Saturday, March 13, 2010
I was going to label this as a "Saturday Afternoon Funny" but I decided not to. To my detractors: I do in fact have a sense of self-restraint and good taste.
Listen, watch, and laugh as 2 black intellectuals try to make sense of that pseudo-monster movie Precious. Yes, I called that "cultural" document a monster movie because what is Precious, if anything, but monstrous?
First random thought: did Stanley Crouch's position on this film surprise you?
Second Random thought: How well will the movie Precious age? I predict not so well. Like others, I still argue that it is pathology porn. Moreover, I also suggest that it is part of the black pathology, black female suffering is by its very nature a noble enterprise, that is all in vogue as a counterpoint to the ascendancy of Michelle and Barack Obama. And yes, that ordering was intentional.
Not to be overlooked, some folks are hating on Howard Stern for daring to comment on the movie Precious and its star Gabourey Sidibe's health and weight issues. I submit that Howard is saying what so many of us are thinking in private...at least many of the black and brown folk with whom I pal around with. There is something horribly wrong with Precious, and doubly so with how so many people of color--and interestingly enough some white conservatives--have flocked to it as some type of exemplary "art," and its star as offering an alternative beauty and health standard for women of color. I will continue to argue that Precious is both literally and metaphorically unhealthy and should be critiqued as such. I have neither read nor heard anything to dissuade me from that position.
I must ask: With Precious who is playing who? Are Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey playing all of us for fools? Alternatively, while black folk in film may no longer always be Bucks, Mammies, or Coons, are we somehow liberated and freed by the pathos that is Precious? Or is Precious a new/old form of typecasting prison?
Friday, March 12, 2010
Armchair Sociology--The Racial Politics of Hot Dog Eating: Should I Go Back to Weiner Circle and Get a Double Char Redhot?
And yes, I have had a chocolate shake at Weiner Circle.
As noted cultural theorist Stuart Hall suggested, "race is the modality in which class is lived."
Ultimately, race (with its history, burdens, triumphs and tragedies) is the ether that we all breath, and the sea in which we swim. Thus, it manifests itself in social interactions both large and small.
I don't often solicit advice from folks. I am hard headed and willful by nature--it is my Virgo personality. But, I am in the midst of an existential and gastronomical dilemma. To resolve this state of angst I need your help.
I love the double char redhots served at Weiner Circle. I really really do. But, after watching this special on This American Life I swore them off. The toxic racial politics, Lincoln Park with its Trixies and Chads (Chicago folks will get the reference), and the exploitative capitalism at work in how the black folk who work at Weiner Circle are treated was too great a burden. I had to vote with my feet: the politics of my hot dog eating could not be reconciled with my politics as a respectable Negro.
In 2010 my resolve is weakening. I so desire to see a movie (check out The Prophet by the way) and eat a double char redhot with fries. Will this make me less than respectable? Is there a time limit on our boycotts?
Random factoid: to this day I still will not shop at Urban Outfitters...but that is another story for another time.
Hell, if the folks working at Weiner Circle take this abuse then that makes it okay...right?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I finished my teaching for the quarter today. After leaving class I went into the bathroom. What did I see? A fifth of Jack Daniels sitting used, spent, and helpless in the toilet. Is there any better metaphor for the state of higher education with its listless anti-intellectual students, the budget crises, hiring freezes, helicopter parents and entitled snowflakes than the above photo?
To this point, we have seen faculty shoot and kill their tenure committees, "racial incidents" at UCSD, an adjunct being fired for describing his status as a contract employee as equivalent to being a "nigger on a corporate plantation," and a facebooking professor put on permanent leave for venting that she sometimes wanted to kill her students.
Oh the joys of academia. One should not forget that these joys are the sum total of many small pleasures. Just as I shared the video of my friend ranting at his class full of ignt's, what follows is the greatest student email I have ever read (it was sent to me from a colleague back East. All names have been removed to protect the innocent). Enjoy and smile for these are the leaders of tomorrow!
I am going to try my hardest to write you this email in response to the recent grade received on my paper, without reflecting the anger that I feel as a result. I would like to first express my respect for you and every other teacher that has placed their energy into educating me and my peers, as we all know that teachers are often the unappreciated foundation of our future. However, I must express a slight amount of disrespect, as I do not agree with your perception of my paper one bit. I recently read an article about Bill Gates and the steps he took as he dropped out of Harvard. What I found so interesting was that he had the confidence to leave his schooling behind for the other students that really needed it, as he realized that he had more important things to accomplish in life than to argue with teachers about grades on papers, as we all now know what thoughts he had storming in his mind.
You commented that I had probably the best example, to the assigned question, out of all the students participating. However, you also said that I did not complete the assignment as instructed, because I did not explain with the proper support from the text book literature pertaining to the two gentlemen of which the entire assignment pertained to. I beg to differ on your opinion of my interpretation of the assignment. Proffessor, what you fail to realize is that my story explains the topic in so much detail, that being specific is not in my nature as a writer, or a mathotical student. You see if I was to follow the path as the other students, I would have never gained the respect and admiration of my past teachers. What you failed to realize is that I understand the topic in greater depth than any of the other students. So much so, that I had a smile on my face writing this paper knowing that only an A student would understand my direction. The fact that I knew the topic so thouroughly, that I was able to visualize an event in history that explained the different mindsets of the two philosophers at hand, that it needed no explanation, besides an in depth detailed visual summary of a World War 2 event, that created an anaoly of the two philosopys that needed no explanation. You see the leaders of the two countries show the details that separate their ideology creating a mirror reflection of Mills and Rousseaus’s philosophys with regards to social justice. How ironic is it that justice is not seen by the instructor of a class about the exact topic that leads me to this email.
The paper is so methodically written, that it needs no explaniation. I am so disappointed that you do not understand or see that. Do you seriously think that I don’t understand the topic inside and out? You are so mistaken, as I understood it enough to come up with an example that so vividly creates a perfect analogy to the difference between Mills and Rousseau. That paper is written to perfection whether you understand it or not! The leaders of our country and Japan created a stamp in history that is flawed just as any theory of justice by anyone will never be perfect. Don’t you get it Professor? How do you not see that the government morals and ideas of the U.S. and Japan can directly reflect the differences between Mills and Rousseau? It is clear as day to any person that understands good writing. I am an A student and that is an A paper, and always will be to me. I read some of the other students papers, and to me they were nonsense written to fill pages. I will apologize for this email if you can produce one paper written for this assignment that can come close to competing with the ideas in my paper. I can only dream of having someone like Bill Gates give me advice for this situation. But I will still go on to follow the path that God has paved for me regardless of your opinion, because I already had the guideness I needed to help me visualize my purpose. I want my grade changed, and I am sorry if I offend you by this email, but I put my heart and sole into my education and I believe in myself even if you don't. -
I love this. I truly do. Two pieces of human debris who deserve each other. One day, if we are lucky, they will fight each other to the death in a phone booth. In the immortal words of Nelson on the Simpson, "ha ha!":
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
There are times when one sees a thing that truly gets the neurons firing and jumping from vine to vine across that grand old bibliography in the old noggin.
