Then there is the MSM, which is also firmly in Israel’s corner, constantly brain-washing Americans about how poor widdle Israel is always under attack by Jew-hating Arabs and we must defend that pariah state at any cost, even if if means our destruction.
After all, Israel has the ‘right to exist,’ another rote piece of pysops.
All of this–and more–is the sign that the USA is occupied by the Zionist terrorists of Israel, and as proof, each year we pay tribute to that noxious regime, with tens and tens of billions of free money and weapons, while Americans get told to PO when they ask for infrastructure repair…
This is replying to Greg Bacon: My article said: “Some allies of U.S., such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, had sufficient control over the U.S. Government so that they were free to vote whatever way they wanted on this or on just about any other U.N. Resolution. (Those two nations, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are ‘allies’ of the U.S. not in the sense that they’re vassal-nations of the U.S. Empire, but instead that the U.S. is their vassal-nation — so, they were free to vote however they wished.)”
You lie and say that I said that Israel is controlled by the U.S. I clearly said that “the U.S. is their vassal-nation.”
This sensational article misrepresents the reality of why these countries voted against the resolution. Historically, those three countries have always opposed the resolution. It happens every year and the Russian media goes haywire in propaganda mode, especially because it allows them to connect this with their myth of Ukraine being a “Nazi” state.
The reality is far more nuanced. The U.S. and Canada have vetoed this for many, many years, even before the events in Ukraine, so it’s impossible they did this to “support the Nazi party” as the author dishonestly implies.
The U.S. and Canada veto this every year because of issues to do with free speech. In the U.S., even the KKK isn’t outlawed. That doesn’t mean the U.S. government supports the KKK.
Ukraine has never supported the bill for another reason: they wanted the bill to condemn Stalinism as well as Nazism, but that never happened, so they never supported it.
But for Russia, it is a yearly propaganda event. And it seemed to have worked on the readers here too.
So . . .
Canada and the United States: good.
Ukraine: persecuted, and only wants the world to recognize the truth that communism is Nazism.
Oh, look, a Ukrainian communist:
Neo-Stalinist Svoboda leader Oleh Joseph Tyahnybok-Stalin
And more Ukrainian communists:
Neo-Stalinist march in Moscow honoring Stepan J. Bandera-Stalin
Are you trying to imply I said there are no Nazis in Ukraine? Because that would be a false implication.
No, Ukraine never “[wanted] the world to recognize the truth that communism is Nazism”. They just wanted Stalinism condemned, since it did cause mass deaths there. Doesn’t mean they regard Stalinism as being equal with Nazism.
What do those photos have to do with Ukraine’s rationale for vetoing the resolution, which it rightly saw as a politically-motivated propaganda effort by the Kremlin, to feed the “Ukraine is a Nazi state” line? The rationale it gave is a perfectly reasonable one. The intended audience included gullible Westerners like the author of this propaganda piece.
Oh, I get it . . . now, . . .finally . . .maybe . . . I think . . . and I guess: The Ukrainian Nazis who are part of the government would have signed onto the Resolution if only along with Nazis, Stalinist would have been condemned, because morally speaking, Nazis and Stalinist are on par with one another, and not that they are “equal” in some way to one another.
Got it. My bad. You can put my incomprehension down to my Russian gullibility . . . err . . . I mean . . . my limited English.
Question for Jeff the wise (a.k.a. I.K.):
When you say, “They just wanted Stalinism condemned, since it did cause mass deaths there. Doesn’t mean they regard Stalinism as being equal with Nazism,” does your “They” include the neo-Nazis, like Oleh Tyahnybok, who comprise a part of the Ukrainian government? If so, why would neo-Nazis want to sign on to a U.N. Resolution “opposing a resurgence of the racist-fascist ideology?” Is it that they are that stupid that they would sign on to a document condemning their political creed or that they would be cravenly acquiescing to pressure from somewhere?
Ah, I see now, Normy. You fell for the propaganda hook line and sinker. You sincerely (mistakenly) believe that the reason the Ukrainian government vetoed the resolution is because it has Nazis in it who would have had to condemn themselves.
Except, you are wrong. Did Oleh Tyahnybok have any major influence on Poroshenko’s decision-making regarding the U.N.? Did he have any influence over Ukraine’s ambassador to Ukraine? Are they “Nazis” too?
The answer, of course, is no. Oleh Tyahnybok is a fringe politician, with extremely low support in the country. He received 1.16% of the vote in 2014’s Presdential election. In the 2014 parliamentary election, his party received an enormous 0.29% of the vote.
To think that someone like him would cause Ukraine to not condemn Nazism only exposes your lack of knowledge regarding Ukrainian politics. Probably, you thought that since he was a neo-Nazi and leader of a political party, therefore, he is part of the Ukrainian “government”, and therefore, this is why Ukraine vetoed the aforementioned resolution. Unfortunately, snarky comments aren’t enough to mask your fallacious reasoning.
To backup your statements, you need to prove that highly influential members of the Presidential administration are neo-Nazis, including Poroshenko and his U.N. ambassador. You can not pathetically use a fringe politician as “proof” Nazism is the “political creed” of the Presidential administration.
What has been fascinating is your superficial knowledge about all this, even after I debunked the propaganda piece. You truly believe that Canada, the U.S., and Ukraine vetoed the resolution to avoid condemning the “neo-Nazi” “political creed” of the Ukrainian government. My, this has been amusing.
Now, please educate yourself properly. These are the rationales given:
“We condemn without reservation all forms of religious and ethnic intolerance or hatred at home and around the world,” said Deputy U.S. Representative Stefanie Amadeo. “However, due to this resolution’s overly narrow scope and politicized nature, and because it calls for unacceptable limits on the fundamental freedom of expression, the United States cannot support it. This resolution’s recommendations to limit freedom of expression, freedom of association, and the right to peaceful assembly contravene the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and must be opposed,” Amadeo said.
Lasalle said the resolution seeks to “limit freedom of expression, assembly and opinion.” Lasalle also said Canada did not support the resolution because it referred to the “highly politicized and anti-Semitic outcomes” of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. “Given its narrow focus and these concerns, Canada did not vote in favour of the resolution,” Lasalle concluded.
Speaking before the vote, the representative of Ukraine said Stalinism had killed many people in the Gulag, condemning Hitler and Stalin alike as international criminals. Calling on the Russian Federation to stop glorifying and feeding Stalinism, he said he could not support the draft text.
But to Normy’s simplistic mind, this all happened because the New Hitler, Poroshenko, didn’t want to condemn his “political creed”. Normy, you are quite slow to understand these things.
. . . oops, sorry.
The only person who is confused about the nature of the West is you. For if you haven’t noticed quite yet, the Western empire, under the utterly barbaric rule of the U.S., is a neo-fascist empire.
This empire arrogates to itself the exclusive right to plunder and pillage the entire world, to the point of committing genocide if it feels it has to.
Preemptive wars are the order of the day, and the upshot of that is that international law is simply null and void in the eyes of this criminal and murderously unrestrained organization. The right of might is the only law it recognizes. Isn’t that the essence of Fascism? What about of Nazism?
