This page looks at the history and motives for what the elite political consensus, dominant classes, religious and LGBT groups call diversity, with all of their contradictions.
ISTHA, Germany – A man arrested over the killing of a senior German politician earlier this month is believed to have links to the far right, prosecutors said Monday.
Walter Lübcke, who was president of the Kassel regional council in central Germany, was shot in the head at close range on the terrace of his home in the small village of Istha, in the early hours of June 2.
Sixty-five-year-old Lübcke was a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats and an outspoken supporter of the government’s pro-migrant policies in the wake of the 2015 refugee crisis.
The 45-year-old suspect was arrested on Saturday in Kassel based on traces of DNA evidence from the crime scene, according to the Hesse state office of criminal investigation and Kassel’s public prosecutor. The suspect has a long criminal record, police said.
The past life and the “openly expressed opinions and public views” of the suspect linked him with the far right, Michael Schmidt, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, told a news conference Monday.
“Based on the current state of investigations, we assume that there is a right-wing extremist background to this act,” Schmidt said, before adding there was no evidence that the suspect was involved in a right-wing terrorist group.
Investigations are ongoing and officials confiscated computer equipment from the suspect, said Schmidt.
Pro-migrant policies attract death threats and attacks
According to police, Lübcke previously received death threats after a YouTube video emerged of him defending the country’s immigration policies at a public meeting in Kassel in October 2015. The meeting was also attended by members of Pegida, a far-right anti-Islam movement.
In the video, Lübcke says: ”You have to stand up for your values. If you don’t share those values, then anyone is free to leave this country if they don’t agree.” Some members of the crowd could be heard shouting “get out, get out” in response.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned hate posts toward the pro-migrant politician. ”The way some individuals on social media are attacking his death, taking satisfaction from it and applauding it is cynical, tasteless, revolting and offensive in every way,” he said in comments at a German town association event.
Interior minister Horst Seehofer also told the daily newspaper Tagesspiegel that “if someone is so hated, just because he had liberal views, that is the decline of human morality.”
The killing of Lübcke is not the first attack on a pro-migrant German politician in recent years.
In 2016 a man — referred to as Frank S. — who also reportedly opposed Germany’s open-door refugee policies was sentenced to 14 years in prison for stabbing Cologne mayoral candidate Henriette Reker, according to the New York Times.
Another German politician well-known for his pro-refugee policies, Altena town mayor Andreas Hollstein, was stabbed in the neck at a kebab shop in 2017 by an assailant who reportedly said: “You are leaving me die of thirst while you bring 200 refugees to Altena.”
Merkel opened Germany’s doors to more than a million migrants in 2015. But her policy, hailed by humanitarians, also attracted fierce criticism from the right, particularly following a number of terrorist attacks across the country in summer 2016.
Riding the wave of public discontent was the anti-immigration, anti-Islam AfD. In the 2017 federal election, it became the third largest party in the Bundestag and the first far-right party to enter the country’s parliament in almost 60 years.
Now, the tide appears to be shifting again, with the environmentally focused and left-wing Greens surging to second place in May’s European parliamentary elections, pushing the AfD into fourth.
CNN’s Nadine Schmidt reported from Berlin, Sheena McKenzie wrote from London.
Editorial Comment PC Moral outrage is no answer to this problem. Elite media and politicians don’t live down with the underclass. Seems no lessons have been learned from two World Wars and the political failures of the inter war years. Too many Europeans habe nothing to lose, nothing to believe in, lost identity which LGBT cannot cure, matched against the religious certainty and counter morality of Islamic newcomers. Media career folk, feminists and other censors just don’t want to know.
Religious Revival June 19th 2019
The reason religion has made a come back is because of diversity politics.
Diversity may benefit the LGBT community, but governments are primarily concerned about accommodating Islamic needs and sensitivities.
These needs are quite rigid with Islamists themselves kept strongly in check by their leaders or face the consequences.
Our government and wider political elite do not tolerate criticism of Islam for economic and social control reasons.
Consequently, they offer the rest of us the right to ‘worship’ God in whatever way we like as long as we do not offend others- which means there have to be lots of laws to punish non believers or critics of any religion, but especially Islam, as ‘hate criminals.’
That is why the media elite are hot on the heels of Boris Johnson and any other Tory who might be construed and presented as an Islamaphobe.
All of this means God is back big time, laughing his, it or her socks off I suspect,
Religion Should have had its’ Day, but makes a comeback for control:
A new book-
The World of the Crusades: An Illustrated History Christopher Tyerman
Yale, pp.517, £25
makes Christian Crusaders look silly because we must kow tow to cheap labour Mulsim Immigrants who need religion to endure, Please, why can they not see the con. God does not exist in that way. God does not fit with scence. Read on:
The crusades are part of everyone’s mental image of the Middle Ages. They extended, in one form or another, from the 11th to the 16th century. Those which reached the Holy Land were fought by men on horseback wearing metal armour and carrying lances and swords, as in the pictures. The onset of gunpowder had not yet spoiled the fun. They were truly international, in their own way emblematic of the myth of a single Christian European polity. They embodied everything that people associate with medieval warfare: reckless courage, murder, loot, adventure and romance.
