Category: struggle against anti-semitism
Charlottesville, White Supremacy, and Why the US Civil War Never Ended
A white supremacist arrives at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, US, August 12, 2017.

Charlottesville, White Supremacy, and Why the US Civil War Never Ended

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John Wight
Charlottesville Violence During Pro-Confederate Protest in US’ Virginia (48)
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https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201708151056478983-us-white-supremacy-problem/

The ugly events that have just taken place in Charlottesville, VA are a stark reminder that the cancer of white supremacy continues to fester in America - and not just at the level of a few hundred knuckle dragging racists marching with Confederate flags.

On the contrary, white supremacy is rooted in the very foundations of America, and remains wedded into the very fabric of its society and culture.

Let us not mince words. If ever a cause was unworthy, that cause was the US Confederacy. If ever a cause was righteously defeated in battle, it was the cause of the US Confederacy. And if ever a flag was and is an insult to human decency and dignity, it is the Confederate flag.

White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S
© REUTERS/ Alejandro Alvarez/News2Share
White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S

The mere fact this is still being debated in the United States, the fact there are those who continue to accord a nobility, valor, and romanticism to the Confederacy  -  regarded wistfully as the “Lost Cause” to its adherents  —  this is evidence of the deep polarization that divides a society yet to fully come to terms with its legacy of slavery, racial oppression, and brutality.

Four million human beings  —  men, women, and children  —  were owned as chattel by the start of the US Civil War in 1861. They were bought and sold, raped, beaten, tortured and murdered upon the whim of their owners, whose barbarity has its modern equivalence in the barbarity of the followers and members of the so-called Islamic State (also known as Daesh).

When white racist fanatic, Dylann Roof, slaughtered nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina back in 2015, he unwittingly exposed the truth that the US Civil War remains the defining event in the nation’s history, which still today informs a cultural divide between North and South.

The reason for this lies not so much in the legitimacy of the Confederate/southern cause  —  indeed how could a cause defined by the right to keep human beings as slaves ever be considered legitimate  -  but in the weakness of progressive forces in succumbing to the mythology that has been ascribed to the Confederacy and to those who fought and died for it. Indeed, if ever a society was crying out for the aggressive assertion of human rights, racial equality, and justice, it is the United States.

Racial oppression, whether delivered from the gun of a mass murderer in a South Carolinian church, or the gun of a police officer, has yet to be expunged in the land of the free, even though 150 years have passed since the Confederacy was defeated in battle.

There are historical reasons why this is so, but one in particular: namely the decision of the 18th US President, Rutherford B. Hayes, to end Reconstruction as a condition of his entry into the White House with the support of southern Democrats, a tawdry political deal known to history as the Compromise of 1877. It marked the end of a decade in which so-called Radical Republicans (referred to pejoratively as Black Republicans), in control of the US Congress, had driven forward a federal program to promote and uphold the rights of former slaves throughout the South, according them the full civil and political rights that their status as free men and women demanded.

This was absolutely necessary immediately upon war’s end, when local politicians assumed control of state legislatures across the South and enacted “black codes” with the objective of keeping newly freed black slaves in as close to a state of their former bondage as was possible, refusing to grant them their civil rights or the vote.

A white nationalist demonstrator with a helmet and shield walks into Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.
© AP Photo/ Steve Helber
A white nationalist demonstrator with a helmet and shield walks into Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

The reaction of the North was to divide the former Confederate states into military districts and occupy them with federal troops to ensure the protection of blacks from white racists and to enforce their civil rights. This was accompanied by the demand that those former Confederate states support the passage of the three post-civil war amendments to the US Constituion  —  the 13th, 14th, and 15th  —  outlawing slavery and granting rights of citizenship and the vote to every person born in the United States regardless of race or color in every state.

The end of Reconstruction in 1877, and the withdrawal of federal troops from states such as South Carolina, resulted in the plight of blacks in said states suffering a sharp reverse. The Klu Klux Klan’s influence and power as America’s first terrorist organization instantly made its presence felt, measured in the rise and entrenchment of white supremacy as a state, and the culture of segregation returned across the South. Blacks were lynched, murdered, and tortured with impunity from then on, and their status as second-class citizens entrenched.

This mindset remains a fact of life not just across the South, but across the United States, carried in the hearts and minds of right-wing Republicans and an alt-right movement that has worked to normalize the politics of race in recent years, whipping up division and spewing out prejudice and racial stereotypes with blithe disregard for common decency.

By far the most telling evidence of the emergence of white supremacy in recent times was the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in 2016. Trump’s bigoted rhetoric on migrants, Mexicans, Muslims, and minorities gave license to racists and white nationalists and Nazis all over America, lending their creed the kind of legitimacy that would have been unthinkable previously.

Indeed, one of his key advisers, Steve Bannon, credited with steering Trump all the way from political obscurity to the White House, is a national figurehead and icon of the nation’s alt-right movement.

It is said that those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind. Charlottesville is a reminder of how the past intrudes on the present, and of the folly in romanticizing history instead of learning from it.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.

In His Inaugural Address, Donald Trump Embraced Anti-Semites’ Slogan

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-inaugural-address-america-first_us_588248c1e4b096b4a2315af0?j8zvejdqn3tyb9

The Anti-Defamation League asked him to stop using it. He didn’t care.

