Thursday, 18 May 2006

White Pride

Surfing as you do, one link led to another and I am reading about a couple of young girls in the US forging their way ahead in the world of music touting their brand of "White Pride". They get a lot of bad press with many neo-nazi slurs and then they try to walk the line of justifying what they believe in whilst being horrified at the slurs.

I haven't listened to their music or read their lyrics and have no desire to purchase any in order to do so. They are said to deny the Jewish holocaust or at the least question it. I think it is right to question everything but when people react against the major horrors of this world by trying to somehow minimise or deny them then it is extremely worrying.

These girls are said to say that if there is Black Pride then why not have White Pride. But they seemed to have forgotton where that Black Pride is coming from and what it is working against: all these centuries of brutality, slavery, repression and downright bigotry. These young 13 year old twins have been heavily misguided and have effectively wiped out great swathes of history. They may deny some of the slurs written about them but if they go off amd make a cute snowman with Hitler features or wear t-shirts with smiley faces also with Hitler features then what are we to think? That Hitler was entirely mispresented and was really a good guy? I wonder if they realise how much they are being used. (We are all used to some extent but this is pretty dramatic.)

So where does that leave pride, nationalism and the like? I no longer have any of my books by Krishnamurti (I lent them out!) but he wrote some convincing arguments as to why nationalism and pride (in anything even down to football teams) bred discontent. That ultimately nationalism was not a uniting force but creates larger divisions because of course my pride/nationalism is better than yours.

Time has come not for "pride" but for something else. Something humane, helpful and positive.

Krishnamurti said:

To love anything beautiful in a country is normal and natural, but when that love is used by exploiters in their own interest it is called nationalism. Nationalism is fanned into imperialism, and then the stronger people divide and exploit the weaker, with the Bible in one hand and a bayonet in the other. The world is dominated by the spirit of cunning, ruthless exploitation, from which war must ensue. This spirit of nationalism is the greatest stupidity.

Every individual should be free to live fully, completely. As long as one tries to liberate one's own particular country and not man, there must be racial hatreds, the divisions of people and classes. The problems of man must be solved as a whole, not as confined to countries or peoples.

Original Comments:

Cheryl said...

Well that was divisive of him. Why the Bible? Doesn't he mean 'religion' in general, or is the guy as bigoted or blinkered as the people he is talking about?

Lovely post with a lot of truth in it but thats a disappointingly offensive quote that doesnt do justice to what you have to say.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:00:00 PM

Cheryl said...

Correction - truly BEAUTIFUL post.

I'm just still smarting at the quote, sorry, which is even more offensive because the guy is making himself out to be the opposite of divisive and somehow holy. Exactly the same as a Christian saying loads of stuff about loving your brother, and peace, and then remarking 'except for the Muslims'.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:10:00 PM

doris said...

Hmmm - he really is a good read. I did wonder if that quote of his would be taken out of context which is understandable.

He pretty much sleights all religions so it isn't just the Bible! And yet (as far as I remember) he feels any religion is OK as long as it didn't try to pull the "my way is the only way" stunt. (Er, it's been 20 years since I read his stuff so forgive me if I am wrong.)

I've just read your second comment Cheryl - I can understand where you are coming from but really, this guy is not like that. I do think he paints a different way forward that is more humanitarian.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:21:00 PM

Cheryl said...

Fair dos
This is a deep subject though because there is nothing wrong with national pride, team pride, religion, any of that, but only with the people that use these as excuses, as things to hide behind and gang up behind in order to belittle others. I think if these things were gone, they'd find something else. Its not the concepts, its the human condition. You think?

Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:37:00 PM

doris said...

It is a deep subject and one I struggle with. I reckon I have my team pride/nationlism etc under control and I can let go and say it doesn't matter if my team (etc) doesn't win. However, I know I can get carried away just like the next person and it is easy to see in a small way how football fans get out of hand - whether that is alcohol fuelled or not. Step that up to a nationalistic pride and we can move towards wars and genocides - it is like "my team is right" amplified.

And then I'm afraid, similar can be said about religion.

Maybe it does come down to the human condition and the way we need to form into social groups and therefore we have our group identities and pride.

You will have to excuse me..... I shall become an extremely sad person and will be tuning into Big Brother in about 10 minutes or so to watch human behaviour at its extreme. See you in a few months!

Thursday, May 18, 2006 8:50:00 PM

jane said...

