Sunday, December 17, 2017

Feminism, 'Heterophobia', and #MeToo

This is really good, from Daphne Patai, at Minding the Campus, "'We Made This (Harassment) Law Up From the Beginning and Now We've Won."

RELATED: At the Other McCain, "The Sexual Harassment Apocalypse."

How 'White Nationalism' Picked Up Steam

Take this piece with a grain of salt. I mean, c'mon, they're relying on the Southern Poverty Law Center, for crissakes.

At USA Today, "How white nationalists tapped into decades of pent-up racism to spark a movement":

This summer's seemingly overnight arrival of the self-described "alt-right" and white nationalist groups — marked most prominently by a deadly car attack at the August "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va. — drew worldwide headlines, but the movement simmered for decades before it burst into public view.

Underlying that shift from society's fringes to center stage is a new strategy that taps into the frustrations of white people angry at a society they say has marginalized them and a new political landscape that appears to give voice to their cause.

President Trump’s election last year became a major rallying point for white nationalists, who watched as the Republican repeatedly amplified some of their views in campaign rallies and tweets.

“It just absolutely electrified this community,” Keegan Hankes, an analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hates groups, including the KKK. “They really felt like they had someone to rally behind.”

The Charlottesville attack that heads to a grand jury Monday has done little to dim the movement. In recent months, white nationalists have orchestrated numerous controversial public appearances, fought and won high-profile legal battles with universities and dominated the airwaves.

Building on this newfound interest, white nationalists deployed tactics borrowed from the generations-old KKK and today’s far-left groups and adapted media techniques often used against them.

Kyle Bristow, a self-described "alt-right" activist and attorney for high-profile white nationalist Richard Spencer, said large corporations, the government and academia that “relentlessly” attack the nation's traditional values have only prompted the movement's growth.

“Middle America is rallying to the flag of the alt-right,” he said. “Older generations recognize that America is no longer the place that it once was or could be, and people of this generation tend to be more conservative in trying to reclaim the America that was lost."

'Proud to be white'

The movement's most prominent figure, Spencer, executive director of the white nationalist National Policy Institute, has helped the so-called alt-right dominate cable television coverage and Internet discussions for months, prompted a national debate about whether it’s wrong to be “proud to be white” and provoked liberal activists and university officials alike to anger with his speaking appearances in New York, Florida and California.

The term "alt-right" covers a loosely defined group whose far-right ideology includes racism, populism and white nationalism. It is embraced by white supremacists, who believe white people should dominate all other races, and white nationalists, who say whites are a distinct nation that needs special political and legal protections. Critics accuse white nationalists of being white supremacists in disguise and say the term "alt-right" is a euphemism to hide racist goals.

Regardless of what name they choose, exact estimates on how many people associate with the movement are difficult to ascertain. Many followers say they're reluctant to be publicly identified because they fear losing their jobs or being attacked for their beliefs.

But the Southern Poverty Law Center says the murkiness serves a purpose — it allows white nationalists to conceal whether their movement is truly a groundswell or just a highly effective but tiny group of people.

Online followings provide a glimpse of white nationalists' reach. The law center says more than 300,000 people are registered as users on the oldest white nationalist site, Stormfront, which bills itself as "the voice of the new, embattled white minority." Spencer's Twitter account has more than 80,000 followers, not all of whom necessarily connect with the movement.

White nationalists argue in online postings that the inclusiveness and diversity espoused by the country’s public school teachers, mainstream media and liberal arts universities wrongly silences their voices. They repeatedly post comments on social media that they want to say “I’m proud to be white” without reprimand and don't understand why it’s OK for someone to declare “Black Lives Matter” but not “European settlers made America great.”

Experts say the movement emphasizes free speech, while downplaying its end game: A United States run by and for white people, with minorities either marginalized or removed.

Adam Leggat, a security consultant who monitors protesters worldwide for the Densus Group, said the words are starting to translate into action. "From an outsider’s perspective what has been happening at the protest events is an extension of the polarization in U.S. politics that has been occurring over the last 10 years or so. It has been stoked by a great deal of scaremongering in some sections of the media and particularly on social media."

Online communities have played a major role in the development of modern-day white nationalist movements, and the benignly named The Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas plays a key role in sharing those voices. The foundation lists freedom of speech, religion and equality before the law among its tenets, but adds: "We are engaged in a total war in a fight for the existence of our people, and scorched earth tactics is morally proper in this existential struggle. Arguably, it is immoral to not do everything and anything to further the interests of our people.”

Critics say that hateful agenda poses a major danger to the American values of individual freedom, equality and tolerance.

“White nationalism is inherently an ideology of violence," Hankes said. "There’s no peaceful path to that.”

Redirection, victim-blaming and other tactics

Despite lip-service to scorched-earth tactics, white nationalists today have left behind many of the deeply controversial and condemned symbols of the past in favor of more subtle messages to lure in new members.

They use many of the KKK’s tactics, such as invoking the protection of white culture and values, while studiously avoiding the white hoods, cross-burnings and torches of the past. But they’re also using strategies borrowed from left-wing groups and anarchists, including mass protests and suing anyone who responds to their taunts and insults.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Headless Chicken Leftists?

I'd prefer headless leftists, actually, but then I'd be like Robespierre, or something, heh.

Seriously, this is good, at CounterPunch, "The Year of the Headless Liberal Chicken."