01/20/2017 01:37 pm ET | Updated 3 hours ago

During Donald Trump’s campaign for president, the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, asked him to stop using the phrase “America First” to describe his foreign policy views. As the ADL explained, the slogan was used by people who warned, ahead of World War II, that Jewish Americans were pushing the U.S. to enter the war because they put their own interests ahead of the country’s.

But Trump never stopped using the slogan. And on Friday, he made it a key part of his inaugural address. “From this day forward,” he proclaimed, “A new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.”

The crowd went wild.

People who aren’t Jewish or familiar with the history may not realize this, but “America First” makes many people deeply uncomfortable. In 1941, as members of the America First movement campaigned against U.S. involvement in World War II and expressed sympathy for the Nazis, plenty of people already knew that Jews were being persecuted in Hitler’s Germany. Even Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator who led the America First movement, knew it.

“It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany,” Lindbergh said in Des Moines, Iowa, in September 1941. “The persecution they suffered in Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race.”

But Lindbergh blamed Jewish Americans for pushing the country towards war, and warned that tolerance of Jews in America could not “survive” war with Germany. The greatest danger to the U.S., he argued, came not from the Axis powers but in what he saw as Jewish “ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.”

This is dark stuff ― so dark it’s even inspired literature. Philip Roth, perhaps the most famous Jewish American writer, published The Plot Against America in 2004. The novel imagines an alternate U.S. history in which America First’s Lindbergh won the presidential election in 1940, defeating Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Things don’t go too well for the Jews after that.

“How can people like these be in charge of our country? If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I’d think I was having a hallucination,” Roth’s father says in the book.

In real life, Lindbergh ― a celebrity who was at least as famous as Trump at a time when public anti-Semitism was far more acceptable than it is today ― actually faced some backlash for his speech, as The New Yorker’s Louisa Thomas noted in July:

Anti-Semitism was prevalent in Lindberg’s time; his attitudes were not fringe. He had not made a secret of his interest in eugenics, nor his racial attitudes, which today seem reprehensible. But with that 1941 speech he seemed to cross a line. He was strongly and swiftly condemned for his anti-Semitic and divisive words—not only by interventionists who were opposed to America First but by those who had lionized him. The Des Moines Register called his speech “so intemperate, so unfair, so dangerous in its implications that it cannot but turn many spadefuls in the digging of the grave of his influence in this country.” The Hearst papers, which were generally sympathetic to the non-interventionists—and open about their hatred of Franklin Roosevelt—condemned Lindbergh, calling his speech “un-American.” His home town took his name off its water tower.

Trump has received some similar criticism: “For many Americans, the term ‘America First’ will always be associated with and tainted by this history,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt warned last April. “In a political season that already has prompted a national conversation about civility and tolerance, choosing a call to action historically associated with incivility and intolerance seems ill-advised.”

The new president doesn’t seem chastened.

“To me, America First is a brand-new modern term,” he told The New York Times’ David Sanger in July. “I never related it to the past.”

But the past has a way of catching up to you. David Duke, the Holocaust denier and former KKK leader who endorsed Trump and celebrated his ascension to power, has long been happy with the slogan (he used it in his campaign for U.S. Senate), and can hear the dog whistle loud and clear.

After Trump’s speech on Friday, Duke tweeted:

This story has been updated with an additional tweet from David Duke.

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GOP AND SUPER-REACTIONARIES
By A. Shaw
The GOP is splitting and the split pieces of the party are in turn splitting.
Four major factions seem to have emerged.
(1) The GOP establishment faction, consisting of
officeholders
major contributors,
political consultants,
party bureaucracy
Donald Trump is the boss of the Establishment.
(2) tea bag faction
Ted Cruz is the main leader of the tea bags.
After Trump humiliated Cruz in the primaries, a lot of tea bags defected to Trump.
Officeholders who are tea bags play dual roles — both tea bag and officeholder.
Before the rise of Trump, tea bags were widely regarded as the most reactionary or, if you prefer, the most conservative faction in the GOP.
The influence of the tea bags rests in large part on the tea bag capability to turn out a large number of individuals highly trained in campaign management. Ordinary tea bags are often the equals of political consultants connected to the GOP establishment.
(3) Trump faction
 
This faction is a personality cult based on Trump.
Trump has won over supporters from the three other factions.
The Trump faction is zealous but unorganized and untrained. It rides the personality of Trump.
(4) Alt-Right faction
On Aug. 25, 2016, Hillary Clinton said this about Trump:
“He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.”
This “radical fringe” calls itself Alt-Right and it boasts that it is super-reactionary.
Alt-Right doesn’t have absolute control over the GOP because there are still representatives of the old establishment hanging around.
But the Alt-Right wallows in its relative control of the GOP.
In other words, lunatics and swine virtually control the GOP.  The old establishment in the GOP didn’t put up a fight.
Stephen Bannon is widely recognized as Alt-Right’s top leader.
Trump appointed Bannon to the post of “special advisor to the president.”
Alt-Right insists that it is far more reactionary, conservative, and lunatic than either the GOP establishment, tea bags, or  Trump faction.
Alt-Right has digested the whole body of reactionary propaganda, but it gives certain propaganda special emphasis.
Alt-Right singles out:
(1) Hate in general
(2) Racism
(3) Sexism
Alt-Right reactionaries hate with extreme intensity blacks, Latinos, and Jews.
These reactionaries hate women who are not docile to men.