I saw the following video by Wooly and Mr. Bumblebee on racism. It appears on the YouTube channel for AkkadianTimes.com, a rad new site promoted by Wooly, a superb artist in her own right who also honchoes Anti-Intellectuals.
I must disclose that I have a tendency to classify people on the basis of race. Specifically, I infinitely prefer dealing with people of mixed ancestry, like Canadian actors, Dwayne Johnson, Lexa Doig, Crystal Lowe and Kristin Kreuk to dealing with pasty Whiskey Tango. The former have the supreme advantage of being born of parents who were manifestly not brother and sister, something which is definitely not standard-issue amongst the latter in my area. In my experience, and I realise this is entirely anecdotal, people whose parents were not brother and sister have a higher chance of understanding and practicing admittedly complex concepts such as situational awareness and the sterile cockpit rule than do their counterparts in the opposite category.
Personal preferences and pecadilloes, aside, the example of Dwayne Johnson is material here. In the video above, Mr. Bumblebee advocates not having anything at all to do with known racists. Mr. Johnson currently stars in the HBO TV show Ballers, which, in my opinion, is second only to The Game Plan, and right up there with Central Intelligence and Snitch in Mr Johnson's expansive repertoire.
(Much as I LOVE Mr. Johnson's--and Gal Gadot's, Elsa Pataky's, Jordana Brewster's Chris Bridges's and Tyrese Gibson's-- character and performance in the Fast & Furious franchise, performances which are the reason I prefer any Fast&Furious filim to any Marvel Avengers filim, I know from years of also watching soccer/footy, baseball, basketball, and hockey that the multiple marriages of aerodynamics and probability evinced in each fililm of the franchise are all wildly improbable, which takes some of the fun out of the story.)
Ballers has had two amazing seasons so far. It is an intense drama, immensely more appealing than Game of Thrones. Germane to the topic of this entry is the fact that one of the executive producers of Ballers is none other than Mark Wahlberg, with who Mr. Johnson starred in Pain&Gain. This is particularly material to the discussion of race and the question of avoiding known racists at all costs since Wahlberg has a felony conviction for deliberately assaulting minorities specifically because they were minorities. I personally refuse to see any Mark Wahlberg filim for this reason in the exact same manner that I refuse to see any filim of Emma Watson's, who whinged about inequality at the UN before the Panama Papers revealed her to be part of the wealthiest 1%. I do not know specifically if Mr. Johnson is aware of Wahlberg's racist violence, but it is not an entirely improbable or unreasonable supposition to assert that Mr. Johnson fully knows who and what Wahlberg is. I do know that Mr. Johnson is a philanthropist and there is evidence he is a kind and forgiving person; specifically, his ex-wife, Dany Garcia, is also an executive producer of Ballers.
I abhor and condemn Wahlberg's racism and Sargon's dalliances with at best, willing executions of the wishes thereof at worst, of the alt right race realist manosphere. Courts have already ruled on what Wahlberg is. Sargon's relations with the alt right race realist manosphere may have a business dimension, in that he is using them, Ian Paisley-style, to enlarge or maintain his following, but Sargon is clearly not averse to their views on race. However, as far as Dwayne Johnson's ongoing business relationship with the convicted racist thug Mark Wahlberg is concerned, I cannot see how Ballers promotes Wahlberg's violent racism in the way that Sargon legitimises the alt right race realist manosphere by entertaining them uncritically on his YouTubes. I do not like the fact that Mr. Johnson associates with scum like Mark Wahlberg. However, I cannot bring myself to translate my dislike of the latter specific fact into a generalised dislike and disavowal of Mr. Johnson, or into walking away from Ballers.
I am in somewhat of a similar situation with regards to Fred Reed, who I look up to as an author, and with who I agree on many other issues, particularly when it comes to hobbyist wars. Fred Reed is a very complex man. Before going into self-imposed exile in Mexico after 9/11, which, Mr. Reed has said, has forever changed the essence of America from a free country to a Security State (Gore Vidal argued that America had been a Security State since the Truman Administration), Mr. Reed was a Washington DC-area crime beat reporter. From his extant works of that period and, ongoing, from his current columns, one cannot avoid noticing that Mr. Reed harbours an especial, pronounced vehemence towards Blacks/Africans. Does this make him an alt-right race realist like Mark Wahlberg and Sargon? That is not an easy question to answer because the very same Fred Reed who can find nothing positive to say about Blacks/Africans, rushes up to shout back at high volume at Donald Trump and "the IQ-obsessed" when the latter so much as look askance at Latinos, particularly Mexicans. The fact that Mr. Reed's current wife is Mexican may be related to the latter note, entirely incongruent with his deterministic views of Blacks/Africans, as may be the fact that Mr. Reed has lived in, and traveled extensively across, Latin America for almost two decades now.
