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The Nazi salute picture that divided an American town
Baraboo, Wisconsin. A photo of boys from the school giving what appears to be a Nazi salute before prom went viral.
Amid a series of community meetings, some in Baraboo are pressing for a collective apology from the boys even if it is accompanied by an acceptance that their salutes were more a prank than an endorsement of fascism. Others regard them as victims subject to a form of lynching with their futures tarnished by accusations of sympathy for white supremacy. Some students even appeared to endorse the photo after it was posted on social media with the hashtag #barabooproud.
The origins of the photograph remain debated and disputed even by those who were there.
Pastor Dan Gunderson of Walnut Hill Bible church said, “There’s a desire to have a narrative of small-town America being impacted by the presidency of Donald Trump and neo-Nazism and antisemitism and white supremacy,” he said.
Gunderson wrote a Facebook posting under the heading “I Stand with Our Baraboo Boys” which was quickly read across the city and came to mark out the divisions.
The pastor thinks it is the boys who are owed an apology. “These boys are branded racists when they’re not. This branding isn’t just for now. In just a snapshot they are completely redefined and their futures are in jeopardy. Some of these boys come from extremely liberal homes. Parents – tough, tough guys – are coming to me with tears saying, ‘What’s going to happen to my son coming out of this?’” said Gunderson. “Nobody cares to hear it but I think these boys feel like they survived something. They’re traumatised. They’re scared.”
Marcy Huffaker sees Gunderson’s framing of the issue as support or otherwise for the young men in the photograph as avoiding the consequences of their actions.
“It felt to us like you’re either with the boys, and you want to protect the boys, or you’re against the boys,” she said. “But I’m not sure it really matters what their intentions were at this point because it’s a fact of that photo that has done such hurt.”
Baraboo brought in a rabbi, Laurie Zimmerman, from the state capital, Madison, who pressed the Jewish concept of restorative justice that would require the boys to acknowledge the harm they have done and make amends.
“This concept of teshuvah carries with it the recognition that we all make mistakes. We all do things we wish we hadn’t done,” she said.
But lawyers are advising the teenagers and their families that in light of the police investigation and general climate they should not make any public statement and certainly not apologise.
Eva Huffaker is uncertain about how she feels about the students whose lives are likely to be defined by that one moment captured by the camera.
“We were at a community gathering and someone was comparing them to sexual assault victims and Parkland shooter victims. That did not seem right. I understand that they have gotten threats for their lives and they are a victim in that sense. And their whole futures are basically affected by this. But they got themselves into this,” she said.
“While they may not know the full effect of how hurtful that gesture is, they know who used it. They know, and a majority of the people in the picture still chose to do it.”
Whites  Racism  Jews  WI 
8 days ago by dbourn
Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics
Representative Steve King of Iowa, a 69-year-old former bulldozer operator with a combative manner, who has been elected nine times, helped write the book on white identity politics that are ascendant in Mr. Trump’s Republican Party.
Mr. King, in the interview, said he was not a racist. He pointed to his Twitter timeline showing him greeting Iowans of all races and religions in his Washington office.
At the same time, he said, he supports immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is “the culture of America” based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King said.
Tom Tancredo, a former Colorado congressman who once held the most conservative views in official Washington on immigration, calling for a moratorium on even legal immigrants, said he “handed the baton to Steve King” when he left the House in 2008.
Elected to Congress in 2002, Mr. King attracted the attention of hate-watch groups like the Anti-Defamation League as he spoke increasingly about preserving “Western culture” or “Western civilization.” The groups consider those buzzwords that signal support to white nationalists, along with an obsession with birthrates and abortion rates among different ethnic groups.

“He uses the concepts of either ‘culture’ or ‘civilization’ to obfuscate that he’s talking about whiteness and race,” said Lawrence Rosenthal, chairman of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies.
In 2011, Mr. King objected to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to cover contraception. “That’s not constructive to our culture and our civilization,” he said in a speech in the House. “If we let our birthrate get down below the replacement rate, we’re a dying civilization.”
He spoke of “the Great Replacement,” a conspiracy theory on the far right that claims shadowy elites are working behind the scenes to reduce white populations to minorities in their own countries.

“Great replacement, yes,” Mr. King said in the interview. “These people walking into Europe by ethnic migration, 80 percent are young men.”