Christopher Tyerman has been writing about the crusades for nearly 40 years. His work includes the only full-scale study of English crusaders and God’s War, which for my money is the best one-volume history in print. This is quite an achievement, for there is a finite body of material, which is unlikely to expand significantly, and consists mainly of published chronicles. Many people picking up Tyerman’s latest volume may be tempted to think that it simply recycles the material in his last one. They would be mistaken. The World of the Crusades has a mass of new insights, many little-known anecdotes and a fresh approach to the subject which fully justifies its bulk.
Two features of the book are particularly striking. First, instead of just treating the crusades in the standard way as a European Christian movement, Tyerman has placed them in their proper geographical setting, as incidents in the history of the Islamic Middle East. By a fortunate accident, the early crusaders hit the Levant at a time of ferment and instability in the Islamic world. The Abbasid caliphate, essentially a Persian regime based in what is now Iraq, had been in terminal decline for two centuries when the first crusade arrived. The rival Fatimid caliphate of Cairo, which was the dominant power in the Arabs’ lands and among the Berbers of North Africa, had passed its apogee and been supplanted in much of its territory by unstable local dynasties.
The moral panic over homophobia
It simply isn’t true that gay people face huge levels of harassment and violence.
Editor 12th June 2019
Once, there were moral panics over homosexuality. Now there’s a moral panic over homophobia. Consider the way in which the grotesque attack on a lesbian couple on a London bus has been used to promote the idea that LGBT people live in a state of existential danger. It comes straight from the moral-panic and crime-panic playbook: one nasty, shocking crime is used to depict society as a hotbed of rough, unenlightened beasts whose backward attitudes – in this case on homosexuality – threaten to tear apart the social fabric itself. A horrible incident carried out by five people becomes elevated into a symbol of evil that society as a whole must organise itself against. This is not a good way to treat any crime, including this one.
Everyone was horrified by the assault on Melania Geymonat and her partner Chris on a bus travelling towards Camden Town. It took place last month but was only publicised last week. The photo of the two victims, their faces bloodied and bruised, caused revulsion around the world. The crime made international headlines. That’s understandable. What’s less understandable, or rather less justifiable, is the swiftness with which the assault was turned into an advert for gay vulnerability. There is something nauseating about the way in which gay-rights groups and political observers held up this crime as typical, as an ordinary event in a society like ours that is apparently riddled with homophobia. As one campaigner said, ‘there wasn’t any element of surprise’ in relation to this attack. In short, anti-gay brutalism happens all the time.
But this isn’t true. And it’s important to say that it isn’t true. Some of the claims made following the revelation of this attack and the publication of the shocking photo have bordered on hysterical. ‘Homophobic violence more common than people realise’, said a headline in the Independent next to the photo of the two battered women. This kind of ‘harassment and violence is a daily struggle [for gay people]’, its report said. This is something people ‘face every day’, said Kim Sanders of Stonewall. Lesbians, in London, face vicious assaults every day? Really? A spokesperson for the LGBT Foundation said ‘there wasn’t any element of surprise’ for gay people when they heard about this attack. A Guardian writer wonders if this assault means same-sex couples will have to ‘hide our relationships’. Apparently, ‘we live in a society that finds the idea of two men or two women kissing to be…. worthy of a violent reprisal’.
Here, commentary on one particular crime crosses the line into outright crime panic. The idea that Britain in 2019 is a society that sees same-sex kissing as deserving of violent punishment doesn’t stack up on any level whatsoever. Commentators will point to statistics that apparently demonstrate that the UK is unsafe for gay people, but such stats are alarmingly unreliable. In 2017, a news headline declared that ‘attacks on LGBT people’ have ‘surged’ by almost 80 per cent over the past four years. Ask yourself if this seems like a reasonable claim. If it is feasible that in a society where acceptance of homosexuality is at all-time high, where gay people are widely celebrated in popular culture, where discrimination on the basis of sexuality is illegal and where same-sex marriage has recently been legalised, there has been a massive surge in violent hatred against gay people. I’m calling BS on this.
And indeed, if one looks at the stats in more depth it becomes clear that violence and discrimination against gay people hasn’t increased – rather, the definition of what constitutes an ‘attack’ on a gay person has changed, and changed in a dramatic, very cynical way. So the vast majority of that alleged 80 per cent surge in ‘attacks’ on gay people – which comes from a Stonewall / YouGov survey of 5,000 LGBT people in Britain – were instances of being ‘insulted, pestered, intimidated or harassed’. Nobody deserves to experience such rude behaviour, but let’s be honest about what such a broad, verbal-based category of ‘attack’ could include – everything from being called a name on Twitter to being pestered for a snog by some drunken idiot in a bar. Eighty-seven per cent of respondents said they had been pestered or insulted, while 11 per cent said they had been physically assaulted. Even this, however, is contradicted by a far larger survey of LGBT people carried out by the government, which involved 108,000 people, not just 5,000. The results were published in February. They suggest that two per cent had experienced physical violence, while 26 per cent had experienced verbal harassment, including ‘hurtful comments’.
Every act of violence or discrimination against someone on the basis of their sexuality needs to be taken seriously. But the conflation of hurtful comments with physical violence is not helpful at all. Everyone receives hurtful comments for one reason or another. And given that opposition to same-sex marriage is now considered bigotry, and saying that men cannot become women has been rebranded as transphobia, it is very likely that many of these hurtful comments or insults involved people merely expressing a particular political, moral or religious opinion about gay lifestyles or transgender issues. It is the redefinition of the meaning of homophobic abuse, and the trawling for evidence of homophobic abuse, that leads to hysterical claims about Britain experiencing a historically unprecedented surge in violent hatred for gay people. Indeed, as Stonewall’s 2017 survey admits: ‘Greater awareness of hate crime and efforts to improve recording of hate crime are thought to have played a role in the increase in recorded hate crimes in recent years.’
