Racism in Halifax RLFC

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A concerned member of the public has brought to our attention some very troubling issues of racism and race hate linked to Halifax RLFC.

Professional rugby league players Ben Johnston, Shane Grady and Steven Tyrer are using Twitter to tweet extreme racial hatred and abuse against Muslims, asylum seekers and refugees.

Ben Johnston has also tweeted in support of Islamophobic extremist ex convict Tommy Robinson offering support and commenting he believes Robinson (known for his hate views and association with the far right and Islamophobic EDL, PegidaUK and Britain First) to be a ‘hero’. He publicly acknowledges he is a “massive fan” of Robinson.
Ben Johnson has tweeted hate speech against the religion of Islam, using the words “The peaceful religion strikes again” with the clear intention to link the peaceful members of a world faith to the atrocities of terrorism.
Johnston also tweeted in support of a National Front / Northwest Infidels anti-Asylum seeker protest in Widnes, supported by another Halifax player who shares some of Mr Johnstone’s repugnant views, Stephen Tyrer (@styrer89), the post originating from notorious racist tweeter David Jones (@DavidJo52951945) who tweeted about asylum seekers “Brits don’t want them here“.
In addition to his bigoted rhetoric against Muslims Tyrer has also put out threatening tweets about traveller communities in the UK.
Fellow Halifax RLFC player Shane Grady tweeted hatefully…  “Asylum seeker centre in Widnes, no f*cking chance“, a tweet which shows no compassion toward his fellow human beings.

It is abhorrent when any member of the public expresses views of hate and discrimination but it becomes more dangerous when done by celebrities or sports figures as these are people who carry a good deal of influence, particularly with young people. This kind of twisted thinking can warp the minds of our young and indoctrinate them into vile and prejudiced beliefs that will have negative consequences for the innocent people who are the subject of this kind of targeted hate.

We call upon Halifax RLFC to take this evidence of hate speech seriously and to investigate a matter that is bringing not just their members but their whole organisation into disrepute.

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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Tackling Our Own Inner Prejudice

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With few exceptions most of us like to believe that we are without prejudice. We like to think that we are blind to colour, race, culture and creed and that we see people as individuals and not as a product of a type.

As a co founder of an anti hate group, who regularly speaks up about tackling prejudice within a wide range of different communities, it is very important to me personally that I remain prejudice free and supportive of other people’s rights to be who they are without being judged. However, I had an experience the other week that made me question my own perception of others and which illustrated to me very clearly that even within the most liberal, open minded, accepting kind of person there can be hidden prejudice lurking beneath the surface.

The event that raised my concerns was fairly nondescript. I was walking along the high street with a friend when they nudged me and pointed at a young chap with the comment that he looked like: “One of those fascists you are always finding on Twitter.”

The gentleman in question was a young white male, shaven head and sporty clothing. There were no obvious clues that might have led to my friend thinking him a fascist – no Nazi insignia, no badges or tattoos that might have given an insight into his personal or political views. Nor did his behaviour suggest he was anything other than a young man walking home from the gym. Yet his appearance was enough for my friend to make an immediate snapshot judgement (and one she felt worth pointing out) that this young man looked like a fascist.

The interesting thing here was the fact that my friend had chosen this particular passer-by to comment on. She would not have dreamed to try and make a racist joke about the young Asian male who had passed us earlier or a homophobic joke about the two lads walking closely together on the opposite side of the road or a body shaming joke about the large lady getting on the bus in front of us.  She would have known I would find those comments deeply offensive so she wouldn’t have made them. Yet she believed it acceptable – and not only acceptable but amusing – to single out this individual as the target of her humour.

But what shocked me more than the comment itself was my own instinctive reaction to it. Before I had chance to process the comment I found myself nodding in agreement. On a deeper level than my conscious mind I had already mentally put this young man on trial and found him guilty. I had done the very thing I fight so hard against, I had judged somebody based solely on their physical appearance.

This is how prejudice gets a foothold in society. If we are unwilling to challenge our own prejudices we have no chance to convince anybody else to fight theirs. It is impossible for me to stand up and tell people not to discriminate against Muslims, Jews, People of Colour etc. if I am guilty of the same prejudiced reaction toward a particular demographic myself.

Fighting prejudice is about looking inward as much as it is outward and it is about tackling our own attitudes. It is about acknowledging when we do make the mistake of stereotyping others and being honest enough to hold our hands up and admit when we are wrong. I was wrong to stereotype that young gentleman. I was wrong to assume (even momentarily) that a shaven head on a young white male gave me the right to believe I had any insight into his views. It was naïve, ignorant and an insult to an innocent individual going about his business in the town.

Anybody can be the victim or instigator of prejudice. If we see any community as fair game for prejudicial humour then we are not just vilifying them but we are vilifying all the other communities as well by singling out one demographic for special treatment. Equality has to mean equality.

Sometimes there is a danger we can be so passionate about eradicating prejudice that it actually leads to us developing prejudices of our own. We fight so hard for the rights of some that we start to develop preconceptions about others whom we wrongly perceive to be aggressors. We saw this in the backlash after Brexit when some of my fellow Remain voters insisted on saying all the Leave voters must be racists and bigots. Such preconceptions achieve nothing but to create divisions in society.

I was lucky enough to learn from my experience and now consciously combat any instinct to make assumptions about people with no evidence to back them up.  I’d like to see other people performing similar introspection and challenging themselves as well. In the work I do with our group Resisting Hate I see so many people with senseless prejudices against Muslims, Jews, People of Colour, Gays, Women etc. It is time to confront those preconceptions and to stop judging communities and groups based on the actions of a handful of individuals.