And under the absolute rule of capital, which is the only measure of “crude morality” that Washington’s neo-nazis acknowledge, financial wealth is the only embodiment of political sway, of absolute political sway.
So while you flatter yourself thinking you may be clever and insightful, dear I.K., you’ve demonstrated time and again that you understand very little about the world in which you live.
If you are young, there may yet be some hope for you. Maybe. That will depend on how honest you learn to become with yourself and on your willingness to tap into the collective intelligence that is all around you if you would only start paying attention to it in earnest.
But if you are old . . . well, clearly: your brain ossified long ago, and as obtuse as you obviously have always been, sadly you must and will remain.
Your entire comment is yet another deflection from the topic we were discussing. Why do you keep distracting from my comments about this article by talking about me not “understanding” or “ignoring” Western imperialism?
Not one point in your post addresses anything I said. If you are wrong and have lost the argument, there is no need to switch to a different topic and to not address my arguments.
Anyway, sore losers bore me. You’ve been unable to substantiate your claim that Ukraine vetoed this resolution because it didn’t want to condemn its own “political creed”. The evidence you provided, in the form of a fringe politician, was extremely weak.
And, once again, I am not “I.K.”. I suppose you have to resort to calling me by another pseudonym because you’re unable to address the arguments.
“And, once again, I am not “I.K.””
Right. And I’m not “Normy.”
According to you Canada and US vote No because they are for free speech, which this resolution is also for. Yet – Canada has criminalised ‘hate’ speech [and just who gets to decide what this is, btw?] and the US Congress has a bill on the floor criminalising supporters of BDS with jail sentences up to 20 years plus fines up to $1million. Free Speech’ indeed!
Secondly – according to you – Ukraine votes against the anti-nazi resolution because it doesn’t condemn Stalin, who was not a nazi. So according to you Ukraine’s No has nothing to do with the fact that the 2014 coup was carried out by Ukrainian nazis and the resulting illegal regime has large nazi parties in parliament and private nazi armies (working for jewish oligarchs like Kolmoisky – perhaps someone can explain that), not to mention nazi regiments in the armed forces.
maybe this is too ‘un-nuanced’ for you.
That’s an excellent rejoinder — well-put and entirely true.
Even though it all makes sense, of course, it’s still unbelievable.
For all its denunciation of Ukrainian neo-Nazis and imperialism, I’m starting to suspect that off-guardian is itself a crypto-fascist/white nativist website, or at least one that leans heavily towards the ideology of white nativists of the Ron Paul mold (who whined “There goes South Africa” when apartheid was overthrown). One of the websites it links to is The Unz Review, a racist rag with race-baiting/dog-whistling, Western chauvinist and male supremacist articles with titles such as the following:
“Manipulated Minorities Represent a Danger to Democratic States”
“The Pink Revolution and how to beat it”
“How the Jews won Charlottesville” (my emphasis)
“Race Realism has a past. Does race denialism have a future?”
“Oppose Fascism of the Right and the Left” (my emphasis)
“The Film “Dunkirk” and What It Says About Our Western Civilization” (my emphasis; the article also gushes with praise for “service to empire”)
“Our American Pravda – The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?” (my emphasis)
“Race, IQ, and Wealth – What the facts tell us about a taboo subject”
“Race and Crime in America – The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century”
And it goes on and on.
A far better resource than one published by self-entitled white supremacists is Black Agenda Report (https://www.blackagendareport.com).
Just to be clear – you “suspect” that we are a crypto-fascist website, and your only evidence for this is articles on a different website that has nothing to do with us?
Except that this website is linked by you guys. I want to know: why are you linking to a website that has straight Nazi racial propaganda (sorry, I mean “race realist opinion pieces”) in it?
Off-Guardian links to John Pilger, Media Lens and the World Socialist Web Site – all politically oriented towards the left – in case you hadn’t noticed. So what point are you trying to make by singling out The Unz Review and cherry-picking some of its articles?
I did notice that, and it’s also irrelevant. Linking to socialist and left wing websites doesn’t mean that one has to “balance it out” by also linking to racist white supremacist trash.
“Cherry-picking some of its articles”. That’s a funny way of saying “listing a small sample of the racist, reactionary articles that it routinely posts”.
But it is cherry-oicking, no matter how funny it seems to you.
We only want to know why you seem obsessed by Off-Guardian’s listing of The Unz Review on its blog roll, what point you are trying to make by harping on about The Unz Review – unless of course the point is to derail the conversations about why the US, Canada and Ukraine oppose the UN resolution condemning Nazism by talking up The Unz Review as a repository of far right opinion and thus insinuating that by mere association (with no proof as to whether Off-Guardian really agrees with anything put up on The Unz Review) Off-Guardian is somehow no less racist and therefore unqualified to discuss issues about racism and Nazism.
The fact that Off-Guardian also links to Media Lens, John Pilger and WSWS.org is relevant because this demonstrates that whoever is on the blog roll is there not because of his or her ideology but for the ideas and issues presented, however tastefully or distastefully presented they may be.
BTW I’m beginning to think Louis Proyect is back again.
Proyect? Good heavens, no. I’m a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. Proyect is a social-imperialist clown and hipster “Marxist” who would at least afford the reactionaries and racists a right to “free speech” were he in charge of things. Reactionaries and racists would get no such privileges from me.
Different name though ;-)) Love it – as if “Louis Proyect” & “Cast Away” would ever deign to struggle beyond trolling fatigue.
“America Is Now An Open-Air Prison For Whites” isn’t an “issue”. It’s a bald-faced fascist lie. By linking to fascists, off-guardian is saying “We don’t care what the truth actually is, we only care about opposing the Guardian’s take on things”.
In America, racism is both structural and ideological.
The structural component is a vestige of the era of overt plantation slavery and an effect of the class division inherent to capital; the ideological component, in which ‘race’ becomes a prominent facet of social consciousness, manifests in two kinds of mutually conditioned bigotries: a) that of the “white supremacists” that rationalizes both structural and calculated discrimination against blacks and other minorities; and b) that born of the reaction among those objectively discriminated against, which mirrors as an inversion the racialized bigotry of the “white supremacists.” Of course, this latter kind of “racialized” bigotry — that of the blacks and other minorities toward “whites” — is not by any means in moral terms the equivalent of that of the “white supremacists,” being as it is in its origin purely defensive and spontaneously elicited by the fact of its racialized oppression. But for all that, however justifiable and righteous the blacks’ spontaneous hatred of the whites may be, it is just as misguided and divisive as the racism of the white supremacist. For the “white trash” is, objectively speaking, just as economically exploited and oppressed as those it scapegoats, persecutes and would lynch.
As Aviva Chomsky has put it,
If the hatred of “whites” and their perceived “privilege” is perfectly understandable in emotional and even moral terms, it is no less a malady and social corruption than the bigotry and the objective discrimination that calls it forth in the first place.
For socially and politically aware individuals, the task is to break out of this moral and socially divisive mode of thinking, to resist being drawn into its terms of reference. For in doing so, one willy-nilly perpetuates the disease.
“Whites” who side with “blacks,” and vice versa, are no less racist than the “whites” who would war on “blacks,” and vice versa.