This is a fancy, PC way of saying that what we are witnessing is a classical example of ‘crime construction’ – the inflation of statistics to give the impression that a particular kind of crime is out of control. It used to be people on the right who did this, with their carefully constructed moral and crime panics about football hooligans or black muggers. Now it is increasingly done by people who are ostensibly on the left, who see hate crime everywhere, who think homophobia is rampant, who think speech is bigotry and sometimes even criminal, and who think Brexit has unleashed unprecedented levels of anti-social violence. In all these instances, crime has been overblown in order to construct an elitist, moralistic message about the vulnerability of certain identity groups and the wickedness of the uneducated, un-PC, dangerous throng. Identitarian groups might benefit from inflating their claims to victimhood – because that is increasingly the way in which people win moral recognition and social resources – but the broader social impact of this new, left-leaning crime construction is likely to be dire.
The spectre of the homosexual was a key figure in nasty 1950s moral panics. This warped man will corrupt your children and maybe even use violence against them, people were warned. Now it is the spectre of the homophobe that exercises the middle class’s fearful, moralistic imagination. They see this hateful figure everywhere, in every street, on every bus, on every discussion thread. It’s an inaccurate and even unstable view of the world. All it does is foster even more identitarian division and make gay people feel unnecessarily fearful. Let’s be honest: gay people have never had it so good, and that’s a good thing.
Listen to the latest episode of The Brendan O’Neill
Editor’s Comment : I spend a lot of time in London, was there today and will be working there four nights next week, It is a violent dangerous and anomic place unless you are rich, living in exclusive areas. As for the Spiked article above, I have to say the following:
Actually young white men are the most likely group to be attacked, but it is not PC to say that. Spiked website also say that Jo Brand is not inciting violence against persons of certain political outlook. I disagree. It is also a fact that ethnic persons are more likely to commit street crime, as in this incident, while whites are more likely to commit burglary.
But I am not Jo Brand, an unpleasant self adoring BBC Labour luvvie, so the cops will be here soon, just as soon as one of you lovely lefties report me. Jo Brand whines in her nasal mocking affected superior voice that she was only joking about throwing acid over Nigel Farage, and comedy is important.
Well Jo, this is your best yet. meanwhile we have to believe that the number of rapes is millions of times higher than the reported figures and too many men are getting away with it.
No wonder more men are going gay as well as grey- or gray if you are from the mad war driven land of the deep state that worships Jesus but is going to crucify Julian Assange, with the British conniving government’s blessing.
Sadly I can also understand why this sick badly governed society produces homophobes- a lot of it down to sacred feminism which Britain invented as its best weapon yet- it is blowing society apart.
Political Correctness and diversity has to be approved by members of the self styled liberal elite who must never be threatened, and are judged only by the pampered upper middle class BBC/ posh media, elite, so Jo Brand, social worker turned feminist comic won’t get the sack.
ACID attack victims have blasted Jo Brand and the BBC as “disgusting” and called for her ARREST after the comedian joked about throwing battery acid on politicians.
Brand sparked outrage on BBC Radio 4’s Heresy programme after saying a string of milkshake attacks on politicians such as Nigel Farage should have been carried out with acid instead.
Danny Baker treated very differently for an anti Royal joke that was labelled racist. He was sacked. Why the difference?
After a ‘gag’ on Twitter saw him accused of racism and insensitivity, Radio 5 Live presenter Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC on Thursday 9 May. Now, other celebrities have taken to Twitter to react to his firing.
As the world looked forward to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry introducing their son and the latest royal baby, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, on Wednesday, Baker took to social media to share an image of a man, woman and a chimpanzee dressed as a human. Alongside it, he wrote: “Royal baby leaves hospital.”
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son during a photocall in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle on 8 May 2019 (Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“This was a serious error of judgement and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody,” a BBC spokesperson explained. “Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”
Comedian and former Celebs Go Dating contestant London Hughes was glad the network ditched him, detailing how she’d worked with Baker in the past and claimed there’s no way he wouldn’t have known what his ‘racist’ tweet was insinuating.
“No comedian in their right mind could overlook that,” she argued. “That’s not how our brains work. We see a joke from every angle. He knew it was racist, thought it was funny and posted it anyway.”
ITV News anchor Charlene White posted an insightful Twitter thread, saying: “Meghan has been subject to horrific/veiled racist abuse & prejudice online and in print since the start of their relationship. Of which we are ALL aware.
“To post a pic picturing a 3-day old baby of mixed heritage as a monkey, then claim it was a joke? That’s old-school prejudice and racism at its peak.
“And for a trusted broadcaster working at a public service broadcaster to feed that prejudice? It’s unacceptable.
“Those who live in privilege must be held to account.”
British Soldiers calling themselves patriotic are racist.
