Posts Tagged ‘White Supremacists’

Counter-Narrative

September 15, 2018

Wealthiest Republican supporter in Ohio quits party headlines Justin Wise for The Hill, 9-15-18. “[L Brands CEO Leslie] Wexner, who said he’s been a Republican since college, added that he is now an independent, before saying that he “won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party” anymore.” This just after former President Barack Obama spoke at a rally in Cleveland. “”What you’re seeing is Republicans in Congress who are bending over backwards to try to shield and deflect oversight of this behavior and accountability and consequences,” Obama said. “This is serious. You know it is. And frankly even some of the Republicans know it is. They will say it, they just don’t do anything about it. … [They say,] ‘we’ll put up with crazy’ in exchange for tax reform and deregulation.”” This just after the anonymous op ed “news” in the NY Times covered by this blog’s post, A Tradition Of Americans, 9-8-18 (You know, the one about staffers). “”I was struck by the genuineness of the man; his candor, humility and empathy for others,” Wexner said.” Analysis wrote all that in order to write Berkeley police posted activists’ mugshots on Twitter and celebrated retweets, emails reveal headlined the day before (9-14-18) by Sam Levin for The Guardian. “The Berkeley police department (BPD) faced widespread backlash last month after posting the personal information of arrested activists online, leading to Fox News coverage and harassment and abuse against the leftwing demonstrators at a far-right rally. New emails have shown that the city has an explicit policy of targeting protesters with mugshot tweets, with the goal of using “social media to help create a counter-narrative”.” Analysis needn’t remind readers that “staff” isn’t always Republican or Democrat as some administration spokespeople would like us to presume. Their allegiances may lie elsewhere, as Levin’s reporting goes on to show. “Police arrested 20 people on 5 August, and all were counter-protesters and anti-fascists who came to demonstrate against a far-right event, according to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) of San Francisco, which is representing some of the activists. Many arrested were cited for “possession of a banned weapon”, which police said included “anything” that could be used in a “riot”. Some were arrested for bandanas and scarves that police considered “masks” and sign poles cited as “weapons”, according to the NLG, which is representing activists. It appears that none have faced any charges. The records, obtained by police accountability group Lucy Parsons Labs and reported by the East Bay Express, shed light on how officials internally have defined and justified the social media policy for protests. Officials said the “social media-driven protests” have created the need for a “Twitter protocol for mug shots” and acknowledged that the tweets would get “broad national exposure”. One police email had the subject line, “Info flow from Jail to Twitter.” The policy also made clear that police would post mugshots on Twitter only when the arrests were “protest related”, drawing criticisms that the practice was aimed at discouraging free speech activities.” “One protocol document officials wrote last year said police should post the name, age, city of residence, charges and booking photos on Twitter, noting that they would be “quickly reprinted across television, online and print media platforms”. Police received more than 8,000 retweets, 11,000 “likes” and 1.7m “impressions” (times people saw the tweets) in one case, the document said.” “Matthai Chakko, a city spokesperson who outlined the policy in the internal emails, defended the practice in an interview Friday, saying the strategy was a response to “exceptional circumstances” and “exceptional amounts of violence in Berkeley” at previous rallies. He could not, however, provide specific details about any alleged acts of violence on 5 August when police posted mugshots. One individual was cited for “battery”, but he said he had no further information about the circumstances.” “Asked if police considered possible abuse and doxing risks when creating the mugshot policy, Chakko declined to comment.” “Veena Dubal, a University of California law professor and former Berkeley police review commissioner, said the mugshot policy was “really deviating from the role of the police department, which is public safety”. She said she was also stunned by the “counter narrative” language: “If the prevailing narrative is these rightwing, white supremacist rallies should be stopped, and we don’t want them in the city, then the ‘counter-narrative’ is we do want them in our city, and the counter-protesters are the problem.”” ““They broke the law,” he [Matthai Chakko] said. He also declined to comment on why the cases have repeatedly resulted in no formal charges or convictions, saying: “We are comfortable with our arrests.”” Not so comfortable in all this is what former President Obama had to say in a speech at the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign just a week prior: “We are Americans. We’re supposed to standup to bullies. Not follow them. We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up, clearly and unequivocally, to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.” (from the transcript).  Analysis will let Les Wexner have the last word (through the pen of Justin Wise): “The billionaire CEO reportedly said in a speech last year that he was “ashamed” by Trump’s response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that erupted in violence and led to the death of a 32-year-old woman.” Licking County Prosecutor Russell Hayes has a problem with all the homeless accumulating in downtown Newark, Ohio. Arresting, charging and jailing indigents is so inconvenient, and costly! With no gazebo to claim as “the home of the homeless”, exceptional circumstances have him shamelessly looking for a good counter-narrative, one that would make him comfortable in executing the duties of his office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increasingly Unbearable

