You Have a Problem with the Oppressed Standing Up to Oppressors?

I don’t even care to debate anymore.

There was a time when I cared deeply about debating with fools on the internet.  Roughly around 2006, I truly loved debating online.  These days, I don’t even care.  White people wanting — arrogantly demanding — infinite proof of racism when we face it every day?  I don’t care to waste my time.

Right now there’s a fierce debate going on in regards to fighting Nazis.  While I’ll most certainly make it known where I stand, I really don’t care to debate anyone on this.  What I do care about doing, however, is giving lessons. 

In the middle of August 2017 I was made aware that a fellow known to me, white cis-het male, was defending Nazis by way of obfuscating the concept of “freedom of speech”, which was something he held so dear.  You see, to this white privileged man, the concept of freedom of speech meant so much to him, that it didn’t matter that Nazis — a white supremacist identity that’s built on the genocide and eradication of nonwhites — threatened, harassed, and terrorized people with their existence.  In August 2017, Nazis, Confederates, KKK — a murderous conglomeration now called the “alt-right” — stormed through the sleepy town of Charlottesville Virginia, and murdered one woman with their hatred of others.

White Privilege Strikes Again

Woodie1

Needless to say, I challenged this fellow’s stance on his defense of Nazis.  I called him out.  I was unrelenting; each time his alt-right friends did something, I brought the topic up, and wondered was this what he stood for; was this worth defending.

 

Eventually something fascinating happened; the white man defending Nazi’s “freedom of speech” began crying victim.  You see, the fellow began stating that I was “harassing” him, and if I don’t stop harassing him he’d leave the Facebook group, block me, whatever.  Before I got a chance to ask him about my freedom of speech he ironically didn’t care to give the same respect and defense as Nazis’, he was gone.  If white privilege is one hell of a drug, white fragility is one hell of a withdrawal symptom.

Woodie4

“I love how the biggest proponents of free speech are never talking about it when it comes to protesters whose free speech is actually being violated by the police but are always there when hate speech is being called out.” ~ Mathieu C.

Can I debate?  Sure I can. Did I care to?  No, I did not.  What I did do was troll.  The worst thing in the world online is an intelligent troll.  It’s fascinating to see a white male attempt to act like he’s a victim of “harassment”, when that white male supports “freedom of speech” unwaveringly.  What happened to my freedom of speech?  Afterall, I was only questioning his logic on the matter — using only words.

That’s the crazy part of his white fragility — I didn’t use bats, clubs, chains, guns, police violence, anything that harmed his person.  The only thing I did was held his feet to the fire; questioned him.  And there he went.  Whining.  Crying.

“If white privilege is one hell of a drug, white fragility is one hell of a withdrawal symptom.”

United States Pacifists

Najima, BLM Tuscon
Najima Jamilah, Activist

I’ll have to admit, it’s very frustrating to deal with people who are infinitely judging you, choosing counterfeit order over true justice.  Honestly if you ask me, I’ll have to say that any white person of America have NO business judging a black person for choosing violence to procure freedom when this very nation — America — was BORN from violent protest.  The colonies didn’t break free from the British with hugs and kisses.  The fact that hate speech and violent shows of force Nazi/Confederates do get the total defense of white people from all spectrums of political alignment, is powerful evidence of how indoctrinated white people are, as a whole, in white supremacy.  It would be great if black people was afforded the same thing.

Freedom of Speech, isn’t free, and when Nazi-Confederates are around, that speech is far from free; it’s speech paid for by the active genocide of nonwhite people of the world.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

My friend, Najima Jamilah, is a socio-political activist who operates out of Tucson, Arizona.  It’s a bit hilarious, because white people think we are all the same out there.  To a white person, everyone out there is a protester.  There are different folks out there.  Me?  Photojournalist.  She?  Activist.

Being that Najima is a true activist, she thinks a bit differently than I do.  From my abolitionist writer standpoint, white people need to shut up when grown folks are talking.  From her standpoint, there’s a place for these unfettered pacifists of privilege.

For everyone who has a problem with the oppressed, suppressed, persecuted defending themselves by meeting violence with counter-violence, they can show up, and put their money where their mouth is.  You see, everyone who pisses and moans to activists and protesters who are engaging against a Nazi-Confederate threat are simply NOT the people on the ground, and it’s horrendously easy to criticize, pontificate from an ivory tower of privilege, far removed from harm.

Testudo Formation

For all of those who suggest that Nazi/Confederates can be dealt with in a civil manner, why don’t you show up at the next rally, next counter-protest and shield the bodies of the counter-protesters, the AntiFa, the people of color with your own and show everyone how it’s done?  In ancient times, the Romans had this formation called “Testudo”, and by command the Roman soldiers would shield their formation from arrows, stone, and other projectile weapons.

Testudo1
Roman Testudo Formation.

While one might not be able to cast bodies over a mass of protesters, the logic is sound; if you have a problem with people, the victims of oppression defending themselves from violence, why don’t you shield them from the white supremacists?  Or you can shut up when grown folks are talking.  If you have a problem with people defending themselves, defend them with your own lives “nonviolently”, letting your own blood shed.  Put those convictions to the test.  After all, this is your mess anyway.

If you are a coward, please, by all means, stop talking, and let those who wage against the white supremacists engage as they damn well please.

