False Dichotomies matter?

I’ve already shared what I think of the “all lives matter” rhetoric. But here’s a link to refresh your memory. And here’s another reminder of what I think of false dichotomies.

So I checked my Facebook tab and see someone has found a way of combining the two. Isn’t this fucking great?

FalseDichotomiesMatter

I’ve got one more day of my Facebook ban, so I shall reply to this one tomorrow.

Can you guess what all but one of the commenters answered? B, of course. Here’s what I always ask the “all lives matter” crowd: So you admit then that black lives do matter?

All lives do matter, but that’s not the point. When we say “black lives matter”, we’re not saying that other lives don’t. So posing it as a choice between black lives and all lives is a false dichotomy. But when you respond with all lives to a conversation about the plight of black people, you are saying that black lives don’t matter. And that’s the fucking point.

If it really were about all lives, that would of course include black lives. But it isn’t. Anyone who says “all lives matter” is only interested in shutting down the movement to bring about equality. Same goes for sharing articles about police in the US who killed white people when the conversation is about black people. Unless you shared those same things at the time they happened, you have no leg to stand on. You’re just using that shit to shut down people who are legitimately fed up with a system that’s treated them as subhuman for far too long.

Why are so many white people resistant to seeing this for what it is? We are all people, all the same, and should all have the same rights; should all be treated fairly. But that isn’t happening. In a perfect world, we could afford to be colour blind and say that we are all one race, and race being about skin colour is merely a social construct. But we don’t live in such a world.

Please stop saying that protests need to be non-violent

I don’t want to write about the US situation any more. I shouldn’t need to. But… I can’t get away from it. I can’t read trending articles or look at social media without it being in my face all the time. There’s actually too much wrong to even try to take all the most important bits that are happening right now and put them together for my social commentary. I can’t.

Just yesterday Trump tear gassed a bunch of peaceful protesters outside a church so that he could pose for a photo-op with a Bible. But one of the people who were gassed and chased from the church was the priest of that church. The first thing I read today was a publicly posted letter of resignation to the Defense Sectretary by a member of the Defense Science Board who’d had enough, because of his support for Trump’s actions.

I can’t couch for the accuracy of these claims (but I do recognize some of them from articles going around that have been verified), but here’s an example of a copypasta going around Facebook right now:

Copypasta

The mask is off.

Austin police have killed a young man by shooting him in the head with bird shot rounds wrapped in cloth, and continued to shoot the medics carrying his body. They shot a known pregnant woman in the stomach, then stormed and abducted her from a medic tent. They maced young children during a peaceful daytime protest.

Detroit police have brutally beaten, tear gassed and arrested my friends peacefully protesting. A curfew is set from 8pm to 5am city wide.

Rockford police dragged people from their cars and beat them last night.

Minneapolis police shot at people filming them on their own balconies.

An NYPD officer called a woman a “fucking bitch” and threw her on the ground. She went into a seizure and had to go to the emergency room. Then more New York cops rammed into crowds of protesters with their cars.

An Atlanta couple last night had their tires slashed, windows broken, and were dragged out of their car and tazed.

Chicago police announced a curfew and then raised the bridges out of downtown. Demonstrators were trapped and at the utter mercy of CPD roundups. A police supervisor ordered on the radio, “Gas ’em all.” Over 1,000 people have been arrested.

Everywhere, journalists are being indiscriminately targeted and arrested. A Minneapolis photojournalist is blinded permanently in one eye after being hit by a less lethal round.

They’ve maced children. They’ve torn off a woman’s hijab. They’re turning off their body cameras and hiding their badge numbers.

This is just what’s been documented. Imagine what hasn’t been.

The true nature of American policing has been revealed for the world to see. I have never seen brutality on such a massive scale. They don’t care if you’re peaceful. They don’t care if they’re on camera.

Black and brown youth are the leaders on the ground. They are the leaders of our future. Black and brown youth are the people who are bleeding, getting beaten, and being thrown into jail. This is trauma that will last their whole lives.