Army officers are warned soldiers calling themselves ‘patriots’ or who make ‘inaccurate generalisations about the Left’ could be right-wing extremists in their ranks
- A guide to help British Army officers spot extreme right-wingers was leaked
- The leaflet is titled ‘Extreme Right Wing (XRW) Indicators & Warnings’
- Signs to look for include describing oneself as a ‘patriot’, seeing opponents as ‘traitors’ and ‘referring to political correctness as some left-wing plot’
- An MoD spokesperson confirmed the leaflet is genuine and added: ‘The card does not suggest that all patriots are extremists’
Published: 16:56, 29 May 2019 | Updated: 18:14, 29 May 2019
3.3k shares 705 View comments
A guide to help high-ranking British officers spot right-wing extremists in their ranks has been leaked – and the signs include people calling themselves ‘patriots’ and making ‘inaccurate generalisations about the Left’.
The leaflet, made in 2017, is titled ‘Extreme Right Wing (XRW) Indicators & Warnings’ – and advises senior army staff to look out for people who ‘use the term Islamofacism’ [sic] and call people who challenge their ‘XRW’ views ‘indoctrinated’.
The document, which an MoD spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline is genuine, was leaked online, sparking threads on several social media platforms such as Reddit.
Editor’s Comment: So you must be desperate for a job or nuts to risk life and limb for this country. Soldier, you will get the blame for war crimes, not the likes of upper middle class public school/Oxford boy Tony Blair- who was party to lies to get British troops into the ongoing insanity of war in the Middle East. You will be dead before they stop chasing you. So you really belive Britain is a democracy. I don’t think so.
Labour Hypocrisy over PC LGBT issue
The MP for a primary school facing protests over LGBT teaching has been reported to the chief whip after telling campaigners “you’re right”.
In a video circulated on social media, Birmingham Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff told the Anderton Park Primary School protesters they had a “just cause”.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said she had reported the comments to the chief whip.
Mr Godsiff previously said the equality lessons were not “age appropriate”.
A High Court injunction is in place banning protests, which have been going on for months, outside the school.
Parents started to gather at the gates over concerns children were “too young” to learn about LGBT relationships. They also said the lessons contradicted Islam.
In the video, Mr Godsiff, who is seen with Shakeel Afsar, the lead organiser of the protests, said: “If I had the opportunity of rolling the clock back I would do exactly the same thing again.
“Because I think you have a just cause and I regret the fact that it hasn’t been reciprocated by the head teacher.”
Editor’s comment : This MP is obviously more interested in keeping his Muslim voters on side . Multi culture is highly selective and top down. The issue here is not the rights and wrongs of LGBT teaching, it is about pandering to one section of society. Islamic countries have a bad record on human rights where they think it conflicts with their religion. In Britain, there is strong movement to accommodate Islam against the wider and varied aspirations, values and hopes of the wider population. There is no easy answer to this prolematic situation. There is also the issue of Labour’s new MP for Peterborough backing anti Jewish internet comments. Labour is very dependent on the Muslim vote in its city strongholds. Muslims have a very definite culture based on Islam. They are not and cannot be multi culturalist, but the rest of us face the weight of the law and wrath of the liberal elite if we do not go along with the project.
Obviously to anyone with a brain, multi culutre equals fragmentation, fragmented people and the resurgence of wonderfully diverse and conflicting religious bigotry, which the ruling money grabbing elite- helped by upper middle class hand wringing do gooder liberals- expect to keep them in the manner to which they re accustomed.
Obviously, meantime, the aspergic nerds will go on churning out the big brother and war winning technology. Very simple. Problems arise when the likes of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange mess it up. As I wrote im my book ‘Man, Maid, Woman’. ‘God Laughed Nastily.’
Ann Widdicombe. She plays the part of the true Christian Catholic, terribly naive, but so comfortable in her beliefs. She suugests that science might provide an answer to homosexuality. This is an interesting contradiction from a woman so devout because Catholicism has a history of opposing science, as does its sister religion of Islam. They seem to favour bigotry, distorting Jesus’s teaching, and loving war in God’s name. This still goes on, in spite of science.
I suggest to Ms Widdicombe that there is a simple answer to her question about homsexuality. If she wants more men to desire and reproduce with women, then women need to stop hiding the fact that they have the Freudian penis envy- oh shock horror freedom of speech does not allow me to say that.
I have written a book on transgender- ‘Man, Maid, Woman’- and know why men find transexuals more attarctive than aggressive butch so called females. It harbours a barren and hopeless outcome. It is why we have record school exclusions, Islamic paranoia and rising youth suicide. It is not a problem that money and elite denial can solve.
Meanwhile Ann, if you want your Brexit Party to succeed and help us reform Europe- rather than get a fake leave, shut up about religion and keep God to yourself.
P.S : Widecombe Fair“, also called Tom Pearce (sometimes spelt “Tam Pierce”), is a well-known Devon folk song about a man called Tom Pearce, whose horse dies after someone borrows it to travel to the fair in Widecombe with his friends. Its chorus ends with a long list of the people travelling to the fair: “Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.” Some research suggests that the names originally referred to real people.
In 1970, when black students occupied the dean’s office at Harvard Divinity School to protest against the absence of African-American scholars on the school’s faculty, the white administration was forced to respond and interview black candidates. It asked James Cone, the greatest theologian of his generation, to come to Cambridge, Mass., for a meeting. But the white power structure had no intention of offering Cone a job. To be black, in its eyes, was bad enough. To be black, brilliant and fiercely independent was unpalatable. And so the job was given to a pliable African-American candidate who had never written a book, a condition that would remain unchanged for the more than three decades he taught at Harvard.