The accusation that a “great replacement” of whites is underway — which conspiracy theorists often link to prominent Jews like George Soros — animated the torch-carrying white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, who chanted, “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.”
Steve  King  Congress  Whites  White  Supremacy  Racism 
8 days ago by dbourn
In 'Fantastic Beasts', J.K. Rowling Fails at Writing Characters of Colour
Rowling fails to create empathetic, three-dimensional portrayals of her characters of colour.
Rowling’s greatest flaw as a scriptwriter is Nagini’s submissiveness to her fate, and lack of desire to change her future. Instead, she’s pushed aside at the expense of other characters’ developments.
Rowling fails to imbue Leta, arguably the most promising character in this film, with the traits of her most successful protagonists—self-determination and resilience. Instead, Rowling unintentionally turns Leta, a mixed-race woman, into the “tragic mulatto” trope as a character born and bred of tragedy, unhappiness, and unbelonging.
Beyond Yusuf’s path for vengeance, he is yet another character of colour whose childhood trauma drives his present-day existence. Once Yusuf realizes that Corvus is dead, his character’s purpose and role in the plot is lost.
Rowling likewise glosses over the racist and colonialist history that inspires Leta’s birth, Yusuf’s revenge, and Nagini’s constant imprisonment.
Whites  Racism  Harry  Potter  Witches  Wizards  Fiction  Literature 
6 weeks ago by dbourn
Indians and Harry Potter (Dear JK Rowling: We’re Still Here)
None of the Native American “characters” in Rowling’s story of the founding of Ilvermorny had names, and were only mentioned in passing. Only 2 tribes out of literally hundreds are named: Narragansett and Wampanoag. But Isolt Sayre, the founder and an Irish woman, sure had a hell of a backstory. The story in itself normalizes colonialism, and makes it sound, again, like we welcomed the European invaders with open arms: a lie that continues to be perpetuated by white people who don’t want to acknowledge that America is stolen land and don’t want to think about what really happened here and what continues to happen here. The description of the Ilvermorny’s humble beginnings feels so much like assimilation; they taught the Native American children the more sophisticated wand magic, of course, in exchange to learn their own ways. Something in me doubts that their ways were taken very seriously. I desperately hope you prove me wrong, Jo.

This doesn’t even begin to cover the Houses themselves. Let’s keep in mind that lions, badgers, serpents, and eagles are very much creatures you can find on the Discovery channel. Here are the Native American origins and tribal affiliations on Pukwudgies, the Wampus Cat, the Thunderbird, and Horned Serpents. Ilvermorny has nothing uniquely American about it; it’s basically American Hogwarts with Native American cultures pasted on top of it for a lazy excuse of creativity. And die-hard Potterheads, a term I used to covet, eat it all up because we are starving for more, never mind the cultural appropriation. Who cares? We have more magic. Indians aren’t relevant anymore anyway. Do they even exist? Eh, they should get over it.
She could have just treated us as human beings, ones who have character and life and humanity. She could have created her own magical creatures, like the ones she did in the world of Hogwarts, or used the ones she had before and tweaked them for regional changes. Hell, she could have even kept skinwalkers and Thunderbird and Pukwudgies– just give them the respect and the reverence and the stories that they deserve. Don’t claim them to be Animagi or goblins or phoenix relatives. Name the tribes they come from. Don’t make them servants to the white settlers. They’re not yours to commodify, or to give permission to your fans to commodify. Because when I see people write “I’m a Thunderbird!!” in the comment section of a Buzzfeed article and try to compare them to the Hogwarts houses Rowling created, it just hurts.
Harry  Potter  Fiction  Whites  Indians  Witches  Wizards  Literature 
6 weeks ago by dbourn
Loren Goldner - "Race & The Enlightenment: From Anti-Semitism to White Supremacy"
It is not often recognized that, prior to the 17th and 18th centuries, the period which Western history calls the Enlightenment, the concept of race did not exist.

It is still less often recognized that the origin of the concept of race, in the last quarter of the 17th century, in very specific social circumstances, was preceded by centuries of a very different vision of Africans 2 and New World Indians, which had to be eradicated before the concept of race could be invented, expressing a new social practice in new social relations.

