Tag Archives: ferguson

The message we send

“Tell me,” the question begins. “Are black Americans more aggressive?”  This is a pretty common question I’ve heard from Russians, going back to my earliest days here. Most of the time the person asking is an adult, professional, with higher education. While any Westerner reading this is probably already uncomfortable at the open racism of that question, to Russians it’s perfectly reasonable.  As I was already familiar with the issue of racism in Russia, I was never shocked to hear such a question, but rather somewhat baffled.  Why aggressive? Why anti-black racism in a country which was once the champion of black civil rights and anti-colonialism, and where the only black people you encounter are students who usually only live in Moscow.  Where do they get these ideas about black Americans?  The answer may shock you.

I didn’t know it at the time, but the answer was right in front of my face from the beginning. In my first year here, I needed to rapidly improve my language skills. Thus I tended to watch a lot of TV, particularly their music channels. Unlike MTV in America, the MTV channel in Russia and its local equivalent Muz TV actually played music videos, both foreign and domestic.  Of course the all the music they played was basically crap, but I was picking up Russian from the veejays, advertisements, and Russian pop songs with simple lyrics.  Naturally a lot of American songs were of the hip-hop genre. Can you see where this is going?

If you’re an intelligent, worldly person in the United States, you should realize that the culture surrounding modern hip-hop is not representative of black culture. Even people who harbor very racist stereotypes of black people usually have friendly interactions with black Americans on a daily basis. Indeed, some of their best friends are black! If you asked such a person that same question Russians have asked me, they’d be shocked and horrified. For one thing, overt racism is taboo in America. But more importantly, even if their views of black Americans are largely racist and negative, their personal experience with those black Americans they find acceptable prevents them from making such a blanket judgement. A typically oblivious statement you might hear goes something like this, “Oh sure, those guys who look like Lil’ Wayne are thugs, but my neighbors are black and we all get along fine!”

Now imagine you’re from another country and you don’t speak English. You’ve never been to the United States, and everything you know about that country comes from popular culture. On TV, videos like the one below are being beamed into your country every day:

Or try to make it to 1:30 of this shitty video.

For those who aren’t able to watch the video now, or anyone who doesn’t want to listen to shitty music just to get the point, the clip features the white band recording a song in a hip hop studio while several black artists watch. Of course, one of the spectators has the stereotypical 40oz bottle in a brown paper bag, which the guitarist knocks out of his hand and onto the floor. Next we see the black spectator roll up on the white band members, one of whom stares at the camera in terror before we see a tabloid magazine proclaim that they were “thrown out of the hood.” Their faces bear bruises and blood. Even though spilling the man’s beer was obviously an accident, violence ensues. The message is clear- black males are very aggressive, and the band was taking a risk going into a recording studio in “the hood.”

Let the reader participate in a similar experiment. Below is a pop video from Kazakhstan.

And another…

A lot of Kazakh pop videos use imagery which hearkens back to their nomadic heritage. While one can still find people living a nomadic lifestyle in Kazakhstan today, this is simply not the way of life for the majority of people. If this were all we saw of Kazakhstan, however, what conclusion would we logically come to about the Kazakh lifestyle? This isn’t entirely hypothetical. For most Westerners and especially Americans, the popular image of Kazakhstan was formed by the movie Borat. While those viewers more intelligent than the average stapler consciously know the film is a parody, few have any idea how off the mark that film was when it comes to Kazakhstan and Kazakh people. For one thing, Sacha Baron Cohen looks nothing like an ethnic Kazakh. Though Kazakhstan does indeed have a large population of ethnic Russians, Cohen’s character speaks in Polish in the film. Though it is a parody, the film clearly plays on old, racist tropes about Eastern Europe, such as poverty, widespread antisemitism, and rampant prostitution.  Cohen’s film isn’t a parody of anything. It’s a smear, a minstrel show which demeans both Slavs and ethnic Kazakhs, in spite of the latter not even being featured in the film. Yet that film is what many Americans will inevitably associate with Kazakhstan.

Let us now get back to the image of black Americans that our pop culture industry is exporting abroad. Both of the videos were played on Russian TV constantly in 2006 and 2007, among many other hip-hop videos. Video games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, rife with all manner of hood stereotypes from music and Hollywood, were extremely popular here as well. This is how not only Russia, but much of the world experiences black America, because this is what America’s culture industry exports to the world.

