Médias: A l’exemple de Saturne, la Révolution dévore ses enfants (Spot the error when the mainstream media want to cut ties with even moderate anti-Trump conservatives… because they won’t bend the knee to critical theory’s version of reality !)

17 juillet, 2020

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A l’exemple de Saturne, la révolution dévore ses enfants. Jacques Mallet du Pan (1793)
On pensait d’ordinaire que le socialisme était une sorte de libéralisme augmenté d’une morale. L’État allait prendre votre vie économique en charge et vous libérerait de la crainte de la pauvreté, du chômage, etc., mais il n’aurait nul besoin de s’immiscer dans votre vie intellectuelle privée. Maintenant la preuve a été faite que ces vues étaient fausses. George Orwell (Literature and Totalitarianism, 1941)
Déjà, nous ne savons littéralement presque rien de la Révolution et des années qui la précédèrent. Tous les documents ont été détruits ou falsifiés, tous les livres récrits, tous les tableaux repeints. Toutes les statues, les rues, les édifices, ont changé de nom, toutes les dates ont été modifiées. Et le processus continue tous les jours, à chaque minute. L’histoire s’est arrêtée. Rien n’existe qu’un présent éternel dans lequel le Parti a toujours raison. Je sais naturellement que le passé est falsifié, mais il me serait impossible de le prouver, alors même que j’ai personnellement procédé à la falsification. Winston (1984, George Orwell)
Nous sommes une société qui, tous les cinquante ans ou presque, est prise d’une sorte de paroxysme de vertu – une orgie d’auto-purification à travers laquelle le mal d’une forme ou d’une autre doit être chassé. De la chasse aux sorcières de Salem aux chasses aux communistes de l’ère McCarthy à la violente fixation actuelle sur la maltraitance des enfants, on retrouve le même fil conducteur d’hystérie morale. Après la période du maccarthisme, les gens demandaient : mais comment cela a-t-il pu arriver ? Comment la présomption d’innocence a-t-elle pu être abandonnée aussi systématiquement ? Comment de grandes et puissantes institutions ont-elles pu accepté que des enquêteurs du Congrès aient fait si peu de cas des libertés civiles – tout cela au nom d’une guerre contre les communistes ? Comment était-il possible de croire que des subversifs se cachaient derrière chaque porte de bibliothèque, dans chaque station de radio, que chaque acteur de troisième zone qui avait appartenu à la mauvaise organisation politique constituait une menace pour la sécurité de la nation ? Dans quelques décennies peut-être les gens ne manqueront pas de se poser les mêmes questions sur notre époque actuelle; une époque où les accusations de sévices les plus improbables trouvent des oreilles bienveillantes; une époque où il suffit d’être accusé par des sources anonymes pour être jeté en pâture à la justice; une époque où la chasse à ceux qui maltraitent les enfants est devenu une pathologie nationale. Dorothy Rabinowitz
A statue of Jesus Christ was decapitated and knocked off a pedestal at a Catholic church in Florida, another in a string of similar incidents nationwide. (…) In a separate incident, a Catholic congregation in Ocala, several hours north of Miami, was targeted Saturday morning while preparing for Mass. Steven Anthony Shields, 24, is accused of slamming his vehicle into the church before setting it on fire. (…) In another act of violence, the pastor of St. Stephen Catholic Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., found a statue of Mary decapitated on Saturday and they have not located the statue’s head, Catholic News Agency reports. (…) Statues of the Virgin Mary also were vandalized in Boston and New York City over the weekend. A 249-year-old Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles caught fire Saturday morning. Capt. Antonio Negrete of the San Gabriel Fire Department told the local Fox 11 news outlet the recent destruction of monuments to Junipero Serra, the founder of the California mission system – whom Indigenous activists view as a symbol of oppression – will be a factor in the investigation. Following George Floyd’s police-related death in May, Black Lives Matter leaders and protesters called for the toppling of statues, from Confederate symbols to former U.S. presidents and abolitionists. Activist Shaun King called for all images depicting Jesus as a « White European » and his mother to be torn down because they’re forms of « White supremacy » and « racist propaganda. » Meanwhile, people on social media point out the lack of mainstream coverage of the recent anti-Catholic incidents. « Churches are being burned to the ground. What?, » Mike Cernovich, a controversial right-leaning author, said in a video on Twitter. « Why is this not the biggest story of the day? » Sean Feucht, a California worship leader and pastor, commenting on the incidents asked, « Where’s the outrage? » Fox 5
J’ai été embauchée dans le but de faire venir au journal les voix qui n’apparaîtraient pas dans ses pages autrement : (…) les centristes, les conservateurs et ceux qui ne se sentent pas chez eux au New York Times. La raison de ce recrutement était claire : le journal n’avait pas anticipé le résultat de l’élection présidentielle de 2016, ce qui montrait qu’il n’avait pas une bonne compréhension du pays qu’il couvre. Pourtant , le journal n’a pas tiré les enseignements qui auraient dû suivre le scrutin. Mes incursions dans la pensée non orthodoxe ont fait de moi l’objet d’un harcèlement constant de la part de mes collègues qui ne partagent pas mes opinions. Ils me traitent de nazie et de raciste (…). Mon travail et ma personne sont ouvertement dénigrés sur les chaînes Slack [outil de communication interne] de la société (…). Certains collaborateurs y soutiennent qu’il faut se débarrasser de moi si le journal veut être véritablement ‘inclusif’ et d’autres postent l’émoji de la hache [‘ax’ signifie à la fois ‘hache’ et ‘virer’] à côté de mon nom. Bari Weiss
Chaque jour des jeunes noirs sont tués par des gangs à Chicago. Où sont les militants de Black Lives Matter? Quand des Noirs tuent des Noirs, les militants Black Lives Matter ne viennent pas faire ce bazar. Femme noire de Chicago
On pose une équivalence entre Histoire et Occident. Selon cette logique, toute l’histoire, surtout quand elle est criminelle, est faite par l’Occident. Lorsque quelque chose de mal se passe, c’est donc l’Occident qui est responsable. Comme si rien ne pouvait advenir sans nous. Or, ce n’est absolument pas le cas. Notre impérialisme absolu sur l’histoire nous conduit à une culpabilisation absolue de nous-mêmes et à une victimisation tout aussi absolue d’autrui. Gabriel Martinez-Gros
Pour l’instant, les médias ne s’intéressent à la vie des Noirs que quand ils sont tués par des Blancs (ce qui est en fait statistiquement très rare). Et cela contribue à invisibiliser encore davantage la vie des Noirs. (….) Aux Etats-Unis, 93 % des Noirs victimes d’un homicide sont tués par d’autres Noirs. S’il est normal de condamner le meurtre [?] ignoble et tragique de George Floyd, il est curieux de voir nombre de personnes s’en prendre à la police américaine dans son ensemble et ne rien dire sur les gangs, alors que les gangs tuent bien plus de Noirs (et de manière bien plus «systémique») que ne le fait la police. Si nous pensons véritablement que «Black Lives Matter», alors nous devons nous intéresser à TOUTES les vies noires et ne pas sélectionner une toute petite minorité d’entre elles à cause d’arrière-pensées idéologiques. Derrière cette volonté de ne s’intéresser aux Noirs que lorsqu’ils sont tués par des Blancs, il existe un véritable arrière-fond raciste, non seulement raciste anti-blancs, mais aussi et surtout raciste anti-Noirs: la vie des Noirs n’aurait d’intérêt que quand elle viendrait valider l’idée d’un «racisme systémique» des sociétés occidentales. Une telle vision est en fait le fruit de l’ethnocentrisme délirant qui caractérise l’Occident. L’Occident pense qu’il est le centre de l’Histoire, que tout tourne autour de lui et que tout ce qui arrive dans le monde (bon ou mauvais) est de son fait. Dans le passé, cette «folie des Blancs» (pour reprendre une expression employée par l’écrivain André Malraux dans son roman La Voie royale, qui se déroule dans l’Indochine coloniale) a poussé l’Occident à se croire supérieur aux autres civilisations, à broyer la diversité du monde et à coloniser une bonne partie du globe. Aujourd’hui, le même ethnocentrisme pousse certains à considérer que l’Occident est la source de tous les maux. Dans la vision ethnocentrique, peu importe que l’Occident soit défini comme supérieur (la Colonisation) ou comme coupable (la repentance), il doit toujours être le pivot de l’Histoire. Rien ne saurait arriver en dehors de lui. L’Occident a beaucoup de mal à admettre qu’il n’est qu’une civilisation comme les autres et parmi d’autres: il préfèrera même parfois s’enfermer dans la repentance et dans une culpabilité imaginaire (mais qui lui permettent de rester l’acteur central) plutôt que de le reconnaître. Egocentrique, il ne s’intéresse à la vie des Noirs que quand ce sont des Blancs qui sont les assassins. (…) Le plus grand paradoxe est que la mouvance «décoloniale», qui constitue la pointe avancée des événements actuels, n’a absolument pas décolonisé son imaginaire et continue d’imaginer que le «Grand Méchant Occident» est à l’origine de tous les maux dont souffre le monde. Or, une telle vision, en plus d’être totalement fausse sur le plan factuel, est paternaliste: elle infantilise les populations non-blanches et les dépossède de leur Histoire, de leur parole, de leur action. On l’a bien vu dans certaines vidéos récentes. À Chicago, une femme noire s’oppose aux militants de l’ultra-gauche, déclarant: «Chaque jour des jeunes noirs sont tués par des gangs à Chicago. Où sont les militants de Black Lives Matter? Quand des Noirs tuent des Noirs, les militants Black Lives Matter ne viennent pas faire ce bazar.» Une militante (blanche) lui fait la leçon et lui répond de manière surréaliste. Complètement déconnectée des réalités du ghetto noir, où les meurtres intra-communautaires sont en effet quotidiens, elle lui fait la leçon et lui répond dans un jargon d’universitaire: «Mais que faîtes-vous de l’oppression systémique?». De même, des militants décoloniaux (blancs), voulant déboulonner la statue de Frederick Douglass (ancien esclave noir et militant abolitionniste!), se sont opposés à des guides touristiques noirs qui ont vaillamment défendu la statue. Si elles n’étaient pas accompagnées d’explications, les images feraient vraiment penser que les manifestants sont des suprémacistes blancs racistes et non pas des militants de gauche agissant au nom de l’antiracisme et prétendant que «Black Lives Matter». Mais cette ressemblance n’a rien d’un hasard, car suprémacistes blancs et militants décoloniaux partagent le même imaginaire ethnocentrique selon lequel l’Homme blanc serait au centre de tout (soit pour être supérieur, comme le pensent les suprémacistes, soit pour faire le mal comme le pensent les décoloniaux), ce qui prive mécaniquement les Noirs de toute histoire autonome. C’est ce qu’a bien souligné, en France, l’écrivaine (noire) Tania de Montaigne, fustigeant le concept de «privilège blanc» défendu récemment par la réalisatrice et militante décoloniale (blanche) Virginie Despentes. Tania de Montaigne voit dans cette notion un fantasme raciste qui ne correspond à rien de réel et qui, sous prétexte d’anti-racisme, réédite inconsciemment le discours raciste traditionnel de la hiérarchie des races, plaçant les Blancs au sommet d’une pyramide, et fait les non-Blancs comme d’éternels mineurs, toujours victimisés et qui devraient être aidés avec condescendance. Il en va de même dans les discours sur l’esclavage et la colonisation. Comme le souligne dans les colonnes du Figaro, l’historien Pierre Vermeren,: «La guerre et l’esclavage appartiennent de manière continue à la longue histoire des sociétés humaines (…) Aujourd’hui, il subsiste près de 46 millions d’esclaves dans le monde, dont la moitié en Asie (Chine, Inde et Pakistan) et près d’une autre en Afrique, au Sahel notamment. Les sociétés de la péninsule Arabique sont également concernées.» Et Pierre Vermeren nous rappelle qu’en ce qui concerne l’esclavage africain, il a existé trois traites distinctes: la traite européenne à destination des Amériques (où des Africains vendaient aux Européens les captifs issus de tribus rivales, car on oublie trop souvent de dire que si des Européens ont acheté des esclaves, c’est bien que quelqu’un les leur avait vendus sur place), la traite arabo-musulmane (à propos de laquelle les travaux de l’historien sénégalais Tidiane N’Diaye ont démontré que dix-sept millions de victimes noires furent asservies par les Arabes, parfois mutilées et assassinées, pendant plus de treize siècles sans interruption) et la traite interne à l’Afrique subsaharienne (qui continue encore aujourd’hui et qui fut combattue jadis par les colonisateurs français et britanniques, la colonisation ayant globalement eu lieu après que ces deux pays eurent aboli l’esclavage). Mais là encore, l’Occident ne veut pas admettre l’extrême banalité historique de la guerre et de l’esclavage. Il veut en avoir le monopole. Il préfère être pleinement coupable et se sentir ainsi toujours à part plutôt que de se trouver commun, rangé au côté des autres. Ainsi les traites d’esclaves commises par d’autres et où il n’a pris aucune part ne l’intéressent pas. Plutôt que de lutter concrètement contre l’esclavage actuel en Libye ou en Mauritanie, on préférera donc se flageller en s’en prenant à Colbert (alors que le Code noir ne représente qu’une infime partie de la vie et de l’œuvre de ce grand serviteur de l’État, les statues à son effigie honorant son rôle dans la construction de l’administration française et nullement son rôle supposé dans la traite esclavagiste, qui d’ailleurs ne posait pas de problèmes moraux à l’époque). Le plus dramatique est que toute ces actions hystériques, qui sapent la paix sociale, n’améliorent absolument pas la cause des Noirs. Si les vies noires comptent vraiment, alors, plutôt que de déboulonner des statues, les militants du Black Lives Matter (blancs pour une grande partie d’entre eux) feraient mieux d’alerter l’opinion sur les massacres inter-ethniques en Afrique ou d’aller sur place pour lutter contre les maladies et la famine. Ou plus simplement, ils pourraient aller dans les ghettos noirs des États-Unis pour protester contre la tyrannie des gangs, faire du soutien scolaire pour les enfants, distribuer de la nourriture et assister la population. Il faudra bien le dire un jour: Philippe de Villiers, en mettant sur pied un programme de co-développement humanitaire avec le Bénin lorsqu’il était président du conseil général de Vendée, a fait bien davantage pour les vies noires que les déboulonneurs de statue. De même, certaines universités américaines décident de retirer certains auteurs de leurs programmes sous prétexte que les hommes blancs sont trop représentés. Comme le faisait remarquer Christopher Lasch dans La Révolte des élites, ce genre de décisions prises par des gauchistes blancs généralement issus de la bourgeoisie, n’améliore absolument pas la situation concrète des minorités. Il serait plus pertinent au contraire de garder la culture classique intacte et de la diffuser à tous, Noirs compris. Et comme le fait remarquer au Figaro, Willfred Reilly, professeur afro-américain de sciences politiques, à propos de l’hystérie actuelle: «Tout cela ne va pas améliorer les scores des minorités aux tests universitaires. » Mais ce racisme anti-Noir inconscient ne se limite pas à la seule sphère «décoloniale». Ainsi Joe Biden, invité le 22 mai sur une radio noire, par un animateur noir, a déclaré: «Si vous n’arrivez pas à vous décider entre moi et Trump, c’est que vous n’êtes pas réellement noir.» Pour Biden, les électeurs noirs semblent être un troupeau de moutons, privés de tout libre arbitre politique. Jean-Loup Bonnamy
