Folks, I tried to draw a technical distinction between racism and ethnic hatred, distrust, etc. Trying to define terms led into a morass I didn't intend. Given the examples brought up in response, along with many I've seen myself in the past, then yes, of course, Trump holds that racist philosophy, along with the deep seated emotional layers.  

But terms do need to be defined in a science DG when speaking about society. About whether racism has been "normalized," I think that term should have been defined at the outset. Claudia Pine's examples may pandemics of ethnic prejudice and racism in parts of the country. But examples of good old boys in Louisiana? and entrenched racism in right-wing low population areas like Idaho, Wyoming, and Eastern Washington? I don't think so. One no longer finds racist allusions in media portrayals. The character of Sam in the movie Casablanca would have been portrayed vastly differently today, and a line spoken by Bette Davis in (I believe) Dark Victory, where she mentions proudly that she's "free, white, and 21" would never find its way into a script today unless to portray it in some obviously progressive way. We no longer see strictly white faces in media entertainment and advertising. So what is meant by "normalized"? 

To answer Kamran's last question, yes indeed I oppose Trump for his regressive environmental, economic, social, and international (i.e. war) policies—and, for good measure, his offensive personality. I doubt that Hillary Clinton would have been all that much better. Marginally better perhaps on the first three, and on the fourth, who knows? we might have already been at war with Russia stemming from an air confrontation over Syria's would've been No Fly Zone...just speculating. The Repugnant Republicans may be the open fascists, but the Dimwit Democrats are their willing collaborators, and their performance at the polls have increasingly reflected that over the years. I voted for Jill Stein and the Greens.


On Sat, Sep 15, 2018, at 12:00 PM, Kamran Nayeri wrote:
Thanks, Claudia. I totally agree. 

On Sat, Sep 15, 2018 at 8:20 AM Claudia Pine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I've just read some of this long discussion, and I have three points to make:

1. Racism is STILL normalized, i.e., an open norm, an expected and accepted norm, in many parts of this country.  My brother just recounted to me why he doesn't like doing meetings with the engineering/planning team he has to visit monthly in the New Orleans area.  The catered-in lunches include derisive "jokes" and derogatory comments about black Americans, as well as women. The local team, all white men from the region, don't just continue the practice of having no female or black colleagues, they don't even realize that people from other parts of the country - including white men like my brother - may not share their views.  This is one example, my brother said, of an irritatingly common pattern he encounters in southern states (he's an engineering firm VP and spends nearly every week flying to meetings all over the country).   I winced when I heard this, because it's not just southern. Groups I encounter in my rural, mainly-white state of Idaho and the region can feature opprobrious and yes, RACIST, statements and "jokes" -- which again, the people making up these groups find so "normal," they aren't even aware that others might not share this norm.  

If you get outside the parts of the U.S. that aren't New York City, or a college town, or other notably liberal area, racism is still normal.  Not as normal as it used to be, thank goodness, but still depressingly prevalent.  

There ARE different forms and degrees.  Please read Ibram X. Kendi's award-winning "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" to learn how "assimilationist" racism has been just as enormous a problem, and just as racist, as southern "segregationist" racism. (One good concise review is at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/book-party/wp/2016/04/15/the-racism-of-good-intentions/?utm)

2. The SftP list has seen many nit-picking quibbles over the years that become so jesuitical in their hair-splitting as to be indistinguishable from trolling. It's hard for me to tell from David Barouh's latest posts whether the goal is to discuss racism as a major structural issue, to defend Trump as a "fine person" who is just on "both sides," or simply carry on the conversation ad infinitum, with ever decreasing relevance to anything larger than the head of a pin.  Racism is evidenced by persistent patterns of behavior and habitual styles of discourse.  Trump has shown both racist behaviors, and discourse, for years. To argue that there might be some slight possible way in which he isn't racist even though he makes racist statements, carries out racist acts, and comfortably participates in racist discourse, is to question not Trump, but the very construct of racism, in a way that leads me to wonder why David is subscribed to this list.  

3. This discussion has devolved into a mainly two-person exchange.  As a member of the list, I ask that it discontinue here, and if Kamran and David wish to continue it, please take it elsewhere.   If not, I will ask the moderators to call a halt.

Claudia Pine

On Sat, Sep 15, 2018 at 8:07 AM Kamran Nayeri <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
David:

You are arguing, alas in defense of a racist, like a lawyer, not like someone who wants to stand up to racism and fight for radical social change. In this formalist approach to politics, only those who scream they are racists are accepted to be racists.  Accordingly, in this scheme of yours, in the court of law, only those who admit being criminals, are sentenced as criminals. No other evidence of their criminality is accepted.  