These days within the borders of the US there is all kinds of discussion regarding the portrayal of black Americans and other ethnic groups on television, film, and in music. While there has been some progress stateside, it seems that nobody is even remotely concerned about what America is exporting overseas.  In fact, I’d argue that we’d probably make more progress at home if we started paying attention to the message we’re sending to the world about our own citizens. This is especially true now that we live in a time when Hollywood and other parts of the entertainment industry are aiming their products more toward foreign audiences than the domestic market. Our culture industry is essentially exporting minstrelsy and racist propaganda all over the world, yet most Americans, including those who are most concerned about these issues, have no idea that this is happening. Why do Russians wonder as to whether black Americans are more aggressive? Because that’s what our media has been telling them for years.

American Maidan

So as my readership is surely aware, the grand jury in the Michael Brown shooting case decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson. To use the words of Gin & Tacos blogger Ed, they didn’t even think the matter was worth discussing. Wilson was a cop, Brown was a young black male. Now of course the media will show us images of rioting, complete with burning police cars. Pundits and politicians will condemn the rioters. They’ll call them “thugs” and accuse them of destroying their own community. To all individuals who do so, and the American media as a whole, please hear my reply. Go fuck yourself.

There’s a breakdown of law and order? Okay, go fuck yourselves.They’re throwing Molotov cocktails? Go fuck yourself. They set a cop car on fire? Good, now go fuck yourselves. They smashed up a Denny’s? Not my property, go fuck yourselves.  Condemn the violence, call for order, go ahead and do all of that, but please don’t forget to go fuck yourselves. Do whatever you like, but more than anything I beg of you- go fuck yourselves. You owe the nation that much. Yourselves, go fuck.

Why such hostility? Well you see, the American media has a habit of jumping on the bandwagon of various protest movements, and often those movements which happen to advance America’s foreign policy goals in one way or another. No matter how lawless or violent these protests become, our media dutifully reports the protesters’ own narrative of the event with virtually no criticism. While Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests certainly had some just demands, there was a significant far right presence within the movement, and near the end there was an explosion of violence which involved Molotov cocktails, the occupation of buildings, and eventually firearms. Indeed, many protesters were unarmed and peaceful, but a very active, thuggish minority deliberately turned the protest into a battle without regard for the civilians who would be caught in the crossfire. If these words sound to you like blaming the victims, I invite you to watch the coverage of the Ferguson riots, because this is exactly what we have heard before and what we will be hearing for the next few weeks.

“Protesters beaten by police? They should have done what the police told them! Why didn’t they vacate the area when they were told? Why did they throw rocks at the police? They should have known this would provoke a violent response!”  This is how Americans respond to protests which get out of hand on American soil. Law and order in Kyiv mean nothing. Let me make this perfectly clear- in spite of my past criticisms of Maidan, I’m not condemning the idea of violent protests against a government. What I’m condemning is a ridiculous double standard whereby Americans and citizens of other Western countries are expected to meekly obey a policeman’s every command, while at the same time our media cheers on foreigners who engage in melee battles with police. In Ferguson they’re “destroying their own community,” but the people who burnt the center of Kyiv are heroic rebels. Condemn all, condemn none, or maybe take a more nuanced approach and discuss the conflict in a critical manner.

Part of me suspects that one reason for the media love affair with foreign protests is that we’re expected to live vicariously through the actions of protesters on the other side of the planet. We’re encouraged to show solidarity with them via social media, and in so doing, we get to imagine that we’re part of some revolutionary movement, something totally forbidden to us at home.  We’re supposed to cheer those who threw Molotovs in Kyiv, while in the US numerous activists have been arrested on spurious claims that they were conspiring to make Molotov cocktails.  Resistance is for those foreigners in a far off land you don’t understand, American, at home you will obey.

The Maidan protesters wanted their government to sign a trade agreement with the European Union. Ferguson residents want assurances that their police won’t be able to murder their sons with impunity.  I think the latter warrants a bit more leeway than the former.  So to every member of the American media who uncritically came out in support for Euromaidan yet condemns the reaction in Missouri, I cannot stress this enough. Go fuck yourselves. To the protesters, you’re America’s Maidan, only more righteous in cause. Burn it to the ground.

“Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”    –Abraham Lincoln, 2nd inaugural address

Those people

Can we just once ignore American political correctness and acknowledge the elephant in the room? When are we going to finally going to stop beating around the bush and admit that these people have a serious problem in their community. Among them is a lack of work ethic, a low regard for rule of law, and a culture of violence which has existed for decades now. I am of course speaking about American white people.

