Facing bigotry among progressives

In my last post I wrote about how we need to confront the Trump campaign and Trump supporters with the fact that the Trump campaign was based upon racism.

Similar to this, progressives must also be willing to face the bigotry that unfortunately is widespread on the left. Unlike what many on the left seem to think, bigotry is not just something that exist among right-winged people, but often roars its ugly head among progressives as well.

One such an example can be found at this Daily Kos diary from November 11, 2016

What I told a client

It is a first time diary entry, in which the author writes about the election of Trump. It was quite popular, and got 677 votes (a fairly high number of votes, especially for a first-time contribution). This entry contained the following paragraph

They think our country is being overrun by Muslims or will be, and they want to avoid a situation like in Europe.  That’s a legitimate concern, since non-Europeans are indeed pouring into Europe and refusing to assimilate.  I have traveled and lived in Europe and have seen it with my own eyes. It threatens to destroy the fabric of society there. But we don’t have that problem:  One reason is that we control immigration.  We let in the best and brightest, and a tiny trickle of refugees, and that’s about it.  In Europe, by contrast, uneducated people from countries that never advanced beyond the 13th century can just take the train or drive and sneak in.  Also, non-Europeans flood into Europe from former French, etc. colonies such as Tunisia – a problem we don’t have.  Immigrant Muslims here in the States are assimilating far more than in Europe, in part because we don’t relegate Muslims to ghettos; we welcome them into our neighborhoods.  We have two first-generation Muslim families on our street. The wife in one of them wears a headscarf, but otherwise they’re not much different than anyone else. Our kids play together.  We get together socially.

This paragraph could have been written by any right-winged xenophobe in Europe, yet this was apparently completely acceptable to the 677 people who voted for the diary.

We need to get rid of this sort of bigotry among progressives before we have any chance of winning over the racism and bigotry we face on the right.

For the record – people from outside the EU can’t just travel to the EU if they feel like it, which anyone who has ever traveled to Europe would know. And it should be obviously that the whole concept that there are countries that hasn’t advanced beyond the 13th century is deeply racist.

 

 

More similarities

In response to my last blogpost, Dorte Toft (Danish blog) pointed out that Jonathan Bachman’s picture also had many visual similarities to the picture of Tess Asplund standing up against a neo-nazi march in Sweden. Look and compare.

Brave woman at Baton Rouge protest

 

Tess Asplund standing against neo-nazis

Note: there is a major difference between the two situations, in that the neo-Nazis in Sweden doesn’t represent the official Sweden,  but they are alike in the sense that the depict a woman standing up against injustice.

A lynching every week for 73 years

It has been long known that lynching was not the uncommon occurrences in the US post the Civil War, as some people try to paint it as, but now the Atlanta Blackstar has an article, that tells us that lynchings were even more widespread than we had realized.

New Report Compiles A Devastating Count of Nearly 4,000 Lynchings of Black People in the US, Showing This Form of White Terrorism Had Profound Impact on American History

There were 3,959 Black people lynched in the United States between 1877 and 1950—a number that is 700 more than previously known—and Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana had more lynchings than any other state in the country. These revelations are contained in an astounding new report by the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative that attempts to place this horrid form of American racial terrorism in its proper historical context as a tool of white supremacy that had a profound impact on the nation.

The report, called “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror,” ties lynching to a broader picture of white social control, showing how lynchings affected African-American migration patterns, effectively turning many Southern communities from predominantly Black to overwhelmingly white virtually overnight and sending millions of Black people to the cities of the North to escape this terrorism. It is a significantly more nuanced view of how whites used lynching to serve particular purposes—and how lynchings were a seldom-discussed driver of the Great Migration of Black people to the North.

A summary of the report can be found here (pdf).

So, after investigating lynchings, the report found that there had been 3,959 lynchings over 73 years. That is an average of more than 54 lynchings per year, or put differently, it means that there was, on average, one lynching per week for 73 years!

This is an horrifying thought.

After having posted about this on facebook, one of my facebook friends wrote:

When you hear about lynching now, it’s cast as some sort of anomaly, somehow separate from the main stream of US experience. But Kristjan’s average really puts it in perspective: anything that happens once a week for 70+ years is Normal with a capital N; it WAS the US experience. It barely rated news coverage, just as these days black deaths in the inner cities barely rate a mention on any but the local news.

That is a great way of putting it. When we are talking such numbers, we are not talking anomalies – we are talking routine. This was the daily life of people living back then.

Remember this, when people try to dismiss the concept of institutionalized racism or downplay how bad racism was in the past.

This is a repost from my old blog. The original post was posted December 2, 2015. It seemed appropriate to re-post it during Confederate Heritage Month in Mississippi.