I’m glad that the law enforcement agencies are subject to the same standard as everybody else. Mark McCloskey
The reason high-income people leave the city, and why I can’t talk my friends into moving in, is crime. Why live where your life is at risk, where you are affronted by thugs, bums, drug addicts and punks when you can afford not to. What St. Louis can do without are the murderers, beggars, drug addicts and street corner drunks. St. Louis needs more people of substance and fewer of subsistence. Mark McCloskey (1993)
Une foule d’au moins 100 personnes a abattu le portail historique en fer forgé de Portland Place, ils se sont précipités vers ma maison, où ma famille dînait dehors et nous ont fait craindre pour nos vies. J’étais terrifié que nous soyons assassinés en quelques secondes, que notre maison soit brûlée, nos animaux de compagnie tués. Nous étions seuls face à une foule en colère. Il s’agit d’une propriété privée. Il n’y a pas de trottoirs ou de rues publics. Mark McCloskey
La scène est à peine croyable. Des manifestants américains du mouvement «Black lives matter» se rendant devant le domicile de la maire de Saint Louis, Lyda Krewson, pour exiger sa démission, ont été menacés dimanche par un couple d’avocats, lourdement armés, alors qu’ils passaient devant leur villa. Mark et Patricia McCloskey ont ainsi été filmés pointant leurs armes en direction des 300 personnes marchant devant eux. Lui tenait un fusil de type AR-15, quand sa femme préférait brandir une arme de poing. NBC News rapporte que les portails de plusieurs propriétés du quartier ont été détériorés. Ironie de l’histoire, le couple en question a fait de la défense des victimes de dommages corporels sa spécialité. Cnews
I think that a total elimination is something we need to reevaluate. Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white you can do whatever you want. Eric Adams (Brooklyn Borough President)
The guns keep going off and now we have a 1-year-old and the blood is on the hands of the mayor and the state Legislature. Community activist Tony Herbert
It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter protest; you have more minorities on the police side than you have in a violent crowd. And you have white people screaming at black officers ‘you have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen.’ You hear these things and you go ‘Are these people, are they going to say something to this person?’ No. (…) Having people tell you what to do with your life, that you need to quit your job, that you’re hurting your community but they’re not even a part of the community. Once again you as a privileged white person telling someone of color what to do with their life. (…) When you’re standing on the line and they’re getting called those names and they’re being accused of being racist when you’ve seen those officers helping people of color, getting blood on them trying to rescue someone who has been shot—gang violence, domestic violence—and you see them and they’re truly trying to help save someone’s life and they they turn around and are called a racist by people that have never seen anything like that, that have never had to put themselves out there. It’s disgusting. Officer Jakhary Jackson (Portland)
Mark McCloskey graduated magna cum laude from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1982, where he studied sociology, criminal justice and psychology before attending the Southern Methodist University of Law in 1985. He is a Missouri native and graduated from Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School in Ladue, Missouri, in 1975, according to his Facebook profile. On his law firm’s website, McCloskey is described as, “an AV rated attorney who has been nominated for dozens of awards and honors and has been voted by his peers for memberships to many exclusive ‘top rated lawyer’ and ‘multimillion dollar lawyer’ associations throughout the country.” The website also notes McCloskey has appeared on in the media, including KSDK in St. Louis and Fox News. The website states, “several of his cases have been cited in national legal publications as the highest verdicts recovered in the country for those particular injuries.” McCloskey’s profile also says: Since 1986, he has exclusively represented individuals seriously injured as a result of accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and the negligence of others. For the past 21 years, his firm has concentrated on the representation of people injured or killed through traumatic brain injuries, neck, back or other significant neurological or orthopedic injury. Mark T. McCloskey is licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Missouri, Illinois, Texas and the Federal Courts of Nebraska. Additionally, he has represented individuals injured through medical malpractice, dangerous products, automobiles, cars, motorcycles, boats, defective hand guns, airplane crashes, explosions, electrocution, falls, assaults, rapes, poisoning, fires, inadequate security, premises liability, dram shop liability (serving intoxicating patrons), excessive force by police, construction accidents, and negligent maintenance of premises (including retail establishments, parking lots, government property, homes, schools, playgrounds, apartments, commercial operations, parks and recreational facilities) for the past 30 years and has filed and tried personal injury lawsuits in over 28 states. Heavy.com
According to her Facebook profile, Patricia Novak McCloskey is a native of Industry, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from Western Beaver High School in 1977. McCloskey then studied at Penn State University, graduating in 1982 with a degree in labor studies and a minor in Spanish. She, like her husband, attended SMU Law School in Dallas, graduating in 1986. According to their law firm’s website, “Patricia N. McCloskey is a Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude graduate of Pennsylvania State University, graduating first in her class and with the highest cumulative average in her department in forty-seven years. Patricia N. McCloskey is also a graduate of Southern Methodist University School of Law, which she completed while simultaneously working full time and still graduating in the top quarter of her class.” The website adds: After several years working with a major law firm in St. Louis on the defense side, she moved to representation of the injured. Since 1994, she has exclusively represented those injured by the negligence of others with Mark McCloskey. She has acted in various roles in the community including being a past Board Member of Therapeutic Horsemanship, a law student mentor, a member of the Missouri Bar Association ethical review panel and a St. Louis city committee woman. Patricia McCloskey has extensive trial experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases arising out of all aspects of negligence, including traumatic brain injury, products liability and product defect, medical malpractice, wrongful death, neck, back and spinal cord injuries, motor vehicle collisions, motorcycle collisions, airplane crashes, and many others as set forth further. Heavy.com
Notre nation fait face à une campagne visant à effacer notre histoire, diffamer nos héros, supprimer nos valeurs et endoctriner nos enfants. (…) Le désordre violent que nous avons vu dans nos rues et nos villes qui sont dirigées par des libéraux démocrates dans tous les cas est le résultat d’années d’endoctrinement extrême et de partialité dans l’éducation, le journalisme et d’autres institutions culturelles. (…) Nous croyons en l’égalité des chances, une justice égale et un traitement égal pour les citoyens de toutes races, origines, religions et croyances. Chaque enfant, de chaque couleur – né et à naître – est fait à l’image sainte de Dieu. Donald Trump
Nous sommes en train de passer à côté d’un processus essentiel en jeu actuellement, l’articulation, désastreuse entre les sociétés de la honte et de l’honneur (« shame culture ») et les civilisations de la culpabilité (« guilt culture »), distinction établie par Dodds, un ethnologue. La honte est définie par lui comme un fait social extériorisé (perdre la face) et la culpabilité comme un sentiment intériorisé (…) Les membres des sociétés de la honte ne se sentent pas honteux « par essence », mais l’honneur est pour eux une valeur dominante qui ne concerne pas que soi, mais aussi le groupe familial, culturel auquel on appartient. Reconnaître une faute devant les personnes qui y sont extérieures, c’est déshonorer son groupe, c’est « l’achouma », mot clé au Maghreb qui signifie la honte. On ne peut reconnaître que la moindre erreur ait pu être commise par soi ou les autres membres de son groupe sous peine de déshonneur, la faute en incombe forcément à l’extérieur. Le modèle relationnel dominant prend la forme d’être le plus fort ou d’être humilié. Qui va mépriser l’autre ? Qui va faire honte à l’autre ou avoir honte ? Qui va soumettre l’autre ? Dans le TER, trois personnes d’origine sahélienne ont les pieds sur les sièges et téléphonent à tue-tête avec un poste de radio ouvert à côté d’eux. Je leur demande poliment de respecter le règlement. Réponse sèche : « Vous dites ça parce qu’on est étrangers », suivi d’une augmentation du volume sonore vocal du téléphone. Me voilà désigné comme un blanc raciste en quelques secondes, et c’est moi qui suis coupable, qui devrais donc avoir honte. Je parcours le train à la recherche d’un contrôleur, en vain. En l’absence d’un tiers incarnant une loi qui est la même pour tous, je n’ai pas d’autre solution que de m’incliner dans l’espace public. Je me sens… misérable. De même, quand dans les « quartiers », un jeune de 14 ans, sur un scooter volé, sans casque parce que « c’est pour les petits », se tue en percutant à toute vitesse un véhicule, il ne meurt pas à cause d’une accumulation d’imprudences mais forcément à cause d’autrui. De préférence à cause de la police. On ne décède pas accidentellement, on est tué. Comment une interpellation pourrait-elle de dérouler calmement avec ce modèle relationnel ? Qu’il soit à pied, en scooter, ou en voiture, celui qui accepte de se soumettre (et oui ! le mot est dit) à un contrôle policier ne rencontrera aucun problème de violence policière. Et les représentants du pays d’accueil tout désignés pour être méprisés puisqu’ils incarnent la légalité de la société dans l’espace public sont les policiers sur lesquels on crache sans vergogne. Le policier n’a pas le droit de répondre, il sera méprisé s’il agit (la sanction) ou s’il ne fait rien (la soumission). Quelle inversion ! C’est celui qui crache qui devrait être méprisé pour sa lâcheté car il ne risque rien. Le piège, c’est que les membres des sociétés de la honte ont compris que les membres des civilisations de la culpabilité, judéo-chrétiennes, ont une forte tendance à accepter de se sentir coupable, et il est alors « pratique » de leur faire éprouver de la honte au lieu de la ressentir soi-même. Et plus les membres de la civilisation de la culpabilité se sentent coupables, plus les membres de la société de la honte se décrivent comme victimes, dans une inflation interminable, alors que le problème initial de situe à l’intérieur même de leur société. (…) Cet écart entre société de la honte et civilisation de la culpabilité crée d’importantes tensions concernant l’acceptation d’une loi commune, ensemble de contraintes qui se situent au-dessus de tous, et de la reconnaissance d’une dette. Dans les sociétés de la honte, la relation à la loi n’inclut pas sa notion pourtant fondatrice de culpabilité. Accepter les contraintes extérieures signifie non pas reconnaître la nécessité de respecter d’indispensables limites pour une vie en commun, mais est vécue comme une immixtion intolérable dans le fonctionnement familial et groupal. (…) Et lorsqu’on argue qu’il y a du racisme dans la police puisque les personnes issues des sociétés de la honte font l’objet de contrôles policiers beaucoup plus fréquents que les autres, la réponse est qu’elles sont plus nombreuses à ne pas respecter la loi que les personnes qui ont intégré la culpabilité. Faut-il que chaque fois qu’un tel jeune est contrôlé, une dame sortant d’un super marché avec son cabas de légumes le soit aussi pour éviter toute discrimination ? La société de la honte, c’est aussi l’incapacité de reconnaître une dette envers le milieu d’accueil. Dans le cadre d’une immigration économique, tous sont venus au départ parce que leur pays ne les nourrissait pas assez, ne les soignait pas, était profondément corrompu, sinon ils retourneraient y vivre. Cette blessure originelle ne se referme pas et laisse les sujets dans une sorte d’entre-deux. Reconnaître ce qu’on doit au pays d’accueil, c’est accepter de penser que sa propre origine est entachée, conflictuelle, et la solution à ce malaise peut consister à dire que c’est l’extérieur, le lieu d’accueil, qui est inhospitalier et doit être dénigré. Reconnaître ce qu’on reçoit de bien, c’est trahir ses origines, de même que les policiers noirs ou maghrébins heureux d’exercer leur métier sont qualifiés de traîtres. Il est donc nécessaire de remettre l’achouma à sa place, de rétablir le lieu de la honte et de la remettre dans le camp de ceux qui font tout pour la projeter sur autrui. Ceux qui ont la volonté de se désigner de toutes façons comme victimes ont besoin de désigner des agresseurs. Mais ce n’est pas parce que des individus ou leurs parents ont été victimes dans leur histoire personnelle, familiale, culturelle, que d’autres doivent accepter d’endosser ce rôle de bourreau. Plus les membres d’une civilisation de la culpabilité se laissent accuser, plus ils sont méprisés. Au contraire, imaginons (on a le droit de rêver) qu’une seule personnalité politique ose déclarer : « Vous devriez avoir honte d’élever vos enfants sans leur inculquer un minimum de respect pour le pays qui vous accueille et qui vous soigne gratuitement, de ne pas leur expliquer que rien n’est dû, de laisser vos enfants conduire des véhicules volés, d’abîmer la démocratie qui vous protège et de mentir en vous présentant comme des victimes, etc. ». Énoncer ceci ne changerait rien à la manière de se comporter des délinquants en question, pas plus qu’égrener leurs délits et parler de « sauvageons », et ne calmerait en rien les militants communautaristes. Mais ceci donnerait aux autres le sentiment que la honte n’est pas en eux, et leur permettrait d’éprouver un sentiment de légitimité dont beaucoup de citoyens éprouvent le besoin qu’il soit reconnu. Une telle formulation constitue le fondement incontournable de toute action politique efficace car elle permettrait d’arrêter de tendre l’autre joue. Et d’accepter enfin l’idée que dans certaines circonstances, seules la force de caractère et la force physique inspirent du respect. Maurice Berger
