mfioretti: racism*

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  1. Reports claim that Sullivan has already raised $400,000 from his readers. If Sullivan really has raised this much money, and if his subscription model genuinely succeeds thanks to tens of thousands of subscribers supporting his work, it means we’re witnessing something new and deeply disturbing: "mutualised" unaccountability (to use one of their idiotic neologisms); the democratization of rewarding media failure and fraud.

    Sullivan is getting away with it and profiting from failure thanks to two key elements to his media business model: Blogger cronyism, providing a network of media suckups all too eager to offer free PR to Sullivan’s business in the hope that "Sully" will logroll back at them some day; and the American public’s amnesia.

    I happen to know just how rotten Sullivan is because over at the S.H.A.M.E. Project, we just published a profile on one of the most rancid political figures of our time, Charles Murray — a vicious right-wing sociopath and racial eugenicist who got his start as a counter-insurgency expert during the Vietnam War, using starvation and crop destruction as a means of "behavior control" on restive Thai villages.

    Murray’s fraudulent racial eugenics theories "proving" that blacks and Latinos are genetically inferior gained a foothold in mainstream discourse, thanks to Andrew Sullivan. What’s more disturbing is that even as Sullivan has disavowed some of his far-right causes of the past — like smearing critics of America’s wars as traitors, denouncing "decadent" coastal America, denouncing what he called the "libidinal pathology" of gay sexual culture, smearing anyone not with the Likkud program as anti-Semitic, and so on — the one far-right belief he won’t let go of is racial intelligence, "human biodiversity" and the whole range of rancid Nazi eugenics revived in 1994 by Charles Murray’s discredited book, The Bell Curve.
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  2. Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.
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  3. A month or two ago I could have generated a healthy heaping of scorn for Dale’s farewell to a city that he’s hardly spent the span of a firefly’s lifetime in. But now I’m not so sure. In recent weeks, the angry Silicon Valley backlash against the latest wave of criticism aimed at tech-millionaire-driven cultural transformation has forced me to rethink my stance on this whole drama.

    The BART strike that shut down a crucial part of the Bay Area’s transportation infrastructure last week was a turning point. In New York magazine, Kevin Roose wrote a thoughtful piece analyzing how the BART strike demonstrated how Silicon Valley’s “sharing economy” is no substitute for real state-subsidized public transportation. The BART strike, he noted, exposed emerging class differences. Google employees ride their luxury buses to work, while those not so lucky are stuck.
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  4. All gun magazines have ads for, well, guns, and loads of accessories (love the "Sneaky Pete" concealment holster). Naturally, they have stories on guns -- whether "intimidating, big-muzzle looks" or a "Tank-tough Recon Tactical with added strength and reliability for patrol." In addition, there are features on gun life, such as columns in Guns Magazine called "Campfire Tales" and "Odd Angry Shot."

    There are pictures of guys with guns, gals with guns, animals with guns, ammo with guns and guns with guns. Curiously absent are pictures of black people with guns, brown people with guns or Asian people with guns. The good guys are white. The bad guys are white. In the Gunworld depicted in these pages, pretty much everyone is white.
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  5. So yes, Dr. King had many other goals, many other more transcendent, non-racial, policy goals, goals that apply to white people too, like ending poverty, reducing the war like aspects of our foreign policy, promoting the New Deal goal of universal employment, and so on. But his main accomplishment was ending 200 years of racial terrorism, by getting black people to confront their fears. So please don't tell me that Martin Luther King's dream has not been achieved, unless you knew what racial terrorism was like back then and can make a convincing case you still feel it today. If you did not go through that transition, you're not qualified to say that the dream was not accomplished.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2014-01-20)
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  6. When the first world war broke out in 1914, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were not considered citizens of Australia, but were rather the wards of the local “Protector of Aborigines”.

    They were paid low wages, were often forced to live on reserves and mission stations, could not enter a public bar, vote, marry non-Aboriginal partners or buy property. They were actively discriminated against – and yet when war was declared, many Indigenous men wanted to join up and fight for Australia.

    When they came back home they were shunned, their sacrifices ignored and their families oppressed even further by the government. Very few Indigenous diggers were given the land grants offered to returned soldiers, and in many cases the land for grants to war veterans was taken away from Indigenous communities whose men had fought overseas. War pensions and back-pay were frequently denied, and very few Indigenous diggers were welcomed at their local RSL – except sometimes on ANZAC Day.
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  7. Is homophobia the new anti-colonialism? It’s an odd question to ask, but an important one. In dozens of countries, the persecution of homosexuals has acquired a new ferocity. Anti-gay sentiment is turning into a cause that unites non-Western societies divided by religion, ethnicity and history.

    This is bad news, obviously, for gay people who find themselves dragged in front of magistrates, bullied out of their jobs, spat at in the street or executed. It’s also jolly embarrassing for Western governments, who don’t want to say anything that might jeopardise trade relations – and also for liberals, who hate to point the finger at the developing world.
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  8. My feeling is that a large percentage of South African males of whatever hue, class or political persuasion are suffering from extreme forms of stress.

    In the higher-income groups of the politically “disempowered” white Afrikaans community this amounts to vast reservoirs of underlying resentment, fear and anger.

    The white male has nowhere to go with his obsolete patriarchal baggage except maybe to the shooting range or the rugby match. At best, this becomes manifest in a general attitude of suspicion, distrust, barely suppressed aggression and a readiness to defend bodily integrity with every means at hand.

    At the worst it flares up during incidents of road-rage, temper tantrums and public fisticuffs or racist shooting sprees and family murders.
    Shadow of a proto-fascist state

    In the case of traditionally brought-up middle-class Afrikaners socially formed during the apartheid, one must add to the mix the effects of living in the shadow of a proto-fascist state and a uniquely effective state church, the Dutch Reformed, inside a well-oiled educational propaganda machine.
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  9. Tal, I think I know why Time did this. I think somebody over there wanted an article that would stir things up, and put the ‘privilege’-shouters in their place. They had a frankly racist agenda, but nobody had the guts to put their name on something so asinine. So somebody found your piece on the Princeton Tory, and scooped it up.

    They needed a front. Someone with some credibility. You’re not perfect, but you’re a pretty good fit. You’re young, you’re at an Ivy League, and you’ve got the whole historical victim/rags to riches/American Dream backstory thing going on. Trust me, if some black or Asian or more interestingly ethnic kid had offered to write a similar article, you would have been dropped like a bad habit, for reasons we’ve already discussed. But they took what they could get.

    So, Time, you’re not fooling anyone. And that’s really cowardly of you to use a kid who can’t even drink yet to do your dirty work.
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  10. A simple search of Twitter for the string ARAVIM, which means "Arabs" in Hebrew, produces a long list of messages by young Jewish Israelis calling to ethnically cleanse the country.
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2014-07-12)
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