White Fascism

Fascism is a form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultra-nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

White nationalism is a type of nationalism or pan-nationalism which espouses the belief that white people are a race and seeks to develop and maintain a white national identity. Its proponents identify with and are attached to the concept of a white nation.

Of late, it’s been called ‘white nationalism’, and it is that, but it is so much more than that.  It truly is fascism, for it is supported by authoritarian dictators and wanna-be dictators, and it is spreading.  Donald Trump denies that it is a growing problem, and also that he has anything to do with it, but the truth is that he is the personification of white fascism.  Even the New Zealand mosque shooter, Brenton Tarrant, cited Trump as a part of his ‘inspiration’.

Let’s take a look at just two of the many manifestations of the ever-growing white fascist movement.

Corinne Terrone was a school teacher in the Hamden, Connecticut school district. Last Friday she was shopping with her two children at a ShopRite supermarket in East Haven.  There is a video recording of what transpired when she confronted an African-American couple who were also shopping for groceries.  I choose not to post the video here, for it is disgustingly vulgar, however here is a brief synopsis of what happened:corinne-terrone.jpgThe video begins with Terrone screaming, “…I will. Don’t you dare talk to me like that in front of my children motherfucker.” A few words are inaudible until she’s heard saying “they’re fucking ni**ers in East Haven, that’s why.”

The man to whom she was directing her rage can be seen heading toward Terrone as people he’s with hope to calm him down, saying, “Don’t do it.” But Terrone yells, “put your hands on me. Come on. Come on,” and then points her phone close to his face as if to record. Another man attempts to get between them when the first man pushed the phone out of her hand and walks away.

But Terrone hurries after him shouting, “Oh you motherfuc*er, you motherfuc*er. That’s why there’s ni**ers in East Haven.” And when a person who appears to be a store employee comes toward her Terrone yells: “Fu*k you, ni**er.”

Terrone comes at the couple and spits at them. Twice.

Keep in mind that Ms. Terrone was a school teacher who has a role in building ideas in the minds of our nation’s young people, our future.  Ms. Terrone is a white fascist.  The East Haven police department is considering criminal charges, but the victims of her attack have chosen not to come forward, at least for the moment.  The Hamden Superintendent of schools responded with a public statement condemning Ms. Terrone’s actions and notifying her that an investigation is pending.  Ms. Terrone thereby tendered her resignation.  The school superintendent also reported the incident to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, since her two children were with her and were exposed to her horrid language and behaviour. The town’s mayor also issued a public statement condemning Ms. Terrone’s behaviour.

Just one woman, you say?  Just one incident?  No big deal?  According to the FBI, hate crime numbers jumped more than 17 percent in 2017, and that may be a low figure.  Now is it a bigger deal?  Consider the incident involving Jill Cronenberger who was eating at Tampico Mexican Restaurant in Parkersburg, West Virginia last month.  Cronenberger happened to overhear the restaurant’s owner, Sergio Budar, speaking Spanish.  Seems logical in a Mexican restaurant, owned by a Mexican-American man, yes?  But, apparently Cronenberger failed to see the logic and immediately lashed out at Mr. Budar.

“I lived in California for 20 years. English is our first language, so you need to speak English.  Get the fu*k out of my country.”

When Mr. Budar tried to reason with her, explained that he is a U.S. citizen, and even told her he was sorry she was upset, she came back with “Will you shut the fu*k up!”  Ms. Cronenberger is a white fascist.  The man who was with her merely hung his head and apologized for her behaviour, saying that she was “just a friend”.

Mr. Budar showed remarkable restraint and at the end of Cronenberger’s tirade, he simply said that he would pay for her meal and asked her to please leave.  And then …

“I got raped by illegal aliens and you want me to be nice to you? You’re a rapist. You’re rapists!”

Sound familiar?

trump-face“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” – Donald Trump, 16 June 2015

These are but two of hundreds of examples of this sort of behaviour in the past few months.  Friends, it almost feels as if we are living in the pre-civil rights days.  It almost feels as if we are living in Germany in the 1930s.  Now, I have been mocked for making Trump/Hitler comparisons, but I stand by my assessment.  We have a demagogic person at the helm who is a white fascist, who has denigrated quite literally people of every other ethnicity or religion in the nation.  He has taken upon himself power that was never intended for the president.  He has bypassed Congress and made a shamble of the system of checks and balances.  He has locked Hispanic children in cages, far away from their parents.  How many steps are there between a ‘detention camp’ and a ‘concentration camp’? And worst of all, he has in essence said to those who feel ethnically superior, that it is “okay” to be a racist, that it is okay to hurt anybody who doesn’t fit the WASP mold.

