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Posts tagged “racism

Fair Treatment & Free Speech For All – Even The Klan

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You may have heard that the Ku Klux Klan had a rally in California that turned violent. Apparently, the Klan members were attacked by protesters as they were exiting their vehicles. It appears the brawl was caught on tape (video at the end of this article), and now the protesters are going to be charged in this crime. That is as it should be. You cannot physically attack someone just because you do not agree with them.

I got a lot of negativity for saying exactly that when this incident first happened. I heard many saying that the police should have shut this rally down or never permitted it in the first place. Truthfully, I never thought I’d find myself defending the Ku Klux Klan of all things, and I’m happy to say I was right about that. I was not defending the Klan and have never defended the Klan. I was defending free speech.

I find the Klan morally repugnant. I think they are idiotic, ignorant, foolish and frankly, I think they are absurd. They are laughable, a human joke. That doesn’t make what happened to them OK. Hearing people call for police intervention, insisting the authorities should have shut this rally down and stopped the Klan from exercising their first amendment rights is troubling. People seem to be perfectly happy with the government violating the rights of those they do not agree with. This is a slippery slope to stand on, folks. If you advocate the violation of others’ rights, you are advocating the eventual violation of your own by setting a precedent. Holding a rally centered around their stupid, hateful belief system is their right as Americans. For “protesters” to show up to that rally and physically attack them is a violation of their rights – period. However, this was not a protest. It was a mob. It was 30 people attacking six.

How is this any better than the Klan themselves? It would seem counter-productive for a group of minorities to attack KKK members – to say the least. How does it discredit the stupid things the Klan says about minorities? They say that minorities are savages and wild animals. How, then, does a group of minorities attacking them essentially without provocation dispute that? Sadly, it doesn’t. It’s just more fodder for the hate machine, and it has only made these Klan members martyrs for their own idiotic cause. They were attacked by those “savages” and “wild animals” they’ve been warning everybody about. This was exactly the wrong thing for people to do, and legality or rights violation isn’t even the half of it.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this incident is society’s general reaction to this incident. It’s too much to expect sympathy for the Ku Klux Klan, of course, but for people to be so unabashedly gleeful over this is disheartening, and a little disquieting. Guilt by association is not guilty enough. It’s despicable to be a racist and to be a member of the Klan – but it is not illegal. Holding a rally to promote their separatist, racist views is not illegal. Nothing they did was illegal, and for people to support – even applaud – a gratuitous, senseless “punishment” for what is essentially a thoughtcrime is disturbing.

Seeing and hearing so many supposedly civilized people who would gladly rip somebody apart in the street (or happily watch others do it) over an idea, a belief or an association is ominous. To say they got what they deserved is dangerously close to the type of rhetoric the Klan themselves spouts. People are entitled to how they feel, but to me it’s like saying it’s OK to be like the Klan as long as you’re sure you have a better reason for your behavior than you think they do. Isn’t that exactly how the Klan members feel? Don’t they feel their reasons justify their behavior? I’m not seeing how the same wrong mindset just turned against them is supposed to help anything. I devoutly hope that I myself am more evolved than a bunch of racist, sheet-wearing fools spewing bile and part of being better than that is not being OK with hateful mobs bent on hurting someone – because that is what the Ku Klux Klan is and that is why they are wrong. If we regard them as Neanderthals, as troglodytes trapped in a distant, stagnant past who are refusing to evolve, how does lowering ourselves to that level elevate our own platform? It doesn’t. It demeans and discredits it. It puts us squarely beside and on equal footing with them, whether people want to see that or not.

Is this really what we want? To be on equal moral footing with the Ku Klux Klan? Or is it just another example of the nearly-universal and almost totally unself-conscious narcissism and hypocrisy we see on display in society? “It’s not OK for you to do this, but it’s OK for me because I have a good enough reason and you don’t. I’m right and you’re wrong.” How does this mindset resolve itself? “I’m so tolerant, open-minded and evolved. I love all people equally, regardless of race, color, gender, creed or orientation. I truly believe in the Brotherhood of Man and that all life has value – AND I HATE THE KLAN FOR NOT FOLLOWING THIS! I LAUGH WHEN THEY ARE ATTACKED BY A HATEFUL MOB! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! KILL THEM ALL!!!” It doesn’t even make any sense.

