Race, Politics and Cultural Fascism

Posted in Katin/IPCRESS Blog, Mind Control, New World Order by Katin on January 7, 2008

Written by Katin for IPCRESS Blog

This essay originally appeared in my other blog under the title, “Problems of Race, Culture and Politics.” Over the next few months I will be transferring some of the essays I have posted to my blog on MySpace. I have been blogging on that site for several years as the interface is very simple to operate. This also gave me the opportunity to generate a body of work which I could later sift through, edit, and then re-post to an established blog site. While MySpace gets a lot of flak for various reasons, it is still a good barometer for judging certain cultural and political attitudes. Of course, these attitudes and opinions are expressed largely by a younger crowd, but it’s important to keep in touch with this segment of society. After all, these are the people who will be volunteering for the military, the Police forces, and other sectors of the Homeland Security apparatus. Mass Control begins with the young. There is much of the irreverent behavior common among college students on the site, and one quickly gets used to overlooking the childish randomness which is very popular there. On another level, there is a large amount of focused, hateful commentary which tries to masquerade as simple randomness. This is not a phenomenon unique to MySpace; in fact, the attitudes expressed on this site reflect broader feelings of racism, sexism, and elitism in our society. I wrote this essay about a year ago in response to much of the overtly racist material which has gained such popular acceptance on that site as well as the Internet in general. This was an ambitious attempt to link together a wide range of issues and I hope it hangs together. It would have been easier to make it much longer, as I touch on a lot of material; but I wanted to keep it as short as possible.

Many of my essays deal with the nature of our “Schizo” culture and the way people are able to maintain two diametrically opposed points of view. I’ll be trying to demonstrate the same here by outlining a new and evolving racist subculture: one which survives by considering itself racist and non-racist simultaneously. So much of modern society operates in this paradoxical manner and the same is true in dealing with matters of Race. Gone are the days when the dominant culture can simply brand a particular racial minority as “inferior.” These days, racial hatred is not nearly so overt, but couched in the sort of apparent contradictions which we find throughout society.

I graduated from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts in 1981. I had a lot of friends while I was in college, but my closest friend was a fellow named J. We became friends by accident. I was looking for a place to live on campus, and found that a vacancy had opened in the the school’s largest black fraternity. J. was president of the frat as well as head of the NAACP on campus. He was also a relation of the great Reverend Ralph Abernathy. The house was very quiet, a nice place to study, and after a while J. and I became good friends. As I was one of the campus “radicals,” we had an immediate bond in a shared a distrust of The Establishment, and we would have long discussions about Race, Politics, and American Culture. We had different opinions about certain issues, but we were always able to find some common ground, which was one of the nice things about our friendship. J. surprised me one day by telling me that I was his only white friend. This was kind of surprising at first, but I could see how isolated he and his friends saw themselves on campus. It wasn’t that they disliked Whites, but they felt Whites didn’t have a genuine appreciation for racial problems (although many thought they did.) J. had a great sense of humor, as did many of his friends, but they were very serious about important social and political issues. There were moments for joking about racial topics, but this was always handled with some consideration and a little intelligence. Certainly, there were humorous things about Black Culture, just as there were humorous things about White/Dominant Culture, but the humor was not mean-spirited nor intending to stereotype. In general, though, I would often find other things to laugh about rather than racial topics, as this was a sensitive area and there was just no point in risking being misunderstood for the sake of a few laughs. For years afterwards, these guys would be my yardstick for racial matters, and if I was ever in doubt about the appropriateness of anything, I would simply imagine myself showing it to J. and his friends and thinking about what they would say.

He was the only college friend I kept in touch with after I graduated. After some time, we lost track of each other–which often happens–but I always regard his understanding as the standard of what’s “Racist” and what isn’t. I suppose that was their gift to me. He was not some dour religious type, nor a political fanatic. We’d party together and spend quite a bit of time joking around. So, these guys knew what was funny and what wasn’t. They also knew when white people were being ignorant dickheads… and they were usually correct. Most especially, they felt annoyed with Whites who felt that they had a particular license to make racial jokes, because they were either so cool, so intelligent, or so funny.

