Tag Archives: Anders Behring Breivik

Hero-worship and the far-right’s slippery grasp of the word “martyr”

Breivik: not a martyr but a paranoid conspiracist who went on a murderous rampage

I’ve just been reading this rather fascinating article in yesterday’s Guardian, which tells us that Britain’s far-right extremists see Norwegian mass-killer and self-styled “knight”, Anders Breivik as a role model. That in itself isn’t disturbing, we expect the fash to admire Breivik. They admire anyone who claims to hate Islam, ‘multi-culturalism’ and the non-existent concept of ‘cultural Marxism’. What I find interesting is the far-right’s rush to claim that any one of their number who is imprisoned for violent offences is automatically a martyr in their eyes.

Here’s an unintentionally amusing quote from the article that reveals the far-right’s penchant for drama.

Kickboxer Darren Clifft from Walsall tried to garner support for a petition to free Breivik last week. The 23-year-old National Front supporter, who posts as “Daz MarxistHunter”, left a message on Facebook stating: “[Breivik] is truly inspirational. He sacrificed his life so Europe might be free again from the clutches of Islam and cultural Marxism, multiculturalism and political correctness. I see him as my role model, what every European man needs to be in order for Europe to survive.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you have to die or suffer terrible pain to be given martyr status? Notice how this bonehead tells us how Breivik “sacrificed himself”. He did nothing of the sort. He was arrested, charged and locked up. He was found guilty of murder and will spend the minimum of 21 years inside. He didn’t kill himself. He wasn’t accidentally blown up by one of his bombs. He is not a ‘martyr’.

The article also carries a quote from EDL leader and petite bourgeois, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson).

The EDL leader, Stephen Lennon, has said that although Breivik’s killings were “obviously wrong”, the court has helped to legitimise his motives. Lennon states: “By saying that he was sane, it gives a certain credibility to what he had been saying. And that is that Islam is a threat to Europe and to the rest of the world.”

No, by declaring him sane, the court gave him no excuses for his blood-lust. Breivik’s credibility is limited to the EDL, the BFP and Britain’s other racist parties.

The EDL and the rest of the far-right has appropriated the word “martyr” without actually knowing what it means. When Islamists speak of “martyrs”, they are referring to someone who has killed themselves or was killed while they were carrying out a terrorist act. When Britain’s far-right talk about “martyrs”, they refer to someone who was arrested, charged and imprisoned. Time to help them out. Here’s the dictionary definition of the word, “martyr”.

mar·tyr [mahr-ter]

noun

1.
a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.
2.
a person who is put to death or endures great suffering onbehalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice.
3.
a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering: a martyr to severe headaches.
4.

a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc.

Perhaps our boneheaded friends have seized on the latter definition, in which case, they’re clearly a bunch of drama queens.

Now, unlike Breivik and the rest of the far-right’s faux martyrs, the Tolpuddle Martyrs were proper martyrs.

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Brendan O’Neill apologises for Breivik

Just a harmless ultra-nationalist who was transformed into a monster by multiculturalism...so says Brendan O'Neill

I wondered how long it would take before Brendan O’Neill or Ed West would write a blog blaming Breivik’s mass killings on “multiculturalism” as a means of excusing the killer’s actions. I didn’t have to wait long and as I guessed, it was the Torygraph’s resident contrarian and self-styled “left-winger” who moved first. In his blog titled “Breivik: a monster made by multiculturalism” O’Neill opines,

Breivik is not so different from the “Cultural Marxists” he loves to hate. Like them, he uses academic lingo such as “deconstruct” and “cultural identity” to describe what he thinks is happening to Europe.

There’s only one problem: there is no such thing as “Cultural Marxism” , it is a confection that was devised by fascists and semi-fascists to lend intellectual gravitas to their conspiratorial musings. But O’Neill isn’t bothered by such things. His mission is to let Breivik off the hook and thus smear those whom he thinks are dragging ‘white’ Europe along the road to hell.

Here, O’Neill tries to offer some analysis but ends up looking like a first year undergraduate who has just failed to grasp the essential difference between fact and hearsay,

Another thing Breivik shares with the multicultural lobby is a powerful sense of cultural paranoia. He believes “my culture” is under siege. Only where mainstream multiculturalists tend to argue that minority cultures such as the Islamic one are threatened by tidal waves of Islamophobia and general public ignorance, Breivik says the majority culture – the white Christian identity – is threatened by the “Islamic colonisation” of Europe and also by general public ignorance (he says ordinary people have been led astray by the media).

Where does he get these ideas from? Who is this “multicultural lobby”? This sounds not too dissimilar to Breivik’s ramblings about “multicultural conspiracies”. Then he talks about “cultural paranoia”.  Who is he referring to? The Frankfurt School? This is very lazy stuff but it’s what we’ve come to expect from O’Neill, whose analysis of all things cultural wouldn’t look out of place on a site like The Gates of Vienna or Atlas Shrugs. He continues,

These are just different versions of the same sense of cultural panic that is fostered by the multicultural outlook. Indeed, it is remarkable how much Breivik has in common with those Islamists he despises. Where Islamists, also under the influence of multiculturalism, crazily claim that their cultural identity is threatened by “New Crusades” against Islam, Breivik says his cultural identity is threatened by crusades from the East, by “Islamisation”. Both groups of people have been made entirely paranoid by being encouraged to become obsessed with their allegedly fragile identities.

Here, O’Neill panders to his gallery of racist headbangers and fascists. He simply loads up his paragraphs with right-wing keywords like “multicultural outlook” but what is worse is how he suggests that “Islamism” is the creation of “multiculturalism”, this is something that is often claimed by self-styled anti-Jihadists, who insist that Europe is being “Islamized” because of this “mulitculturalism” thing.

Islamism is a fundamentalist right-wing expression of Islam. It is no different to other deeply conservative Christian, Jewish or Hindu movements. Yet, here is O’Neill trying to tell us that Islamism is a cut above the rest for its reactionary outlook. Nonsense. Islamism has its roots in the Mahdi’s response to British incursion into Sudan.  Today’s Islamism is best described as a reaction to Western and by Western, I mean what are perceived to be Christian, incursions into the Arabian peninsula and elsewhere in the Middle East.