Andy Warhol disait que « tout le monde doit avoir son quart d’heure de célébrité ». « Maintenant, tout le monde, blanc, doit avoir son quart d’heure de honte. On est entré dans une flagellation collective. Mais c’est encore plus compliqué que ça. On a les sociétés de la honte et les civilisations de la culpabilité. Pour les premiers, ce sont des sociétés où la honte est une valeur dominante, comme reconnaître qu’on a fait une faute, se déshonorer, déshonorer son groupe, sa culture, à l’inverse, des sociétés « judéo-chrétiennes. Toutes les personnes des minorités ne fonctionnent pas comme ça, de même de que toutes les personnes de la civilisation de la culpabilité ne se sentent pas prêts à se sentir coupable. On a une imbrication entre des personnes qui vont forcément se présenter comme victimes, quoi qu’elles aient fait d’illégal et en face des membres de la civilisation de la culpabilité qui vont forcément se sentir coupable. Plus ces personnes se reconnaissent coupables, plus ceux qui ont tendance à se sentir victimes vont en abuser. (…) J’y suis opposé. Que les Américains fassent cela pour ce qui s’est produit dans leur pays, j’en ai que faire. Ce n’est même pas un symbole, c’est quelque chose de littéral : on s’humilie alors qu’on n’a pas de quoi s’humilier. C’est un geste de soumission, c’est quelque chose qui inverse tout. Je ne vois pas de quoi nous devrions avoir honte, nous en France. Maurice Berger
Nous vivons (…) une époque qui rappelle le Moyen Âge avec son oligarchie, ses clercs et son dogme. Une sorte d’aristocratie de la tech a émergé et a fait alliance avec la classe intellectuelle, pour mettre en place une nouvelle vision de la société, qui a pour ambition de remplacer les valeurs plus traditionnelles portées depuis l’après-guerre par la classe moyenne. Tout l’enjeu futur de la politique est de savoir si «le tiers état» d’aujourd’hui – les classes moyennes paupérisées et les classes populaires – se soumettra à leur contrôle. Nous sommes entrés dans le paradigme d’une oligarchie concentrant la richesse nationale à un point jamais atteint à l’époque contemporaine. Cinq compagnies détiennent l’essentiel de la richesse nationale en Amérique! Une poignée de patrons de la tech et «leurs chiens de garde» de la finance, contrôlent chacun des fortunes de dizaines de milliards de dollars en moyenne et ils ont à peine 40 ans, ce qui veut dire que nous allons devoir vivre avec eux et leur influence pour tout le reste de nos vies! (…) La globalisation et la financiarisation ont été des facteurs majeurs de cette concentration effrénée de la richesse. La délocalisation de l’industrie vers la Chine a coûté 1,5 million d’emplois manufacturiers au Royaume-Uni, et 3,4 millions à l’Amérique. Les PME, les entreprises familiales, l’artisanat, ont été massivement détruits, débouchant sur une paupérisation des classes moyennes, qui étaient le cœur du modèle capitaliste libéral américain. La crise du coronavirus a accéléré la tendance. Les compagnies de la tech sortent grandes gagnantes de l’épreuve. Jeff Bezos, le patron d’Amazon, vient juste d’annoncer que sa capitalisation a progressé de 30 milliards de dollars alors que les petites compagnies se noient! Les inégalités de classe ne font que s’accélérer, avec une élite intellectuelle et managériale qui s’en sort très bien – les fameux clercs qui peuvent travailler à distance – , et le reste de la classe moyenne qui s’appauvrit. Les classes populaires, elles, ont subi le virus de plein fouet, ont bien plus de risques de l’attraper, ont souffert du confinement dans leurs petits appartements, et ont pour beaucoup perdu leur travail. C’est un tableau très sombre qui émerge avec une caste de puissants ultra-étroite et de «nouveaux serfs», sans rien de substantiel entre les deux: 70 % des Américains estiment que leurs enfants vivront moins bien qu’eux. (…) La Silicon Valley, jadis une terre promise des self-made-men est devenue le visage de l’inégalité et des nouvelles forteresses industrielles. Les géants technologiques comme Google ou Facebook ont tué la culture des start-up née dans les garages californiens dans les années 1970 et qui a perduré jusque dans les années 1990, car ils siphonnent toute l’innovation. Je suis évidemment pour la défense de l’environnement, mais l’idéologie verte très radicale qui prévaut en Californie avantage aussi les grandes compagnies qui seules peuvent survivre aux régulations environnementales drastiques, alors que les PME n’y résistent pas ou s’en vont ailleurs. On sous-estime cet aspect socio-économique de la «transition écologique», qui exclut les classes populaires et explique par exemple vos «gilets jaunes», comme le raconte le géographe Christophe Guilluy. Vu la concentration de richesses, l’immobilier californien a atteint des prix records et les classes populaires ont été boutées hors de San Francisco, pourtant un bastion du «progressisme» politique. La ville, qui se veut l’avant-garde de l’antiracisme et abritait jadis une communauté afro-américaine très vivante, n’a pratiquement plus d’habitants noirs, à peine 5 %, un autre paradoxe du progressisme actuel. (…) Il y a un vrai parallèle entre la situation d’aujourd’hui et l’alliance de l’aristocratie et du clergé avant la Révolution française. Et cela vaut pour tous les pays occidentaux. Ces clercs rassemblent les élites intellectuelles d’aujourd’hui, qui sont presque toutes situées à gauche. Si je les nomme ainsi, c’est pour souligner le caractère presque religieux de l’orthodoxie qu’elles entendent imposer, comme jadis l’Église catholique. Au XIIIe siècle, à l’université de Paris, personne n’aurait osé douter de l’existence de Dieu. Aujourd’hui, personne n’ose contester sans risque les nouveaux dogmes, j’en sais quelque chose. Je suis pourtant loin d’être conservateur, je suis un social-démocrate de la vieille école, qui juge les inégalités de classe plus pertinentes que les questions d’identité, de genre, mais il n’y a plus de place pour des gens comme moi dans l’univers mental et politique de ces élites. Elles entendent remplacer les valeurs de la famille et de la liberté individuelle qui ont fait le succès de l’Amérique après-guerre et la prospérité de la classe moyenne, par un credo qui allie défense du globalisme, justice sociale (définie comme la défense des minorités raciales et sexuelles, NDLR), modèle de développement durable imposé par le haut et redéfinition des rôles familiaux. Elles affirment que le développement durable est plus important que la croissance qui permettait de sortir les classes populaires de la pauvreté. Ce point créera une vraie tension sociale. Ce qui est frappant, c’est l’uniformité de ce «clergé». (…) Parmi les journalistes, seulement 7 % se disent républicains. C’est la même chose, voire pire, dans les universités, le cinéma, la musique. On n’a plus le droit d’être en désaccord avec quoi que ce soit! Écrire que le problème de la communauté noire est plus un problème socio-économique que racial, est devenu risqué, et peut vous faire traiter de raciste! J’ai travaillé longtemps comme journaliste avant d’enseigner, et notamment pour le Washington Post, le Los Angeles Times et d’autres… Il arrive que j’y trouve encore de très bons papiers, mais dans l’ensemble, je ne peux plus les lire tellement ils sont biaisés sur les sujets liés à la question raciale, à Trump ou à la politique! Je n’ai aucune sympathie pour Donald Trump, que je juge toxique, mais la haine qu’il suscite va trop loin. On voit se développer un journalisme d’opinion penchant à gauche, qui mène à ce que la Rand Corporation (une institution de recherche prestigieuse, fondée initialement pour les besoins de l’armée américaine, NDLR) qualifie de «décomposition de la vérité». (…) Je dois dire avoir aussi été très choqué par le «projet 1619» (ce projet affirme que l’origine de l’Amérique n’est pas 1776 et la proclamation de l’Indépendance, mais 1619 avec l’arrivée de bateaux d’esclaves sur les côtes américaines, NDLR), lancé par le New York Times, qui veut démontrer que toute l’histoire américaine est celle d’un pays raciste. Oui, l’esclavage a été une chose horrible, mais les succès et progrès américains ne peuvent être niés au nom des crimes commis. Je n’ai rien contre le fait de déboulonner les généraux confédérés, qui ont combattu pour le Sud esclavagiste. Mais vouloir déboulonner le général Ulysse Grant, grand vainqueur des confédérés, ou encore George Washington, est absurde. La destruction systématique de notre passé, et du sens de ce qui nous tient ensemble, est très dangereuse. Cela nous ramène à l’esprit de la Révolution culturelle chinoise. Si l’on continue, il n’y aura plus que des tribus. (…) Je crois que c’est Huxley qui dans Le Meilleur des mondes, affirme qu’une tyrannie appuyée sur la technologie ne peut être défaite. La puissance des oligarchies et des élites culturelles actuelles est renforcée par le rôle croissant de la technologie, qui augmente le degré de contrôle de ce que nous pensons, lisons, écoutons… Quand internet est apparu, il a suscité un immense espoir. On pensait qu’il ouvrirait une ère de liberté fertile pour les idées, mais c’est au contraire devenu un instrument de contrôle de l’information et de la pensée! Même si les blogs qui prolifèrent confèrent une apparence de démocratie et de diversité, la réalité actuelle, c’est quelques compagnies basées dans la Silicon Valley qui exercent un contrôle de plus en plus lourd sur le flux d’informations. Près des deux tiers des jeunes s’informent sur les réseaux sociaux. De plus, Google, Facebook, Amazon sont en train de racheter les restes des médias traditionnels qu’ils n’ont pas tués. Ils contrôlent les studios de production de films, YouTube… Henry Ford et Andrew Carnegie n’étaient pas des gentils, mais ils ne vous disaient pas ce que vous deviez penser. (…) Ils sont persuadés que tous les problèmes ont une réponse technologique. Ce sont des techniciens brillants, grands adeptes du transhumanisme, peu préoccupés par la baisse de la natalité ou la question de la mobilité sociale, et bien plus déconnectés des classes populaires que les patrons d’entreprises sidérurgiques d’antan. Leur niveau d’ignorance sur le plan historique ou littéraire est abyssal, et en ce sens, ils sont sans doute plus effrayants encore que l’aristocratie d’Ancien Régime. De plus, se concentrer sur les sujets symboliques comme le genre, les transgenres, le changement climatique, leur permet d’évacuer les sujets de «classe», qui pourraient menacer leur pouvoir. (…) Je pense que Zuckerberg a eu raison et qu’il a du courage, mais il semble être poussé à adopter un rôle de censeur. Un auteur que je connais, environnementaliste dissident, vient de voir sa page Facebook supprimée. C’est une tendance dangereuse, car laisser à quelques groupes privés le pouvoir de contrôler l’information, ouvre la voie à la tyrannie. Cela me ramène au thème central de ce livre qui se veut un manifeste en faveur de la classe moyenne, menacée de destruction après avoir été le pilier de nos démocraties. La démocratie est fondamentalement liée à la dispersion de la propriété privée. C’est pour cela que j’ai toujours eu de l’admiration pour les Pays-Bas, pays qui a toujours créé de la terre, en gagnant sur la mer, et a donc toujours assuré la croissance de sa classe moyenne. Quand cela cesse et que la richesse se concentre entre quelques mains, on revient à un contrôle de la société par le haut, qu’il soit établi par des régimes de droite ou de gauche. (…) Trump est un idiot et un type détestable, qui, je l’espère, sera désavoué, car il suscite beaucoup de tensions négatives. Mais je n’ai jamais vu un président traité comme il l’a été. La volonté de le destituer était déjà envisagée avant même qu’il ait mis un pied à la Maison-Blanche! Je pense aussi que la presse n’est pas honnête à son sujet. Prenons par exemple son discours au mont Rushmore, l’un des meilleurs qu’il ait faits, et dans lequel il tente de réconcilier un soutien au besoin de justice raciale, et la défense du patrimoine américain. Il y a cité beaucoup de personnages importants comme Frederick Douglass ou Harriet Tubman, mais la presse n’en a pas moins rapporté qu’il s’agissait d’un discours raciste, destiné à rallier les suprémacistes blancs! On l’accuse de tyrannie, mais la plus grande tyrannie qui nous menace est l’alliance des oligarques et des clercs. Le seul avantage de Trump, c’est d’être un contre-pouvoir face à eux. Malheureusement, cela ne signifie pas qu’il ait une vision cohérente. Surtout, il divise terriblement le pays, or nous avons besoin d’une forme d’unité minimale. (…) Je dirais à ce stade que Trump va avoir du mal à gagner – j’évalue ses chances à une sur trois. Il pourrait revenir si une forme de rebond économique se dessine ou s’il s’avérait évident que Joe Biden n’a plus toutes ses capacités intellectuelles. Si les démocrates l’emportent, ma prédiction est qu’ils en feront trop, et qu’une nouvelle rébellion, qui nous fera regretter Trump, surgira en boomerang. À moins qu’une nouvelle génération de jeunes conservateurs – comme Josh Hawley, JD Vance ou Marco Rubio – capables de défendre les classes populaires tout en faisant obstacle à la révolution culturelle de la gauche, ne finisse par émerger. J’aimerais aussi voir un mouvement remettant vraiment le social à l’honneur se dessiner à gauche, mais je n’y crois pas trop, vu l’obsession de l’identité… Ce qui est sûr, c’est que l’esprit de 2016 et des «gilets jaunes» ne va pas disparaître. Regardez ce qui s’est passé en Australie: on pensait que les travaillistes gagneraient, mais ce sont les populistes qui ont raflé la mise, parce que la gauche verte était devenue tellement anti-industrielle, que les classes populaires l’ont désertée! Joel Kotkin
« Le Meilleur des mondes » décrit par Aldous Huxley serait-il en train de pointer le nez sur les côtes de Californie et de gagner l’Amérique? Dans son nouveau livre, L’Avènement du néo-féodalisme, le géographe américain Joel Kotkin, cousin californien du géographe français Christophe Guilluy, qui scrute depuis des années avec inquiétude la destruction des classes moyennes à la faveur de la délocalisation et de la financiarisation de l’économie, s’interroge sur la «tyrannie» que dessine l’émergence d’une oligarchie ultra-puissante et contrôlant une technologie envahissante. Joel Kotkin décrit l’alliance de l’oligarchie de la Silicon Valley, composée de quelques milliardaires passionnés de transhumanisme, et persuadés que la technologie est la réponse à tous les problèmes, avec une classe intellectuelle de «clercs» qui se comporte comme un «nouveau clergé» et instaure de nouveaux dogmes – sur la globalisation, le genre, «le privilège blanc» – avec une ferveur toute religieuse. Il devient dangereux d’exprimer ses désaccords, regrette cet ancien social-démocrate, qui explique ne plus avoir sa place à gauche. Une situation d’intolérance que le départ fracassant de la journaliste Bari Weiss du New York Times, forcée de quitter le navire sous la pression de pairs devenus «censeurs», vient d’illustrer avec éloquence. Laure Mandeville