By your formalism, Trump is not misogynous. He has never said he was. He is not an anti-working class politician. Etc. 

So, allow me to ask you: Why do you oppose Trump? Or do you?

Kamran


On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 9:28 PM David Barouh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Kamran,

Thanks for those links. Two of the four yielded a blank page, but the other two drew the conclusion that based on a certain pattern of actions, Trump has displayed a certain antipathy for blacks. OK. But what we are disagreeing on is not "facts" but rather, conclusions  drawn from perceived actions. And anyway, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with those conclusions.  

What I've asserted still holds: he hasn't blatantly claimed the inferiority of blacks. Is what he appears to be displaying racism or ethnic hatred? Not one of you all have commented on that simple distinction. 

Here's a definition of racism from the Free Dictionary:

1. (Sociology) the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others
2. (Sociology) abusive or aggressive behaviour towards members of another race on the basis of such a belief

Does Trump hold the belief that whites are genetically superior to blacks, or does he just hate blacks...or both. Do you know for certain which it is?

And really, you're saying that racism is a precondition for hostility toward blacks? What about hostility toward Italians, Irish, Jews? They'd all be classified as part of the same "race"; is that still racism? It wouldn't be so bad if you all disagreed with my point, but you're all missing it. Is what you all are calling "racism" the common hatred, fear, or distrust that virtually all ethnicities feel toward other ethnicities, or is it the philosophy of racial genetic superiority, which doesn't have to have those three emotions attached, can even be marked by good will and affection, but is nonetheless more insidious? Or do you think the difference is not worth bothering about?

David

On Fri, Sep 14, 2018, at 5:13 PM, Kamran Nayeri wrote:
David:

It seems like we disagree on fact. Tump is racists by many many accounts.  Here is a few:

NAACP slams Trump as 'racist'

Page semi-protected

Racial views of Donald Trump



We also disagree on analysis.  You simply accept the proposition that when the living standards of the white working class deteriorate  "most likely" direct "their hostility could be directed towards people who they perceive to be 'jumping the line.'" You simply assume it natural for the white working class to see non-white working people as the cause of their problem or be susceptible to such suggestions by racists like Trump.  In other words, their racism which is a precondition of their "hostility" towards the "other" is lost in your analysis.

And when someone (myself in this case) point this out you infer that I see racism everywhere.  

I think enough has been said on this (at least by me). 

Kamran





On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 12:51 PM David Barouh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

And thank you, Kamran, for your response.

But I have to disagree with you again: Trump is not an "open racist"! Believe me, I'm no fan of that person. But he's not that dumb that he'd come out with blatantly racist or white supremacist comments (unless I've missed them). 

Also, let's not forget, when we consider that he lost the popular vote by a rather substantial three million votes, and that many of those votes he did get were people who were going to vote for a Repug no matter who ran, then Trump's "base" is not all that large. And look at who his opponent was, possibly the only person supposedly on the left who could have lost to Trump, of all people, albeit with the help of the electoral college. (How utterly stupid and venal are the Dimwit Democrats to have cheated a sure winner out of the nomination and given it to that—person!—that war monger and crook!)

But about your second paragraph...
Given this context, I see a problem with the argument that the white working class problem is with the deterioration of their economic status which has been sometimes attributed to their hostility to "others" within the working class.  


...it seems to me that the most likely reason the white working class would feel resentful about anything is a "deterioration of their economic status" and is the most likely reason their hostility could be directed towards people who they perceive to be "jumping the line." Divide and conquer, so to speak. .

To summarize, it's just not helpful to throw around the word "racism" at the first opportunity. It encourages group-think. There's usually more going on. I believe there has been a real change in many people's attitudes about these issues. I don't think we should underestimate the extent to which the Civil Rights Movement has opened people's eyes about racism and its manifestations. 

David



On Thu, Sep 13, 2018, at 11:20 PM, Kamran Nayeri wrote:
Thanks, David, for clarification. Of course, racism is no longer acceptable in the sense of being "politically correct." But it is no solace that as you write "it's no longer acceptable to be openly racist."  The U.S. President is an open racist and it does not seem to bother its "political base" very much.  As I noted, police murder of Afro-Americans goes on with impunity. schools are segregated. I can go on but we all know the long list of the current condition of Afro-Americans in the United States.  

Given this context, I see a problem with the argument that the white working class problem is with the deterioration of their economic status which has been sometimes attributed to their hostility to "others" within the working class.  

