Friday, January 21, 2011

Reflections on the Use and Abuse of Eliminationist Speech: Do Conservatives Really Want to Kill Liberals and Progressives?



Something to think about for the weekend. And many, many questions.

The aftermath of The Arizona Massacre has sparked much discussion about political speech and its relationship to violence. For example, one of the phrases tossed about by the pundit classes as they try to make sense of Tea Bag John Bircherism and its relationship to the Right-wing echo chamber is "eliminationism": the idea that some members of the body politic ought to be destroyed or "eliminated."

These efforts to link Right-wing bloviating by the types of Beck, Limbaugh, and others to the concept of genocide is an intuitive and not too far leap of faith: on conservative radio, television, and websites, liberals are routinely called "cancers," "traitors," "mentally ill," or "a disease." Ultimately, the language of violence is a lingua franca of sorts among the leadership classes of the Right because 1) it works to unite them as a tribe; and 2) it leverages their authoritarian personalities for the purposes of partisan cheer-leading.

But, I have a few concerns and considerations...

Primarily, eliminationism speaks to the literal murder, destruction, and removal of whole peoples. And certainly, there is a violence of speech by the Right that is now so utterly common it is taken for granted. But, do we more responsible folks want to massage that observation into what is a historically specific concept that may or may not apply to the United States in the 21st century?

Moreover, in a country that has actually practiced eliminationism as both a matter of national policy (Manifest Destiny and the genocide of native peoples), and as an informal enforcer of America'r racial order (where pogroms against black Americans in such places as Tulsa and East St. Louis were not uncommon) do we want to abuse said idea in order to rebut the vitriol vomited forth by the Tea Party GOP?

These are open questions where the answers are dependent upon how one reads the intent underlying the eliminationist speech offered by the New Right Tea Party Republicans. Are Beck, Palin, et al. simply playing with words in order to marginalize and demonize their opposition, but in fact hold no actual intent of bodily harm?

Stated plainly: Is the new Right's hatred of liberals and progressives just a metaphor for something else?

Or is there a type of protofascism at work (as displayed by mainstream conservatism's fetish for Nazi-talk) in the rhetoric of the Right in which the real end goal is in fact the literal murder of their political opponents on the Left?

In the mainstream media's yearning for false equivalence where the rhetoric of Conservative and Liberals, Democrats and Republicans, somehow is imagined as relying equally on an appeal to violence, these questions are rarely asked. Let's remedy that oversight...if even for a weekend.

20 comments:

Thrasher said...

We already have a case study of how the nature of 'elimination' speech has laid waste to an racial community...Black Americans have sustained immeasureable losses as a result of the language of the majority poopulation aka "good soliders' here on this soil....

Historical accounts like this film offers out is in part a deflection and obstruction on some levels..It is also revealing how this film ignores the holocaust and genocide here in America..

I view the reality of segregation, racial profiling, disparate treatment,soft bigtory of low expectations etc as examples of genocide,ethnic cleansing, drug induced marketplace operations, corrections industry etc.. The reality Black folks confronted here in America is as lethal and significant as the usual suspects this film denotes..

Yeah I am concerned about the verbiage of the Tea Party, Right Wing and others but this reality is not new for coloreds and negroes here on this soil we call America..

We should hold classes and workshops..

Thrasher said...

One other note I do worry that Black Activists are always at risk and could be the first group arrested...Just saying

chaunceydevega said...

We know the history there. Just look at Cointelpro.

But it is a fine line between paranoia and constructive fear. But then again, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that someone isn't in fact following you.

Thrasher said...

CD,

True Dat...lol,lol,lol...BTW I have always thought American Whites could be 'Good Germans"..Just Sayin

Stay warm

Oh Crap said...

Posted this at the Alternet article:

Bold move, putting a piece like this on Alternet. It prompted me to check my own blog for the terms "eliminationism" and "eliminationist". Hip to this term for years, to my own surprise, only the latter appears, and even then only twice in two years. I think I know why: despite the heretical nature of the following idea, I do not believe Sarah Palin and her neo-libbercon ilk to be "eliminationist".

Outside of my bloggyverse and related to your post, I recently discovered my father is quite likely related to a lynchmob victim of the truly eliminationist "racial cleansing" of 1912, Forsyth County GA. To this day Forsyth County is 95% white, less than half a percentage Black.

I remember the uneasy stir Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners caused...big pearl-clutching moments ensued and this was right around the time of the Rwandan and Yugoslavian genocides. I hope everyone will watch the PBS docu you linked.

