What Next? White Supremacists In Suits And Ties In Washington

By Lacy MacAuley

A demonstrator holds a banner as they protest in Pennsylvania Avenue outside of the Trump Hotel in Washington in opposition of President-elect Donald Trump, on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Fascists are coming out of the closet. They may have new haircuts, but their thinking is old and tired. That’s why we need you. Now.

Nazi salutes. White people demanding a white “homeland.” A speaker talking about how women like to be assaulted. Glowing remarks about Adolf Hitler. Reporters getting booed for asking tough questions. This was the scene inside a conference held at a downtown Washington DC government building this past weekend and at a local restaurant.

White supremacists drank champagne this weekend in our nation’s capital to celebrate Trump’s presidential victory. The mostly-male group, part of the “Alt Right” movement, wore suits, ties, and dubious smiles. I wondered if any of them also had white robes at home.

I was outside the building with a crowd of about 500 protesters. Our chants included, “Racists eating creme brûlée? You’re still the KKK,” and, “Fascists, we will shut you down.” We also chanted, “Love will prevail.” It was a diverse group of people from many backgrounds, identities, and ideologies. We held a dance protest on the sidewalk outside the restaurant hosting their meet-and-greet on Friday, after about 30 people protested inside the restaurant. We also occupied the street in an energized, spontaneous march outside of their conference on Saturday.

The conference was organized by the blandly-named “National Policy Institute,” a white supremacist organization that has been designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It featured many white guys, such as neo-Nazi “academic” Kevin MacDonald, anti-immigration writer Peter Brimelow, and the head of the institute, professional racist Richard Spencer. Also, former TV personality Tila Tequila.

The institute’s flashy, meme-heavy materials call for a moratorium of up to 50 years on immigration from countries that are not European or white enough. They promote forced sterilization, which they’ve creepily called “programatic” contraception for “positive, eugenic effect,” to deny people of color the choice to have children. Their might-makes-right approach blends with their sexist views of a patriarchal society. They hype a whites-only nation, so that no white person will need to see a person of color. Their materials discuss eugenics and false, debunked science that is supposed to show the genetic superiority of people who are white. Their website reviews books written by actual Nazis. This organization and its members are fully fascist, fully racist, and not hiding it.

If anyone were looking for overt signs that fascists are coming out of the closet, this is it. The white supremacists celebrated Trump’s victory last week, and are taking a threatening victory lap. We are living in a dangerous time when they feel comfortable enough to bring their ideology of hate straight into our government buildings. And now that they have “fascie” haircuts and aren’t using so many slurs, have acquired some minor graphic design skills, and are trying their best to dress sharp, they are getting profiled by news outlets from Mother Jones to Rolling Stone. News outlets such as Vice News to The Atlantic were present for the conference.

These white supremacists may have new haircuts, but their thinking is old and tired.

During the weekend conference, I had a cringe-worthy encounter with Spencer, head of the institute, and two other conference attendees. The three, accompanied by a small entourage, had burst out the doors of their Friday night event in the same way a gunslinging band of cattle thieves walks into a saloon in a cowboy movie. They were looking for a fight. What ensued was a ridiculous argument of sorts. They proceeded to call all of us communists (some of us were, some weren’t). They insisted that I was “self-hating” because I, a white woman, don’t want to live in an isolated whites-only world. They yelled over us, mostly, pausing only long enough to catch a phrase or two so that they could jump to their conclusions.

Richard Spencer, whose name is often accompanied by the fact that he has a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, was displaying tactics he likely learned bullying other children on the playground, not in his graduate classes. (I suppose news outlets think it is fascinating that he is a white supremacist with a college education? They didn’t pause to consider the credentials of the protesters outside. I personally could have referred them to several people standing with me with master’s degrees and two with PhDs.) After the three had yelled and yelled for several minutes, as playground bullies are inclined to do, they insulted the physical appearance of all of us, calling us fat, ugly, or both, declared that they had “won,” and walked away. We laughed it off, but it was an interesting encounter that only illustrated the brutal ideology of force that we are up against.

I had started organizing the weekend’s protests months ago with a small group of committed antifascists. None of us thought then that we would be facing a Trump presidency. None of us thought then that a person who was so openly racist and sexist could be elected. None of us would have expected that Steve Bannon, who has said that his website Breitbart has been a platform for the Alt Right, could wind up a close advisor to president. None of us expected this deplorable conference to be some sort of celebration of victory. But now, that is what we’ve got.

Now, more than ever, the Alt Right, the white supremacists, and the fascists, are coming out of the woodwork to try to gain currency in the policy circles in Washington DC.

