Richard Spencer told by MSU that he and his fellow Nazis are not welcome in East Lansing

Yesterday, Michigan State University confirmed that the National Policy Institute, a fascist think tank led by white supremacist Richard Spencer, had requested the opportunity to have Spencer speak on campus. Today, the university’s president, Lou Anna K. Simon, issued the following statement, making it clear that he and his organization are not welcome.

“After consultation with law enforcement officials, Michigan State University has decided to deny the National Policy Institute’s request to rent space on campus to accommodate a speaker. This decision was made due to significant concerns about public safety in the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville last weekend. While we remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, our first obligation is to the safety and security of our students and our community.”

This, by the way, comes the day after both Texas A&M University and the University of Florida uninvited Spencer from their campuses citing safety concerns in the wake of what happened in Charlottesville.

The proposed event in East Lansing, according to reporting by Lansing City Pulse was to have been co-hosted by “the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas and the white nationalist group Identity Europa,” the first of which was just recently launched by 2009 MSU graduate Kyle Bristow, who can be seen in the image above with Spencer. [Richard Spencer is a board member of Bristow’s Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas. Other board members, according to Lansing City Pulse, Include “people like California attorney William Daniel Johnson, who in 1985 proposed a Constitutional amendment to revoke the citizenship of every non-white person in the U.S; Jason Robb, son of the national director of the KKK; and Ryan Sorba, a writer who claims that being gay is a ‘hoax’.”]

While I don’t want to link to Bristow’s website, here’s a clip from a recent post about how, in the wake of Charlottesville, the far right is under attack. It would appear that, like some of the commenters on this site, Bristow believes that the deadly chaos in Charlottesville was orchestrated by what Trump would call the “alt-left” in order to justify a crackdown against the civil rights of Nazis.

I’d like to ramble on for a few hours about freedom of speech, and why I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t extend to Nazis, but I’m falling asleep. So, instead, I’d like to leave you with this clip from a recent National Review piece by Kevin D. Williamson titled “Angry White Boys.” [Thank you, Jcp2, for making me aware of it.]

…What does an angry white boy really want?

“A girlfriend,” comes the mocking answer, and there’s probably more to that than mockery. The proprietor of one of the nation’s premier websites for neo-Nazi knuckleheads advised his colleagues in Charlottesville that, after the protest — which included a murder — “random girls will want to have sex with you.” I ran this proposition past a few random girls, and I suspect that the apfelstrudelführers are going to go home disappointed. There are many shades of white, and Mom’s-basement white is the least popular crayon in the box.

Of course we should mock them, criticize them, lament them, and, in the case of James Alex Fields Jr., the trust-funder from Ohio charged in the death of Heather Heyer, prosecute them. What does James Alex Fields Jr. want? A transcript of a 911 call from his mother describes him beating her after she told him to stop playing a particular video game. She is disabled and uses a wheelchair. That wasn’t the only 911 call she made in fear of her son.

The angry white boys do not have a serious political agenda. They don’t have any straightforward demands like the Teamsters or PETA do, and they do not have a well-developed ideological position like the Communists do, though it would be inaccurate to say that they lack an ideology entirely. Their agenda is their anger, an anger that is difficult to understand. Middle-class white men in the United States of America in anno Domini 2017 have their problems, to be sure. Life is full of little disappointments. But their motive is not to be found in their exterior circumstances, which are pretty good.

Maybe too good: A great many of these young men have an interest in evolutionary psychology and evolutionary sociology — they like to think of themselves as “alpha males,” as though they were living in a chimpanzee troop — but it never occurs to them to consider their own status as rejects and failed men in that context. Online fantasy lives notwithstanding, random girls do not want to have sex with them. How do we know this? Because they are carrying tiki torches in a giant dork parade in Charlottesville. There’s no prom queen waiting at home. If we credit their own sociobiological model, they are the superfluous males who would have been discarded, along with their genetic material, by the pitiless state of nature. The fantasy of proving that they are something else is why they dream of violence and confrontation. They are the products of the soft liberal-democratic society they hold in contempt — and upon which they depend, utterly. James Alex Fields Jr. is angry at the world, and angry at his mother, probably for the same reason.