As this is a radical group, let me also note something from the revolutionary socialist tradition. The right to self-determination of the oppressed peoples (and nations) is not simply a human rights issue. It is the way to unite the working class which is only possible when the more privileged sections become class conscious enough to fight against tradition (in this case racism) and in defense of the more oppressed groups. Thus, even if we begin with an interest to address the economic needs of the poor white working class, we must begin with an unconditional defense of the right of Afro-Americans given the legacy of chattel slavery. 

Finally, as it is becoming to light in recent times, German fascism was rooted in German colonialism in Africa.  American fascism similarly is rooted in its history of slavery and white nationalism.  

The coming American revolution (if it is coming before the world ends), must tackle racism root-and-branch to bring into being a new society harmony with itself and with the rest of nature (I have said much about the latter elsewhere). 

I hope this help explain my concern,

Thank you.

Kamran

On Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 5:48 PM David Barouh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Kamran, I'm not sure what you mean by "[my] argument"? Is it my statement that racism is no longer normalized? If so, then I say again that for most of American history racism was normalized, but that changed after the Civil Rights movement of the 50s-60s and subsequent legislation. For large segments of the population (a majority, I think) it's no longer acceptable to be openly racist.

And there have been large outpourings of outrage. I attended a massive demonstration and march down the streets of Greenwich Village in New York City after one such killing, attended by blacks and whites in roughly similar numbers to the City's population distribution.

It clearly is mostly "happening to 'them' and not 'us'," i.e. blacks and not whites, and that's clearly—among other factors—a "manifestation of racism," although I qualify that: "racism" is really too general a term for my liking, as I've already explained. 




On Thu, Sep 13, 2018, at 12:17 PM, Kamran Nayeri wrote:
Dear David:

I am puzzled by your argument. How can a seemingly endless number of unarmed Afro-Americans are being gunned down by the police and there is no outpouring of outrage by the type of folks you are talking about?  I am totally at a loss why ALL Americans do not take to the streets to protest these killing.  Unless some of us still think that this is happening to "them" not "us."  Is this not a manifestation of racism? 

Best,

Kamran

On Wed, Sep 12, 2018 at 8:57 PM David Barouh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Slight difference: Racism has not been normalized in White America. At one time it was, but not for many years now. Nowadays one would tend to hide racist feelings if they had them. Professing white superiority is the exception, not the norm.

That white superiority is implicit in their message is an assumption. It could be, but what we do know is what they do profess, i.e. white dispossession. Perhaps American history is being left out of the equation. But again, the feeling is that this was in the past, and is something they personally had no part of. Short-sighted, perhaps, but racist? Not necessarily. Are they deliberately "erasing" the legacy of slavery. Again, that's an assumption, and psychoanalyzing from a distance.

Again, it's just too easy to start labeling these people as racist. It's like calling everyone critical of Israel's dispossession of Palestinians antisemites. 


On Wed, Sep 12, 2018, at 2:49 PM, Laurence Romsted wrote:

Absolutely correct Sam and succinctly expressed.

 

Larry Romsted

 

From: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of "S. E. Anderson" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 2:44 PM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Why Young Men of Color Are Joining White-Supremacist Groups

 

Folks,

 

What David Barouh misses is that racism is the norm within White America. Hence, all right wing organizations and movements are, by default, racist. That is, these organizations and movements believe in the inherent superiority of the "white" race over the "darker" races and will act upon those beliefs every chance they get.

 

Hence, these organizations, movements and white supremacist individuals erase the legacy of the horrors of chattel slavery and Jim Crow and only see Blackfolk getting "special" treatment and programs just because they are not white. These very same organizations, movements and white supremacist individuals also don't see or deliberately ignore the historical fact that, for example, affirmative action policies and practices fought for primarily by Black and Latino folk have benefited white women more than people of color of any gender.

 

Also, the struggle against slavery and Jim Crow was always linked to the struggle for workers rights and better wages and working conditions. The persistent problem in these historic battles have been the struggle to combat normalized racism within the white workingclass and the trade union movement.

 

Until whitefolks of any class, education level and left persuasion realize that racism/white supremacy (and sexism) has been normalized (and institutionalized) in the US and Europe, we will not be able to make a significant advancement in our battle to destroy capitalism and build socialism.