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Written by Johnny Silvercloud

The Soul Brother #1 of a Kind. Consequentialist street photographer abolitionist writer/speaker who stands for any oppressed peoples. I do it because every man and woman deserves freedom of thought -- especially black folks.

4 comments

  1. These people have been out in full force, all over social media, such that ( and this makes my fcking brain hurt just thinking about it) they will argue that Nat Turner was a racist for killing White people in a Slave Rebellion! This is how their pretzel-azz logic works!
    My “Block” finger has been getting a full workout the past couple of months!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a white person and I totally agree with you!! Seeing the comments of people defending these Nazis made me sick and pissed off. I think all of you that protest and Antifa are heroes. You’re not alone and there’s a lot of us (whities) standing with you, even if it doesn’t seem like it. These Nazis are disgusting and they don’t deserve any platform of speech!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Trying to make sense out of these people’s reasoning is pointless.
    I’m not even sure they believe in the explanations they give. I mean often times, just like anybody defending Trump for a living, do seem desperately clinging to the bs coming out of their mouths but at the same time those bizarre pseudo-rationalizations seem designed to confuse someone to the point they can’t promptly come up with an appropriate response. That was essentially Kellyanne Conway’s very effective tactic before the people she interacts with learned how to handle her and her tactic consequentially ceased to be effective and she was reduced to a joke.

    We in Europe obviously have neo-Nazi groups and similar and actually the mere fact that they became so prominent in the US is in itself the biggest argument against the shutting down of any argument about racism being the enormous deal it is.
    The biggest difference between almost every European country and the USA is that we don’t have real cohesive socio-political continuities. Within the last 150-200 years most of us underwent substantial changes in both forms of governments (usually including everything from monarchies to totalitarian regimes to modern democracies) to even the physical shapes of our countries with the shifting of the borders and dissolving or forming of federations.
    You do have analogies to the American exceptionalism (of course implying it’s more populism than an actual assessment of the state of a country) but rarely the pseudo-religious type I see in the USA. To me whenever people are invoking the founding fathers it sounds more akin to a religious belief than a rational thought. They really are thought of as some sort of prophets.
    That’s something as an European I can’t really relate to but I believe it’s at the core of why racism, institutionalized specifically, is so resilient in the USA.
    Glorifying slave owners, regardless of who they might be, and effectively condemning racism are two incompatible notions.
    After Trump’s remark about there being slave owners amongst the founding fathers when comparing them to general Lee, people in the media de facto started defending their slave ownership. This means that on some unconscious level they believe there are circumstances when enslaving Black people is acceptable. This isn’t really surprising given how Americans (not necessarily whites only) are raised and expected to think of the USA and it’s past. In order for the belief in USA’s exceptionalism to stand, the part of the population that represents that to be historically far from the truth have to be vilified which is how racism feeds itself.
    (You can find analogies around the world whenever countries didn’t deal with their related atrocities. Years ago Berlusconi on a day commemorating the victims of the Shoa if I remember correctly made a “joke” about Mussolini sending people to vacation resorts when asked about Fascist concentration camps (google Rab concentration camp))

    There is a degree of tolerance in the US when it comes to anything related to White Supremacism and all the horrendous stuff that has been done as a consequence of it that is substantially higher than anything I can recognize in Europe and I’m convicted is merely the other face of the exceptionalism brand of patriotism, because it’s an ideology based on history.

    What’s interesting about this, when it comes to neo-nazis, is that when it comes to fascism and all the horrific stuff Europe had going on in the 20th century (there’s no country that wasn’t guilty of something horrific in Europe, make no mistake) I think the US always claimed moral high ground over us. But here’s what I realized. African Americans didn’t have it any better than various groups targeted by Fascists/Nazis, especially considering the oppression in the US lasted substantially longer than any Fascist regime in Europe.
    It’s no coincidence that neo-nazis and all those groups (they’re essentially the same garbage branded differently) have so much common ground and by their own acknowledgment have an ally in the POTUS. It implies that ideologically there is a tolerance for far right ideologies in the US far greater than those same ideologies were historically present in Europe. It’s why Trump got elected. His campaign was based on racism and xenophobia and white nationalism. People who voted for him, or didn’t mind he was going to be elected, while maybe not actively adhering to those ideologies still didn’t care enough for the groups of people that were going to be thrown under the bus which is still a form of racism and other extreme right ideologies.

    We also have those groups in Europe and yes there are parties that cater to them but not at that high of a level, because those are typically parties who either only get a very small number of seats in parliaments (extremist are very loyal voters) or get absorbed by moderate right coalitions so they get their votes but typically they don’t have much influence because extremism is considered too risqué when winning an election is the gol.
    Also make no mistake these people are considered nuts and no one outside of them is defending their freedom of speech.

    About that, the right to free speech is thrown around every 3 seconds but i’m not sure Americans fully grasped the concept yet. The point of having freedom of speech is being able to openly disagree with oppressive authorities as in not getting arrested or killed for expressing disagreement with a regime and a very explicit form of that, and the most obvious consequence of it, is of course through protests. In the US freedom of speech seems to be understood as essentially having to take anybody’s (as long as they’re white) BS when the whole point of it is being allowed to call people on it.
    Defending the freedom of speech of people who advocate for what is by definition an oppressive ideology is an oxymoron.

    Liked by 1 person

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