Posts Tagged ‘Southern Poverty Law Center’

Alt Right Leader Richard Spencer Admits to Not Caring About Free Speech

May 27, 2018

In this video from Sam Seder’s Majority Report, Seder’s co-host, Michael Brooks and his team comment on a video conversation Richard Spencer had a few month’s ago with another Fascist on a now defunct Alt Right website. The other Fascist isn’t well known, so Brooks doesn’t give his name. But in the conversation between the two, Spencer states very clearly that they – the Alt Right – aren’t in favour of free speech, but it’s important that they appear to be.

Brooks states that his show is very much in favour of free speech, both ideologically and programmatically. He also talks about other American journalists, who are also genuine supporters of free speech from Marxist and genuinely liberal viewpoints, and who therefore give space on their shows to people of opposing opinions. But this never happens with the Alt Right, and its supporters like Dave Rubin and Bari Weiss. He also states that much of the Alt Right’s rhetoric about free speech is them trying to garner support for their legal suit against the Southern Poverty Law Centre for calling them a racist or adjacent racist organisation.

Brooks goes on to mention the comments about the way the rhetoric about free speech and its defence has become inverted, so that it actually discredits real free speech from the Yugoslavian philosopher, Slavoj Zizek. Zizek states that free speech is under attack all over Europe. And the problem, says Brooks, is that whenever you hear someone stating that they’re in favour of free speech, it’s always because they’re expressing a Fascist or a soft-Fascist viewpoint.

But if others describe them as Fascists and racists, this is not suppressing their free speech. This is simply the opponents of Fascism expressing their right to a free opinion. Free speech does not mean going easily on Fascists, and screw everyone else.

This is quite an important piece, because it exposes the Far Right’s claim to be defending free speech for the cynical charade it is. As Brooks and his team drily comment in the video, Fascists don’t believe in free speech. But they claim to support it as part of their propaganda campaign to promote themselves and spread hatred against those of other races and ethnicities. They claim to be telling the truth about Blacks, Jews and Muslims that the liberals in power, ‘cultural Marxists’ and the multiculturalists want to suppress. While at the same time they wish to deny their opponents the right to express their opinions freely. There are problems with race and free speech, as in some cases the censorship of individuals for having allegedly racist or otherwise bigoted opinions has gone too far, and moved far into the realm of subjectivity than objective fact. But this shows the danger on the other side, of the way the real Fascists and racists are trying to exploit genuine concerns about restrictions on free speech to promote their bigotry and prejudice, while cynically planning to destroy it when they get the opportunity.

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Book Review: Gathering Storm: America’s Militia Threat

June 26, 2016

Morris Dees with James Corcoran (London: HarperCollins 1996).

Gathering Storm

A few minutes ago this evening I put up a post about an article on Hatewatch, a site by the Southern Poverty Law Centre that monitors extreme right-wing terrorism in the US, about the contacts between British Nazis, such as Thomas Mair, accused of the murder of Jo Cox, other extreme rightists, like Anders Breivik, and the National Alliance, the main Nazi organisation in the US. Twenty years ago, Morris Dees, the chief trial counsel at the Southern Poverty Law Centre, wrote this book about the emergence of the militia movement in the US. These are right-wing paramilitary organisations, which came out of the survivalist movement in the 1980s. Their immediate impetus was the FBI’s killing of the wife and son of Randy Weaver, a right-wing extremist during an attack on his home at Ruby Ridge. The militias included fringe Christian groups, such as Christian identity and the neo-Nazi compounds and organisations at Hayden Lakes. It was the nexus that published the Turner Diaries, written by William Pierce, a Fascist fantasy about a White supremacist rebellion against a future America dominated by ZOG – the Zionist Occupation Government – Jews and Blacks. This was the book that inspired Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the federal building in Oklahoma.

These were and are armed groups that believed that America was run by a secret Jewish government intent on enslaving gentiles and determined to destroy the White race through racial interbreeding with Blacks. Flicking through the book again, I found a photo of Col. ‘Bo’ Gritz. Gritz claimed to be the real person on which Rambo was based, and for years supposedly toured Vietnam looking for missing American soldiers still kept in prison camps after the War. Apart from his paramilitary activities, Gritz also had some very strange metaphysical views. He turns up in one of the pieces by Adam Palfrey, collected in Cult Rapture and Apocalypse Culture, in which he is interviewed after a meeting with a little old lady, who was one of the New Age channellers, who appeared in the ’80s and ’90s. Most Channellers seemed to have been essentially decent types, offering fairly banal warnings about the importance of love, peace, spiritual values and the need to save the planet from a various cast of interplanetary aliens and Ascended Masters. Unfortunately, the interstellar authority this one channelled was Hathon. He was a 9 1/2 foot tall reptilian from the Pleiades and a Nazi, who told people that there really was an international Jewish conspiracy and UFOs were a Nazi secret weapon. It’s the kind of stuff Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke describes in his book on modern Neo-Nazi pagan cults, The Black Sun.