 

In Struggle,

 

Sam Anderson

 

-----Original Message-----
From: David Barouh
Sent: Sep 10, 2018 2:04 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Why Young Men of Color Are Joining White-Supremacist Groups

I agree that it's premature and not very significant that we see some black faces among these groups. But I'm not quite ready to go along with labeling these right wingers as a "white supremacist" movement. That sound very much like knee-jerk, reactionary liberalism.

 

These people are not professing beliefs in "white supremacy," but rather "fairness" to whites. Strange as that may sound, that's what they feel when they see special programs proposed or instituted for "minorities." There's been a book written about this phenomena: Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger an  Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild, which was a bestseller and received some honors. I read it. It was not that great a book, at least from a literary point of view, but it did illustrate its point. The author did her research in the place she thought best exemplified this seeming white reactionary mindset: rural Louisiana, to interview subjects. The title of her book well exemplifies her impressions. 

 

 

On Mon, Sep 10, 2018, at 11:38 AM, S. E. Anderson wrote:

Much ado about nothing. Out of 30 million Blackfolk in the US, your chances of finding Black prowhite supremacists are like 500,000:1. Rare. Very very rare.

 

Thanx to social media and the fakenews industry, these sitings get blown way out of proportion. Don't waste your political/organizing energy on this distraction that tries to prettify or trivialize the rise of white supremacy.

 

In Struggle,

 

Sam Anderson

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Chandler Davis

Sent: Sep 5, 2018 4:08 PM

Subject: Re: Why Young Men of Color Are Joining White-Supremacist Groups

 

 

It reads to me like neither bullshit nor detection of a major new trend.  Rather, a rare anomalous pattern.  Apparently ---if there were really "dozens" of less-white men marching with the white supremacists that day as claimed--- less rare than one would guess.  Worth reporting, then.  Remember Ang Lee's "Rise with the Devil"?  It had (perhaps with substantiation in documented history) a Black member of a white supremacist militia; but it made a point of inviting reflection on his motivation.

 

My view of what to say to your buddy Arun Gupta: "Fine.  Now find a more central topic for your next journalistic effort."

 

Chandler

 

 

On 2018-09-05 10:13 AM, Mitchel Cohen wrote:

I wonder how many Black people, actually, are joining these fascist protests, despite the implication in the headline. I don't see any U.S.-born Black people interviewed here, nor photos of them.

 

So is our friend Arun Gupta's article pointing to some alarming new social phenomena that should concern leftist strategists who appreciate the work of Franz Fanon/George Jackson/Black Panthers, or is this claim being latched onto to "sell newspapers"? I don't know, having not researched the topic myself (but having been to a zillion demonstrations where I have not observed any Black people in the fascist ranks).

 

Also, does one or two people here or there make up a "trend"? I remember some similar observations when a partly Jewish person here-and-there turned up in pro-Nazi organizations.

 

I'd worked with Arun Gupta at the radical NY-based newspaper The Guardian in the late 80s and early 1990s, have attended his talks and even included an essay he wrote about Occupy Wall Street in my book, "What Is Direct Action?" So, is he onto some new trend, or is it bullshit?

 

- Mitchel Cohen


 

Why Young Men of Color Are Joining White-Supremacist Groups

Patriot Prayer’s leader is half-Japanese. Black and brown faces march with the Proud Boys. Is the future of hate multicultural?

by Arun Gupta

PORTLAND, Oregon­Outfitted in a flak jacket and fighting gloves, Enrique Tarrio was one of dozens of black, Latino, and Asian men who marched alongside white supremacists in Portland on Aug. 4.

 

Tarrio, who identifies as Afro-Cuban, is president of the Miami chapter of the Proud Boys, who call themselves “Western chauvinists,” and “regularly spout white-nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Last month, prior to the Patriot Prayer rally he attended in Portland, Tarrio was pictured with other far-right activists making a white-power hand sign. Last year, he and other Proud Boys traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia, for the Unite the Right rally that ended with a neo-Nazi allegedly killing an anti-fascist protester.

 

 

Patriot Prayer + Proud Boys in Vancouver night b4 Aug 4 Portland rally many fear will end in violence. Tusitala "Tiny" Toese and others make an apparent "White Power" hand gesture. T-shirts read, "Pinochet Did Nothing Wrong." pic.twitter.com/7LI4BbA6za

­ Arun Gupta (@arunindy) August 4, 2018

 

Tarrio and other people of color at the far-right rallies claim institutional racism no longer exists in America. In their view, blacks are to blame for any lingering inequality because they are dependent on welfare, lack strong leadership, and believe Democrats who tell them “You’re always going to be broke. You’re not going to make it in society because of institutional racism,” as one mixed-race man put it.

