Empire, Power & People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 141

Urban Rebellions and Racist Rhetoric

Starting with some mainstream and social media analysis of the recent events in Baltimore, this week's rant takes on the political language of racism, the effect that media propaganda has in indoctrinating that racism into its viewers, and the comparison of coverage of black and white riots in recent years. As Martin Luther King explained, riots were "the language of the unheard," so instead of denouncing rioters as "thugs" and "criminals," it would be better to consider listening, because one of America's most repressed and impoverished populations is speaking loudly for all to hear.

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Comments

  1. Arnar Steinsson says:

    Thanks Andrew. Mirrors my own views.

  2. steven hobbs says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Don’t cut so close to the bone. Others might not escape.
    Thank you

  3. Carter Wessman says:

    I agree, as I’ve witnessed it myself, that some people have a reactionary opinion toward the riots and therefore add nothing to the conversation; however, I don’t think understanding the situation and believing there is a better way are mutually exclusive. I agree, some broken windows at a CVS isn’t a big deal but that’s not the extent of the damage and by focusing only on that one business you’ve cherry picked your data. The facts are minority business owners were adversely affected by the riots and personally, I do not think the offenders were justified.

    • steven hobbs says:

      Hi Carter,
      You raise an important point about property destruction causing collateral damage. This is a concern of mine too, and speaks to the need for black block to remain focused. But, lets return to the issue of property never being equal in value to human life. A nice peaceful demonstration will likely be ignored. Civil disobedience disruptive of business as usual is central. But, I wouldn’t deride those who choose disrupt by property destruction or other means which doesn’t require their facing capture.
      Unity of Purpose, Diversity of Tactics.

      • A peaceful protest might or might not be as effective. It depends on the numbers the protesters have and the audience that is viewing.

        Gavin did cherry pick that data a little, and to Gavin take note of this criticism to make tighter arguments in the future

        • , but the point he made of these people being demonized while at the same time it is made acceptable for others to pillage and loot through the magic of paper work, bureaucracy and the “financial” system is fair enough.

          It is funny how some people can do the worst things and get away with it, while others can be totally destroyed for doing something relatively or even absolutely minor.

          • Also, thug is used to describe thugs. When I use it it tends to be reserved for authoritarian types.

            And on the note of how they express their frustation through riots. Destroying businesses that had nothing to do with it is wrong. There are other ways to achieve a similar effect without hurting innocents. I recall these farmers protesting stupid policies by taking a maneur truck and coating some administrative building in crap.

  4. Carter Wessman says:

    Hi Steven,
    I agree that property isn’t worth more than people’s lives, but that doesn’t mean they still have the right to destroy it. I’m just not convinced that a peaceful protest, if done in a creative way, would go unnoticed. I’m not exactly sure what you mean in your last sentence; the wording is kind of confusing.

    • steven hobbs says:

      Hi Carter,
      The last sentence is heard on streets, when issues of methods arise. My apology, it’s not really a sentence, but a slogan, meaning there are many ways to skin the cat. Some want to say only one method SHOULD be used, trying to control others’ expressions of anger, disgust, and rebellion.

  5. Carter Wessman says:

    My mistake, I actually meant the second to last sentence. I read you loud n clear on the slogan

  6. Isaac Dolores says:

    Great podcast, had a lot of good points. I completely agree that the racist media not only portrays these people as thugs (which intern dehumanizes them) but possibly more importantly sidesteps the real problem of a young man, like many others, being murdered by the police. Now instead of the anger felt by black Americans the whole focus of the conversation is on a mother smacking her son and how great she is. I would be cautious though about the idea of white privilege because it emphasizes the individual which could be misleading. Not every white person is privileged, nor is every black person underprivilleged. Like Sibel, I am a big picture kind of guy. So as a whole population black people are certainly oppressed and targeted in our society. This is a huge problem which is manifested in many ways but I like to take a look at the media which influences so much of our societies opinions whether or not we acknolledge it. Being hispanic (Mexican American) I have always felt the evil claws of media stereotypes which also attack black americans aswell. I remember when the hispanic population was dehumanized as “illegals”. Even further, and perhaps more insidious, the way hollywood portrays Mexicans is horendous. The few movies that do have Hispanic actors (the largest minority group) portray us either as gansters or maids and labourers. Why can’t there be a movie about Mexicans that isn’t about immigration or gangs? Why will they never have a Mexican supreman, or black or Asian for that matter? Hollywood relies entirely on stereotypes in its portrayal of miniorities. This not only gets old and cheezy but drills it in the minds of the public that blacks and hispanics are scary criminals. It is somewhat subliminal which is why it is so hard to fight. Thanks for a great podcast and sorry about the long rant but it is a very important and less-talked about issue.