I was disgusted when I saw this video. Once more the black superpublic is proven true as both concept and fact--the line between private and public is blurring more and more each day. In short, our triumphs, foibles, and disgraces do indeed walk down the street when school let's out. Or they choose to display themselves on Youtube (see the obligatory prison inspired, homosocial, sequel to the video where said knucklehead chooses to perform shirtless with his "boy").
Ultimately, in the Age of Obama the ign'ts win again. Question: where is mom? Where is dad? Where is some authority figure to talk sense into these two fools? Random question: who the hell furnished this space? A mattress, a mirror, and a chair? Talk about low rent.
If you want to be further appalled read the comments section for this video on Youtube. There you will find an odd display of pidgin English, 'hood speak, and text abbreviated language that might as well be from another world.
Coming full circle, The Ghetto Kamasutra reminded me of Orlando Patterson's NY Times piece on the ghetto underclass, the cool pose, and how social scientists and others often misread (and by extension misunderstand) the "culture," life choices, and decision-making processes of the urban poor. Patterson's piece is a new classic worthy of being (re)read in its entirety:
SEVERAL recent studies have garnered wide attention for reconfirming the tragic disconnection of millions of black youths from the American mainstream. But they also highlighted another crisis: the failure of social scientists to adequately explain the problem, and their inability to come up with any effective strategy to deal with it.
The main cause for this shortcoming is a deep-seated dogma that has prevailed in social science and policy circles since the mid-1960's: the rejection of any explanation that invokes a group's cultural attributes — its distinctive attitudes, values and predispositions, and the resulting behavior of its members — and the relentless preference for relying on structural factors like low incomes, joblessness, poor schools and bad housing.
Harry Holzer, an economist at Georgetown University and a co-author of one of the recent studies, typifies this attitude. Joblessness, he feels, is due to largely weak schooling, a lack of reading and math skills at a time when such skills are increasingly required even for blue-collar jobs, and the poverty of black neighborhoods. Unable to find jobs, he claims, black males turn to illegal activities, especially the drug trade and chronic drug use, and often end up in prison. He also criticizes the practice of withholding child-support payments from the wages of absentee fathers who do find jobs, telling The Times that to these men, such levies "amount to a tax on earnings."
His conclusions are shared by scholars like Ronald B. Mincy of Columbia, the author of a study called "Black Males Left Behind," and Gary Orfield of Harvard, who asserts that America is "pumping out boys with no honest alternative."
This is all standard explanatory fare. And, as usual, it fails to answer the important questions. Why are young black men doing so poorly in school that they lack basic literacy and math skills? These scholars must know that countless studies by educational experts, going all the way back to the landmark report by James Coleman of Johns Hopkins University in 1966, have found that poor schools, per se, do not explain why after 10 years of education a young man remains illiterate.
Nor have studies explained why, if someone cannot get a job, he turns to crime and drug abuse. One does not imply the other. Joblessness is rampant in Latin America and India, but the mass of the populations does not turn to crime.
And why do so many young unemployed black men have children — several of them — which they have no resources or intention to support? And why, finally, do they murder each other at nine times the rate of white youths?
What's most interesting about the recent spate of studies is that analysts seem at last to be recognizing what has long been obvious to anyone who takes culture seriously: socioeconomic factors are of limited explanatory power. Thus it's doubly depressing that the conclusions they draw and the prescriptions they recommend remain mired in traditional socioeconomic thinking.
What has happened, I think, is that the economic boom years of the 90's and one of the most successful policy initiatives in memory — welfare reform — have made it impossible to ignore the effects of culture. The Clinton administration achieved exactly what policy analysts had long said would pull black men out of their torpor: the economy grew at a rapid pace, providing millions of new jobs at all levels. Yet the jobless black youths simply did not turn up to take them. Instead, the opportunity was seized in large part by immigrants — including many blacks — mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean.
One oft-repeated excuse for the failure of black Americans to take these jobs — that they did not offer a living wage — turned out to be irrelevant. The sociologist Roger Waldinger of the University of California at Los Angeles, for example, has shown that in New York such jobs offered an opportunity to the chronically unemployed to join the market and to acquire basic work skills that they later transferred to better jobs, but that the takers were predominantly immigrants.
Why have academics been so allergic to cultural explanations? Until the recent rise of behavioral economics, most economists have simply not taken non-market forces seriously. But what about the sociologists and other social scientists who ought to have known better? Three gross misconceptions about culture explain the neglect.
First is the pervasive idea that cultural explanations inherently blame the victim; that they focus on internal behavioral factors and, as such, hold people responsible for their poverty, rather than putting the onus on their deprived environment. (It hasn't helped that many conservatives do actually put forth this view.)
But this argument is utterly bogus. To hold someone responsible for his behavior is not to exclude any recognition of the environmental factors that may have induced the problematic behavior in the first place. Many victims of child abuse end up behaving in self-destructive ways; to point out the link between their behavior and the destructive acts is in no way to deny the causal role of their earlier victimization and the need to address it.
Likewise, a cultural explanation of black male self-destructiveness addresses not simply the immediate connection between their attitudes and behavior and the undesired outcomes, but explores the origins and changing nature of these attitudes, perhaps over generations, in their brutalized past. It is impossible to understand the predatory sexuality and irresponsible fathering behavior of young black men without going back deep into their collective past.
Second, it is often assumed that cultural explanations are wholly deterministic, leaving no room for human agency. This, too, is nonsense. Modern students of culture have long shown that while it partly determines behavior, it also enables people to change behavior. People use their culture as a frame for understanding their world, and as a resource to do much of what they want. The same cultural patterns can frame different kinds of behavior, and by failing to explore culture at any depth, analysts miss a great opportunity to re-frame attitudes in a way that encourages desirable behavior and outcomes.
Third, it is often assumed that cultural patterns cannot change — the old "cake of custom" saw. This too is nonsense. Indeed, cultural patterns are often easier to change than the economic factors favored by policy analysts, and American history offers numerous examples.
My favorite is Jim Crow, that deeply entrenched set of cultural and institutional practices built up over four centuries of racist domination and exclusion of blacks by whites in the South. Nothing could have been more cultural than that. And yet America was able to dismantle the entire system within a single generation, so much so that today blacks are now making a historic migratory shift back to the South, which they find more congenial than the North. (At the same time, economic inequality, which the policy analysts love to discuss, has hardened in the South, like the rest of America.)
So what are some of the cultural factors that explain the sorry state of young black men? They aren't always obvious. Sociological investigation has found, in fact, that one popular explanation — that black children who do well are derided by fellow blacks for "acting white" — turns out to be largely false, except for those attending a minority of mixed-race schools.
