Archive for the 'Racism' Category

Oh shit…

The political situation/catastrophe of contemporary Italian politics is apparently well on its way to becoming an ongoing series of coverage here at Paulitics.

Earlier in the week, I reported that Rome’s new (self-proclaimed) neo-fascist mayor Gianni Alemanno was proudly greeted with straight-arm fascist salutes and cries of “Duce! Duce!” (the Italian equivalent of the German “Führer”).

If that wasn’t enough to make you say “Oh shit…”, how about this one: Rome’s new fascist mayor makes his first policy pledge:

Rome’s new mayor promises purge of migrants:

“Gianni Alemanno, 50, a firebrand neo-fascist and the first Right-wing mayor of the city since the Second World War, vowed to make Rome ‘secure’ as he was sworn into office after his election at the weekend.

[…]

In a sign of things to come, after Mr Alemanno’s election Mr Berlusconi declared: ‘We are the new Falange.’

The original Falange (or Phalanx) was the Spanish fascist party, founded in the 1930s, whose doctrine was adopted by General Franco.

[…]

The new mayor said that his first action would be to begin “immediate expulsions” of the 20,000 immigrants in the city with criminal records.

[…]

Mr Alemanno was the youth leader of the fascist Italian Social Movement and wears a Celtic cross, a symbol of the extreme Right. However, he said he wore the cross only as a religious symbol, and in tribute to Paolo di Nella, a far-Right activist who was stoned to death in a Rome street protest 25 years ago.

Mr Alemanno said he was sick of the ‘continuing search for [my] dark side’, adding: ‘I am bitterly upset from a personal point of view at this demonisation.’

[…]

Graziano Halilovic, a spokesman for one of Rome’s biggest settlements of Roma gipsies, said: ‘We fear there will be night-time raids on the camps. We want a safe city too. Some of our members have heard their parents’ stories of fascism.’

Mr Bossi said on Wednesday that immigrants had to be hunted out, and that if reforms were not forthcoming, his followers would take up arms.

“We have no fear of taking things to the piazzas. We have 300,000 martyrs ready to come down from the mountains. Our rifles are always smoking,” he said.

Mr Alemanno has promised to tear down a £12 million museum around the Ara Pacis, an altar to the Emperor Augustus.”

An apology is owed…

This is an absolutely fantastic quote and a great quote for any progressive person who wants to throw something back at liberals when they turn their noses up at us.

“When capital and the ruling classes apologise for: Colonialism, the 14 hour day, class privilege, the 7 day working week, children in coalmines, the opium wars, the massacre of the Paris Commune, slavery, the Spanish-American War, the Boer War, starvation, apartheid, anti-union laws, the First World War, Flanders, trench warfare, mustard gas, aerial bombing, the Soviet Intervention, the Armenian Genocide, chemical weapons, fascism, the Great Depression, hunger marches, Nazism, the Spanish Civil War, militarism, Asbestosis, radiation death, the Massacre of Nanking, the Second World War, Belsen, Dresden, Hiroshima, Racism, The Mafia, nuclear weapons, the Korean War, DDT, McCarthyism, production lines, blacklists, Thalidomide, the rape of the Third World, poverty, the arms race, plastic surgery, the electric chair, environmental degradation, the Vietnam War, the military suppression of Greece, India, Malaya, Indonesia, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Turkey, the Gulf War, trade in human body parts, malnutrition, Exxon Valdez, deforestation, organized crime, the Heroin and Cocain trade, tuberculosis, the destruction of the Ozone Layer, cancer, exploitation of labour and the deaths of 50,000,000 Communists and trade unionists in this century alone, then — and only then — will I consider apologising for the errors of socialism.” (from: the Communist Party of Australia)

There’s a great pic to go with this quote that I’ve just added to the Paulitics Political Images resource (along with a bunch of other additions).