And now, more than ever, we must stand up to oppose them.

Standing up to fascism means standing for a world in which we celebrate diversity. We embrace the awesome symphony of differences that make the world a beautiful, colorful, engaging place to be. We do not wish to live in a world in which all of us are the same, because that is not only oppressive, it is boring. We wish to live in a world of creative expression, openness, and support for each other.

The philosophy that the National Policy Institute promotes sounds to me like the worldview of an antisocial, insecure hermit. Spencer, who coined the term Alt Right, promotes separating people based upon their identity, as if he were sorting laundry. The worldview he articulates is one of genetic determinism. It is a view that says that people who identify as white have genes that are somehow better than those of people of color. Using previously-debunked science on IQ test results and racial identity, books promoted on the institute’s site claim that white people are more intelligent than people of color. An article by Spencer on his own site depicts white culture as embattled, and says that “white culture” should have “the right to maintain its traditions, culture, and heritage.” And, in his own words, Spencer proposes doing all of this by force.

I’ve never seen anyone in the Alt Right mention the rights of American Indians or previously-enslaved black Americans, who were unwilling participants in the “American experiment.” The Alt Right seems to feel threatened by the freedom of the people who they previously enslaved. They seem to ignore the rights of indigenous people who have borne the brunt of imperialist foreign policy, who by the way are often the ones who immigrate here.

I have also never seen any discussion of how many cultural contributions people from other societies actually made to the cultures that surround us in the US. The food, technology, entertainment, and other cultural practices that the white boys of the Alt Right grew up in have been a product of a cultural milieu of globalization for a long time now.

Their meat and potatoes? Those potatoes were originally indigenous to the Andes mountains. Their salt and pepper? That pepper came from south India via the Mediterranean spice trade. Their numbers? Invented by Persians. Their bluegrass music? Developed by African slaves and indentured Celtic servants. Their aspirin? A medicine adopted from American Indians. Their Fourth of July fireworks? China. Their corn? Mexico. And the list goes on.

It is a fallacy that “white culture” was developed in a vacuum in the first place. But Spencer’s organization wants to pretend that genes made our culture, not the interconnected reality that we all exist in.

But like the self-entitled white boys that they are, the Alt Right wants to make a grab for a country that they think they built, that they think they own. No. We immigrants, we women, we artistic culture-makers, we are the ones who built our communities. And our communities

And if racist imperialism weren’t enough, these white supremacists have plenty of sexism to deliver up. The movement has strong ties to the so-called “manosphere,” which holds the false, ugly notion that women actually want be dominated by men because of genetics. Many “manosphere” adherents don’t think a woman should have a right to divorce. When a reporter from The Guardian asked about the lack of women present at the conference this past weekend, the crowd booed. Then they cheered when Spencer responded with some comments about how women want a “strong” man.

Gross. He has also said, “At some part of every woman’s soul,” he said, “they want to be taken by a strong man.” What gives him this wisdom? He actually cited romance novels as evidence: “I’ve looked at a lot of romance novels that women read and I’ve noticed a distinct pattern,” Spencer said, according to The Guardian.

He also animatedly told the Rolling Stone, “I love empire, I love power, I love achievement,” and admitted to getting a “boner” when reading about Napolean.

So women, definitely don’t get stuck alone in an elevator with this person, especially if he has imperialist literature tucked under his arm. Or a romance novel that I am sure he is just looking at for research.

Womens rights are in a sad state of affairs in our country when the men who think they are qualified to make our policy — Trump, Bannon, and lurking predators like Spencer — don’t even show respect for a woman’s agency over her own body, let alone our agency in the government we are subject to. As a survivor of sexual assault and violence, I empathize with women who are triggered and bewildered right now by the state of our nation.

That is why we need to oppose fascism now. We all stand to lose our freedom if this hateful movement goes any further.

Their worldview holds that people have an innate fear of each other, especially those that are different, and that the politics of power are the only way. They believe that people should live in isolated communities in which everyone looks the same, acts the same, and has the same culture. I don’t think so.

I believe in the part of the human spirit based on love, inclusion, and acceptance. I believe in that impulse that all of us have, of compassionate curiosity towards each other. I believe in our shared humanity and our ability to find common ground. I believe that, in the end, we all want to live in a world of collaboration, not competition. I believe that we all want to live in a world of kindness, caring, and celebration of difference.