O’Neill is so desperate to convince his readers that he is both a deep thinker and a serious intellectual but, in reality, he is at best, a philosophical lightweight and at worst, a shit-stirring trouble-maker who overrates his intellectual abilities.

He concludes his ramble with,

Breivik is not an implacable foe of multiculturalism; he is a product of it. He is multiculturalism’s monster, where his true aim is to win recognition of his identity alongside all those other identities that are fawned over in modern Europe. In essence, his barbarous act last year was not about dismantling multiculturalism but about expanding it, to make sure it afforded respect to his own petty cultural feelings as well as everyone else’s.

Make no mistake, this is an apology: what O’Neill is saying here is that if there wasn’t “multiculturalism” then there would not have been an Anders Behring Breivik but that’s simply ludicrous; as is his suggestion that “his barbarous act last year was not about dismantling multiculturalism but about expanding it”. Lazy and illogical with just a hint of right-wing paranoia. But how did Breivik’s actions “expand” multiculturalism? He does not say.

Many right-wingers in Britain were hoping that Breivik would be pronounced “insane” by psychologists and by the court. It seems that their hopes will be dashed. Breivik was compos mentis and knew exactly what he was doing. His ideas may have been delusional but then so are those right-wingers who constantly carp on about “Cultural Marxism”. Such paranoid delusions are not confined to Breivik and they do not end with “multiculturalism”. Many of those who buy into this nonsense also accept The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as an authoritative text. But O’Neill won’t tell you about that because it doesn’t fit in with his skewed narrative.

Tomorrow’s blog from O’Neill may well feature a link between Breivik and “political correctness”. Stay tuned!

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Mispronouncing names: Anders Breivik

I get a little irritated when people don’t pronounce non-English names correctly. To me, it demonstrates a lack of respect on the part of the offender,  even when the correct pronunciation has been pointed out to them by a native speaker. I have already written a blog on this very subject with regards to the former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Olympique Lyonnais manager Gerard Houllier, whose name is often mispronounced by BBC reporters, pundits and others.

With the trial of Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo this week, the BBC have done it again. Even when a Norwegian utters the correct pronounciation of the name “Breivik” to reporter Jon Sopel, he still pronounces the name “Bray-vik” instead of “Bry-vik”. What’s worse, is that he ignores the Norwegian who happens to be speaking and carries on with his mispronunciation as if nothing ever happened.

This is a mixture of arrogance and ignorance on the part of the BBC and, I daresay the other British news providers, who seem to feel that they know how to pronounce Norwegian names better than the Norwegians. The only BBC newsreader to pronounce Breivik’s name correctly was Huw Edwards on the 10 O’clock News last night. Everyone else has been absolutely shocking.

I thought the BBC had a tip-top pronunciation department. It seems to me that they no longer care about correct pronunciation. If anyone from the BBC is reading this, please don’t write and tell me that there are “two pronunciations” because it isn’t true.

POSTSCRIPT

Just to add, Breivik is a paranoid and cold-hearted mass murderer. Though there are some people in Britain who view him as a martyr. You can find them leaving comments on Telegraph blogs where they will trot out phrases like “anti-racism = anti-white” and “Cultural Marxism”. They will even provide links to right-wing conspiracy sites like Gates of Vienna, which they believe will lend gravitas to their ideas.  In a future blog I will dispel the myth of so-called Cultural Marxism and ask why the right is so obsessed with conspiracy theories.

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Is Britain really less racist than it was 20 years ago? Not if you look at the comments on Telegraph blogs

How much has really changed?

No sooner than the Lawrences get justice for their murdered son than the usual chorus of racist cranks and thugs come slithering out of the woodwork.

Predictably the Torygraph blogs is where we’ll find most of the nutters. These people think that by leaving comments on the Telegraph that, somehow, this will lend more respectability to their vile rants than if they were to leave them on, say, British Nationalist, where hardly anyone will see them.

On Mary Riddell’s blog, titled “Lawrence verdict a tribute to advances in law and science. But can society keep up”? The question is like an open goal to the hoardes of knuckledragging right-wing keyboard warriors who spend their days heaping praise on the likes of Ed West, Delingpole and Gilligoon but see Riddell as some sort of left-wing trojan horse.

Riddell, who was once a Society columnist for The Guardian, ends her article with this,

The one outstanding question is this. Has society moved on at the same pace? Almost 20 years after Stephen Lawrence died, is it conceivable that some other innocent young man or woman could be slaughtered through hate or mindless prejudice? The answer, I am afraid, is yes. On this signal day for truth and justice, we should ask ourselves why.

She needn’t ask herself that question. There are plenty of wannabe murderers leaving comments on her blog. If they aren’t wannabe murderers, then they are the types that would cheer as someone of colour was being kicked to death by a racist thug.

“Cartimandua”, who often has a great deal to say on Islam, says this,

Had the two convicted today been terrorist suspects the Lefty media would be thoroughly on their side complaining that the evidence was suspect and the publicity lead to the impossibility of a fair trial.

I wonder if he still thinks The Birmingham 6 and the Guildford 4 are still guilty? Probably. Cartimadua is joined by this nutter who calls himself  “Peter Bishop”,

The majority of victims of racist crimes in this country are indeed white although if you read our MSM  you would not be aware of this.  If we look at today’s ” right wing”  Daily Mail coverage we can witness the great efforts this paper makes to publicise its crusade to convict those allegedly guilty of the Lawrence murder yet it  makes no effort to publicise  racist murders of white people.

Let me get this straight, “racist murders of white people”? Don’t bother to ask him about power relations, he’ll just call you a “traitor” and a white-hating “loony lefty”. He’s also likely to chuck out meaningless junk like “anti-racism is anti-white”. It’s straight from the BNP book of stock soundbites.

Here’s another one who can’t hide his racism. Regular commenter, “crownarmourer” says,

If Stephen Lawrence had been white and the victim of a vicious black racist attack you Ms Riddell would have celebrated his attackers and not the victim such are your priority’s.

Are these really the words of a grown adult? It’s debatable.