New political images & old school propaganda

The Paulitics Political Images resource has been updated.  I’ve included some good World War II propaganda (some of which at first glance appear to outrageous as to be fake, but, sadly, are not) as well as some just plain political images that aren’t propaganda and some early socialist ‘propaganda’ (however, due to my bias, on this latter subject I do not use the term pejoratively).

Enjoy (and I mean that facetiously).

world_october_revolution_poster.jpg   reason-is-the-enemy-of-religion.jpg   italian-wwii-fascist-propaganda.jpg   smash-the-old-world-establish-a-new-world.jpg

Click here for the Paulitics Political Images resource

On idolatry and Winston Churchill the anti-semite

Here’s precisely the problem with the cult of personality and idolatry which characterizes our current fetish with the ‘great leaders’ of history:

No person is so saintly that he/she deserves to be idolized

Who’s the latest victim to hoist himself on his own petard?  Why it’s none other than that Tory saint himself, Winston Churchill – the man once voted the Greatest Briton of All Time.

In a previously unpublished essay found buried in Cambridge University’s archives, Winston Churchill wrote that the Jews were “partly responsible” for the holocaust and the other “antagonisms” visited upon them by the Nazis. 

At another point in the essay, Churchill wrote that it was especially important for Jews themselves to contemplate anti-semitism, I presume, because under his logic they are partially responsible for the hatred visited upon them.

You can access the article disclosing this discovery here.

This just goes to show that humanity will not have rest from its ills so long as we continue to view history as the grand narrative of ‘great leaders’ with ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’.  Not only does this view of history stymie critical thinking, but the ‘good guys’ are never as good as we imagine and it’s never as savoury to hate the ‘bad guys’ as we are promised. 

O’ for the days when racism was rewarded…

According to a new poll by Angus-Ried’s Israeli subsidiary ‘Dialogue’ [available here], Israel’s far-right former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is now the most popular politician in the country.  For any lover of peace and dispiser of racism, this would be a sad day simply by virtue of the party standings in this poll – Likud (which, if you don’t know what they’re like, think of the hard-line of the US Republican Party and you’ll have a rough approximation) is first, the centre-left Labour party is down slightly from their last election results, and Yisrael Beytenu (another right-wing party) is in third place and up in popularity from their last election results.

But what really troubles be about this poll is the continued strength of Netanyahu’s Likud Party despite recent remarks.   On January 3rd, the Jurusalem Post noted here that Netanyahu had the following words to say about the massive cuts to child welfare he instituted when he was PM:

“Two positive things happened,” he told a conference of haredi government officials in Nir Etzion this week. “Members of the haredi public seriously joined the workforce.  And on the national level, the unexpected result was the demographic effect on the non-Jewish public, where there was a dramatic drop in the birth rate.”

That’s right folks, you read that correctly, it’s a positive thing that the Arabs are now too poor to feed their children.  The Jurusalem Post article went on to explain that:

“The once-and-possibly-future prime minister of Israel says publicly that he’s sorry his welfare cuts made life harder for Jewish families who are “blessed,” as he put it, with many children, but isn’t it “positive” that these cuts resulted in fewer Arab children being born? Then Netanyahu went on to suggest a national remedy for the victims of his economic policies – but for Jewish victims only, not Arab victims.”

So this was on January 3rd.  The Angus-Ried poll was released on January 15th.  So Netanyahu makes a remark that one positive ancillary benefit to giving children less aid was that there were fewer non-Jews born and less than two weeks later he’s the most popular politician in the country with an increase in popularity since November 2006.

The collective lament of France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, Italy’s Alessandra Mussolini (Benito Mussolini’s granddaughter), Austria’s Jorg Haider, and others on the far-right, pleading “O’ for the days when racism was rewarded…” has, with this poll, been answered.

The Urban Feminist on Racism

Just wanted to point everyone reading this blog to a really great comment on Racism in light of the Michael Richard incident by The Urban Feminist.  I know I’ve got her blog listed under my links, but this specific post is really worth a look.


Resources:

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