Monday, August 14, 2017

Hate White Supremacists less; Hate White Supremacy more.

A Press Release Human Family QCA indicates that

"the White Supremacist group, the National Alliance, has been distributing hate literature in the Quad Cities Area ... in at least two locations ...
In response to this promotion of racism and bigotry in our own community, One Human Family QCA is organizing a No Hate Rally. The rally will take place on Wednesday, August 16, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. at Vander Veer Park in Davenport."

I encourage people to attend. I support this, and will attend, but with some reluctance. This reluctance has to do with the way the term "hate" has been overused and misused.

First of all, I am pro-hate: I hate the military-industrial complex; I hate income inequality; I hate mass incarceration; I hate state violence against minorities; I hate the death penalty; and I hate consumerism and its degradation of the environment. I am filled with hate.

Second, I am a humanist. I value the humanity of even my enemies.

Here is the problem:

Among those who are rallying against hate, there will be many people, predominantly white, who are part of white supremacy policies without acknowledging it. Their protest against other white people is perhaps a projection of their own insecurities. It's easy to hate someone who signifies something you do not like in yourself. I suspect I will hear many people, both publicly and privately, decry the stupidity of the white supremacists. They'll take a break from pointing out the grammar mistakes in the tweets from Trumpians, Sharpie-up a posterboard from Target, and take the SUV to the park.
White supremacy is a moral abomination. But it is anything but stupid. It is found in the calculations of the CIA, which has consistently subverted governments in Latin America. It is found in the machinations of the criminal justice system, incarcerating people of color disproportionately. It is found in the distribution of wealth, riches hoarded by white people, who are then considered benevolent because they donate to the Democratic Party instead of the Republican Party. It is found in the anonymity of drone strikes, in the mechanical distance with which the United States defends "freedom" around the world.

Whiteness is found in anonymity and objectivity, and white people are frightened when other white people see themselves subjectively, that is, as white people, and then bring torches to rallies. I don't hate the guy yelling in this photo. I feel a sense of pity. He honestly believes that white people are in danger of extinction, when he is really just afraid of the loss of white supremacy.

So I would prefer that, instead of (or in addition to) a No Hate Rally, we have a White Supremacy Funeral Service -- complete with priests, pastors, flowers and blackness.

--Tadd Ruetenik

UPDATE 11/30/17: A Symposium called Hate: We Shall Overcome is taking place next month. Somewhat shamefully, I did not attend the rally mentioned earlier. I think I still have the same reservations: the idea of mostly white people getting together to show how they are different from white-supremacists white people is probably not harmful to the cause of justice, but will probably not be as much help as a symposium focused, as T'Challa Ra says above, on radical change to the systems of supremacy. 

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