There are plenty of comments to choose from but here’s one that sounds as if it was written by the BNP’s press department,

Groovybear

The increasingly wasteful plod and CPS and its other lackeys  in answering  the  demands  of  the multiculti   and race fanatics having  now resorted  to full  totalitarianist   policies against the white population as a means for achieving   something they could never have done  by willful consent of the so called tolerant  British people will one day  all be got up  and put through the mincer and fed to their  fellow snouters  at the pig farm .
You know that when they start to talk about Black people having “a chip on their shoulder”, you’re onto something. This exchange can be found on Dan Hodges blog, one of the posters calls himself  “spearofodin”.

QuantamPro

48 minutes ago

As a black man who used to live in Plumstead at the time, and often had to venture into Eltham, I know where the author is coming from. The local police were just as bad. I was once stopped for running along Plumstead because a policeman thought that this was suspicious. I used to be an athlete so always used to run and never got any grief until I moved to Plumstead. I’m almost sorry that more black people have moved there now as I would prefer the white racists to stew in their own bile.
Our heart bleeds – you were stopped for running in the street.Thats almost like being thrown into a gas chamber isnt it.You must be the only person ever stopped for running in the street by the police – what evil racism.I was stopped and searched by the police for carrying a bin bag after dark in the street on my council estate – should I cry racism.Oh I cant – I am white.Get the chip off your shoulder.

“Our heart”?  This one presumes to speak for all of his, er, race. But if you complain about racism, you have a “chip on your shoulder”. The name of this commenter shouldn’t be taken lightly; it is the sort of name favoured by self-styled Nordic nationalists neo-Nazis because it comes from Norse mythology. Interestingly enough, Emma West, the woman who shouted racist abuse on a Croydon tram is being supported by the BNP… and “spearofodin” who complains that she’s being sent to Crown Court.

Speaking of West,  “Groovybear” dumped this chunk of cut and paste onto the blog, some of which I will quote here.
Emma West, the woman who spoke out about
immigration on that Croydon tram was dragged through court once more on Tuesday
the 3rd January.

She didn’t “speak out against immigration”, she launched into a racist tirade against her fellow passengers.

Emma West, however, is being brutally bullied by
the Establishment, clearly with the intention of cowing the entire native
population.

Racists rarely hide their true selves. Here “Groovybear” can’t actually think for himself and snatches a chunk of text from the BNP website but neglects to provide a link to the source. Is he that ashamed of his rather obvious connection to the BNP? Here is a snippet from the source article,

The British State’s bullying efforts to frighten indigenous Brits into accepting their second class status and eventual displacement from the own homeland continue.

Emma West, the woman who spoke out about immigration on that Croydon tram was dragged through court once more on Tuesday the 3rd January.

I won’t link to the BNP website for obvious reasons.

His “Groovyness” also bemoans the fact that Rod Liddle’s rancid article was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for contempt of court. The article was taken down. Liddle’s latest article, which is provocatively titled “You have to be very careful who you murder these days”.  reads pretty much the same way but he uses transgendered people as his target instead of blacks. In my mind, it’s just as bad. But what’s truly undignified is the way Liddle assumes the role of martyr.

Take a look at this thread from the EDL’s Facebook page and tell me that it isn’t any different to what you’ve read on Telegraph blogs.

A friend posted this article from The Independent on Facebook.

Back in July when Anders Behring Breivik massacred loads of innocent people, the Torygraph’s commenters were in full cry. Indeed, there was an “anders” who regularly left comments, all of which included words like “dhimmi” and complained about “appeasing” Muslims. Paranoid stuff.

Finally, while those I have quoted excuse the racism of Acourt, Dobbs, Norris et al. Nowhere Towers would like to remind its readers what Eltham and its environs are like if you happen to be in possession of dark skin. As this article from today’s Independent shows.

One alleged victim of the Acourt gang, who was lucky to survive after being stabbed in the stomach, said he was “overjoyed” that two of its members now face jail.

Gurdeep Bhangal, now 41, was attacked with a kitchen knife outside his father’s Wimpy franchise in Eltham on 11 March 1993, during a spate of racist attacks in the weeks before Stephen Lawrence’s murder. He had confronted a group of abusive white youths that he alleges included David Norris. Another member of the group stabbed him.

That part of Southeast London is well known as a hotspot of far-right politics. It was the home to the BNP, who were based in Welling, a short distance away from Eltham. Bexley council shut down the BNP headquarters in 1995. The party has since decamped to Wigton in Cumbria.

So is Britain a less racist place than it was 20 years ago?

No.

Most certainly not.

UPDATE 7/1/12 @ 1049 : On today’s Telegraph blogs, LMer Brendan O’Neill, writes a somewhat confused blog that has attracted an overwhelmingly white nationalist readership.

I found this comment,

UB,Will you accept that I am reasonably acquainted with racial nationalism?  I am a racial nationalist.  I have written a great deal about it.  I am also a genuine student of political philosophy as well as the politics of race.  I know as much of these things, certainly, as anyone posting here.I am going to explain to you what this beautiful philosophy is, and why it does not exist within the liberal paradigm.  I will try to keep it as non-technical as possible.Racial nationalism is nationalism.  Culturalist or civicist nationalisms are actually patriotisms and do not challenge the fundamentals of the racial dispensation within Western polities.  Therefore, when we speak of nationalism as a radical (or consequential) politics, we are only speaking of the quiet politics of natural or genetic interests … the politics of peoples.Now, beyond the liberal paradigm – that is, in the non-Western world – all politics acknowledges the genetic interests of indigenous peoples.   That is true in Japan and in China.  It is true in India, Mexico, Turkey.  It is true of the politics of the Native Americans, for example, and of the Amazonian tribes in Brazil.  It is true even in the breach, as in Palestine and Tibet – we instinctively know where to place our sympathy not because Palestinians and Tibetans share our liberal values but because they are the true people of the land, like us.

Of course, all these national polities are quite unconsciously nationalistic.  They don’t need radicalism because that which is most precious- the life of the true people – is an assumed political value.  But everywhere in the West the assumption is that the genetic interests of European-descended peoples are morally illegitimate.

Something is wrong.

What’s wrong, of course, is that liberalism has become the struggle against the struggle for existence.  You, for example, struggle against the life of our English people.  You think this is moral.  You think “nationalism” is “Nazi” and “fascist” and “evil”.  You have been provided with emotional cues to take the place of thought, and you duly do not think.

