Embrace humanity, we might be all we have

Racism isn’t real. Racism a social construct designed to divide and rule us. Racism is a myth perpetuated by an outdated ideology that we are different purely because of the colour of our skin. If it wasn’t Darwin, someone else would have proposed the origin of the species. It was gaining momentum in the scientific community elsewhere. We are one species divided by culture and language.

Fascism, however, does exist. Fascist ideologies exist, it is what they use when they perpetuate myths about Islam and terror, when they perpetuate myths about immigrants and job security and crime. It is what they use when they say Adam Goodes is wrong for doing a war dance when scoring a goal, the people who accuse him of ‘crying wolf’ are the type of people who buy into or perpetuate fascist ideology. It is Goodes that I want to talk about specifically.

This past week the social media has been alight with comments regarding Sydney Swans AFL player, Adam Goodes, for his celebration after scoring a goal against Carlton last week. Commentators called it aggressive and provocative stating that it has no place in the sport. This is Australia, right? The sport is called Australian Football League, right? Then what is more Australian than a proud Aborigine man doing a dance, in a moment of pure joy that inspires? Reaction to Adam Goodes celebration extended from the ridiculous (Andrew Bolt’s piece for the Hearld Sun) to the outrageous such as Goodes’ Wikipedia page being edited with pictures of monkeys. The Andrew Bolt rant accused Goodes of being overly aggressive and race baiting with his celebration, comparing him to the boy who cried wolf, yet the New Zealand All Blacks perform the most famous war dance before a sporting event in the world and people love them for it. So mythical and popular is the haka, ka mate, that they now arrange for mics to amplify the cry throughout stadiums. And it’s not just New Zealand with a proud war dance to perform, many of the Polynesian island rugby teams perform war dances, a challenge, before a game starts. It is a challenge they call on the opposition to take and has seen some spectacular results in a pre-match build up.

Bolt talked of context but failed to add any real substance to his principled position, other than  to continue his one man crusade against Aboriginal rights and constitutional parity in Australia. Bolt has a history of questionable articles, he was found to be in breach of section 18 (c) of the Racial Discrimination Act over two articles that he wrote in 2009.

It is people like Bolt that I allude to, when I say fascist ideology exists but not racism, the people like Bolt who believe that everything is okay and that some communities should just shut up moaning because they have never had it so good. These people accuse proud Aboriginals, like Goodes, of being race baiters, of hating white Australia and exacerbating the divide. This could not be further from the truth. Holding on to traditional customs and values, the history of your culture, is something that white privilege demands, British values, Australian way of life, American freedom, but when it comes to someone of colour doing the same, they are expected to assimilate. Resistance is futile.

Underpinning this outrage at the Goodes ‘war dance’ is irony in its highest form. Virtually every other single sporting event on the globe is entwined with military spectacles, but that is okay. America, in particular, love to roll out their military personnel during pre-match ceremonies for any and all of their sports. As for Australia, I like the formula one and wouldn’t you know it, we had a display throughout the weekend at the Melbourne Grand Prix earlier this year of one of their fighter jets, terrorising the people in the streets of St Kilda, whilst the fans screamed and cheered at a vehicle whose sole purpose is to kill people they have never met. Often these machines of mass destruction kill innocent people, women and children mostly, but we cannot let that get in the way of a chance to explode into a manufactured, patriotic frenzy. In the interest of entertainment and distractionism, we forget those inconvenient truths of war, to celebrate our heroes. The United Kingdom too is victim to this worship culture of murder machines. Help for Heroes is the prime example, interwoven into the sporting events and now a mainstream of our psyche. I too have been complicit in supporting this, taking part in a sporting event to raise money for injured soldiers, our government lies and get them maimed, we the people are left to help put them and their lives back together. Afterwards I told my boss that some sections of our communities (and that includes our sport fans) may not view these people as heroes but as murderers who hide behind an excuse long ruled as unjustifiable – that they were just “following orders“. Yet, if any of these fans or observers dare to question the official line at these sporting events, that the military personnel and the weaponry that they display are anything other than honourable or heroic, they are vilified, labelled unpatriotic and probably end up on a domestic extremist list somewhere.

