Air Date 6/1/2022
[00:00:00] JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: Welcome to this episode of the award-winning Best of the Left podcast, in which we shall take a look at the current conspiracy theory known as "the great replacement," which posits that a cabal of elites is conspiring to eradicate whiteness as a culture and as a people in Europe, North America and other countries colonized by white europeans. But we also look at the history of the cabal of elites that conspired to eradicate Native peoples and culture from colonized lands in a pattern of genocide and dispossession. And because I know you're curious, it was not planned, but just a happy coincidence that this is the topic for episode 1492.
Clips today are from UnF*ing the Republic, Past Present, Democracy Now!, What Next, Let's Talk Native, All In with Chris Hayes, and an additional members-only clip from The Chauncey DeVega Show.
Boarding Schools from Hell: Indian Residential Schools in America - Unf*cking The Republic - Air Date 5-17-22
[00:00:55] MAX - HOST, UNF*CKING THE REPUBLIC: In 1886, us Indian agent Fletcher coward. Describe the difficulty in forcibly, removing Apache children from their parents in an effort to send them to federal boarding schools. When called upon for children, the chiefs almost without exception declared, there were none suitable for schools in their case.
Everything in the way of persuasion and argument having failed, it became necessary to visit the camps unexpectedly with the detachment of Indian police in seas, such children as were proper and take them away to school willing or unwilling some hurried their children off to the mountains or hid them away in a camp.
And the Indian police had to chase and capture them like so many wild rabbits and. Like so many wild rabbits. This excerpt is from the recently released a report from the department of the interior. Under secretary Deb Holland. The report is part of a coordinated effort to raise awareness of the Indian residential school system that was in place in the United States from 1819 to 1969.
It's 150. We covered the movement in Canada called the truth and reconciliation act established to come to terms with the genocidal past of the Canadian government in its treatment towards its first nations people in Canada. This is a serious effort. The discovery of mass graves sent shockwaves through Canada and brought the nation face to face with its horrific history.
And while I said it's a serious effort, I didn't call it successful. It's hard to measure success when talking about a subject by. But a generator and inappropriate amount of horror among Canadians, many of whom were unaware of the practice of stripping children from their parents. Oftentimes never to be heard from again here in the United States, it generated, well, not much of anything.
Sure. There were a handful of news stories and major outlets, and there's been open speculation for years that the us practice of kidnapping native children was likely far worse in sheer numbers than in. And yet, even though this devastating report, which I'll get into in a minute is only days old as of this recording, it's all but disappeared from the headlines.
So I won't be quoting from any of them only native media sources for this episode, in terms of scope here's secretary, Deb Holland detailing the range of the investigation.
[00:03:26] INTERIOR SECRETARY DEB HAALAND: This department was responsible for operating what we now know to be 408 federal boardings. Across 37 states or then territories, including 21 schools in Alaska and seven schools in Hawaii.
[00:03:42] MAX - HOST, UNF*CKING THE REPUBLIC: 408 schools throughout the United States, Alaska and Hawaii, all designed to strip native children of their heritage, their traditions language and in far too many cases, their lives as the Lakota times reports, the organized process began in earnest in 1819 with the passage of the civilization fund. The act encouraged activities of benevolent societies and providing education for native Americans and authorized an annuity to stimulate the civilization process.
The civilization fund act led to the formation of numerous native American boarding schools toward the end of the 19th sense. The benevolence societies, where a combination of Christian missions, where the US federal funds were allocated to schools designed to educate native Americans in the ways of the white man and quote, the Lakota piece goes on to detail the legislative activities that gave the authority to agencies of the US government to control and forcibly assimilate native populations.
The bureau of Indian affairs for example, was created in 1824 within the war. To place native peoples in positions where they can be controlled and finally compelled by stern necessity and quote. This broad authority included deputizing so-called Indian police to raid native territories and take children away from parents.
In 1920, the Indian act made it mandatory for every indigenous child to attend a residential school and illegal for them to attend any other educational institution. The early part of the 20th century was an all out assault on native peoples. Whites were stealing land. What reports today called dispossession and removing children and horrifying rates at their peak.
These residential schools housed tens of thousands of children. Many of whom had little or no memory of where they came from upon entering their heads were shaved. They were given uniforms to remove any physical vestiges of. They were punished if they spoke their native tongues beaten. If they tried to escape, most were placed into forced labor, many died and were buried at the schools sometimes in marked graves.
Sometimes not. I'm going to move through a highlight of the report, but it's LinkedIn show notes and in sub stack. And I encourage you to read it. If you get a chance, of course, if you live in a state that discourages the teaching of racial history, because it's too sensitive for little white ears to hear I'll understand if you don't.
The report opens up with a summary of the findings from the interior commission and identifies the 408 schools in question. It does however, reveal that there are an unknown number of unaffiliated sort of off the books centers that also took in children. The report gives the names of the schools, but refrains from offering specific locations of known grave sites, out of respect for the families and out of concern, that these areas might even be vandalized.
That in and of itself, is a shame. But it does specifically point to 53 burial sites as of the report release with more discoveries and data expected. As we continue our research. According to the research, as of now, the greatest concentration of schools in the federal Indian boarding system was in present day, Oklahoma with 76 federal Indian boarding schools, Arizona with 47 schools and New Mexico with 43 schools.
No, in terms of the forced labor, the children were subjected to the report, found that the labor included raising livestock, dairying, fertilizing, lumbering brick-making, and railroad construction, and a review of just 19 of the 408 schools revealed that there were more than 500 deaths attributed to just the schools.
Over 500 American Indian, Alaska native and native Hawaiian children died at just these 19 schools. So if this ratio holds true for the balance of their investigation, that's more than 10,000 children who presumably died while in the care of the mostly Christian missionary schools funded by the US government.
Contrast this to what the US discovered when an annexed, Alaska in a deal with the Russians. When the us government took over the Alaskan territory from Russia, it was surprised that the level of education provided to the native Alaskan children as the United States later acknowledged following the acquisition of Alaska, nearly all of them read and write.
Many of them are highly educated, even in the class. The administration of the Russian American Fur company that was the company that actually administered the schools, often reposed great confidence in them. One of their best physicians was an Ellucian. One of their best navigators was an Ellucian. Their best traders and accountants were Aleutians.
And so when given the opportunity not to assimilate, but to attend Russian schools, Alaskan native children thrive while maintaining their heritage. That was of course not the American way. Over the next century, the Russian schools were dismantled and Christian missionary schools were anointed by the federal government to administer school.
So in 1953, when the department invited the university of Pittsburgh to study healthcare in the territory of Alaska, the resulting parent report found few federal Indian boarding schools had physical facilities that could be considered modern or even desirable. Some were fire traps. Children were housed in basements and attics, although legal capacity was not exceeded.