This whole “intolerant of intolerance” thing is just hypocrisy. It’s “bigotry with good reason,” which is just another way of saying, “I can do this but you can’t.” If your reaction to a hateful mob is to form another hateful mob, you are a hypocrite. Fighting fire with fire won’t put the fire out. It only burns everybody involved. It solves nothing, and has the added consequence of destroying the credibility of all parties.

If we claim to be enlightened, if we claim to be evolved, if we claim to be tolerant, if we claim to be champions of equality and free speech but we draw the line at defending those we find distasteful or we actually advocate violence toward others in these situations, we aren’t really any of these things – and we are certainly no better or even any different than those we are opposing. It’s easy to defend somebody that everybody agrees with. It becomes significantly more difficult when it’s someone that nobody – including ourselves – agrees with. It’s hard to look past ignorance, and it’s not easy to have the courage of our convictions in the face of a hostile majority, but what are we without it? We become just so many hypocrites.


Where’s My White Privilege??

White privilege has suddenly become a very hot topic — again. MTV is producing a show about being white and of course, there’s this:

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I’d really like someone to tell me what these supposed privileges I’ve had are supposed to be. I’m sick of hearing about white privilege. It’s class privilege. The only color that really matters is green. I’m very sorry some nonwhite people missed out on my great life of teen pregnancy, never finishing high school, being unable to afford college, being harassed by the police, coming from a broken home, homelessness, hunger, struggling since I was born and being laughed out of welfare offices with hungry kids but I’ll gladly apologize if they want me to. I have lived in many racially-diverse neighborhoods (translation: poor neighborhoods) and no one was any better off than anybody else. I and the rest of the white people in the neighborhood weren’t somehow magically elevated above our nonwhite neighbors just because we are white. We weren’t somehow not discriminated against because we’re not black or Hispanic. A black friend of mine in an adjacent neighborhood had two college-educated parents, a better home, better possessions than anyone in my neighborhood and there was always food at his house, something the rest of us just thought was amazing. What does that mean? Somehow I still had more opportunities and a better life than him just because I’m white?

You see, this is when white privilege arguments fall apart: when they have to be applied to poor whites. I’ve had many of these discussions, and they always go in one of two ways: either the person I’m speaking with just flat out calls me a liar or they say my experience is not “the norm” but in general, whites are more privileged. If they call me a liar, I tell them they must’ve had a very fortunate life if they are unable to believe that white people struggle just as hard as any other race. If they say my experience is a special case, I ask why it is that I have to endure accusations of white privilege when it’s obviously not a universal phenomenon. Either way, the conversation usually stops right there. The only thing that is ever said after that is, “Yeah, but… you’re white,” as if this is some magical argument that automatically renders opposing arguments void. No doubt some think it does.

Poor people of all races have had the same life I’ve had. Stop letting them divide us.


The Tamir Rice Shooting & Why You Picked The Wrong Martyr

The shooting of 12 year old Tamir Rice in Ohio is discussed.



Halloween “Lynching” Display Removed

There is a veritable shitstorm going on over a “racist” Halloween display in Fort Campbell. The display depicted corpses hanging from a tree in the front yard of a house on-base. Here is a picture of it:

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It’s pretty gruesome. I for one thought it was cool. Nothing I’ve not seen 1,000 times already on Halloween, but still pretty well-done. The child victims were a little much but hey, it’s Halloween, right? Wrong, apparently. The media says this is racist. Why? Because the trash bags on the heads of these figures are black. I wish I were kidding but I am not. Never mind the facts that:

  • There are no faces drawn on the bags.
  • There is no indication of ANY race at all.
  • People are routinely executed with black hoods or black bags over their faces.
  • Trash bags HAVE no race.
  • This is a pretty clear re-creation of a scene from the horror movie “Sinister.”
  • The family that was hung in “Sinister” also had bags on their head but were Caucasian.
  • It’s Halloween and these type of displays are in no way unusual at all.