If you think in terms of being “black” or “white” (or “whatever”) your thinking is racist. The thinking may be tolerant or it may be intolerant. But it is racist.
I think your response went a bit off the rails. My contention was that linking to “race realist” websites is akin to advocating them. There seems to be a creepy “The radical left and the radical right should unite against the radical center” sort of mantra going on, to which I say, “No. The radical left must organize to destroy capitalism, whether right wing or centrist”. It isn’t enough to just “provide a different viewpoint” to the prevailing MSM and “establishment” take. That feeds right into the myth that Trump is an “alternative” in any truly meaningful sense.
Yes, you are right: my reply did not speak directly to the issue you raised, and I do apologize. I was, so to speak, thinking out loud about racism per se, trying to sort out for myself in broad brush strokes the attitude that one should adopt toward this cancer.
As for OffG being ” a crypto-fascist/white nativist website,” I don’t think so. It’s true, it does link to the The Unz Review, but then the Review doesn’t only post provocative right wing dross: there is a pretty broad spectrum of viewpoints that get aired. I think the point of The Unz Review is to provide a platform to debate a range of contending viewpoints, some of which are, as you have noted, rather extreme and reactionary.
But if the point is to promote debate, pieces that will be published will not necessarily represent the core values of the website posting those pieces. The spirit of debate is that if we begin to censor viewpoints, we run a greater risk of boxing ourselves into the blindness that is dogmatism.
By permitting the airing of views, no matter how contentious, thinking stands a better chance of remaining fluid and honest with itself, and collectively, we also stand a better chance of coming to the truth of any complex issue.
For this reason, OffG doesn’t censor comments and sometimes invites submissions on issues that are controversial. That doesn’t make it “a crypto-fascist/white nativist website.”
Unz Review’s articles on race/ethnicity and ideology aren’t there to “stir up debate”; they’re there to promote a particular ideological position. The articles they post on these topics are almost invariably from a far-right, white supremacist stance, and often brazenly so.
We might as well be advocating for off-guardian to provide a link to Storm Front to “stir up debate”. But again, that’s a take that only a white person could advocate. For a black person, the “debate” becomes one about whether they have the right to even exist. Why should that be “up for debate”? The pathetic whiners at Unz, who post articles with subtitles such as “America is now an open-air prison for whites” would certainly love to have such a debate because they want their racist bile to become respectable and mainstream. If we play into their “debate” fetish, we play into their notion that they are “oppressed”.
This is Eric Zuesse, here. A few of my articles have been accepted by Ron Unz and posted at his site, and this doesn’t mean that I’m a conservative. Sometimes I link to articles at the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and other fascist (mainstream) ‘news’ sites, but that doesn’t mean I respect those ‘news’ organizations. Whenever I link to a site, it’s always to a specific article or video there, and I comment in my article regarding anything that I consider false or misleading in ‘news’-reporting in it. The reason why I sometimes link to those sources is that sometimes those sources document certain things in a credible way, or else provide the best source I know of regarding a certain matter, and so I link to them on matters such as that. And/or I link to them as examples of untrustworthy reporting, and I explain why I consider misleading the article they published. I think that one of the great things about off-guardian is that it welcomes intelligent and well-documented criticism of the ‘news’media. Incidentally, for the bumper-sticker thinkers who have been posting comments here on this article, the Unz Review has published some superb critical articles ripping to shreds the reporting by America’s mainstream ‘news’media. Furthermore, many of the articles there, by Philip Giraldi and some others, are superb — insightful, well-researched, and link to their sources, which the writer has well-selected and are highly reliable regarding the point for which the given source is being cited. I find it disappointing that some of the readers here are bumper-sticker thinkers. One of the reasons I love this site is that the editors reject bumper-sticker articles. That’s very rare: almost all ‘news’sites are posting only articles that preach to their particular choir. This site avoids that. Though I treasure that, I know that even a fine site like this has bumper-sticker thinkers. This site isn’t designed for such people: they’ll inevitably be dissatisfied with the site. Why do they even read it? Whatever choir they believe in, won’t be preached to here.
Dear Mr. Engdahl, thank you for your good work and this article here. However you realise that the better the site the faster the trolls batten on – a perverse compliment to the sites & authors.
“Dear Mr. Engdahl”
“If you think in terms of being “black” or “white” (or “whatever”) your thinking is racist. The thinking may be tolerant or it may be intolerant. But it is racist.”
Unfortunately, this statement itself has a troubling racist tinge. Black people in the US, as much as they would like to, can’t afford not to identify as black people, because the structural racism they are daily subjected to AS BLACK PEOPLE won’t allow them NOT to take steps to actively affirm their right to exist AS black people. Until this structural racism is lifted in its entirety, blacks cannot afford to simply pretend that if they just “think” in non-racial terms, they’ll be okay. Racial categories are FORCED onto black people, every single day of the week, because they know that the results of getting it wrong, of upsetting the sensitivities and primal fears of white people – brought on images of a criminal black menace – may well cost them their lives.
““Whites” who side with “blacks,” and vice versa, are no less racist than the “whites” who would war on “blacks,” and vice versa.”
This is patent nonsense, and would have rubbished the efforts of progressive white South Africans to help in the anti-apartheid struggle. Again, the problem is that the marginalized group – blacks – are subjected to the historical and ongoing legacy of racism, and to combat that, they must affirm their right to exist as black people. Of course the ultimate goal must to move away from racial categories altogether and to reject its terms of discourse, but the first step towards that is the positive affirmation of marginalized groups to have the right to exist. And that has to be an explicitly and consciously made effort. To say that fighting for the rights of black people to avoid unjust arrest and incarceration is “racist” is in fact to side with the enemy.
I notice that you put white privilege in scare quotes, as though it somehow wasn’t an empirically verifiable phenomenon. You acknowledge the historical continuities of white supremacy and anti-black racism, but you dismiss the reality of white privilege? This is strange. I could literally give you dozens of examples of white privilege.
blockquote>“If you think in terms of being “black” or “white” (or “whatever”) your thinking is racist. The thinking may be tolerant or it may be intolerant. But it is racist.”
Unfortunately, this statement itself has a troubling racist tinge.
Yeah, well, I guess it can be read as though it has a racist tinge. But in the context of what I wrote and as I understand what I wrote, it rather means something closer to this: if you are a person with white skin who thinks in racial categories, it isn’t that you dislike or like blacks that makes you a racist or not a racist, but rather the fact that you think in racial categories, for that and only that is what makes you a racist; likewise, regardless of the reasons which may compel you to think about and experience your world in racial terms, as for example that you live in a society, like in certain communities in the U.S., that daily and every hour tells you that you are BLACK and discriminates against you on that basis, if you see the world through the spectacles of the racial categories that have been foisted upon you by your circumstances, you, too, regardless of whether you like or dislike WHITES, are in fact a racist in your thinking BECAUSE racism is any outlook that conceives of people in racialized terms. If this isn’t what racism is as an attitude and outlook, please explain it to me in a way that isn’t tinged in a racist hue. Oh, but wait, you pretty much acknowledge the very thing that I do:
“Of course the ultimate goal must to move away from racial categories altogether and to reject its terms of discourse . . .”
Well, yes, “Of course. . .”