In much the same way that it was ridiculous for me to assume a young white male was a fascist it is equally ridiculous for you to assume a young Muslim male is a terrorist.

Think about it.

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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If You Want To Change The World…

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We live in a society made up of individuals who are taught how to think, how to feel, how to conform, and how to hide. It forces us to place the world into simple categories so that we may understand the complexities around us.

We are taught that a spirit is our savior and the law is our sanctuary. We learn to recognize both good and evil; black and white; blessed and damned. We are forced to identify good or evil; black or white; blessed or damned. A society that allows us to believe in fate and destiny, and allows us to blame failure and injustice on circumstance and gods. It teaches hatred and intolerance, and breeds complexity and anger. It is a society I neither respect, nor believe; and a society that needs careful evaluation and gentle handling. There is no order; there is no justice, there is no comfort. It is the society of a people in need of a soul.

There is a theory about Psychologists that claims many people choose to study the field of psychology in an effort to understand their own mind. I have spent so many hours contemplating the source of my insecurities and fears. Eventually I came to the field of sociology and education, since I feel it was the combination of the two which facilitated my belief that a degree from Harvard, Princeton or Yale would make my problems disappear. The day I was accepted at Columbia was one of the most difficult days of my life because it was something I was told I would never accomplish. I chose to go to Vanderbilt after receiving an advanced Masters from the Ivy League for my PhD since it represented freedom. Freedom from the confused ideals of my parents and marked a clear boundary between their world and my own.

This year, my mother told me I did not deserve to get into Comell. My father told me that he was “not willing to gamble $50,000 on my future.” I thought if I could just make it through graduation, everything would be O.K. I would be able to pick up student insurance, and my pain, stress, and anxiety would all disappear. I would no longer be subject to my fathers conventions of checks and balances, and the stress and dependency would all disappear. I would be free from the ghosts and voices that were echoing through my head (in case there is any doubt, that was a figurative not a literal statement.) I will end this here because I wrote this before I made peace with my family and now have a better understanding of why they felt my most significant accomplishments should be mine and mine alone. I am proud to say that I did accomplish these achievements on my own and received a full academic scholarship to the top ranked university in the nation and graduated with a 3.93/4.0. No one can take that away from me. No one. Ever.

When I see people who put others down for their race, religion or special needs, all I can think is that the haters have nothing else to be proud of because they haven’t achieved anything of significance in their life. The only thing they have to feel superior about is the color of their skin and that tells me everything I need to know about a person. They are generally underachieving, ignorant, working class bullies who are grasping at straws to feel better about their own miserable lives and their failure to achieve anything of significance on their own.

If the only thing you have to be proud of is your skin color, you have already failed at life. Work harder, and stop blaming others for your shortcomings. No one is coming for your jobs or your guns. The immigration (travel ban) is among the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard considering we are a nation of immigrants who came to America seeking freedom of persecution for religion. The only thing more ridiculous is building a wall.

Trust me. No one is coming for your jobs. The fact is that immigrants (many of whom have advanced degrees in engineering or medicine) come here desperate for a better life and often take jobs they are overqualified for. I can’t help but laugh when I hear these lower class white Supremacists claim that Blacks or Mexicans are stealing their jobs and opportunities. You think a wall is gonna keep people out? Then why bother with a travel ban for the airlines. I didn’t think Trump would be able to change much but with Pence breaking these ties over things like finding for Planned Parenthood and women’s health I fear for the future of our country. We are only 70 some days in and America is already so much worse than it was a few months ago.

If you want to change the world, start with yourself. If you are blaming Jews, Blacks, Mexicans or Muslims for your problems you need a reality check. The only thing holding you back from achieving the American Dream is yourself. People who are secure in their identity and lot in life don’t feel the need to put others down. When one is truly at piece with their soul, they lift people up. Try it sometime. That’s all for now.

@ElyssaD aka Chilly P Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M., ABD Research and Policy Analyst

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Hate Beyond The “Isms”

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Most of the issues that come the way of our anti hate group Resisting Hate can be broken down into one of four key areas – Anti Semitism, Islamophobia, Homophobia and Racism. Hate trends come and go but fighting these key areas forms the basis of the majority of the work that we do.

However it is easy to lose sight of the fact that in our post Brexit, post Donald Trump world, religion, race and sexuality are not the only sticks being used to beat members of our society with. We are starting to see condemnation and abuse directed at a wide range of people who do not fit the emerging conservative stereotype relating to what is fast becoming considered “normal”.

I came across this personally the other week when it was suggested by a far right detractor that the fact I practise Paganism would lessen the credibility for our group because it is a “crackpot, made up, New Age practice”. Leaving aside the fact that Paganism in some form or another predates all the world religions it was a comment that surprised me as it suggested my ability to discern and tackle hate was somehow impeded by the fact that I believe in and work with elements that differ to those of the predominant faiths in the country. The criticism was clear – my belief set is different so I must be wrong, stupid or mentally impaired.

Discrimination against lifestyle choices is causing a lot of trouble for people who wish to actualise their individuality. Only last week in America  a top Trump health care appointee wrote about a supposed link between tattoos and drug addiction. Also in America this week, amidst much student outcry, a school decided to “slut shame” its female students by issuing a flier as to what nature of prom garment would and would not be considered admissible attire for the school prom night.  These examples are clearly legitimising the concept that it is ok to judge people by their appearance. All those years of telling our children to look at the book not the cover appear to have been wasted as it is apparently now perfectly acceptable to make a snap shot judgement of a person based solely on their physical appearance.