At the time, there was a real fear that the Militias would try to organise some kind of coup, or at least begin a wave of extreme right-wing terror. Those fears largely haven’t materialised. One demented woman, who claimed to be a militia commander, tried to organise the Militias to form a mass march on Washington, but this never got off the ground as most of them suspected her of being a federal agent provocateur. And not all of them were racist. The commander of one of the Militias was Black, and there was a Jewish Militia, whose members believed that Jews should arm themselves against the possibility of a renewed Holocaust. Nevertheless, extreme rightwing terrorism is still very much a threat in America. In contradiction to the impression you get from the media, there’s more terrorism by White Supremacist and Neo-Nazis in America than from the Islamists. This is part of the milieu that’s produced the extreme right-wing radio hosts, who tell their listeners that America is in the hands of an atheist/ Communist/ Nazi/ Muslim conspiracy to kill good patriotic Christian Americans. The type of people, who blithely state over the airwaves that Obama is going to kill more people than Pol Pot. They’re part of the same milieu that has produced the Nazi supporters of Donald Trump, and that may be their most lasting and pernicious legacy to American politics.

Poor Doors Show the Tories’ True Attitude to the White Working Class – And Anyone Else Who Isn’t A Rich Public Schoolboy

November 3, 2014

Part of the Republican electoral strategy in America under George ‘Dubya’ Bush was capitalising on the fears and resentments of ‘angry White men’. These were mostly lower class White males, who felt threatened economically and socially by the advancement of women and non-whites as they competed with them for jobs and social status. This involved in particular stoking up resentment against the ‘positive discrimination’ affirmative action programmes designed to give greater opportunities to women and ethnic minorities. Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center in his book attacking the rise of the extreme Right-wing militias in America, Gathering Storm, describes one particular party political broadcast used by the Republicans to generate and exploit White working and lower middle class resentment. It consisted of the camera looking at a job rejection letter held between two White hands. The voiceover said, ‘You worked for that job’, and then went on to describe how ‘you’ had been rejected for a lesser qualified ethnic candidate due to government schemes to promote greater opportunities for these groups.

While fortunately there hasn’t been any media campaigns by the Tories explicitly like that over here, and it’s likely that any such election broadcasts or literature would be illegal under current equalities legislation and laws against fomenting racial hatred, nevertheless the Tories have tried something similar. Back in the last decade, the Tory magazine the Spectator ran a number of pieces following the Daily Mail line about Black criminality. It also repeatedly and explicitly stated that White working class men were actively discriminated against in the capital. I distinctly remember the line in one article that said, ‘There’s only one ethnic minority that isn’t welcome in central London, and that’s White working class men.’ Or words to that effect. All this was due to political correctness and left-wing councils with their positive discrimination policies.

The construction of ‘poor doors’ and segregated entrances for rich and poor in new housing in the capital shows how seriously the Tories really take trying to reach out to an impoverished and threatened White working class: they don’t. Working and lower middle class Whites, like their Black or Asian friends and neighbours, are very definitely regarded as unwelcome neighbours for the rich. They are to be kept well away from them at arms length, if not to be excluded altogether from traditional working class areas now being colonised and gentrified by the affluent.

The same can be said about Farage and UKIP. Farage and the Kippers make an appeal to the White working class through their attacks on immigration, and a deliberate attempt to woo ‘non-racist’ BNP voting-Whites, who feel marginalised and threatened in areas with a large Black or Asian population. Nevertheless, UKIP’s major donors are all right-wing former Tories, and their domestic policies – rightly described as ‘Thatcherism on steroids’ – are also designed to make conditions for the working and lower middle classes worse for the benefit of employers and the rich.

There will only be real change to improve conditions for the lower classes when people of all colours come together to challenge the Tory class prejudice, and the cynical way they provoke and exploit racial resentment, all the while denying that they are doing so.