An anecdote helps explain why: Several years ago, one of my students went back to her high school to find out why it was that almost all the black girls graduated and went to college whereas nearly all the black boys either failed to graduate or did not go on to college. Distressingly, she found that all the black boys knew the consequences of not graduating and going on to college ("We're not stupid!" they told her indignantly).
SO why were they flunking out? Their candid answer was that what sociologists call the "cool-pose culture" of young black men was simply too gratifying to give up. For these young men, it was almost like a drug, hanging out on the street after school, shopping and dressing sharply, sexual conquests, party drugs, hip-hop music and culture, the fact that almost all the superstar athletes and a great many of the nation's best entertainers were black.
Not only was living this subculture immensely fulfilling, the boys said, it also brought them a great deal of respect from white youths. This also explains the otherwise puzzling finding by social psychologists that young black men and women tend to have the highest levels of self-esteem of all ethnic groups, and that their self-image is independent of how badly they were doing in school.
I call this the Dionysian trap for young black men. The important thing to note about the subculture that ensnares them is that it is not disconnected from the mainstream culture. To the contrary, it has powerful support from some of America's largest corporations. Hip-hop, professional basketball and homeboy fashions are as American as cherry pie. Young white Americans are very much into these things, but selectively; they know when it is time to turn off Fifty Cent and get out the SAT prep book.
For young black men, however, that culture is all there is — or so they think. Sadly, their complete engagement in this part of the American cultural mainstream, which they created and which feeds their pride and self-respect, is a major factor in their disconnection from the socioeconomic mainstream.
Of course, such attitudes explain only a part of the problem. In academia, we need a new, multidisciplinary approach toward understanding what makes young black men behave so self-destructively. Collecting transcripts of their views and rationalizations is a useful first step, but won't help nearly as much as the recent rash of scholars with tape-recorders seem to think. Getting the facts straight is important, but for decades we have been overwhelmed with statistics on black youths, and running more statistical regressions is beginning to approach the point of diminishing returns to knowledge.
The tragedy unfolding in our inner cities is a time-slice of a deep historical process that runs far back through the cataracts and deluge of our racist past. Most black Americans have by now, miraculously, escaped its consequences. The disconnected fifth languishing in the ghettos is the remains. Too much is at stake for us to fail to understand the plight of these young men. For them, and for the rest of us.
Orlando Patterson, a professor of sociology at Harvard, is the author of "Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries."
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Even Samuel L. Jackson knows the evil that is Precious! See how he reacted when that mammy Monique accepted her award and even evoked the original Hollywood mammy Hattie McDaniel's name!
Behold my wisdom. Did I not predict these results? All proud Nubians should rally around my flag as I divined the white man's evil. Did you not see the foulness? That evil movie Precious winning for best adapted screenplay from an equally foul book written by a "woman" named Sapphire. White folks loved just being able to say such a name--a horrible stereotype of our black queens--to millions of people!
The Nazi wins and that Hurt Locker which hurts and locks up the black woman also triumphs. Oh yes! And DARPA with their foul science was rewarded with technical awards for Avatar thus ensuring that evil technology will become even more popular. But this was a night for the triumphant White woman, the snow queen, cave dweller, to win. First, that Sandra Bullock wins for emasculating the Black Man in The Blind Side. Then a second Miss Anne wins for the Hurt Locker. The white woman did not get their Hillary Clinton, but they got the Oscars!
White folks best be careful tomorrow because the white man is angry. That James Cameron looked like he was going to kill someone after he lost! Be careful America, some angry white man may shoot up his job tomorrow or crash a plane into a building in protest.
But there was subtle evil as well on display. They showed that sad movie Music by Prudence about those poor black children who are crippled by the White man's weapons of war and guess what? A black man, Roger Ross Williams wins, and some old white she-bat named Elinor Burkett gets up there and cuts off his acceptance speech! I could not believe it! The black man wins and The White Woman speaks for him and for the strong Nubian children whose heroism this movie called attention to. Sickening. If that was Brother X-Squared on the stage I would have put that old hag in her place....under my boot!
The Oscars also neutered hip hop! What was once a great music and culture has been truly co-opted. Using the black dances and moves of poppin' and lockin', the original b-boy culture was prostituted for the evils of Hollywood! Break dancing was originally inspired by the Africanisms that survived as Copeira--a powerful martial art used by slaves in Brazil to fight off the white devil slave owners. Now, the multinational white corporations use hip hop to debase black culture. Predictable.
Oh yes! I am the beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega. The sacred and the profane. Never doubt the infinite wisdom and power of Brother X-Squared! I display my powers in things small and large, for the former is a display of grace and the latter is proof of my raw power.
What Would a Black Militant Say About the 2010 Academy Awards? An Interview with Brother X-Squared on The Oscars
Brother X-Squared continues with his keen, sharp, and unique perspective on American arts and letters in this newest interview where he analyzes the 82nd Annual Academy Awards competition. This is Brother X-Squared's longest interview as he shares a wealth of information and knowledge that few possess on the workings of Hollywood, white supremacy, and the 2010 Oscars.
Brother X-Squared: I am pleased to see you again. I was worried that after our last conversation and how I enlightened you as to your weaknesses as a Nubian warrior that you would have run away. I feared that you caught drapetomania and ran away from the power that I possess. I see now Brother Chauncey that you are developing some deep intellectual calluses on your mind-body-soul nexus and that your eyes have developed nictitating membranes to protect them from my melanin light. That is good. Now you are prepared for more of my wisdom. I am taking you to the woodshed, just like I do all challenged captive black africans in America, in a way akin to that movie The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.
I am beating knowledge into your hard heads! On this "party" mess, it seems that I need to enlighten you again. Do I ever rest?
WARNNN: I assume that at night you must rest for a bit...
Brother X-Squared: No, I never rest. Never, for sleep is the cousin of death. I am a self-generating, self-contained Sun powered by knowledge. I am a perpetual motion machine. Like Albert Einstein--a good white man even though he helped those devils develop the A-Bomb--I take periodic naps...and also like Einstein I wear the same uniform everyday. I have no time for the silliness of fashion for my time is too valuable. Brother Chauncey I sleep with one eye open lest the white police state kill me like Brother Fred Hampton. All respect due to the honored dead.
If I do not sleep, then how could I relax? If I don't relax, then how could I party? Partying is something for those people who have something to celebrate. Does the natural black man in America have anything to celebrate Brother Chauncey? And you best think before you speak or I will have to upset your mind state again...
WARNNN: Of course you never sleep Brother X-Squared.
Brother X-Squared: Good. You are learning. There is no way on God's green Earth that Brother X-Squared sits around eating JuJu Bees (notice the name of that evil concoction! I will have to break that down some other day) and popcorn while watching the white man's coon show on TV and cheering on some multinational company's monstrosity of a film.