Physical appearance, especially in the form of body/fat shaming, is one of the most problematic growing forms of hate on the internet with a concern that it may be a contributing factor in both young men and women developing eating disorders.  Social media sites have made it easy to comment anonymously on the appearance of others and I have personally seen images with (literally) hundreds of derogatory comments all aiming to undermine the confidence and self-esteem of the individual posting their picture.

Sexism too is on the increase. The pussy grabbing US President has established a new low in the attitude to women in society. It is now common place to see memes on Twitter promoting a return to “old fashioned values” when the woman ran the home, raised the children and played no part in the workplace. These regressive attitudes are in danger of undoing the equality that women have fought for and, if we are not careful, will lead us back to a world where women are objectified and seen as inferior to their male counterparts.

The left wing have come in for a particularly rough ride recently (and I definitely speak from experience on this one). Progressives, Liberals and “Lefties” have been attacked with venom on every social media platform. It is perhaps for those they see as the greatest threat to their conservative dystopia that the far right reserve the greater part of their vitriol. Our group receive hate mail on a daily basis simply for speaking out about defying hate. The death threats some of the Antifascist groups receive are unprintable.

Many social prejudices are against a choice made by an individual but I have recently observed two hate trends that particularly churn my stomach, all the more repellent for the fact they are discriminating against something over which the individual has no control.

The first is Trans hatred. The Independent reported in 2016 that Trans related crime has increased by 170%. This may well be attributable to the obsession the media has with who uses what bathroom but is more likely due to the ignorant belief that people undergo gender reassignment surgery as a lifestyle preference.  Education explaining that gender surgery takes place to correct an individual’s body to match their true gender would combat a lot of this hate but, as is too often the way with ignorance, it is the wrong facts getting posted time and time again on the internet.

I am equally appalled at the upsurge in violence and abuse toward homeless people. Few things scream scumbag more than the people who find it funny to abuse others simply for a downturn in their personal circumstances. Seeing regular reports of homeless people tormented is sickening and a sad indictment on humanity in 2017.

The resurgence of hate may look like we have a bleak future but it is not all bad news.  Hate crime laws have been changing for some years now to keep up with the imaginative new ways human beings keep finding to discriminate against each other. In 2013 it became a hate crime to discriminate against individuals identifying with different musical sub cultures (including goths after the horrific murder of Sophie Lancaster)  and this month in North Yorkshire misogyny has been reclassified as a hate crime. There are also calls for acts of abuse against the homeless to be reclassified as hate crime and prosecutions for people committing acts of violence toward people with disabilities are up 40% which the CPS confirm is indicative of the fact that hate toward those with disabilities “will not be ignored.”

As our laws evolve to reflect the general public disgust with those who discriminate against and abuse others they will act as a deterrence for haters which will protect further abuses taking place. But the best way to eradicate hate is to educate our next generation. Parents and Teachers – your role in this will be invaluable. Teach our children that kindness, not hate, must form the backbone of the world we want to live in.

 

 

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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Nelson Mandela – Hero Of South Africa

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Nelson Mandela was born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and was an educated individual, attending the Universities in Witwatersrand, London and South Africa. However, due to apartheid laws, he was greatly discriminated against. It was this discrimination that drove Mandela to joining racial groups in South Africa in order to end apartheid.

It is widely accepted that his major accomplishment was helping bring the African National Congress (ANC) to forefront of politics in South Africa. The ANC was an eclectic group of black Africans and not “white” immigrants to South Africa who protested strongly against segregation and growing apartheid imposed on them unfairly by the white British and Boer leader who were in control of South Africa at the time.

Rising within the ranks of the ANC placed Mandela at the forefront of ANC protests against apartheid. Activism against the unjust racial laws, using both non-violent and violent tactics meant that the protests did not sit well with the government. As a result Mandela was a target for the presiding government and was duly arrested in 1962. Following the Rivonia trials he was imprisoned on Robben Island, on spurious charges of trying to overthrow the government. In reality he was put in prison in order that he could not spread his leadership skills to others.

It was during his incarceration at Robben Island that he started to document his thoughts and political beliefs. Having become a “class A” prisoner he was given more freedom and could have visits and exchange letters, as a result he was able to correspond with anti-apartheid activists like Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Desmond Tutu.

In 1975 he began his autobiography, which was smuggled to London, but remained unpublished at the time; prison authorities discovered several pages, and his study privileges were revoked for four years. Instead, he devoted his spare time to gardening and reading until the authorities permitted him to resume his degree studies in 1980

Finally after twenty-seven years of imprisonment, and in a surprise move, Mandela was invited to tea with the then president, F.W. de Klerk whom not only released him from jail, but also lifted the ban against the ANC. According to time.com, his imprisonment served as a symbol of defiance against the apartheid laws.

Finally in 1994, shortly after his release, South Africa held its first ever open election and Nelson Mandela became the first black president of the country. More than 100,000 South African men, women and children of all races sang and danced with joy.

Mandela talked about the “human disaster,” that apartheid created. “We saw our country tear itself apart in terrible conflict… The time for healing of wounds has come… Never, never again will this beautiful land experience the oppression of one by another.” He also spoke to the South Africans that had suffered for so many years due to racial segregation.

Nelson Mandela was one of greatest political leaders of our generation. He possessed vision, courage, vast determination and most importantly humility.

His vision of the way he wanted to see his people was what gave him that extra push to keep going.

His courage, allied with a steely determination, was essential for him to achieve the goal of the vision he had for South Africa. Nobody at the time had the courage to stand up to the apartheid government. Once he took the courage he had inside himself, those around him were emboldened with the courage to be the same. He stood up for the inequality and against racism.