In fact, crowding was commonly observed. The same scenario played out in Hawaiian territory. Quote, the United States has concluded that at the time of European arrival to the Hawaiian islands in 1778, the native Hawaiian people lived in a highly organized self-sufficient subsistence social system based on communal land tenure system with a sophisticated language, culture and religion.
Once again, we came, we saw we fucked everything up. Christian missionary schools, were here again employed in Hawaii to convert children, to Christianity, to eradicate their language, history, religion, and culture. An article in Indian country today details the efforts of several indigenous groups to coordinate resources and support of the interior department plan to document every child that passes through these schools that would acknowledge is the difficulty in doing so. For this fiscal year at least the Biden administration has allocated funds to this end.
[00:10:10] INTERIOR SECRETARY DEB HAALAND: This report lays the groundwork for the continued research and work of the interior department to address the intergenerational trauma and consequences of federal Indian boarding school policies. And with the reasoning recent congressional investment of $7 million for this effort in fiscal year 2022, we are grateful to have much needed resources to continue the work.
[00:10:34] MAX - HOST, UNF*CKING THE REPUBLIC: Now when you consider the sheer volume of data and on the ground investigations that have to happen, 7 million will hardly make a dent, but it's a start proponents of the research are also hopeful that Congress will adopt HR 5, 4, 4, 4, and Senate 2 9 0 7 paired bills titled truth and healing commission on Indian boarding schools.
Policy. This bill will no where near the scope and magnitude of the Canadian TRC is a valid start because it sets in motion, a discussion that needs to happen. If we're ever going to develop a proper and righteous nation to nation approach, to healing such severe wounds. Here's the summary of. Among other duties, the commission must investigate the impact and ongoing effects of the Indian boarding school policies, federal policies under which American Indian, Alaska, native, native Hawaiian children were forcibly removed from their family homes and placed in boarding schools.
Further, the commission must develop recommendations on ways to. Protect unmarked graves and accompanying land protections to support repatriation and identify the tribal nations from which the children were taken. And three discontinue the removal of American Indian, Alaska, native, and native Hawaiian children from their families and tribal communities by state social service departments, foster care agencies and adoption age.
So while I said it's a valid start, it's obviously nowhere near what's required to make meaningful change. First off, it's very light on policy. There's no talk of funding, no talk of restoring dispossessed land, no talk of remuneration, no reparations, just broad language, referring to research and recommendations.
And again, I have no problem with that. So long as it's acknowledged as a beginning of first. Honestly, this legislation couldn't be more benign, but it sends a signal to our native siblings that we see them. And what I can't understand is how such a toothless bill would even be perceived as partisan with so little being said about this bill or the department's findings, how would I know that this is a partisan.
There are 57 co-sponsors in the house, but only six are Republican the two at large Congress, people from Alaska and South Dakota, two from Oklahoma, one from Virginia and the rep from American Samoa over in the Senate. There are 22 co-sponsors and only one is Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. This isn't a partisan issue.
It's a matter of reconciliation, dignity, literally the bare minimum, laying the groundwork to help find the bodies of children. How does a bill like this, not fly through both houses with unanimous support. There's a website, LinkedIn, the notes that list the ways in which you can advocate for this issue.
But if that's too much to ask, I'm also going to drop a link to an online petition on resistance. If you're a Twitter person, please at your Congress person and ask them to jump on as a co-sponsor and vote for the bill. You know, there's a lot of talk these days on the right about protecting children.
Well, these children never stood a chance. They never had a chance or the memories of 10,000 native children not strong enough for us to put our differences aside, to do the absolute minimum in our power, to bring some closure to the families of these children. No matter how distant these memories might be.
Are we really that callous? The bill is HR 5444 and your support is appreciated.
The “Great Replacement” Conspiracy Theory - Past Present - Air Date 5-24-22
[00:14:17] NEIL YOUNG - HOST, PAST PRESENT: One of the things I found really important in the readings we did with a lot of the experts who are consulted about this was they pointed to the fact that for really most of the 20th century, the language around this was more of White superiority, of the "natural superiority" of the race, and the implications of that.
Obviously often those utilize violence in order to maintain that sense of superiority or to enact that feeling of superiority, but experts have pointed out that in the last two decades, really in the 21st century, White superiority has shifted to this idea of the replacement conspiracy, and both of them, again, are connected to violence and have enacted violence.
But I think that the replacement theory or the replacement conspiracy, there's an urgency there that requires a response in a way that isn't as necessarily closely connected in a White superiority model.
[00:15:12] NICOLE HEMMER - HOST, PAST PRESENT: Yeah, I think that tension between White supremacy and White decline, that has been an important part of these conspiracy theories across the 19th and 20th century. I think that what's different with the 21st century is that people look and they say, oh, there's an actual numerical decline, or that the percentage of White people who make up the United States or different countries in Europe, they point to that and they feel this sense, or they make this argument, that white people actually are being wiped out and should be thought of as a minority to be protected, which is a shift that maps on to expanded civil rights and demographic changes.
It is interesting because that interplay, that fear, has been such an important part of White supremacy in the United States and in Europe throughout the 19th and 20th century. Think about something like The Passing of the Great Race by Madison Grant, which comes out in 1916, it's basically like, oh my gosh, we're being overrun by these non-white eastern European and Southern European immigrants, and our birth rates are declining, and we're going to be swamped, and White people are going to be no longer the majority. We're going to be like the Roman Empire, something that was once great, but has now fallen.
[00:16:25] NATALIA MEHLMAN PETRZELA - HOST, PAST PRESENT: I really appreciate that historical specificity, because I think, you know, a lot of the writing on this has rightly pointed to the fact that, like this isn't something that was born on 4chan, these ideas have been around for a long time, but I do think it's really interesting and important to look at the specific way that historical moments and contexts have kind of given rise to different versions of this conspiracy theory and ways to combat them.
I mean, something that, um, you know, I keep meaning to pitch, but I'll just say it here in case they never get around to pitching it. Is that kind of early, not even early, but early 20th century fitness culture is so tied to these discourses. There are all of these like health and strength enthusiasts, the white ones are.
really responding to the fact that, you know, a few different things are happening. You're having the rise of this service sector, which is populated and you know, which employees, all of these white men. And it employs them of course, because they are superior and they're doing mental work and they are better than those people who are just doing.
Backbreaking labor, but there's this problem it's making their bodies weak, and so you have this like deliberate, um, celebration of muscular fitness as a way to strengthen the bodies of people whose supposed racial superiority is actually making. Physically weak and thus, perhaps unable to perpetuate the race.
It's super complicated, but one of my sort of favorite disturbing things to point out about? This is, these are some of the first boosters of women's fitness and they're boosting white women strength training. They're boosting, you know, getting rid of the corset like pretty much only because they think that it is white women's duty to procreate the race and to have these sort of robust bodies that can, um, give birth so that can give birth and perpetuate the race.