  7. Isaac Dolores says:

    Great podcast, had a lot of good points. I completely agree that the racist media not only portrays these people as thugs (which intern dehumanizes them) but possibly more importantly sidesteps the real problem of a young man, like many others, being murdered by the police. Now instead of the anger felt by black Americans the whole focus of the conversation is on a mother smacking her son and how great she is. I would be cautious though about the idea of white privilege because it emphasizes the individual which could be misleading. Not every white person is privileged, nor is every black person underprivileged. Like Sibel, I am a big picture kind of guy. So as a whole population black people are certainly oppressed and targeted in our society. This is a huge problem which is manifested in many ways but I like to take a look at the media which influences so much of our societies opinions whether or not we acknowledge it. Being hispanic (Mexican American) I have always felt the evil claws of media stereotypes which also attack black americans as well. I remember when the hispanic population was dehumanized as “illegals”. Even further, and perhaps more insidious, the way hollywood portrays Mexicans is horrendous. The few movies that do have Hispanic actors (the largest minority group) portray us either as gangsters or maids and laborers. Why can’t there be a movie about Mexicans that isn’t about immigration or gangs? Why will they never have a Mexican supreman, or black or Asian for that matter? Hollywood relies entirely on stereotypes in its portrayal of minorities. This not only gets old and cheesy but drills it in the minds of the public that blacks and hispanics are scary criminals. It is somewhat subliminal which is why it is so hard to fight. Thanks for a great podcast and sorry about the long rant but it is a very important and less-talked about issue.

  8. I found this podcast very difficult to listen to. A few years ago I would have completely agreed but now I’m not liking this self hating, ‘racist’ term – white privilage. Now I live in the UK, so I’m seeing it from a different perspective, but I also live in the most mixed city in the country and we have the same term creeping in and it is often just a term to shut the locals up and accept the fact that the country is turning into a shitheap, a strong term but I’m here watching it happen. And over here blacks are far more likely to be breaking the law, you’re not supposed to say that, I remember a police chief getting sacked for saying that 20 years ago, but it is fairly accurate. Is that because of white privilage, no, other groups do much better, asians in particular are doing very well. So please don’t all rush to call me names but from my perspective blacks bring it on themselves. Although with a caveat police brutality is obviously always wrong.

    • steven hobbs says:

      Hi Dave,
      “..I’m not liking this self hating, ‘racist’ term – white privilege.” – Unfortunately once a term is coined it can be wielded by anyone with any ax to grind no matter how unknowledgeable or disregarding of original usage.

      A basic idea of “white privilege” is metaphorically speaking, fish don’t know they are in water. In other words, white privilege is, in part, the ignorance (if not denial) of whites to systemic injustices non-whites suffer daily. So, when you deny any useful meaningful to the term you are committing an epistemic injustice that is a ‘privilege’ of your whiteness. Your “white privilege” is showing.

      Similarly, when you speak in racial stereotypical terms about criminality without reference to (historical, economic, class, or racial) context, your analysis can only be one dimensional. In this instance ‘white.’ I’d suggest you take a look at writings by Tim Wise.

      • Thanks for replying. But just because I’m white I’m not going to apoligise for it. I work hard for what I’ve got, which to be honest is very little. And I understand where you’re coming from because I used to go along with this bullshit. Racial groups are different, there’s something either genetic or cultural or a mix that makes them like they are, obviously not always but if we’re allowed to talk generally then I would say blacks are more violent and tend to gravitate towards crime. My supposed privilage is from hard work and tenanicity to build a life from nothing, it wasn’t given to me. And I can walk down the street without being stopped by the police because just one look at me would tell you that I’m not likely to do anything wrong.

        • steven hobbs says:

          Hi Dave,
          I didn’t know you are white Just guessed it. How do you conclude, “understand where you’re coming from because I used to go along with this bullshit” ? If you do understand, please demonstrate.

          And, what reasons did you go, “along with this bullshit.” What were your considered views, and how have they changed? Each racial history has it’s narratives, methodological preferences, painful history, and historical perspective on “truth.” Since we all came from Africa, we’ve a rainbow of colors. I’m mostly white. As far as I know.

          • Hmmm… I was refering to the concept of white privilage and that I had a responsibility as someone who had everything given to me, because I was white, for me to give it away because it wasn’t fair etc etc. I’ve thought about this recently and now I dissagree with that stance. There’s more to the subject and there is difference in race, I see it every day, and because a group of blacks are rioting in America, that isn’t my fault or even the fault of the American whites, if the blacks want to change predudice then all they have to do is change their behaviour. Smashing windows seems to reinforce predudice. Predudice being a natural response to learning and experience.

