Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And when WHITES engage in LOOTING, what is THAT called? Ah, yes: expansionism, colonisation, manifest destiny, globalisation, "securing freedom and democracy for all [white people]", "free trade", health insurance premiums, ATM and other banking fees, pharmaceutical price gouging, internet music file sharing, and "morally good". (WRONG! That's all LOOTING.)

Revised on 21 January 2010 ECD.

I'm introducing this post with one cracker-ass, mutherfucking, white supremacist, classist, anti-Black IMAGE AND CAPTION which was found--or was it looted??--*here*.

Members of WHAT race of people gets to offer themselves million dollar bonuses, annually, for doing a shitty job at work AND getting fired? Whites or Blacks? What groups of people are enslaved globally and genocidally killed, with all their cultures appropriated and natural resources LOOTED? Whites or Black and Indigenous people? Who benefits from capitalism's corporate welfare programs to aid Families With Independent Children? Rich folks or poor folks? Of the Global North and the Global South, which one is rich and which is poor because one LOOTED THE HELL OUT OF THE OTHER? (And which one did what?) In which hemisphere are resources continually being LOOTED to allow the other to thrive while people across other hemisphere barely survive and die?

On a more individualistic and less systemic level, all the white men I know but two: myself and one friend--just one, steal music all day long using their computers. LOTS of white young women steal from clothing stores and other businesses while the clerks and cashiers keep their eyes focused on the people of color with dark skin in the store at the same time. Middle and upper middle class white "shoppers" in mall stores across the U.S. utilise this awareness of anti-Black racism to get away with looting. And should some white upper class person be caught, don't worry; daddy has a lawyer and a doctor who will call it a serious addiction-level compulsion and brain chemistry imbalance.  

What does the media call an upper class white woman who steals from a store? A looter? Nope. 
White media defines her as someone--name not released yet by her attorney--who is a victim of a mental illness, "Experiencing a formerly undiagnosed manic phase of a bipolar disorder". (I'd call it acting on class and race entitlements, mental illness or no mental illness.)

What do white folks call a Mexican man crossing the boarder into the U.S.? Racist answer: one 'illegal alien' who 'shoulda-been-shot already' who has criminally arrived here to take away all our jobs!!!
An alternative answer: an Indigenous man coming home after his family and his people were forced out years ago, by whites.

What do white folks call an African American and Chippewa man in a walking around at noontime in a white gated community in an Ohio suburb? Answer: First they identify him as a trespassing dangerous criminal burglar, and then they call 9-1-1. 
An alternative answer: paying respects to where generations of his family were buried before the sacred ground was paved over for the comfort of land-looting whites.) 

I've added to the title below because as it was stated, it's fucked up. Unless we're going to say ALL colonised nations in the last 500 years are [white] man-made disasters. (That would include the WHM supremacist U.S. and the continental nation of white Australia. And yes, those nations too, are disasters for Indigenous people, people of color, the poor, women, queer folks, children, non-human animals, and the Earth.) And we'd have to include "man-made" suffering that is systematic for women experiencing battery and rape, among other forms of gendered violence experienced by women everywhere around the world, by patriarchal men known or unknown to them.

I find this article to be racist and classist as hell. But it makes a one or two important points. And afterwards, I'm placing another article on WHY what you're about to read is FUCKED UP RACIST AND CLASSIST (among other oppressive things) about it. But see if you can pick it out as you read along. I may help you along by putting some bits in bold and brackets. 

What that follows next is from *here*. (I've added quite a bit in bold and in brackers, actually.)

Much of Haiti[an Suffering Prior to and Following the Earthquake] Is a [White] Man-Made Disaster 

Recovery will require a profound cultural and political change.

By Anne Applebaum
Posted Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, at 12:13 PM ET

Read more about the Haiti earthquake in Slate.