The intellectually intolerant mob claimed two high-profile victims Tuesday with the resignations of New York Times editor Bari Weiss and New York Magazine journalist Andrew Sullivan. These are just two examples of the deadly virus spreading through our public life: McCarthyism of the woke. McCarthyism is the pejorative term liberals gave to the anti-communist crusades of 1950s-era Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. From his perch as chair of the Government Operations Committee, McCarthy launched a wave of investigations to ferret out supposed communist subversion of government agencies. Armed with his favorite question — “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” — McCarthy terrorized his targets and silenced his critics. Thousands of people lost their jobs as a result, often based on nothing more than innuendo or chance associations. The mob fervor extended to the state governments and the private sector, too. States enacted “loyalty oaths” requiring people employed by the government, including tenured university faculty members, to disavow “radical beliefs” or lose their jobs. Many refused and were fired. Hollywood notoriously rooted out real and suspected communists, creating the infamous “blacklist” of people who were informally barred from any work with Hollywood studios. The “red scare” even nearly toppled America’s favorite television star, Lucille Ball, who had registered to vote as a communist in the 1930s. Today’s “cancel culture” is nothing more than McCarthyism in a woke costume. It stems from a noble goal — ending racial discrimination. Like its discredited cousin, however, it has transmogrified into something sinister and inimical to freedom. Battling racism is good and necessary; trying to suppress voices that one disagrees with is not. Woke McCarthyism goes wrong when it seeks to do the one thing that America has always sworn not to do: enforce uniformity of thought. Indeed, this principle, enshrined in the First Amendment, is so central to American national identity that it is one of the five quotes inscribed in the Jefferson Memorial: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Weiss’s resignation letter describes numerous examples of her colleagues judging her guilty of “wrongthink” and trying to pressure superiors to fire or suppress her. She explains that “some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly ‘inclusive’ one, while others post ax emojis next to my name.” Others, she wrote, called her a racist and a Nazi, or criticized her on Twitter without reprimand. She notes that this behavior, tolerated by the paper through its editors, constitutes “unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge.” Sullivan’s reason for departure is less clear — though he said it is “self-evident.” He had publicly supported Weiss, writing: “The mob bullied and harassed a young woman for thoughtcrimes. And her editors stood by and watched.” In other words, both Weiss and Sullivan — like so many others — seem to have left their jobs because they were targeted for refusing to conform to its ideas of right thinking. Do you now or have you ever thought that Donald Trump might make a good president? Congratulations, president of Goya Foods: Your company is boycotted. Are you now or have you ever been willing to publish works from a conservative U.S. senator that infuriated liberal Twitter? Former New York Times editor James Bennet, the bell tolls for thee. The mob even sacrifices people whose only crime is familial connection on its altar. The stepmother of the Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, Melissa Rolfe, was fired from her job at a mortgage lender because some employees felt uncomfortable working with her. Such tactics work best when they force people to confess to seek repentance for the crimes they may or may not have committed. McCarthy knew this, and so he always offered lenience to suspected communists who would “name names” and turn in other supposed conspirators. The woke inquisition uses the same tactic, forcing those caught in its maw to renounce prior statements they find objectionable. NFL quarterback Drew Brees surrendered to the roar while noted leftists such as J.K. Rowling and Noam Chomsky are being pilloried for their defense of free speech. McCarthy was enabled by a frightened and compliant center-right. They knew he was wrong, but they also knew the anti-communist cause was right and were unsure how to embrace the just cause and excise the zealous overreach. It wasn’t until McCarthy attacked the U.S. Army that one man, attorney Joseph Welch, had the courage to speak up. “Have you no decency, sir?” he said as McCarthy tried to slander a colleague. The bubble burst, and people found the inquisitorial emperor had no clothes. The Senate censured him in 1954, and McCarthy died in 1957, a broken man. It won’t be as easy to defeat the woke movement. There isn’t one person whose humiliation will break the spell. This movement is deep, decentralized and widespread.  Henry Olsen
Every cultural revolution starts at year zero, whether explicitly or implicitly. The French Revolution recalibrated the calendar to begin anew, and the genocidal Pol Pot declared his own Cambodian revolutionary ascension as the beginning of time. Somewhere after May 25, 2020, the death of George Floyd, while in police custody, sparked demonstrations, protests, and riots. And they in turn ushered in a new revolutionary moment. Or at least we were told that — in part by Black Lives Matter, in part by Antifa, in part by terrified enablers in the corporate world, the new Democratic Party, the military, the universities, and the media. What was uniquely different about this cultural revolution was how willing and quickly the entire progressive establishment — elected officials, celebrities, media, universities, foundations, retired military — was either on the side of the revolution or saw it as useful in aborting the Trump presidency, or was terrified it would be targeted and so wished to appease the Jacobins. This reborn America was to end all of the old that had come before and supposedly pay penance for George Floyd’s death and, by symbolic extension, America’s inherent evil since 1619. As in all cultural revolutions, the protestors claimed at first at that they wanted only to erase supposedly reactionary elements: Confederate statues, movies such as Gone with the Wind, some hurtful cartoons, and a few cranky conservative professors and what not. But soon such recalibration steam rolled, fueled by acquiescence, fright, and timidity. Drunk with ego and power, it moved on to attack almost anything connected with the past or present of the United States itself. Soon statues of General Grant, and presidents including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Jackson were either toppled or defaced. The message was that their crimes were being white and privileged — in the way that today’s white and privileged should meet a similar fate. Or, as the marchers, who tried to storm Beverly Hills, put it: “Eat the Rich.” They were met by tear gas, and not a single retired general double-downed on his outrage at law enforcement for using tear gas against civilians. Did the BLM idea of cannibalizing the billionaires include LeBron James, Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, and likely soon-to-be billionaire Barack Obama? Name changing is always a barometer of a year-zero culture revolution that seeks to wipe out the past and, with it, anyone wedded to it. And so it was only a matter of time that the Woodrow Wilson Princeton School of Public and International Affairs was Trotskyized. Liberals cringed but kept silent, given that Wilson is still a hero for his support of the League of Nations, and his utopian efforts at Versailles, despite his characteristic progressive allegiance to pseudoscientific race-based genetics. Any revolution that claims it will not tolerate commemoration of any century-old enemies must put its handwipes where its mouth is. And revolutionaries always follow the path of least resistance. So in our era, that means the mob has focused on the hollow men and women now serving as university presidents, corporate CEOs, sports-franchise owners and coaches, politicians, news anchors, and even in some cases retired high-ranking officers of the military. It was easy wringing promises from these hierarchies to remove the trademark faces of Aunt Jemimah and Uncle Ben from popular food brands, and to win hundreds of new, costly diversity-coordinator billets, more mandatory race and gender indoctrination training, a “black” national anthem to be played at sporting events, and promises to BLM to rename military bases. Indeed, in no time, these elites were volunteering to debase themselves. Dan Cathy, CEO of the Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant chain, urged white people to shine the shoes of blacks in the manner that the disciples had washed the feet of Jesus — and indeed Dan Cathy sort of did just that when he polished the sneakers of rapper Lecrae. Such is the new bottom line of profits in corporate America. (…) The 1960s saw Southern rural folk culture as a sort of hippie alternative to the dominant wealth and suburbanism of the mainstream. And all that is supposedly over now? Could Ry Cooder sing “I’m a Good Old Rebel” for a movie like The Long Riders, exploring the contradictions of ex-Confederate thugs like the James boys and the Youngers? Would anyone play the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” or even the version of it by leftist Joan Baez? Could Ken Burns now still make The Civil War, 30 years after its original release, with a folksy Shelby Foote contextualizing the Confederate defeat as thousands of brave men dying for a tragic cause beneath them? Would a liberal Southerner like the late Jody Powell still dare to voice the words of Stonewall Jackson or Horton Foote or Jefferson Davis? In our more enlightened revolutionary times, were all these players useful idiots in the cause of racism? (…) In the exhilaration of exercising power ruthlessly and unchecked, the cultural revolutionists soon turn on their own: poor Trump-hating Dan Abrams losing his cop reality show, the two liberal trial lawyers armed on their mansion lawn in St. Louis terrified of the mob entering their gated estate community, bewildered CHOP activists wondering where the police were once mayhem and death were among them, the inner city of Chicago or New York in the age of police drawbacks wondering how high the daily murder rate will climb once shooters fathom that there are no police, and inner-city communities furious that the ER is too crowded with shooting victims to properly treat COVID-19 arrivals. Do we now really expect that the Wilson Center in Washington will be cancelled, the Washington Monument cut down to size, and Princeton, Yale, and Stanford renamed? The logic of the revolution says yes, but the liberal appeasers of it are growing uneasy. They are realizing that their own elite status and referents are now in the crosshairs. And so they are on the verge of becoming Thermidors. And what will the new icons be under our new revolutionary premises? Will we say the old statues were bad because they were not perfect, but the new replacements are perfect despite being a tad bad in places? Will we dedicate more memorials to Martin Luther King Jr., the great advocate of the civil-rights movement, or do we focus instead on his plagiarism, his often poor treatment of women, and his reckless promiscuity? Gandhi is gone, but who replaces him, Subhas Chandra Bose? Will Princeton rename their school of diplomacy in honor of the martyred Malcom X, slain by the black nationalist Nation of Islam? Malcom may now become ubiquitous, but he said things about white people that would have made what Wilson said about black people look tame. Puritanical cultural revolutionaries are always a minority of society. But whether they win or lose — that is, whether they end up as Bolsheviks or Jacobins — hinges on how successfully they terrify the masses into submission, and how quickly they can do that before repulsion grows over their absurd violence and silly rhetoric. When the backlash comes, as it must when mobs destroy statues at night, loot, burn, and obliterate what Mao called the “four olds” of a culture revolution — Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas — it may not be pretty. We can see its contours already: Asian Americans further discriminated against to allow for new university mandates jettisoning SAT scores and GPAs, while schools set new larger percentages of African-American admissions and transform their entire diversity industry into a black-advocacy enterprise; virtue-signaling and now hard-left white CEOs and college presidents and provosts asked to step down, to do their own small white-male part in yielding their prized jobs to someone more woke and less pink. Gun sales are at record levels. I supposed the revolutionaries never investigated the original idea of a police force and the concept of the government’s legal monopoly on violence? It was not just to protect the law-abiding from the criminal, but to protect the criminal from the outraged vigilante. Only police can stop blood feuds such as the ones we see in Chicago or like the medieval ones of Iceland’s Njáls saga, or the postbellum slaughtering of the Hatfields and McCoys. We are already seeing a counterrevolution — as the Left goes ballistic that anyone would appear on his lawn pointing a semiautomatic rifle to protect mere “brick and mortar.” Without a functioning police force, do we really believe that the stockbroker is going to walk home in the evening in New York City without a firearm, or that the suburbanite in Minneapolis in an expansive home will not have a semiautomatic rifle, or that the couple who drives to Los Angeles with the kids to visit Disneyland will not have a 9mm automatic in their car console? The Left has energized the Second Amendment in a way the NRA never could, and for the next decade, there will be more guns in pockets, cars, and homes than at any time in history. Do Nike, the NFL, and the NBA really believe that their fan clientele will buy into the Black Lives Matter special national anthem and BLM corporate logos on their uniforms? Publicly, perhaps their clients will say so, but at home and in private where fans have absolute control of the remotes or their Amazon accounts, probably not. (…) The BLM problem is that never in history has a radical cultural revolution at its outset declared itself both race-based and yet predicated on a small minority of the population, whose strategy was to shame and debase the majority that was sympathetic to the idea of relegating race to insignificance. If sowing the wind has been getting ugly, reaping the whirlwind will be more so. Victor Davis Hanson
A l’exemple de Saturne, la Révolution dévore ses enfants
En ces temps étranges …
Où après l’hystérie collective du virus chinois
Puis, le psychodrame des iconoclastes (y compris religieux) du Black Lives Matter …
Certains policiers noirs commencent à s’inquiéter du chaos laissé dans leurs quartiers par des manifestations Black Lives Matter où il y a plus de blancs que dans les forces de police en face d’elles …
Et des responsables noirs américains en sont à plaider, devant la recrudescence des violences, pour le retour de la police
Et à l’heure où après le départ fracassant, pour cause de pensée non conforme, d’une journaliste du New York Times …
Un autre de ses confrères progressistes se voit pousser dehors du New York magazine …
Comment ne pas repenser …
A la célèbre formule, au moment justement où la révolution française commençait à dévorer ses propres enfants, du journaliste et publiciste genevois Jacques Mallet du Pan  ?
Et comment ne pas en voir la meilleure métaphore …
Dans la fulfurance avec laquelle …
Un couple de stars du barreau de Saint Louis il y a deux semaines  …
Est passé pilori médiatique oblige …
Pour être descendus les armes à la main pieds nus dans leur jardin …
Dans la panique suscitée par un groupes de manifestants Black lives matter passant devant leurs portes…
De valeureux défenseurs des victimes en tous genres de la société américaine …
A meilleurs mais bien involontaires supports publicitaires de la NRA ?
Year Zero
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
July 7, 2020Every cultural revolution starts at year zero, whether explicitly or implicitly. The French Revolution recalibrated the calendar to begin anew, and the genocidal Pol Pot declared his own Cambodian revolutionary ascension as the beginning of time.