            ‘Painful history’ or playing the victim card? My ancestors have had a hard time now and again, do I use that as a justification for taking someone elses stuff?

            Out of Africa? Maybe, maybe not. That’s just a theory.

            Me, I’m mostly English with a bit of Scottish. Does that make me better than everyone else, of course not, am I proud of it, well now I am, I didn’t used to be, I was a bit ashamed, I remember saying 30 years ago I wish I had been born black, I now see that I had been wrong to think that and that whatever your heritage you should be proud of it. And you should strive to make your ancestors proud.

  9. One part of the podcast that got my back up was the reference to the gay white guy who wrote some banal thing on facebook about being inconvenienced by the riots, with the inference being that he should shut up and accept it or he should be in favour of the riots or maybe even that if it wasn’t for his privilage it wouldn’t be happening. I saw the 2 things as not related in anyway whatsoever and if he wanted to complain about being inconvenienced then why not.

    Personally I’m horrified by the videos I see coming out of America with the cops there being extremely violent, and in a small way that’s creeping in over here. The police obviously have to deal with violent situations but there are a variety of ways to deal with it, so is a riot the answer? Is fire the way to put out a fire? well no. Do I understand the frustration and hopelessness, probably no as well. But I reiterate what I said before, if a group wants to be treated better and reduce the predudice then simply improve their behaviour, and if that’s impossible then stop complaining that they are being singled out and don’t expect the whites to put up with it and for them to somehow internalise the problem and with a bit of cultural propaganda come up with this offensive term ‘white privilage’ so that they think it’s their fault.

    • Can I just add a couple of points, if anyone’s interested….

      I don’t want anyone to think I go round thinking bad of blacks all the time and when I say they are more criminal and violent, I’m talking of a tendancy towards it, something that could be countered with a good upbringing etc. And obviousy in the main they’re lovely people, like most people are.

      My gripe is the white privilage term. I see it as anti white propaganda and I just don’t buy it.

    • steven hobbs says:

      Hi Dave,
      “They are more criminal and violent, I’m talking of a tendancy towards it, something that could be countered with a good upbringing etc..” “If a group wants to be treated better and reduce the predudice then simply improve their behaviour..”

      The term “white privilege” refers (in part) to the assumptions white people have about other races, and how they have no idea of their assumptions or how racist their attitudes. And, no idea about how unfounded their opinions. And, no idea of the epistemic injustice they are committing. The above statements are examples of attitudes that emerge from white privilege. I don’t know how to say this in a more polite manner. I do recommend to you, “White LIke Me” by Tim Wise. I’ve nothing more to say on the subject now.

      • I’m not sure that is part of the term, to me it is a term that says that whites should just shut up because they have it easy and are unjustifiably well off and that we should spread this about. And at worst it’s a softening up to justify genocide.

        Racism I think needs to be defined, it’s a term that is lazilly thrown about. Predudice which is often interchangable is really just a learned opinion about something, like green apples being a bit tart, that’s not always true but it serves a function.

        When I was younger I spent many years living around the world and I came to the conclusion that all races are predudiced, the Chinese certainly were, especially towards blacks, the Israelis were to everyone, the Australians were, the Indians were etc etc. It’s human nature, it’s not something that just resides in white people.

        Thinking about it today I thought I was being way too hard on Blacks, I think we’ve all got tendancies, positive and negative, within different groups of say small regions of countries, larger regions, countries, continents… It’s way too simplistic to just say blacks. But I stick by my assertion that people vary and that different groups have variations and behave differently due to their genetics and culture, I feel like I’m backpeddling here a bit, I guess I’m trying to get this straight in my own head.

        Sorry but I’m not likely to read that book, I’ve a dozen unread books on the bookshelf, I’ve just got no time for books anymore.

        • steven hobbs says:

          Hi Dave,
          Returning to a central issue, “It’s way too simplistic to just say blacks. But I stick by my assertion that people vary and that different groups have variations and behave differently due to their genetics and culture,’ – Agreed, as you stated; and, let’s open a perspective to other concerns regarding explanation of human behavior.

          Sociological analysis uses academic language when referring to “fundamental attribution error.” It is a concept of ‘attributing’ actions to dispositions, characteristics, or proclivities to ‘race’ or ‘illness’ or ‘extreme tendencies’ as causal factors for rambunctious behavior — without consideration for other contextual, historical, or epistemic considerations. OK< don't read the book.. Do check:White Privilege, Racism, White Denial & The Cost of Inequality on your friendly YouTube.