To the bail funds. To the phone lines to demand release. We have to protect our people.

If you’re going out there again please, and I beg you, be safe.

-please copy and share

Trump’s statements are divisive, to say the least, and he has actively incited violence. It’s not a stretch to say that his words may well have already contributed to violence against his own people. In his position of power, to say the things he has said is disgusting. He should be held accountable. Any decent leader would call for unity, and acknowledge the systemic racism and problems in their police force, and make some kind of attempt at reconciliation. But not Trump.

For an example of what an actual leader does, see the response by Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, to a question about Trump’s handling of the situation. He seems ready to say something, then bites his lip and stands there for 21 seconds saying absolutely nothing, a perfect response to Trump really, before talking about systemic racism and the plight of people of colour in Canada. This is the sort of thing Trump should have said last week, if he was a decent human being and a real leader. But he isn’t. And instead, he continues to make a bad situation worse.

I shall try to refrain from further commentary about this, unless it gets even worse. It’s fucking depressing. But to get to my title (and yes, I completely forgot my chosen words – oops)… to combat oppression, violence is valid. Maybe violence is needed. When the people who are supposed to be enforcing the law are killing innocents, the law itself is unlawful. When that happens, shut the fuck up with your criticism of the response to it. And shut the fuck up with your “all lives matter” shit. If people are starving, you don’t open food kitchens to feed their rich neighbours. When people are oppressed, you don’t see to the rights of the oppressors. #BlackLivesMatter

Edit… Just saw this and I guess it belongs here. Reminds me of that Joker meme with “You get what you fucking deserve”.

ViolenceNotTheAnswer

Speechless

I feel compelled to share this. To say something.

82715586_2850034771790280_2638220456552824832_o

But what? I’m at a loss for words here. I’ve been following this story since the murder of George Floyd just days ago. And now, there are protests and riots, and even more violence from police…

With some people complaining that protesters are getting violent. Um, remember this guy and tell and how well his peaceful protests went down?

101447703_10156884360631394_7828194061558218752_o

With the president of the US tweeting “when the looting starts the shooting starts”…

31-05-2020 4-40-10 PM

And it’s happening. That’s just one example. I have a Facebook friend who was shot in the head with rubber bullets, and I’m seeing more and more of this.

I complained the other day that he didn’t even offer his condolences, but referring to black people as “thugs” and inciting violence – calling for his own citizens to be shot? I did not expect this.

Update… So in the meantime, Donald Trump has announced that he is severing all ties with the WHO, in the midst of a global pandemic, and this:

31-05-2020 10-12-00 PM

This from the same person who tweeted “very fine people on both sides” when Nazis marched and crashed a car into a woman, killing her. He is responding to people protesting injustice and the murder of innocents, and people opposed to fascism. This idiot, the president of the USA, is very much on the wrong side here.

What the fuck is happening? I can hardly believe this is real.

In case anyone doesn’t get the bigger picture, there is no actual ANTIFA organization. There’s no members list and no defining features of what makes anyone ANTIFA. This means the Trump administration is poising itself to be able to label anyone as a terrorist. And we all know how the US treats terrorists, don’t we? They have no rights, and get killed quietly or locked away without any trial. Trump is a moron and he probably has no plan, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t smarter people working for him who can take advantage of this.

American politics baffles and fascinates me

I’m a South African male. Born here and I’ve never been anywhere else. But as someone with a few thousand Facebook friends, I have found that many of them are Americans. In fact, I’m not into the local celebrities or anything like that, so when my local friends talk about South African people who are trending, I often have no idea who they’re talking about. I’m inundated with posts from Americans and I find their politics quite fascinating. My interest with it has increased over the years as I’ve found many similarities between the fascist Republicans on the right with the old apartheid government here. The US, once a nation that helped right the wrongs in this country through sanctions and support of the ANC, have made a complete about turn over the last few decades.