August 24, 2018

8-22-18 Dear Leader tweeted “I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.” @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews”. What is this all about? “Large scale killings of farmers”?? Analysis is not alone. Many news sources have pondered this as there is no indication of mass killings in this part of the world. Corruption in government, yes. Mass killings, no. The South African government was outraged by this reference to something that is not (remember the illegal voters and the president’s electoral commission which, along with the claims for the biggest inauguration crowd in history, just got replaced by other newer non events?). But asking the Secretary of State to closely study a non event is quite another matter (especially when you’ve recalled him from continued talks with North Korea after signaling that the breakthrough merited a Nobel Prize for the POTUS). The Washington Post gave some background to a very prickly situation in Zimbabwe and South Africa: “stretches back to the early 20th century, when South Africa’s Natives Land Act of 1913 stripped black people of the right to own land outside specific plots set aside for them. The restriction tightened during the apartheid era, as the governing National Party created desolate ‘homelands’ for black people.” Although a legal framework for land restitution emerged with the end of apartheid in 1994, the process has been “slow and riddled with bureaucratic uncertainty.”” Salon’s Chauncy Devega cites “In the Huffington Post, Jessica Schulberg and Akbar Shahid Ahmed explain that 25 years after the end of apartheid, South African whites (about 8 percent of the population) still own 72 percent of privately-held farmland, while about 10 percent of the total population — overwhelmingly but not exclusively white — control 90 percent of South Africa’s wealth.” (Trump goes full white supremacy with South Africa tweet: Does he want a “race war”? 8-24-18). Devega goes on to reference that “Meanwhile the Guardian’s Jason Burke debunks the claim that white farmers are being singled out for racist violence, writing that murders of farmers are at a 20-year low, and have declined consistently since the late 1990s. These lower numbers “contradict recent reports in Australian and other western media describing white farmers in South Africa facing ‘a surge in violence,’” he writes, adding that dozens of nonwhite farmers have also been killed in recent years.” Devega, being interested in the white supremacy motivation of the POTUS policy, disregards the global implication. Burke’s colleague at The Gaurdian takes up where Devega fails to go. The banner line of Jason Wilson’s in depth study reveals the story – White farmers: how a far-right idea was planted in Donald Trump’s mind. The far right: The idea that there is a ‘genocide’ of white farmers in South Africa was once the province of conspiracy theorists but, thanks to News Corp’s media promotion, it has moved into the policy realm (8-24-18). The incestuous relationship between News Corp, white supremacist groups and Donald Trump becomes apparent. “The Charleston shooter Dylann Roof was obsessed, like many other white supremacists, with “Rhodesia”, as Zimbabwe was known under white minority rule. As the Christian Science Monitor reported in the wake of his massacre, the fates of the two countries are “held up as proof of the racial inferiority of blacks; and the diminished stature of whites is presented as an ongoing genocide that must be fought”.” The POTUS connection lies with the former Australian immigrant, now American citizen, and loyal friend of the prez, Rupert Murdoch (founder/owner of News Corp, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, etc.). “In March, the alleged plight of the farmers became the subject of a campaign by News Corp tabloids in Australia. In a preview of Trump’s response, the News Corp intervention led the then home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, to float a short-lived proposal to give preferential immigration treatment to farmers. The move was praised by white nationalists on forums like Stormfront, and cited by rightwingers of all kinds as evidence of the issue’s importance.” “But, as in Australia, the crucial step in creating a policy proposal issue appears to have been advocacy by a News Corp outlet, in this case Tucker Carlson’s program. Indeed, News Corp now appears to be a crucial conduit for far-right ideas to reach governments. This development has been celebrated overnight by the racist far right, but so too has the whole process by which “white genocide” has become a matter of broader public debate. Earlier this year, an anonymous podcaster on the white genocide-focused “White Rabbit Radio” said: “This was the province of Stormfront five, 10 years ago, white genocide in South Africa. Now it is mainstream.”” The human toll of this collaboration of manufactured non-existent issues and episodes, and their strong armed dissemination can be evidenced by an unrelated report of the same day. Salon’s Rachel Leah headlines: Why are Fox News reporters fleeing the network? Two reporters reportedly cited objections to the direction of the network since Donald Trump became president (8-24-18). “Two Fox News reporters in the last three weeks have departed from the network, reportedly after feeling frustrated with the cable news giant’s direction and tone in the Trump era. Adam Housley, a Los Angeles-based reporter who had been a part of the network since 2001, plans to depart the network soon. Two former Fox News employees told Politico that Housley complained of a decline in opportunity for non-pundit personalities.” “Conor Powell, who served as Middle East correspondent at Fox News for nine years, reportedly left Fox News for similar reasons. Powell’s former colleague and friend told Politico that the reporter felt like network had moved away from news in favor of opinion. Both Powell and Housley’s reasons for leaving the network after years of working there, signal frustration over a network that seemed to marginalize the news and those who were reporting it, a problem that has become increasingly unbearable with President Donald Trump in office.”