So no, I will be analyzing that bloated beast of white supremacy called the Oscars and deconstructing the white man's use of what he calls "popular culture" to destroy the black man. You see as Brother Stuart Hall, that super strong Black British scholar had explained back in the 1980s and 1970s, popular culture is one of the locations where power is struggled over. And even taking into account what those closeted European homosexuals at this place called The Frankfurt School were talking about--notice the phallic imagery! A school named after a penis shaped object, we can only imagine with wickedness those European "intellectuals" were exploring!--the mass media is designed to empower the powerful over the powerless. Look how that sick sex freak Hitler with his tiny penis bitten off by a neighbor's goat when he was a child used the media to kill the Jews and other White folks. Damning it is. Damning. Is there any weaker group than the Black man in America? Any group more vulnerable to the evil will of mass media? Don't answer because the only response is no!
WARNNN: Wow. You are awesome Brother X-Squared. So what should people of color and other folks be looking for tonight on The Oscars?
Brother X-Squared: Now we are getting to the point. The wickedness of that foul behemoth has already begun. Don't you see it? The white man has begun an assault on the black man even before that show has formally begun. The white man assaults the subliminals and the conscious mind state. He uses trickery and symbols. He is like the Devil, hiding things in plain sight. This week the Oscar statue was covered by a huge condom. Did you see this mess? A huge phallic symbol, a wink to the Illuminati covered by a big prophylactic! And guess what? No one commented on this! Did you see it?
WARNNN: I saw some plastic on the statue, but didn't make the connection. It just looks practical to me.
Brother X-Squared: So much work to do with you. Practical, yes. As in a practical symbol of neutering the Black man! This year's Oscars has so much destructive, evil energy and wickedness. It is a display of pathology pornography, a defilement of the black man and black woman! That foul movie Precious, how so I loathe it, is an advertisement for population control, for eliminating the ghettos and the ghetto underclass. The White Man finances that wickedness just to send out his signal that sterilization and population control is the key! The white man's trickery knows no ends.
WARNNN: Since you mentioned Precious, can you make some predictions for who will win in the major categories?
Brother X-Squared: Do snakes come to the surface after smelling cornbread cooked on the night of the solstice?
Brother X-Squared. You must be half-white Brother Chauncey. I will get you a copy of Herskovitz's foundational texts and together we will help you understand the Africanisms that still live in America. The answer is Yes.
WARNNN: Please proceed.
Brother X-Squared: I will start with that disgusting foul movie Precious. You see the white man loves to humiliate the Black man at every opportunity. Now, he has that coontastic cross dresser Tyler Perry, who every day destroys the brain cells of his viewers with his uber foul hellish movies and tv shows, to do his bidding. If there were ever a negro who I would give to the KKK it would be him. The white man also has on his payroll that mammy Oprah. Never has there been such an emotional surrogate for white people as her with all that crying and nonsense. Precious is going to win best supporting actress for that hairy wildebeest Monique. You can take that to the bank.
WARNNN: Why do you hate Precious so much? Do you think it is what some have labeled as "pathology porn?"
Brother X-Squared. I call it as I see it. You cannot polish a turd. Do you know about Redemption?
WARNNN: You mean after the Civil War and how the North and South reimagined a common past centered on the humiliation and disenfranchisement of black people and Jim Crow?
Brother X-Squared: You have been reading. There is hope for you yet. You see, Precious is a 21st century version of Redemption. The white man elects that nothing, manchild, halfrican Obama whose spiritual energy is zero to the White man's house as President. The dumb un-liberated colored masses are all happy, jumping up and down like monkeys on a trampoline when he wins. Then he springs free a whole bunch of foul anti-black movies like Precious and The Blind Side to counterbalance the black mind state--never forget that liberated Nubians are immune from this foul tricknology for we see the white man's game. Did you know that white conservatives are all over that foul movie? That devil Barbara Bush even screened it for her friends in Houston! In the heart of the old Confederacy! Big corporations are getting paid off of depicting that morbidly obese monster Precious on screen defiling black womanhood!
Did you know that the Bush family was connected through grandpa Bush, Prescott was his name, to the Nazis? How can any movie that a family with such a hateful past adores and supports be good for the Black man? Furthermore, Hollywood has always been anti-black. They gave that tragic self hating mulatto Halle Berry an Oscar for that movie Monster's Ball--and damn it was a monstrous movie in fact--where she let that humanzee Billy Bob Thorton have sex with her after he killed her black husband. Those white devils gave Hattie McDaniel the first Oscar "awarded" to a black person for playing a mammy to that white bitch Scarlett Ohara in that white supremacist fantasy Gone with the Wind. So none of this is a surprise.
WARNNN: Isn't that harsh? To talk about Precious that way? Doesn't that movie speak to many peoples' real suffering?
Brother X-Squared: Do we ever see white people depicted that way? The answer is no! I will make a movie about white pathology in suburbia, the South, or Appalachia that will blow your mind! Where is my contract? Where are my millions of dollars?
And don't forget that there are far more Preciouses in the White community that never get revealed! Why? Because the White Man protects his queens and the public image of the white race. The captive black slave in America gives the White Man money to see black people debased. In all my years I have never seen such a movie--fried chicken used as sexual release; dirty swine and sex; flying shoes, HIV, bulletin boards in the background when Precious is on screen advertising rat poison and abortions; and the worst offense, the worst of them all is how black men are depicted! In the first ten minutes of the film we see a black man raping a child while his Nubian queen watches! Unbelievable. Then the movie continues to assault its captive black viewers by depicting the light skinned mulattoes in the film as the saviors of Precious. Damn I admire the White Man for his trickery! Ultimately, and my God this is so profound, there is nothing "precious" about Precious...they sugar coated poison for you sad coons to eat and you are gobbling it up and asking for seconds. In fact you watch your own debasement on screen in the company of white people sitting next to you in the theater. The White man laughs at you...especially the black woman...he is not laughing with you. Next question.
WARNNN: I am still digesting what you said. You always amaze me Brother X-Squared. Always, always, always. What of some of the other awards? Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting roles, etc.
Brother X-Squared: Those are even easier to predict. That Jeff Bridges in that cowboy movie Crazy Heart will win because Hollywood loves that men and horses/pickup trucks nonsense. Rich white liberals enjoy white trash movies--see Brokeback Mountain. So that is a lock. Inglorious Bastards will win best supporting actor for that Nazi mess. The White Man loves those World War 2 Nazi movies. That old white devil Christopher Waltz who played "The Jew Hunter" is gonna win for sure. Do you know why?
WARNNN: Are you going to discuss the often conspiracy laden theories about Jews and Hollywood? And that Spike Lee's Malcolm X movie didn't win because of Malcolm's politics in real life? I am starting to get your logic Brother X-Squared.