Harvard got what it wanted. Mediocrity in the name of diversity. It was a classic example of how the white power structure plays people of color. It decides whom to promote and whom to silence. When then-Maj. Colin Powell helped cover up the 1968 massacre of some 500 civilians at My Lai in Vietnam he was assured a glittering career in the Army. When Barack Obama proved obedient to the Chicago political machine, Wall Street and the Democratic Party establishment he was promoted to the U.S. Senate and the presidency.
Diversity in the hands of the white power elites—political and corporate—is an advertising gimmick. A new face, a brand, gets pushed out front, accompanied by the lavish financial rewards that come with serving the white power structure, as long as the game is played. There is no shortage of women (Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Donna Brazile), Latinos (Tom Perez and Marco Rubio) or blacks (Vernon Jordan, Clarence Thomas and Ben Carson) who sell their souls for a taste of power.
Ta-Nehisi Coates in his book “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” writes that “Barack Obama is directly responsible for the rise of a crop of black writers and journalists who achieved prominence during his two terms.” But this was true only for those black writers like Coates and Michael Eric Dyson who were obsequious cheerleaders for Obama. If, like Cornel West, you were black and criticized Obama you were isolated and attacked by Obama surrogates as a race traitor.
“For those who didn’t support Obama it was the lonely time,” said Glen Ford, the executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, when we spoke recently. “It’s like A.D. and B.C. Before Obama time, my politics reflected that of a black commentator, probably within a respectable black political spectrum. I’m looking at a fax, ‘NAACP September 8, 2007. NAACP regional leader.’ I got this after giving a keynote speech in Little Rock, Ark., in commemoration of the events in Little Rock in ’57. You see what I’m saying? I could do that, even as late as 2007. Then Obama happened. It was a wonderful time for people who endorsed Obama. If you didn’t endorse Obama, you were verboten in the community. All of a sudden you were ostracized.”
The absence of genuine political content in our national discourse has degraded it to one between racists and people who don’t want to be identified as racists. The only winners in this self-destructive cat fight are corporations such as Goldman Sachs, whose interests no American can vote against, along with elite institutions dedicated to perpetuating the plutocracy. Drew G. Faust, the first woman president of Harvard University, whose appointment represented a triumph for diversity, upon her retirement was appointed to the board of Goldman Sachs, a role for which she will receive compensation totaling over half a million dollars a year. A new and “diverse” group of Democratic Party candidates, over half of whom have been recruited from the military, the CIA, the National Security Council and the State Department, is hoping to rise to political power based on the old con.
“It’s an insult to the organized movements of people these institutions claim to want to include,” Ford said. “These institutions write the script. It’s their drama. They choose the actors, whatever black, brown, yellow, red faces they want.”
“I don’t think a black left should be investing any political capital or energy into getting Barack Obamas into a Harvard,” Ford said, “or believing it can transform Harvard or any of these ruling-class universities from the inside out, any more than it can transform the Democratic Party from the inside out.”
Ford points out that “diversity” has been substituted by the white power elites for “affirmative action.” And, he argues, diversity and affirmative action are radically different. The replacement of affirmative action with diversity, he says, effectively “negates African-American history as a legal basis for redress.”
Once the Supreme Court in its 1978 Bakke decision outlawed “quotas” for racial minorities, ruling institutions were freed from having to establish affirmative action programs that would have guaranteed a space for those traditionally excluded. The Trump administration’s recent reversal of an Obama-era policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in admissions is an attempt to eradicate even diversity. President Trump and his racist enablers, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, are resegregating America.
“You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe you have been completely fair … ,” President Lyndon Johnson said in 1965 to the graduating class of Howard University. “This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity—not just legal equity but human ability—not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.”
Johnson’s call, along with that of Martin Luther King Jr., was swiftly sabotaged by white, liberal elites, who divorced racial justice from economic justice. White liberals could live with laws prohibiting segregation but not with giving up some of their financial and social privilege.
“White liberals are not seeking justice,” Ford said. “They’re seeking absolution. Anything that absolves them of responsibility for what this society has done, they welcome it. They’re hungry for it.”
“The legal, as well as moral, basis for affirmative action lay in the culpability of the United States and all of its layers of government in the enslavement and Jim Crow ‘hobbling’ of African-Americans—a unique history of oppression of a specific people that requires institutional redress,” Ford has written. “Otherwise, the legacies of these crimes will reproduce themselves, in mutating forms, into infinity. Once the specificity of the Black American grievance was abandoned, affirmative action became a general catch-all of various historical wrongs. Stripped of its core, affirmative action morphed into ‘diversity,’ a vessel for various aggrieved groups that was politically versatile (and especially useful to the emerging Black deal makers of electoral and corporate politics), but no longer rooted in Black realities. The affirmative action of Dr. King and President Johnson was a species of reparations, a form of redress for specific and eminently documentable harms done to African Americans, as a people. It was understood as a social debt owed to a defined class.”
“ ‘Diversity,’ ” Ford wrote, “recognizes no such debt to a particular people, or to any people at all. Rather, its legal basis is the ‘compelling interest’ of public institutions in a diversified student body (or faculty).”
Diversity does not force the white power structure to address racial injustice or produce results within the black underclass. This feint to diversity was abetted, Ford points out, by black elitists who found positions for themselves in the power structure in exchange for walking away from the poor and marginalized.