For the past several days, I have found myself unable to look at the photographs from Haiti. I have also found that when I start reading an article datelined Port-au-Prince, I have to force myself to read to the end of it. I have donated money to Doctors Without Borders, on the grounds that it has been in Haiti a long time and will be able to use the cash quickly. However, I have no illusions about my tiny donation, or about the organization's ability to help. I have no illusions about anyone's ability to help, for this is not just a natural disaster: It is a man-made disaster first and foremost, and so it will remain. [Yes, I agree. But which men made it so? THAT'S important to answer, and Anne doesn't.]

Though the earthquake was a powerful one, its impact was multiplied many, many times by the weakness of civil society and the absence of rule of law in Haiti. [This is all coded gringo lingo for a call to quickly bring in the white supremacist soldiers!] As Roger Noriega has written, "You can literally see [the] dysfunction [wtf???] from space": Satellite photos of Hispaniola, the island split between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, show green forests on the Dominican side and bare, deforested hills on the Haitian side. [I did not know that, and appreciate Anne putting that information in her article. AND, that's not 'dysfunction', and if she can bracket the "the" she can bracket the word "dysfunction" and replace it with "ecocidal, genocidal destruction". That's white supremacist corporate capitalist greed, Anne. So please say so.] Mudslides and collapsing houses were routine in Haiti, even before this disaster. Laws designed to prevent erosion [laws don't prevent erosion. Trees prevent erosion], and building codes designed to prevent criminally shoddy construction, were ignored [by the moral, anti-criminal U.S. white supremacist military and paramilitary forces, like Blackwater?]. [And who benefited from those forests being removed?] The rickety slums of Port-au-Prince were constructed in ravines and on steep, unstable hills. When they collapsed, they collapsed completely. [And what might we call the fucked up, environment-destroying, multimillion dollar dwellings built on the slopes in California? Stupidity-by-design? See, when you're poor, you have limited resources, so when you build, you build with materials you got. When you're uber-rich, you can build with anything and you can build anywhere. So calling poor people's homes "rickety slums" is just a reinforcer of stereotypes and an invisibiliser of rich white folks rank stupidity.]

So weak were Haiti's public institutions, literally and figuratively, that nothing is left of them, either. [This is more of that coded talk for "HURRY UP and bring in the white supremacist colonising soldiers!!!!!"] Parliament, churches, hospitals, and government offices no longer exist.* [Really? EVERYWHERE in Haiti???] The archbishop is dead. The head of the U.N. mission is dead. [FOR THE LOVE OF A WHITE-MALE-SUPREMACIST SKY-GOD, SEND IN THE U.S. MILITARY!!!] There is a real possibility that violent gangs will emerge [OH YES, SHE WENT THERE!] to take their place, to control food supplies, to loot what remains to be looted. [Wait. Isn't that what white people and their corporations do: control food supplies and loot what remains to be looted?] There is a real possibility, within the coming days, of epidemics, mass starvation, and civil war. [And possibly toads and frogs falling like hail from the sky. U.S. MILITARY: GET YOUR WHITE SUPREMACIST ASSES DOWN THERE NOW!!!!]

The same is true in Indonesia. [i.e., all those places in where the darker people live are the same, really.]  It is even possible to read assessments of the worst-hit places, such as the province [check at the bottom to see why these asterisks are here in blue] of Aceh*—from the World Bank, for example—that describe life there as better than ever before. [Well, that's the job of the World Bank: to make themselves look good while committing genocide and ecocide.] I am certain that many disagree. However, there are no scenes there of what everyone always calls "biblical" tragedy. Indonesia is not a society of utopian perfection, and neither is the United States. [Well you've got that right.] But both have enough social cohesion to support indigenous charities, [Exsqueeze me? The U.S. does WHAT?!! Anne, the U.S. commits GENOCIDE and IMPERIALISTIC RACIST WARS and GLOBAL CULTURAL DESTABILISATION of Indigenous people. Those are three of the things it does most, actually (in terms of what it spends the most money on)--and routinely. I know you mean "local charities" but please read INCITE's book on NGOs and other pro-corporate schemes to find out why "charities" don't do anything that is sustainable or that stops globalisation and white male supremacy, including, particularly, the virulent spread of white Christianity.] both have enough educated people [because going to colleges means you know how to live sustainably, doesn't it? Uhhhhhh, no.] to plan reconstruction, both are capable of absorbing lessons learned [unlike who, Anne? The intellectual two year-olds who apparently live in Haiti?], of rebuilding villages and cities [Anne, please read Derrick Jensen's work and learn how fucked up that statement is] with an eye to future floods, of helping their own refugees resettle. [And please WHM sky-god, don't let them come to the U.S.! We whiteys are more and more of a minority as it is!!!]