So, um, yeah, it's super interesting and multilayered and plays out so differently in different moments.
[00:18:22] NICOLE HEMMER - HOST, PAST PRESENT: Right. And I think it's worth talking about those different moments as well. We've, we've been talking about this in a largely U S context, the great replacement conspiracy theory generating in Europe in the early 20th century, we obviously see it in the United States.
And then there's this period in the 1970s, um, as the US liberalizes its immigration laws, as decolonization is underway in Europe, where you start to get these, these, these novels that use the great replacement conspiracy theory to, uh, Create these lurid racist fantasies of essentially race war or the overrunning of Europe with nonwhite people.
And these become a really influential tech. So there's, um, one called the Turner diaries. Which becomes kind of the Bible of the white power movement that comes out in the 1970s. Um, it's an inspiration for, uh, Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma city bombing in the 1990s. And then there's this book. I don't know if we've talked about it before genre spells the camp of the saints, which again, like this is a really racist book.
It's not something that you would come across, read it and be like, If you weren't already open to those ideas, find any value in it, but it has, um, in the past, I would say 10 years or so really captured this kind of nationalist far-right. And not just like these violent white power groups that are relatively small though, deadly.
Um, but it's like, Steve Bannon is reading it and promoting it. And Stephen Miller is reading it and promoting it and it has become part of the discourse, so you go back to that book and you're just like, This is super racist. We spending more time and people have talked about it, but, um, the fact that it is influencing immigration policy in the United States, that it's an idea in a book that's circulating, was circulating, in the white house during the Trump years is, is remarkable.
[00:20:22] NEIL YOUNG - HOST, PAST PRESENT: And these are all fiction novels, right. Or at least. So I think that that's worth thinking about a little bit too. Like why is fiction here working so powerfully to set these ideas and motions or, or how might it be really essential to the mobilization of these ideas? I mean, I would not draw a direct comparison at all, but it just makes me think about the apocalyptic in times, novels of the 1980s, know, the fictional left behind series.
Right. And, and the sort of other, um, doomsday. Uh, rapture novels of the 1980s and how that mobilized a real, um, evangelical politics around the cold war and anti-communism and Reaganism and all the rest. Um, again, I don't think these are similar. I'm just thinking about what it means that novels, as opposed to like sociological theory or, um, You know, a deeply reported investigation or a political scientists making this, um, these sorts of arguments.
I mean, we have, uh, an intellectual tradition as well around these ideas, but can you say something more about why it might matter that these are novels? I mean, is it just that these are so much more accessible to the average reader and therefore the ideas can just spread in a way. You know, a sociological book from an academic doesn't.
[00:21:46] NICOLE HEMMER - HOST, PAST PRESENT: So I think it has to do with the ability to really depict a frightening Lorraine dystopian future that will, uh, um, make clear to the reader what the stakes are. And you need that in the 1970s at a time when. White people are in the majority white people are in power. You can't necessarily look around the world and say, oh, white people have been replaced because it hasn't happened.
Um, so I think that that's, that's part of it. You have to projection to the future because it doesn't really comport with reality. Now I do think that there are obviously there's sociological texts as well. I. I think it's a book like Peter Brimlow's alien nation kind of starts to fit into that idea of an intellectualized version of the great replacement conspiracy theory.
And then there's a book that comes out in 2011 by Renault Khumbu in France, um, called in English, the great replacement. And, um, that does more of that sociological work.
[00:22:50] NATALIA MEHLMAN PETRZELA - HOST, PAST PRESENT: I would even put in there, Samuel Huntington's, uh, essay, the Hispanic challenge, and I think 2001, and that is not, um, Positioned in that sort of doom and gloom, you know, conspiratorial, wild-eyed thinking kind of tone, but actually it's sort of like soberness as academic analysis gives a kind of veneer of credibility to these Wilder theories.
And so, you know, if you didn't read that in grad school listeners, let me remind you, um, that's basically this. Call that says that, you know, the, the, the biggest boom in immigration in recent years had been from Spanish speaking countries. And that this position's a challenge to us culture, like no other primarily because, well, two things.
All these folks, mostly speak Spanish. And so they have a sort of cultural unity that is not, that does not require them to learn English and to assimilate. And then also the proximity of some of these countries allows a kind of back and forth migration that also doesn't create the kind of clean break, um, uh, from, from a home, from a country of origin that, you know, early 20th century immigration debt.
And, you know, I think what's important to realize there is that. There is some truth to the argument that he's like, it's true, that this is the biggest group of immigrants. It's true that they have a different kind of cultural profile, which changes American culture. But, um, his analysis definitely positions it as like, this is a problem or at least makes it sort of ripe for.
Um, co-optation from much more kind of right-wing figures. And I think we're seeing in the mainstreaming of this great replacement conspiracy theory, the kind of coming together of a lot of these various tributaries.
[00:24:32] NICOLE HEMMER - HOST, PAST PRESENT: And a very deliberate blurring of the line between things like. Description of demographic change, um, diff disagreements over immigration policy.
And then what is, what is different is a deliberate conspiracy theory that this is being orchestrated in order to essentially displace and wipe out white people, which would turns it into a conspiracy theory, but you'll see somebody like Tucker Carlson, really trying to muddy the waters. About what he has claimed in the past when he says he's actually saying, um, and I think that, and this is what I wrote about for the New York times is that it's really important that you have those sort of academic and tone sociological tracks that you have those people who sound less.
Explicitly and virulently racist than those books that we were talking about earlier. Those novels we were talking about because they do the work of legitimate eating and cleaning up and trying to make intellectual. What is actually. Sort of pretty crude racist ideas, but there's a real power in that mainstream version of the great conspiracy theory that actually fits into a, uh, a framework of radicalization that.
It is worth taking the time to understand. I think there's been a lot of good work being done on this. Um, but that's, that's how we begin to understand how somebody like Tucker Carlson fits in with some of these other more extreme works.
Nick Estes: Indian Boarding Schools Were Part of "Horrific Genocidal Process" by the U.S. - Democracy Now! - Air Date 5-13-22
[00:26:03] NICK ESTES: This is a very emotional experience for a lot of Indigenous people in this country. And it should be an emotional experience for non-Indigenous people in this country. This is quite a historic moment in time. Although it’s not new news to Indigenous people, it might be new news to those who are hearing this horrific genocidal process that has taken place.
I think, you know, there’s a reason why the forcibly transferring of children from one group to another group is an international legal definition of genocide. That’s what we’re talking about, because taking children, or the process of Indian child removal, has been one strategy for terrorizing Native families for centuries, from the mass removal of Native children from their communities into boarding schools, as this new report lays out, from their communities into their widespread adoption and fostering out to mostly white families, which happened primarily in the 20th century.