"Eliminationism" is an easy word to throw around when it's only theoretical and related to someone else. But, as your article subtly asks, what exactly is the purpose of calling someone an "eliminationist"? The answers won't please many people, especially those wanting to pin the Tuscon mass murder on the phenomenon of "Sarah Palin", I guarantee it.

Thrasher said...

Oh Crap,

Why is posting this commentary on ALTERNET a bold move???

Constructive Feedback said...

Mr DeVega and Mr Thrasher:

Please tell me where I am in error when I observe the parallel between how the Korean Hair Care vendor has his real passion exposed as you look at his trade magazines and see mostly BLACK FEMALES listed with instructions on "What Black Women Like and How To Sell it To Them" AND how so many Black Progressive-Fundamentalist blogs and newspapers have content that detail their true passions.

The sight of "Tea Parties", "Sarah Palin" and "GOP" content appears to be more valued than the content that could be considered SCIENTIFIC STUDY of how to erect a different future via Human Resource Management dogma within.

But to answer your question: THE BEST WAY FOR THE "CONSERVATIVE" TO INSURE THE DEMISE OF THE PROGRESSIVE-FUNDAMENTALISTS is to leave you all ALL ALONE, allowed to focus on the priority of your choosing.

You will focus upon the HATRED of your ideological enemies rather than upon mastery on how to grow foodstuff in preparation for the economic winter that will soon come to pass.

Ideological-Suicidal-Genocide at its best.

CNu said...

Palin - like a few identifiable others - is simply implementing a dispersal algorithm. That is what she's being paid and promoted to do. What you musn't forget is the underlying point sources and their long-term aims for this effort.

This individual is MUCH closer to the truth of these long-term aims, and you will really only find her operating within and around crunchy thought-leadership nougat of this enterprise.

It's times like these make me wish some of you afrodemics knew tha'phuk you was talkin about - instead of impotently squandering all your available cycles on being cute, clever, or popular.

CNu said...

You will focus upon the HATRED of your ideological enemies rather than upon mastery on how to grow foodstuff in preparation for the economic winter that will soon come to pass.

even despicable porch monkey's in deepest "ideological" denial - have hung out long enough to assimilate a few crumbs of a clue about what time it is....,

Constructive Feedback said...

KC Nulan - a member of my inner-cirlce of friends and fellow "Negro Intellectuals"........

Whereas I can understand having a racist White conservative see nothing more than my SKIN COLOR and "racial phenotype" and thus cast insults upon me with references to a "primate". I wonder if you see the gross irony in that as our fellow friend Mr DeVega continues upon his "congregational masturaborial" rant against all things Conservative - accusing them of GENOCIDAL HATRED the blindness that is seen on s board is not that YOU choose to partake in this labeling of a fellow Black man not just prompted by his SKIN COLOR but for his ideological differences from you. Add to this his ability to detail the strategic consequence of your missteps.

The MAIN ASSAULT is, however, that no one else on this most elite documentation of "Progressive who is Black" ideological discourse bothered CALL YOU OUT on your ignorance as they do when a SUPERIOR to you makes use of these same words.

KC Nulan - is it possible for you to NOT BE an Inferior as others are seen as a superior insult when they do the same?

CNu said...

Whereas I can understand having a racist White conservative see nothing more than my SKIN COLOR and "racial phenotype" and thus cast insults upon me with references to a "primate".

lol,

I can't see that happening the way you step-n-fetch the white conservative racist's jock strap.

I wonder if you see the gross irony in that...YOU choose to partake in this labeling of a fellow Black man not just prompted by his SKIN COLOR but for his ideological differences from you.

no idiot.

I see no irony whatsoever in calling a coon a coon.

that said, coonie-baboonie, I asked Chauncey to step up and focus his "conservative" surveillance and interrogation game.

all I can ask you to do, on the other hand, is learn to write and speak cogent english....,

CNu said...

CD - The usual cast of characters one would find at a JBS get together won't likely be present at this event later this week. However, if you have any personally intrepid students or colleagues local to this area, I can guarantee you it would be worthwhile to have them either try to attend or surreptitiously "attend" and record as much of what goes on here as possible.

chaunceydevega said...

@Oh Crap. There is a great documentary called Banished that may be of interest as if memories are correct it focuses on some of the local ethnic cleansing in Texas and throughout the country. The book Sundown Towns documents this richly.

@Constructive. You do have some reading comprehension issues. Reread what I wrote and then go to the sources of this "genocidal" speech you reference.