I guess the moral of the story surrounding Adam Goodes is don’t get slaughtered by someone with superior fire power or if you do, don’t complain about it.

Terence McKenna said that culture is not our friend because it divides us. I believe it only divides us because we allow ourselves to give into fear based politics and rhetoric from the media and state, via the bewitchment of language. We have more in common between us than the sum of our differences. Through respect, admiration and a touch of philosophy we can overcome our subtle differences and combat the divisive language in the media; starting with the word and idea of racism, it doesn’t exist, just fascism and its ideology. If you don’t want to be labelled a fascist, embrace humanity, we are one species living on space station earth. We might want to learn how to get along and to embrace our cultural differences as being just that – different. It’s a big universe out there and we might be all we have.

Reza Aslan and Bill Maher

 

Kapa O Pango

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How did we let Murdoch monopolise the media?

Birmingham City…the ‘no go zone’ of the UK, according to FOX News’ security ‘expert’, Steve Emerson.

Birmingham, I have been there once or twice in my time, can’t say I recall there being a an issue with not being white, though not being fully white myself detractors will probably pull me up on that. Birmingham is culturally diverse. Over 1 million people live there (the mid-2012 estimate was somewhere around the 1,085,400 mark) following the last census in 2011 the cultural make up of Birmingham was as follows;

(Taken from Birmingham City Council website)

  • Around 42% of our residents were from an ethnic group other than White.
  • 46.1% of Birmingham residents said they were Christian, 21.8% Muslim and 19.3% had no religion.
  • 22% of our residents were born outside the UK, compared with 14% in England and 11% in the West Midlands region.

And the city is growing –

  • Since 2001 the population has increased by almost 100,000 (10.2%). This is an average rate of 0.9% per year.
  • The population increase over the last decade is associated with more births, fewer deaths and international migration.

Closer inspection of the census shows that the other religious make up includes Sikh, Buddhist and others. There is much work to be done by the so-called ‘radical Islamists’ if they want to over throw the more than 750,000 ‘infidels’ in town, and that’s if every single one of them wanted to, which they don’t!

So what is security ‘expert’ Steve Emerson’s problem? He says it is “too late for Europe, we have lost control.”

The comments by Emerson have been quickly retracted with a grovelling, written apology. But the damage has been done. People today, more than ever, are audio and visually stimulated. Emerson has twice in a week slated Europe, telling viewers of Rupert Murdoch’s FOX News that European countries are overrun and ruled by Sharia Law. A simple written apology, most likely on the back of a fag packet, is not good enough. When the requirement by Muslims from Rupert Murdoch is full accountability for the Paris shootings, how can this be an acceptable retraction?

The Steve Emerson wet fart is just another, in a long line of examples, of fear and hate mongering of Islam and minorities by the Murdoch media empire. When we learn to boycott not just The Sun, but the rest of his media empire, we might be able to start redressing the balance of information sharing. For now though thankfully we have Twitter. See #foxnewsfacts for some funny retorts to the villainous NewsCorp.

 

 

Charlie Hebdo and the rights and wrongs of our freedom of expression

The images this week of 3 gunmen killing journalists at Charlie Hebdo whilst at work sent shock waves around the world. People reacted strongly to the attack, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie trended and peaceful assemblies to remember them took place all over.

I was with some police officers when news broke and the images started to go viral. My first thoughts were with the victims and their families, then the countless number of innocent Muslims that would be victimised as a result of this barbaric act. This was a vicious attack, conducted by a handful of people with significant issues but not one driven by religion.

One is a follower of Islam, the other is a crazed gunman
One is a follower of Islam, the other is a crazed gunman

The attacks are alleged to be in response to several cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo, that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad in a negative light. This has resulted in dozens, if not hundreds, of people coming out and expressing their belief that these attacks were an attack on the freedom of speech and expression itself. People such as Barack Obama and David Cameron. Barack Obama and David Cameron? These people have been the face of oppression, both sides of the Atlantic, with acts and bills being passed day and night that have gradually stripped away our freedoms and liberties. I do not recall any of them bleating about our rights to expression then?