What does an angry white boy want? The fact that they get together to play dress-up — to engage in a large and sometimes murderous game of cowboys and Indians — may give us our answer. They want to be someone other than who they are. That’s the great irony of identity politics: They seek identity in the tribe because they are failed individuals. They are a chain composed exclusively of weak links. What they are engaged in isn’t politics, but theater: play-acting in the hopes of achieving catharsis. Their online personas — knights, Vikings, reincarnations of Charles Martel — will be familiar enough to anybody with a Dungeons and Dragons nerd in his life. But sometimes, role-playing around a card table isn’t enough: Sometimes, you need a stage and an audience. In the theater, actors and audience both can forget ourselves for an hour or two. Under the soft glow of the tiki torches, these angry white boys can be something else — for a night…

[note: The Southern Poverty Law Center has a fascinatingdossier on Kyle Bristow.]

Posted in Civil Liberties, Michigan, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

My hate mail from the Fox News viewers of Michigan

A few days ago, a friend of mine in San Francisco, in an attempt to better understand how Facebook’s ad targeting system works in practice, invested a few dollars and boosted a recent article of mine about Trump’s response to the white nationalist terrorist attack in Charlottesville. As I understand it, he specifically targeted Fox News watchers in Michigan, but not in either Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti. Well, I’m sure this won’t come as any surprise to you, but they’re weren’t exactly receptive to my interpretation of events. Here, for those of you who might be interested, are a few examples of what these folks had to say in response…

Now, in somewhat related news…

Do you remember just a few days ago, when Donald Trump, in an attempt to explain why it had taken him more than 48 hour to condemn the deadly Charlottesville attack, said with a straight face, “When I make a statement, I like to be correct… I want the facts“? Well, apparently something’s changed between last week and this week. Almost immediately after news broke concerning this afternoon’s incident in Barcelona, Donald Trump took to Twitter to label the action a “terror attack” and condemn it. And, then, for good measure, he went one step further, suggesting that we might have better luck fighting jihadists, if, like General Pershing, we started executing suspected terrorists with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood. Of course, as you might guess, there’s no evidence that Pershing did any such thing, but I don’t suspect that really matters much to folks like the ones we just heard from above… So much for waiting until you have all of your facts right.

Posted in Marketing, Media, Michigan, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Having attempted unsuccessfully to convince us that his sympathies don’t lie with Nazis, Trump returns to racist form

Yesterday, we saw a focused, scripted Donald Trump attempt to put our minds at ease and convince us that, despite what it might have looked like in the days following the attack on Charlottesville, he really shares our believe that white supremacists are repugnant. Well, as that particular speech didn’t yield the results that our President was hoping for, we saw a dramatic, off-the-cuff return to form today. Following, if you haven’t seen it, is video of Trump once again addressing the press on the white nationalist terror attack in Charlottesville. As you’ll notice, he’s no longer talking about the Nazis in question being “repugnant.” No, he’s now saying that their ranks include “some very fine people.” What’s more, he’s returned his original talking point from the day of the murder about “both sides” being to blame, ignoring the fact that only one side came armed for war and then committed murder. He even goes so far as to put himself in the shoes of the Nazis, saying, “What about the alt-left that came charging at us.” [He would, moments later, correct himself, but the slip was telling.]

And, yes, you did just hear Trump, in that video above, compare Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson to the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Oh, and did you hear that part where he said that he didn’t condemn the white supremacists earlier because, he likes to… get this… have all the facts before he speaks on a subject? “When I make a statement, I like to be correct,” he told members of the gobsmacked press. “I want the facts.” [This coming from the man who popularized birtherism and continues to maintain the guilt of the so-called “Central Park Five” with absolutely no evidence to support the claim.]