          • Sure, I’ll take A look tomorrow, I did look it up on wiki and was suprised to see how long the history of this idea goes back. But I’ve never considered white people to not be racist, as like I said before in my experience all people are racist, it’s human nature. Also I would say that the local endemic majority usually have an advantage over jobs etc. Around here though that advantage is often turned on it’s head and the immigrants often have advantages, For example there is a sizable proportion of my city that I would never get a job in and there are quite a few areas that I wouldn’t go to because I’m white and it wouldn’t be safe. So I guess my point is that there is no reason to single white people out, that just seems racist, there is nothing inherently wrong with white people. But I’ll have a look at that youtube video.

          • I checked the video out, it was a bit of a racist rant, there was some half truths and conclusions stuck together with sticky tape, and not much that I hadn’t already heard. But if we want to justify the demonisation and elimination of white people then it was a good talk.

  10. Tim Hofman says:

    The word ‘racism’ is actually coined by Trotsky to use as a weapon against political opponents. Nowadays it is not used very differently. Anti-racism unfortunately often seems to be just a code word for anti-white ism.

  11. Salvatore says:

    Is everybody so brainwashed that they believe that the majority of police brutality is white-on-black? Sure seems funny that all we hear about are those, but look into it. You can even tell when RT takes the bait and parrots one of these stories from the MSM because they state the race of the people involved. A ‘black man’, a ‘white cop’. What about that kid who was beaten to death by california cops? Kelly Thomas I think was his name. What about the homeless guy in LA that was recently killed by a black cop? What about the guy in washington state who was recently gunned down? He wasn’t black. What about the fact that the kid in baltimore, if the ‘ride” he went on in the back of the van was the cause of death, was driven by a black man?

    Is anybody familiar with crime stats? For making up 13% of the population they sure do commit a ridiculous amount of violent crime. The world is upside down right now. Up is down, war is peace, ignorance is strength, etc. Seems an awful lot like the govt/media is succeeding in this latest attempt at the divide-and-rule strategy to keep us occupied with each other, rather than them.

    • For cops it is about finding an easy target they can marginalize. When they see that a person is homeless or black or somehow looked down upon and marginalized by society they think they have the opportunity to do whatever they want.

      That kid that flashed his lights would be a good case to integrate into this conversation.

      • Salvatore says:

        I am not familiar with that one.
        I check RT while at work because it is a pretty good app, but seriously, I wonder how valuable they are when they re-report a lot of things from the MSM, sometimes word for word.

        I just saw a headline “Another black church burned down”, and I wonder if the CIA isn’t behind this stuff. I mean, this is what they do in other countries to overturn ‘un-friendly’ govt’s. Who is to say this isn’t NED or USAID or some new iteration? And of course the govt controlled media is there to give us wall to wall coverage of what is happening. I hope one of these arsonists gets taken down by a passerby to see if they in fact have a govt issued ID.

        • CuChulainn says:

          yesterday i put on RT for the first time in months and heard the first minutes of a program called “watching the hawks” where the host ridiculed the notion of an Islamic terrorist threat within the US. he then brought on the producer of the program who cited Obama in arguing that the real terrorist threat in the USA comes from anti-government extremists.

      • Actually, I just fugured out how that incident I mentioned fits.

        Cops go after those they feel they can get away with going after. If they beat a homeless white man or a regular black man to death they figure that is okay because they can marginilize them.

        I started thinking about this case where a man was pulled over for questioning at one of those border checkpoints that is 100 miles away from the border. He had done nothing illegal to warrant their suspicion. They had no legal reason to stop him. He drove off at a normal speed. At first they lied and said he sped off at high speed. Eventually they got him on something, I forget what. He got 8 months in federal prison. The jury mentality was that he should have to pull over like everyone else whether it was legal or not to pull him over.

        But what is happening is the police are increasingly noticing that they can get away with killing anyone like that white kid letting that goon murderer cop know his headlights were too bright. Soon enough it will be the family and friends of the people like davev up their that are being killed by these animals.

        I wonder what will happen then.

  12. hermaph says:

    I’m glad you said Australian’s because Australian’s are a multicultural citizenry. As for ‘white privilege’ “I stick by my assertion that people vary and that different groups have variations and behave differently due to their genetics and culture.” Boom Boom Hi guys when I was a teenager I noticed I behave differently due to my genetics and culture, I wrote a song with the goal of expressing ‘absurdity’ and to cut a long story short I just had a flash back to being a teenager … the song goes like this …
    In my head accidentally a moment alone when I realize I’m absurd, as I fall from my thrown built from all that I’ve known I realize I’m another in the herd,
    I stood my ground for a while …
    All I was taught was some crap that has brought, mental starvation instead of in tune irrigation, no fertilization through mental stimulation and all this frustration is now the mental masturbation I’m sharing with you.
    Glad that that is off my chest.
    blink

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