Brother X-Squared: You are still a child sitting at my knee Chauncey. I am to you as a highway is to an anthill. I am a type five civilization and you are a type zero civilization. You cannot even conceive of my wisdom! That Jews and Hollywood mess is nonsense for White people are all the same. They try to use ethnicity to subdivide themselves into different groups as to divide and conquer our fire against them. The true Nubian warrior sees white people as all being evil and stained with blood. The white man loves Tarantino because of his hatred of black people. That Tarantino is a supposed "negrophile" who uses the word nigger whenever he can in his movies. More to the point, Tarantino makes a fantasy movie where Jews get to kill Nazis! When will Black people get our fantasy revenge film where we rise up and liquidate the White man? When will somebody make a counterfactual movie where Nat Turner succeeds and brings the White man to his knees as a proper servant to the Black Gods? The answer is never. Not ever. Not in your or my lifetime.
WARNNN: What about Sandra Bullock and The Blind Side?
Brother X-Squared: As easy as that Nazi mess. Bullock wins. That Blind Side...damn! notice the name...hitting Black people where we are blinded and also trying to blind us with their evil. One has to admire tricknology and how white supremacy uses it so deftly. That movie is about a big man ape, magical negro, black, stupid, dimwit, who pledges his loyalty to some white woman. Sandra Bullock even goes to "the hood" to lecture black people about raising their children. That foulness is the second punch in the Precious one-two combo against the black man in the Age of Obama. We can't take care of our families. Our women are weak. And we need white women to save us. That is every white person's racist fantasy, some big dumb buck to protect the white family--like some trained bear who doesn't know he is a slave.
This goes back to slavery when white folks would exchange black people as gifts. That Blind Side is just white racist projection where big black asexual bucks get to protect white families on the pain of death and then get contracts playing football as million dollar slaves for old white men.
WARNNN: What are your predictions for best picture and best director?
Brother X-Squared: Two foul abominations for best picture are the likely candidates. One is Avatar. The other is Hurt Locker. Avatar is unbelievable. It is a Tarzan, Jungle Book, Pocahontas, Kipling, white man's burden fantasy. Some white man comes to the dark people, learns their ways, and then uplifts them to new heights after having sex with their queens. The White Man loves to makes those movies where he gets to save the darkies. That movie also used that demonic 3d--a technology developed by DARPA to wage future war and to control the masses--so it gets extra points for evil. No proud Nubian Warrior shall ever see a movie in 3d for it is a path for the white devil to control your neurons! In my resistance cell that is one of our prime directives. No 3d movies!
WARNNN: What about Hurt Locker? It does have a female director? And she is Cameron's ex-wife. Given how unpopular he is among some in Hollywood that could be to her advantage.
Brother X-Squared: Chauncey, please stop trying to divine the ways of white people for their logic is not ours. Their evil is so twisted, their machinations so grand, that we cannot possibly understand the White Man's logic. Hurt Locker is another attack on Black people. Notice the title--"hurt" and "locker." Hurt is what they have done to us for centuries. Locker equals "lock her" when pronounced phonetically. Is that not what they have done to the black woman? With all of this interracial porn that is popular today? With movies like Precious? To "hurt" the black woman? Did the white man not "lock her" in cages and chains!
By doing so, did not the White Man shackle the Black Man by denying us access to our Queens and their fertile land? Hmmm.....do you see now Brother Chauncey. To boot: Hurt Locker is directed by a white woman and it features a white man with the power to defuse bombs. They want to balance out that Obama victory. All those dejected, angry,white, crying, she-devils who supported Hillary want to see Hurt Locker win the Oscar! The white man in the movie, by defusing bombs, is defusing the black man's sexual power! We alone have the power to explode and destroy the White Man. So, by defusing those bombs the white man in neutering us!
WARNNN: So your prediction is?
Brother X-Squared: I see an upset. On one hand I want to say Precious because the white man is devilish and if Precious wins it will be the most white supremacist triumph since that minstrel song "It's Hard Out there for a Pimp" won a few years back. But, the white man is smart. He does not see every problem as a nail simply because he is holding a hammer. I say Hurt Locker! Yes, that foul white feminist neutering of the black man movie wins over that equally foul blue people, interracial, man-tree sex, colonial fantasy movie Avatar.
WARNNN: At this point, I usually ask if you want to share some new knowledge with our audience. But tonight, I want to ask you about your favorite movies of the past and present. Do you like movies? And if so, what do you recommend for our audience?
Brother X-Squared: I love the movies. A warrior must study his enemies. The white man assaults us everyday at the cinema. My favorite movie of all time is Braveheart. I watch it at least once a week. What a wonderful movie. Those diseased, foul, dirty, white people practice incest, don't practice bathing, and then put paint on their faces before they kill each other. I couldn't have made a better movie. Braveheart is truly wonderful to watch. I wish those white devils had stayed in Europe and continued killing one another and having incest with their mothers and sisters. That movie is my Star Wars.
WARNNN: I have to admit that I never thought of Braveheart that way.
Brother X-Squared: Of course you haven't. I am Yoda and you are still a Padawan on these matters. Of current movies I like that crazy white people movie Shutter Island. Damn it was good. All those crazy white people on that island getting lobotomies. I really appreciated how that movies exposed the "healing" profession that is white psychotherapy. Yeah right! They go off and drug you (or electrocute you) in order to create new realities for the patients--what white privilege does to the soon to be obsolete white man everyday. I also liked the black orderlies in that movies. Yes, they were in fact slaves to the white man, but they were kicking the behinds of those white devils. What a wonderful job. I give that Shutter Island...a movie that made me shutter with laughter...four out of four stars!
WARNNN: Well, thank you for the extensive interview. We love you Brother X-Squared as do our readers and viewers. One question: if the audience wrote in and requested that you live blog the Oscars would you be willing to do so?
Brother X-Squared: I live for the people. I absolutely would share my wisdom with the masses during the Oscars if they so desired it. My connection to these Internets is secure so I don't fear the White man's police state tracking me down. If the masses command it I am willing! I may even debut on that white man's Twitter BS for the Oscars too....only time will tell.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Let's practice for the S.A.T.'s--2 Girls and One Cup is to 2 Black lesbians and one white sperm donor on the People's Court as
Brother Barack, do you see the madness that you have unleashed? Are you happy with where all that hope and change stuff has brought us? White women suing over bad hair weaves. Latarian Milton. Epic Beard Man. You have unleashed them all.
Welcome once more to Barack Obama's post racial America.
Where are the brothers for these sisters? What about perpetuating the black race my Nubian queens? To play on a phrase, is biracial the new black?
By the way dude is lucky to have dodged this trainload of craziness...