Finally his humility, a characteristic often so lacking in political leaders allowed him to worry not about himself, but the betterment of the people of the country he loved so much. Most leaders just do what they do to better themselves. Some don’t even care about their people or their issues. Nelson Mandela did, and he would worry more about his people then himself.

Nelson Mandela achieved many things in his lifetime, he fought against an unjust government in South Africa. He was able to bring his people the basic human rights we take for granted. The right to move freely in one’s own country, the right to travel and employment and most significantly of all the right to vote. All of these rights were denied to the indigenous population when under white rule. He ended apartheid laws, unified two racial groups and created justice for his people.

Mandela’s actions also affected the rest of the world and through his actions, he let the world see that equality is possible. In 1993, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize for the impact he made on the world.

Nelson Mandela was the leader South Africa needed and an icon to the rest of the world, because he accomplished what most could not.

It is for all of this that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was chosen as the first “hero” to include on our webpage.

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Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech

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The right to free speech has become a contested and contentious issue in the arena of anti hate activism. The pro free speech argument rests on the fact that people have a right to express their views and that censorship denies people this basic right. The counter argument runs on the lines that there needs to be exceptions to free speech for the safety and good of society.

Both myself and Resisting Hate strongly believe that hate speech is not free speech. Free speech is not the holy grail of civil liberty. No human being exists in a vacumn where they can speak as they please with no regard for the consequences of what they are saying.

Too often we hear of the right to freedom of speech with rarely a mention of the responsibilities. Yet we do have a responsibility in our speech. We have a responsibility not to harm others, incite hate against them or create a society of prejudice and intolerance.

Here are some key points as to why we do not consider hate speech to be free speech

Hate speech often deals in preconceptions and stereotypes

Invoking stereotypes is the antithesis of free speech. It shackles individuals to being a caricature of their race, faith, gender or sexual orientation and denies them the right to be identified based on their own merit and identity. When we deny people the right to be individuals it is the start of a slippery slope where people are objectified and categorised as a product of a type. This eventually leads to the process of dehumanisation where human beings are no longer seen as individuals in their own right.

Hate speech incites violence and endangers innocent people

The easiest accounts to get suspended on social media are the ones that make threats of violence. These can be in the form of a direct threat to an individual or an oblique threat to a group or community. Threats are a problem for two distinct reasons. Firstly there is the obvious fact that a threat makes an individual or group feel unsafe and at risk of perceived or actual physical harm. But perhaps equally as worrying is the fact that when threats go unchecked they encourage other haters to take part in threatening and violent speech. It is important to take threats seriously because they can and do escalate into physical harm. Threats do not constitute free speech.

There is a difference between expressing an opinion and telling damaging lies

I do agree that an individual has a right to express an opinion. There are many cases where I dislike the opinions of others but I acknowledge that they have a right to hold and share those opinions. What they do not have a right to do is tell lies to publicly reinforce that opinion. Our group saw an example of this the other day where a photograph of a child mauled by a dog had been used on social media to report an “attack perpetrated by immigrants.” There was no attack, the story was entirely fictional and was being spread to incite hatred against various groups in the UK perceived not to be “English” enough by a group of far right Twitter accounts.

While we are all free to tell the truth, in my view, freedom of speech does not extend to telling untruths with an agenda to demonise others.

Actualising the “right” of free speech violates the rights of others

One of the most common objections our group receives in relation to our belief that hate speech is not free speech is the argument that an individual has the right to say what they please and that putting restrictions on this denies them that right. Putting aside the issue that alongside the right to free speech comes an implied responsibility not to abuse that right there is also an inherent conflict between the right of one individual to express a view and the right of another individual not to be abused or verbally attacked. One social media account may wish to express for example their extremist hate view (and I use this atrocious example as it is a real life example seen so frequently by us) that “All Jews deserve to be killed.” However a Jewish person also has the right to log onto social media without being exposed to the extremist view that others wish them dead.

Free speech is not as simple as saying it is the actualisation of a right – as the right of one individual in this case is a direct conflict with the right of another.

Freedom of speech does not mean speech without consequences

There was an outcry on Twitter the other day as a response to the verdict on the Katie Hopkins court case where the court ruled that Ms Hopkins had to pay damages to the plaintiff for tweets implying the lady in question had desecrated war memorials. The view was expressed by some that Ms Hopkins was exercising her right to free speech and therefore should receive no sanctions for the comments she had made.

This misses the point of what free speech actually is. Free speech is not speech free from consequences. When we choose to express ourselves we also choose to accept the consequences of that speech.

Hate speech normalises hate in society

When we are exposed to hate on a regular basis we become desensitised to it and extreme views become ubiquitous. If we allow speech with no regulation or restriction and accept that any individual has the right to express any view then we open ourselves to the very real danger of normalising hate in our society. We destigmatise those members of society who spew hatred into our world and we allow views of division and discrimination to become endemic within our communities.

If we open the floodgates to hate it will be impossible to turn our backs on it.

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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Fascism – A Discussion

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When people think of fascism, thoughts often turn to militarism and the associated iconography of Nazism; the black swastika on a white disc in a blood-red flag; the eagle grasping a wreathed swastika; runic letters that speak of ancient cultural roots. For others it is the holocaust; the murder and suffering of the Jews and before the Jews, the gypsies and Roma, homosexuals, Socialists and Trades Unionists. Fewer people think of or are even aware of the T4 programme – the post war designation of a programme initiated very soon after the Nazis came to power in 1933.