One last thing. If anyone ever asks you to give and example of how the Republican and Democratic parties are different from one another, here’s a great example. Virginia’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, told white supremacists on Saturday, “There is no place for you in America.” Donald Trump today told us that, contrary to what we might think, there are actually “some very fine people” among the folks attending your average white power rally.

That’s right. You apparently don’t have to be a repugnant neo-Nazi to attend a neo-Nazi rally. You might just be a fine American exercising your god given right to walk alongside touch-wielding, heavily-armed individuals calling for race warfare.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Donald Trump and American’s “cherished history” of white supremacy

As we discussed yesterday, included in Donald Trump’s scripted comments about the domestic terrorist attack that left one woman dead and nineteen injured over this past weekend in Charlottesville, was the phrase, “cherish our history.” It’s something that stood out to me when I first heard the President say it, and it’s something that I’ve kept coming back to over the past 24 hours, wondering how it found its way into a speech ostensibly intended to prove definitively that our nation isn’t, as it appeared in the immediate aftermath of the attack, being led by a full-blown white supremacist.

It is, I don’t think anyone can deny, a phrase intended as a gift to those in the white nationalist community who had set their sights on Charlottesville after a decision had been made by members of the town’s city council to take down a statue of Robert E Lee that had been erected in 1924, at a time when the “Invisible Empire” of the KKK was gaining traction across the American South. My guess is that it was either Steve Bannon or Stephen Miller, both of whom have significant ties to the white nationalist community, who suggested that the phrase be tacked onto the end of the sentence about how we should all love and respect one another.

“We must love each other, respect each other, and cherish our history,” Trump read from the teleprompter.

And, make now mistake, Trump meant the history of the fascists, not the antifascists, when he said “our,” the same way he meant “us” when he said to the press earlier this afternoon, “What about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – that came charging at the, as you say, alt-right?” These neo-Nazi fascists are his people. He’s one of them. And there can be no more denying that.

And that’s why he can’t afford to lose them. That’s why, after being coerced into rebuking the members of his white supremacist base, he had to immediately say that he was thinking of pardoning racist sheriff Joe Arpiao. And, you can bet it’s why the phrase “cherish our history” was added. It was, in their estimation, just enough of a racist dog whistle to keep the far right from abandoning them, while not inviting more anger from the non-racists of America, who were still upset that the president had suggested that “both sides” – the racists and those who oppose them – were equally to blame.

At any rate, for the past several hours, I’ve found myself in this weird space, humming the song “Cherish” by The Association, while images flash though my mind of klansmen anonymously terrorizing communities, young black men being lynched, and the birth of the American Nazi party… I’m admittedly not a very good graphic designer, so you’ll have to excuse my craft, but here are a few of the images that came immediately to mind when thinking about this cherished history of President Donald Trump and America’s white supremacists.

Posted in Civil Liberties, History, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Trump, bullied by the evil Jewish press, is forced to renounce Naziism

I just returned home from a road trip down through Durham, North Carolina, where, by the way, a lot of folks just gathered this evening to pull down a Confederate statue, and I’d love to tell you all about it. Every time I sit down to write about biscuits, baseball, and fried chicken, though, I find my attention being dragged back to the recent events in Charlottesville and our President’s apparent inability to distance himself from the racists who put him in office.

Today, of course, more than two full days after 32 year old Heather Heyer was murdered in Charlottesville by a white supremacist, Trump finally addressed the subject of white nationalism directly. [As you’ll recall, in the aftermath of the event, Trump refused to acknowledge that Heyer’s murder had been an act of domestic terrorism, saying only that there had been violence on “many sides,” before turning his back on reporters as they asked what he felt about the fact that America’s racist groups are among his most virulent supporters.] Reading directly from a teleprompter, word-for-word, Trump, clearly against his will, uttered the phrase, “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” To his credit, he did so without visibly rolling his eyes, but you could tell that he wanted to… Here’s the video.

And, yes, he did say, “We must rediscover the bonds of love.”

