Friday, 12 May 2017

On confronting racism and fascism


On confronting racism and fascism.. it's up to all of us how we confront these cancers that have steadily been growing for the last twenty years. It was accelerated by Brexit and the right wing press . Some weeks ago there was a massive increase in right wing groups, devotees of the alt right and the "Knights Templar" appearing on Facebook groups in this part of Wales. I wrote a number of articles exposing these individuals and many of them obscured their timelines and his their racist posts. I had threats from individuals threatening to come round to give me a sandwich or to serve how brave I was when I was not behind a keyboard. I am easy to find I have a website a blog and an office in Swansea A few weeks ago someone pointed out that a candidate for Neath Port Talbot Council had posted racist and threatening stories on their timeline. When this was pointed out the admin of a particular Neath group removed the racist outing of this person. The excuses started one person began claiming there was a witch hunt on, another who was a candidate claimed that this was the usual approach of the left. Using subterfuge I created a false persona and gained admittance to the group to see things myself. I published a blog piece about what I found.
The question we must all face is what do we do? There were those who did nothing in Weimar Germany, their were those who confronted the growing racialism they saw there promoted by politicians that entered the discourse of everyday life. And you know what happened next.
My father raised me to be anti racist, I went to a Quaker school. I grew up in the Midlands at the time of Powell's " Rivers of Blood" speech. I know all about casual and unthinking racism I saw it everyday. I remember the hatred directed at the Ugandan Asians and I saw my father confront it and I have done the same all my life. And I will keep on doing it.
Yes there are criticism that could be aimed at me. There is an argument that we must not use covert methods to resist. . Yet it is often people who have never experienced racial prejudice who argue this the most. I have sat with refugees , exiles from fascist regimes , who experienced fear, afraid if the knock on the door, those who have waited outside prisons for their partner, not sure if they are still alive. Those who claim Voltaire's cop out have never experienced these things, the fascists marching down the street, the secret police and the informer. It's easy when you have none of these experiences. I am middle class, male and heterosexual it's taken me years to see the prejudices, the mocking the banter that the other experiences.

There can be no toleration or acceptance of racist views. Being made embarrassed and awkward by such things is not my way. We should confront explain and educate. Where there is ignorance we must bring understanding and knowledge. Saying nothing, doing nothing is like farting through silk. We have a choice to do nothing or to be liberal on racism is to allows it to continue and to replicate itself. What do you do when democracy fails? The Pretenders asked this question a good few years ago I know what I would do and I will keep on doing it. There are things that can not be tolerated. I plead Kant and intention rather than utilitarianism. If you tolerate this your children will be next....now what was that line in the song about rabbits and fascists ?  

The future teaches you to be alone
The present to be afraid and cold
"So if I can shoot rabbits then I can shoot fascists."

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