In 1935 Hitler announced at the Nuremberg Nazi Party to the Reich Medical Leader Gerhard Wagner that he should aim to “eliminate the incurably insane”, at the latest, in the event of a future war. Two important caveats need to be understood about this message presented during the most prestigious event in the Nazi political calendar: It should be understood that this was spoken at a time Germany was re-arming and preparing for what most considered would be an inevitable future war to enable Germany to re-establish its “natural” place as a leading European and world power.

The bureaucracy of Nazi Germany was, from the beginning of Hitler’s accession, something of a shambles. This stemmed in part from the chaotic state of German politics when Hitler came to power and partly from the particularly amateur approach Hitler took to Government. Hitler’s obsession with the triumph of the will resulted in a tendency to neglect detail. Disinterested in how things were achieved, Hitler allowed the various arms of Government to fight between themselves for influence and favour. This led to a system of bureaucracy in which all sought to “strive toward the will of the Fuhrer”. So, when Hitler suggested that the incurably insane should be murdered, that is precisely what happened. Families were encouraged at first to agree voluntarily to the death of their disabled children. In 1939 as war loomed; the sham of voluntarism was abandoned. In all, an estimated 70,273 lost their lives.

When reflecting on the horrors of Nazism the common refrain has been: “Never Again”. Never again what exactly? What should we never again tolerate to allow to happen? What will we – should we- do about it if we see it happening? How will we know if it is happening? Look at any everyday object close up and it can appear very different. Pages of a book appear like the threads of a thick woollen carpet; lipstick, lined and scarred like the surface of a strange, rocky planet. What happens when you look at fascism close up? And how does it look differently from a distance? When we look at fascism through the prism of history we see clear, concrete images: the iconography of Hitler and Mussolini modelled on that of Rome; the burning and looting of property at Kristallnacht; arms waving, hands grasping the bars of cattle-trucks; starving semi-naked concentration camp survivors like mournful skeletons; piles of bodies lying motionless in mass graves. Such are the signs of depravity of fascism run rampant. Such signs are easy to spot. But what did the Weimar look like before Hitler’s accession to Chancellorship in 1933? What did Nazism (as a particular and unique brand of fascism) look like to middle-class Germans?

The party that Anton Drexler founded in 1919 grew from a paramilitary group whose primary focus was to combat the rise of Socialism within Germany. To attract the middle-class vote and distinguish the party from the Socialists Drexler was keen to advocate for the growth of profit-sharing companies for a unified, Aryan “people’s community” as distinct from a community divided along class lines. Hitler’s accession to the position of Fuhrer in 1921 gave the party a more focused, anti-Semitic zeal. Economic collapse and political confusion characterised German politics between the wars. National Socialists and Socialists fought in the streets. While Socialists spoke to the German working class of economic conditions, Hitler promised a solution people were willing to believe in: to make Germany “Great Again” (a refrain we hear in today’s economic maelstrom). The Munich Post is chronicled as having exposed Hitler and the Nazis as their popularity rose in Germany. Hitler labelled the newspaper The Poison Kitchen and the Nazi party took a number of libel actions against its reporting of what was presented not so much as a dangerous ideology (here we have echoes with the way in which Trump is often perceived) as a party of gangsters and racketeers. (As early as 1920, the Nazis raised money by selling tobacco).

Hitler was right to fear the power of the press. In 1931 The Munich Post was the first to allege secret plans for what it termed The Final Solution (Endlösung). When in 1929 Goebbels acceded as head of propaganda for the Nazi party his approach was simple and extremely successful: basic slogans (tropes) were employed to repeatedly underscore stark, unsophisticated messages to win public support. As might be expected of the far right, such tropes focused on traditional values underpinned with references to enemies within and without. “The Jews are our misfortune” “National Socialism: The Organized Will of the Nation.” In his address at the Nuremberg trials Goering put it this way: “The common people do not want war (but) all you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the Country to danger.”

When the Nazis came to power, the focus was on a relatively new media used to incrementally undermine established institutions; to prepare the German people to accept dictatorship, through the continual presentation of enemies within; enemies that would ultimately be the focus of elimination. This new media arose in competition with the power of the printed word; a media more easily accessible, requiring less effort than the written word to inculcate basic messages; a media at once more immediate and more persuasive than print: radio. Much has been said about Trump’s battle with the media and how in this battle he denigrates the media as libellous or “fake” and how he presents his version of reality though a new media outlet, one which circumvents that of the traditional route, of mainstream media. As I write I have just come away from Twitter. On one account (not one I follow) was a news article. The Headline: “Muslim Rapes 8 year old Girl, 6 Years later she Gives Him Gruesome Payback” The article tells of the revenge attack of a 14 year old girl who had waited 8 years following his rape of her, until one day she sought her revenge by plunging a knife through his heart. What a story! Why is this not on the front pages of the tabloids? Two pictures inserted: a snarling Asian middle aged man taking out his bin; a blood-spattered step where apparently, his heart was punctured. The tale has it all: sex, violence, revenge delivered in the most palatable way- cold. And Muslims. The story feeds into all of the horrific stereotypes with which the internet (and Twitter) has been awash since Rotherham. Such stories are constantly regurgitated or referenced and distorted by right-wing media outlets. But despite all of this (or indeed, because of it), why is such a story not yet a front page headline of The Daily Mail?

Part of the narrative of the far right is that the mainstream media is run by a liberal left elite who tolerate and excuse any atrocity in the name of failed socialist ideology and policy. Here there is an interesting conflation of two culpable ideologies. When the focus is on policies that “ruin the culture” or are “ruining the country” (ask any fascist what is meant by either of these terms and they run for the hills) they appear to be socialist policies aided and abetted by permissive “liberal” values, which have facilitated their demise. Thus in its conflation its two enemies and with this distorted logic the populist right seeks to set itself up as offering a way out of this apparent “moral decline” represented most vividly by the myth of the “Muslim paedophile.