Somewhere after May 25, 2020, the death of George Floyd, while in police custody, sparked demonstrations, protests, and riots. And they in turn ushered in a new revolutionary moment. Or at least we were told that — in part by Black Lives Matter, in part by Antifa, in part by terrified enablers in the corporate world, the new Democratic Party, the military, the universities, and the media.

What was uniquely different about this cultural revolution was how willing and quickly the entire progressive establishment — elected officials, celebrities, media, universities, foundations, retired military — was either on the side of the revolution or saw it as useful in aborting the Trump presidency, or was terrified it would be targeted and so wished to appease the Jacobins.

This reborn America was to end all of the old that had come before and supposedly pay penance for George Floyd’s death and, by symbolic extension, America’s inherent evil since 1619. As in all cultural revolutions, the protestors claimed at first at that they wanted only to erase supposedly reactionary elements: Confederate statues, movies such as Gone with the Wind, some hurtful cartoons, and a few cranky conservative professors and what not.

But soon such recalibration steam rolled, fueled by acquiescence, fright, and timidity. Drunk with ego and power, it moved on to attack almost anything connected with the past or present of the United States itself.

Soon statues of General Grant, and presidents including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Jackson were either toppled or defaced. The message was that their crimes were being white and privileged — in the way that today’s white and privileged should meet a similar fate. Or, as the marchers, who tried to storm Beverly Hills, put it: “Eat the Rich.” They were met by tear gas, and not a single retired general double-downed on his outrage at law enforcement for using tear gas against civilians. Did the BLM idea of cannibalizing the billionaires include LeBron James, Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, and likely soon-to-be billionaire Barack Obama?

Name changing is always a barometer of a year-zero culture revolution that seeks to wipe out the past and, with it, anyone wedded to it. And so it was only a matter of time that the Woodrow Wilson Princeton School of Public and International Affairs was Trotskyized. Liberals cringed but kept silent, given that Wilson is still a hero for his support of the League of Nations, and his utopian efforts at Versailles, despite his characteristic progressive allegiance to pseudoscientific race-based genetics.

Rebranding

Any revolution that claims it will not tolerate commemoration of any century-old enemies must put its handwipes where its mouth is. And revolutionaries always follow the path of least resistance. So in our era, that means the mob has focused on the hollow men and women now serving as university presidents, corporate CEOs, sports-franchise owners and coaches, politicians, news anchors, and even in some cases retired high-ranking officers of the military.

It was easy wringing promises from these hierarchies to remove the trademark faces of Aunt Jemimah and Uncle Ben from popular food brands, and to win hundreds of new, costly diversity-coordinator billets, more mandatory race and gender indoctrination training, a “black” national anthem to be played at sporting events, and promises to BLM to rename military bases.

Indeed, in no time, these elites were volunteering to debase themselves. Dan Cathy, CEO of the Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant chain, urged white people to shine the shoes of blacks in the manner that the disciples had washed the feet of Jesus — and indeed Dan Cathy sort of did just that when he polished the sneakers of rapper Lecrae. Such is the new bottom line of profits in corporate America.

Yet, the culture of erasure takes some time to reach all the eddies and pools of a huge society as variegated as America. Take the new reconstruction of the Civil War. In the old days before this May, the war was considered a catastrophic nemesis due a hubristic Confederacy. Yet, given that there were only 7 to 8 percent of the nation’s households in 1860 owning slaves, it should have been possible to end slavery without harvesting nearly 700,000 Americans.

But it was not, because — according to the traditional American tragic theme — millions of non-slave-owning white poor of the Confederacy fought tenaciously, and ultimately for a plantation culture that had marginalized them. Their rationale was that their sacred soil and homes were “invaded” by “Yankees” in a war of “Northern aggression.”

Liberal Hollywood bought into this tragic notion of misguided but somewhat honorable losers who had headed westward, penniless in defeat, after the war. Most Westerns of the 1950s — John Ford’s The Searchers or George Stevens’s Shane — saw Confederate pedigrees of a losing and disreputable cause as central to the outsider’s creed of the gunfighter. These Confederate vets were dead-enders useful in ridding a fragile civilization on the frontier of its demons, but too volatile to live within it during the peaceful aftermath when gunplay was no longer needed.

The 1960s saw Southern rural folk culture as a sort of hippie alternative to the dominant wealth and suburbanism of the mainstream.

And all that is supposedly over now?

Could Ry Cooder sing “I’m a Good Old Rebel” for a movie like The Long Riders, exploring the contradictions of ex-Confederate thugs like the James boys and the Youngers?

Would anyone play the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” or even the version of it by leftist Joan Baez?

Could Ken Burns now still make The Civil War, 30 years after its original release, with a folksy Shelby Foote contextualizing the Confederate defeat as thousands of brave men dying for a tragic cause beneath them? Would a liberal Southerner like the late Jody Powell still dare to voice the words of Stonewall Jackson or Horton Foote or Jefferson Davis? In our more enlightened revolutionary times, were all these players useful idiots in the cause of racism?

Are there now three Americas? One of white guilt and penance, one of black anger and victimization, and another seething in silence as they see their 244 years of history written off as something worse than the pasts of Somalia, Peru, Iran, or Serbia.

There are now two realities — beyond two national anthems, beyond black and white dorms, black and white segregated safe spaces on campus, and beyond now segregated black and white history, language, philosophy, and science and math.

For blatantly racist diatribes dug up from the past, there is one standard of contextualization for 1619 architect Nikole Hannah-Jones and the creators of Black Lives Matter, and another that forces silly entertainers like late-night host Jimmy Kimmel to go into exile? In the new America, skin color adjudicates whether one can with impunity be openly racist — as it used to be before the civil-rights movement, whose values and methods the Left purportedly seeks to embrace and resurrect.

If so, then we know from history the script that now follows.

In the exhilaration of exercising power ruthlessly and unchecked, the cultural revolutionists soon turn on their own: poor Trump-hating Dan Abrams losing his cop reality show, the two liberal trial lawyers armed on their mansion lawn in St. Louis terrified of the mob entering their gated estate community, bewildered CHOP activists wondering where the police were once mayhem and death were among them, the inner city of Chicago or New York in the age of police drawbacks wondering how high the daily murder rate will climb once shooters fathom that there are no police, and inner-city communities furious that the ER is too crowded with shooting victims to properly treat COVID-19 arrivals.

Do we now really expect that the Wilson Center in Washington will be cancelled, the Washington Monument cut down to size, and Princeton, Yale, and Stanford renamed?

The logic of the revolution says yes, but the liberal appeasers of it are growing uneasy. They are realizing that their own elite status and referents are now in the crosshairs. And so they are on the verge of becoming Thermidors.

And what will the new icons be under our new revolutionary premises?

Will we say the old statues were bad because they were not perfect, but the new replacements are perfect despite being a tad bad in places? Will we dedicate more memorials to Martin Luther King Jr., the great advocate of the civil-rights movement, or do we focus instead on his plagiarism, his often poor treatment of women, and his reckless promiscuity? Gandhi is gone, but who replaces him, Subhas Chandra Bose? Will Princeton rename their school of diplomacy in honor of the martyred Malcom X, slain by the black nationalist Nation of Islam? Malcom may now become ubiquitous, but he said things about white people that would have made what Wilson said about black people look tame.

Puritanical cultural revolutionaries are always a minority of society. But whether they win or lose — that is, whether they end up as Bolsheviks or Jacobins — hinges on how successfully they terrify the masses into submission, and how quickly they can do that before repulsion grows over their absurd violence and silly rhetoric.

When the backlash comes, as it must when mobs destroy statues at night, loot, burn, and obliterate what Mao called the “four olds” of a culture revolution — Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas — it may not be pretty.

We can see its contours already: Asian Americans further discriminated against to allow for new university mandates jettisoning SAT scores and GPAs, while schools set new larger percentages of African-American admissions and transform their entire diversity industry into a black-advocacy enterprise; virtue-signaling and now hard-left white CEOs and college presidents and provosts asked to step down, to do their own small white-male part in yielding their prized jobs to someone more woke and less pink.

Gun sales are at record levels. I supposed the revolutionaries never investigated the original idea of a police force and the concept of the government’s legal monopoly on violence? It was not just to protect the law-abiding from the criminal, but to protect the criminal from the outraged vigilante.

Only police can stop blood feuds such as the ones we see in Chicago or like the medieval ones of Iceland’s Njáls saga, or the postbellum slaughtering of the Hatfields and McCoys. We are already seeing a counterrevolution — as the Left goes ballistic that anyone would appear on his lawn pointing a semiautomatic rifle to protect mere “brick and mortar.”

Without a functioning police force, do we really believe that the stockbroker is going to walk home in the evening in New York City without a firearm, or that the suburbanite in Minneapolis in an expansive home will not have a semiautomatic rifle, or that the couple who drives to Los Angeles with the kids to visit Disneyland will not have a 9mm automatic in their car console? The Left has energized the Second Amendment in a way the NRA never could, and for the next decade, there will be more guns in pockets, cars, and homes than at any time in history.

Do Nike, the NFL, and the NBA really believe that their fan clientele will buy into the Black Lives Matter special national anthem and BLM corporate logos on their uniforms? Publicly, perhaps their clients will say so, but at home and in private where fans have absolute control of the remotes or their Amazon accounts, probably not.

The counterrevolution will be easy to spot. Suddenly a left-wing institution will refuse to change its name. Gone with the Wind will insidiously reappear on the schedule of TBN classic movies. Statue topplers all of a sudden will be scouted out and arrested and have felonies on their record — and no one will complain.

NFL’s attendance will crater. Joe Biden will begin cataloguing both good and bad statues, and correct and incorrect name changing, and by October he will be saying, “One the one hand . . . on the other hand . . . ”

Segregation will doom this revolution. It is the worst poison in a multiracial society. Yet it is the signature issue of Black Lives Matter — everything from separate safe spaces and theme houses based on skin color in universities to specials fees and rules for non-blacks. The popular forces of integration, assimilation, and intermarriage will not be harnessed by racial-separatist czars, asking for DNA pedigrees as they sleuth for microaggressions and implicit biases.

The BLM problem is that never in history has a radical cultural revolution at its outset declared itself both race-based and yet predicated on a small minority of the population, whose strategy was to shame and debase the majority that was sympathetic to the idea of relegating race to insignificance. 

If sowing the wind has been getting ugly, reaping the whirlwind will be more so.

Voir aussi:

Vidéo : un riche couple d’Américains sort lourdement armé pour défendre sa propriété contre des manifestants

La scène est à peine croyable. Des manifestants américains du mouvement «Black lives matter» se rendant devant le domicile de la maire de Saint Louis, Lyda Krewson, pour exiger sa démission, ont été menacés dimanche par un couple d’avocats, lourdement armés, alors qu’ils passaient devant leur villa.

Mark et Patricia McCloskey ont ainsi été filmés pointant leurs armes en direction des 300 personnes marchant devant eux. Lui tenait un fusil de type AR-15, quand sa femme préférait brandir une arme de poing. NBC News rapporte que les portails de plusieurs propriétés du quartier ont été détériorés. Ironie de l’histoire, le couple en question a fait de la défense des victimes de dommages corporels sa spécialité.

Le président Trump a retweeté une vidéo de l’incident, sans le commenter. La scène a, faut-il s’en douter, choqué un nombre important d’internautes. D’autres y ont vu l’occasion de lancer des parodies.

Voir également:

Médias.

Démission au “New York Times” : “Ils me traitent de nazie et de raciste”

Courrier international

Décrivant un environnement de travail “intolérant” et fustigeant une certaine bien-pensance qui confine à l’“autocensure”, Bari Weiss, une journaliste chargée de faire vivre la diversité des opinions dans les colonnes du prestigieux quotidien américain, a présenté sa démission.

Sa lettre de démission est adressée à Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, directeur de la publication du New York Times. Dans ce texte publié sur son site personnel, Bari Weiss explique les raisons de son départ du quotidien de centre gauche.

Auteure et éditrice des pages Opinion du journal depuis 2017, la journaliste rappelle avoir été embauchée “dans le but de faire venir au journal les voix qui n’apparaîtraient pas dans ses pages autrement : […] les centristes, les conservateurs et ceux qui ne se sentent pas chez eux au New York Times. La raison de ce recrutement était claire : le journal n’avait pas anticipé le résultat de l’élection présidentielle de 2016, ce qui montrait qu’il n’avait pas une bonne compréhension du pays qu’il couvre.”

Pourtant, écrit Bari Weiss, le journal “n’a pas tiré les enseignements qui auraient dû suivre le scrutin”.

Mes incursions dans la pensée non orthodoxe ont fait de moi l’objet d’un harcèlement constant de la part de mes collègues qui ne partagent pas mes opinions. Ils me traitent de nazie et de raciste […]. Mon travail et ma personne sont ouvertement dénigrés sur les chaînes Slack [outil de communication interne] de la société […]. Certains collaborateurs y soutiennent qu’il faut se débarrasser de moi si le journal veut être véritablement ‘inclusif’ et d’autres postent l’émoji de la hache [‘ax’ signifie à la fois ‘hache’ et ‘virer’] à côté de mon nom.”

Dans un article écrit par le spécialiste média du quotidien américain, le New York Times indique que “Mme Weiss […] est connue pour sa tendance à remettre en question certains aspects des mouvements pour la justice sociale qui se développent depuis quelques années”. Ainsi, le mois dernier, la journaliste de 36 ans avait critiqué l’émoi d’une partie de sa rédaction après la publication d’une tribune d’un sénateur républicain demandant une intervention militaire pour “rétablir l’ordre” face aux manifestations du mouvement Black Lives Matter.

Dans la foulée, Bari Weiss décrivait sur Twitter la “guerre civile” qui ferait rage au sein de la rédaction du NYT et d’autres médias américains entre la “‘Nouvelle Garde’ – des gens en général jeunes qui sont attachés à la justice sociale – et la ‘Vieille Garde’ – les progressistes qui ont en général plus de 40 ans”. “Nombre de membres de la rédaction ont protesté sur Twitter et déclaré que c’était faux ou que cela ne représentait pas leurs positions”, commente l’article du New York Times.

“Twitter ne figure pas sur la une du New York Times, mais il en est devenu le rédacteur en chef ultime”, poursuit Bari Weiss dans sa lettre, regrettant les extrêmes précautions que prendrait l’équipe du quotidien pour ne pas froisser ses lecteurs les plus “éveillés”. Sur un ton railleur, elle interroge :

Pourquoi proposer quelque chose de difficile à avaler pour nos lecteurs, ou écrire quelque chose d’audacieux pour finir par passer par le processus abrutissant de le rendre idéologiquement acceptable, alors que nous pouvons assurer notre emploi (et des clics) en publiant une 4 000e tribune avançant que Donald Trump constitue un danger pour le pays et pour le monde ? L’autocensure est ainsi devenue la norme.”

“Nous remercions Bari pour les nombreuses contributions qu’elle a apportées à la rubrique Opinion. Je suis personnellement déterminée à ce que le New York Times continue à publier des voix, des vécus et des points de vue venant de tout l’échiquier politique dans la page Opinion”, a réagi Kathleen Kingsbury, responsable de cette rubrique.