But then again, if these two queens want some man juice they can come see Brother Chauncey DeVega for the hookup cause I always come strong and correct. And I don't believe in them prophylactics 'cause the Black Gods must always spread their seed. Holla if you hear me!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Behold the Ugliness of the Right Wing: Breitbart Compares the KKK to the Community Activist Group ACORN
Sometimes I just shake my head in dismay. As I have asserted many times in my writings here and elsewhere, one of the great divides in this country--a divide that resonates throughout our political culture--is the force of memory and history. At our best, Black and Brown folks, our Native American brothers, Jewish folk, and others who have suffered under power are deeply historical. We are history. We live history. We embody the past and the present whether we want to or not. We are politicized by virtue of our identity relative to the American polity whether we want to be or not.
There are others who are historical while simultaneously being ahistorical. The neo-Secessionists, the Palin crowd, original intent, nostalgia possessed Right wing are awash in history but their historical prism is one of the good old days. Their lens is myopic. Redemption reigns supreme amidst a memory of a benign Leave it to Beaver infused past--never mind that Jim Crow, as well as restrictive housing covenants and segregation made possible Wally and the Beave's idyllically white childhood. These types talk about history and allude to it. Yet, they are not "historical" people. Conservatives of this stripe are more akin to a particular type of Whiteness that abuses history while practicing selective historical amnesia. As others such as Baldwin and Ellison have said far more sharply, America is a country of amnesiacs where European ethnics could come, forget their origins, and reinvent themselves as White Americans by both hating and distancing themselves from people of color.
Notice once more the importance of the distinction between "Whiteness" and "white people."
The ugliness of White (Conservative) Nationalism is striking in its hold on much of Red State America. The whiteness of the Republican, Right wing, echo chamber is possessed of xenophobia and racism. In total, they should simply own their values as such. The folks who would compare ACORN to the Klan (for a frightening jolt of reality peruse the comments on the Breitbart site) are one step above common bigots. As I said months ago, perhaps they would not hold the rope of the lynching, but these types would buy the postcards, wear their Sunday finery, and buy a bit (or two) of Sam Hose's body as a collectible to pass down to their children and grandchildren.
The piece in question from the popular Conservative website Breitbart's Big Government follows.
Thought: Will Black Conservatives write in and complain about this nonsense? Will they boycott Breitbart's sponsors? Will well-meaning, decent, and intelligent White Conservatives wash their hands of Breitbart's Big Government?
Truly disgusting, yet a powerful barometer of the White backlash that fuels the Right wing populism of the present (and past):
by Michael Zak
Last week, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a crime syndicate dedicated to tightening the Democratic Party’s grip on America, dissolved its national structure. Too much of ACORN’s corruption had been exposed to public scrutiny for it to run its vote fraud and extortion rackets effectively. So, ACORN activists will have to soldier on in state-level organizations, such as New York Communities for Change and New England United for Justice in Massachusetts.
ACORN does indeed operate like the Mafia, but it more closely resembles another organization that began as an affiliate of the Democratic Party, the Ku Klux Klan. Aside from intimidating some bank executives, ACORN does not engage in violence, but like the KKK it has vote fraud as a top priority.
There have been two distinct organizations known as the Ku Klux Klan. The modern-day KKK, with whom most people are familiar, was spawned in 1915 by the Hollywood epic Birth of a Nation, premiered at the White House by a Democrat president, Woodrow Wilson. Cross-burning and other rituals were actually inspired by the movie. The Klan came to dominate the Democratic Party so thoroughly that the 1924 Democratic National Convention was known as the “Klanbake.”
It is not so much this Klan 2.0 that ACORN parallels as the original version. Established in 1866, Klan 1.0 was an affiliate of the Democratic Party during the Reconstruction era. Named for “kuklos,” the Greek word for “circle,” the Ku Klux Klan waged war against the Republican Party in the former Confederate states. Goofy titles for its commanders such as Wizard and Cyclops were intended to disguise the fact that the KKK was a paramilitary organization. In some areas, leadership of the Ku Klux Klan and the Democratic Party were indistinguishable.
Democrats used the Klan to suppress their political opposition, with vote fraud and intimidation and violence. Klansmen aimed at African-Americans, nearly all Republicans in those days, and at white Republicans who tried to help them. Once threatened by the KKK, Republicans could in many cases save their lives only by publicly swearing allegiance to the Democratic Party. According to a southern governor, “Few Republicans dare sleep in their houses at night.”
“The suppression of enough GOP votes could ensure a Democratic victory,” wrote one historian. “There’s no question that Klansmen closely watched the polls” – easy to do before the secret ballot was introduced in the United States in the 1880s. All too often, Republican ballots were not even counted.
Like ACORN, the Ku Klux Klan operated with impunity until Republican politicians and journalists sounded an alarm. In 1869, Nathan Bedford Forrest, the KKK’s Grand Dragon, ordered the Klan disbanded. Why? The national organization was getting too much attention, so Klansmen would have to soldier on in state-level organizations, such as the Red Shirts in South Carolina and the Men of Justice in Alabama. Nonetheless, most members of these spin-off groups considered themselves to be Klansmen.
A congressional investigation reported that “the operations of the Klan are executed in the night and are invariably directed against members of the Republican Party.”
In 1871, the Republican-controlled 41st Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Act, and a Republican president, Ulysses Grant, signed it. Until overturned by the Supreme Court twelve years later, the law effectively banned the KKK. Federal troops crushed Klan uprisings in South Carolina and Louisiana, while hundreds of Klansmen were convicted in federal court. Law enforcement played a role in eliminating the Ku Klux Klan, but primarily the Klan disappeared because after Democrat regimes replaced the Reconstruction state governments there was no need for Democrats to suppress Republican opposition by covert means when government authorities could do so openly.
Back then, Klansmen had to contend with a Republican administration, but now, with a Democrat in the White House, ACORNistas know that the federal government is on their side. With Eric Holder’s Justice Department condoning polling place thuggery [pictured] and other illicit activity against the GOP, there is less incentive for Democrats to suppress Republican opposition by covert means when government authorities are doing so openly.
The Democrat-controlled 111th Congress has made ACORN spin-off groups eligible for billions of taxpayer dollars. Once an insurgency, community organizers are now part of the establishment. To the victors go the spoils.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Chauncey DeVega's World of Ghetto Nerds: A Quick Note on Roger Ebert Finding His Voice on the Oprah Winfrey Show
I loved Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert as a kid. Watching their show, then deciding to go to a movie based on Ebert's "thumbs up or thumbs down" was a weekend ritual in my home. Their reviews were the meat of the program. But what really made Siskel and Ebert's show cohere was their amazing chemistry. One couldn't tell if they loved each other or if they hated each other--but we knew they were dear friends:
I will never forget when Ebert threatened to punch Siskel in the mouth for making a playful joke about how his love of black women (random factoid: did you know that Ebert dated Oprah?). Ebert took it as disrespect for his wife and for a moment it was Roger (and not Mike Tyson) who was the baddest man on the planet.