This is a historic report in that regard, because it documents, I think for the first time, the federal government admitting to this genocidal process. Of course they don’t use that language in this report, but many of the researchers, most of whom were Indigenous, who did the legwork on this first volume — I think it’s going to be the first volume of several volumes — to say that this is a widespread — this was a widespread, systematic destruction, not just of our culture but of our nations, as well as an open, you know, theft of land.
And I think that’s important to talk about here, that settler colonialism isn’t just about targeting Native people because they hate our culture, our language or our religion, but this boarding school system came at a time when the United States government, at the turn of the 19th century to the 20th century, was looking to consolidate its western frontier through the Dawes Allotment Act, which resulted in hundreds of millions of acres of Indian territory being opened up for white settlement and using Indian children as hostages. And that’s the language of the policy reformers at the time. That’s the language that they were using. They were saying, “We are going to use these children as hostages” for the, quote-unquote, “good behavior” of their people.
[00:28:31] AMY GOODMAN: Now, you have visited and reported on one particular Indian boarding school, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, that was opened in 1879. Can you talk about that as an example of what took place around this country?
[00:28:51] NICK ESTES: Carlisle really became the archetype of off-reservation Indian boarding schools. And in fact, the Carlisle Indian School, the first classes that entered were from Lakota people, my nation, from specifically the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Agencies, because we had put up a historic resistance against the Dawes Allotment Act, and it was a way to essentially break the tribal bonds of our people.
And so, that first class that went, it’s documented in Luther Standing Bear’s two autobiographies that he wrote. He’s from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. And he talks about these schools as not being so much schools, but as prisoner of war camps, where they learned — they didn’t learn, you know, the ABCs or language and mathematics, the things that you would expect to learn at schools. Instead, they learned military discipline, because General Pratt, or Colonel Pratt, he was a military man. And this was a strange arrangement between the U.S. military and the Department of Interior to run this off-reservation boarding school, but the militarized discipline became instilled in many of the off-reservation boarding schools, as well as the inculcation of U.S. patriotism, flag worship and religious obedience.
And so, the first classes that went to the Carlisle Indian School, according to the testimony of Luther Standing Bear, who was part of that first incoming class, half of them didn’t even return home. Many of them died at that school. So, it’s kind of a misnomer to actually call these educational institutions or schools themselves when you didn’t have very many people graduating, let alone surviving the dire conditions of those schools.
And in this report, they document the forced labor, the unpaid labor of Native children was used to essentially subsidize the lack of resources that the federal government was not providing to Indian education at this time, too. So it was a horrific experience for those who didn’t make it out, but it was also a horrific experience for those who did make it out.
And to this day, at the entrance of the Carlisle Indian School, there is a cemetery of hundreds of gravestones. And many tribal nations, including the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, have been working on returning their ancestors. Some of them have been successful. But it’s also important to point out that some of the children that died there are from tribal nations that don’t — you know, that have protocols around not disturbing their ancestors when they’re interred into the earth. And so this is a very delicate situation. It’s not just the problem of the federal government; it’s also the problem of the U.S. military.
[00:31:48] AMY GOODMAN: So, let me ask —
[00:31:48] NICK ESTES: Because this is an active — it’s an active military base. I think that’s important to point out, too.
[00:31:54] AMY GOODMAN: Nick Estes, research by Preston McBride at Dartmouth, Dartmouth College, has suggested as many as 40,000 Native American children died at government-run boarding schools around the U.S. This report is saying 500. Can you talk more about this discrepancy?
[00:32:15] NICK ESTES: Yeah, I think in the press briefing by the Department of Interior yesterday, it was pointed out by Deb Haaland, as well as Assistant Secretary Bryan Newland, that this was a preliminary report and that they’ve identified over 53 marked or unmarked gravesites at these various off-reservation boarding schools and on-reservation boarding schools. And I think it’s a really delicate matter, because, for example, the Rapid City Indian School, which is in Rapid City, South Dakota, the burial sites are actually within the community itself. There have been housing projects that had been built over the burial sites. And a lot of people are reluctant to identify them publicly because of the history of grave robbing at a lot of these sites. And so, I think what Preston is saying is very true, that this is an undercount, because it’s an initial survey of these specific gravesites. But I think as this investigation goes underway and more documents become available for the public, we’re going to see those numbers continue to rise. And it’s very tragic.
I think it’s important to point out that this initiative began last June, when several hundred Native children’s graves were found in Canada. But where are the headlines now about all the surveys that a lot of these First Nations are doing at these sites? And the numbers are in the thousands right now, but it’s not making headlines, you know? And so I think it’s important to pay attention to this as it unfolds and to really listen to a lot of the Native elders, as well as the Native researchers who have been doing this historically. This isn’t new news to us, you know. We don’t have a definitive number. All we have is the common experience of the boarding school system, as it has affected every single American Indian in this country.
No Lone Wolves - What Next | Daily News and Analysis - Air Date 5-18-22
[00:34:18] MARY HARRIS - HOST, WHAT NEXT: Wesley Lowery says it would be easy to think about the shooter here as a lone wolf, but it’s also important to see how this crime fits into a pattern. The shooter’s 180-page manifesto, a healthy chunk of it was lifted from a similar document, released by the man who attacked mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, back in 2019. It refers again and again to the Great Replacement Theory: the false idea that White people are being replaced by other, inferior races. It’s a theory that has been cited by the Tree of Life attacker in Pittsburgh, and the man who walked into an El Paso Walmart to kill Latino people. And this many lone wolves, they start to look like a pack.
[00:35:02] WESLEY LOWERY: What we see in the White supremacist movement a few decades ago is a shift. Decades ago, one of the leaders of the White supremacist movement, Louis Beam, pens this essay where he’s writing and he’s talking about the idea of leaderless resistance, that for a long time there was some level of hierarchical reality in the White supremacist movement. But what that meant is that law enforcement could infiltrate their groups, could flip somebody, could shut them down after an attack, they could come and they could charge everybody in the group based on something, or they could be sued civilly in court. You saw groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center would do this for years.
[00:35:42] MARY HARRIS - HOST, WHAT NEXT: So being leaderless made the groups more resilient.
[00:35:44] WESLEY LOWERY: Correct. And so their idea was, how do we put out as much propaganda as possible so that an individual White person can encounter it, become radicalized, and know what to do?
[00:35:58] MARY HARRIS - HOST, WHAT NEXT: And so that you have plausible deniability.
[00:36:00] WESLEY LOWERY: Correct. Because all I did was write a novel about the coming race war and what a responsible White person should do.
[00:36:07] MARY HARRIS - HOST, WHAT NEXT: I think of it a little bit like an iceberg, where the individual actors are the tip, but then underneath the water, there’s a lot undergirding that tip of the iceberg.
[00:36:18] WESLEY LOWERY: Yes. And so, look, this guy is not a member of some group necessarily. He’s not in the local Klan chapter, he’s not in it in the natural ways we would think about it. But this person has been interacting with propaganda that’s particularly and specifically put out in specific ways to get him to do the type of thing he did.