Since I’m an atheist, a humanist, and oriented pretty far left on the political spectrum, most of my friends have similar views. But ‘similar’ is a relative term. Take this, for instance, which showed up on my feed today…

image

Surely this is an example of what my mother used to accuse my brother and I of as children, “Cutting off your nose to spite your face”? Also known as “shooting yourself in the foot”.

It’s not like this is an isolated point of view. I’m seeing it from a lot of Americans. For years now. I don’t recall what Jo thought of Hillary Clinton in the previous election, but I can guess.

Yeah… Biden is not the best candidate. That guy (Sanders) got fucked over again. But put this into perspective… No president at all, or a comatose person with a Democrat majority making the real decisions, would do a better job than Trump. A potato would do a better job than Trump. In case you haven’t noticed, Trump is so grossly incompetent that most likely, the decisions are being deferred to the people he appointed and he just goes along with the ride. He’s not in any semblance of control and he isn’t even much of a figurehead. All he does is make noise and get everybody responding to his insane and inane statements. Even another figurehead who defers all decisions to people more qualified to make them, would be a step up from what you have now.

One thing is certain though: A divided left who don’t all vote in unison to get that lunatic out of office will lead to a second term for Trump. It looks almost certain now. Never mind that the Democrats aren’t very progressive or as far left as they should be… they’re still better than another term “led” by an ignorant, narcissistic, misogynistic, racist, fascist, anti-science, anti-intellectual, conspiracy mongering idiot, who appoints decision makers who have no qualifications to make those decisions. The real harm is probably being done by other incompetent fools behind closed doors while the world focuses on the rantings of a madman. It’s great for rantings and for comedy but we don’t even get to see what’s really happening or who is in charge. It certainly isn’t the orange clown.

I could almost support Trump. After all, he is doing something great – he’s hastening the fall of an empire and it’s about time too! But… he is doing it by taking away people’s health care and imprisoning refugees for no other reason than racism. And the ripple effects of his legacy as the US economy suffers while he gets even richer, will spread all over the world, including my own country.

Letting him win out of childish spite… Why?

Do we live in the Bizarro world?

I see that Donald Trump, idiot president of the USA, has decided to cut funding to the WHO, claiming it has “failed in its basic duty”. And he’s doing this in the middle of a pandemic that he failed to respond to timeously, calling the response by others to it at the start a “hoax” by Democrats, and that was as recent as February 28.

This is so bizarre, it’s crazier than anything I could make up!

I’ve nothing to add really. No prizes for guessing who has actually failed but it isn’t WHO. I’ll give you a clue: Nothing rhymes with it. Not exactly the most cryptic of clues but one that I can be sure will fly over the heads of his fans.

Of course, comment about him calling it a hoax anywhere and the Trumpetears respond with “Fake news!”, where news is of course pronounced nooze.

Fucking fools. You will kill us all at this rate.

Update: So I have something to add after all.

At least that shouldn’t really affect me here in South Africa, I guess. Our economy is pretty fucked anyway.

I vote for Daffy Duck as Secretary-General of the United Nations. Woo hoo! Woo hoo! Woo hoo!

Are these double standards fair?

Recently I got a seven day ban from Facebook, because I posted this comment…

WhiteTrash

Where is the lie?

Seriously, I’m not gonna play victim here… I called people trash and that violated Facebook Community Standards. However…

If you support Donald Trump at this point, it goes way beyond nationalism…

  1. When he speaks, in between the incoherent non sequiturs and outright nonsense (like troops taking over airports before aeroplanes were invented), he spews nothing but hate speech. Hate for immigrants, hate for black people, etc.
  2. He has paid hush money to a high class prostitute, and made her an international celebrity in the process.
  3. There are too many allegations of rape against him to ignore. Meanwhile his buddy Epstein, a convicted sexual offender, gets it easy, because of money and a white skin.
  4. Which brings us to Trump himself… even with all his privilege, he is still a failure at business, having lost more money than he made and having been bailed out of bankruptcy by his dad.
  5. The situation with refugees being dismissed as illegal immigrants and children separated from parents, and the concentration camps… is a crime against humanity.
  6. He has the support of conservative Evangelical Christians simply because he has money and hates the same people they do.
  7. That’s enough for me. There’s more, but that will do for me.