I do not bring this up in an effort to try and establish myself as some sort of expert on racial matters. I am not such an expert. This is merely my personal experience which has influenced my view of the world. I’m no model of Political Correctness, and I don’t go about lecturing people on what they should or shouldn’t say. In general, I am much more concerned with issues relating to Class and World Politics, yet I try my best to retain a certain sympathetic understanding for people who have been marginalized by this culture. I am also very aware of how the issue of race plays into politics, and especially foreign policy: The US killed over 4 million Asians during the Vietnam War, and I consider this genocide, as do many others. The largest reason why the American public chose to ignore these numbers was because the people who were killed were only “Godless Gooks” or “Worthless Slopes.” Our “racial superiority,” which was drummed into the minds of our fighting forces, was elemental in enabling them to carry out their brutal mission of extermination against civilian populations. We see the same thing today. The “War on Terror” is not so much an effort to defend the United States, as it is a program to rid the world of “Godless Sand Nigs” and “Hadjis.” It has been argued that the Atomic Bombs would never have been used against Germany, as they were a white race, and, in the same regard, I believe that the brutal assault against the Iraqi people would be quite different had they been White. In a previous blog, I posted a story about how more and more White Supremacists and Nazis are being recruited into the US military. This is not an anomaly, but an indication of what the military has become. Back home, the racial inferiority of “Arabs” is used to de-sensitize a largely ignorant population.

Racism is also fundamental in selling Israel’s plan of exterminating the Palestinian people, as well as the growing Anti-Arab sentiment around the world. Naturally, this is a subject which the Israelis and their American supporters wish to avoid, yet it is nonetheless obvious. Desensitizing Americans towards “Arabs” is supported by a much broader culture of racism which includes demeaning Blacks, Latinos, and just about anyone else who doesn’t fit into the All-American mold. During Vietnam, the connection between the racist attitudes towards Blacks and the racist attitudes towards Asians was apparent and emphasized among Anti-Establishment elements. The same connections can be made today. White, “Pro-American” elements enjoy promoting racism against Blacks, as it desensitizes people towards the racism inherent in the brutalizing of the Iraqi people. Unlike Europe, the United States does not have a significant, visible Arab population, but racist attitudes against illegal immigrants are a good substitute and help reinforce the siege mentality being driven by the “War On Terror.” Racial minorities in general are becoming sort of a Fifth Column of domestic insurgents.

Many supporters of Israel, including members of America’s Jewish Community, also support these broader racist attacks, as it desensitizes people to the suffering of the Palestinians by equating them with a larger, inferior, “Non-white” segment of the population. Because of this, people opposed to the imperialistic crimes of The New World Order in the Middle East should also be more aware of the Establishment’s efforts to persuade people to accept a racist agenda back home. Encouraging a racist understanding is only one goal. Another goal is promoting the belief that Race is simply unimportant, and is not a factor in the way our country operates. A third goal is to encourage people to think that they really DO have an appreciation for racial problems, that they themselves are not racists, and, in fact, they are on such good terms with minorities living in America (or, the matter is so insignificant) that they have license to laugh at these people and treat them contemptuously.

Humor is the traditional method by which racist attitudes are legitimated and spread. For a period of time during the 1990s I lived in an apartment underneath a group of Skinheads. They had the swastika tats, quoted Mein Kampf, and openly embraced a racist, Nazi doctrine. They firmly believed that Blacks were an inferior race and they were strong proponents of racial separatism. Despite their apparent seriousness and dedication to these things, nearly all of their discussions were cloaked in racial humor. This was their method of reinforcing their beliefs among one another, as well as a means of approaching others who may be sympathetic to their cause. Obviously, anyone who appreciated racial humor was a possible candidate for a more serious political discussion. In a broader sense, spreading racial humor helped desensitize others to these issues. This is the first form of schizo racism, where a serious understanding of racial superiority is couched within a far less serious atmosphere of racial humor.