[00:36:40] MARY HARRIS - HOST, WHAT NEXT: And the shooter in this case, in his manifesto, he specifically says, "I am the sole perpetrator of this attack." He wants to be seen in that way. So you can see how he himself is trying to shape the narrative of who he is and who’s responsible.
[00:36:55] WESLEY LOWERY: Which, again, is exactly what Timothy McVeigh did in Oklahoma City in the 90s. This entire era, at this point, going back decades, of White supremacist violence, this is how it operates.
[00:37:06] MARY HARRIS - HOST, WHAT NEXT: Much of the media analysis of what happened in Buffalo has honed in on the Great Replacement Theory and how it informed the shooter, which makes sense because he talks about replacement a lot in that manifesto document. I think we need to talk about it, too, but I think it’s important to say at the outset that Great Replacement Theory, at least to me, is like a piece of the White supremacy puzzle. It’s like a tool of White supremacy. Great Replacement Theory almost sounds too neutral to me. Like it’s not alarming enough.
[00:37:33] WESLEY LOWERY: I also think it gives it too much credit. It tries to make it a novelty. If only we stopped this theory, and I don’t think that is quite... I think sometimes when we talk about White supremacy and White supremacist ideology, we can be both too specific and not specific enough. So what I mean by that is we hyperfocus on "Great Replacement Theory" or we hyperfocus on 4chan, or we hyperfocus... And it’s like, yeah, it’s not really about these hyper specifics, it's about a bigger, broader thing.
No two White supremacists have the exact same ideology. But almost all of them hold some very specific tenants that are true across the board. The ideology of White supremacy is that, one, there are racial distinctions between the races, that race is a biological truth.
[00:38:22] MARY HARRIS - HOST, WHAT NEXT: It’s those people versus us over here.
[00:38:25] WESLEY LOWERY: Exactly. Two, that there’s a conflict between the races, and that the White race is under threat. Three, that the Jews are the ones coordinating this threat. And four, increasingly so now in the American context, that this threat that the White people are losing, and that they need to be revolutionary in their attempts, in their actions.
So, sure, what we see is "Great Replacement Theory" as a term. Great Replacement is coined in a French novel that’s a dystopian race war novel. So in that context, it’s about Muslims, and we’ve seen that language migrate over here. But this is no different than what the Klan of the 1920s was preaching. This is no different than what the Aryan Nations were preaching in the 1980s. So we see this play out over and over and over again. And so the key to understanding this is not to go read the French novel that coined the term, because it’s not even really specifically about this. It’s much more about this bigger and broader idea that has been true and consistent in White supremacist thinking for centuries.
[00:39:30] MARY HARRIS - HOST, WHAT NEXT: I’m glad that you put your finger on the anti-Semitism that’s involved in Great Replacement Theory and White supremacy in general, because in this shooter’s manifesto, he talks about Jewish people and sort of says, "I’m setting them to the side for now. They can be dealt with later," but the "high fertility replacers" will destroy us now. It’s just some of the ugliest writing I’ve read, ever. But I think because the focus of his shooting was on Black victims, it may obscure for some people the connections between other groups who are also part of this ideology and singled out by this ideology.
[00:40:20] WESLEY LOWERY: I think it’s very understandable why we focus sometimes on the individualized threats that brothers and sisters among us face. I understand why after the shooting in Buffalo, we talk about White supremacist violence against Black people. I understand why after Tree of Life we focus on anti-Semitism against Jewish people. I understand why after El Paso, we focus on anti-immigrant violence. But to understand and to research and look at these shooters, we understand that these White supremacist ideologies hate all of us, and that we can’t actually cleave, we can’t look at and prevent this type of anti-Black violence without understanding anti-Semitism.
We can’t just look at anti-Semitism in Tree of Life without also understanding the role that immigrants play. The reason that synagogue was shot up, according to the shooter, was because they had been helping with refugee resettlement. Again, it was this theory that Jewish people were helping to accelerate this type of demographic replacement. So, it’s all of these things are intertwined, that all of these groups are in the crosshairs of White supremacists, and so we can’t talk about White supremacists and not talk about anti-Semitism.
Haaland's Boarding School Report - Let's Talk Native with John Kane - Air Date 5-12-22
[00:41:44] JOHN KANE - HOST, LET'S TALK NATIVE:
I am talking about the report that came out this week from the Interior Department, their volume one, their investigative report, on boarding schools or otherwise known as residential schools, federally funded Indian boarding schools.
Look, I see a lot of the stuff posted, I hear people praising and thanking Aunty Deb Haaland for coming through with this. But, you know, I can't help it. I'm skeptical. I'm cynical. I'm actually angry. Some of the stuff that I see in this is just so superficial, still mis-characterizing what these schools were about, what their function was.
I mean, when I hear them say that this was about cultural assimilation, and dispossession of land, I'm glad to hear them say the dispossession of land issue, because that's something that has not been widely talked about in this. There's always been an emphasis on the harm done to children and the harm that has been done, not just the violence, the rape and abuse and neglect and malnutrition and all that other stuff.
But the murder. And, coming out of Canada's revelations of finding more and more of these unmarked grave sites, burial sites, we know that there are tens of thousands of native children that died in these schools, in both Canada and the United States. One of the numbers that came out was out of this was, oh, they've confirmed 400 deaths. 400 deaths?
That's one school, Carlisle Indian School. They had over 200 marked graves. They've undoubtedly unmarked graves, and they sent children home to die. I had Preston McBride on here and he talked about how his analysis, when he was studying this, determined that there may have been five or 600 people, children who died as a direct result of Carlisle Indian School.
For those of you who don't know what residential or boarding schools are, these schools were funded by Congress in -- what was it called? -- The Civilization Act. They started in 1819, and they existed for 150 years. 150 years! And in its heyday, 83% to 85% of all native kids were ripped from their homes and sent to these prison-like schools. 85%. And we're talking about ages from four to 18, four years old to 18 years old. And you know what? When these kids graduated from these schools, they often times had no family to return to. They had no place to return to. And here's why. And again, I'm glad they talked about dispossession of land because this wasn't really about civilizing Native people. This wasn't really about assimilating Native people. This was about taking our lands. This is about destroying us. This was about not just culturally assimilating us. Because if you're only trying to culturally [assimilate], you wouldn't have to take the land, right? And if you're only trying to [culturally assimilate], you wouldn't have to have had the abuse.
Look, I get it. One of the ways to really change someone's behavior is to torture them.
But the amount of death associated with these schools -- and you know, look, disease was allowed to run rampant, tuberculosis. I mean, by some accounts, the mortality rate was over 50%. For a child going in, for children in a school, you only had a 50% chance of making it out of there alive; less than that during some of the worst of the times. And of course when you had epidemics, like whether you're talking about some of these flus, the epidemics that have gone through -- the Spanish flu, tuberculosis -- the worst medical care of all came to these Native children.