Ford calls these black elitists “representationalists” who “want to see some black people represented in all sectors of leadership, in all sectors of society. They want black scientists. They want black movie stars. They want black scholars at Harvard. They want blacks on Wall Street. But it’s just representation. That’s it.”
The plague of diversity lies at the core of our political dysfunction. The Democratic Party embraces it. Donald Trump’s Republican Party repudiates it. But as a policy it is a diversion. Diversity has done little to ameliorate the suffering of the black underclass. Most blacks are worse off than when King marched in Selma. African-Americans have lost over half of their wealth since the financial collapse of 2008 because of falling homeownership rates and job loss. They have the highest rate of poverty at 27.4 percent, followed by Hispanics at 26.6 percent and whites at 9.9 percent. And 45.8 percent of black children under 6 live in poverty, compared with 14.5 percent of white children in that age group. Forty percent of the nation’s homeless are African-Americans although blacks make up only 13 percent of our population. African-Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of whites.
Diversity does not halt the stripping away of our civil liberties, the assault on our ecosystem or the punishing effects of mandated austerity and deindustrialization. It does not confront imperialism. Diversity is part of the mechanics of colonialism. A genuine revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba, was replaced with the pliant and corrupt Mobutu Sese Seko. Both were black. But one fought the colonial tyrants and the other served them. A political agenda built solely around “diversity” is a smokescreen for injustice.
The victory by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the powerful Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary in Brooklyn last month is not a victory for diversity, although Ocasio-Cortez is a woman of color. It is a victory of political substance over the empty rhetoric of the Democratic Party. Ocasio-Cortez defied the party establishment as an avowed member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She could not even get a pre-election endorsement from Bernie Sanders, her mentor, who is playing Faust to Chuck Schumer’s Mephistopheles. She calls for Medicare for all, the abolishment of ICE, a federal jobs program and an end to the wars in the Middle East and has denounced Israel’s massacre of unarmed Palestinians. She stands for something. And it is only when we stand for something, including reparations for African-Americans, that we have a chance to dismantle corporate tyranny.
“I’ve always felt, in the early ’60s when I was just a kid, that the silent partner, sometimes reluctant although still a partner, in the civil rights movement were the corporations who wanted a unified market,” Ford said. “Jim Crow was a big anomaly in terms of creating a more unified market in the United States. You can’t have an Atlanta skyline, with its magnificent elevators, with Jim Crow. Not only would Atlanta not be an international city, it couldn’t be a national city with Jim Crow. The corporate forces wanted to break down Jim Crow and explicit color discrimination. It standardized the market. This is what capitalists do. The Democratic Party is not behaving any differently than the corporations over the past 50 years.”
“I’m not worried by the Trump phenomenon,” Ford said. “That doesn’t scare me. It’s disconcerting. But it doesn’t scare me. I’m far more afraid of the space that it gives to the corporatists. It’s to their advantage. Trump defines the white man’s party’s space. It’s big. It’s no joke. It can win presidential elections. It can win again. It needs money from corporate Republicans, but it doesn’t need anything else from them. The white man’s party more clearly defines the space the Democrats claim. It’s everybody who is not an overt racist.”
“I don’t think Trump will ever beat Obama’s records in terms of deportation,” Ford went on. “We should be fighting U.S. immigration policy. But that isn’t Trump. We should be organizing against Amazon taking over a whole city. But that isn’t Trump. Will Trump’s next pick for the Supreme Court be different from any pick that a Republican would make? In fact, because he’s crazy, he might fuck up and make a bad pick for himself. He ain’t deep enough to pick the worst guy. He hasn’t read the Federalist Papers.”
Columnist Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers…
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Local N.Y. Media Wrongly Pushes for Gang Databases
The New York Post defends (6/16/18) NYPD’s gang database.
When President Donald Trump rails against alleged immigrant gang members as “animals,” as he did last month, he’s reducing complex (and highly political) issues—like the presence of MS-13 in the United States—to a fearsome cartoon of snarling packs of subhuman marauders. Vintage Trump, right? But local media, nowadays lionized as a check on Trump, resort to the same strategy, playing fast and loose with the inflammatory term “gang” and deferring time and time again to questionable police tactics.
As FAIR’s Adam Johnson wrote two years ago (“Media Convict Scores of ‘Gang Members’ on NYPD’s Say-So—No Trials Necessary,” 5/2/16), local dailies in New York City were instrumental in convicting alleged gang members in the court of public opinion before anyone had ever even seen a judge. Most other local media outlets took the same approach, never bothering to ask if the scores of people arrested and perp-walked by police as violent gang members could actually be innocent, or unfairly swept up by a police department (in)famous for its dragnet approach to public safety.
On the gang sweeps, the New York Daily News led the way with its 2015 “Gangs of New York—and How Close You Live to Them” special feature (12/13/15), which included a map purporting to show “where gangs and crews operate,” based on data provided by the NYPD. It’s little surprise, then, that after community legal advocates criticized large-scale gang raids, leading to public hearings questioning the tactics, the News’ editorial board quickly sided with police on a key tool: so-called gang databases.
The Daily News (6/15/18) asks critics to quit picking on the New York Police Department.
Editorializing in favor of a database kept by the NYPD that no one knows they’re on—and therefore cannot challenge their inclusion in—the News (6/15/18) shrugged off community concerns as “alarmism,” and called the collection of people on the database (some as young as 13 when added to it) “good police work.” The editorial headline “Ganging Up on Police: The NYPD’s Gang Database Is a Solid Investigative Tool” told readers it was the police who were under attack, and conferred legitimacy on a shadowy database that the News‘ own reporting (6/12/18) suggests can negatively impact people for years.