So why is it that when you state what I state, it is not then tinged in a racist hue? Maybe you expressed it better than I did. Or maybe you expressed in a way and in a style that is more congenial to you. Maybe. But one thing that we can both agree on is that ” . . . the ultimate goal must be to move away from racial categories altogether . . . , ” and this regardless of the melamine content of your skin.
As for suggesting that the only recourse out the current structural imperatives of racism is that blacks must insist upon their right to exist as blacks, I’m not so sure.
Isn’t the point, rather, that blacks should insist upon their right to exist as men and women, and not only or essentially in terms of the very racial identity that the structural racism to which they are constantly subjected foists upon them?
And then if blacks can insist on their right to exist as blacks, doesn’t that by implication mean that whites can insist on the same thing? If one group has the right to affirm its racial identity as an imperative, why can’t another claim as much?
Perhaps you don’t sense that there may be a problem, here, but I do. But perhaps my apprehension is rooted in a racist hue?
As for the reason why I place the expression “white privilege” in scare quotes, I do so for the forgoing reasons and also because to my mind it is another problem implicit in the notion:
I do not deny that in a context where BLACKS are discriminated against, WHITES will be at an advantage: that’s what discrimination does, eh, it places some people at a disadvantage in relation to others, and if the basis of the discrimination happens to be color, well one group of a certain complexion will be at a disadvantage relative to another group of another complexion.
The problem that I have with the notion of “white privilege” is that it minimizes and even discounts the real abuses and exploitation to which all Americans have been and are subjected, including the majority of WHITES. Oh, I know, a bitter pill to swallow: the notion that WHITES have ever and are ever abused by WHITE American capital. It just seems to me that political repression and poverty and hunger and destitution, whether experienced by WHITES or by BLACKS, is political repression and poverty and hunger and destitution.
All patent nonsense, I know.
(There is a third part to Scott Noble’s Plutocracy series. If you liked either of the forgoing in the series, you can find the third easily enough on YouTube: Plutocracy III: Class Warfare.)
“The problem that I have with the notion of “white privilege” is that it minimizes and even discounts the real abuses and exploitation to which all Americans have been and are subjected, including the majority of WHITES.”
In fact, the notion of privilege has nothing whatsoever to do with whether whites suffer exploitation and abuse. A group can be extra-exploited and oppressed relative to other exploited and oppressed groups, and indeed an oppressed group can itself also inflict oppressions on other groups. Men can be exploited at work but still exploit women. Whites can be exploited at work but still discriminate against blacks. Black men can suffer from exploitation at work as well as discrimination from whites but still adopt chauvinist attitudes towards women. To paraphrase you: the problem I have with discounting the notion of white privilege is that it minimizes and even discounts the COMPOUNDED exploitation and oppression that people in marginalized groups face. In the US, white workers are exploited, but the most exploited and oppressed workers are not white male workers – they are black and Latina women, who are oppressed multiple times: from being workers, from being women, and from being non-white.
Possibly you’re misunderstanding what privilege actually means. It most emphatically does NOT mean, as many erroneously assume it does, that whites never suffer hardship. It means simply that whites, AS WHITES, do not have to worry about certain things that blacks, AS BLACKS, have to worry about. For example, if you’re a black male driving in many parts of the United States, you have to be wary of the possibility that you will be pulled over by police BECAUSE you’re black and thereby under more suspicion of carrying drugs or weapons. A white person might be pulled over by police on suspicion of possessing drugs or weapons, but they don’t have to worry about being pulled over simply BY VIRTUE of being white. A black person has to be wary of the possibility that they will be deemed “suspect” for being in a fancy neighborhood BECAUSE they are black. A white person may be deemed suspect for some OTHER reason, but not BECAUSE they are white. In other words, the white person, no matter how poor they are, has the privilege of being living with a burden that a black person does.
That’s all that privilege is: not having to live with the burden of something that someone else does. And that can go for any number of things, such as class, gender etc. It isn’t at all surprising that in the US, there is white privilege, especially given all the ways that the ruling class has actively FOSTERED this privilege.
“Oh, I know, a bitter pill to swallow: the notion that WHITES have ever and are ever abused by WHITE American capital.”
This isn’t at all a controversial notion (a “bitter pill”), and has never been denied by communists. It’s also quite irrelevant to the existence of white privilege, as I demonstrated above. Also, you suggest that the notion of whites being exploited is a bitter pill for me to accept (it isn’t), but the notion of blacks facing compounded oppression through the denial of privileges extended to whites seems to be a bitter pill for you to accept. This is bizarre.
“It just seems to me that political repression and poverty and hunger and destitution, whether experienced by WHITES or by BLACKS, is political repression and poverty and hunger and destitution.”
The logic here seems to be “Whites and blacks are BOTH exploited and repressed, therefore black workers are not extra-exploited and oppressed relative to white workers.” This is absurd, and demonstrably false. It also ignores who has faced disproportionate political repression and poverty and hunger and destitution. I’m sure you’re not someone who thinks that everything was rectified after the Civil Rights movement. Finally, it ignores that racialized oppression is itself a form of political repression. How does the presence of racism preclude the political. Racism is INTENSELY political.
Anti-racist efforts must be done with a class-conscious view of things that tie capitalism together with an understanding of how racism is sustained and utilized by the bourgeoisie. But this is not the same as airbrushing the compounded oppression faced by black workers through mechanisms such as structural racism and white privilege (and indeed of how white workers often partake in anti-black racism. Let’s be realistic about something: in vast swathes of the US today, a revolutionary communist message seeking to unite all workers irrespective of color is far less likely to be met with sympathy that a chauvinist one filled with racist dog-whistles and lurid expressions of American exceptionalism).
Correction: “In other words, the white person, no matter how poor they are, has the privilege of not living with a burden that a black person does.”
So you think that I don’t get the reality of discrimination, that if a society is structurally racist or bigoted or chauvinistic, that if it discriminates in countless egregious ways against members of a perceived group on the basis of some imagined or real morphological differences, some people will have to contend with stresses and anxieties that others won’t?
You know, I have read Franz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks and his The Wretched of the Earth and have, I think, pretty well understood the man and his analysis of racism and the distortions it foists upon the human psyche.
I also have firsthand experience in what it feels like to be a member of a group that was the object of discrimination and marginalization, both painfully subtle and flagrant, and so my experience, too, was of a kind, qualitatively speaking, that no one not part of that group could experience: I’ve had to deal with stresses and anxieties that other working class schmucks have not had to deal with. I guess that you could say that my exploitation and oppression was COMPOUNDED.
Now granted, I don’t live in the U.S. and I’m not BLACK and so haven’t had to deal with the specific pressures of being BLACK in the U.S. But I can assure you that as I read Fanon, much that he wrote spoke directly to my personal experience growing up and living in the backwater town of my childhood and youth. So I think that to a substantive degree, I understand that the situation of the “black man” is that of no other. You needn’t lecture me on that particular aspect of the issue.
But here is something I don’t get: on the one hand, you admit that in the U.S. the working class suffers deprivations and poverty. But then you want to insist that the poverty of a WHITE person is somehow less egregious, because less COMPOUNDED, than the poverty of a BLACK person. But poverty is poverty, eh. If you are living under a bridge and must beg for a coin for your next crumb of bread, it does not matter that you are WHITE or BLACK. The humiliation is the same just as much as is the hunger. Or is all of this sport in the Olympics of suffering?