There seem to be a hell of a lot of people in this world today who believe they are better than others simply because they have pale skin, or because they claim to be “Christian”, or because they chose to love somebody of the opposite sex, or … you name it, there’s an ‘ism’ for it.  What makes these people tick, what makes them believe that they are superior?  I don’t know, but I do know that the leader of this nation is feeding them, encouraging them, and on his shoulders must lie a portion of the blame.  Donald Trump is not alone in his white fascist ways … there are many around the globe, and I would call most of the evangelical leaders in the U.S. white fascists, for they send the message of hate and supremacy, rather than the message of love and peace.

Hate crime is rising, not only in the U.S., but around the globe.  We simply must put a stop to it soon, else we will destroy ourselves.  We must carefully choose leaders who open their arms to people of every race, colour, religion, and gender.  We must choose leaders who will unite, not divide.  And we must choose leaders who are capable of moderate speech, who do not incite their citizens to violent acts.

Just a few … just a small group, says Trump.  Judge for yourself

A New Batch of Snarky Snippets …

There was much big news this past week, mostly the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the two mosque shootings in New Zealand and add to that Trump’s veto of the bipartisan bills to halt his emergency declaration and his frequent Twitter rants.  So, smaller stories may have gotten lost in the shuffle.  Now that I have caught my breath, I’ve caught up on email and would like to bring you some of those little stories, along with, of course, my snarky commentary.


Kellyanne speaks … sort of

Just as Trump shuns our friends, nations that have long earned our respect, and panders to dictators who have by no means earned our respect, he shuns the legitimate press and panders to the likes of Fox, Breitbart and even Alex Jones.  Thursday, he gave an interview to Breitbart, and here is a snippet of what he said …

“I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

Oooohhh … tough talk from a wuss who cries every time somebody says something negative about him!  But then, the next day, America’s #1 bimbo, Kellyanne Conway, appeared on CNN for a segment with Chris Cuomo.  Cuomo mentioned Trump’s remark and asked Kellyanne if she really thought that was appropriate speech for a world leader, given that it sounds more like something Don Corleone would have said.  Kellyanne’s response?

“You’re just reading into it like you usually do. He was talking about how peaceful and gentle many people are who are otherwise tough.  Christopher, he didn’t threaten and he’s not threatening violence.”

Cuomo gave up on that one and moved to another topic.  In a Wednesday interview, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said that morals don’t matter much when it comes to presidents.  Cuomo played that clip for Kellyanne, and mentioned, as a lead-in to a question, that the Republican Party once had a mantra, “character counts”.  Before he could get to the question, Kellyanne burst forth with …

“I’m sorry is there a question lurking in there or are you pontificating? Because you invited me on here to answer questions.”

The entire interview was ridiculous, but good for a few laughs if you have the stomach for it and ten minutes to spare.


A real shocker!

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was attending a vigil for victims of Friday’s massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, when she was confronted by a student who seemingly blamed her for the massacre.

“This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put out into the world. And I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep down inside. Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there.”

Clinton handled the situation with remarkable aplomb …

“Certainly, it was never my intention. I do believe words matter. I believe we have to show solidarity.”

But here is the strangest thing of all.  Somebody you would least expect came to her defense.  Take a guess … a wild guess.  Give up?  It was Don Trump, Jr.!

“It’s sickening to see people blame @ChelseaClinton for the NZ attacks because she spoke out against anti-Semitism. We should all be condemning anti-Semitism & all forms of hate. Chelsea should be praised for speaking up. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is part of the problem.”

You could have knocked me over with a feather!


Thumbs-up x2 for New Zealand’s good sense …

In the wake of Friday’s mosque shootings, a few people have said some really, really ignorant and cruel things.  One of those people was none other than radical Milo Yiannopoulos, who is apparently trying to set a record for being uninvited to the most places.  Yiannopoulos was scheduled to visit Australia and had just been issued a visa over the objections of the home affairs department.

But then, in a Facebook post, Yiannopoulos blamed the radicalism behind the attack on left-leaning progressives, and called Islam a “barbaric, alien religious” culture.  After that, immigration minister David Coleman said on Saturday that comments about Islam made by Yiannopoulos in the wake of the Christchurch massacre were “appalling and foment hatred and division” and he would not be allowed in the country.  Score one for common sense!

In the aftermath of the shootings, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a promise to the people:  “Our gun laws will change”. While most European nations ban them, New Zealand allows, with a special permit, pistols, semi-automatic weapons and machine guns.  That is the only major difference between NZ and most other European nations’ gun laws, and it was the reason the shooter, Brenton Tarrant, came to the country from his native Australia, to do his dirty deeds.

New Zealand Attorney General David Baker announced at a vigil late Friday that the country would ban semiautomatic weapons.  Although this will require more than a statement by the Attorney General and the Prime Minister, and is far from a done deal, isn’t it refreshing to see a country that doesn’t hide behind a shield, a country where the heads of government put the lives of the people they represent ahead of the profits of gun manufacturers?  Listen up, U.S. lawmakers!

Score two for common sense!