This brings me to the subject of the Internet and MySpace in particular. I have developed a certain attraction to MySpace, as I find the format very accessible and the concept of an Internet Community to be an essential part of modern, Cyber Culture. MySpace is also an excellent means of spreading information, especially for those of us who are interested in politics, but like much of the Internet, the anonymity associated with the site encourages people to post information and ideas in an especially reckless and ignorant manner. The amount of hateful, vicious material on this site is very, very disappointing, and if I ever leave MySpace it would be because of the mean-spiritedness and absolute stupidity which seems to run rampant here–particularly regarding matters of Race. While this issue has been a concern of mine, a few recent events prompted my writing this essay. The first event was the renewed aggression of Israel, the racist undertones of their genocidal efforts, and the pathetic silence about this obviously criminal behavior among many Americans. This is no more disturbing than the racism supporting the Iraq War, and the similar silence among many Americans. The other thing which sparked me off was noticing especially vulgar and hateful racist “humor” here on MySpace. This image in particular is probably the first which comes to mind. This was in someone’s Comments Column and was accompanied by a caption which I am sure was considered quite funny by the person who posted it as well as the person whose profile page it was.

I remember this image of a starving African child and the vulture when I first saw it. It’s a pretty heart-wrenching image for most people. Seeing it here on MySpace, along with its ignorant caption, really made me wonder just what sort of assholes would find humor in such a thing. After a little surfing through some random Comments Columns and profile pages, there was no problem in finding just the most nasty, vulgar, racist material throughout MySpace (there was plenty of other bullshit, but for now, I’m focusing simply on the racist stuff.)

This image was making the rounds not long ago, and people were trying to outdo one another with “clever” captions:

I’m not going to bother posting any more images, as I am sure that nearly everyone here is familiar with what I am talking about. I admit, that there is a large grey area when it comes to “offensive” material. Something one person may consider to be “Racist” would be thought of as “Good humor” by someone else. I am not trying to establish some standard here and I’m not very interested in discussions on What-is-racist-and-what-is-not. People can come up with their own standards and I am only submitting my own perspective on the matter. Racist humor is part of a larger realm of offensiveness and tastelessness within American Culture. Defining racist humor is easier after defining what is generally appropriate, but more importantly, what is unquestionably tasteless.

Bad Taste, or Kitsch, is important in that it serves a significant political function. Many people hesitate to define Bad Taste, as this seems to go against something essentially “American.” Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and no one has the right to condemn the opinions of other people. The question of Taste is always approached democratically here, and those who try to establish any sort of standards run the risk of appearing elitist. Further, since no one can prove what Bad Taste is, then nothing can be considered “tasteless” in any objective sense. We’d like to see this as a dead issue where one person’s opinion is not “correct” and the other person’s opinion is not “wrong.” However, some opinions are more accurate than others–this cannot be denied.

This radical subjectivism pervades the world of Pornography, also; and many people believe that since nobody can “prove” what Bad Taste is, then nobody can be criticized for being offensive. This is, of course, total crap. Bad taste, or “Kitsch,” serves a very specific political purpose, and it is on this ground which I have the most problem with it (If anyone is interested in reading about this, the collection of essays by Gillo Dorfles, Kitsch: The World of Bad Taste is a good place to start, and I am sure this topic is easily researched online.) Basically, Kitsch undermines our values of significant subjects in various ways. Pornographic Kitsch devalues the basic physical relationships between people, Romantic Kitsch sentamentalizes and trivializes the Love Relationship. Our sympathy and understanding for those we see as “Others” is eroded by Racial Kitsch, etc. I will not get too far into this topic, but say that it is no coincidence that ALL totalitarian regimes are accompanied by a prevailing culture of Bad Taste. Hitler and many of his followers were secret supporters of the avant-garde, yet publicly they supported some of the most attrocious art and culture of that century. American Presidents, who often serve as cultural icons of sorts, flagrantly display their bad taste and cultural crudeness. Reagan was a master of this. Fascism must always appear not to be Elitist, as it strongly relies on petit-bourgeois and proletarian elements for its success. People enjoy feeling superior to the vulgar, ignorant personalities who pose as our leaders, and in the same way, they see these leaders as “one of them.” The biggest obstacle political activists face is simply getting people to take significant issues seriously. Anyone who has ever spent some time debating people in politics knows that the first refuge of the politically ignorant is to simplify the matter in some humorous, or intentionally idiotic way. Discussions on Illegal Immigration are often punctuated by stereotypical remarks of “Lazy Mexicans.” Serious discussion of tensions between Blacks and Whites frequently devolves into jokes about “Welfare Mothers”, “Crack Whores”, or foolish “rap star” stereotypes. All of this takes place against an ever-expanding culture of tasteless, racist “humor.”

