racism

A writer for the popular progressive news site AlterNet argued that news reports portraying Saturday’s “pumpkin riots” near Keene State College as a bunch of drunken hooligans instead of dangerous criminals is an example of white privilege, white supremacy, and racism.

“In a stark and clear manner, white privilege and white supremacy color how the obnoxious and violent behavior of the white rioters at Pumpkinfest is described by the media,” according to “Chauncey DeVega” of AlterNet, who writes under a pseudonym.

“Black folks who are protesting with righteous rage and anger in response to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson have been called ‘thugs,’ ‘animals,’ and cited by the Right-wing media as examples of the ‘bad culture’ and ‘cultural pathologies’ supposedly common to the African-American community,” he argues. “Privileged white college students who riot at a pumpkin festival are ‘spirited partiers,’ ‘unruly,’ or ‘rowdy.’”

On Saturday, hundreds of “students” poured into the streets of Keene, New Hampshire, for its annual pumpkin festival, which attracts an estimated 70,000 to the city each year and is held near Keene State College.

The partying quickly escalated to rioting. Cars were flipped, couches were burned, and beer bottles were thrown as dozens were injured, while police in riot gear worked to quell the chaos.

The Boston Globe reported that 30 people were injured and 84 arrested in a news report that described the rioters as “disturbing” and “extremely serious.”

In official statements, Keene President Anne Huot described the rioters’ actions as “outrageous” as well as “unlawful and disruptive.” Keene State College, a public college of roughly 5,400 students, added that some had promoted the festival “as a destination for destructive and raucous behavior” and officials are reviewing the riots to determine if expulsions may be necessary.

Meanwhile, several news outlets also pointed out how it was many left-leaning commentators on social media who mocked the rioters as jokers and whiners with no true cause.

But according to DeVega, the cause of rioting runs deeper than drunkenness, hormones, and bad decisions, describing the riot as an example of “a type of social practice and habit” among white people.

DeVega also complains that the race of the rioters was not reported by news outlets “because Whiteness has no stigma or connection to criminality and violence as seen through the White Gaze.”

However, there are also no reports from police blaming the riots on race.

As far as arrests made, “most involved disorderly conduct or alcohol-related offenses,” Keene police told the Huffington Post. It’s also unclear how many of the rioters were actually Keene State College students, as many visitors go to Keene for the weekend of festivities, authorities said.

“We are devoted to our community and very much engaged with our community,” Student Body President Bobby Graham told the Huffington Post. Keene State College students also gathered the next morning to help clean the mess up.

But DeVega uses the pumpkin riot to posit that while people are actually racist criminals.

“The racial innocence of Whiteness is one of America’s greatest lies as white folks, here demonstrated by acts such as racial genocide against First Nations peoples and racial pogroms against blacks, are the most violent and destructive group of people in the history of the United States,” he said.

College Fix reporter Derek Draplin is a student at the University of Michigan.

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The civil disobedience campaign dubbed “Moral Monday” made its way to St. Louis University today, where protesters continued to speak out against the killing of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and that of Vonderitt Myers Jr. in St. Louis earlier this month.

Attendees said these men’s lives were “cut short by police brutality and systemic racism.”

The Washington Post reports:

Chanting “hands up, don’t shoot,” marchers headed toward St. Louis University. University security and police officers tried to stop the protest from entering the campus.

“I am a student, I have my ID, and I have a lot of guests,” a protest leader said into the megaphone.

On SLU’s campus Monday morning, protest leaders addressed the crowd. They said their demonstration was about ending white supremacy and addressing systemic problems people face regardless of race.

“This is the real definition of resistance … this thing right here that we’re doing right now is not only a symbolism of what we can do when we stick together, this is … It’s the beginning in a change in our consciousness as a people, as a human race,” Dhoruba Shakur said.

They noted the significance of it being Columbus Day, calling him “the first looter” and saying they were “reclaiming” the college campus. “I know this was a college a couple of hours ago, but as of right now this is our spot and we not going nowhere,” a protest leader said.

Former Princeton professor Cornel West was among the protesters who were arrested:


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In a recent interview with Salon.com, Berkeley professor and music critic Greil Marcus laments the state of American race relations in a way you might expect.

His most provocative statement: “… when that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama.”

Anyway, don’t let me go on like this. But, yeah, yeah. And when you look at the things … when you look at the murder of Trayvon Martin, when you look at the murder of Michael Brown, when you look at those situations, it’s not unrelated to Obama being president, but it’s more the way in which the country has reframed itself or rewritten itself since his election, with all kinds of people saying to themselves, maybe never putting it into words, just feeling it, “There’s a fucking n—er in the White House? Well fuck you, n—er, whoever you are.” And an inchoate loathing and hatred that seeks out its targets.