 

If racism doesn’t exist, I ask Tarrio, how would he explain the disproportionate killing of young black men by police? “Hip-hop culture,” he says. It “glorifies that lifestyle… of selling drugs, shooting up.” Because of that, “Obviously you’re going to have higher crime rates. Obviously you’re going to have more police presence and more confrontations.” (Police kill black males aged 15 to 34 at nine times the rate of the general population.)

 

Elysa Sanchez, who is black and Puerto Rican, attended the “Liberty or Death Rally Against Left-Wing Violence” in Seattle on Aug. 18, joining about 20 militiamen open-carrying handguns and semi-automatic rifles.

 

Sanchez says, “If black people are committing more murders, more robberies, more thefts, more violent crime, that’s why you would see more black men having encounters with the police.”

 

Also in Seattle, Franky Price, who said he is  “black and white,” wore a T-shirt reading, “It’s okay to be white.”


They are among nearly a dozen black, Latino, and Asian participants at far-right rallies on the West Coast interviewed by The Daily Beast recently. They represent the new face of the far right that some scholars term “multiracial white supremacy.”

 

The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, which overlap, embrace an America-first nationalism that is less pro-white than it is anti-Muslim, anti-illegal immigrant, and anti-Black Lives Matter.

 

Daniel Martinez HoSang, associate professor at Yale University, co-author of the forthcoming Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity, says “Multiculturalism has become a norm in society” and has spread from corporations and consumer culture to conservatism and the far-right.

 

Indeed, Patriot Prayer’s leader is Joey Gibson, who is half-Japanese and claims Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a hero. But his agenda is the opposite of King’s. Gibson’s rallies have attracted neo-Confederates and neo-Nazis.

 

His right-hand man is Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, a 345-pound Samoan American who calls himself “ a brown brother for Donald Trump” and is notorious for brawling. By bringing diversity to what is at heart a white-supremacist movement, people of color give it legitimacy to challenge state power and commit violence against their enemies.

 

David Neiwert, author of Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump , says, “The ranks of people of color who show up to these right-wing events are totally dominated by males.” He says the alt-right targets white males between the ages of 15 and 30 with a message of male resentment, which ends up attracting black, Latino, and Asian men as well.

 

Neiwert says many young men of color in the far-right grew up on conservative traditions common in minority communities. Their journey to the far-right has been enabled by the ease of recruitment in the internet age and the endorsement of extremism by Trump.

 

Entry points to the far-right include male-dominated video-game culture, the anti-feminist gamergate, troll havens on 4chan and 8chan, and the conspiracism that flourishes on websites like Infowars. Libertarianism is another gateway.

 

“A lot of these young guys,” Neiwert says, “especially from the software world, who are being sucked into white nationalism, start out being worked up about Ayn Rand in high school.”

 

Andrew Zhao, 25, a software engineer, says his parents, physicists who emigrated from mainland China, “are Trump fans.” He found out about the Seattle rally from Reddit and Facebook and said, “We need more patriotism. A lot of liberals don’t like America.”

 

Daniel HoSang says some people of color are drawn to the far-right because they “identify with the military, with nationalism, with patriotism, with conservatism.”

 

Wearing a Proud Boys hat, David Nopal, 23, came to the Seattle rally alone, like others. Nopal, whose parents crossed illegally from Mexico, said, “I’m very patriotic. The U.S. isn’t perfect, but we are a hell of a lot better than other countries.”

 

Sanchez comes from a military family. “They all love America. It’s a big part of the reason I’m a patriot.”

 

Similarly, Tarrio attributes his anti-socialist politics to his grandfather’s experience in Cuba under Fidel Castro.

 

They proudly identify as “American” without modifiers. In their America they’ve never experienced racism. They eagerly talk politics, but evidence of their America is scant beyond the internet. Institutional racism has been ended by affirmative action, “black privilege,” and equal protection under the law. Any remaining black inequality is caused by social welfare and liberal policies. In any case, it was Democrats who started the Klan.

 

People of color within the far-right play a role that “excuses white racism and bears witness to the failure of people of color,” HoSang says, adding that they make “white supremacy a more durable force.”

 

HoSang said the far-right is trying to broaden its appeal from a whites-only movement in a multiracial America, so it is “laying claim to the ideas of anti-racism, racial uplift, and civil-rights progress.”

 

HoSang says, “It’s hard for people to wrap their head around how Dr. King and civil-rights language are being used to legitimate positions approaching fascism and violence to restore hierarchy and order. But they are.”