Amid such a remarkable absence of intellectual enquiry, and an even more remarkable absence of self-awareness, the simple demand that the true people of the land must live, that the genetic interests of that people must obtain, is revolutionary.  It comes from without the system.  The genetic interests of the people (which subsume the genetic interests of the individual, by the way) have been put outside by Power.  The indigenous European is ignored as such, is denied his existence, is denied the natural political expression which enters politics all across the non-Western world.

The name we give our effort to correct this evil, and to bring health and normality back to our political life, is racial nationalism.  It is radical because of its circumstance, not because of its content.  Its content is normal and universal.

Forget what you read about racial nationalism.  This is the truth.

“John Piggott” doesn’t bother to hide the fact that he’s a racist. Instead he uses the phrase “racial nationalist”. But did you see how he compared his white supremacy to the people of India and China. One of the racist’s favourite tricks is to ask the stupid question “Can I be Chinese”? It’s a straw man.
O’Neill opens by saying,
Is Diane Abbott racist? By any reasoned, rational assessment, of course she isn’t. There’s far more to being a racist than writing the occasional clumsily worded tweet. But if we go by the definition of racism proffered by Abbott’s own social and political set – particularly by the Labour Party – then she is a racist. After all, who was it who redefined racism to include speech and action that is not even consciously bigoted (“unwitting racism”) and to include “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”? Yep, it was Labour and its various cliques. Abbott has fallen victim to her own mates’ ruthless relativisation of what constitutes racism.
O’Neill rationalizes things by weaving Dianegate (can I say that?) into a tapestry of wibertarian-speak. Diane Abbott is no more a racist than the presenters on Loose Women are sexist because of their generalizations about men. Wibertarians like O’Neill always get their knickers in a twist whenever the issues of race, sex (yes, I used that word instead of gender), gender (and I mean, gender) and class are raised.  Bereft of ontological wisdom – either through ignorance or design, wibertarians want you to believe that history or, at least the one you and I remember, never existed. What I find so breathtaking is how their sense of victimhood kicks into overdrive .  “Why can’t I have some of that too”? Just like those men who claim to have a monthly cycle, “It’s just like a woman’s period. Honest”. No, it isn’t. Get a grip.

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Ron Paul, right libertarians and their questionable attitudes to difference

Ron Paul, right libertarian, racist, anti-Semite and conspiracy theorist

A lot of right libertarians love to talk about freedom. They love to tell us how their ‘libertarianism’ will make us happier. “Greed is natural and greed is good” is the motto by which they live their lives. They also love to talk about how they want to abolish institutions that work to promote greater understanding and equality. The suggestion put forth by the right libertarian is that the ‘invisible hand’ of the ‘free market’ will eliminate racism. It’s not only laughable. It’s a myth. Especially when so many right libertarians harbour deep-seated prejudices.

Scratch the surface of some of these ‘libertarians’ and you’ll often find some questionable attitudes to difference underneath. Their attitudes are almost always shrouded in economic dogma and masked by cold, matter-of-fact business-speak. For example the lunch counter protests in the South were retroactively opposed on the grounds of “trespass”. They also argue that businesses should be permitted to refuse someone on the basis of skin colour.  It is for these reasons that soi-disant libertarians claimed to oppose the civil rights movement. Ron Paul, whose soubriquet is “Dr No”, has earned a reputation among right libertarians as “principled”. He is often lauded on The Telegraph’s blogs and hailed elsewhere as a true ‘libertarian’. A commenter on Hannan’s blog says,

Ron Paul seems to be ignored by the British media.   In the U.S. he also gets a raw deal. A recent CNN poll had him rated at
0%.  It turned out that they had polled just 50 people.

This reads like a lament but the commenter does not connect the lament with lived experience. Furthermore this commenter wilfully ignores Paul’s racist and anti-Semitic remarks. In 2008 CNN reported that,

A series of newsletters in the name of GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul contain several racist remarks — including one that says order was restored to Los Angeles after the 1992 riots when blacks went “to pick up their welfare checks.”

Hannan is a self-declared admirer of Paul, whom he describes as an “honest principled patriot” (see the comments).  There’s no mention of his racism and that is no surprise.  It’s much easier to elide something as inconvenient as Paul’s racism and talk movingly about his ‘honesty’. We’ll return to Hannan later.  Paul may deny it but there are still many doubts over his protestations of innocence. Is it because he doth protest too much? CNN again,

The controversial newsletters include rants against the Israeli lobby, gays, AIDS victims and Martin Luther King Jr. — described as a “pro-Communist philanderer.” One newsletter, from June 1992, right after the LA riots, says “order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”

It’s just a joke… yeah, sure it is.

In May 2011, capitolhillblue wrote,

Twice-failed Presidential wannabe Ron Paul’s racism is never far from the surface and reappeared Friday when he admitted to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he would not have voted for the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 if he had been in Congress at the time.

News One, a black website tells us that Paul is closely associated with the extreme right-wing  John Birch Society,

Despite its nefarious history, Ron Paul has been a longtime supporter and friend of the John Birch Society, speaking as they keynote speaker at their 50th anniversary and holding  rallies with them. Like The John Birch society, Paul has become a magnet for Neo-Nazis who support him online on sites like Stormfront. Paul even has a picture with the Internets most notorious Neo-Nazis, Don Black and his son Derrek, the founders of Stormfront. Paul also famously refused to give back a donation from Don Black.

In fact, here is Paul addressing the John Birch Society in August 2009.


Outside the Beltway attempts to defend Paul and, by extension, the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Much of the piece is guilt by association. Kirchick notes Paul’s long association with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a respected libertarian think tank, and points out that other people associated with the organization are Confederate sympathizers and the like.

The Ludwig von Mises Institute is at the intellectual forefront of the neo-Confederate movement. It produces reams of  libertarian justifications for slavery, while also perpetuating the myth of the Southern states-as-victim. The Civil War, they argue had nothing to do with slavery. It was all about states rights. In other words, and in the mind of the neo-Confederate, the war was about the right for individual states to continue the practice of slavery as well as “tariffs”. In essence, the LvMI rewrites history to suit a particular ideological agenda. Their neo-Misean narrative is intended to lend intellectual gravitas to what is, actually, a Dixiecratic vision. This article is fairly typical.

