Mesut Özil, Angela Merkel and Islamophobia in Europe

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jk1921
Mesut Özil, Angela Merkel and Islamophobia in Europe
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Mesut Özil, Angela Merkel and Islamophobia in Europe. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

jk1921
Racism in the U.S. these days

Racism in the U.S. these days is not necessarily as "subtle" as the article implies.

Devrim
Racism in the US?

jk1921 wrote:

Racism in the U.S. these days is not necessarily as "subtle" as the article implies.

What the article said was

"Racism in Western European countries and the US is a lot more subtle than it was 40 years ago."

I think that if you look back forty years and make a comparison, it is pretty `subtle` today.

Of course that doesn`t mean that there aren`t blatant d'splays of racism, epecially from the far right, but when you look at the diffence between now and 1970, i think it is quite clear.

Devrim

devoration1
The birth of the 'dog

The birth of the 'dog whistle' tactic is probably the biggest innovation in racist bourgeois politics. The use of 'code words' that sound harmless ('law and order', 'immigration enforcement', 'affirmitive action', etc) act as a 'dog whistle' to the reactionary white voting bloc, signaling "I understand your frustrations against the black youth, the hispanic immigrants, etc vote for me and I'll take care of them". It was created and developed alongside the Republican Party's "Southern Strategy" (the outgrowth of which we are seeing today in a very extreme form).

jk1921
I don't completely agree

I don't completely agree Devrim. I don't share the idea that the democratic political apparatus is something the bourgeoisie's in the main countries can't live without. There are political candidates in the U.S. who openly admire the Berlin Wall. Are they the main factions of the bourgeoisie right now? No. But if we take theory of decomposition seriously, there is no reason why they can't be.

zimmerwald1915
Decomposition

The theory of decomposition also states that political developments within the bourgeoisie are no longer entirely rational even from a bourgeois perspective.  So the growth and development of the bourgeois factions you're talking about isn't impossible, but their growth and development would not necessarily be the best or most rational development for the bourgeoisie either.

Devrim
Jk, I don`t really understand

dp please delete

Devrim
Jk, I don`t really understand

Jk, I don`t really understand what you are trying to say. I don`t think that the article,or any of the previous posts discuss  the question of whether "the democratic political apparatus is something the bourgeoisie's in the main countries can't live without", nor how this relates to the `theory of democomposition`.

 

Devrim

Devrim
Devoration, I think you are

Devoration, I think you are right about the dog whistle tactic being used here, but also the argument is meant to appeal to the `more progressivly minded`. It has two roles.

Devrim

Devrim
Devoration, I think you are

dp please delete

jk1921
Tha article seems to make

Tha article seems to make they argument that the bad old days of open racism are behind us for good. Yet, the ICC offers the theory of decomposition that tells us things could get quite nasty on the political level. This doesn't mean that capitalism regresses to a previous age. But I think it is mistake to believe that open racism is behind us. There is plenty of it in the political life of the U.S. bourgeoisie right now.

Devrim
?

jk1921 wrote:

Tha article seems to make they argument that the bad old days of open racism are behind us for good.

No, it doesn`t. It talks about how the situation is at the moment, and makes the observation that things have changed.  They have. Things that the mainstream parties came out with forty years ago are not even articulated by fringe parties today. It doesn`t in any way suggest that this situation is permenant or unchangeable.

Devrim

jk1921
??

"Such overt racism is no longer possible today."

 

That's a quote from the article. It isn't very convincing.

Sheldon
Context

jk1921 wrote:

"Such overt racism is no longer possible today."

 

That's a quote from the article. It isn't very convincing.

Taken out of context no, it isn't convincing at all.  What a ridiculous claim!

Within context, it becomes clear that the author was referring to the subject of the immediately preceding paragraph:

Quote:
Racism in Western European countries and the US is a lot more subtle than it was 40 years ago. Back in the 1960s during the period when mass immigration to Western Europe began, the British Conservative party could openly play the racist card. “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour” was a slogan that it used in one election. Nor was it just restricted to the political sphere. Immigrant workers looking to rent a flat were often confronted with the letters NBNI at the end of newspaper ads, which meant ‘No Blacks, No Irish’.

In this sense, I would agree--such overt racism is no longer possible today.  The keyword here is of course "overt."  This doesn't at all suggest that the "bad old days" of racism are over, merely that they've transformed.  I don't see what's so odd about this claim.  Clearly they have.

vstanrabotnikov
'overtness' can have

'overtness' can have different meanings to different people, while it is fair enough to say that the conservative slogan used in smethwick is a little different to tony blair going on about black culture causing crime in london, you can clearly see the intent is equally as racist even if both were populist campaigns used to attract votes/support.

I don't think getting into a row about that is of much use. Instead we should strive to understand just how it has changed, we know that all the parties are incredibly sophisticated in their use of language.

One of the important things is not blanket condemning entire sections of the population, perhaps routionely alienating some of them though, but never completely. The Muslim 'community' in Britain should give you a good idea of this.

jk1921
U.S. Politics

Sheldon wrote:

jk1921 wrote:

"Such overt racism is no longer possible today."

 

That's a quote from the article. It isn't very convincing.

Taken out of context no, it isn't convincing at all.  What a ridiculous claim!