And in fact, there were many Native children who died of things that were far less serious than something that was deadly. And they died simply because they didn't have proper medical attention. A simple wound could be a death sentence.
Deb Haaland in the Interior Department just came out of this crap show associated with the national Indian, now it's called the Indian Gaming Association, their annual event. I think they did it out in California. And they basically told everybody, and the Senecas specifically, you got nothing coming. We're not gonna do anything about the past. We're not going to do anything about the current situation. I don't care what New York State has done to you. I don't care how much you've been screwed. We're not doing anything. But if you like, and you want to help us, we can change some of the rules for the future.
And then I read some stuff. "This reflects an extensive and first-ever inventory of federally-operated schools." Really? We've had our own assessments of these things for decades. We told you what the abuses that were going on. And in fact, there was reports done on this stuff before, but there was never any action taken.
And even here, the only thing that's being talked about is, oh yeah, we're going to revitalize language programs. Oh yeah. You killed our language. That was part of the goal. But you were killing our children and you're offering now language programs? And what, some infrastructure stuff? Remember the dispossession of Lansing?
Look, this wasn't about cultural assimilation. This was about destroying who we are. Let me remind people again what defines genocide. Any one of the five of the following things constitutes genocide: killing members of a group. Causing bodily or mental harm to members of the group. Inflicting conditions that intend to destroy, physically destroy the group in whole or in part. That means creating the conditions where a people will cease to exist. I mean, when you talk about assimilation and destroying culture, which is really whitewashing it, what we're really talking about is creating the conditions where people will cease to be those people anymore. You're talking about eradicating identity, not just culture, identity. You're talking about taking away who these people are. And if you're fortunate enough to survive the school, you will not be who you were when you came there. That was the goal. The goal was so we wouldn't need land anymore.
Killing people, causing bodily or physical or mental harm, inflicting conditions to destroy the group, preventing births, and taking children. Those five things, any one of them by themselves constitutes in the international, under international law, a punishable offense called genocide. And these schools existed after genocide was defined as a thing. So the United States doesn't get to grandfather it -- oh well, all that stuff took place before we even really had genocide.
No, that's not true. In 1930, they were already calling denationalization a war crime Denationalization was stripping away the character of a people, the national, or distinct character of a people, and then replacing it with a national character of somebody else.
Now that word is now folded into genocide, but 50 years or 40 years before there was even genocide, countries around the world were saying this idea of stripping away somebody's identity, national identity, and imposing another identity upon them, they called it a war crime. Even when they were at war, this was considered a war crime.
Look, I know I've talked about a lot of this stuff before, but I've got to go through it again. I've got to go through it again. And I got to keep going through this stuff. Residential schools were genocide, not cultural genocide, not spiritual genocide. They were genocide. They killed children. They harmed children, physically and mentally. They created conditions that would destroy our people. They inflicted sterilization programs on our women, on our girls, and they took our children. It was genocide. And in fact, you could almost say that it was textbook genocide. If you wanted to figure out the best example of genocide, residential schools would be it.
‘Why are we feeding illegal babies?’: The right's response to the formula shortage - All In with Chris Hayes - Air Date 5-13-22
[00:51:06] CHRIS HAYES - HOST, ALL IN: So we've reached the point where prominent figures, prominent figures in the conservative movement, including Republican politicians, office holders, and Fox news hosts are calling for the United States to intentionally starve babies in its care. That is not hyperbole and it's not satire. And is the actual stated position now?
As you've probably heard, there is a nationwide shortage of baby formula. We're going to discuss the complicated causes and possible solutions for that urgent crisis in a moment. But causes and solutions are not what the modern conservative movement really does when faced with a legitimate governing crisis.
What they do is sniff around like a dog after a carcass to find the grossest way to demagogue the issue. And they have certainly found that here. Now there are at least 20,000 migrants total held in us detention facilities on any given day. A very, very small portion of them are infants like nursing children.
Okay. We have a legal obligation under something called the Flores settlement to give those children in our custody, food and water. For babies of course, that often means formula. So the right solution to this formula crisis shortage is to stop feeding the immigrant ban. Yesterday, Texas governor Greg Abbott said in a statement and part quote, while mothers and fathers stare at empty grocery store sells and panic, the Biden administration is happy to provide baby formula to illegal immigrants coming across our Southern border.
Our children deserve a president who puts their needs and survival first, not one who gives critical supplies to illegal immigrants before the very people, he took an oath to serve. The conservative hosts on Fox news. Have just run that through the.
[00:52:53] FOX NEWS CLIP: Our border children, the illegal immigrant children are getting formula American families.
There's a shortage, but if you're a micron, don't worry because uncle Sam has a stash that these are not people that respected our borders, our laws, and our sovereignty. Why wouldn't all the pallets go to American families first. Apparently there's no shortage of baby formula for illegal aliens. Why are we feeding illegal babies ahead of American babies?
[00:53:21] CHRIS HAYES - HOST, ALL IN: Because they're babies, you do FIS. Why are we feeding illegal babies? That guy just asked his name is Jesse. He is, of course. Pro-life of course Jesse's idea is to starve the babies in migrant detention centers. And that, of course wouldn't also solve anything. First of all, how many babies are there at the border?
A few hundred, maybe a thousand government doesn't release the exact number. It's somewhere in that ballpark in the United States, there are about 3.7 million babies. Okay. So clearly the border babies hog and all that formula is not the problem here. Not to mention the fact like, have you taken leave of your moral senses?
It would be a crime against humanity and mass murder to intentionally starve babies that you have in your custody. Not to mention blatantly illegal. What is wrong? What is wrong with you? This is what you get. This is what get from the absurd logic of conservative mind. And don't think it's a rhetoric. Think about what would happen if they could control this.
If they can actually have the levers to cut off the supply of formula to the hundreds of babies in our custody, would they do it?
Confronting The Raw Truth About The White Supremacist Terrorist Attack on The Black Community in Buffalo - The Chauncey DeVega Show - Air Date 5-18-22
[00:54:32] TIM WISE: I think some people -- sure, they don't care. They figure they're going to be all right, regardless. Other people have this sort of built in denial mechanism that -- it's a human thing, it's understandable. It's a lot easier to not face the awful. And so you sort of can get it however dysfunctional it is. And so I think it's both of those things. For some people they sort of know better, but they're fighting what they know.
And, that's what always makes these movements dangerous is that's what they rely on. They don't rely on the vast majority of people lining up behind them. They never have that early on. They never have the masses behind their movement in the early stages or even midrange stages. They just want to catch folks napping. And then what fascism offers is we can put an end to all the chaos in your life.
And so all the angst that you feel, all the enmity that you feel, what's the better way to handle that: democracy or fascism? Oh man, fascism's a lot easier. You don't have to think. You don't have to do anything. You just have to follow orders, sort of keep your head down. Democracy you got to participate, that's tiring, right?