Immediately following that clause in the Confederate Constitution is a clause that has no parallel in the U.S. Constitution. It affirms strong support for free trade and opposition to protectionism: “but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importation from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry.”

The LvMI believes its strict economic discourse is unassailable. The suggestion is that economics is a neutral ‘science’ that speaks for itself. LvMI’s ‘scholar’ Thomas Di Lorenzo is part of the vanguard in the historical revisionism of the Confederate States of America. Here he says,

Legal scholar Gene Healy has made a powerful argument in favor of abolishing the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. When a fair vote was taken on it in 1865, in the aftermath of the War for Southern Independence, it was rejected by the Southern states and all the border states. Failing to secure the necessary three-fourths of the states, the Republican party, which controlled Congress, passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867 which placed the entire South under military rule

The Fourteenth Amendment is the one that contains what is known as the Citizen Clause. This  granted all persons born or naturalized in the United States, regardless of their skin colour, the right to citizenship (The Indians were mysteriously excluded). Prior to this, black people – free and slave – were not considered to be citizens. The amendment is referred to as a “Reconstruction” amendment  and was enacted partly in response to the Black Codes of the southern states, which were passed in the wake of the Thirteenth Amendment – which ended slavery –  and forbade blacks from voting and holding public office.  In this article, Di Lorenzo muddies the waters by introducing the straw man of northern racism. He splits hairs over the Constitution which is, in the mind of the neo-Confederate, an evil document that stole their freedoms away.

The Fourteenth Amendment has had precisely the effect that its nineteenth-century Republican party supporters intended it to have: it has greatly centralized power in Washington, D.C., and has subjected Americans to the kind of judicial tyranny that Thomas Jefferson warned about when he described federal judges as those who would be “constantly working underground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric.” It’s time for all Americans to reexamine the official history of the “Civil War” and its aftermath as taught by paid government propagandists in the “public” schools for the past 135 years.

Di Lorenzo presents what appears prima facie to be a reasonable request to examine the history of the Civil War in new light but why stop there? Why not re-examine the Civil War against the backdrop of the entire history of the United States as Howard Zinn has done with The People’s History of the United States? The answer to that question is because Di Lorenzo and the LvMI have a vested interest in isolating the Civil War from the rest of US history. But notice how he uses quotation marks around the words “Civil War”.

Di Lorenzo’s main body of work orbits the dead star of Abraham Lincoln, whom he and the LvMI regards as a tyrant and a bully. Those of us who are familiar with a broader sweep of history already understand how historical figures are cosmetically-enhanced to offer a media-friendly image of flawed men and women. It happened then and is happening now.  Lincoln is not unique.  Yet Di Lorenzo labours under the illusion that he and the neo-Confederate movement are the only people to possess such knowledge.  And Jefferson Davis? Not a word about him and his poor grasp of military tactics or his slipshod presidency.  The Claremont Institute produced a review of Di Lorenzo’s The Real Lincoln in which it says,

As the title suggests, The Real Lincoln purports to go beyond the mountains of revisionist historiography to reveal Lincoln’s genuine principles and purposes. According to DiLorenzo, these had nothing to do with the perpetuation of free government and the problem of slavery: The “real” Lincoln did not care a whit about the “peculiar institution.” At the core of the “real” Lincoln’s ambition was an unqualified and unwavering commitment to mercantilism, or socialism as DiLorenzo sometimes intimates. Lincoln would stop at nothing to impose the “Whig economic system” upon America, and any opinion he voiced regarding slavery was merely instrumental in advancing this end. Lincoln’s “cause,” in the words of DiLorenzo, was “centralized government and the pursuit of empire.” According to DiLorenzo, Lincoln said this “over and over again,” although DiLorenzo does not trouble himself to produce a shred of evidence for this assertion.
If the “real” Lincoln needed to resort to war to advance his cause, he was happy to do it: “Lincoln decided that he had to wage war on the South,” because only military might would destroy “the constitutional logjam behind which the old Whig economic policy agenda had languished.” In the end, writes DiLorenzo, “[Lincoln] wanted war” and “was not about to let the Constitution stand in his way.” Lincoln was devoted to undermining the Constitution in the name of tariffs and internal improvement schemes. In its place Lincoln hoped to build a centralized mercantilist-socialist state, with himself at the helm.

Here, Di Lorenzo has written a smear job on his most critical foe, the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The League of the South recently published its “Declaration of Cultural Secession” advocating a society that advances what it calls the virtues of “Celtic culture,” defined on its Web site as “the permanent things that order and sustain life: faith, family, tradition, community, and private property; loyalty, courage, and honour.” The SPLC lied about and defamed the League of the South by spreading the falsehood on its own Web site that by “Celtic culture” the League of the South means, and I quote, “white people.” Apparently the SPLC believes that only white people embrace family, tradition, community, private property, courage, etc.

Notice the wilful misrepresentation at the end of the paragraph. Di Lorenzo, who is supposed to be some sort of academic, writes in a prose style that’s reminiscent of a petulant correspondent who writes regular letters of complaint to local newspapers. Here he writes of Obama,

It only took the Obama administration a couple of weeks to prove that the national leadership of the Democratic Party is guided by totalitarian-minded socialists who seek to create an omnipotent government. The U.S. government is now controlled by people who have been dreaming of living out their utopian socialist fantasies ever since the fantasies were brought to their attention in college decades ago by their Mao/Castro/Che Guevara poster-hanging, capitalism-hating, communistic professors.

Right libertarians will often use words like “socialist” , “totalitarian” or “America-hating” to describe Obama. Some will question his birth (see the amusingly self-styled ‘Birther’ movement)  and claim that he wasn’t born in the US. It’s merely a way of transferring one’s racism over to a narrative about ‘patriotism’.

Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs also identifies herself as a ‘libertarian’ but her website tells us an altogether different story. Atlas Shrugs is often cited by the Islamophobes of the EDL and Stop the Islamisation of Europe. Even the mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, cited it. Geller even wrote a few apologies for Breivik’s actions. She described the summer camp on the island of Utoya as an “indoctrination center” that was full of “jihadists”. She even tried to claim that those who had attended the summer camp weren’t “pure Norwegian”. Recently, she edited her blog to remove a blatantly racist caption.