I was deeply saddened when Siskel died. When we heard the news of Ebert's struggle with cancer, there was an exhalation felt across all of ghetto nerd land. Ebert has triumphed even as he has lost so much--his voice, his face, and his television show. But in this struggle, Ebert has reivented himself, or perhaps more precisely, he has found other ways to be quintessentially himself. Either way he is a role-model and in my book a mighty respectable negro:
I shed a tear when Ebert found his voice again on Oprah (we respectable negroes can be quite sensitive you know). I smile when I read his column. For me, the lesson to be learned from Ebert's tribulations is how to be a model of self-deprecation and humility--traits we can all learn from.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Noose Debacle at UC San Diego, Minority Student Claims Responsibility, and No Justice No Peace Rings Forth Across the Land
There is no going back to the glorious Sixties.
I am more old school and confront power face to face--as opposed to during a parlay. But, I will indulge the younglings storming the offices of sympathetic administrators while they were out to lunch and thus there was no fear of arrest.
While I am presently working on something more substantial regarding this UCSD, Compton "ghetto" party debacle, for now I will be content in sharing this latest development.
For those of you who have been following the UCSD drama, a noose was found several days ago in the library of that most esteemed of institutions. Quite expectantly, students have protested and "stormed" university offices. They have presented a list of demands. Folks are up in arms and tempers are flaring.
Now it seems that it was in fact a "minority" student who left a noose in the library. As a former student activist, and as someone who was resident protester and President of a Black Student Association on a campus that made UCSD's racial politics look paradise like, I call BS. My theory: said minority student, noose hanger is either A) an agent provocateur who got caught out by the Pandora's box she opened or more likely B) said "minority student" is actually covering for someone else. Only time will tell.
As always on these matters, I like to go to the peanut gallery in order to test the waters of public opinion. As always, I am not disappointed. Notice the logic among these respondents: Reverse racism, white folks are victims, a mocking of hate crimes, and gross misreadings of history.
However the UCSD campus climate brouhaha turns out, for me the more powerful narrative is how race still lives in Barack Obama's America. Where do we go from here?
Some select comments:
- I sure hope the white student union doesn't take this sitting down, they need to follow the example of the black student union and orgainze a protest march. The time is now to end the perpetual victim ideology that is religiously played by blacks the first time they're expected to stand up and be responsible for themselves and their actions, something that the rest of us do on a daily basis, minus the built in excuse to fall back on.--Ratssuck\
- At least she said she didn't intend to cause a racial firestorm aimed at whites. Unlike the black man who set fire to Southern black churches (Antoine Dean), the black man who abducted black children around Atlanta (Wayne Williams), Tawana Brawley scrawling a backwards swastika on her body in dog feces, the Teachers College professor (Madonna Constantine) who hung a noose on her own office door, the racist Harvard professor (Skip Gates, Obama's friend) who cried "racism" when the police (Obama: "They acted stupidly") arrived to protect his house, the black stripper accused the white Duke lacrosse players of rape (Crystal Gail Mangum), et al. THEY all committed their racist frauds ON PURPOSE.--Eagle_in_NYC
- A noose? A piece of rope used around the world for millenia to execute or persecute people?This is now a hate crime? So then it was a hate crime when Nathan Hale was hanged?--markemoore
- If only it had been a white male, then Jesse Jackson and his racist posse come to the rescue. But since the person is a minority, female, and apparently stupid - nothing will come of this. Actually, they'll probably make white male students attend a class why this is not appropriate.--somoes
- It's all good. It's a female, (not subject to censure), potentially of color, (not subject to censer), and most likely an avid drug user (only subject to pity and rehab). Let her run free! Only white males need to be burned at the stake.--Contrarian123
- Just like the Islamic law student that was planted at an Abacrombe and Fitch store as a clerk... Then she starts wearing a burka. Racism like this is contrived for political or financial gains. Law suits by Jesse Jackson and the like wear down the will of the people who are targeted. And these are the people that say they are for justice... when it benefits them!--BlueSpringsMo
- Since when did the noose become a symbol of hatred of blacks? As if no other race has ever been hung on a noose... Political correctness kills me. So does "hate" crimes.--TWBNick
- The whining minorities usually are the ones making the nooses and burning the crosses these days because racism is on the wane except for that in the minority communities where it is growing. It is a typical ploy to invoke sympathy and anger. How sad for these race baiters.--ricardo_maxwell
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
He Needs More Rehab: Glenn Beck's Newest Addiction is Fantasizing About the Destruction of Liberals and Progressives
It has been a while since we heard from our friend Werner Herzog's Bear. I can think of no better a moment for the bear to spring forth from hiding and devour Glenn Beck.
The boy has suffered a relapse. This time Beck's drug of choice is a bilious, poison filled, and twisted fantasy where Liberals and Progressives are a "cancer" to be "eliminated" from the Earth. As always, Werner is ready with a a special guest lecture on the real meaning of fascism, Glenn Beck's crazy talk, and why this is eerily frightening stuff:
Today I would like to talk about the way that the word “fascism” is currently being misunderstood, abused, and distorted in the public sphere. I’d like to start by saying that I do not think that any one political group has a monopoly on misusing the word “fascism.” The Soviet Union used it constantly to shut down its enemies, radical European students in the 1960s used it against democratic regimes, and it was certainly leveled carelessly by the opponents of the Bush administration. Basically, we have all agreed that “fascists” and “Nazis” are the avatars of evil, and to label your opponents fascists is a very effective form of political name calling. I think that unless you are talking about white supremacist organizations like the Aryan Nation, that the terms “Nazi” and “fascist” should be avoided, because they tend to shut off political debate rather than foster it.
That said, there has been a recent wave of Nazi talk that has gone beyond name calling to actually distorting the historical record. I am thinking specifically here of Jonah Goldberg’s recent book Liberal Fascism, Patrick Buchanan’s Hitler, Churchill and the Unnecessary War, and various statements made by Glenn Beck on his television show. These figures aren’t just mis-using the term “fascism,” they are trying to rewrite history. For example, Beck has called FDR a fascist on his show, and has consistently called progressives fascists. Goldberg does much the same in his book, and has made the preposterous claim that fascism was a movement of the political Left, rather than the Right. Patrick Buchanan, taking a different tack, has just written a book blaming Churchill for the Holocaust under the misbegotten notion that Britain prolonged what should have been a short war. In Buchanan’s eyes, Hitler was a nationalist who invaded Poland only to unite Germans together, not to subjugate Eastern Europe under German rule. All of these assertions are ridiculous, but are deadly serious, because they are being used to push a political agenda.
As someone who studies German history for a living, I feel that I should set the record straight. Because it would take too long for me to go into all of the distortions one by one, I will instead go into what fascism actually is. From that we will see the problems with the current rhetoric, and how it is based on is a gross misunderstanding at best, and a piece of calculated political mendacity at its worst.