Voir de même:

« L’Amérique vit un nouveau Moyen Âge, avec son oligarchie, ses clercs et son dogme »

GRAND ENTRETIEN – Notre monde est entré «dans un nouveau Moyen Âge» version high-tech, marqué par un accroissement inquiétant des inégalités, avertit le géographe Joel Kotkin.

Laure Mandeville
Le Figaro
16 juillet 2020

«Le Meilleur des mondes» décrit par Aldous Huxley serait-il en train de pointer le nez sur les côtes de Californie et de gagner l’Amérique? Dans son nouveau livre, L’Avènement du néo-féodalisme, le géographe américain Joel Kotkin, cousin californien du géographe français Christophe Guilluy, qui scrute depuis des années avec inquiétude la destruction des classes moyennes à la faveur de la délocalisation et de la financiarisation de l’économie, s’interroge sur la «tyrannie» que dessine l’émergence d’une oligarchie ultra-puissante et contrôlant une technologie envahissante.

Joel Kotkin décrit l’alliance de l’oligarchie de la Silicon Valley, composée de quelques milliardaires passionnés de transhumanisme, et persuadés que la technologie est la réponse à tous les problèmes, avec une classe intellectuelle de «clercs» qui se comporte comme un «nouveau clergé» et instaure de nouveaux dogmes – sur la globalisation, le genre, «le privilège blanc» – avec une ferveur toute religieuse. Il devient dangereux d’exprimer ses désaccords, regrette cet ancien social-démocrate, qui explique ne plus avoir sa place à gauche. Une situation d’intolérance que le départ fracassant de la journaliste Bari Weiss du New York Times , forcée de quitter le navire sous la pression de pairs devenus «censeurs», vient d’illustrer avec éloquence.

LE FIGARO. – Vous publiez L’Avènement du néo-féodalisme*, un ouvrage qui décrit l’émergence en Amérique, et plus encore en Chine, en Europe et même au Japon, d’un système caractérisé par une concentration de plus en plus inégalitaire de la richesse et du pouvoir entre les mains d’une petite minorité de «seigneurs» de la tech et de la finance. Retournons-nous vraiment au Moyen Âge version high-tech ?

Joel KOTKIN. – Nous vivons effectivement une époque qui rappelle le Moyen Âge avec son oligarchie, ses clercs et son dogme. Une sorte d’aristocratie de la tech a émergé et a fait alliance avec la classe intellectuelle, pour mettre en place une nouvelle vision de la société, qui a pour ambition de remplacer les valeurs plus traditionnelles portées depuis l’après-guerre par la classe moyenne. Tout l’enjeu futur de la politique est de savoir si «le tiers état» d’aujourd’hui – les classes moyennes paupérisées et les classes populaires – se soumettra à leur contrôle. Nous sommes entrés dans le paradigme d’une oligarchie concentrant la richesse nationale à un point jamais atteint à l’époque contemporaine. Cinq compagnies détiennent l’essentiel de la richesse nationale en Amérique! Une poignée de patrons de la tech et «leurs chiens de garde» de la finance, contrôlent chacun des fortunes de dizaines de milliards de dollars en moyenne et ils ont à peine 40 ans, ce qui veut dire que nous allons devoir vivre avec eux et leur influence pour tout le reste de nos vies!

La globalisation et la financiarisation ont été des facteurs majeurs de cette concentration effrénée de la richesse. La délocalisation de l’industrie vers la Chine a coûté 1,5 million d’emplois manufacturiers au Royaume-Uni, et 3,4 millions à l’Amérique. Les PME, les entreprises familiales, l’artisanat, ont été massivement détruits, débouchant sur une paupérisation des classes moyennes, qui étaient le cœur du modèle capitaliste libéral américain. La crise du coronavirus a accéléré la tendance. Les compagnies de la tech sortent grandes gagnantes de l’épreuve. Jeff Bezos, le patron d’Amazon, vient juste d’annoncer que sa capitalisation a progressé de 30 milliards de dollars alors que les petites compagnies se noient! Les inégalités de classe ne font que s’accélérer, avec une élite intellectuelle et managériale qui s’en sort très bien – les fameux clercs qui peuvent travailler à distance – , et le reste de la classe moyenne qui s’appauvrit. Les classes populaires, elles, ont subi le virus de plein fouet, ont bien plus de risques de l’attraper, ont souffert du confinement dans leurs petits appartements, et ont pour beaucoup perdu leur travail. C’est un tableau très sombre qui émerge avec une caste de puissants ultra-étroite et de «nouveaux serfs», sans rien de substantiel entre les deux: 70 % des Américains estiment que leurs enfants vivront moins bien qu’eux.

La destruction systématique de notre passé est très dangereuse. Cela nous ramène à l’esprit de la Révolution culturelle chinoise. Si l’on continue, il n’y aura plus que des tribus

Vous écrivez que la Silicon Valley est une sorte de laboratoire futuriste de ce qui attend l’Amérique. Votre description ne donne pas envie…

La Silicon Valley, jadis une terre promise des self-made-men est devenue le visage de l’inégalité et des nouvelles forteresses industrielles. Les géants technologiques comme Google ou Facebook ont tué la culture des start-up née dans les garages californiens dans les années 1970 et qui a perduré jusque dans les années 1990, car ils siphonnent toute l’innovation. Je suis évidemment pour la défense de l’environnement, mais l’idéologie verte très radicale qui prévaut en Californie avantage aussi les grandes compagnies qui seules peuvent survivre aux régulations environnementales drastiques, alors que les PME n’y résistent pas ou s’en vont ailleurs. On sous-estime cet aspect socio-économique de la «transition écologique», qui exclut les classes populaires et explique par exemple vos «gilets jaunes», comme le raconte le géographe Christophe Guilluy. Vu la concentration de richesses, l’immobilier californien a atteint des prix records et les classes populaires ont été boutées hors de San Francisco, pourtant un bastion du «progressisme» politique. La ville, qui se veut l’avant-garde de l’antiracisme et abritait jadis une communauté afro-américaine très vivante, n’a pratiquement plus d’habitants noirs, à peine 5 %, un autre paradoxe du progressisme actuel.

Vous parlez d’alliance de cette oligarchie avec de nouveaux clercs, presque un nouveau «clergé», gardien des nouveaux «dogmes». Que voulez-vous dire?

Il y a un vrai parallèle entre la situation d’aujourd’hui et l’alliance de l’aristocratie et du clergé avant la Révolution française. Et cela vaut pour tous les pays occidentaux. Ces clercs rassemblent les élites intellectuelles d’aujourd’hui, qui sont presque toutes situées à gauche. Si je les nomme ainsi, c’est pour souligner le caractère presque religieux de l’orthodoxie qu’elles entendent imposer, comme jadis l’Église catholique. Au XIIIe siècle, à l’université de Paris, personne n’aurait osé douter de l’existence de Dieu. Aujourd’hui, personne n’ose contester sans risque les nouveaux dogmes, j’en sais quelque chose. Je suis pourtant loin d’être conservateur, je suis un social-démocrate de la vieille école, qui juge les inégalités de classe plus pertinentes que les questions d’identité, de genre, mais il n’y a plus de place pour des gens comme moi dans l’univers mental et politique de ces élites. Elles entendent remplacer les valeurs de la famille et de la liberté individuelle qui ont fait le succès de l’Amérique après-guerre et la prospérité de la classe moyenne, par un credo qui allie défense du globalisme, justice sociale (définie comme la défense des minorités raciales et sexuelles, NDLR), modèle de développement durable imposé par le haut et redéfinition des rôles familiaux. Elles affirment que le développement durable est plus important que la croissance qui permettait de sortir les classes populaires de la pauvreté. Ce point créera une vraie tension sociale. Ce qui est frappant, c’est l’uniformité de ce «clergé».

Parmi les journalistes, seulement 7 % se disent républicains. C’est la même chose, voire pire, dans les universités, le cinéma, la musique. On n’a plus le droit d’être en désaccord avec quoi que ce soit! Écrire que le problème de la communauté noire est plus un problème socio-économique que racial, est devenu risqué, et peut vous faire traiter de raciste! J’ai travaillé longtemps comme journaliste avant d’enseigner, et notamment pour le Washington Post, le Los Angeles Times et d’autres… Il arrive que j’y trouve encore de très bons papiers, mais dans l’ensemble, je ne peux plus les lire tellement ils sont biaisés sur les sujets liés à la question raciale, à Trump ou à la politique! Je n’ai aucune sympathie pour Donald Trump, que je juge toxique, mais la haine qu’il suscite va trop loin. On voit se développer un journalisme d’opinion penchant à gauche, qui mène à ce que la Rand Corporation (une institution de recherche prestigieuse, fondée initialement pour les besoins de l’armée américaine, NDLR) qualifie de «décomposition de la vérité».

Je dois dire avoir aussi été très choqué par le «projet 1619» (ce projet affirme que l’origine de l’Amérique n’est pas 1776 et la proclamation de l’Indépendance, mais 1619 avec l’arrivée de bateaux d’esclaves sur les côtes américaines, NDLR), lancé par le New York Times, qui veut démontrer que toute l’histoire américaine est celle d’un pays raciste. Oui l’esclavage a été une chose horrible, mais les succès et progrès américains ne peuvent être niés au nom des crimes commis. Je n’ai rien contre le fait de déboulonner les généraux confédérés, qui ont combattu pour le Sud esclavagiste. Mais vouloir déboulonner le général Ulysse Grant, grand vainqueur des confédérés, ou encore George Washington, est absurde. La destruction systématique de notre passé, et du sens de ce qui nous tient ensemble, est très dangereuse. Cela nous ramène à l’esprit de la Révolution culturelle chinoise. Si l’on continue, il n’y aura plus que des tribus.

Vous soulignez le danger particulier de l’alliance de l’oligarchie de la tech et des élites, en raison du rôle croissant de la technologie…

Je crois que c’est Huxley qui dans Le Meilleur des mondes, affirme qu’une tyrannie appuyée sur la technologie ne peut être défaite. La puissance des oligarchies et des élites culturelles actuelles est renforcée par le rôle croissant de la technologie, qui augmente le degré de contrôle de ce que nous pensons, lisons, écoutons… Quand internet est apparu, il a suscité un immense espoir. On pensait qu’il ouvrirait une ère de liberté fertile pour les idées, mais c’est au contraire devenu un instrument de contrôle de l’information et de la pensée! Même si les blogs qui prolifèrent confèrent une apparence de démocratie et de diversité, la réalité actuelle c’est quelques compagnies basées dans la Silicon Valley qui exercent un contrôle de plus en plus lourd sur le flux d’informations. Près des deux tiers des jeunes s’informent sur les réseaux sociaux. De plus, Google, Facebook, Amazon sont en train de racheter les restes des médias traditionnels qu’ils n’ont pas tués. Ils contrôlent les studios de production de films, YouTube… Henry Ford et Andrew Carnegie n’étaient pas des gentils, mais ils ne vous disaient pas ce que vous deviez penser.

Trump va avoir du mal à gagner. Il pourrait revenir si une forme de rebond économique se dessine ou s’il s’avérait évident que Joe Biden n’a plus toutes ses capacités intellectuelles

Et que pensent ces nouveaux oligarques du XXIe siècle?

Ils sont persuadés que tous les problèmes ont une réponse technologique. Ce sont des techniciens brillants, grands adeptes du transhumanisme, peu préoccupés par la baisse de la natalité ou la question de la mobilité sociale, et bien plus déconnectés des classes populaires que les patrons d’entreprises sidérurgiques d’antan. Leur niveau d’ignorance sur le plan historique ou littéraire est abyssal, et en ce sens, ils sont sans doute plus effrayants encore que l’aristocratie d’Ancien Régime. De plus, se concentrer sur les sujets symboliques comme le genre, les transgenres, le changement climatique, leur permet d’évacuer les sujets de «classe», qui pourraient menacer leur pouvoir.

Que pensez-vous de la bataille entre Zuckerberg, qui a refusé de bannir les tweets de Trump, et les autres grands patrons de la tech, qui veulent bannir «les mauvaises pensées»?

Je pense que Zuckerberg a eu raison et qu’il a du courage, mais il semble être poussé à adopter un rôle de censeur. Un auteur que je connais, environnementaliste dissident, vient de voir sa page Facebook supprimée. C’est une tendance dangereuse, car laisser à quelques groupes privés le pouvoir de contrôler l’information, ouvre la voie à la tyrannie. Cela me ramène au thème central de ce livre qui se veut un manifeste en faveur de la classe moyenne, menacée de destruction après avoir été le pilier de nos démocraties. La démocratie est fondamentalement liée à la dispersion de la propriété privée. C’est pour cela que j’ai toujours eu de l’admiration pour les Pays-Bas, pays qui a toujours créé de la terre, en gagnant sur la mer, et a donc toujours assuré la croissance de sa classe moyenne. Quand cela cesse et que la richesse se concentre entre quelques mains, on revient à un contrôle de la société par le haut, qu’il soit établi par des régimes de droite ou de gauche.

Face à cette réalité, Trump et la rébellion anti-élites qui le porte pourraient-ils gagner à nouveau?

Trump est un idiot et un type détestable, qui, je l’espère, sera désavoué, car il suscite beaucoup de tensions négatives. Mais je n’ai jamais vu un président traité comme il l’a été. La volonté de le destituer était déjà envisagée avant même qu’il ait mis un pied à la Maison-Blanche! Je pense aussi que la presse n’est pas honnête à son sujet. Prenons par exemple son discours au mont Rushmore, l’un des meilleurs qu’il ait faits, et dans lequel il tente de réconcilier un soutien au besoin de justice raciale, et la défense du patrimoine américain. Il y a cité beaucoup de personnages importants comme Frederick Douglass ou Harriet Tubman, mais la presse n’en a pas moins rapporté qu’il s’agissait d’un discours raciste, destiné à rallier les suprémacistes blancs! On l’accuse de tyrannie, mais la plus grande tyrannie qui nous menace est l’alliance des oligarques et des clercs. Le seul avantage de Trump, c’est d’être un contre-pouvoir face à eux. Malheureusement, cela ne signifie pas qu’il ait une vision cohérente. Surtout, il divise terriblement le pays, or nous avons besoin d’une forme d’unité minimale.