Haiti does not have these kinds of internal resources, which means that all the reconstruction expertise will have to come from outside. Most of it will come from the United States. [And not with any morality of generosity, I assure you. With economic and political interests firmly in place. Yes, the U.S. does that well.] Yet for all the obvious historical reasons, this outside expertise will be unacceptable to many Haitians, who will see it as a colonial imposition, unwarranted interference in local affairs, cultural imperialism. [That would be "unacceptable", yes. And "see it" means, in this case, "WHAT IT IS"] Armed U.S. Marines may wind up in fire fights with those violent gangs [Oh she didn't go there did she?? Yup, she did. Hey Anne, you racist bigot, the white supremacist military is the world's most powerful GANG.] Local elites—those who remain—may plot to swindle the aid missions out of their food and money. [Because there's no such thing as morality on an island like Haiti--in case you don't catch Anne's drift.]

I hope I am wrong. [I hope Anne doesn't write racist, seemingly pro-humanity but blatantly xenophobic bullshit in the future.] I am sure there are optimists out there, people who think this is Haiti's chance to reconstruct itself, literally and figuratively, to rebuild government institutions, to attract donors and investment. Bill Clinton is such an optimist [no, Anne. He's a sexual abuser of women, and an opportunist who represents white male supremacist corporate interests], and I am very, very glad that he and his wife spent their honeymoon in Haiti. How fortunate, at this moment, that the country has such powerful friends. [Yes. Cynical sarcasm. But you miss the point.] Yet I also know that a successful recovery and reconstruction will require not just friends [does "friends" include the U.S. white supremacist colonising military as well as "FOB"s (friends of Bill)?], not just money, and not just optimism, but a profound cultural and political change, the kind of change that normally takes decades. And Haiti does not have decades, it has days—maybe hours—before fresh disasters strike. [It has less time than that to be described rather than stereotyped in a non-white supremacist way by the U.S. media.]

Correction, Jan. 17, 2010: This article originally stated that Haitian President René Préval was out of the country. (Return to the corrected sentence.) It also incorrectly described Aceh as an island. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

*     *     *
Did  you get it? Here's part of the problem, from *this wonderfully named feminist blog, The Pursuit of Harpyness*.

Stop using the word “looting!”

So this morning I decided to check in on What The MSM Is Up To, just out of morbid curiosity. At MSNBC I found this image.

The implication is that Haitians are ungrateful, uncivilized thieves.

Right now, this is the top story over there. “Looters roam Haiti streets as aid trickles in.” Is that so? To “loot” is to rob. What constitutes “looting” in an area that has been reduced to rubble? Not waiting in front of a collapsed grocery store for the cashier to return? I suppose people should not eat until they have the opportunity to pay someone for food? Is that what “civilized” people would do? As Tom Scocca said at The Awl, if there is no other way to get provisions, it’s not looting.



Julian, this article too condemns the deliberate demonisation of the Haitian people and why 'looting' is a deliberate term used to deflect the realities of Haitian lives when they have lost everything and US military forces continue to refuse planes carrying medical aid and food to land.