Writing for the Mellon-Scaife WorldNetDaily, she wrote of Barack Obama,

After reading Barack Obama’s speech at the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP Thursday, there is no getting around it: The man is a racist. He is not a unifier, a healer, or a leader – he divides, incites, destroys. He foments animus and anger. The speech proves, yet again, that he does not (nor does he want to) represent all Americans. He is the most racist, divisive official we have ever elected to any high office, let alone the most powerful office in the world.

Did you see how she inverted the entire argument about racism by claiming that Obama is a ‘racist’? She can’t use the word she wants to use: nigger. It’s a distortion.  Like the rest of the ‘birthers’ that she associates herself with, she repeats the worn out canard that Obama is really a Muslim in Christian clothing.
Of course, no Obama speech would be complete without the advancement of Islamic supremacism. He got applause for claiming that “Muslim Americans [are] viewed with suspicion simply because they kneel down to pray to their God.” He made no mention of public Christian prayer (which can get you fired these days).
Every single headline calls Terreblanche a “white supremacist,” alluding to his position in the waning days of the apartheid government, thirty-odd years ago. But the real story here is not that Terreblanche was a “white supremacist” — if he really was (and I know how the left loves to throw around those labels). Whether he was or not, the man was brutally murdered, and I had to go through ten newspaper accounts to find out how he was murdered. The liberal media had to dehumanize him first. And not one newspaper account speaks of Black supremacism — yet that is the really important story in South Africa today. All I see in South Africa is Black supremacism. Terreblanche may have been a white supremacist, but he’s the dead one.
This demonstrates how Geller is disconnected from history . There is no mention of apartheid and the conditions in which South African blacks, Asians and ‘coloureds’ had to suffer. As far as Geller is concerned, all blacks are violent genocidally-inclined criminals
The genocide of Boers taking place in South Africa is never spoken of
What “genocide”? I wonder if she has ever been to South Africa. The fact-free Geller makes it up as she goes along. She clearly overlooks the Afrikaner Weerstandbeweging (AWB) and its veneration of Nazism. For a someone who is supposed to be Jewish, it’s a very odd position to take. Perhaps she’s insane?

In Britain, right libertarians also offer lip service to anti-racism. I say “lip service” because while they claim to be against racism, they will call for certain institutions to be abolished and will excuse an employer’s racism by declaring it a matter of ‘business’.

In 2009, Hannan wrote this

Barack Obama has an exotic background, and it would be odd if some people weren’t unsettled by it. During the campaign, he made a virtue of his unusual upbringing. He was at once from the middle of the country (Kansas) and from its remotest edge (Hawaii). He was both black and white. He was a Protestant brought up among Muslims. He seemed to have family on every continent. Like St Paul, he made a virtue of being all things to all men.

Was he playing to his gallery of US right libertarians? No doubt about it.

They complain that he has no mandate for the policy of tax, spend and borrow. And they’re right. Look, I supported the fellow, and I still wish him well. But to seek to close down debate with the racism card is pretty low.

Well, I hardly think anyone is “playing the racism card” and even if they are, then they may actually have a valid point.  Indeed, it’s easy for someone who isn’t black to make excuses for the tone of language used by Obama’s right wing critics.  Like many so-called libertarians, Hannan swats aside any idea that racism may be lurking behind the rhetoric used by the likes of the ‘Birthers’ for example. Incidentally, Hannan later wrote that he was “wrong” about Obama.

Now, I am not accusing Hannan of being a racist. He may be many things but I don’t think he’s necessarily a racist. However his use of the word “exotic” when describing Obama was wrong-headed. The word “exotic” is often applied without much thought and is used to describe someone of a different skin tone. My own background, for instance, is probably more mixed than Obama’s. But why has Hannan overlooked Ron Paul’s racist outbursts? Because he has the right credentials: he’s a small stater. But what Hannan fails to mention is Paul’s love of conspiracy theories. Paul has appeared on Alex Jones radio show to talk about the ‘New World Order’ and the 9/11 ‘Truth’ movement. When people speak about such things, you can’t guarantee that anti-Semitism and racism are following closely behind. The libertarian right are rather fond of conspiracy theories.

Hannan is a member of The Freedom Association, a right wing pressure group that was founded by Ross and Norris McWhirter, who had previously been involved in the Economic League, which worked to blacklist trade unionists and others whom it deemed to be subversive. The McWhirters were also associated with Lady Jane Birdwood, an eccentric right-winger who was closely associated with Britain’s fascists in the 1980’s.

The McWhirters were close personal and political friends. In the mid-1970s she joined forces with Ross McWhirter to produce the far-right magazine Majority. But it was to be a short-lived venture as the project was terminated after Ross McWhirter was killed by the IRA in 1975. Although she fought bitterly to keep the publication going, the trustees opposed such a move.

TFA’s darkest hour came when it supported the rebel English cricket tour of apartheid South Africa. In 1976, upset at the deselection of turncoat Reg Prentice,  TFA  secretly funded Julian Lewis (now Conservative MP for The New Forest) to pose as a Labour moderate in order for him to take control of the Newham North East constituency Labour Party . Prentice later  joined the Tories and became their MP for Daventry. He was elevated to the House of Lords in 1992.

The recent riots in England have sent the right libertarians scurrying to pen articles attacking black youths, whom have been variously described as “feral”. There is an implication here that black people are genetically pre-disposed to criminality. When television historian and Tudorist, David Starkey blamed the riots on the way people spoke, he unwittingly cast himself in the role of a rather posh Alf Garnett. He deliberately inflamed the situation by quoting Enoch Powell’s infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech. Yet, the Telegraph’s arch-libertarians were quick to defend Starkey claiming that he wasn’t “a racist” and that he was right to single out black youths because of the way they spoke and the music they listened to.  They also defended his weird thesis that “whites have become black”.

Toby Young (known as Hon Tobes on this blog) produced this apology, while hiding behind the Oxford Dictionary definition of racism.