UK Newspapers war on freedom

Secret Courts, TPIMs, DRIP, NDAA, RIPA, CISPA; you name it, they have passed it, to protect our ‘liberties’. If the situation in Paris was not so serious, it would be laughable to hear these people come out in their support of our freedom of expression.

National Defense Authorisation Act
National Defense Authorisation Act

The right to freedom of speech and expression is something that causes controversy; is it okay to have freedom of speech and expression if it incites hatred or intolerance, or cause offence? The main problem is the balance with which this freedom is given. Even with a cursory glance at the media you will see that the majority of views, regards certain religions or beliefs, are typically one-sided and biased.  If we are therefore to have the freedom for all to express themselves, without remit, there has to be an equal and opposite balance of views, which is something sorely missing. Some believe that our freedoms come with moral responsibility to be mindful of others.

To put the bleating of Cameron into perspective, in the lead up to the Royal wedding, the MET police went on a ‘pre-crime’ spree of arresting people who they believed would visibly oppose the wedding, sort of like the Tom Cruise film ‘Minority Report’. Is this the action of a state that supposedly supports the freedom of expression, something that we would “never relinquish” as exclaimed by David Cameron this week? But, you might say, there should be a line, it was someone’s wedding, something that people wanted to see, so you cannot speak out openly about it and disrupt the publics viewing pleasure. How is that any different to the divisive images created by Charlie Hebdo or others? Their images may have caused offence to the population of Frances’ Muslim community, and the wider Muslim community as a whole, yet there was not the global race to remove such imagery from their repertoire?

Satire not a tool to use against the weak
Satire not a tool to use against the weak

Where do we draw a line on what is the right to free expression? Do we draw a line? Should there be a line? Would the same support for this freedom of expression have existed if the cartoonists were making offensive imagery of Jews? I doubt very much so. Russia Today journalist Harry Fear said: “There’s a big difference between the right of expression and the freedom of expression. The latter concept conveys solely the ability to express; one is free to do something. It’s different to be able to do something, than to be able to do something and also to do it. In France, yes, it’s a freedom, to insult, humiliate and disrespect minorities for the sake of it, just to hurt them — but should it really be a right that one fulfils for the sake of it? Further, is it really noble to do so? Is it valuable for democracy? It is a symbolic measure of civilisation?” 

What happened this week was a vicious, cowardly act, perpetrated by deeply troubled people. It has been used by the right to justify their beliefs and actions over minorities and now there are calls for the Muslim community to apologise, but why? Did we ask the Catholic church or the Buddhist temples to apologise for Hitler or Moa? Did we ask all Jews to apologise for the acts of the Israeli Defence Force in Gaza last summer? No. So why are some in society making the requirement for one group to apologise over another? For villains such as Rupert Murdoch, who it might be said are complicit in the deaths of millions of innocent people and armed forces personnel wading in to call for Muslims to be held responsible is deplorable. The religion someone is born into, the language they use to justify their actions, should not be used to perpetuate intolerance towards the wider, peaceful majority. Hitler, Stalin and Moa were all born into certain religions, used phrases such as ‘doing the lords work’ yet we do not condemn the entire faith base of their religion with the same crimes or with the same conviction. Do not do so to followers of Islam either.

Western world calls for apology
Western world calls for apology
Warmongers musings
Warmongers musings

The attacks in Paris this week were horrendous but the clamour by the establishment to call this the ‘war on freedom’, with the evidence and experience we have of the way in which we are viewed as subjects by our very own governments, is as callous and scandalous a move as I have seen.

Do not be undone by fear, we are more alike than we are different and do not let the seeds of fear grow doubt within you because the media says so.

Will Self: #JeNeSuisCharlie

George Bush says he is “doing the work of God“.

Catholic Education – Was Hitler Christian?