So, yeah, it took him over 48 hours to come out and essentially say, “Nazis are bad.” And, when he did, he not only buried it at the end of an address on the economy, but, just afterward, said that he’s considering the possibility of pardoning racist Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. It’s as though he literally told the American people that racists were bad, but then immediately turned to a Fox News camera, and winked. [For what it’s worth, he also did not tweet his new-found belief of his that white supremacists are “repugnant.”]

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that today’s presidential statement, which, by the way, only happened because members of the White House staff told Trump that he absolutely had to say something, is being taken less than seriously by America’s white supremacists. David Duke, our elder statesman of hate, who yesterday said that the racist uprising in Charlottesville was just a “fulfillment” of the “Trump promise,” today told his followers on Twitter that the President had only said those words because he’d been “bullied” by the “fake news”. [“President Trump, please, for God’s sake, don’t feel like you need to say these things,” Duke would later convey to the president though the press. He also, yesterday, had the following to say to Trump on Twitter. “I would recommend you to take a good look in the mirror and remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency,” he said, “not radial leftists.”] And, apparently, the folks a the white nationalist site The Daily Stormer felt the same way, saying that Trump only said what he said because he was forced to by the “whining Jew media.” “(Trump) only disavowed us at the point of a Jewish weapon,” they said shortly after the President read his prepared remarks.

The good news is, for all Trump and his people claim this is just a case of the “fake news” making a story out of thin air, it would appear that some powerful people behind the scenes aren’t seeing it that way. In fact, just today, three more of America’s most successful corporate CEOs announced that they would be leaving President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, joining Elon Musk, who left the group after Trump announced that the U.S. would be pulling out of the Paris Accord on Climate Change. It all started this morning when Ken Frazier of Merck announced that he would be stepping down, as he felt a “responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.” This, as you might imagine, didn’t sit well with our vindictive president, who took to Twitter to attack. [If only he’d been as fast in condemning the actions of his neo-Nazis supporters a few days before.]

To their credit, two more CEOs then followed Frazier’s lead. Citing his company’s position on “unity, diversity and inclusion” Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank took to Twitter to announce that he’d be leaving. And, shortly after, word came out that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich had also stepped down. What’s more, several other members of the group apparently aren’t avoiding the press and they consider their options.

Here’s a list of those who remain as of this evening. I suspect, however, more will drop tomorrow. [note: A few of these have recently left due to job changes, and not because it’s become apparent to them that our president is conflicted when it comes to Naziism.]

So, that’s what’s happening today in the America… Our beleaguered president, after days of being asked how he felt about Naziism, finally came out and begrudgingly read a statement off a teleprompter about how it’s bad. Then, when the bad press didn’t stop, he exploded in a fit of anger like a giant, narcissistic toddler, who, after being told to apologize for having done something horrifically antisocial, like taking a shit on a neighbor’s coffee table, discovers that he’s still going to be punished for it, and won’t be getting his two scoops of ice cream.

And, speaking of the Jews, and their role in all of this, according to Trump friend Alex Jones, the Nazis we saw in Charlottesville weren’t Nazis at all, but Jewish actors. You see, it’s all part of the Jewish conspiracy. “Literally they’re just Jewish actors, he said yesterday. “I mean, quite frankly,” he added, “I’ve been to these events, a lot of the KKK guys with their hats off look like they’re from the cast of Seinfeld.” And, judging from the comments section here today, many in my audience believe him… As Trump would say, “Sad.”

update: The President’s business councils are now officially dead. Just a little over 24 hours after saying with authority that he’d be able to fill the slots of those CEOs jumping ship, he conceded that the advisory councils in question would be disbanded. Here’s the first email, in which he says that these groups of his will go on regardless of how many people drop out.

And here’s his following tweet, stating that he’s decided to disband the groups. At the time he posted this, I believe, six CEOs had dropped out over his handling of the situation in Charlottesville. For what it’s worth, though, he didn’t decide to disband the groups. No, it would appear that the CEOs on the councils decided to kill them.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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