Very, very good post. In America right now, nationalism is actually becoming fascism & most don't even know it.
I knew someone whose son was a neo-nazi & she said the same example about black pride. I kinda just stood there with my jaw stuck in a dropped position.
We're one human race. Period.

Friday, May 19, 2006 12:44:00 AM

Jo said...

Good post Doris, and as I missed BB tonight, I can reply :-)

Actually the reason I missed BB was because I was out watching Billy Bragg supporting Hard Fi in Brixton. He seems quite apposite in this context as many of his songs are hard hitting polemics about the evils of racism, of sexism, of fascism. Half way through his set he stopped and delivered a passionate speech about the dangers of the Bristish National Party, about how he had been part of Rock Against Racism in the 70s which had helped to turn the tide against the National Front, and how it was time to do so again.

A great man.

I too worry about 'pride'. On the face of it, it's harmless enough - and a valuable way to express joint commitment and connection with others. The problem comes when the group in which you have pride is placed in competition with another group - then my pride becomes mixed with an insidious disparagement of the other side. Think football - think what England fans will be feeling if we come up against Argentina or Germany. In the 2000 European Championships (I think), I recall The Sun headlines - with pics of Hitler, corny puns about the Blitz, all the '2 World Wars and 1 World Cup' stuff. It's never far below the surface, and often easy to whip up into political, nationalistic ends.

The White Pride thing is horrible. Not because we (I speak as a white person) don't have things we might feel positive about (though they're really because we're human not because we're white) but because you can't avoid asking why should such a group need to exist?. When white people dominate so much of the world, and its resources, when - largely - white people are so undiscriminated against (certainly in the US where these girls live - in comparison with black people) what agenda can they possibly be promoting?

Logic suggests it must be about continuing white supremacy vs non white people. It cannot have any other purpose.

And another thing - people just don't get taught any proper history these days. My daughter has to my great relief just chosen History GCSE (there was talk of dropping it), and as a History Graduate I am very pleased! I bet these two silly girls in the US actually have no real idea about who Hitler was, what he tried to do and why. Though that doesn't excuse the adults who are manipulating them.

Friday, May 19, 2006 2:23:00 AM

doris said...

Jane Thank you for your comment. Yesterday I ended up reading through quite a few pages of the National Vanguard website and I'd have to say it was scary. They talk about being intelligent and using our brains and yet to them it is simply not OK to be either non-white or Jewish. Their advertising is on the one hand quite compelling (if you don't think!) and on the other scary.

Jo I'm glad you enjoyed the gig! And what an excellent contribution. You made the point quite well about the white supremacy possibly being at the root of it rather than "pride".

Friday, May 19, 2006 8:11:00 AM

Chandira said...

I'm with you Doris!

I've made too much of a study of neo-Nazis (and Nazis) and this whole denial of the Holocaust is more than just a desire to deny history, it's a move to discredit the Jews. It's that direct.

Cheryl, Krishnamurti was a beautiful man, not at all a bigot. It's just that at the time he was writing, he was witnessing 'Christianity' (and I use taht term loosely) taking over his country in such an irrational and heartless way. But he is free to criticise that which needed criticism. I'm sure if it had been Islam, he'd have said the same of the Koran.

Jane, you're right about that, fascism is taking over here. Because people don;t know their history. Exactly. When people lose the right to express other opinons than the main stream, we're in deep trouble.

The trouble with national Pride of any kind is it's 'f*** you' message to every body else. If it truly was national (or racial) pride and not hatred of 'other' as a threat, we'd be ok.
When we all realise God is the Life arising in us ALL, human, non-human, etc, then we'll be ok. I can't make sense of how people don't figure that out if they truly believe in God. What isn't God here? That was probably at the bottom of Krishnamurti's message as he was a Hindu, and Hinduism is a very peace-loving religion, like Buddhism. The underlying teaching is about the Unity of everything.

Great post and great comments..

Friday, May 19, 2006 4:30:00 PM

Gerald Ford said...

I think the Bible in this case was simply the best-known religious object to Western readers in this example. I don't think there was anything meant beyond that.

But any rate, yeah, I hear about the "white pride is an answer to black pride" argument, and it's just stupid.

Pride is never a good thing. Never. Confidence is one thing, but pride is evil. Martin Luther King jr. was deeply concerned about the Black Pride movement as he knew it would steer the Civil Rights movement in the wrong direction.

How could White Pride possibly be any better.