The recent riot at a pumpkin festival in New Hampshire was just the latest example of white violence exploding in public for the whole nation to see. Presumably because they love pumpkins, and almost exclusively white crowd of thugs proceeded to destroy their own community.  Of course this was not the first time. Not by a long shot. White youth rioting is actually quite a common experience, but our politically correct media prefers to tip toe around the question of race whenever white college students go on a rampage.  Once again we have another white riot and where are the voices of the community? Where is the condemnation? Where are leading white figures such as Jon Stewart, Zooey Deschanel, Sean Hannity, or Brad Pitt?  Why aren’t they speaking to their community, letting them know that enough is enough and that they are holding themselves back?

rioterOf course liberal academia and their friends in the media have all manner of excuses for white youth as to why they behave this way. There’s a lack of jobs. They have massive debts from student loans. These excuses do nothing but coddle white youth and enable them to engage in all manner of anti-social and even criminal behavior. Besides, I’m white and I have a job. I also don’t owe anything in student loans. I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps and if I can do it, anyone can.  Therein lies the problem, however, because the truth is that many white youth simply don’t want to succeed. Ultimately, the problem lies with the culture, a culture that glorifies violence, sex, drugs, and underachievement.  Let us examine just a few examples of this rotten culture.

Probably the best place to start would be with the so-called “gun culture.” It’s no secret that anything related to gun culture in America, from the NRA and gun clubs to extremist citizen militias, will inevitably be almost invariably white. White people are simply fascinated by guns, often with tragic results. If not in the form of bloody shooting sprees such as the one in Aurora, Colorado, then in the form of tragic accidents stemming from unbelievable irresponsibility.  Just look at these photos, which demonstrate the white obsession with firearms and violence.

White Americans apparently think even children should be armed. This behavior helps solidify the idea that violence is acceptable in the minds of young white kids.

White Americans apparently think even children should be armed. This behavior helps solidify the idea that violence is acceptable in the minds of young white kids.

White gun owners like to intimidate people by carrying their military-style weapons in public, despite the fact that they would have zero defensive value and actually cause innocent casualties.

White gun owners like to intimidate people by carrying their military-style weapons in public, despite the fact that they would have zero defensive value and actually cause innocent casualties.

This mother could not possibly defend herself with that AR-15 type weapon, yet she carries it just the same to intimidate.  This photo was taken at a Tea Party rally, where most participants receive some kind of funding from the government, usually in the form of Medicare.

This mother could not possibly defend herself with that AR-15 type weapon, yet she carries it just the same to intimidate. This photo was taken at a Tea Party rally, where most participants receive some kind of funding from the government, usually in the form of Medicare.

This obsession with guns fits in nicely with white gamer culture, which simply adores violent games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Black Ops. These games typically feature white heroes gunning down non-white people such as Arabs, Africans, Afghans, and Vietnamese, as well as not-white-enough people such as Russians.  Let us not forget that white people’s love of violence and the military got our country involved in two wars which have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths in the real world.

The violence and degeneracy extends into the realm of white music..Now many people will immediately point to hip-hop, traditionally seen as “black music,” as promoting violence, misogyny, and a whole host of other social ills.  There are two problems with this. The first is that most of the consumers of that sort of hip-hop are in fact white, and the owners of the record companies, the producers, and the radio station owners are white as well. In other words, the people buying most of that degenerate hip-hop are white.  And let’s not forget that one of the most successful rappers of all time is none other than the white Eminem, whose fame was rooted in totally doing away with any pretense of decency and promoting drug use, violence against women, and all manner of perverted sex acts.  Contrast that to some of the most famous rap songs in history, by one of hip-hop’s greatest legends, Tupac Shakur.

Tupac’s masterpiece sends a positive message- there are problems in the community and it’s time to make changes. He preaches personal responsibility instead of whining about student loans or a lack of well-paid jobs for journalism majors.  Let’s see how that compares with Eminem, who seems to revel in being a degenerate.

Oh, but it’s the black community whose music glorifies anti-social behavior, you say? Again, just remember that the main consumers of that mainstream hip-hop you’re thinking of are white, and those violent, misogynistic lyrics are routinely blasted from the windows of white frat houses and mostly white dorms for hours on end.  Fraternities in particular have been known to put on ghetto parties, where they insultingly dress up as “gangstas” and show their admiration for the worst aspects of life in neighborhoods they’ve never lived in.  Whereas the black community laments this behavior and sees it as a negative side effect of ghetto life to be overcome, white middle and upper class youth see it as something to aspire to.

In the black community, gangs are seen as a plague on the neighborhood, and many communities struggle with what few resources they have to keep kids out of gangs. For middle-class white college students, gang culture is cool.

In the black community, gangs are seen as a plague on the neighborhood, and many communities struggle with what few resources they have to keep kids out of gangs. For middle-class white college students, gang culture is cool.

What about the whitest music there is, namely country music? Country music makes pretenses to being wholesome and family-oriented. Nothing could be further from the truth. It also glorifies violence, sex, and more than anything, alcoholism.  No wonder white youth are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. Let’s take a look at what country music has to offer.