Local police gang databases can present serious legal implications for those marked as gang members, such as increased bail, harsher sentencing, erosion of presumption of innocence and even increased chances of deportation.
Lawyers and activists have suspected local gang database information is shared with federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), sometimes even putting people trying to avoid gangs on the deportation block (New Yorker, 1/1/18). In fact, a new report released on the same day that Trump made his “animals” comment says that gang designations have led to increased deportations of young immigrants in New York. The report also points to “media coverage in certain outlets” that have “exacerbated the view of MS-13 as a dangerous, invading army of foreigners,” thus “sowing fear around the country.” Are these concerns alarmist? Or, as the New York Post‘s editorial board headlined, “utterly ridiculous” (6/16/18)?
For News and Post readers, the editorial board positions must have sounded awfully familiar: They were almost indistinguishable from the police department’s position, which was published by the News (6/12/18) the day before key hearings by the New York City Council.
Despite a later apology, the Daily News doesn’t seem to have learned from this editorial mistake (8/13/13).
Not just the editorials but the whole scenario should feel familiar, since we’ve been here before. Nearly five years ago, as the NYPD was being criticized by community and legal groups over its Stop and Frisk program, the News‘ editorial board (8/13/13) sided with the police department, predicting “the ravages of lawlessness and bloodshed” if police efforts were curtailed. That didn’t happen, and the News, three years later, apologized on its pages (“We Were Wrong: Ending Stop and Frisk Did Not End Stopping Crime,” 8/8/16).
You’d think after being so spectacularly wrong on Stop and Frisk, the News would take the lesson to be more skeptical and wary about police practices. Alas, no, the editorial instinct is the same: support the police department to the point of echoing its talking points.
The News and Post couldn’t even bring themselves to follow even the most basic journalistic practice of asking for more information. There are still essential questions around the database and the actual impact of gangs left unanswered. The NYPD and the News, for example, claim the database currently has only about 17,500 New Yorkers listed. However, a Freedom of Information request by CUNY Law School’s Babe Howell suggests over 42,000 names, based on information she received from the police department itself.
The NYPD and the News say that about half of all shootings in the city are “gang-related”—which would include suspected shooters and victims that the police allege to be gang members. However, seen in the broader context of New York City, which is experiencing record low crime, “gang-related” crime accounts for 1.7 percent of overall crime. The numbers get even lower for “gang-motivated” crime—crime done in the interests of a gang, according to police—which is at less than 0.1 percent (The Intercept, 6/11/18).
Then there is the key argument over whether the NYPD should have arbitrary power over designating who, in fact, is in a gang. The criteria police use is remarkably loose: simply “associating” with gang members, living in certain neighborhoods, having certain tattoos and even wearing certain colors. With criteria like these, which scream guilt by association, it’s hardly surprising that 99 percent of people added to the list are non-white.
With remarkable disparities over how far-reaching the database really is, the extent to which gang violence actually affects the city, as well as the central question of who is actually in a gang, the editorial position of two of the city’s major newspapers would seem, at the very least, premature.
There is, of course, nothing to lose for members of the News‘ editorial board. As I wrote earlier this year in Injustice Today (now The Appeal), there are no measures of accountability for media when they support destructive police policies. While some media outlets may apologize years after the policies have upended people’s lives, they are free to continually support more potentially destructive policies in the future.
I have been one of many organizers pushing back against the database and the NYPD’s gang sweeps. And, in fairness, the News did publish my opinion piece (6/13/18) on the gang database. But that doesn’t amount to balance in their pages when both the reporting and editorial weight is thrown behind the police, time and time again.
For the New York Post (6/26/18), a killing that happened while the NYPD had a gang database proves the need for a gang database.
A recent, horrendous killing of a 15-year-old Bronx boy by alleged gang members could make media coverage worse.
The Post (6/26/18) has already jumped on the story to make the point that his death “proves we need an NYPD gang database.” Three years ago, the Post (5/31/15) similarly spotlighted fatal shooting cases to make the case that New York City should bring back Stop and Frisk. What the Post wanted then, as it does now, is to unleash the police—who it says has been “handcuffed” by the advocacy of “radicals” and “cop-haters”—to do whatever it wants.
While the teen’s killing has rightly stirred outrage on social media and in the community, is the answer to ramp up aggressive police enforcement? The Post presents the false choice that in order to prevent violence, the police must be enabled in a way that could lead to further injustices. In the 2007 report “Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies,” Judith Greene and Kevin Pranis wrote about the failures of gang suppression efforts across the country to actually reduce gang violence.
The way media might further intensify police gang tactics could impact a growing national conversation and empower the most dangerous elements of the Trump administration. Last year, after a string of brutal killings in Long Island, reportedly by MS-13, it was Trump’s Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions who arrived to declare war on gangs.
Much of this is happening as activists are making some headway in challenging anti-gang tactics. Activists in Chicago, where a Guatemalan immigrant was arrested by ICE last year after being incorrectly identified as a gang member, recently filed a class action lawsuit challenging the Chicago police department’s gang database for being inaccurate and discriminatory. In Los Angeles, where California’s gang database was found to have 1-year old babies listed, activists and lawyers recently won a federal ruling barring police from imposing damaging gang injunctions, a civil court-ordered restraining order that restricts where certain residents can go, who they can be seen with and even what they can wear.