Within context, it becomes clear that the author was referring to the subject of the immediately preceding paragraph:

Quote:
Racism in Western European countries and the US is a lot more subtle than it was 40 years ago. Back in the 1960s during the period when mass immigration to Western Europe began, the British Conservative party could openly play the racist card. “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour” was a slogan that it used in one election. Nor was it just restricted to the political sphere. Immigrant workers looking to rent a flat were often confronted with the letters NBNI at the end of newspaper ads, which meant ‘No Blacks, No Irish’.

In this sense, I would agree--such overt racism is no longer possible today.  The keyword here is of course "overt."  This doesn't at all suggest that the "bad old days" of racism are over, merely that they've transformed.  I don't see what's so odd about this claim.  Clearly they have.

 

U.S. politics is as openly racist today as at any time since the 1960s. One party's entire electoral strategy appears to be to demonize hispanics, muslims and blacks as lazy slackers who suck off the welfare state and overrun "real America" with anchor babies. The rhetoric is barely disguised anymore and an entire "news" network exists only to rile up racist anger among the white male working class. That said, this isn't the 1950s as a great deal of cultural and social evolution has taken--there is of course a black (half-black) President--but racism is far from subtle in U.S. politics today. This should be a real concern for revolutionaries. Is this the last gasp of an old dying worldview, or is it a precursor to a period of really nasty politics ahead? How does the ICC's theory of social decomposition help us understand these developments?

Devrim
As openly racist as the 60s?

jk1921 wrote:
U.S. politics is as openly racist today as at any time since the 1960s.

I think that this is the point that the article tries to make. Neither the US or Europe are as openly racist as they were forty years ago, but the racism is still there. Certainly one couldn't put NBNI at the end of a housing add in the UK today, and if you did that or talked about 'niggers' in a political campaign poster, you would very quickly find yourself in court.

You mention that today there is a black President. To put that in a bit of perspective it wasn't until 1975 that US television even showed a black man in a boss position over whites. For those who are old enough to remember the period, it is very clear that there is a real difference.

The whole point of the article is that the 'anti-Muslim' campaign in Europe today is precisely a racist campaign despite the fact that it wraps itself up in the clothes of such 'progressive' issues such as women's rights, secularism, and freedom of speech. I don't think that it is wrong to point out the disorientation that this causes in some sectors of the working class in the West, as well as in Islamic countries, and how it is clearly a racist campaign.

Although it is not made clear on the English site, the article is republished from the Turkish press trying to put into perspective Merkel's very widely publicised remarks.

The article doesn't state that more open racism can not remerge in the future, or make any real attempt to analyse future developments. It is merely short comment on something that was in the news and attempts to put it into its place in the context of a racist campaign.

Devrim

 

 

 

jk1921
Open Racism

Devrim wrote:

jk1921 wrote:
U.S. politics is as openly racist today as at any time since the 1960s.

I think that this is the point that the article tries to make. Neither the US or Europe are as openly racist as they were forty years ago, but the racism is still there. Certainly one couldn't put NBNI at the end of a housing add in the UK today, and if you did that or talked about 'niggers' in a political campaign poster, you would very quickly find yourself in court.

You mention that today there is a black President. To put that in a bit of perspective it wasn't until 1975 that US television even showed a black man in a boss position over whites. For those who are old enough to remember the period, it is very clear that there is a real difference.

The whole point of the article is that the 'anti-Muslim' campaign in Europe today is precisely a racist campaign despite the fact that it wraps itself up in the clothes of such 'progressive' issues such as women's rights, secularism, and freedom of speech. I don't think that it is wrong to point out the disorientation that this causes in some sectors of the working class in the West, as well as in Islamic countries, and how it is clearly a racist campaign.

Although it is not made clear on the English site, the article is republished from the Turkish press trying to put into perspective Merkel's very widely publicised remarks.

The article doesn't state that more open racism can not remerge in the future, or make any real attempt to analyse future developments. It is merely short comment on something that was in the news and attempts to put it into its place in the context of a racist campaign.

Devrim

 

Ok, you are right of course. But I worry that the ICC has said for a long time that "fascism is not on the agenda today," because the state needs the democratic illusion to disorient an undefeated working class. Looking at U.S. politics today, one has to wonder about that a little. Of course fascism is an historical phenomenon of the period of counter revolution following the defeat of the RR, however the turn in U.S. politics is quite disturbing. Open racism is everywhere. Elements within the Republican party openly talk about fomenting violence and resistance. The fact that blacks have experienced social, cultural and political gains, Hispanic immgration has changed the demographics of the country and "political correctness" protects Islam has engendered a terrible backlash that has subsumed many white workers. My point is not that society hasn't changed; its that its a tough sell to say open racism is no longer possible here. There aren't any more real estate contracts that prohibit people from selling their homes to blacks; but there are community associations that are more and less open about how Hispanics have ruined once stable "middle class" communities, turning their neighborhoods into barrios. Political fights about housing code enforcement often take on an openly anti-hispanic tone. The difference now is that white "middle class" people see themselves as the ones who are oppressed and they blame the government for failing to protect them.

jk1921
So just this week we learn

So just this week we learn that one incoming Republican African American Congressman wanted to appoint a former right-wing radio host as Chief of Staff, who has called for illegal immigrants who commit crimes to be hanged and their bodies shipped back to whence they came as a warning.