So in a way, our culture, and modern culture generally, but especially modern Western commercial culture, is just tailor-made for fascism and just served up on a silver platter. More than maybe we would have thought. Not that any of it's shocking, but it's more perfectly constituted for that end than even I would have imagined 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30.
[00:56:06] CHAUNCEY DEVEGA - HOST, THE CHAUNCEY DEVEGA SHOW: Because you've been doing this so much longer than I have with the books and the talking and the struggle in general. So you're going to be my advisor, counselor for the moment.
What do you do with the problem with repetition? Because I have to write something today. And I write in the last night, I was like, Hey, I said this before about these White supremacists killers and fascism. I can do it in my sleep. It doesn't mean it's not emotionally draining. Just insert the names, tweak it. Now we'll have to talk about even more so, Trump, the Tucker Carlsons, et cetera, taking this stuff out of the White supremacist sewers that you used to have to get mail order to you. And you could turn on the TV and you could watch it. I said this, you've been telling people, we can go down the list of people who were warning them.
I just talked to somebody a few weeks ago. Good White liberal types. I said, these people are serious. I've been warning you. They're getting stronger. They're not losing. You're not fighting back right. They are killers. They have shown they will kill. They are killing people. They're preparing to kill more people.
They look at me like I'm a space alien, like I'm the one who's crazy. And I was like, I'm trying to help you. And they marginalized us. They didn't want to hear. And then it happens. "How did this happen?" Well, if you read a book or if you opened your eyes, maybe you'd know. Help me deal with repetition because I'm frustrated, man.
[00:57:16] TIM WISE: There are two things worth noting.
I mean, one is, first of all, the prophetic nature of what we're sometimes called to do is always the part that's ignored. Not using the "prophetic" term or the notion of prophet in like an ego-driven I don't mean it like that: "Go, we're prophets" or whatever. But it's just the prophetic nature of the work, prophesizing what's coming.
And it doesn't really take a prophet to prophesize what's coming. It just takes someone who has a reasonably good understanding of the way this system works and a reasonably good understanding of the cultural moment that we're in. And I think most people lack both of those. So that prophetic voice is going to be ignored by most. And it's always true in every society. And it probably that won't change.
That said, repetition does have its virtues. And it is frustrating and it is exhausting. And there are always those moments where you think to yourself, I've said this a million times, I'm not going to say it again. They clearly are not listening.
But look, I've learned over the years repetition absolutely has its virtue. The one place that we can say, I think without question, that the anti-racist movement, whether we think of it in terms of activism, organizing, scholarship, media production, the one area that you can say that we've had an impact is on the narrative. The terminology that we use, the terms like systemic racism, structural racism, White supremacy as something that isn't just Nazis and Klans, issues like White privilege. These terms that now are taken for granted in the discourse. Not that we all agree on what it means or that it's an issue, but those are the terms that 30 years ago I would use in a speech and people would look at me like I had fallen off of Neptune or something.
Now those terms are almost banal. And the one good thing about that is that it suggests at some level, at the level of discourse, we've made some progress.
The issue then suggests that the repetition of what we did, that sort of constant drumbeat on those terms, at least changed the framing. Obviously the other end of that is well, all right, with that and $5, you can get a latte, maybe, at Starbucks. But I do think that that cultural victory, that victory over the discourse, is evidence that repetition works.
Now, are we going to be able to have that same luck with regard to some of these warnings about terrorism? Well, I don't know. Maybe not. But it does suggest that repetition is not meaningless.
[00:59:56] CHAUNCEY DEVEGA - HOST, THE CHAUNCEY DEVEGA SHOW: But I want to figure out the Scooby Doo aspect. Why do they keep trying to act like this is something new and they got to rediscover it? Is it just not to answer it? The old White racial frame, White racial innocence, that we got to make a mystery out of the obvious?
[01:00:07] TIM WISE: Well, I think that is a lot of it. There are people who in bad faith make believe that they don't know what it is and make believe that they've never seen this before, or that it's not what we're saying it is. I think there's also a lot of people, average everyday folks, including folk of color and White liberals, who really don't know their history very well, and don't really know the history that to you and I is really basic and obvious. And if you read Carol Anderson's book, White Rage, it's all laid out right there. And it's laid out in a very simple way. It's not hard to discern what she is talking about, where she says, look, every single time in our history when there has been a step forward on the road toward justice for Black people in particular, but really you can extrapolate any time that there's progress for people of color against White supremacy, there has been this reaction. It is entirely predictable. You can almost set your watch by it. And so in a very real sense, we ought not be surprised.
But let's be honest. How many of us learned that in school? Now, in college maybe, if you took certain classes, if you majored in certain subjects, but for most people who either only went to high school or maybe went to college, but like 90% of everybody didn't take those classes, how would you know? Schools don't even teach the death of Reconstruction correctly, if at all. Schools don't talk about any of that. I mean, I've told you this story, I'm sure about at Tulane, my senior year in '89-'90, when we had two crosses burned. And after the second one, there was a guy that came to this big forum that we had, who was a member of the fraternity that had burned that second cross. He wasn't one of the cross burners, but he was in that frat. And he honestly, with no sense of misgiving or irony, but a lot of shame actually said, listen, I know I'm going to sound stupid. You all are probably going to hate me for it. But, but he said, as a Christian, I know why a burning cross offends me, but what is it about that that specifically bothers a person who's Black? And like this dude just literally didn't know.
And I remember all of us in the circle were wanting to come out of our chairs and just yell at the student. Finally, it sort of struck us all. Holy shit. This dude got into Tulane , which is now a really selective institution; back in the day, it wasn't as selective. So I couldn't get in there now if I bribe somebody. But it was still a good school. It was still good enough to where you ought to have to know that kind of history in order to be deemed competent to graduate high school. But he wasn't. If our schools aren't teaching this stuff, which is the great irony about the assault on critical race theory, the great irony about the assault on anti-racist education is it ain't being done. People aren't learning this stuff. And then when these things continue to happen over and over and over again, like clockwork, we act shocked. So we've got to have a much more historically competent society. And that is hard to come by, because where are we going to do that? Well, I would say we do it in the schools and the very fact that that's the place you would do it is why the right is focusing on that. That's the one institution they always whine about it, don't they? They always whine about, oh, the left has taken over the schools. Well, we hadn't taken them over, but at least yet, you know what liberal discourse is dominant in the schools. That's true, because liberal discourse on this issue is the more accurate discourse. It's factual. Reality in that sense has a liberal or progressive bias. And they're right about that. So the place that they have to make their stand and plant their flag is in keeping people from learning this material. Because they know that if young people learn it, they know that if young people learn the material, most young folk, particularly if you get them middle-school age or whatever, that most young people that age just have like this innate sense of justice, just this innate sense of fairness. They want to do what's right, they want to do right by everybody. And so if they learn about the history of injustice, they're going to want to do something about it. Well, we can't have that. We need people who won't want to do anything about it. And if we can keep them from learning it until maybe they're 20 something and they just come across it on some news program, well then it'll be too late.