Will you yet insist on the essential difference between the destitution of one person and another on the basis of their color because the overall social context is racist? What about children? Do poverty stricken or homeless white children suffer less than poverty stricken or homeless black or Latino children? Well, according to you, they do: “In other words, the white person, no matter how poor they are, has the privilege of not living with a burden that a black person does.”
I have to leave this, here, for now. But I’ll likely return to address another issue or two.
To Norman Pilon, re. his “If you are living under a bridge and must beg for a coin for your next crumb of bread, it does not matter that you are WHITE or BLACK. The humiliation is the same just as much as is the hunger. “:
Though that is true in some situations, it’s false in others, because of what it leaves out of consideration. For example, if a Black person is begging in a Black neighborhood, then that beggar will receive more donations than if begging in a White neighborhood, assuming that racism exists there, and all other things (the wealthiness etc.) of the two neighborhoods being equal. Similarly, if a White person is begging, but then the more lucrative begging would be done in the White neighborhood.
Perhaps you should have said instead something like: There’s not only racial and ethnic and religious discrimination and bigotry, but there is also economic discrimination and bigotry against the poor simply because they are poor.
“But here is something I don’t get: on the one hand, you admit that in the U.S. the working class suffers deprivations and poverty. But then you want to insist that the poverty of a WHITE person is somehow less egregious, because less COMPOUNDED, than the poverty of a BLACK person. But poverty is poverty, eh. If you are living under a bridge and must beg for a coin for your next crumb of bread, it does not matter that you are WHITE or BLACK. The humiliation is the same just as much as is the hunger. Or is all of this sport in the Olympics of suffering?”
And again, you miss the point entirely. Nowhere did I say that the poverty, in and of itself, of a white person is less egregious than that of a black person. Of course poverty is egregious whether you’re black or white. But as a black person, you have to be more careful, more wary and more worried than a white person about a great many things because society has been taught to see you as more suspect. Refer back to what I said about police searches and ask yourself if there isn’t an asymmetry there in the shared experiences of whites and blacks. “Poverty is egregious whether you’re white or black” doesn’t translate into “being more likely to be harassed by cops because you’re black is therefore not that big of a deal because whites can also be poor and can also get harassed by cops”. And if you acknowledge that being harassed more often because you’re black IS a big deal (which I’m sure you do), why bring up the egregiousness of poverty in-and-of-itself in the first place as though there aren’t things that blacks experience more often that ADD ONTO that egregious experience of poverty but that whites DON’T have to experience (however egregious their poverty is)? Ask yourself if you would rather be poor but at least belong to a group that society hasn’t been trained to associate with criminality, or being poor and also belonging to a group in which you have to worry that your skin color itself may get you into trouble. I think the point should be clear by now.
“Will you yet insist on the essential difference between the destitution of one person and another on the basis of their color because the overall social context is racist? What about children? Do poverty stricken or homeless white children suffer less than poverty stricken or homeless black or Latino children? Well, according to you, they do: “In other words, the white person, no matter how poor they are, has the privilege of not living with a burden that a black person does.”
But, you see, this is simply a FACT, and there’s no way to argue around it. By virtue of not being black, white people don’t have to worry about being harassed BECAUSE OF their “race”. That’s one less worry for them, and indeed one they have the luxury of not having to think about (or even being aware of, hence the boorish alt-right quip “White privilege isn’t a thing”). Not so for blacks – and that right there is the point. I don’t see why you’re having difficulty grasping this. I didn’t say that poor white people don’t get harassed by cops, or that cops don’t harass poor white people on bogus grounds; I said that they don’t get harassed because of their “race”, a luxury that black people cannot count on for themselves. Poor whites have to worry about poverty + police harassment (for reasons having to do with their poverty). Poor blacks have to worry about poverty + police harassment (for reasons having to do with their poverty + police harassment (for reasons having to do with their skin color). Now, subtract the worries of poor blacks to those of poor whites, and you’re left with something that isn’t in the “poor whites” column. That doesn’t “downplay” the egregiousness of poverty experienced by many whites; it simply emphasizes that to be black in the US, you’re going to have it even worse.
Blacks are also arrested and jailed more often for the same offenses, even when the rate of crime is the same in both groups (witness that about half of all prisoners in the US on drug offenses are black – hugely disproportionate relative to the wider population – even though the rate of drug abuse among blacks and whites is close to equal). Again, a simple fact and nothing to do with me. And to ignore and downplay it is, frankly, racist because it eviscerates from view a racist institutional tendency directed against black people. Surely, you don’t think that all has been well in American race relations after the Civil Rights movement? If not, why the difficult with understanding the lack of symmetry in the collective experiences afforded by white privilege? Why the difficulty in understanding the cumulative and compounded difficulties faced by people of color that white people don’t have to worry about, however bad the experiences of white people are? I don’t mean to attack you. I think you’re a good person, but I find this trenchant reluctance by even progressive white people to acknowledge white privilege both frustrating and exasperating. And you can bet that this sense of exasperation is far greater among blacks who have to keep hearing the same evasions time and time again when they try to reach out to white comrades.
Because fatigue has got the better of me for the moment, I’m not going to attempt to reply to your latest to me. I’ll make a stab at that tomorrow.
In the meantime, I did want to share this with you if you have the time (approximately 7 minutes or so): the concluding remarks of Dick Gregory on a talk that was delivered by James Baldwin.
The nub of his remarks is that the struggle of the “black man” in America, although certainly about discrimination (that is to say, about “white privilege”), is not really in its essence about “color,” about “race,” but about a “mindset” to be overcome.
About the “white liberal” who wishes to lend a hand in the liberation struggle of the “black American,” Gregory says that he is an unconscious racist, not for refusing to admit to “white privilege,” the admission of which is to my mind nothing if not synonymous to an overt acknowledgement of discrimination against Negros, but for thinking in terms of there really being “whites” and “blacks.” (These categories, Gregory might have said, may be socially valid categories, to put it in the argot of Marx, but they are most certainly morally and ontologically invalid.)
BTW: I note that you keep coming back to my apparent refusal to acknowledge “white privilege,” or rather as you put it, “the lack of symmetry in the collective experiences afforded by white privilege.”
But if I refuse to acknowledge “white privilege,” then what in the world am I acknowledging if not the very fact of “white privilege” when I write things like:
Discrimination is by definition a lack of qualitative symmetry in the collective experiences of some relative to others.
If whites occupy the upper rungs of a hierarchy of privilege and blacks the lower, that can only be because there is discrimination. You cannot have “white privilege” without discrimination. To acknowledge the one is to acknowledge the other.
“But if I refuse to acknowledge “white privilege,” then what in the world am I acknowledging if not the very fact of “white privilege” when I write things like: …”
Yes, but you keep scare quoting it.
On the issue of discrimination: true, white privilege couldn’t exist without discrimination. It is in fact an instance of it, often unconsciously held and manifested – and often all the more insidious because of that. It is impossible to combat something if one is not aware of its presence.