Many of us learned of the Holocaust and thought, “If I had been in Nazi Germany, I would have stood up against injustice.” Well, now is our chance to do that in the real world. All of us are needed to counter their fascist agenda. This kind of wild-eyed fascism will not go away by magic. It will go away thanks to you, your shoes marching for freedom, your voice speaking up for justice, and your words helping build political will. You cannot leave this to someone else. This is your problem too. Now is the time to get involved and start meeting in person to stand up for freedom.

After all, what did our cultural heroes Indiana Jones, Captain America, and Superman all have in common? They all fought Nazis. So be a hero, and join us.

This article was republished by permission under license from MintPress News.

Homeless being Targeted at New Life

Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season are less than two weeks away, so I was shocked when I saw the headline, "Please don't give to panhandlers, St. Patrick Center pleads, in response to overdoses downtown". It seemed ironic that St. Patrick Center which is part of Catholic Charities would recommend not giving directly to those in need.

There are more the 1,300 homeless people in the City of St. Louis. According to a biannual federal survey, in the United States, 1.49 million people used homeless shelters and 578,424 were recorded  as being without shelter: sleeping on the streets, in tents, in cars, and other exposed places. Had I not been able to research the law and act as my own attorney after a job loss, my family might have been included in those numbers. Most Americans are one or two paychecks away from homelessness.

Another organization, the New Life Evangelistic Center has provided meals, clothing, shelter and other services to the poor and homeless in St. Louis since 1972, but the city revoked their occupancy permit after Downtown residents complained. However, when those residents moved into their lofts or apartments, New Life had been there for decades. Since Monday to over 100 calls for downtown overdoses have been centered around New Life, even though there are two other homeless centers, St. Patrick and Biddle House located downtown. Common sense would lead any reasonable person to assume someone is targeting the homeless population around New Life and passing out tainted product, possible to justify closing New Life. The city even pointed to an ordinance that shelters can't be located near a school, but the school in question opened just a few years ago, maybe the city shouldn't have authorized the new school so close to the shelter. 

Unfortunately, homeless services do not fully meet the needs and some people are forced to ask for assistance on the streets. I have personally called the St. Louis homeless hotline for some homeless people, only to be told there wasn't any available space at that time. So if a person can't receive services from an organization and can't ask for help on the street, what are they supposed to do? With winter coming, downtown residents should consider that the homeless can use the necessity defense to justify breaking into private property to protect themselves from the elements.

Instead of just telling people not to give money to panhandlers, I wish the St. Patrick Center would have provided tips how to help, other than simply donating money to organizations such as theirs. See "35 Ways to Help the Homeless" and "5 Things You Should Never Do When a Homeless Person Asks For Money". 

The City should have worked with New Life instead of forcing them to close. Their location at 1411 Locust, is near to the main library providing access to computers and other resources, city government, courts, St. Louis University's Legal Clinic, the social security office and near multiple bus lines. However, the trend seems to be to place homeless shelters and halfway houses in struggling neighborhoods with little or no resources. City hall then pretends to be puzzled why crime rates in certain areas are high. New Life seems to be one of those rare organizations that truly genuinely helps people rather than being just another poverty pimp organization.


Increase Your Legal Knowledge Before Trump Takes Oath of Office

President elect Donald Trump will most likely appoint the successor of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February and possibly three other Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Two of the court's liberals, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, are 83 and 78, respectively. Moderate conservative Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is 80. 

Trump's Supreme Court appointments could certainly influence the legal direction of our nation for decades to come and that influence may not bode well for African-Americans. Voting rights, freedom of speech, and other basic liberties may be in jeopardy based on future decisions of Trump appointed justices. 

Similar to the strategy of not allowing slaves to read, history indicates that freed blacks were discouraged or prevented from entering the legal profession. Since all rights and privileges come through law, denying access to legal information is the same a denying rights. Less than five percent of U.S. lawyers are black, however, black people are disproportionantly caught up in the legal and justice system. The only viable solution is for black people is to gain legal knowledge and be prepared to represent themselves in court. 

The need for legal representation often occurs when people are least able to afford legal services especially during illness or job loss. Since half of all jobs in the U.S. are predicted to be eliminated, the need for legal services will be great. Although Trump has promised to return manufacturing jobs, that promise is not realistic. Manufacturing is increasingly becoming automated, so even if manufacturers open U.S. factories, those factories will not produce anywhere near the level of employment of traditional manufacturing in the past. 

Donald Trumps Racist History

During the presidential campaign, the only agenda Donald Trump made clear was his racial, religious and gender intollerance. An early example of Trump's racist views was demonstrated in 1989 when Trump took out ads in New York newspapers calling for the death penalty for “criminals of every age” after five black and Latino teens were implicated in the Central Park jogger case

The young men, convicted and imprisoned, were later cleared by DNA evidence and the confession of a serial rapist


Below is a small sampling and other examples of Trumps racial and other biases.