First off, we should have a good definition of what fascism is. This is actually kind of tricky. In the first place, fascism is not merely dictatorship, militarism, or authoritarian government. While the term “fascist” was applied to Francisco Franco’s regime, he himself was not actually a fascist, but a conservative authoritarian, even though many of his supporters came from the Falange, the Spanish fascist party. In my estimation, and according to other historians like Stanley Payne, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany were the only two truly fascist regimes, while others, like Franco’s Spain, Vichy France, and WWII era Romania, had regimes influenced by fascist movements.
What is important to understand about fascism is that it is a revolutionary movement that seeks to overthrow the older order, not just preserve it. In that sense fascism was a break from prior movements on the extreme right, which tended to be more monarchical and clerical in nature. Robert Paxton, the great historian of Vichy France, has a definition of fascism that to my mind works best:
“a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”
Extreme nationalism is thus the essential ingredient of fascism; you really can’t have fascism without it. Fascists wanted to purify the nation by destroying those elements they thought endangered the nation, and sought to make the nation great through military conquest. Fascists were also interested in mobilizing the nation, which made them different from traditional authoritarians; hence the creation of organizations like the Hitler Youth.
Furthermore, fascists defined themselves through their oppositions to women’s emancipation, artistic modernism, communism, socialism, and liberalism. They valued action, nation, violence, and cohesion. While they shared an emphasis on collectivism with Communism, fascists rejected the whole notion of class consciousness and instead substituted the nation.
Furthermore, the Nazi variant of fascism was fundamentally and almost exclusively concerned with the idea of race. Hitler placed German “Aryans” at the top of the racial hierarchy, and considered them a “master race” whose destiny it was to rule Europe. (This marked him off from Mussolini, who was not particularly anti-Semitic.)
The worst crimes of the Nazis are the direct outgrowth of their racial ideology. The Holocaust, persecution of homosexuals, enslavement of Russian POWs, and killing of the handicapped all were motivated by the desire to create a racially pure Volksgemeinschaft, or “racial community.” These principles were directly opposed to those of liberalism’s emphasis on individual rights and socialism’s belief in universal humanity. When commentators like Glenn Beck try to say that “collectivism” is what defines Nazism, they are wrong; it is race. This is also why Buchanan’s analysis is flawed: Hitler’s idea of Volksgemeinschaft required that those “unfit” would have to be destroyed.
But why not take this from the horse’s mouth? Mussolini himself wrote an essay called “What is Fascism?” in 1932 that is instructive in understanding how fascism wanted to break from other political ideologies:
"...given that the nineteenth century was the century of Socialism, of Liberalism, and of Democracy, it does not necessarily follow that the twentieth century must also be a century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy: political doctrines pass, but humanity remains, and it may rather be expected that this will be a century of authority...a century of Fascism."
Notice that Mussolini has defined Fascism in direct counter-distinction to democracy, liberalism, and socialism. The efforts by Goldberg and others to muddy the waters cannot overcome this fundamental fact: fascists viewed socialists and liberals as their enemies. Furthermore, fascists were most invested in enhancing the glory of their nations, which they claimed had been humiliated, something both Hitler and Mussolini did after World War I. From Mussolini again, we get the emphasis on national expansion and emphasis on the nation rising from humiliation:
“For Fascism, the growth of empire, that is to say the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite a sign of decadence. Peoples which are rising, or rising again after a period of decadence, are always imperialist; and renunciation is a sign of decay and of death. Fascism is the doctrine best adapted to represent the tendencies and the aspirations of a people, like the people of Italy, who are rising again after many centuries of abasement and foreign servitude.”
I provide these quotations for a reason, namely to show how wrong many of the people who talk about fascism today are about its actual nature. Now enter Jonah Goldberg. His book, Liberal Fascism, must stand as one of the most egregious abuses of the historical record ever written. Like others before him, he wants to pin the word “fascist” on his opponents, and goes to ridiculous lengths to do so. Here is what he has to say about modern day manifestations of fascism:
“Fascism was an international movement that appeared in different forms in different countries, depending on the vagaries of national culture and temperament. In Germany, fascism appeared as genocidal racist nationalism. In America, it took a “friendlier,” more liberal form. The modern heirs of this “friendly fascist” tradition include the New York Times, the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood. The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.”
Unfortunately for Mr. Goldberg, Brown doesn’t have an education program! Furthermore, people like him are always criticizing the New York Times, the Democratic Party, and Ivy League professors of not being nationalistic enough! His understanding of fascism is completely facile. For instance, he links the Nazi anti-smoking campaign, to the contemporary one, as an example of “liberal fascism.” That makes about as much sense as calling Dwight Eisenhower a Nazi for building the Interstate Highway System since the Nazis built the Autobahn. His problem is that he thinks that fascism has any kind of expression outside of radical nationalism. As we’ve seen already, it doesn’t.
Goldberg’s larger project, with which Glenn Beck and others have latched onto, is to term fascism a phenomenon of the “Left” rather than the “Right.” In the first place, we should acknowledge that these terms are highly subjective. Secondly, their grounds for doing so are highly suspect, especially because I cannot think of a single scholar of fascism who considers it to be primarily a Leftist movement. Goldberg for instance, likes to talk about how Mussolini started out on the Left, but that proves nothing. That would be like saying that since Ronald Reagan was a pro-New Deal leader of a labor union, that he was a liberal president. Paxton and others agree that there are elements of fascism that have their origins in the Left, such as the influence on revolution over restoration, but that doesn’t change the fact that fascism in France, Italy, and Germany, all had their origins in right wing, radical nationalist organizations at the turn of the century.
All of this is borne out in the historical record, where traditional conservative elites in both Italy and Germany allied themselves with fascism, something they never would have done with communists or socialists. People like Hindenburg saw Hitler as a tool for protecting their interests.
You might wonder why I am so passionate about this. I am because these distortions actually dishonor many of the people victimized by fascism. The first people targeted and killed by the fascist governments of Italy and Germany were Leftists. Hitler, for instance, purged the Communists and Social Democrats from the Reichstag soon after taking power, and built the first concentration camps in order to imprison them. The Social Democrats were the only party in Germany after World War I never to waver in their commitment to democracy, and they suffered for it.
Yet today they are being lumped together with Nazis. South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint did this recently, where he let this preposterous whopper drop, “we're about where Germany was before World War II where they became a social democracy.” Never mind that the social democrats lost their lives to defend democracy in the face of Nazi tyranny. If anyone deserves to be credited with trying to stop the Nazis, it’s them.
So in conclusion, I think it’s time that we stopped the name calling, and certainly that we stopped playing fast and loose with history. We all might have disagreements over politics with each other, but demonizing one’s opponents with the label of fascism is inappropriate and unproductive.