Explaining “Kek”

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You’ve probably seen some right wing morons trolling groups like ours who come out with nonsense like “Praise Kek”, “The Left can’t meme” and other similar idiocy along with a fascination with Pepe the frog and a green version of the Nazi flag. I thought it might be an idea to explain who these idiots are and what it is they represent.

Firstly, Kek is a translation of the acronym “LOL” seen when playing World of Warcraft online. This has been discussed online which has drawn the attention of the “alt-right” who have used it for their own ends.
What is called the Cult of Kek has spread which is a faux worship based on the worship of the Egyptian deity Kek. This is the God of Darkness and Chaos who was depicted as either a frog or frog headed human. On the 4Chan boards where Kek originated the far right have substituted Pepe the Frog. Apparently they feel that this “deity” uses ancient Egyptian meme magic to influence the whole world.

The Kek fanatics also use a version of the Nazi flag to represent the fictional land of Kekistan. This was invented by the people who use the /pol/ board on 4Chan which was the land of origin for “shitposters” who worship Kek. This whole idea hit the mainstream when a YouTube user promoted it in January 2017.

On Twitter an official Republic of Kekistan account was created and within 2 days had amassed over 5000 followers. They also have their own website which included a so called manifesto (which I have posted below).

You may note that a number of these hopeless trolls only have the brains to write “Reeeeeeee” as a comment. This is apparently the noise made in rage and frustration by the Angry Pepe character.

White nationalists have been using this whole idea to troll on Facebook, Twitter, Gab and other social media platforms. They also combine Pepe the Frog with Donald Trump (doesn’t change him much) who they praise for their success.

To be honest, this all just shows how bizarre the “alt-right” (can’t we just call them Nazis?) are. They have to create a fictional universe, with a whole back story just so they can go on social media and troll. They can’t use words, they can’t use facts. All they have are a handful of memes, a weird frog and a green Nazi flag to back their ideas up. In America they have even turned up at protests with flags, chanting that they want to “free Kekistan” and suchlike……..even demonstrating in front of the White House! It is hard to believe that they have any idea of the real world at all.

While the Kek brigade are really nothing more than an online joke to be honest, you do have to bear in mind that the people using Pepe and “Kek” are bigoted, racist, Antisemitic, Islamophobic and Xenophobic hatemongers who have about as much to do with the modern world as the true leader that they are missing, the one who shot himself in the bunker in Berlin in 1945.

Halal Kitty is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate, and a regular contributor to the group’s activities on Facebook and Twitter.
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What Exactly Do We Mean By “Far Right”

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The political terminology of left, right, extreme left, far right can be a minefield for anybody trying to make sense of their newspaper. Not only are the terms hard to pin down to a precise definition they are also used interchangeably and (often) wrongly, leading to widespread confusion.

In order to understand what we mean when we use the term “far right” we need to be clear where it sits on the political spectrum and how it relates to other political perspectives.

Broadly speaking left wing views are concerned with the principles of Socialism. This is the belief that the state should work for the good of the people and which encompasses the ideas of democracy, free health care, the welfare state and some level of redistribution of wealth.

Further left than Socialism is Marxism. Marxism seeks to put control of the economy into public rather than private hands. The idea being that instead of workers working for a private owner they work for a collective benefit that they can all share in. Culturally this further left position is concerned with the social responsibilities of the state to the individual and also of the individual to the state.

The extreme left would be Communism which draws heavily on Marxist theory but which propounds the idea of a society with no class boundaries where all citizens are equal with equal rights and opportunities.

Equally broadly speaking the right wing are concerned with the principles of Conservatism which is a belief in upholding traditional established values and institutions such as the monarchy and the church. Conservatism is built on the idea of a defined national identity and embraces a monocultural rather than a multicultural society. Political Conservatism is linked to the idea of Capitalism, the idea that the economy is strongest when based on competing factions, with wealth in the hands of the few used to employ the many.

Further right than Conservatism is Libertarianism. This places more emphasis on the individual’s rights than any obligation the individual has to community values. Libertarianism is concerned with freedom and has become intrinsically linked to the concept of free speech. In Libertarian economics both private ownership and private enterprise are encouraged.

The extreme right wing would be Political Fascism. Fascism can be defined by the autocracy of a leader or government, a strong nationalist agenda and a pro uniformity approach. Diversity is not encouraged within a Fascist ideology. The emphasis is on conforming to the unified goals of the state.

The far right of which Resisting Hate and other anti hate groups speak share certain key characteristics. The first is Nationalism. It is important to distinguish Nationalism from Patriotism. Patriotism being love of one’s country whereas Nationalism is the belief that one country and its people are superior to others. Patriotism can be found in both left and right wing politics. Nationalism is a right wing ideology.

The right have a strong sense of national and cultural identity which can be a positive thing but the far right take this further and perceive integration with other cultures as a threat to their sense of identity. In doing so they reject the concept of diversity and start to see those of different races or cultures as potential usurpers of their country and diluters of their cultural values. This can lead to unrest within communities and prejudice toward those not deemed to share the same racial or cultural background.

The far right appeal to a sense of elitism. This is closely linked to the idea of racial and cultural preservation but with emphasis on the fact that a ‘superior’ community is being eradicated. This can be seen in far right white supremacist groups who call for more breeding among white people to ensure their race survives the ‘threat’ of blood mixing with other ethnic groups . It is not hard to see how closely this elitism is linked to racism. It is equally not difficult to see how this idea of racial purity invites a parallel with the Nazi Germany obsession with the Aryan race.

The growth of the far right can be attributed to the focus on a sense of community. Using similar recruitment rhetoric to a street gang, far right leaders offer individuals a sense of belonging and pride. This can be a powerful tool, particularly among deprived areas with low employment which is often the demographic where far right activism is the most prevalent.