The media says this is racist and to John Q. Public, that means it’s racist. People are losing their minds over this. I even had one guy tell me, “No faces were depicted because to white people, we all look alike.” I was taken aback by that, to say the least. I mean, what the fuck? Why would people want this to be racist so badly? The person who created the display even stated that it is indeed a re-creation from the movie “Sinister,” as those of you who’ve seen the movie will recognize right away. People are calling him a liar. Here is a picture of the scene this display attempts to re-create:

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Pretty damn close, right? It’s not perfect but it’s not a million-dollar movie set or an art gallery. It’s a homemade Halloween decoration in somebody’s fucking front yard. At first I thought it was just ignorance; if you haven’t seen the movie, you are not going to know that this is a re-creation of a scene from it. It is Halloween and people could get over it, but I can forgive ignorance. After all, race aside people could for sure be offended by the child figures. It’s a pretty dark scenario. However, then I saw this story from The Inquisitr. As you can see, they address the claim that the display is from a movie. But look at the still they’ve posted in their story. It looks nothing like the one you see just above here, and the caption beneath it (“Do *you* think this is what the Fort Campbell display was trying to recreate?”) is pretty damn sarcastic.

inquisitrThat makes me wonder if this is more than ignorance. When I posted the “correct” image on RawStory.com and explained that this is not a racist display but simply an amateur re-creation of a scene from a scary movie, not only were my comments deleted but my IP address was banned from commenting at all, no matter what login or ID I use.

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After reading the comments, I realized that the only comments they seem to be allowing on that story are ones which agree this display is racist. Since other comment sections are filled with debates, that can only be deliberate – as is The Inquisitr’s posting of such a misleading still frame. My comments were removed from other news sites as well. I also cannot find any evidence that anyone actually complained that the display was racist before the media said it was racist. From what very little I can find, the offended people don’t seem to be neighbors but the military authorities on-base. The only “real” news source I can find simply says, “Officials said the resident willingly removed the decorations after being informed of concerns raised by the community.” The community is the base, so that could be taken a few different ways.

Now, let’s move all this PC garbage aside, folks. Let’s get real. We are talking about trash bags. Trash. Bags. They have no race. Using black trash bags is racist now? It is my opinion that if anyone can look at that display 2 days before Halloween and the first thing they think is “BLACK PEOPLE,” they are the ones who have racial issues. You will see it if you want to see it, not because it’s there. The faces of the “family” in the display are covered. There is no “skin” visible at all. To simply assume racist intent this way because the people who made the display used black garbage bags – like millions of other fucking people – is absolutely ludicrous and absurd. It’s borderline crazy, in my opinion. To actually equate stuffed black garbage bag heads on a Halloween decoration with African Americans is frankly ridiculous.

I wasn’t going to comment broadly on the racial implications here because I don’t believe there are any but this needs to be said: black people do not “own” lynchings. They do not own slavery or racism. They are not the only people who were lynched, or hanged, or killed and persecuted for their race, or discriminated against, or enslaved. It has happened to millions upon millions of people of ALL races for thousands of years or more. White people also do not own all the guilt for slavery and racism. Again, it has happened to millions upon millions of people of ALL races for thousands of years. Literally every civilization was built on the backs of enslaved and oppressed people. Living in a state of perpetual offense and using any excuse you can find to drag this bullshit into the limelight only take the light off of real racism, which still goes on. This is a Halloween decoration based on an amateurish re-creation of a scene from a movie. Stop it.

I know, I know… I’m white and therefore I cannot have an opinion. Well, white doesn’t always mean white. My family and I are actually Hungarian Slovak gypsies who only came to the US in the early 1900s. We know a bit about persecution. However, I don’t need to be any color to know idiocy when I see it, and that is what this is. Stop believing everything the media tells you. They are turning you into dancing monkeys. They are turning you into fools.