Trump famously called Clinton, "Crooked Hillary", but ironically it's Trump who faces a trial on charges of fraud just weeks before taking the oath of office. According the the USA today, Trump has 75 pending lawsuits that could distract him from his presidential duties.

Don't wait until you're faced with a pending legal issue, start using court.rchp.com to increase your knowledge about the law.

Why do we punish Dakota pipeline protesters but exonerate the Bundys?

By Ladonna Bravebull Allard 

The Bundy militia fought for their right to make money. We want to protect our sacred lands – but the state is treating us with violence and hostility

Sometime in the early summer when the Sacred Stone Camp was just a handful of tents and the Dakota Access machines had not yet come to our side of the Missouri river, I got an email from a woman who said her husband was Cliven Bundy and that she wanted to bring her daughters to stand with us. I knew little of this gun-toting militia, but enough that I told her no, we are a non-violent encampment, you cannot come here.

When I began to look into the Bundy’s standoff at the Malheur Refuge, I became angry. That place is a locus of ancestral heritage of the Burns Paiute Tribe, which the Bundys knowingly desecrated. They reportedly dug latrines through recognized cultural sites. As a tribal historic preservation officer, my heart broke when I heard they allegedly rifled through some 4,000 cultural items that had been kept in the museum. Some of the sacred objects they destroyed were hundreds of years old.

The Bundys did not reclaim that land. It was never theirs. It is Paiute land.

From the beginning, we at Standing Rock gathered in a spirit of prayer and non-violent resistance to the destruction of our homeland and culture. We came together with our ceremonies, songs and drums. Weapons are not allowed into our camps. The Bundys’ occupation began with threats and guns. It was violent from the outset, and the people they pretended to represent did not even condone it.

Last week we saw how justice works in this country: armed ranchers are treated with compassion and their charges are dropped, while indigenous people are physically attacked and charged with trespassing on our own ancestral lands.

Our resistance has not been met with handshakes.

Both the Bundys and the water protectors at Standing Rock stand for our convictions on what is claimed to be federal land. But that is where reasonable comparisons end. The land they claimed to take back was cleared of our relatives and the buffalo nation so that white ranchers like the Bundys could graze their cattle there.

The Bundys assert a property right which was only made possible through the genocide of indigenous peoples and the continued occupation of our lands by the same government they claim to fight. Their white supremacist ideology is the foundation of the settler state, and their ranching would not be possible without it. Their racist fear blinds them to the fact that they are actually supporting their enemy and fighting themselves.

The Bundy militia were fighting for their right to make money, while we are fighting our children’s rights to clean drinking water.

Our camp reclaims land stolen by the US government in direct violation of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, which affirmed it as sovereign unceded territory of the Great Sioux Nation.

Right in the path of the Dakota Access pipeline are Sundance grounds and village sites, held sacred not only by the Sioux Nations, but also the Arikara, the Mandan, and the Northern Cheyenne. The day after the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed papers identifying the burial places of our ancestors, Dakota Access intentionally destroyed them to avoid federal regulation. Would you stand by as bulldozers drove through the National Cemetery at Arlington?

Erasing our footprint from the world erases us as a people. These sites must be protected, or our world will end; it is that simple. If we allow an oil company to dig through and destroy our histories, our ancestors, our hearts and souls as a people, is that not genocide?

As indigenous people, we know these attempts to erase us very well, and one of the ways it works is through environmental racism. Indigenous lands across the country are the sites of nuclear waste dumping, toxic mining operations, oil and gas drilling and a long list of other harmful environmental practices, but see very little benefit from these projects. We live in the sacrifice zones. And that is the story here too – the Dakota Access pipeline was rerouted from north of Bismarck, a mostly white community, out of concerns for their drinking water, but then redirected to ours. They consider our community “expendable”.

The national guard and state police have been reinforced by forces from seven other states, to push corporate interests through our home, but together with our relatives, we stand up. We are still here.

We have always welcomed everyone to come stand with us against the injustices of the federal government. Joining forces would be a source of great power – if we stand together to confront racism and destruction of the land. But we will do that with prayer, not guns.

We are the people of this land. We have the roots growing out of our feet. We stand with compassion and prayer. They cannot break us.

Ladonna Bravebull Allard is the founder of the Sacred Stone Camp in Cannonball, North Dakota.

Reprinted “Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd”.