Racism often stems from a desire to feel superior to someone else. In this sense, it is an expression of inferiority and reflects the psychological contradictions generated in bourgeois society. On one hand, Americans are made to feel superior to everyone else on Earth. This prevents them from critically analyzing the brutal imperialism taking place in far-away lands. Yet, at the same time, Americans have isolated themselves. Not only are they isolated from the rest of the world, but their atomized society distances them from one another. They live alone with their home entertainment centers in a neighborhood where they know few others. Traditional societies have broken down, from the state-level, to the town-level, to the neighborhood-level, to the dysunctional family, the failed love relationship, and ultimately to the schizo individual. The State can exploit this atomization by taking the place of the family, of the neighborhood. The individual is left struggling with this inner conflict between a nationalist-fed superiority complex, and an inner feeling of dwindling self-esteem. This psychological contradiction expresses itself in hateful attitudes towards others, as this reinforces their feeling of superiority, and assuages their isolation by seeing “others” as essentially unworthy, while at the same time forging friendships with those who share in their mean-spirited worldview. The problem, then, goes far beyond racism, which is actually a symptom of something much more unsettling. We have become a mean-spirited culture. A selfish, vain, and ignorant culture. It is a self-pepetuating crisis, for as these attitudes become more commonplace, and more a part of the cultural “background,” people feel less inclined to take any of it seriously. And, I am not laying this all at the door of America. Rampant Anti-Arab sentiment is spreading throughout Europe–all of it carefully promoted by the Establishment. The world is preparing for a massive moment of ethnic cleansing where the Arab population will be brutally decimated.

People will continue to ask the question, “What is tasteless racial humor, and what is acceptable racist humor?” My initial reaction is, if you have to ask, then you don’t know, and probably shouldn’t be participating in racial jokes. Of course, that’s very difficult here on MySpace, where everyone thinks they’re the Internet’s Greatest Comedian, and where people throw around racial remarks and imagery to show others that they really do have a firm understanding of the difference between “offensively” racist material and “acceptably” racist material. Most everyone will agree that the line can be draw somewhere, and there is material out there which is so hateful and so viciously racist and dehumanizing that it can be considered a “standard” of inappropriate humor. From this point, it’s just a matter of where you want to draw the line. Unfortunately, the supporters of Crap Culture, and racism specifically, come ready for anything, and as the people become more aware of the disturbing political implication of racist humor, the promoters are busy dismantalling any barriers which appear in their way.
Probably the most astounding tool at their disposal is the “funny factor.” It has become very popular to accept as “appropriate” anything which a person may see as “funny.” The schizo logic is inescapable to the observer, as these people convince themselves that if it makes them laugh, then it “must be” just a joke. Such an understanding would have been entirely unacceptable 25 years ago when I was hanging out with my friends. Even today, I find it amazing that apparently-educated people will use this line of reasoning. People arrogantly believe that since they can’t possibly be racist, then anything they find as funny is acceptable. Similarly, people who do not think the humor is funny, are encouraged to keep quiet about it, as it shows that they simply are not intelligent enough to “get” the joke, aren’t hip enough to appreciate it if they do “get” it, or that they’re being unnecessarilly serious.
The other tool which is often employed here on the Internet is to allow the humor by way of the environment in which it occurs. “It’s only the Internet,” or “It’s only MySpace. Why take it seriously? These aren’t Real People after all, they’re just Internet Personalities.” It’s true that the “reality” of the people may be in question, but the ISSUE of Racism remains very real. Also, anything posted online by “unreal personalities” is read by “real people” at some other point. I saw one especially derogatory video which was posted by some “Hip” white guy who must have thought it was appropriate as it was uploaded to the profile of some “Rapper.” Five minutes of looking at this “Rap Star’s” profile showed that it was an obvious hoax, with links to Washington DC and the US military (surprise.) I have found several hoaxed profiles here on MySpace of people who were pretending to be Black only so they could post racist material. Not that it even matters from where the material originates, or if this so-called rapper was authentic or not. “Ignorance has no color” as the old saying goes, and racially offensive material is offensive in-itself, regardless of who is distributing it. No one has any special license to be a dickhead, in other words.