Final comments on those who see themselves in a demographic war for White superiority
[01:04:15] JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: We've just heard clips today, starting with Unf*ing the Republic explaining the history of residential schools and the absurdity of it being a partisan issue. Past Present looked at the conspiracy theory of the great replacement and the role of fiction writing in stoking it. Democracy Now! discussed the deaths of children at residential schools and the process of returning their remains to their tribes. What Next looked at the conscious strategy of leaderless White supremacy, punctuated by stochastic terrorism. Let's Talk Native looked more cynically at the report from the Department of Interior on residential schools, and didn't mince words when describing the history as a genocide. And All In with Chris Hayes looked at how the intertwining strings of White supremacy and anti-immigrant sentiment manifest with elected officials, calling for the starvation of babies.
That's what everyone heard. But members also heard a bonus clip from The Chauncey deVega Show speaking with anti-racist educator Tim Wise about the role of repetition in education in combating White supremacy and fascism.
To hear that and have all of our bonus content delivered seamlessly into your new members-only podcast feed that you'll receive, sign up to support the show at BestoftheLeft.com/support or request a financial hardship membership, because we don't make a lack of funds a barrier to hearing more information. Every request is granted, no questions asked.
And now I just want to put your concerns to rest in case you were thinking for even a brief moment that not every single issue was connected to literally every other issue. In this case, abortion, which we've been talking about quite a bit recently, and the Great Replacement Theory are really just two sides of the same demographic domination struggle coin, for those who think in those kinds of terms.
Before we get to abortion though, let's start with this little nugget from the archives and hear John Gibson's reaction back in 2006 on Fox News after learning that demographic trends indicated that a non-White majority in the US was on the horizon.
[01:06:26] JOHN GIBSON - HOST, FOX NEWS: Now it's time for my word. Do your duty. Make more babies. That's the lesson drawn out of two interesting stories over the last couple of days. First a story yesterday that half of the kids in this country under five years old are minorities. By far the greatest number are Hispanic. Know what that means? 25 years and the majority population is Hispanic. Why is that? Well, Hispanics are having more kids and others, notably the ones Hispanics called gabachos, White people, are having fewer. Now in this country, European ancestry people, White people are having kids at the rate that does sustain the population. It grows a bit. That compares to Europe, where the birth rate is in the negative zone. They're not having enough babies to sustain their population. Consequently, they're inviting in more and more immigrants every year to take care of things. And those immigrants are having way more babies than the native population. Hence, Eurabia. Put it bluntly: we need more babies. Why is this important? Because civilizations need population to survive. So far, we're doing our part here in America, but Hispanics can't carry the whole load. The rest of you get busy! Make babies!
[01:07:34] JAY TOMLINSON - HOST, BEST OF THE LEFT: And I got to say, I love that he goes out of his way to point out that White birth rates in America were above the replacement rate, but still goes on to argue that we need more White babies to avoid population, and therefore civilization, collapse. Of course, civilization being another dog whistle term used to differentiate civilized white people from the rest of humanity.
And now though, let's go to the other bookend of this discussion in modern times. It made news recently that the head of CPAC explicitly linked replacement theory, immigration, and anti-abortion, telling reporters in Hungary, where they had their CPAC conference to celebrate the authoritarianism flourishing in Hungary, told reporters there that overturning Roe vs. Wade would be a good first step in fixing the US's immigration " problem," saying, "If you're worried about this ' replacement,' why don't we start there? Start with allowing our own people to live." So they'll try convincing White people to have more kids, but if persuasion doesn't work, let's go ahead and move on to coercion.
And to tie it all together, this is from an article in Time: "What the Buffalo tragedy has to do with the effort to overturn Roe." "The anti-abortion movement was born in the 19th century of White fears of a declining White birth rate. The idea was that by allowing White women to receive abortions, lawmakers were leaving White populations vulnerable to demographic replacement by nonwhite or immigrant groups with higher birth rates. In the 1870s and eighties, the fear was primarily focused on Jewish and Catholic immigrants, especially those from Italy or Ireland who had higher birth rates than White Protestants at the time. Now, White power organizations that embrace replacement theory, focus on Black and Latino communities, which have higher birth rates than White."
And it should be noted that many in the mainstream anti-abortion movement decry racism. But that doesn't stop the far right from seeing the movement as ripe recruiting grounds. Quoting further, "Thomas Russo, the leader of the white nationalist group Patriot Front reminded his members of approaching opportunities to recruit and proselytize. He said, 'Our two March for life events are coming up. The aim is to be more understated, friendly, in smaller groups, and get as many flyers out as possible.'"
And this article then points out that the logic of abortion in White supremacy is very convoluted, to be honest, because forcing all unwanted pregnancies to be carried to term would also increase the number of nonWhite babies being born. I've had this question myself. So the article goes on and explains it this way: "You have to step away from theory and you have to realize the kind of wider world view. What they ultimately want is a series of policies, including making White women have more babies, by force if necessary, and then finding ways, if not to reduce the number of children who are not White in the country, then to marginalize them to such an extent that they have no power."
And in the end, I mean, it really does come down to power, doesn't it? Because it's clear that advocating the disempowerment of people falls on a spectrum, all the way from those who are really explicitly racist and want to disempower non-White people. The article even talks later about how some will go as far as only wanting anti-abortion laws to apply to White people. I mean, boy, it doesn't get much more explicit than that. So, that can be on one side of the spectrum. But even those anti-choice advocates who are appalled by racism in their midst are still seeking to disempower people in their reproductive decisions, whether it's for demographic reasons or not.
So no matter how you slice it, it all comes down to who has the power and who doesn't.
As always keep the comments coming in at 202-999-3991 or by emailing me to [email protected]
That is going to be it for today. Thanks to everyone for listening. Thanks to Deon Clark and Erin Clayton for their research work for the show and participation in our bonus episodes. Thanks to the Monosyllabic Transcriptionist Trio, Ben, Ken, and Scott for their volunteer work helping put our transcripts together. Thanks to Amanda Hoffman for all of her work on our social media outlets, activism segments, graphic designing, web mastering, and bonus show co-hosting. And thanks to those who support the show by becoming a member or purchasing gift memberships at BestoftheLeft.com/support, through our Patreon page, or from right inside the Apple Podcast app. Membership is how you get instant access to our incredibly good bonus episodes, in addition to there being extra content and no ads in all of our regular episodes.
So coming to from far outside the conventional wisdom of Washington, DC, my name is Jay!, and this has been the Best of the Left podcast coming to you twice weekly, thanks entirely to the members and donors to the show from BestoftheLeft.com.
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