Je dirais à ce stade que Trump va avoir du mal à gagner – j’évalue ses chances à une sur trois. Il pourrait revenir si une forme de rebond économique se dessine ou s’il s’avérait évident que Joe Biden n’a plus toutes ses capacités intellectuelles. Si les démocrates l’emportent, ma prédiction est qu’ils en feront trop, et qu’une nouvelle rébellion, qui nous fera regretter Trump, surgira en boomerang. À moins qu’une nouvelle génération de jeunes conservateurs – comme Josh Hawley, JD Vance ou Marco Rubio – capables de défendre les classes populaires tout en faisant obstacle à la révolution culturelle de la gauche, ne finisse par émerger. J’aimerais aussi voir un mouvement remettant vraiment le social à l’honneur se dessiner à gauche, mais je n’y crois pas trop, vu l’obsession de l’identité… Ce qui est sûr, c’est que l’esprit de 2016 et des «gilets jaunes» ne va pas disparaître. Regardez ce qui s’est passé en Australie: on pensait que les travaillistes gagneraient, mais ce sont les populistes qui ont raflé la mise, parce que la gauche verte était devenue tellement anti-industrielle, que les classes populaires l’ont désertée!

* The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class, Joel Kotkin, Hardcover, 288 p., $20,65.

Voir de plus:

Dear A.G.,

It is with sadness that I write to tell you that I am resigning from The New York Times.

I joined the paper with gratitude and optimism three years ago. I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers. Dean Baquet and others have admitted as much on various occasions. The priority in Opinion was to help redress that critical shortcoming.

I was honored to be part of that effort, led by James Bennet. I am proud of my work as a writer and as an editor. Among those I helped bring to our pages: the Venezuelan dissident Wuilly Arteaga; the Iranian chess champion Dorsa Derakhshani; and the Hong Kong Christian democrat Derek Lam. Also: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Masih Alinejad, Zaina Arafat, Elna Baker, Rachael Denhollander, Matti Friedman, Nick Gillespie, Heather Heying, Randall Kennedy, Julius Krein, Monica Lewinsky, Glenn Loury, Jesse Singal, Ali Soufan, Chloe Valdary, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Wesley Yang, and many others.

But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned. Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.

Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.

My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.” Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.

There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I’m no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.

I do not understand how you have allowed this kind of behavior to go on inside your company in full view of the paper’s entire staff and the public. And I certainly can’t square how you and other Times leaders have stood by while simultaneously praising me in private for my courage. Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.

Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.

What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.

Op-eds that would have easily been published just two years ago would now get an editor or a writer in serious trouble, if not fired. If a piece is perceived as likely to inspire backlash internally or on social media, the editor or writer avoids pitching it. If she feels strongly enough to suggest it, she is quickly steered to safer ground. And if, every now and then, she succeeds in getting a piece published that does not explicitly promote progressive causes, it happens only after every line is carefully massaged, negotiated and caveated.

It took the paper two days and two jobs to say that the Tom Cotton op-ed “fell short of our standards.” We attached an editor’s note on a travel story about Jaffa shortly after it was published because it “failed to touch on important aspects of Jaffa’s makeup and its history.” But there is still none appended to Cheryl Strayed’s fawning interview with the writer Alice Walker, a proud anti-Semite who believes in lizard Illuminati.

The paper of record is, more and more, the record of those living in a distant galaxy, one whose concerns are profoundly removed from the lives of most people. This is a galaxy in which, to choose just a few recent examples, the Soviet space program is lauded for its “diversity”; the doxxing of teenagers in the name of justice is condoned; and the worst caste systems in human history includes the United States alongside Nazi Germany.

Even now, I am confident that most people at The Times do not hold these views. Yet they are cowed by those who do. Why? Perhaps because they believe the ultimate goal is righteous. Perhaps because they believe that they will be granted protection if they nod along as the coin of our realm—language—is degraded in service to an ever-shifting laundry list of right causes. Perhaps because there are millions of unemployed people in this country and they feel lucky to have a job in a contracting industry.

Or perhaps it is because they know that, nowadays, standing up for principle at the paper does not win plaudits. It puts a target on your back. Too wise to post on Slack, they write to me privately about the “new McCarthyism” that has taken root at the paper of record.

All this bodes ill, especially for independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they’ll have to do to advance in their careers. Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.

For these young writers and editors, there is one consolation. As places like The Times and other once-great journalistic institutions betray their standards and lose sight of their principles, Americans still hunger for news that is accurate, opinions that are vital, and debate that is sincere. I hear from these people every day. “An independent press is not a liberal ideal or a progressive ideal or a democratic ideal. It’s an American ideal,” you said a few years ago. I couldn’t agree more. America is a great country that deserves a great newspaper.

None of this means that some of the most talented journalists in the world don’t still labor for this newspaper. They do, which is what makes the illiberal environment especially heartbreaking. I will be, as ever, a dedicated reader of their work. But I can no longer do the work that you brought me here to do—the work that Adolph Ochs described in that famous 1896 statement: “to make of the columns of The New York Times a forum for the consideration of all questions of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion.”

Ochs’s idea is one of the best I’ve encountered. And I’ve always comforted myself with the notion that the best ideas win out. But ideas cannot win on their own. They need a voice. They need a hearing. Above all, they must be backed by people willing to live by them.

Sincerely,

Bari

Voir encore:

The Intelligencer
July 17, 2020

The good news is that my last column in this space is not about “cancel culture.” Well, almost. I agree with some of the critics that it’s a little nuts to say I’ve just been “canceled,” sent into oblivion and exile for some alleged sin. I haven’t. I’m just no longer going to be writing for a magazine that has every right to hire and fire anyone it wants when it comes to the content of what it wants to publish.

The quality of my work does not appear to be the problem. I have a long essay in the coming print magazine on how plagues change societies, after all. I have written some of the most widely read essays in the history of the magazine, and my column has been popular with readers. And I have no complaints about my interaction with the wonderful editors and fact-checkers here — and, in fact, am deeply grateful for their extraordinary talent, skill, and compassion. I’ve been in the office maybe a handful of times over four years, and so there’s no question of anyone mistreating me or vice versa. In fact, I’ve been proud and happy to be a part of this venture.

What has happened, I think, is relatively simple: A critical mass of the staff and management at New York Magazine and Vox Media no longer want to associate with me, and, in a time of ever tightening budgets, I’m a luxury item they don’t want to afford. And that’s entirely their prerogative. They seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space. Actually attacking, and even mocking, critical theory’s ideas and methods, as I have done continually in this space, is therefore out of sync with the values of Vox Media. That, to the best of my understanding, is why I’m out of here.

Two years ago, I wrote that we all live on campus now. That is an understatement. In academia, a tiny fraction of professors and administrators have not yet bent the knee to the woke program — and those few left are being purged. The latest study of Harvard University faculty, for example, finds that only 1.46 percent call themselves conservative. But that’s probably higher than the proportion of journalists who call themselves conservative at the New York Times or CNN or New York Magazine. And maybe it’s worth pointing out that “conservative” in my case means that I have passionately opposed Donald J. Trump and pioneered marriage equality, that I support legalized drugs, criminal-justice reform, more redistribution of wealth, aggressive action against climate change, police reform, a realist foreign policy, and laws to protect transgender people from discrimination. I was one of the first journalists in established media to come out. I was a major and early supporter of Barack Obama. I intend to vote for Biden in November.

It seems to me that if this conservatism is so foul that many of my peers are embarrassed to be working at the same magazine, then I have no idea what version of conservatism could ever be tolerated. And that’s fine. We have freedom of association in this country, and if the mainstream media want to cut ties with even moderate anti-Trump conservatives, because they won’t bend the knee to critical theory’s version of reality, that’s their prerogative. It may even win them more readers, at least temporarily. But this is less of a systemic problem than in the past, because the web has massively eroded the power of gatekeepers to suppress and control speech. I was among the first to recognize this potential for individual freedom of speech, and helped pioneer individual online media, specifically blogging, 20 years ago.

And this is where I’m now headed.

Since I closed down the Dish, my bloggy website, five years ago, after 15 years of daily blogging, I have not missed the insane work hours that all but broke my health. But here’s what I do truly and deeply miss: writing freely without being in a defensive crouch; airing tough, smart dissent and engaging with readers in a substantive way that avoids Twitter madness; a truly free intellectual space where anything, yes anything, can be debated without personal abuse or questioning of motives; and where readers can force me to change my mind (or not) by sheer logic or personal testimony.

I miss a readership that truly was eclectic — left, liberal, centrist, right, reactionary — and that loved to be challenged by me and by each other. I miss just the sheer fun that used to be a part of being a hack before all these dreadfully earnest, humor-free puritans took over the press: jokes, window views, silly videos, contests, puns, rickrolls, and so on. The most popular feature we ever ran was completely apolitical — The View From Your Window contest. It was as simple and humanizing as the current web is so fraught and dehumanizing. And in this era of COVID-19 isolation and despair, the need for a humane, tolerant, yet provocative and interesting, community is more urgent than ever.

So, yeah, after being prodded for years by Dishheads, I’m going to bring back the Dish.

I’ve long tried to figure out a way to have this kind of lively community without endangering my health and sanity. Which is why the Weekly Dish, which launches now, is where I’ve landed. The Weekly Dish will be hosted by Substack, a fantastic company that hosts an increasingly impressive number of individual free thinkers, like Jesse Singal and Matt Taibbi. There is a growing federation of independent thinkers and writers not subject to mainstream media’s increasingly narrow range of acceptable thought.

The initial basic formula — which, as with all things Dish, will no doubt evolve — is the following: this three-part column, with perhaps a couple of added short posts or features (I probably won’t be able to resist); a serious dissent section, where I can air real disagreement with my column, and engage with it constructively and civilly; a podcast, which I’ve long wanted to do, but never found a way to fit in; and yes, reader window views again, and the return of The View From Your Window contest. I’m able to do all this because Chris Bodenner, the guru of the Dish in-box and master of the Window View contest, is coming back to join me. He’ll select the dissents, as he long did, in ways that will put me on the spot.

Some have said that this good-faith engagement with lefty and liberal readers made me a better writer and thinker. And I think they’re right. Twitter has been bad for me; it’s just impossible to respond with the same care and nuance that I was able to at the Dish. And if we want to defend what’s left of liberal democracy, it’s not enough to expose and criticize the current model. We just need to model and practice liberal democracy better.

And that’s my larger hope and ambition. If the mainstream media will not host a diversity of opinion, or puts the “moral clarity” of some self-appointed saints before the goal of objectivity in reporting, if it treats writers as mere avatars for their race and gender or gender identity, rather than as unique individuals whose identity is largely irrelevant, then the nonmainstream needs to pick up the slack. What I hope to do at the Weekly Dish is to champion those younger writers who are increasingly shut out of the Establishment, to promote their blogs, articles, and podcasts, to link to them, and encourage them. I want to show them that they have a future in the American discourse. Instead of merely diagnosing the problem of illiberalism, I want to try to be part of the solution.

I’ll still probably piss you off, on a regular basis. “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,” as my journalistic mentor George Orwell put it. But I’ll also be directly accountable, and open to arguments that I, too, don’t want to hear but need to engage. And I hope to find readers who are fine with being pissed off — if it prompts them to reevaluate ideas.

If you believe in that vision or are simply interested in engaging a variety of ideas in a free-wheeling debate, then please join us. Those of you who were loyal Dishheads receive this column every Friday in an email, and you will get the same email next week directing you to the new Weekly Dish. If you are not on that list, or have not received an email lately, or have gotten to know me from my work at New York alone, you can add your name by clicking here.

The Weekly Dish will be free for a bit, while we iron out kinks and prep a podcast for the fall. But if you want to subscribe right away, or be a founding Weekly Dishhead, we’d love it, and it would help us enormously in getting this off the ground.

Dishness lives. All we’re waiting for is you.

See you next Friday.

Voir aussi:

Peak Jacobinism?

Even the woke eventually fear the guillotine. A few of its appeasers and abettors are becoming embarrassed by some of the outright racists and nihilists of BLM and the Maoists of Antifa — and their wannabe hangers-on who troll the Internet hoping to scalp some minor celebrity.

The woke rich too are worried over talk about substantial wealth, capital-gains, and income taxes, even though they have the resources to navigate around the legislation from their wink-and-nod brethren. Soon, even Hunter Biden and the Clintons could be checking in with their legal teams to see how much it will cost them to get around the Squad’s new tax plan.

The lines are thinning a bit for the guillotine. And the guillotiners are starting to panic as they glimpse faces of a restless mob always starved for something to top last night’s torching. Finally, even looters and arsonists get tired of doing the same old, same old each night. They get bored with the puerile bullhorn chants, the on-spec spray-paint defacement, and the petite fascists among them who hog the megaphones. For the lazy and bored, statue toppling — all of those ropes, those icky pry bars, those heavy sledgehammers, and so much pulling — becomes hard work, especially as the police, camera crews, and fisticuffs thin out on the ground. And the easy bronze and stone prey are now mostly rubble. Now it’s either the big, tough stuff like Mount Rushmore or the crazy targets like Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

There are only so many ways for adult-adolescents to chant monotonously “Eat the Rich! Kill the Pigs! Black Lives Matter!” blah, blah, blah. And there are only so many Road Warrior Antifa ensembles of black hoodies, black masks, black pants, and black padding — before it all it ends up like just another shrill teachers’-union meeting in the school cafeteria or a prolonged adolescent Halloween prankster show.

Some 150 leftist writers and artists recently signed a letter attesting that they are suddenly wary of cancel culture. They want it stopped and prefer free speech. Of course, they first throat-cleared about the evil Trump, as if the president had surveilled Associated Press reporters, or sicced the FBI on a political campaign, or used CIA informants and foreign dossier-mongers to undermine a political opponent. And some petition signers soon retracted, with “I didn’t know what I was doing” apologies. Nonetheless, it was a small sign that not all of the liberal intelligentsia were going to sit still and wait for the mob to swallow them.

They learned well from #MeToo that, in the end, being emancipated, feminist, and woke did not mean that anyone accused of anything was protected by the Bill of Rights, statutes of limitations, the right to cross-examination, sincere apologies, and all that reactionary jazz, whether the accused was Al Franken or Garrison Keillor. Everyone else can also learn from #MeToo: As the revolution moved on from Brett Kavanaugh to Joe Biden himself, it went the way of the fading Jacobins. Tara Reid, after all, was tsked-tsked away in the old-boy “she’s lying” fashion. If not, then she might have empowered the evil Trump in his reelection bid.