It is precisely this moral decline, and the answer to it, which this story mythologises. And a brief deconstruction of this story helps us reveal the truth of this mythology. The article is distributed by Mad World News (6th April 20 2016). They describe themselves as: “The Voice of Reason in an Insane World”. Their mission: To bring you the truth and the stories that the mainstream media ignores. “Together we can restore our constitutional republic to what the founding fathers envisioned and fight back against the liberal media.” The article was retweeted in March 2017 (such is the life-span of such sensationalist stories on Twitter) by an account whose biographical strapline includes the new right-wing doublespeak trope “truth-seeker”. The photographs depict one Zabhulla Boota, aged 56. The first paragraph begins: “A 50 year old Muslim man evaded jail time with only community service after abusing an 8 year old girl”. Embedded is a link to the purported source: “Sharia Unveiled”. Sharia Unveiled use the sentence above as its headline. We are offered the image of a very sad-looking blonde eight year old white girl with a gag across her mouth that reads: “help me”. Sharia Unveiled provides a further link, this time to the original source. The Telegraph and Argus indicates Zabhullah Boota was found guilty of sexual assault in 2010. For his conviction he received a community order and was allowed to return to his Bradford home in the neighbourhood where his victim lived. There is no indication of religious conviction. There is no indication of cultural heritage.

The name Boota is in fact a common Sikh name. Boota Singh is well known for his tragic love story with a Muslim girl he rescued during the communal riots in the time of the partition of India in 1947. Such nuances are not the stuff of right wing media. The image of a gagged, blonde white girl offered to the world by Sharia Unveiled feeds directly into a narrative that includes a common right wing trope: Muslim paedophile; but if such a construction (commonplace as it is) wasn’t hideous enough, we have another, far more sinister trope entering the lexicon: violent revenge. In this construction of the revenge-myth we have an example of how to respond to the barbarous Muslim paedophile on our streets who “rape our children.” The message is simple (and for many, all too effective). Our children are showing us the solution to this plague with which we are cursed.

In reality the victim is of Romanian heritage – but this misconstruction presented by Sharia Unveiled is the myth of heroic white revenge, served cold. This is fascism close up. Here, with disregard for the facts, a story is offered with thinly presented (all-too easily deconstructed) sophistication. This is how fascism stabs truth, and indeed us all, through the heart. This propensity to regurgitate denigrating tropes to incite fear and loathing; to propagate the mythology of the revenge tragedy and the celebration of the courage of a young white child-victim whose experience we are meant to engage with and whose courageous violent response we are meant to celebrate and perhaps, emulate.

This is Fascism in the “Alternative Media”. It is rampant and it threatens us all.

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White Supremacist Makes Death Threats

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Today’s piece is an extension of articles that have been written previously by a chap called Jonathan Jennings.
Previously we mentioned that we have had death threats via his podcasts and suchlike. Today, things took an alarming turn with him putting his hate in writing. He was targeting not only our main account @ResistingHate on Twitter but also @RH_Pride (our advocate for fair treatment of all regardless of gender or sexuality) Old Wolf and a few of our friends who aren’t part of our organisation but who help us out in some amazing ways.

While trawling my chats and timeline on Twitter I saw a very real threat. It was Jennings saying that he was going to kill @RH_Pride and also targeting Old Wolf, stating that he would be “skinned alive”. I’ve attached (as I normally do) the screen shots of the various posts – censored due to the content

Jennings is an individual who says we “whites” are subjected to “white genocide”. However he does say he is not a white supremacist despite saying that gays/non whites/non Christians are second/inferior to “whites”.

Now, calling him out on his abuse makes him cross, very cross apparently. So cross that he wants to kill/maim/murder anyone who says he is exactly what he is.

Jennings is a little man who lives in Wales and has already been exposed as a brash Islamophobe who likes to make idle threats against us “lefties”. However he has recently been departing into specific abuse of individuals plus is now developing homophobic tendencies as was exposed during his conversation with @RH_Pride.
Furthermore, his threats are now not only against us and our friends but also other people including MPs. In addition to this he is a major proponent in stating that murdered Jo Cox was a traitor and apparently part of the New World Order (yes…he really is actually that crazy and deluded).

We are, as a team, hoping that our reports and articles which have also been flagged to the police get noticed as this kind of abuse cannot be allowed to continue. If you read the screen shots including the ones of his YouTube channel you will see that his abuse is directed to many people, as he seems to look for people to abuse and troll.
If you can, please share this post together with the attachments to it as it shows what kinds of abuse we, along with other groups who aim to address right wing hatred encounter on a daily basis.

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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Racist Thinks “Blacks A Drain On World”

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‪@IJasymin ‬is today’s subject

Hope you’re all having a good day. Today I’m writing about someone who I encountered last night and who I just had to bring to everyone’s attention.

As a group, we aren’t just against anti-Islamic hate, although there’s so much out there that it seems to take up most of our time. We also deal with hate from other avenues. For example, racism, homophobia etc…

This delightful person we encountered while they gave people abuse for supporting people regardless of their race. They maintain that “coloured people have a lower IQ and are a drain on the world” and “black people share more DNA and traits with bonobo chimps than white people”. Clearly this idiot fails to realise that their rancid racism shows that they’re a poorly advised and stupid individual.