The writer Rebecca Solnit also holds the mainstream media accountable for the deliberate way they too promote the demonisation of Haitians - just because so many Haitians were poor before the earthquake and now white, mainstream media is busily increasing their profit margins by depicting Haitians as criminals.

The world has indeed gone mad - or rather too many of us are allowing greedy voracious white men to profit from Haiti's disaster and all the while blaming Haitians when in fact it is white mens' policies which have caused this disaster.

Rebecca Solnit says it better than I and she has witnessed first hand the increasing numbers of Haitians needlessly dying because US foreign policy believes 'security' supercedes Haitian lives.,_in_haiti,_words_can_kill/

Julian Real said...

Thank you SO MUCH, Jennifer!

I'm going to make this a separate cross-post.

Brilliantly expressed.

Chris said...

Looting is defined as non-essential items such as televisions or stereo systems, jewelry, etc. As opposed to Scavenging which is procuring essential items such as food, water, and shelter. Personally I don't care what you call it, when there is a natural or unnatural disaster I wouldn't fault anyone for taking any supply that they see fit in taking. If I am trying to protect myself or my family I would take anything of value for the purpose of bartering later for goods (such as essential items). Any National Guard soldier preventing ANYONE from taking ANYTHING is doing a disservice to the public and that soldier is a wasted resource that could have been been better put to use distributing desperately needed aid. I personally think we should enact laws protecting the rights of ALL people to take what they need as they see fit without the worry of being shot when aid is not distributed in time, which it almost never is. ..With that said, your blog is not the way to do that. You have created a racist, sexist article that further alienates people from each other and spreads hatred. I hope you can resolve your issues and stop the hate.

Julian Real said...

Hi Chris,

You might want to tell those police officers or military personnel who shoot people for carrying away containers of water or television sets, or whatever, after the normally white male supremacist city systems shut down, what the definition is of "looting".

Hi Chris,

In case you didn't notice, I'm not an attorney or a politician. So my blog doesn't have the means or mechanisms to achieve equality or justice. It's, well, a blog.

Re: "You have created a racist, sexist article that further alienates people from each other and spreads hatred."

I welcome you to point out white supremacist racism and male supremacist sexism in this blog. Please don't bother wasting my time or any readers' time with the conservative-to-liberal perspective that things like racism and sexism "go both ways". When men are raped every three minutes by women and when 8 to 15 year-old boys are systematically pimped and trafficked by women procurers and predators, and when Black, Brown, Asian and American Indigenous women rule every institution in the U.S., as whites and/or men do now, then and only then do I welcome you to come here and talk about the kind of racism and sexism you allude to.

As for your claim that this blog "spreads hate": what is your proof of that? That's a rather harsh statement to make without backing it up, isn't it? You are aware that the exact same thing was said to suffragists and Civil Rights workers, aren't you? Opposing and naming gross callousness, atrocity, and injustice by pointing out the white and male supremacy embedded in media and other white male supremacist systems and industries isn't "hateful" unless I'm arguing we should hate those who commit those crimes, which this blogger doesn't do.

You might take note of the quotes to the right, two of which I'll repeat here, below:

'[T]hose who point out that women are being victimized are said to victimize women. Those who resist the reduction of women to sex are said to reduce women to sex. Subordinating women harms no one when pornographers do it, but when feminists see women being subordinated in pornography and say so, they are harming women. Words do nothing except when feminists use them. Go figure.' -- Catharine A. MacKinnon, Women's Lives, Men's Laws, page 350.

If I hated men, I would treat men the way that men treat women! -- Beth Chamblin

I don't physically harm anyone, Chris. And I don't support bigotry, which you'd know if you'd read more here. Take note, for example, of my reply to vluk in the comments section of this post:

And please note my John Lennon posts, and please do get back to me about which actions of mine here are "hateful" or filled with hate. Unless you can, I'd appreciate it if you'd publicly apologise to me for making a grossly inaccurate and libelous statement like that.