@Cnu--I will consult those links you cited. I am not necessarily going for low hanging fruit as a matter of habit or ease...some of the fruit on the Right is just quite low. But, I am not sleeping trust me, their thinktank game has been deep for a long time and what we have seen internationally and domestically is the fruition of a long amount of planning on their part.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]I can't see that happening the way you step-n-fetch the white conservative racist's jock strap.

I see no irony whatsoever in calling a coon a coon.[/quote]

My good man KC Nulan - WHAT IF the generations of White bigots who called our people "Coons" ALSO used their jaundiced appraisal system to make the case that EVERY NEGRO that came in eye-shot of them was a COON?

You need to decide if your own bigotry provides them with COVER for their antics that are like yours or if you are merely are the one with the same mindset - your melanin count merely for sun protection on your epidermis.

It would be grand for you to tell me how I work for the "White Racist" with my viewpoints while YOU don't seem to be as bothered with the people who produced the two murders that happened over night in Kansas City - NEITHER of them being from exposure to the snow. 6200 block of 11th Street on the East Side....hmmmm I wonder if you ever taught the victim or assailant Linux?

Constructive Feedback said...

My good friend Mr DeVega:

I still hold out hope that you, Mr Thrasher and Mr Nulan are honorable men who are merely caught up in the play action of the "Malcolm X Political Football Game" where you are allowed more playing time than ever before.

As I read the content of your blog and Filled Negro I am made to wonder if you have any respect for the notion of "Opportunity Cost".

You see last Monday I saw the (Black) US Attorney General speaking in the pulpit of "Civil Rights Central". Then King III walked down the street which was the scene of the "Atlanta Race Riots Of 1906", ARM INTERLOCKED with the (Black) mayor of Atlanta rather than being in fear of his police forces.

Indeed, Mr DeVega - the presence of "Black Faces In High Places" does not prove the absence of a RACIST THREAT. However the STATISTICAL FACTS that point to who the well thinking Negro Citizen should be cautious of as she jogs after sunset - the white wire of her iPhone queuing her would-be Street Pirate assailant as to her bejeweled body.

The limited resource, more valuable than the hydrocarbons that Mr Nulan warns us is in diminishing supply is the "COMMUNITY CONSCIOUSNESS ATTENTION SPAN" that our best and brightest are MISAPPROPRIATING.

Mr DeVega - project forward 100 years for me and detail for me the primary contents of your agenda that will build up the COMPETENCIES of our people so that we might be able to withstand ANY "attack" that the words of these WHITE FOLKS have notified you of their intentions.

Let me ask you a question - IF you obtained a video with 10 Black males in the inner city saying the EXACT SAME WORDS against White folks - (you know - kinda like you friend Brother X ["We might have to kill White babies"] ) would THIS register as an EQUAL THREAT to dem WHITE FOLKS as you believe that theirs are to you - DESPITE what the present homicide statistics say otherwise?

Constructive Feedback said...

I created these images with strong influence from my friends on this board. I owe you guys.

http://withintheblackcommunity.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-is-cost-of-community-consciousness.html

CNu said...

WHAT IF the generations of White bigots who called our people "Coons" ALSO used their jaundiced appraisal system to make the case that EVERY NEGRO that came in eye-shot of them was a COON?

They did exactly that Coon.

Me, I individualize and particularize my disdain specifically for objectively demonstrated coonery such as that in which you specialize.

You need to decide if your own bigotry provides them with COVER for their antics that are like yours or if you are merely are the one with the same mindset - your melanin count merely for sun protection on your epidermis.

No jockstrap porter, mimetic cover for racists is your speciality.

It would be grand for you to tell me how I work for the "White Racist" with my viewpoints

Umm, uhh, ahh..., by obsessively and compulsively littering the Black blogosphere with your indecipherable pickaninny prattlings.

Go troll Vdare or WorldNetDaily with your horsehockey for a change....,

Oh Crap said...

@Thrasher it's bold cuz yer not supposed to question whether rwnj language is eliminationist or not. It just is and that is supposed to be the end of it.

That's the climate right now.

Oh Crap said...

Concocted Faceplant said

I wonder if you see the gross irony in that as our fellow friend Mr DeVega continues upon his "congregational masturaborial" rant against all things Conservative - accusing them of GENOCIDAL HATRED

You are the dumbest person to ever post on the internet. I know reading is against the conservative religion but please reread the piece. Or try reading it through just once, at all.

Oh Crap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.