In keeping with the idea of a traditional and, to a certain extent, homogenous society the far right reject the liberal ideals of actualising the self and condemn individuals who do not conform to their preconceived ideas of how people should behave. This is where we encounter gender and sexuality prejudice which is often deemed by the far right as unnatural human behaviour. It is also where we encounter religious prejudice with the far right self identifying as defenders of the Christian faith and using the pretext of upholding Christian values as a way to cause conflict with other religions.

The primary tactic used in advancing a far right agenda is the sense of urgency in defending a nation or community against an external threat. We have seen this throughout history with the persecution of people of colour, homosexuals, Jews, Muslims and other minority groups. This was very clearly illustrated during the Brexit referendum with Nigel Farage’s infamous Breaking Point poster which sought to depict immigrants as invaders in order to unite and mobilise the far right against a common ‘enemy.’

As a defender of liberal values I am often challenged why my view of live and let live does not extend to the far right. I am asked why I can support those who differ to me in matters of faith, race and culture but not those who oppose my political views. The answer lies in the essence of what it is to be far right. It is to oppress, devalue and discriminate against others. This is the ethos I oppose. The paradox being that the one thing I will not tolerate is intolerance.

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK
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Solving The Problem Of Terrorism

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If you clicked on this article hoping for a pithy Hopkinseqsue one liner that claims to solve the problem of terrorism in a soundbite then I am afraid you are out of luck. Terrorism in the modern age is more complex than a few buzz words can easily express. Activists, newspapers and politicians may try to sell the idea of a simple solution but the truth is that terrorism represents the evil in human nature and there is no simple solution to human nature.

We look for a solution because as human beings we are empathetic enough to want to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities from harm. But we also look for a solution because we want to believe we have some power over this growing threat and that there is an answer out there that will help keep us safe.

The difficulty with constructing a defence to terrorism is that the enemy is not a tangible united force. It is a fragmented and dissipated threat that springs up in individuals inspired by extremist ideologies. These ideologies can be a perversion of a legitimate faith (think ISIS and Islam) or they can be a corruption of a political ideology (Think the right wing and White Supremacy). The problem is that the individuals who develop views extreme enough to manifest themselves in evil acts of terrorism are not indicative of the ideologies themselves. Therefore it is too simplistic to blame any ideology for the individuals who commit hate in its name and, as a consequence of this, it is extremely difficult to predict where the next act of terrorism will arise from.

We may not have the answer to stop terrorism yet but what we do have is a lot of failed suggestions as to how it should be dealt with. Nigel Farage was in favour of closing the country’s borders to migrants: “Frankly, if you open your door to uncontrolled immigration from Middle Eastern countries, you are inviting in terrorism.” Yet this solution holds no water as the majority of terrorist attacks on both UK and US soil have been from citizens of those countries and not immigrants. If our terrorists are home grown it would seem futile to try and resolve the problem of terrorism with tighter immigration laws.

Ex EDL leader Tommy Robinson wants to resolve the problem of terrorism by deporting Muslims “Deport all the Muslims who want Sharia law and the problem would be solved overnight.”

But terror is not a Muslim problem, terror is a hate problem. Thomas Mair who savagely murdered MP Jo Cox was not a Muslim, Joseph Christian who fatally stabbed two men on a train in America was not a Muslim. The likes of Robinson want you to believe the problem is as simple as blaming all Muslims because, if you do believe that, you will buy into the simplistic rhetoric of his solution. A solution that will cause divisions in society, break families and communities apart and will do nothing toward making our streets a safer place.

UKIP have offered an equally ludicrous solution to the problem of terrorism. Prior to failing to secure a single seat at the General Election Paul Nuttall, then leader of UKIP was suggesting that we consider internment and tagging.The echoes of fascism ring loudly in the memory as we recall with discomfort who last proposed such extreme measures and the evil that such methods of inhumanity resulted in.

The trouble is that there is no fail safe method for predicting who will commit an act of terrorism. We can rely on police and government intelligence to a certain extent but this is by no means fool proof. Listening to members of communities, friends and families who might be in a better position to identify a radicalised or extremist individual is also of some value but it is inevitable that some people will slip through the net. How many times have we witnessed an act of terrorist atrocity for those close to the terrorist to be genuinely shocked that someone they knew and were close to could be capable of performing such an act of evil? Predicting human behaviour is not an accurate science.

If we cannot predict who will commit an act of terrorism we cannot prevent them from doing it. We cannot imprison people simply because we believe they might commit a crime. The British legal system is founded on the principle of actus reus, namely that without a crime there can be no culpability. The right wing shout about Orwell’s 1984 and the perceived eroded rights of the people but imprisoning people for a crime they may commit… that really is Orwell’s thought crime. It just isn’t a solution.

The only way to eradicate terrorism from our society is to create an environment where hate cannot survive. Terrorism borne from any ideology is based upon the isolation and segregation of people from the mainstream (in the majority of cases young men). By integrating our societies and respecting the rights of others to hold political and religious views that differ to our own we kill off the noxious weeds of hate before they start to flourish. Those seeking to radicalise our young people will find it a good deal harder if, as a country, we are offering our young people a positive future based on respecting them and the contribution we want them to make to our society.

Some of preventing terrorism starts with politics. It starts with giving people the right economic conditions to believe they have a future. But it also starts with our attitudes, ridding ourselves of the preconceptions and prejudices that cause people to become isolated and easily picked off by those who would seek to turn their nihilism into hate.

Those of you call for deportation, vigilante violence and (in the case of some real idiots) genocide are playing right into the hands of ISIS and the like. You are creating the perfect conditions for hate. You bay for blood and howl at the moon for a solution to terrorism without realising that not only have you nothing to offer to make our country a safer place, you are actually part of the problem.

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK
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