RACISM, RAGE AND THE RISE OF FASCIST FURY
December 18, 2018
As South Africans celebrated the Day Of Reconciliation on December 16th, 2018 as a commemoration to the country coming together under a newly minted “post-apartheid” identity, one has to wonder whether if that togetherness will ever truly be achieved in a still divided South Africa.
The true irony of the public holiday is its philosophy of unity contrasted with a backdrop of growing authoritarianism across the globe. In a world backsliding into Fascism, one has to wonder if post authoritarianism will ever be a solid reality, especially when a specific demographic of rage gets to spill onto the streets and into the public consciousness. Division is the word of the moment — although Oxford’s word of the year ‘toxic’ is just as fitting. Both have manifested in and by the young white men who have taken their grievances to the streets and sometimes left violence, death and ruin in their wake.
Immigrants have now been established as white supremacy’s target of choice — specifically brown people who shoulder the blame of embattled economies across the West. They are the new “foreign invaders” sold to agitated white men who serve as the foot soldiers for white male supremacy. In response to growing anti-immigration sentiment stoked by conservative governments, barely contained by Swiss-like liberalism, anti-immigration protests have sprung up in Brussels, Britain and the United States wreaking havoc and destruction.
In Brussels, Belgium, 5,500 people showed up to a rally held by far-right party Vlaams Belang protesting the United Nations agreement on global immigration, reported The Guardian. In Britain, a pro-Brexit rally included an anti-Muslim figure and a YouTuber who sent a rape Tweet to a Labour MP according to another Guardian article. The infamously Charlottesville rally that claimed the life of anti-Fascist protestor practically set the tone for the lengths Neo-Nazis would go secure white supremacy and yet, according to 45, “There were good people on both sides.”
The very same president sought to add fuel to the tense racial climate in South Africa by calling on the US State Department to investigate the faux movement that is “white genocide” as well as “land seizures.” The South African right wing has used their minority status to curry favor as victims of a fake genocide, extrapolated from the high crime rate in the largely deserted farmlands. South Africa has a crime problem that affects every citizen but the right-wing is just as averse to facts as Trump, ignoring the fact farm murders have hit a 20-year-low. White South Africans, through Trump’s racism, have monopolized international outcry, overshadowing the rampant femicide shaking the country’s female and nonconforming population.
While liberalism chooses civility as the hill on which to sacrifice democracy, its treasured marketplace of ideas has been overrun with Fascist sentiment protected by the false equivalence perpetuated by a misguided belief that there are both sides to an argument involving Nazi ideology. The reality of the dynamic is that ideas of white men get more protection than opposing vulnerable groups, exposing the marketplace of ideas as a similar beast to the conventional capitalist free market: created on the backs of Black bodies that were used as capital and producers of resources that funded industrial advancement.
We’re not talking about neo-Nazis alone though. The yellow vests that practically shut down Paris protesting the looming tax on transport fuel orchestrated protests that transformed Paris into something close to its revolutionary roots. According to Al Jazeera, the protests morphed to include anti-Macron sentiment, built on resentment towards the French president’s pro-business governance. Protestors trashed Parisian businesses and landmarks like the Arc De Triomphe and were vilified for their looting and damage while having their expression of discontent supported by the majority of French people. Macron even offered concessions to appease protestors into stopping.
I don’t remember Black Lives Matter being offered any constructive acknowledgment let alone some kind of deal and no historic landmarks were defaced or destroyed during their marches. White men get to riot when their teams win or lose and the police watch on, bemused, but a peaceful BLM march is immediately met with riot gear. The consistent criminalization of the Black body is baked into the double standard that exists in the policing of large groups. Black people marching in protest of yet another slain Black person are seen as overreacting but a white mob trashing a city after one sport or another are just white boys being white boys? When do we get to stop enduring the inevitability of white male rage? When do we get to be entitled to our own rage without repercussion? When do we get to be angry?
What is there to reconcile when the same battles rage on with previously defeated (or wounded if we’re being honest) ideas rising from the ashes of irrelevance? Black and Brown bodies aren’t given the same space to advocate for their lives, let alone an arbitrary claim to supremacy. How do we fight Fascism when those pushing it are the only voices that matter? When will the violence of white male supremacy be put on trial for the carnage it has imposed on our society. Whiteness will always be the thorn in the side of functional Democracy: it’s time to yank it out.