To begin with, Starkey wasn’t talking about black culture in general, but, as he was anxious to point out, a “particular form” of black culture, i.e. “the violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture” associated with Jamaican gangs and American rap music. Had he been talking about these qualities as if they were synonymous with African-Caribbean culture per se, or condemning that culture in its totality, then he would have been guilty of racism. But he wasn’t. He was quite specifically condemning a sub-culture associated with a small minority of people of African-Caribbean heritage. (Admittedly, he could have made this clearer.) Rather than being racist, he was merely trotting out the conventional wisdom of the hour, namely, that gang culture is to blame for the riots. The Prime Minister made the same point in the House of Commons on Thursday. (I wrote a blog post on Thursday in which I pointed out the shortcomings of this analysis.)

Tobes, completely and wilfully unaware of 1950’s R&B, rock n roll and death metal rushed to the conclusion that only gangsta rap is a dangerous and corrosive musical form because it celebrates a “violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture”. Perhaps Hon Tobes would like to consider the example of Little Walter’s Boom Boom…Out Go the Lights? Then there’s Marilyn Manson, who has been banned from a number of states as well as Australia because of his image and lyrics. It’s pretty obvious that Tobes also blissfully ignorant of the swaggering misogyny of heavy metal too – the majority of which is played by white musicians.
He then went on to make an almost equally controversial observation about the Labour MP for Tottenham. “Listen to David Lammy, an archetypical successful black man,” he said. “If you turned the screen off so you were listening to him on radio you’d think he was white.”

Owen Jones leapt on this: “You said David Lammy when you heard him sounded white and what you meant by that is that white people equals respectable.”

But I don’t think that is what Starkey meant. Rather, he was simply reiterating the point that he wasn’t condemning African-Caribbean men per se. On the contrary, he was condemning a particular sub-culture, one that may have originated in parts of the African-Caribbean community, but which has now been taken up by some white people as well. Condemning a sub-culture that’s associated with certain people of a particular race, but is embraced by blacks and whites, may be provocative, but it isn’t racist.

But would Hon Tobes be able to identify racism without the aid of the OED? Unlikely. He adds this,

No doubt there’ll be people who take issue with this analysis.

The only problem for Tobes is that his use of the word ‘analysis’ is misleading. This is an apology and a very poor one at that.

Delingpole tried to claim that if  “Starkey is racist, then so is everyone else”. But that doesn’t let him off the hook.

The part of the programme which seems to have most got the Left’s goat is the one where David Starkey says that “the whites have become black.” But again, the cultural point he is making is indisputable. Listen to how many white kids (and Asian kids) choose to speak in black street patois; note the extent to which hip hop and grime garage and their offshoots have penetrated the white mainstream; check out how many white kids like to roll like pimps or perps with their Calvins pulled up to their midriffs and their jean waistbands sagging below their buttocks.

This is a posh, middle-class white man speaking in an RP accent. Remember, Delingpole is not only a self-styled climate change sceptic, he’s a batshit mad libertarian who rejects peer-reviewed evidence. Like others of his ilk, he clings fast to conspiracy theories. But people like Young and Delingpole can only see culture in one-dimensional terms. For them, there is a ‘black’ culture as well as a ‘white’ culture. One culture contains an aberrant popular form and the other doesn’t. It’s simple.  The cultural cross-fertilization that occurred as a result of immigration is neither here nor there. In fact, it is seen as a corrupting influence and there is no evidence to the contrary that can change their views. After all, wasn’t Grand Theft Auto accused of encouraging people to commit the crimes depicted in the game?

Right libertarians prefer to see things in black and white. The world is a complicated place that is full of complex issues. Yet, these people only want easy answers – hence their love of conspiracy theories. The racists among them lack the honesty to admit to their prejudices. For them, it’s simply a matter of individual rights and if those individual rights include the right to discriminate on the basis of skin colour then it’s simply a matter of ‘business’ and not racism.

The line here seems to be “I’m not a racist, but…”

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Filed under History, History & Memory, Human rights, Neoliberalism, Popular music, racism, riots, Society & culture

Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 30)

Within days of Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utøya, Kennite wrote this article for the Telegraph,

I wouldn’t suggest that anyone was actually pleased by the horror in Norway. But within hours of the gunman being identified as white, certain British Islamists and their sympathisers were behaving as if they had caught a lucky break.

So what is he saying here? Surely those who identify with Breivik’s notions of ‘cultural Marxism’ are no doubt pleased. It’s patently misleading to say otherwise.  Gilligan also appears to be suggesting that we “ignore the extreme right, it’s the Muslims we need to worry about”.  Regardless of who they are or what they do, Kennite gives all Muslims the broad brush treatment. He is indiscriminate. Those who work to promote tolerance are also similarly attacked. He doesn’t use the word “Dhimmi” but doesn’t mind much if his commenters use it.  One such person is Robert  Lambert of Exeter University, whom Kennite reports as saying, “Nationalists pose a bigger threat than al-Qaeda”. Gilligan adds,

The Islamist threat, he said, was “minimal” by comparison. Ibrahim Hewitt, the head of a charity called Interpal, wrote that “the new Right is on the rise across the West” thanks to “the collusion of Western governments”.

Any group or academic school that researches Islam or its relations with other religions is wrong in Kennite’s mind. Furthermore, most security commentators agree that Al-Qaeda is not the threat that it once was. Here, Kennite says,

Clearly, the number killed by Anders Behring Breivik is greater than in any single Islamist terror attack in the UK; and equally clearly, the murderer was motivated by hatred of Muslims. This cannot, however, have been his main motive, or he surely would have taken his assault rifle to an Oslo mosque, rather than an island of white teenagers. To even suggest equivalence between years of Islamist terror and the far Right, based on a single, awful case, is deeply dangerous and false.

Who said anything about “equivalence” but I would put it to him that terrorism and spree killings are abhorrent no matter who carries them out. What he seems to be suggesting is that ‘Islamist’ terrorism is somehow worse than any other form. It’s the way he reminds us how Breivik didn’t attack a Mosque but instead killed – and notice how he says this – “white teenagers” not only misses the point but indicates a fundamental dishonesty at the heart of his writing. If Muslims aren’t part of a race, then why mention these “white” teenagers at all? In fact, one of the youths who was murdered by Breivik was

Ismail Haji Ahmed, 20, was a talented dancer who had appeared on Norway’s Got Talent, using the name Isma Brown.