While my friends and colleagues were discussing the shortcomings of her views, I had a look at her Twitter timeline and ended up reporting nearly everything I found.

Not only is this woman a racist, something that she seems to wear as a badge of honour, but is also a raving Holocaust denier and blatantly antisemetic. Then I also looked at the posts that she shared as well as the ones she had written. I discovered lots of photos of Nazis from the WWII era, lots of posts supporting National Socialism and how she loves their ideals etc. I therefore have no reservation in stating that she is a Nazi, pure and simple. I have failed to find a single positive aspect to her character based on all the details I’ve uncovered.

I’ve attached screen shots from her online rants on Twitter, there’s so much more on here, Twitter etc but I really couldn’t stomach actually seeing any more of her mindless stupidity and pro Nazi rhetoric.
I’ve ended up reporting 99% of her posts as they are all a mix of her own hate speech or her chatting publicly to her friends and inciting racial hatred, which is against Twitter Terms of Service. I’m hoping that by doing so we could get her account removed and keep on going until she has no platforms on which to spout her ignorance and racism.

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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LD50 – Free Expression Or Racist Hate?

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 Introduction

LD50 is a privately owned art gallery run by Lucia Diego in London. The gallery became a major news item last year for for hosting a conference called Neoreaction, with speakers including white supremacist Brett Stevens, whose works inspired killer Anders Breivik, a fact of which he appears proud. Antifascist groups are planning to protest against the gallery on Saturday 25th Feb.

In an opinion piece in the Guardian yesterday Jonathan Jones argued compellingly that the gallery should not be forced to close, and that censoring the alt-right artists was the wrong stance to take. He was, I think, making this judgement based on the idea that the gallery was merely an outlet for free expression. The fact is though that the owners of the gallery have a long standing connection with racism, anti-semitism and scorn for social justice.

On their own website and Facebook page they link to their Twitter account, which rather gives the game away. Here we have a selection of their opinions, freely shared:

Antisemitism

Islamophobia

Racism

Fascism

As can be seen from these unpleasant tweets, the owners of LD50 are not simply providing an outlet for neo-nazi (sorry, “alt-right”) propaganda, they are actively endorsing it.

Image by Linda Nylind for the Guardian

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The New British Union

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Back in 1931 the “New Party had been defeated in the election that year which gave rise in 1932 to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists, which was then renamed in 1937 as the “British Union”.

The Battle of Cable Street in the East End of London in 1936 was a clash between the Metropolitan Police who were protecting the British Union led by Oswald Mosley and various anti fascist demonstrators (including Jewish, Irish, Socialist, anarchist and communist groups). Mosley wanted to walk through the Jewish areas of London en masse to create tension.

The Public Order Act 1936 banned political uniform and led to larger responses to political violence which had a big impact on the British Union as they wore black uniform (giving rise to the name blackshirts). The British Union was banned in 1940 when WWII had started because the government thought that their members could form a pro-Nazi 5th column. So members were arrested and interned (Defence Regulation 18B).

After the war, Mosley and 700+ members of the British Union had been released they tried to create a new party, but luckily this failed.

Now, a man called Gary Raikes, who was once a leader of the Scottish contingent of the British National Party has gone solo and created the New British Union. This is a carbon copy of the British Union/British Union of Fascists even down to the black shirts and red arm band with lightning motif. He has a following online which seems to be becoming more extreme. While they haven’t gone out marching like their predecessors, as that would be illegal in their “uniform” (as Paul Golding of Britain First fame/notoriety found out to his cost last year) we have noticed their language becoming more and more provoking & filled with right wing venom.

As you can see from the photos I have attached to this post, during my mole activity I came across a man……we shall call him Mr O. Mr O wasn’t happy that I had broadcast his ignorance to those outside the New British Union…..especially as he has already been in trouble with the police for his actions and activities. His hatred of people of a different colour, sexuality and religion is astounding….he even seems to despise women having any authority too. His posts have recently been getting worse and worse, I haven’t copied the very worse as they are beyond what I think people should be exposed to when casually reading an article on a Wednesday evening.

Now, it is this kind of hate that needs to be stamped out. One way or another these people need to be brought to task about the way they act and make others feel. The reactions from Mr O, Gary Raikes and his friends do make me wonder what happens not only behind closed doors where he can fester away in a hate filled ball of misery, but what happens when he is out in town…..what happens if he sees a black man, a Muslim lady, a female traffic warden slapping a ticket on his car. These feelings of hate, resentment and bigotry are so close to the surface in their posts and I have a horrible feeling that in the end someone could press the wrong button and that would be it…..an innocent person gets a kicking or worse.

Now, while people out in Facebookland are not anonymous and I wouldn’t want anyone to get into hot water by trying to confront an extremist like him when all their details are available for the bigots to use, I would happily deal with these myself as I and my colleagues can do so anonymously.

With this in mind, if you come across anyone like this, drop me an email halalkitty@resistinghate.org and I would be happy to take it up and do what I can to stop this from propagating. All I need is a screen shot and all will be held in strict confidence.

 

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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Christmas And The Left Wing

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That time of year is once again upon us when the shops are stocked with tinsel and the newspapers filled with stories of how minority groups and the political left are trying to pull the plug on the festive season. Perhaps almost as much of a tradition now as the mince pie and pudding is the Daily Mail’s determination to prove that somebody – anybody – is offended by the Christian season of goodwill.

To put this claim in context here are some of the Daily Mail’s Christmas headlines so far this year:

  • 11.9.2016 Celebrating Christmas in the UK is under threat unless Britons stand up for traditional values in the face of political correctness.
  • 30.11.2016 Christians are fearful of a backlash if they speak up for their faith or mark Christmas at work.
  • 24.9.2016 Christmas is cancelled! Wetherspoons axes traditional turkey and trimmings just months after it outraged customers by scrapping roasts.