“The nub of his remarks is that the struggle of the “black man” in America, although certainly about discrimination (that is to say, about “white privilege”), is not really in its essence about “color,” about “race,” but about a “mindset” to be overcome.”
Yes, it’s about a mindset to overcome: overcoming racism. But overcoming that is not the only way this struggle manifests. The other part is to defend, empower and if necessary to arm the people against whom the mindset is being directed. Protecting and helping black people – or, to put it closer to what you’re talking about, people designated as “black” – cannot wait until the mindset of white American has been totally emancipated.
I goofed up the last part: I meant to say “Cannot wait FOR the mindset of white Americans to be totally emancipated.” Black South Africans would still be third-class citizens if they had been content to wait for white South Africans to emancipate their own thinking. To have insisted on the latter would itself have been an expression of white privilege: that the freedom of someone else should be contingent upon how well white people have grasped the situation.
Good morning to you,
I’ll try to summarize my view on racism as succinctly as I can:
Racism has, broadly speaking, two facets or dimensions: it is structural and it is psychological.
The structural aspect conditions the psychological, but the psychological also conditions the structural. The relationship is dialectical. If there is change in one of the terms of the relation, there is change in the other.
Social structure manifests as inertial practice, either formally or informally institutionalized, that is to say, as predictable social practices that taken together confront the individual as a set of imperatives over which (s)he has little influence and to which by and large (s)he must submit.
To keep to our specific instance, America is a racist society and discriminates against people of color in favor of light complexioned individuals.
This discrimination will not only result in greater numbers of people of color relative to whites finding themselves in economically and socially straitened circumstances, but will spontaneously condition the minds of the people caught up the web of discriminations that result in the injuries that very specifically afflict only people of color, injuries compounded by all the other injuries of class that are part and parcel of the structural imperatives of capitalism as such.
That spontaneous conditioning will manifests as an awareness of discriminations that have color as their basis and this awareness will tend to reify itself into imagos of personal and shared identity: I am “balck” or I am “white,” and being “black” is in countless subtle and flagrant ways to be objectively condemned to a status of inferiority relative to being “white,” just as being white is in countless subtle and flagrant ways to be objectively conferred a status of superiority relative to being black.
What then ensues are all kinds of neuroses and psychoses that play out in all kinds of different ways and at varying intensities, both culturally and individually, consciously and unconsciously, as species of complexes of inferiority and superiority for both “blacks” and “whites.”
What we end up with is then a social cleavage or division experienced by everyone as the racist antagonism between “blacks” and “whites,” a structural imperative in its own right, helping to sustain the practices of discrimination that play out through overt group animosities and individual psycho-social dynamics. The movement that is racism in its two dimensions In this way completes and sustains itself.
Now to combat racism, two things must happen: the institutionalized practices of discrimination, the social structure that is racist and that confronts each individual as an insuperable reality, must be dismantled AND the individuals caught up in the dynamics of the structure must “cure” themselves of the neuroses and psychoses that have already been inflicted on them by those dynamics.
Individuals alone cannot challenge institutionalized practices. They must come together with others in order to do that. If you are alone in the world to want to defeat an entrenched and widespread social practice, it ain’t gonna happen. But as numbers of individuals increase who do want to defeat such a practice, the more likely it becomes that the practice will be defeated by eventually being submerged under or swallowed up by new practices that gradually find their legs, so to speak, and become entrenched and widespread and culturally hegemonic in their turn.
As you yourself acknowledge, however, unless an awareness emerges that transcends racism and sets out to challenge both the practices and the outlooks that make for racism, racism goes unchallenged. Just as you cannot challenge capitalism without being truly anti-capitalist, you cannot really challenge racism without being truly anti-racist. And as you know all too well, some who think themselves to be anti-capitalist, are actually at bottom anything but; and so it is with many who think they aren’t racist, but very much remain so if unconsciously.
And so the awareness that does the challenging cannot itself be racist. It must be other than racist if it is to birth sets of practices that do not discriminate along differences of skin color.
This contending awareness, then, if it is to be other than racist, cannot conceive of people as being either “colored” or “white.” To the degree that it does, it remains a part of the disease it wants to cure, and if it partakes of the disease, it perpetuates the disease, because modes of thinking and seeing among humans are literally viral and contagious.
It is at this point that the individual must play her part in developing and nurturing the awareness that must eventually see the light of day if racism is ever to be transcended: the individual must examine her own socio-cognitive structures, to sift them for the racist elements that they will inevitably have derived from her social context(s), and becoming aware of them, deliberately counter them by developing and adopting new habits of thoughts and feelings and perceptions that affirm the single humanity of all men, women and children.
To my mind, then, you cannot as an individual effectively contribute to the solution for getting past the socio-psychopathy of race if you do not endeavor to stop thinking of yourself in terms of the color of your skin, and as for bigotry, similarly, to endeavor to stop privileging ethnicity as essential to your or anyone else’s identity.
This doesn’t solve the very real structural issues in which both racism and bigotry are embedded by dint of past and current discriminatory practices, but it is nevertheless essential, if admittedly only on the smallest of scales, which is the only scale on which any individual as an individual can effectively act, to break down otherwise insuperable barriers to unity, to working class unity, a unity that will eventually have to be made real if that other system of discrimination, of exploitation and murder that is capitalism, is to be overturned.
“This contending awareness, then, if it is to be other than racist, cannot conceive of people as being either “colored” or “white.” To the degree that it does, it remains a part of the disease it wants to cure, and if it partakes of the disease, it perpetuates the disease, because modes of thinking and seeing among humans are literally viral and contagious.”
There are multiple shortcomings here.
Firstly, even if we stop talking of “black people” or “white people”, we still need to talk of “people typically designated as black” and “people typically designated as white” in order to be able to explicitly and consciously deal with (and hence rectify) the accumulated wrongs that drive the relative social positions of these groups. If, for example, we want to deal with socioeconomic wrongs that disproportionately afflict “black people”, the way to have an immediate impact on that is to initiate programs that seek to address the inequality that has accrued by directly channeling resources to people who are “typically designated as black”. Otherwise, the risk is that the afflicted group is maintained in a position of inequality while we wait for “white people” to get their thinking in order. Blacks cannot achieve true parity with whites in the socioeconomic realm if their attainment of parity is being delayed through appeals to “but we have to change out thinking first”. For one thing, this will breed discontent, which will itself fuel racial animosity from blacks who would feel that whites are erecting yet another stumbling block rather than just cutting through the bullshit and doing what needs to be done. For another, it will continue to reproduce the conditions that sustain subjective racism by whites (seeing blacks continuing to fall behind in economic terms will feed into white notions of black inferiority and unworthiness). Oftentimes, the best remedy is to just cut through the crap and institute something that sets up a condition of equality. And blacks shouldn’t have to wait for that or for that waiting to be contingent upon whites having an epiphany. Nor should it be contingent upon blacks having an epiphany. It’s simply something that needs to be rectified, right now.
The other problem is that many white people, especially liberals, already imagine themselves to be “post-racial” in their thinking. But such people are often the ones who harbor implicitly held biases that are never checked. Thinking that one is “post-racial” can actually be a boon to racism, and certainly to structural racism.