This song by Garth Brooks is about an underage boy losing his virginity to a much older woman.

This song glorifies violence and drunken behavior in small rural towns, which tend to be all white of course.

Gretchen Wilson is a particularly notorious offender. This song is entitled “Redneck woman.” In it, the “artist” sings about drinking beer all night and failing to keep her household within acceptable limits of hygiene, while at the same time carrying her baby on her hip. Somebody call child protective services, please.

Of course Wilson’s persona isn’t exactly the rough-around-the-edges, salt of the earth matriarch portrayed in that song. Her other hit songs are about partying the night away in seedy redneck bars, drinking herself blind with a strong implication that sloppy group sex with multiple anonymous male partners follows.

When beer won’t suffice, Wilson recommends whiskey.

In “Home wrecker,” she threatens a woman with violence because she suspects that she’s messing with her man. Maybe her man wouldn’t be driven to cheating if he wasn’t with a “redneck woman” who stays out till the wee hours of the morning getting plastered.  Oh wait, I forgot. That would mean taking responsibility for one’s own behavior, something not particularly common in the white community.

In case the reader thinks I’m picking on Wilson too much, take a look at this song by Joe Nichols, strongly implying a lax attitude toward sexual consent in “Tequila makes her clothes fall off.”

Country legend Toby Keith gives us this song, about the well-known white practice of going down to Mexico to get drunk and engage in all manner of immoral behavior. Of course if it happens in Mexico, it doesn’t count.

Here’s yet another song about white people causing problems in Mexico.

Coming back to Garth Brooks, here’s a song about a mother cheating on her husband, who eventually murders her.

Of course when speaking of the problems in white popular culture, we must go beyond music. Let us take a look at some of the most popular TV series which feature white actors and which are beloved by white audiences. The Sopranos was just one example of a white obsession with organized crime. Whereas in most films and TV shows criminals are portrayed as the bad guys, white audiences love stories about the mafia, wherein wiseguys are portrayed as philosopher kings.  The Departed takes this to a new level, combining organized crime with a revelry for “Irish” violence and drunkenness. The latter is a common theme in America, where millions of white Americans believe they are “Irish” in spite of the fact that they’ve never been to Ireland, simply because their great-great-grandmother was from the Emerald Isle. If we ignore the glorification of violence and drunkenness so common in white culture to focus on visual arts like television, one of the most popular recent series was of course Breaking Bad, where the white heroes are drug dealers peddling one of the most addictive and dangerous substances on the streets today. Game of Thrones is also rife with violence, gore, and gratuitous nudity.

Wholesome entertainment? Not for white America. They prefer their heroes to be drug-dealers, wiseguys, or decadent stockbrokers.

Wholesome entertainment? Not for white America. They prefer their heroes to be drug-dealers, wiseguys, or decadent stockbrokers.

Speaking of sex and nudity, decadence is often glorified in films for white audiences, such as Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street. This is particularly relevant after the 2008 financial collapse, a world-shattering event caused by undisciplined, dishonest white people with no regard for society. No doubt many of those bankers grew up on country music and other bad influences common to the white community.  Raised to be dependent on government, they felt they “deserved” our taxpayer dollars in the tens of millions.

The white work ethic is also notably poor. Millions of college graduates whine and complain about not being able to find a job. The truth is there are plenty of jobs, they just don’t want to do them. They want to put that media studies degree to work and make documentaries explaining how Star Wars could have been improved. They want to go to Comic-Con and dress up like superheroes. They can always be found on Kickstarter and other e-begging sites, panhandling for money so they can make their “art.”  Brooklyn is full of these lazy, “funemployed” hipsters who just need a little bit more money from you to pay their rent until they get their big break. Then they might send you a signed copy of their pretentious film about 80’s cartoon theme songs.

I could go on for pages with more examples of white America’s deep-rooted cultural problems, but I think it’s time to wrap this up with an appeal to white America. Look, folks, I’m white too and I’m saying it is high time for you to stop making excuses and get your shit together. Stop wearing AR-15s in public like armed thugs and stop listening to music about getting drunk and running over your own two-year-old child with a quad.  Yes, many of us are descended from downtrodden immigrants, but that was decades ago, if not more than a century for some people. Just because grandpa was a poor bricklayer from Sicily doesn’t mean he didn’t get a massive leg up after WWII when the government spent millions on education, home loans, and other benefits for white people.  Today, most welfare recipients are in fact white, and that’s not even counting things like farm subsidies, special tax breaks, and government bailouts, all of which mostly benefit whites.  All of this leads to a culture of thuggery, entitlement, and dependency.  White America, you have nobody to blame but yourself. It’s time to shape up!