Ismail was dark-skinned and a Muslim.

While nobody should deny that there is anti-Muslim hatred in Britain, and it’s disgraceful, nearly all the available evidence shows that it is not “rising” but diminishing.

Naturally, Gilligan offers no evidence for his assertion that Islamophobic attacks are on the decline. Furthermore  who or what is the source for this earth-shattering  information? Daniel Pipes? Pamela Geller?

The Tory chairmanship, once home of Norman “Cricket Test” Tebbit, is held by a Muslim woman. The number of Muslim MPs doubled at the last election, some elected for entirely non-Muslim seats (Bromsgrove, Gillingham, Stratford-upon-Avon) with no backlash whatsoever. Continental moves to ban minarets and the niqab have gained no political traction at all in Britain.

The current Tory chair is Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who is often lambasted on the pages of the Torygraph. Only last week, this blog from Nile ‘Moonie’ Gardiner appeared.

If she does make an exit from Millbank to Islamabad, Baroness Warsi will leave behind a remarkably undistinguished track record, peppered with a series of distinctly un-conservative outbursts, which were frequently at odds with the views of her own prime minister. Only time will tell if she proves more successful in the realm of international diplomacy. One thing is certain though: her contribution to the cause of British conservatism has been practically non-existent.

“Islamabad”?  Yes, I wondered why he said that too. She’s from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, why wouldn’t she want to go back there or live in Chelsea for that matter?  Back to the article,

The English Defence League, although vile, shows the British far Right’s weakness, not its strength. Two years ago, haters of Muslims had at least a semi-credible political party, the BNP, with serious hopes of winning one or more councils. Now the BNP has lost nearly all of its councillors, it has effectively collapsed, and the anti-Muslim Right has been reduced from political office to a street rabble.

This is misleading and dishonest. Kennite claims the far-right’s strength has diminished  because of the EDL’s increased profile and the decline in the BNP’s fortunes. It wasn’t that long ago when the Daily Star openly encouraged the EDL to organize itself as  a political party.  But  Gilligoon also tries to put some distance between himself and his fans from the EDL.  But it’s all for show. His thinking is muddled, he doesn’t know whether he wants to offer praise to the EDL or condemn them.

Over the past decade, half a dozen or so white British Right-wingers have been convicted of possessing explosives and other weapons. But all were loners not acting in concert with any group. Breivik appears, for now, to be the same. Links to a global fascist conspiracy have so far proved elusive.

No one has ever suggested that there was a “global fascist conspiracy” but there are plenty of neo-Nazi, fascist and openly racist parties on the continent and some of them are in government. Italy’s MSI party, for example, is in coalition with Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. Belgium’s Vlaams Belang is gaining support and Geert Wilders PVV has 24 seats in the Dutch House of Representatives. Should we just ignore them? Gilligoon doesn’t say as much but that’s the message that Nowhere Towers is receiving. It’s almost as if the 1930’s never happened. Then, Jews were being scapegoated for the social and economic problems in many European nations, including Britain. The lessons of the past clearly have not been learnt and now, we have a situation where some lazy journalists happily and irresponsibly churn out scare story after scare story abut “Islamic extremists” and “Muslim terrorists”. Gilligan thinks he’s found a rich seam of stories, but he’s extracted them from a fool’s goldmine.

Kennite popped out two blog posts yesterday. This one tells us that “East London Mosque has bagged itself a Bishop”. Notice how he suggests that Tower Hamlets is some sort of nest of vipers.

The Islamists of East London, led by their flagship the East London Mosque, have been loudly condemning a proposed march by the English Defence League through Tower Hamlets on September 3. Actually, of course, they are thrilled.

Pray, tell us Kennite, why are they thrilled?

The EDL is wrong in so many ways – look at this video for how one of its previous marches, in Leicester, ended – but not least because they hand their supposed enemies, Muslim radicals, the perfect way to build support and legitimacy. The Islamists’ attempts to blame the EDL for the Norway massacre are perhaps a bit of a stretch – but who could dispute that the EDL are a racist rabble? Who could possibly object to campaigning against them?

That’s a bit of a stretch. Once again, he’s seems to be spending a lot of time on Mars. Did he not hear that Breivik had met and marched with the EDL as recently as March of this year?

The mosque has duly placed itself at the head of a campaign to resist the march – called, with beautiful irony, “One Tower Hamlets – No Place for Hate.” I think they must mean “No Place for Hate – Apart From The East London Mosque.”

He doesn’t miss an opportunity to take a cheap swipe at his opponent, does he? Say, wasn’t this blog supposed to be about a “bishop” being “bagged”? Not until the fourth paragraph from the end is the bishop in question actually mentioned. On the way, we are treated to the usual piss and vinegar about Ken Livingstone.

And there are those Ken Livingstone/ Lee Jasper creations, One Society Many Cultures and Unite Against Fascism (Jasper’s typically measured intervention in the Norway killings story yesterday was to compare Boris Johnson to Anders Behring Breivik.)

So who is this “bishop”?

The new bishop of Stepney, Rt Rev Adrian Newman, will speak at a “No Place for Hate” pre-rally at the East London Mosque on Friday, his first public engagement since taking office.

So what’s bugging you, Kennite?

The Bishop is the mosque’s most important recruit so far to what appears to be its new strategy of legitimisation. After they were thoroughly exposed by this newspaper and Channel 4, the mosque and IFE have realised that they can no longer simply rely on lies and empty threats of legal action to see off their critics.

This reeks of paranoia. He even manages to get in a pre-emptive threat.

I say the Church is untainted – but if it starts mixing with people like Azad Ali that won’t last long. There are plenty of far more representative Muslim groups to work with.

I thought you hated all Muslim groups. Aren’t they all “extremists”?

By all means protest against racism, bishop. But don’t do it through the East London Mosque – you’re in danger of making yourself look ridiculous.

Not half as ridiculous as you look, Andy baby.

UPDATE: 19/3/12

It seems that Bob Lambert is another former police spy.

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Filed under Islamophobia, Journalism, Media, racism, Society & culture, Yellow journalism