Being a firm Buddhist, who believes in the unending cycle of rebirth, I see little point in clinging to a racial identity anyways. One lifetime you're black, the next white, and then the next your a bug or something. Racial identity (and pride) is just a human construct and more trouble than it's worth.

This all goes for National Pride, pride in one's religion, or anything else. It's one thing to be happy and content, but pride is a poison best left alone. ;p

Saturday, May 20, 2006 3:33:00 AM

doris said...

Thank you Chandira and Gerald Ford because what you have written has been further food for thought for me. I haven't done any in-depth studies and don't know a lot so it is always interesting to hear others' thoughts. What I do like to do though is to read any information or pamphlets that come direct from these organisations or their proponents. Maybe the person outputting the info isn't qualified to speak for the whole organisation but it still gives a flavour of where they are coming from.

Saturday, May 20, 2006 10:58:00 AM

Mama Mouse said...

"...but pride is a poison best left alone.

I LOVE that! We all are the same underneath our skin. We all need the same sustenance and we all die from the same things. No religion or belief system, in my opinion, is the ONLY right one. I think that they are ALL right.

When it boils down to the crux of the whole thing ... we must live to the best of our ability and to abide by the Golden Rule ... do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Its in virtually every religion ... worded differently perhaps ... but there in essence.

To think your country/religion/belief is better than someone elses is arrogance. To deny a major historical event is ignorance personified.

There is a time and place for intolerance and it has nothing to do with national pride or religious pride ... or personal pride for that matter. It DOES have to with pain, physical or emotional, caused to people of any race, color or creed .... for any reason. When children are abused ... when women are beaten and raped ... when a culture is the victim of genocide .... THEN it is time for intolerance.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 11:04:00 AM

decrepitoldfool said...

"I no longer have any of my books by Krishnamurti (I lent them out!)"

C.S. Lewis said your library in heaven would consist of those books you loaned out and were never returned. Not that I believe in heaven but it's a nice thought.

Yes, we are aware of the rise of facism in the US. It's like a sickening, slow-motion train wreck, like watching a loved one being destroyed by addiction to some overwhelming stimulant.

Monday, May 22, 2006 2:17:00 AM

Curly K said...

Fantastic post Doris, the antithesis of BB chat really (not that I love both).

It's unbelievable that people can still look at other races / creeds etc. and see them all as less than themselves. Where does the constant need to feel better about one's own race/creed by belittling and harming others come from? Ignorance is a huge part of it and yet very well informed people have become involved in genocides etc. throughout history.

I don't think it's pride necessarily that it too blame, I think a little pride is a good thing. Sometimes it looks to me like it's more like a need for constant affirmation and validation. It's a very difficult topic and even stranger is the fact that all too often those races/creeds who have previously been oppressed etc. go on to do the exact same to another group. Thinks Cheryl could have a point about it being the human condition. Also, a lot of misinformation from media sources and politicians etc. who are biased only fuel situations.

Monday, May 22, 2006 12:04:00 PM

Ally said...

Brilliant post. I saw an article about those two girls a couple of months ago. Nationalism scares me.

Monday, May 22, 2006 7:04:00 PM

doris said...

Mama Mouse Tis true that there are times for intolerance. Reminds me of that little saying.... "And then they came for me" after the person had said all the things he had let slip.

decrepitoldfool I hadn't heard that CS Lewis saying about books in heaven! I've got shelves of them then awaiting me :-)

Curly K Well, that'd be the abused becoming the abuser syndrome amplified. I think there is something about it being the human condition but I also think it is hard to accept that there is anything wrong with just a little pride in one's country/team etc. After all, I reckon I would never go that far, but this is where it all begins.

Ally Scary indeed.

Thank you again to everyone for a really interesting feedback and thoughts. It has struck me on many different levels and there are issues I want to really consider some more.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 4:55:00 PM

Anji said...

I know I'm a bit late, so I hope you'll get to read this.
Having lived abroad for a few years I must say it does hurt to hear your home country getting knocked. In France there is a tendance to gloat over things that go wrong in other countries. A few years back the fashion was to interview 'the man on the street' in the UK. They loved picking out people who couldn't express themselves very well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 6:59:00 AM

doris said...

Anji I reckon they still do those interviews but more than that I reckon they get the interviews to fit what they want to say. So is it public opinion expressed (no matter how badly it is expressed so that we just laugh at it) or the political views of whichever media person in dictate at that time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:00:00 AM

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