Yet people still support him. Everywhere on social media they argue about the fucking definition and legality of concentration camps. Look, arseholes, Hitler’s shit was also legal. The law is subjective and an evil regime has evil laws.

Which brings me to that image… MAGA and (you can’t see in that photo but) “TRUMP” printed down the side of her wedding dress… White trash is a fucking understatement. At this point, if you still support Donald Trump, you are evil and the scum of the Earth.

I’m sick of fake news. Aren’t you?

Just a short one today as I don’t have much time but do want to see another post on this new theme. I hope you like it and hope that it’s easier to read on mobile. Changing from the WordPress 2010 theme was long overdue…

Fake news. It’s everywhere now. I can’t scroll through social media without seeing at least one post making a claim that’s not only untrue, but is as far the truth as any claim could ever be, and redefines truth as lies.

Case in point, today I see this article that describes how US president and world renowned idiot Donald Trump is claiming that Jews are carrying out anti-Semitic attacks on themselves in order to make him look bad. Sorry Donnie baby, nobody needs to try making you look bad.

Yes, I’m in Africa. Also yes, this is not the first time I’ve written about Donald Trump here. The man is a menace. His actions and those of his minions affect us all. So to clarify, when I write “fake news”, I am not referring to what he calls fake news. He calls genuine journalism fake news. But outright fabrications by the far right are fine… Tremendous… Huge! As are conspiracy theories. In his tiny brain, false flags are a real thing. And I don’t mean false flags as in wartime operations, but as in conspiracy theories. According to him, climate change caused by humans is not a thing, but childhood vaccines cause autism and Barack Obama is really an alien who was born on the moon. (OK, maybe not the last one, but he does believe Obama was born in Africa.) Here’s a list of some of the bullshit that moron believes in.

The influence of the far right, and far right rhetoric, is here too. I guess it always was – this is the country that’s infamous for bringing the world the word “apartheid”, and racism didn’t disappear here, it just went underground. But it isn’t any more. It’s out in the open thanks to the US president. One can not criticize racists without someone playing the reverse racism or white genocide card; call out misogynists without the anti-feminists crawling out from under their rocks; share memes about punching Nazis without some twat suggesting that people who wave an actual Nazi flag and treat their fellow human beings as subhuman are not actual Nazis. And according to these very stable geniuses, Nazis were really socialists anyway. (Wrong.)

Meanwhile Trump supporters seem to live in their own alternate universe where the man can do no wrong. They laugh at their straw man, conspiracy theorist, and often outright propagandist version of the left, while credulously sharing the real fake news consisting of gushing accolades giving credit to Trump for things that other people achieved.

I truly am sick of it. What a fucking mess it is. Better men than him have been assassinated, you know…

P.S. There is no white genocide in South Africa. Donald Trump believes in that too though. Of fucking course.

Why the right wing is wrong

This is a complete change of subject to what I intended writing, but on my second day sitting at home and ill, I was appalled to read more nonsense about “white genocide” in South Africa shared on social media, so I felt compelled to tackle this subject again.

Let’s explain how I ended up with these views… I grew up in apartheid South Africa. Almost every white person I knew, and in childhood I only knew white people, was racist. Almost without exception, all of them… That is not to say it was always their fault. We were exposed to propaganda all the time. We grew up in areas where black people were not allowed to live, ate in restaurants where they could not, went to beaches where they could not, went to schools they weren’t allowed to attend, and learned from our racist parents. It rubs off. Racism is implicit and racists don’t even realize that they are racists. But they don’t have to stay that way.