Of course what the Daily Mail really want to talk about is what they get round to every year, namely their paranoid suspicion that it is actually the Muslims who are responsible for what they perceive as the slow eradication of Christmas.

  • 23.12.2010 “Christmas is Evil” Muslim group launches poster campaign over festive period.
  • 26.5.2015  Brainwashed Muslim children aged 5 think Christmas is banned.
  • 18.12.2014  Imagine the outrage if those vulgar Christmas cards poked fun at Islam instead.

The accusations from this paper and most of the other right wing press is that on behalf of those who do not celebrate it, the liberal left want the Christian festival of Christmas banned.

Now I strongly suspect that the Mail and co don’t believe a word of what they are writing. These headlines are an attempt to further divide communities and in particular to stir up anti Islam sentiment in their (rather easily led) reader base. The common feature across nearly all of the articles referenced above and most of the others I read but didn’t list is that the Daily Mail have never made any serious attempt to investigate these issues at source. They have relied on secondary sources and word of mouth rather than going to the people who do hold left wing views and asking them directly what is going on.

So I did their work for them.  I went and asked a few lefties (a term I use for brevity and not as a form of disrespect. I identify as one myself) “Do you have a problem with Christmas?”

As I had expected the majority of the lefties I spoke to had no issue with Christmas being celebrated. Some celebrated it themselves, some didn’t. Several spoke about the key messages of peace and goodwill to fellow humans as being a message that applies equally across all faiths. Others spoke of the fact that even for non believers Christmas gets most people a few extra days off work and a chance to spent some time with their families during some of the longest coldest days of the year. For the great majority Christmas posed no problem at all.

There was a small minority in which I did encounter some uncertainty about Christmas. This seemed to be inspired by a very genuine desire not to offend members of other cultures and faiths. And not just the Daily Mail obsession with Muslims either. We talked about the Jewish, Sikh and Hindu communities and how the left wing cultural aspiration is for a multicultural society which celebrates and welcomes diversity of faith. These lefties talked about how important it is to interact with non Christian faith communities. Their concern was that the very highly publicised Christmas festival may make other cultures feel isolated or excluded. It was a desire to facilitate better integration and not a desire to persecute followers of Christianity that drove this uncertainty.

The right wing see the concerns of the left as the desire to “appease” but the truth goes a lot deeper than that. Talking to the left it was clear that their doubts were not about appeasement or sucking up to other faiths to be politically correct but about trying to move toward an equal world where people have equal religious rights. Their views on how Christmas fits into this may be misguided but the sentiment was in the right place.

I say misguided because in truth when the left shy away from positively affirming Christmas they are doing the very minority groups they seek to protect a disservice. It is these well meaning doubters who give hate papers like the DM the opportunity to whine on about the erosion of traditional Christian values and to print lies about other religions wanting Christmas banned. The Muslim Council of Britain has put out a statement educating people once again that the UK Muslim population has no problem with Christmas and is not offended by any of its traditions. I would like to see this same confident position taken by the political left. I would like to see the position taken that equality means equality and that this applies to Christians and their faith as much as it does to anybody else.

The concept of equality loses its power when it becomes “equality except”. Being unwilling to defend the right to celebrate Christmas is just as bad as being unwilling to defend the right to celebrate Eid, Hanukkah, Samhain or Diwali. In a diverse society no group is marginalised yet that is exactly what happens when the left start mumbling uncertainly about whether Christmas offends people or not.

When I asked why Christmas is seen as problematic by some of the left but other key religious festivals are not, the concern I got back in several discussions was that Christmas has become so synonymous with British culture that it is perceived now as more of a secular festival than a celebration of faith. For some of the left this invoked uncomfortable associations with Nationalism.

This I suspect lies at the root of the issue. Christmas is not seen as a problem because it is a religious festival. Christmas is seen as a problem because it isn’t religious enough. Over the years it has been commercialised to the point where the key associations now are presents and trees rather than a celebration of the birth of Christ. If Christianity reclaimed Christmas and took it back from the tinsel and mince pies brigade it could take its place with pride on the interfaith calendar and enjoy the same respect among the left that the festivals of the minority UK faiths do. Schools who ban the nativity, councils who refer to festive trees rather than Christmas trees, work places who insist on the greeting being “Happy Holidays” are all contributing to the disassociations between Christmas and its meaning. The consequence of all this is that Christians experience discrimination, minority groups bear the ire of the right wing press for the perception of banning Christmas and the divisions between communities and faiths are widened. The irony of course is this seasonal animosity is the exact opposite to what the Christmas spirit is supposed to be about.

The Daily Mail will tell you Christmas has been hijacked and to an extent they are right but it isn’t the political left and the Muslims they need to worry about. Christmas has been hijacked by spiritual apathy, commercialism and a confusion between Christian and British values. If secularist state celebrations do invite the spectre of Nationalism (and I believe they do) then the only answer is to go back to what Christmas is really about and re-establish it as a religious festival celebrated by Christians.

Once upon a time in a small town in the Middle East a man was born who changed the face of the world for over two thousand years. He may or may not have been the son of God. He may or may not have been able to perform miracles. He may or may not have risen from the dead. But what he did do is tell us to behave with kindness and compassion to one another and to love our neighbours as we would ourselves. I think that is a pretty special message and one worth celebrating. I’m fully behind any Christian who wants to celebrate his birth at Christmas.

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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