Thirdly, even if we rectify our own biases as individuals, the structural racism and inequality out there will still be going on while we congratulate ourselves, and to address that structural racism most immediately and most effectively, we cannot be beholden to the hope of a grand spiritual awakening of humanity in general that may or may not transpire at some undisclosed point in the future. We have to actively build the concrete material basis for that by ditching all excuses and resolutely addressing historical legacies of inequality by initiating programs that instantiate “people typically designated as black” and directing resources towards them to help them overcome the negative historical legacies they currently suffer due to their designation as blacks. In other words, we direct resources and help to people on the basis of their characteristics that have hitherto been used to discriminate and marginalize them. There’s nothing whatsoever “racist” about that; it’s simple common sense.
Is this a point that I actually argue, that before all else, “. . . we have to change ou[r] thinking first[?]”
I’m clarifying the nature of racism in both its structural AND psychological manifestations as I understand them.
I’m not saying that you have to necessairyly attack the one BEFORE the other, be it the structural or the psychological (i.e., the ideological) component.
Different activists will be more keen on and effective at one task or the other, with some dedicating themselves only to the one while largely neglecting the other, and others will want to tackle both simultaneously. What is certain is that you cannot have social change that is not both structural and ideological (i.e. also psychological).
Social change is a complicated affair: sometimes you push for structural change when circumstances produce conditions propitious to such change; at other times, circumstances dictate that the battle can only be fought on the terrain of the ideological or psychological; and other times, the push can happen in both domains simultaneously.
And then there is this niggling little problem: under a capitalist regime, what does parity between “blacks” and “whites” entail? It means that you end up with a section of “blacks” who relative to other “blacks” have been elevated into the managerial and property owning ranks of capitalist society, that is to say, into the privileged and governing sections of the bourgeoisie. The overwhelming majority of “blacks,” like the overwhelming majority of “whites,|” will remain in a condition of rank servility, exploitation and oppression. Or am I missing something?
“And then there is this niggling little problem: under a capitalist regime, what does parity between “blacks” and “whites” entail? It means that you end up with a section of “blacks” who relative to other “blacks” have been elevated into the managerial and property owning ranks of capitalist society, that is to say, into the privileged and governing sections of the bourgeoisie. The overwhelming majority of “blacks,” like the overwhelming majority of “whites,|” will remain in a condition of rank servility, exploitation and oppression. Or am I missing something?”
Plenty, unfortunately. You seem to keep circling back to a position wherein you equate exploitation of black and white workers with black and white workers being EQUALLY oppressed and exploited. What you’re saying is tantamount to saying “Affirmative action isn’t a revolutionary initiative and won’t overthrow capitalism. Therefore, let’s not bother with it.” Even though it could have enormously beneficial benefits for black people in the here and now. I just can’t understand this attitude. Revolutionary work doesn’t just mean organizing to build a mass base. It also means listening to and struggling for the rights of workers, especially the most marginalized and oppressed, including for reformist gains within capitalism.
Yes, I know you acknowledge the need to tackle both the structural and the ideological expressions of racism, but you vacillate on this. For example, you haven’t rescinded your claim that for whites to side with blacks in struggles centering around anti-black racism is itself an instance of “racism”. This is in spite of your own realization that not everything can be done at once (yet if not everything can be done at once, why take such a puritanical stances towards initiatives that, while not capable of fully achieving parity between blacks and whites, at least can alleviate many of the extra oppressions faced specifically by people of color? WHEN, exactly, is the time to fight for that? AFTER the revolutionary seizure of power?).
‘Isn’t the point, rather, that blacks should insist upon their right to exist as men and women, and not only or essentially in terms of the very racial identity that the structural racism to which they are constantly subjected foists upon them?”
Yes, but you drop the ball when you fail to see that in order to liberate oneself from racist oppression/structures/privilege, one must positively affirm one’s OWN attributes which had heretofore been degraded and dehumanized and used to demarcate you as an “other”. That’s why I say that black people should positively affirm their right to exist as black people, because the attributes that have been associated with their “blackness” have been subject to contempt by the broader society. This affirmation is in fact to insist upon one’s right to exist as a man or woman, but on ONE’S OWN TERMS, rather than what someone else wants to you to be.
“And then if blacks can insist on their right to exist as blacks, doesn’t that by implication mean that whites can insist on the same thing? If one group has the right to affirm its racial identity as an imperative, why can’t another claim as much?”
This is naive and a false equivalence. It is analogous to the notion that the nationalism of an oppressed nation (such as Palestine, say) is equivalent to the nationalism of an imperialist nation (such as the US, France or Britain). “But surely, if Palestinian nationalism is progressive, then so is American, French and British nationalism? Why are you being such a racist?” No, it doesn’t follow. And it doesn’t follow for racial identity, either. “Blackness” has been oppressed; “whiteness” has been a force FOR oppression. It is the duty of progressive white people to disown their privileged position wherein their whiteness is equated with everything “normal”.
I wanted to return to the following because it condenses much of what is wrong with your overall take:
“““Whites” who side with “blacks,” and vice versa, are no less racist than the “whites” who would war on “blacks,” and vice versa.””
By your logic, white people working within or cooperating with the ANC and the South African Communist Party to smuggle weapons and money to the armed struggle against apartheid were “just as racist” as the apartheid death squads and jailers because they consciously sided with blacks after recognizing that blacks, by virtue of being black, were an oppressed group. Note: blacks were being oppressed AS BLACKS in accordance to the racial doctrines of the apartheid state. Recognizing this, it was therefore the duty of every progressive white person in South Africa to side with black people to combat this explicitly racist oppression. That necessarily meant siding with those who faced that oppression, which in that case meant siding with blacks. It also meant siding against the whites who partook in racist oppression (but not those who supported the struggle against it. Siding with blacks did not mean siding against whites AS WHITES. It meant siding against whites who wanted to maintain a system of racialized oppression). It seems that you’re broadening (and in so doing, diluting) the definition of “racism” to such an extent that it engulfs wars of liberation fought against unequivocal racism.
This website, if you take a look at the blogroll, seems to support Russian imperialism and Moscow’s desire for a “Greater Russia”. It also consists of a large number of easily-guillible, 5th-columnist useful idiots, who repeat the line coming from Russian state television, without critical thought. MH17 is but one example.
Would you mind telling me where we have ever supported the idea of “Greater Russia”? Indeed, if you could even find one reference to the idea anywhere but Russophobic scare-mongering that would be an achievement.
The idea that Ukraine is an artificial state and that chunks of it should be given to Russia is a common theme here, of some articles and commentators. This includes the constant references that Ukraine should be dismembered to its “Galician” core.
No need to play dumb.
Jeff, you throw around accusations that are either ignorant or irrelevant. What are you attacking by the phrase, “The idea that Ukraine is an artificial state and that chunks of it should be given to Russia”? Are you saying that there was no violent U.S. coup in Ukraine in February 2014 that installed racist fascists, ideological nazis, into power there and drove two regions (both of which had voted more than 75% for the President that Obama overthrew) to break away from Ukraine, on their own volition? Are you denying the right of self-determination of peoples? Are you denying this?: https://off-guardian.org/2017/03/24/what-americas-coup-in-ukraine-did/
Jeff, the critical thinker, has Russian imperialism on his radar, but somehow doesn’t appear to have noticed American imperialism, which if compared to the former is by a wide margin, say, by an order of magnitude or two, both more overtly aggressive and expansive.