A bit of good news …

I conclude with a tidbit of good news.  The University of Tennessee announced recently it would guarantee free tuition and fees to admitted in-state residents with a family household income of less than $50,000.  University President Randy Boyd announced the program, to start in the fall of 2020, saying …

“This isn’t a school just for the wealthy or the elite. This is a school for everyone. It is critically important that we take a lead role in ensuring students can achieve their dream of obtaining an undergraduate college degree. It is our mission and responsibility to do everything we can to ease the financial burden for our middle- and working-class families, and UT Promise is an ideal conduit to achieve that.”

Let us hope that this paves the way for many, many more colleges and universities to offer similar opportunities.  Similar free-tuition programs are available in Oregon, Nevada, Arkansas, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Indiana. Lawmakers in eight other states are considering similar programs.  Eat your heart out, Betsy DeVos!


I think that’s about enough of my snarkiness for one day, so enjoy what’s left of your Sunday, and I shall return in the morning with Jolly Monday!

Apologies And Thoughts …

My apologies, but there can be no Saturday Surprise today.  In light of the terrible Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday, then the tragic mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand by a white supremacist on Friday, I simply could not get into ‘fun’ mode and felt that perhaps it would be inappropriate anyway.  Saturday Surprise will, hopefully, return next Saturday.

I am deeply disturbed and saddened by both of the aforementioned events.  Each took the lives of innocent people, and each was preventable.  And, while the causes of the two may seem to be completely different, they really aren’t all that different.  They both track back to arrogance and a sense of entitlement.  Today I would like to share a few of my own thoughts about the two aforementioned events with you.

First, the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302.  I’ve already written about this at some length and won’t repeat what I’ve already said.  But this crash could easily have been prevented.  Boeing knew that the 737 Max 8 had a flaw, and one crash had already occurred, Lion Air flight 610 on October 29th, 2018.  Boeing was negotiating with the FAA for a software fix when the government shut down and talks came to a halt for 5 weeks.  And the rest is history.

This, my friends, is a tragic example of capitalism run amok.  Corporate greed.  Profit vs people’s lives.  We live in a corporate world, where governments pander to rich industrialists such as Boeing, Smith & Wesson, Exxon, General Motors and many others.  People are put on the back burner.  People’s lives take a backseat to the bottom line.  189 people lost their lives on the Lion Air flight and 157 people lost their lives on the Ethiopian Airlines flight.  346 people died because Boeing was more interested in their profits than in those 346 lives.  How many lives will be lost due to the burning of fossil fuels, because coal and oil companies care more about profit than lives?  How many will be lost due to the spraying of known toxic chemicals on the food we eat, because ‘Big Ag’ cares more for its bottom line than your life or mine?  The time has come … actually came long ago … to rein in capitalism, to impose strict safety regulations on every company doing business.  Will it happen?  Probably not, for those corporations buy our politicians about as easily as we buy a can of peas.

There is a lot of blame to go around for the killings at the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Center, it would seem, for everyone seems to be pointing fingers.  Many blame the internet and social media, and yes, there is an element of blame there, since the killer had apparently been posting images of weapons and a “manifesto” for his actions online.  Some blame right-wing leaders, such as Trump, who have given voice to and even encouraged and emboldened the white supremacists, and certainly they must share a portion of the blame.

But, the reality is that the internet is … us.  It is people, expressing their opinions, their hopes, sharing family moments, keeping up with sports, communicating, and in some cases, promoting hate.  People.  Trump and other right-wing personas exist only because they are given a voice … by people.  Who is to blame?  The man, Brenton Tarrant, who planned and carried out the massacre, and any associates who may have helped him, certainly carries the lion’s share of blame.  Perhaps he got his ideas from radicals and white supremacists on the internet, but who put those ideas out there?

I propose that there is enough blame to go around for most all of us.  Sure, Donald Trump opened a can of really nasty worms with his hate speech, his call for a Muslim ban, his denigration of all races other than Caucasian.  But people did not have to fall in line behind him.  They did, because they chose to, not because he forced them to.

But here’s the other thing, and it is, as I think about it, the main reason I write this blog:  We have an obligation to speak out, nay … to SHOUT out … about the injustice of Islamophobia, of homophobia, of misogyny, of white supremacy.  It is not enough for those of us who know it is wrong to just shake our collective heads and roll our collective eyes when these things happen!  It is NOT enough to send “thoughts and prayers”!  Unless we wish to keep seeing bastards like Brenton Tarrant shooting up mosques, shopping malls, movie theaters and schools, then we need to use our voices.

Remember that oft-quoted quotation by Martin Niemöller?

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

We need, more than anything, to have conversations, not screaming matches, not hateful speech on social media sites.  We need to speak to and treat each other with respect.  It is okay to disagree, but we are getting absolutely nowhere by demeaning others and shouting at the tops of our lungs.  But speak we must, for to remain silent is to ensure that tragedies like those from this past week will be ever prevalent.  Freedom of speech is not only a right, but also a responsibility. Will we sit quietly by and allow bigots to rule the world in which we live? Think about it.