This leads-into another highly successful method of distributing racist material, which is that racist humor is part of some higher “object lesson.” According to this crowd, laughing at racial stereotypes helps relieve tension between the races: “If we can all simply learn to laugh at one another.” This strategy has been popping-up here and there ever since the 1960s, and is a flimsy excuse to exploit people’s baser nature. In our ordinary lives, we generally do not win friends by ridiculing them. If there is some misunderstanding between people, they are not encouraged to demean the other person to show that “humor” is more valuable than their misunderstanding. Also, it is always arrogant for someone to place themselves in the role of “educator” who is so intelligent and with-it, that they can successfully utilize highly offensive material for some intellectual or educational purpose. Many people are unable to get beyond the imagery itself, or are simply unwilling to accept the definition or purpose put forth by the “educator.” In many cases, these people are simply racists themselves, and are using this method as a disguise.
This particular video is a good example of this.

Finally, there are the “artists.” Artists fall into that oh-so-special crowd of people who feel they have special license to say absolutely anything they want and distribute the most mean-spirited, vulgar garbage they possibly can. I’d say that this sort of thing is very popular on MySpace, as many people consider themselves “artists” or “comedians” of some sort who are eager to prove to the rest of us just how “shocking” they can be. It really doesn’t get much lamer than this, as by 2006, there isn’t very much “outrageously shocking” material left. This is nothing more than the pathetic Look-At-Me Culture which defines a huge part of the Internet. I attended an “Erotic Art” exhibit a few months ago here in my home town. The event was a ten-minute walk from my house and I knew one of the artists, so I thought I’d stop by. I don’t have anything against Erotic Art, by any means, although nearly all of this stuff was designed to “shock” the viewer in some “educational” and “artistic” way. Great. I talked with several of the “artists.” Of course, none of them had even a distant clue as to what they were doing or what “purpose” they were trying to achieve. They just wanted to be “shocking.” “It means whatever you want it to mean,” is the often-repeated cop-out of the artiste-posuer. Christ, if you’ve got something to say, Say It! I wouldn’t say very much of this was “mean-spirited,” but it did fall into the “High Kitsch” category, or the “Generally Stupid” category. There are plenty of other “artists” who enjoy using much more offensive and hateful material, especially on the Internet.
Another method of rationalizing racist material is also popular online and has very close ties to the political understanding outlined above. People like entertaining themselves and their friends by playing the fool. The reasoning is: “Yes I’m an idiot, yes I’m an asshole, but because I’m an idiot and asshole to everybody, then I have no particular point-of-view, and so all of my humor is just part of my Wild-and-Crazy personality.” I don’t know if I should even waste any bandwidth explaining why this is just absolute rubbish, but it does get back to trying to legitimate hateful material by citing some unique “source.” In this case, the Clown.

In conclusion, The Establishment has succeeded in ratcheting-up racial tensions in this country and then using that anger and tension for their own purposes. MySpace, while only a “cyber society” does provide a good indication of just how such racist attitudes develop. I may not have done a very good job of explaining this point of view and will probably return to this subject shortly, but it seems that many people feel they have somehow transcended the racial problem to some higher level of understanding which allows them to be… racists. While certain advancements have been made, I think that overall racial problems have become worse during the 25 years since I left college. Adding to that, The New World Order has been able to refine and utilize this racism for their political ends.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Tagged with: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: