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Fri, Feb. 16th, 2007, 02:02 am
It all started with Ann Coulter

I've been particularly prolific with the writing because I just finished a week of midterms, and I've been looking for ways to relax and blow off steam (yes, I'm a sick puppy when this is my idea of fun ;P).

Every so often I try to to read something that is from a perspective I don't hold: perhaps it's some creationist literature, or maybe it's some right-wing treatise. I'm not sure exactly why it is I do it ‒ I suppose there's a certain part of me that says in order to be fair I have to have read some of the ideas in order to criticize them. But I usually just end up going off on a rant and not really learning anything from the experience.

This post is certainly not going to be one of those rants. Instead, I've encountered something that inspired a visceral feeling I can't quite put into words... and it all started with Ann Coulter. I've tried multiple times to read some of her work ‒ books mostly ‒ and failed because she can't seem to suspend her petty put-downs long enough to present her case. Her news articles, however, are short enough to stomach, and it's here that the story begins.

I ran across her article on the Duke lacrosse team and the alleged rape of a stripper last year. While I think the rape charge was trumped up (based on other articles I read), I took particular exception to her implication that white men don't rape black women and decided to look up the rape statistics myself. What I was appalled to find was that it took me quite a lot of digging to find the actual statistics from a reliable source. Almost all of the pages I turned up initially were from white supremacists making outlandish claims about black men raping white women. One even went so far as to claim that 50% of all rapes were interracial (the actual percentage, based on the Sexual Assault Incident Reporting Database, is about 12%), and solely perpetrated by black men.

But after I found the statistics I was looking for (yes, white men do rape black women in significant numbers, although black men do more than their statistically expected share), I went back to visit some of the sites I had previously stumbled across.

And here's where I lack the words to describe what I've been feeling as I'm looking at these sites. I should be feeling pissed off, but instead I feel a sort of stunned horror that I can't quite describe. It's kind of like a little kid seeing an disembodied eyeball laying on the sidewalk and poking at it with a stick. I feel revulsed, but I'm fascinated at the same time.

I tried looking at black supremacist sites ‒ it's much harder to find real black supremacist sites than white supremacist sites, to be honest. But the ones that I did encounter made me feel rather frightened, as some of them are quite militant. Most references I found to Latino supremacy seem to be tied to Texas Syndicate, and I tried looking for Asian supremacist sites (I didn't have much luck, but I did find a web forum complaining that there weren't any Asian supremacist groups).

But I when I look at many of the white supremacist sites, I don't feel fear or anger, and I'm desperately trying to figure out why. Maybe I can't take them seriously because some of the things they say are so ludicrous that I don't know how to answer them. Maybe it's because some of the sites are so...clean, and polished, and organized. The people in the photographs are these clean-cut, good looking people with fair skin that are supposed to look wholesome and family-oriented. How do you get angry at a couple of smiling little girls? How do you fear a mother holding a new-born child? It's like watching a horror movie of a character with an all-too-perfect facade, when you know that the character is the one that's going to turn out to be the psychopath later on in the film.

Sat, Feb. 17th, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
le_bebna_kamni

I was finally able to put into words what was bothering me (or fascinating me, depending on how you look at it) about these sites. I was expecting to feel anger or fear, which I think is what most people expect when they think of white supremacists. Instead, many of the white supremacist sites go out of their way to appear "legitimate", as if they aren't a hate-filled organization (see this commercial on YouTube for an idea of the flavor of these sites). It's a good marketing technique, even better than the ones used in "White Lies" (with Sarah Polley, about a girl who gets sucked into a white "pride" movement because of an essay she writes, but finds that the organization has a much more sinister interior). What fascinated me was the fact that, while black supremacist sites seem to let their message speak for itself, it seems that white supremacists have to overcome their bad reputation by drawing people in with subterfuge.

Sun, Feb. 18th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC)
le_bebna_kamni

No, I was wrong. It seems that white people and black people use the same kinds of subterfuge. The Nation of Islam is a notorious hate group, and their website is about as benign at National Vanguard.

Mon, Feb. 19th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
grypeseye

I've run across that same kind of kind exterior when I had to deal with a white supremacist in person. Unfortunately, I was in a position where I had to wait a long period of time with him (a friend's car got towed and I was helping her get it back). He decided to strike up a casual conversation about some robbery in the area. He was telling me about how some black people stole some ATVs that fell off a truck, ending this story with a comment that "black people will take anything not nailed down."

I already knew where he was trying to go with this, since I saw his Nazi tattoos. I just said that it was a funny story and changed the subject. He never brought anything up like that again. We got her car back, then left.

I would've expected a white supremacist to be more explicit in person. He was very polite and non-confrontational. Not the kind of person I would expect. It wouldn't surprise me to find out it's something practiced to see how the other person would react.

Wed, Feb. 21st, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
le_bebna_kamni

I once met a white supremacist, but it wasn't as obvious as your encounter. I was camping in the UP, and I ran into an older gentleman who was very friendly. We got to talking, and I invited him out to breakfast.

Our conversation was fairly normal, discussing what we did, where we were from, and so on. He was a retired Physics professor who was originally from Germany, but had lived in the U.S. for many decades and who had decided to live in the UP after his retirement.

Toward the end of our conversation, as we were finishing breakfast and getting ready to leave, he saw some blonde women who had come into the diner with a passel of blonde-haired children. He smiled, and had this incredible look of pride on his face. Then he turned to me and said, "It's wonderful to see Aryan woman up here having lots of blonde-haired babies. Too many white people are letting their race die out, letting the blacks take over."

My jaw just about dropped, but I tried to remain polite and finish up the conversation. After we parted, I realized that he was a product of his culture and his time ‒ namely, a pre-World War II Germany. He wasn't a bad person ‒ in fact, he seemed remarkably nice and very intelligent. It taught me a lesson: that good people can have hateful ideas, that people who are racists aren't necessarily monsters. They're normal people. Scary, huh?

Fri, Jul. 16th, 2010 05:57 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): Asian Supremacists

I too wondered why there are so many white supremacists site but hardly any Asian or black supremacists sites...?

I think all white supremacists have inferiority complex and these site are there to satisfy their needs.

May be Asians and Blacks spend their time actually trying to be better than wasting time justifying that they are better?

Wonder why they feel the need to ensure survival of white race if they truly believe that they are the superior race?