I wonder if Jeff takes issue with imperialism as such or only the Russian kind?
I also wonder if Jeff could tell us how many military bases the United States has around the world and what the approximate number of personnel manning those bases might be, not even including the numbers in the navy on ships deployed and “patrolling” foreign coasts?
I mean, Jeff, is this an example the Russian line you have in mind: All The Countries America Has Invaded… in One Map ?
What about this: Unworthy Victims: Western Wars Have Killed Four Million Muslims Since 1990?
Norman, you display some very strange logic. Pray tell, how do you know I haven’t “appear to have noticed American imperialism”? I made a single post regarding this website. How does that mean I haven’t noticed American imperialism? Must I mention American imperialism each and every time I criticize this website or Russian foreign policy? I believe that is not needed.
Your post is a dishonest deflection from what I originally said, intending to cast me as some supporter of American imperialism.
Dear Jeff, the critical thinking logician,
Then we are agreed: based upon the one post that you made and that I responded to, it’s not that you categorically did not notice American imperialism, but only that you certainly “appeared” not to have noticed it, if the only thing one had to go by was your single post, since you mentioned the imperialism only of Russia and in connection with 5th-columnist useful idiot, such idiots by definition being the internal enemies of — who or what, Jeff? One can only wonder, eh, Jeff, about who or what. Because you don’t state explicitly who or what the 5th-columnist threaten. Could you make that more explicit? For it isn’t clear, exactly, though one might venture a guess . . .
And so all that to explain why I followed up my carefully qualified statement that you “appeared” not to have noticed American imperialism with a couple of questions, to try to get a better sense of what your position was, more explicitly and categorically.
So between you and me, who is misrepresenting who? Or did you simply misapprehend my purport or not notice the ambiguity of your single post regarding this website?
” One can only wonder, eh, Jeff, about who or what.”
Most commentators here are Westerners from the U.S., U.K., Canda, Australia, etc. They are 5th-columnists to their countries.
And which country would you be from, Jeff?
“Most commentators here are Westerners from the U.S., U.K., Canda, Australia, etc. They are 5th-columnists to their countries.”
In other words, you see your role as “standing with” “your” country’s imperialism against Russian imperialism by rooting out disloyal “5th columnists”. This is typical liberal imperialism: standing with “your” country’s imperialist bourgeoisie and getting them to “do the right thing”.
@’Jeff’: I.K. is that you??? 😉
No idea who “I.K.” is.
Poor I.K. You either suffer from a touch of Alzheimer’s or dissociative identity disorder (DID). Perhaps you suffer from both simultaneously? In that case, it’s only a matter of time before you also forget that you were once also a “Jeff.”
“It also consists of a large number of easily-guillible, 5th-columnist useful idiots, who repeat the line coming from Russian state television, without critical thought”
Only anti-communist fanatics speak of “5th columnists”. Are you one of those liberals who thinks that Russia, a second-rate imperialist power, actually victimizes the US?
Trump shouted from the rooftops “They will be met by fire and fury the world has never seen – well, the USA has been met by Hurricane Harvey – it’s called ‘ collective karma’ and there is more its way. . . . .
That’s so stupid that it beggars belief, Arthur. Are you telling us that Hurricane Harvey struck the people responsible for initiating threats of nuclear holocaust on the DPRK? If not, why bring it up?
The wording of the resolution provided a back door. The continual theatre of the UN prevents accountability and most of what it claims.
Reblogged this on Worldtruth.
Horrible but not astonishing! The US Power Elite had already done a lot to bring Nazism into power in Germany. And particularly the dominating Neocon faction of the US Power Elite is cleary Fascist!
“A Reminder: Neocon Think Tanks and Fascism”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/a-reminder-neocon-think-tanks-and-fascism-zur-erinnerung-neocon-think-tanks-und-faschismus/
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
C.S. Lewis would not be the first person I’d turn to for political insight, but lets say I did, what exactly might this quote be taken to affirm about our political context?
Is it a caution against socialism (and ultimately, against communism), and thus an affirmation of the capitalist status quo? What am I not getting?
I don’t agree that KSA and ‘Israel’ aren’t vassal states. They have extra privileges but when push comes to shove they cannot act against the wishes of the USA.
Those, such as Zuesse, who think (or affect to think) otherwise simply misunderstand the nature of imperialism. Just as the fascists in Ukraine were put in power by the US and are sustained there by it, so the fascists in Israel and the comprador Saud gang rule because Uncle Sam wants them.
The very worst actions of both governments- the attacks on Yemen, the sponsorship of ISIS and Al Qaeda; the attacks on Gaza, the establishment of ‘illegal’ settlements in the West Bank- have to be understood as having been approved, authorised and planned by Washington. There may be deniability but it is hardly plausible.
The US & Germany primarily installed via a Coup the pseudo Nazi regime in Ukraine supported by UK & France.
BUT be in no doubt……….
The US & UK installed Hitler & created WW2 to defeat the Soviet Union !
So why would the Leopard change its spots ?
Are you saying that when Israel in 1967 attacked and destroyed the USS Liberty and slaughtered many of its sailors, that was in accord with “the wishes of the USA”? Or that when Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud and most of the other Saudi Princes funded the 9/11 attacks and Bandar and his wife paid personally for the pilot-training and rent in the U.S. for at least two of the 15 Saudis who were among the 19, this was in accord with “the wishes of the USA”? Or are you merely ignorant and spouting-off?
PS: My comment there was addressed to the comment by jag37777
@Eric (cettel22): it would be naive to conclude that 9/11 was not in “the wishes of the USA” – or at least, a very small cabal’s interpretation of the “wishes of the USA”. Particularly on the eve of Professor Hulsey’s report on the non-fire collapse of Building 7WTC. Or are we to assume that Israeli-Saudi-or other non-state actors rigged the building to implode???
As my own articles acknowledge, what you are saying is true. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other insiders, worked with the Saud Princes. But they are not what Jag37777 was referencing by saying “when push comes to shove they cannot act against the wishes of the USA.” It’s instead the wishes of a tiny network of insiders, not “the USA” — and as to whether the Sauds were at the top, or instead the U.S. insiders were, they’re both enemies of the USA, and their respective primacy-subordination roles aren’t clear, but the evidence of which I am aware suggests that the Sauds are.
PS: and I disagree with your statement that this “very small cabal’s interpretation of the ‘wishes of the USA’” was an interpretation of anything — those elite didn’t care what the U.S. public wanted, and they knew it didn’t want this. These insiders were serving their own desires.
It’s a roll call of hate.
No wonder Mother Earth is punishing us.
We deserve it.
Who’s “we”? Natural disasters tend to afflict the most needy and vulnerable, hardly the moneyed powerhouses that are behind US imperialism and state terrorism. By smothering everything under a homogeneous “we”, you’re obfuscating class divisions and structure and the class-based imperatives served by the capitalist state.