I cannot give Mr. Reed the same mulligan I afford Mr. Johnson on his partnership with Wahlberg. Fred Reed, you see, is an old Soldier of Fortune hand. Unlike a semiliterate Roman Catholic NYPD MOS, Mr. Reed knows about Rhodesia and Ulster, knows the difference between a pathological ticket-dispensing organisation masquerading as a police force, such as the NYPD, and a real, professional police force, like Rhodesia's awkwardly-named British South Africa Police's Police Anti-Terrorist Units and Special Branch and the Royal Ulster Constabulary and its Special Branch. Mr. Reed knows all of this. Yet, instead of arguing for the professionalisation of the NYPD away from being a ticket dispensary with a lot of revolvers into something resembling the BSAP's PATUs or the RUC, he simply repeats the line that it is Black/African culture that is the problem. This is wrong and this is extremely lazy on the part of Mr. Reed who does know better, but who is unwilling to apply the knowledge he gained during his SOF days towards resolving conflicts in the American interior. It is also a damned shame given Mr. Reed's vocal, habitual condemnation of Trump/Bannon and the alt-right's attacks on Latinos.
I am disappointed in Mr. Reed's approach towards Blacks/Africans. These repulsive views of his, however, do not negate the fact that he has solid points when it comes to Latinos, and also do not negate the fact that he has solid points when it comes to REMFs and draft-dodgers (like Paul Wolfowitz) who lust for war.
Mr. Reed's complex, non-standard-issue (vehemence towards Blacks/Africans, instinctively outspoken condemnation on anyone who attacks Latinos) is perhaps symptomatic of the tensions around race at this point in 2017. Recently, I witnessed a heated transatlantic exchange regarding the murder of a British woman by a Palestinian with mental issues. I have a feeling that, among other things, the difference of contexts across the Pond contributed in no small measure to the heat. In some places, Breitbart's is more predominant than others and in others, leaving some of those rightfully repulsed by Breitbart's that it is a primary, if not the, source, for all stories that paint Muslims in a negative light, such as the story in question in this paragraph. However, Deutsche Welle, whose existence predates Breitbart's by more than a couple of decades, had the following quote on the story.
"This is one of many instances where a Palestinian suffering personal strife ... chooses to carry out an attack in order to find release for his problems," the Shin Bet statement said
Shin Bet/Shabak, being stood up in the late 1940's, is two decades older than Breitbart himself, and is even older than Steve Bannon. It is also Israel's internal security agency, akin to MI5 and France's DGSI, which suggests it knows a thing or two about patterns of Palestinian partisan activity beyond what appears in Breitbart's sensationalism. The remark that the Palestinian who carried out the killing of the British woman in question "will soon be funded by the British taxpayer" seems like a gratuitous Islamophobic Breitbart's thing to say, if taken in isolation. In October of last year, however, the British government suspended payments to the Palestinian Authority over concerns that British taxpayer funds were going to partisans, only to resume these payments in December of last year. With these two vital, previously missing pieces of the picture, what seemed to be a gratuitous Breitbart's style sensationalist remark about "British taxpayers giving money to this killer" now has a proper contextual framework and is more understandable.
Racism is evil and merits full condemnation. But there are plenty of racist people on this planet, as well as plenty of things which, viewed in isolation, look racist. It is very easy to Disconnect from people who tacitly, but deliberately, promote racism. Disconnecting from known racists who no longer trumpet or otherwise promote their racist views is another thing entirely. Disconnecting from people who are still open, but selective, racists in some regards, but who are multifaceted people with other aspects to them risks the unintended consequence of dismissing these multifaceted racists when they have solid points on other issues, particularly when these are important issues. And many times, what appears to be a racist statement--as in a verbal statement, NOT a KNOWN racist meme/cypher--takes on a rather different dimension when the background to that statement becomes known and understood.