In the current climate, in which the Enlightenment is under attack from many specious viewpoints, it is important to make it clear from the outset that the thesis of this article is emphatically not that the Enlightenment was "racist", still less that it has validity only for "white European males". It is rather that the concept of race was not accidentally born simultaneously with the Enlightenment, and that the Enlightenment's "ontology", rooted in the new science of the 17th century, created a vision of human beings in nature which inadvertently provided weapons to a new race-based ideology which would have been impossible without the Enlightenment. Prior to the Enlightenment, Europeans generally divided the known world between Christians, Jews, Moslems and "heathens"3; beginning around the 1670's, they began to speak of race, and color-coded hierarchies of races.
Race  Traitor  Magazine  Loren  Goldner  Racial  Formation  Whites  Europe  History 
11 weeks ago by dbourn
Hating white women - spiked
White women are scum. That’s the message of a column published by the New York Times on Saturday. Written by Alexis Grenell, and titled ‘White Women, Come Get Your People’, the piece is an unhinged screed against the ‘gender traitors’ who apparently make up the vast bulk of white womankind.
whites  regressiveleft  leftism  identityPolitics  racism  NYT  whitePrivilege 
october 2018 by Jswindle
John George Brown - Scraping a Deerskin (1904)
Experts believe Brown was motivated to depict rustic septuagenarians not only to secure his own legacy, but also out of concern for the way the U.S. was changing. The 19th century was a time of industrialization and urbanization throughout the nation. The Ashcan School (also represented in the Scott Galleries), and other American artists, captured the excitement and anxieties of modern life in their pictures. Brown, conversely, sought to preserve the figure of the hunter-farmer-craftsman, whose “self-reliant,” agrarian ways appeared to be headed for extinction.
Brown evidently felt no responsibility for the disagreeable social, economic, and environmental changes that, in his opinion, were spoiling the pastoral republic—though he was an urbanite who skillfully interpreted the tastes of fellow New Yorkers, most of whom made their money through the new mechanisms of industrialization. Indeed, the artist adopted these strategies himself, increasing his sales through patenting, mass-production, and investment. In Scraping, however, Brown cast himself as a rural hunter, preserving “traditional” America in his own image—an ironic act considering he was a new arrival to the country.

Art historian Kathleen Placidi has noted that Brown was able to claim this heritage without criticism because he came from Britain, like the predecessors of most New Englanders who made up the art-viewing public of the day. She further observes that, among this public, such nostalgic images as Scraping bolstered convictions that the nation was composed of two groups: those originating from Anglo settlers and embodying “true” American values; and those newly arrived Irish, Italian, Chinese and Eastern-European immigrants—frequently blamed, at the time, for the country’s ills.
John  George  Brown  Bears  Painting  Huntington  Los  Angeles  Whites 
september 2018 by dbourn
Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment
I want to live in a world where children of color don’t spend their entire adolescence wishing to be white. I want to live in a world where women are not subjected to scrutiny for their appearance, or their actions, or their general existence. I want to live in a world where people of all races, religions, socioeconomic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities are seen as what they have always been: human beings.
Kelly  Marie  Tran  Whites  Racism  Star  Wars  Film 
august 2018 by dbourn
James Baldwin - An Open Letter to My Sister Miss Angela Davis (1970)
Or, to put it another way, as long as white Americans take refuge in their whiteness—for so long as they are unable to walk out of this most monstrous of traps—they will allow millions of people to be slaughtered in their name, and will be manipulated into and surrender themselves to what they will think of—and justify—as a racial war. They will never, so long as their whiteness puts so sinister a distance between themselves and their own experience and the experience of others, feel themselves sufficiently human, sufficiently worthwhile, to become responsible for themselves, their leaders, their country, their children, or their fate. They will perish (as we once put it in our black church) in their sins—that is, in their delusions. And this is happening, needless to say, already, all around us.
James  Baldwin  Angela  Davis  Blacks  Activism  Whites  Racism  Vietnam  War  1970  1970s 
august 2018 by dbourn
What the Provincetown AIDS Memorial Leaves Out
ven now, proper care is fully available only to those whom the aids activist movement comprised and represented: men from wealthy countries, themselves mostly middle-class, mostly white, mostly educated—the kind of men who refused to accept that something so terrible might just happen to them, who demanded that the government, the researchers, and the doctors do something. Most people, when faced with calamity, do not react with such outrage; most accept that their tragedies are but a ripple in the vast world ocean of tragedy.
Queer  AIDS  Health  Illness  Public  History  Provincetown  MA  Memorialization  Whites 
august 2018 by dbourn
White Gays and their Foci
Queers of color on Tumblr cast side-eye
Whites  White  Gay  Racism  Humor 
july 2018 by dbourn

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