I first became aware of apartheid when I was eleven years old. In my primary school, we had a progressive history teacher, who taught us that the history we’d learned up to that point was false. All the nonsense about the land being unoccupied and the white people moving in while the black people moved down to Cape Town from the north, etc. It was all bullshit. This was followed by another progressive teacher in my last grade of primary school.

In high school, I dropped history as a subject as soon as I was allowed. However, left wing teachers were more careful there, presumably because teenagers don’t keep quiet about what they hear in school. By the time I finished school, I had to spend a year in the army because of conscription. They made me sign a form stating I would never support the ANC. Because I was 18 and naïve, I didn’t see through them. To my shame, I was taken in by the rhetoric when they threatened us… when they explained that if I did not sign, it would be held against me and I’d never get a job. In reality and in post-apartheid South Africa, that would have counted in my favour. And maybe those idiots would have kicked me out and I wouldn’t have had to waste a year of my life in the apartheid army.

But it retrospect, I’m glad I signed that piece of paper. It exposed me to the harsh reality that most of my white countrymen were racists. It exposed me to a perverted form of white supremacist Christianity where the religion itself was used to justify racism and the Group Areas Act (the legislation that prevented blacks and whites from living in the same areas). It helped me to see through them. I still see through them. (By the way, I see that same form of perverted white supremacist Christianity is used by Evangelical Christians in the USA today.)

A few years ago, I went to an uncle’s funeral. He was my father’s brother, and while there, I spoke to another family member. Somehow the subject of racism came up, and I mentioned that I couldn’t understand how people could still be racist. He agreed with me, and then went on to say, “I treat all the boys who work for me fairly”. Boys. He referred to grown up men as boys just because they are black. And that’s the way it is – racists don’t know they are racists. It was like I had gone back in time and tried to have a reasonable conversation with my father… impossible.

So this is the way it is, the reality of the “white genocide” of farm murders. Farm murders are real. People are killed on farms just like in the cities and suburbia. People are killed by criminals – drug addicts getting money for their next fix. You are equally likely to be killed there regardless of the colour of your skin, even though you’d think criminals would only target those who have more money, which would be the farmers. (Truth be told, junkie criminals aren’t that smart. They target everybody.) The stats that those who believe in white genocide refer to don’t even mention race.

What’s really happening is this: White racists who were racists before apartheid ended, are still racists today. They have learned to hide it because it’s unpopular to call black people kaffirs to their faces. It will get you into trouble. But they genuinely believe that black people are inferior, and they remember apartheid with fondness. To them, it is unfortunate that apartheid ended, and black people are the enemy. An enemy who now has equal rights and power. An enemy who would want revenge. And when they hear about farm murders, it fits right into their narrative that they believed before apartheid ended – that black people shouldn’t be given rights because they will be incompetent in everything they do (because they are inferior), and that they will seek revenge. This belief in “white genocide” is thus a manifestation of the fear of these racists, the fear that what they thought would happen, would happen. It’s not happening. It’s not real. But try telling that to these right wing loons.

The right wing in this country is all about that sort of view, a view twisted by racism, held by people who mostly are not even self aware enough to know that they are racists. And of course some who do. That’s why I despise them. That’s why I call them racist scum and white trash. Because that’s what they are.

My condolences to the USA.

There really isn’t much to say. Donald Trump has won the 2016 US presidential elections, and this says plenty about the whole world.

The US were world leaders… They put sanctions in place against this country, South Africa, in the era of apartheid. Now they have elected an obvious racist and misogynist (among other things) for president. The locals here who support Trump are the same people who believed in apartheid. Let that sink in.

How the fuck did this happen?

How is it that an email scandal could be falsely equated with the horror of Donald Trump? But I have seen this coming… Even in the atheist groups that I belong to, a wave of anti-immigrant hatred has been washing over everyone for a long time. This election result says more about the sentiments of the people who cast their votes than it does about the vile man they have elected.

Make no mistake though… America, you fucked up!