I’m not a psychiatrist, I haven’t sat down and interviewed George Zimmerman or the cop who shot Michael Brown, I don’t know what their motives are, I don’t know what kind of people they are, what kind of childhood traumas they have experienced. But I don’t think it’s nuts that in a certain way, when that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama.

Marcus also invokes the usual (progressive) canard that President Obama has been treated worse than any other president, and says that the “Civil War not only had never ended, it had never been … nothing had ever been resolved for countless people.”

Read the full article.

h/t to Truth Revolt.

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Professor Charles Gallagher of La Salle University believes the public would be a lot more suspicious of a group of armed blacks walking through, say, a Target store, than of a group of whites.

WIBW.com in Topeka, Kansas reports:

“Whites walking down Main Street with an AK-47 are defenders of American values; a black man doing the same thing is Public Enemy No. 1,” says Gallagher.

You can’t talk about guns in America without talking about race, Gallagher and others say. The panic that would ensue at the sight of armed black men in public, they say, derives from the same racial fears that can be traced to the conquest of Native-Americans and the institution of slavery.

The United States has the most armed civilian population on the planet, they say, because some of its white citizens have a history of confronting racial anxieties by “gunning up.”

The National Rifle Association and other groups would beg to differ.

George Washington University law professor Robert J. Cottrol, for example, says that the NRA should stand for the “Negro Rifle Association” since the NRA enthusiastically supports the gun rights of African-Americans. Many black lawmakers, in contrast, favor strict gun control measures.

The Ku Klux Klan was one of the first hardcore supporters of gun control in the nineteenth century precisely because it prevented blacks from acquiring firearms.

Professor Gallagher says white fears about black (crime/criminals) demonstrate “stereotypical attitudes about black men and violence that are as old as America itself.”

Except when such attitudes don’t exactly fit the prevailing narrative and, in fact, are twisted to gin up racial discord.

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Last Wednesday, the Seattle School Board voted unanimously to celebrate “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” on the (federal) Columbus Day holiday.

The Board said it “recognizes the fact that Seattle is built upon the homelands and villages of the Indigenous Peoples of this region, without whom the building of the City would not have been possible.”

Fox Q13 in Seattle reports:

The resolution also says the board “has a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating disproportionate health, education and social crises.”

It urges district staff to “include the teaching of the history, culture and government of the indigenous peoples of our state.”

The Seattle City Council will vote next Monday, Oct. 6, whether to celebrate “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” on the same day as the Columbus Day holiday.

“We know Columbus Day is a federal holiday, we are not naive about that, but what we can do and what you have seen is a movement,” said Matt Remle, supporter of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day designation.

Some Italian-Americans weren’t thrilled with sharing Columbus Day, however. Many support the idea of an Indigenous Peoples’ Day holiday … but would prefer it celebrated on a different day.

Read more here.

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Speaking in the nigh comprehensible language of deconstuctivism, Professor Ben Carrington gave a speech last year stating that the “’white sports media complex’ works to further ‘white privilege’ even as it claims to be ‘post-racial.’”

What makes this talk most interesting is that Carrington was a formal adviser to the university for the hiring of its first black football coach earlier this year. The professor had stated that “the only way for the university to escape its segregationist past was to hire a highly-paid black head football coach.”

The speech, titled “The Global White Sports/Media Complex and the Politics of Sport: Towards a Critical Communications of Sport,” often “referenced Marxist and ‘neo-Marxist’ sources, and

also argued … that “you might think of the sports media complex then as having an important role, a role arguably more powerful than any other social institution, in the ideological transmission of ideas about race and, essentially, of normative whiteness.

“In short, the sports media complex has become the modality through which popular ideas about race are lived.”

Uh huh.

World Tribune.com continues:

“[Charlie Strong's hiring] reminds them that the institution was a historically white institution. It reminds us of the facts of racial segregation and discrimination that took place at UT and its legacy into the present.”

Carrington then bluntly stated that the whole point of Strong’s hiring was in fact to emphasize race.

“It’s not surprising that [for] some white fans, even mentioning the fact that Charlie Strong is African-American is itself, they’ll argue, a form of racism,” Carrington said.

“That’s to get things backwards. It’s really to acknowledge the existence of race.”

In a more recent lecture on another prominent football school campus, the British-born Carrington detailed how he sees college and professional football as an instrument meant to bolster white racial projections.

On April 4, Carrington gave a guest lecture for the Michigan State University African American & African Studies Department titled, “Love and Fear: Thugs, Sports and the Great White Hope.”

“Taking the so-called ‘epic rant’ of NFL player Richard Sherman as a starting point, I show how the framing of his actions as ‘thuggish’ needs to be located within a longer history of white societal attempts to discipline and control black expressive behavior.

“The invention of the idea of ‘the black athlete’ at the start of the 20th century produces black athletes as both objects for homosocial desire and figures of hate and loathing.

The article notes that Carrington has a history of tweets “on which white people have been the subject of criticism.” For instance:


Read the full article here.

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