Locally, the Daily News and New York Post want their readers to simply trust law enforcement. History may be repeating itself, with many people’s lives likely to be impacted. Either way, New York City’s editorial boards are happy to go along for the ride.
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Iran: Trump’s Tweets Have Added $10 a Barrel to Cost of Oil
Iran’s official for the Organization of Petroleum Countries, Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, was quoted by the Iranian Press last week as directly taking aim at President Trump for roiling the oil markets with his Twitter activity: “Your tweets have increased the prices by at least $10. Please stop this method.”
Investors and buyers are jittery, worried about what prices per barrel will be like six months out. Lots of imponderables go into the price. The world produces about 99 million barrels a day. If even a million barrels a day goes off the market because of political turmoil (like in Libya and Venezuela), it has a disproportionate impact on prices. This year, world demand is likely to be up by over a million barrels a day. And, political turmoil and other factors could reduce supply.
Iran exports about 2.5 million barrels a day. Take that off the market, or any substantial part of it, and demand is higher than supply, equaling rising prices.
Hence Trump’s tweets can put up the price up.
Moreover, Trump’s brinkmanship with Iran has led the hardliners in Iran to threaten to close the Straits of Hormuz to shipping if Iran is crushed. They can’t actually do this, I have been assured by U.S. Navy officers, but as I said, oil markets are jittery and often put up prices for reasons that seem to me silly.
The episode is full of ironies. Trump has a thing about gasoline prices, probably remembering how everyone hated Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s during the oil price spike. But he can’t help wanting to strong-arm Iran and undo the 2015 nuclear deal, just because it was a signature achievement of Barack Obama. If Obama had jumped in a river to save children from drowning, Trump would hire hit men to track them down and shoot them now.
So he is, as usual, his own worst enemy, producing the opposite of what he is aiming for.
In fact, Trump is a one-man inflation-machine. The trade wars he is picking will cause consumers to have to pay more for automobiles and lots of other commodities. His own voting base will suffer most because they probably shop in Walmart, the chief marketing agent in the U.S. for the goods produced by the Chinese Communist Party.
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Electric Car Sales Promise Shock for Big Oil
Oil and gas companies have underestimated probable electric vehicle sales and the effect they will have on their own businesses and profits, a new report says.
If the car manufacturers’ projections of future sales of electric cars are correct, then demand for oil will have peaked by 2027 or even earlier, sending the price of oil in a downward spiral as supply exceeds demand, says Carbon Tracker (CT), an independent financial think-tank carrying out in-depth analysis on the impact of the energy transition on capital markets.
It says fossil fuel companies have taken into account some engine fuel efficiencies and the effect they would have on oil demand, but not the expected increase in electric vehicles themselves. There is a big mismatch between forecasts of EV market penetration from vehicle manufacturers and from oil majors, says Laurence Watson, a CT data scientist.
“The oil industry is underestimating the disruptive potential of electric vehicles, which could reduce oil demand by millions of barrels a day. Increases in fuel efficiency will also eat into oil demand and the industry’s profits. The oil majors’ myopic position presents a serious investor risk,” he told the Climate News Network.
Expectations Far Lower
The report looks at all the projections of the major oil companies, including Exxon and BP, and says their figures for electric vehicle growth in the 2020s are 75 percent to 250 percent smaller than those expected by the global car manufacturers that have announced targets.
Electric vehicle sales in China alone, a figure bolstered by government intervention, are expected to be seven million a year by 2025. These, plus the three million a year aim of Volkswagen by the same date, would exceed oil industry estimates for sales for the whole world.
There are immense variables taken into account in the report. These include the number of miles driven by the average electric vehicle and the sort of car it replaces.
These variables depend on the influence of various governments’ policies to reduce oil in transportation in order to keep global temperature rise below 2°C beyond pre-industrial levels. The need to reduce air pollution also strongly favors the introduction of electric vehicles in cities.
More Demand Reduction
Another of the imponderables is the increasing efficiency of the internal combustion engine, which in itself also reduces demand for oil. It follows a growing trend already well-established in several countries, including Sweden, which from 2019 will produce no more vehicles powered by internal combustion alone.
The take-up of electric vehicles is crucial to the future of the oil industry because transportation takes up 50 percent of total oil demand. About half of the demand from transport is from light passenger vehicles, those that are most likely in the short term to switch to electricity.
Heavy-duty transport, aviation and shipping are also beginning to switch, but it is cars that will make the early difference.
The report argues that it is not total oil demand that matters but the difference between supply and demand. The 2014 crash in the oil price was caused by a surplus of 2 million barrels of oil a day, mainly because of a boom in US shale production.
To get the price back up to improve oil company profits took the combined efforts of the OPEC oil countries and the Russian government in cutting production, a process that needed three years.
According to the CT report, demand for oil will fall by 8 million barrels of oil a day by 2030 because of the expected deployment of electric vehicles, meaning that the oil-producing countries will have to constantly reduce their production in order to keep prices up.
The report argues that although oil demand will continue to be very large, the peak demand will have been reached around 2025. Demand displacement by electric vehicles “will significantly disrupt oil and gas company business models. Furthermore, we believe that when global oil demand peaks this will fundamentally alter investors’ approach to the industry.”