The Lincoln County, Ore., authorities just backed off from their earlier homage to Jim Crow — they had issued an edict that all residents would be equal and wear masks in public except African Americans, who would be more equal than others and not be required to wear them. Even Oregon has standards?

The CEO of Goya, Robert Unanue, recently ignored calls to ruin his company — for his sin of praising the U.S. president. So far, he seems utterly unfazed by the pajama-boy mob.

The inveterate racist and anti-Semite Al Sharpton can’t decide whether he wants to dynamite Mount Rushmore or chisel Obama’s visage on it. How strange that the radical Left is divorcing the Democratic Party from all its iconic American referents and leaving them with nothing to replace them except painted slogans of Black Lives Matter on city streets, Kente-cloth shawls, and a Woodie Guthrie song or two. Bill de Blasio believes it is legal for a mayor to ban all public demonstrations — except those predicated on skin color, as he exempts Black Lives Matter outings. That Confederate idea may be too much even for the city’s liberals in hiding.

Seattle’s CHAZ/CHOP is gone. Warlord Raz Simone is back to his capitalist land-lording without even a citation for trespassing. Maybe former CHOP residents will get a discount at his Airbnb rentals.

The streets of our big cities are no longer a “summer of love” hate-fest targeting Donald Trump, but downright scary, given that murdering someone on sight is a COVID-get-out-of-jail-free crime. Blue-state officials green-lighted the multibillion-dollar wreckage and are now coming cup in hand, begging the Trump administration to pay for it. Their logic is: “Don’t dare send your damn troops to interrupt our beautiful looting and arson, but now please send your racist money for us to clean up the mess.”

In California, the jails and prisons are emptying, ostensibly because of the virus, in reality to enact a long-desired agenda of emptying and defunding prisons. As a result, you cannot find an automatic handgun in most California gun shops: The more left-wing a community, the harder to find a gun on the shelf. For what reason do liberals think liberals are buying guns?

COVID-19 is back for a while. The more the Left insists that millions in the streets for a month were not violating quarantines and had no effect on the second wave, the more protestors got infected and graciously went home to spread it to their more vulnerable relatives. Even leftists who were not infected know that this narrative is untrue and that their own demonstrations essentially ended the legitimacy of mass quarantining.

The hated police are slowing down in anticipation of early retirements, layoffs, and budget shortages. The logic is that going into the inner city is a trifecta losing proposition for them: Either get shot, or get accused, or get hated for doing your proper duty. De facto “community policing” seems to be operating in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York as murder spikes and shooters rediscover how it once worked out in Deadwood, Dodge City, and Tombstone. One can learn a lot about “community policing” by watching a 1950s Western in which “community leaders” plead for the outgunned sheriff to remove the accused from his jail cell and hand him over to the posse, which, with one minor lynching, would make it all go away.

How did woke Beverley Hills left-wing zillionaires respond to the Black Lives marcher shouting into their enclave “Eat the Rich”?

Try now politically correct tear gas.

When an Atherton or Georgetown liberal calls 911, will he now first say: “One, I am not an angry white person calling to rat out a suspect of color. Two, I am not calling to save my ‘brick and mortar’ property at the expense of the life of a marginalized victim. Three, I support defunding the police. And so, four, look — an individual of unknown appearance may kind of, sort of be shattering our bedroom window and could be pondering a felonious infraction. So could you send out a community facilitator to inquire?”

The Marxist-birthed Black Lives Matter now resembles Robespierre’s ridiculous Cult of the Supreme Being. So likewise it has become our new state-sponsored religion for America’s nonbelievers. All that is left is to set up a BLM statue on a man-made mountain in D.C. where all can take the knee.

Suddenly retired generals are growing quiet. It’s as if the much-reported “small number” of violent protesters somehow got really, really big. And they do not necessarily worship the military.

Or maybe promises of renaming Fort Bragg and tearing down the Lee statue at West Point strangely did not quite satisfy the architects of Black Lives Matter. It is, after all, a blink of an eye from “Defund the Police!” to “Defund the Military!” (How strange that retired four-star generals in their sixties and seventies suddenly discovered in late spring 2020 that their once hallowed bases a century ago were named after racist Confederate mediocrities. Who would have thought?)

If the chairman of the Joint Chiefs won’t even appear on camera with the commander in chief who restored a decrepit Pentagon budget, and the pantheon of retired military luminaries believes that proof of a Mussolini, Nazi, or fascist in the White House is to be found in the act of securing the southern U.S. border, or not staying another 20 years in Afghanistan, or not inserting American youth into the middle of Kurdish-Turkish bloodletting while inside Russian- and Iranian-occupied fascist Syria, then many might decide that the U.S. military should deal on its own with the defunding Left.

The NFL pulled a Joe Biden VP trick and prematurely promised to play the “black national anthem” at a few games so that all can stand in homage in racial solidarity and then all kneel in disrespect for the subsequent ecumenical national anthem.

Players can wear political insignia to remind incorrect viewers at home about how they are to think correctly. Will extra points be given for great passes and catches by the most woke?

NFL owners can’t yet fathom how they have conjured up a brilliant new way of destroying a 100-year heritage and an inherited huge audience. Is the message of the most non-diverse players to their most diverse fans now to be: “We don’t like your racist country and won’t stand for your toxic anthem, but you owe us to stay tuned for the commercial ads and to come out to the stadium to pay oppressed multimillionaires like us”?

Anyone who watches such an NFL game this fall might as just as well get it over with and enroll in a more honest North Korean–style reeducation camp. If that doesn’t work out, one can always tune in to the NBA preseason and hear more lectures from philosopher-king coach Steven Kerr, contextualizing the many reasons the NBA honors the power of Chinese Communist Party money.

As the cities turn into wastelands, children are gunned down, and careers are destroyed, fewer and fewer bore us by intoning that Trump is Mussolini, or that he resembles the operators of Auschwitz. Fewer still care about the spiraling tragic carnage of the inner cities — not Black Lives Matter, not the Squad, not Nancy Pelosi.

When will we see the BLM/Antifa/Democratic agenda spelled out in full? A new inheritance tax for the midlevel retiring Google executives? A yearly wealth tax on Beyoncé, Cher, and LeBron James? No more carbon foot-printing in a private jet for Barack and Michelle, or Bill and Hillary? Reparations for Maxine Waters? No police force for Pacific Heights?

Terrified inner-city dwellers can’t count on their progressive governors or mayors, or sympathetic billionaires, who will soon be able to hire politically incorrect ex-policemen at a bargain to beef up their private security patrols.

So the revolution is tiring, devouring its own, terrifying its enablers, embarrassing its abettors, and becoming worried that somewhere some courageous nobody might dare say, “You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

The unhinged revolution is trying to make the U.S. into one big CHOP. Millions of Americans seem to be scrambling to avoid it, preferring instead to let the effort cannibalize itself at a safe distance — at least for now.

Voir également:

The Illiberal Liberal Media

As Bari Weiss’s departure confirms, the New York Times has narrowed its spectrum of allowable opinion.

Judith Miller

City Journal

July 14, 2020

What New York Times contributing editor and writer Bari Weiss recently called the “civil war” within the Times has just claimed another victim: Bari Weiss.

In a scathing open letter to publisher A. G. Sulzberger that instantly went viral on Twitter and other social media, Weiss asserted that she was resigning to protest the paper’s failure to defend her against internal and external bullying; senior editors’ abandonment of the paper’s ostensible commitment to publishing news and opinion that stray from an ideological orthodoxy; and the capitulation of many Times reporters and senior editors to the prevailing intolerance of far-Left mobs on Twitter, which she called the paper’s “ultimate editor.”

Weiss was apparently stripped of her role as editor, and not immediately offered another position; the implication that she was no longer welcome was clear. “The paper of record is, more and more, the record of those living in a distant galaxy, one whose concerns are profoundly removed from the lives of most people,” she wrote. “Nowadays, standing up for principle at the paper does not win plaudits. It puts a target on your back.”

Weiss did not respond to a request for comment. But friends and supporters said Tuesday that her decision was prompted in part by events surrounding the forced resignation last month of opinion editor James Bennet, to whom she reported during her three years at the Times. Bennet left the paper, and his deputy James Dao was demoted, after Times staffers revolted against their decision to publish an op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton arguing for deploying the military into U.S. cities to quell riots, if local law enforcement was unable to restore order. Many staffers protested the paper’s decision to give Cotton the powerful platform of the Times’s opinion page.

Some reporters argued that the conservative senator’s claims were contradicted by the paper’s own coverage, and that publishing the essay had endangered blacks, including minority reporters at the paper. Other Times staffers criticized Weiss’s characterization of the debate over Bennet’s publication of the Cotton op-ed as a “civil war” inside the Times between “the (mostly young) wokes” and “(mostly 40+) liberals,” reflecting a broader culture war throughout the country. Several staffers attacked her for having betrayed the paper by publicly describing its internal feuds.

In the aftermath of the Cotton episode, Weiss and many others quietly opposed the paper’s new “red flag” system, which effectively enables even junior editors to “stop or delay the publication of an article containing a controversial view or position,” as one senior editor characterized it.

Weiss has been a lightning rod ever since arriving from the Wall Street Journal, along with her friend, former colleague, and fellow columnist Bret Stephens, who declined to comment today on her resignation. Soon after joining the Times, she wrote a piece about a figure skater of Asian-American descent who was the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics. She was attacked on Twitter after posting a story on the achievement, tweeting the line from the Hamilton musical “Immigrants get the job done”—but the skater was not an immigrant herself, merely the child of immigrants. Twitter exploded, accusing Weiss of “othering” an Asian-American woman.

At the Times, Weiss described herself as a centrist liberal concerned that far-Left critiques stifled free speech. She frequently wrote about anti-Semitism and the Women’s March and warned of the dangers of overly zealous proponents of #MeToo culture in a controversial column about comic Aziz Ansari, which inspired a skit on Saturday Night Live. One friend said that many of Weiss’s Times colleagues resented her because they envied her success. “She was a mid-level editor who made a splash and whose essays became the basis of Saturday Night Live skits,” the friend and former colleague said, asking not to be named.

In her letter, Weiss wrote that she had joined the paper to help publish “voices that would not otherwise appear in the paper of record, such as first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of the Times as their home.” She had been hired, she wrote, after the paper failed to anticipate Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory because it “didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers.” But after three years at the paper, she wrote in her open letter, Weiss had concluded, “with sadness,” that she could no longer perform this mission at the nation’s ostensible paper of record, given the bullying that she had experienced within the newsroom and the almost daily attacks on her, often from Times colleagues, on social media. She deplored the paper’s unwillingness to defend her or act to stop the online intimidation. “They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m ‘writing about the Jews again,’” she wrote.

Her criticism of Sulzberger rang true to several Times veterans, who note that he has been accused before of yielding to disgruntled liberal staff members. A publisher said to have intervened often in the paper’s news decisions, Sulzberger initially defended James Bennet and the decision to publish the Cotton op-ed, for instance. But faced with a staff revolt, he criticized the essay and the paper’s publication of it, saying that the editorial process had been too “rushed” and that the essay “did not meet our standards.”

Weiss’s departure was quickly hailed by her many critics within and outside of the paper on social media, among them Glenn Greenwald, who has called her a “hypocrite” for her alleged efforts to suppress Arab professors while in college, and for her defense of Israel and some of its controversial policies as a newspaper writer. But her stinging letter rang true to many others, among them former presidential aspirant Andrew Yang and talk-show host Bill Maher. “As a longtime reader who has in recent years read the paper with increasing dismay over just the reasons outlined here, I hope this letter finds receptive ears at the paper. But for the reasons outlined here, I doubt it,” Maher wrote on Twitter.

Her resignation was also lamented by such leading right-of-center thinkers as Glenn Loury. “What a shame—for the country, and on the Times,” wrote Loury, an economics professor at Brown University, in an email. Calling Weiss “courageous,” he added that while the climate she described at the paper was “no surprise,” that it had “driven her to this point is, indeed, shocking.” He also noted that Weiss was one of the few Times writers to sign the controversial “Harpers letter,” which he speculated might have been “the last straw” for the paper.

That letter, signed by over 150 academics, writers, and other intellectuals and artists, decried the “rising illiberalism” resulting not only from President Trump and his followers’ provocations, but also from what signatories called the growing “dogma and coercion” of those who oppose Trump. The rise of online mobs to suppress controversial views with which they disagree, said the letter, has become “a potent and possibly destructive force.” The signers deplored what they described as American liberals’ growing “intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”

Only one prominent Times reporter was quick to leap to Weiss’s defense. “It’s one thing that many of our readers and staff disagree with @bariweiss’ views—fine,” tweeted Rukmini Callimachi, an award-winning foreign correspondent and reporter. “But the fact that she has been openly bullied, not just on social media, but in internal slack channels is not okay.”

In a statement, acting editorial page editor Kathleen Kingbury said that the paper appreciated “the many contributions that Bari made to Times Opinion.” A Times spokesperson said that Sulzberger was not planning to issue a public response to Weiss’s letter. But given the evidently censorious climate at the paper of record these days, silence should not surprise us.

Voir de plus:

July 16, 2020

The intellectually intolerant mob claimed two high-profile victims Tuesday with the resignations of New York Times editor Bari Weiss and New York Magazine journalist Andrew Sullivan. These are just two examples of the deadly virus spreading through our public life: McCarthyism of the woke.

McCarthyism is the pejorative term liberals gave to the anti-communist crusades of 1950s-era Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. From his perch as chair of the Government Operations Committee, McCarthy launched a wave of investigations to ferret out supposed communist subversion of government agencies. Armed with his favorite question — “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” — McCarthy terrorized his targets and silenced his critics. Thousands of people lost their jobs as a result, often based on nothing more than innuendo or chance associations.

The mob fervor extended to the state governments and the private sector, too. States enacted “loyalty oaths” requiring people employed by the government, including tenured university faculty members, to disavow “radical beliefs” or lose their jobs. Many refused and were fired. Hollywood notoriously rooted out real and suspected communists, creating the infamous “blacklist” of people who were informally barred from any work with Hollywood studios. The “red scare” even nearly toppled America’s favorite television star, Lucille Ball, who had registered to vote as a communist in the 1930s.

Today’s “cancel culture” is nothing more than McCarthyism in a woke costume. It stems from a noble goal — ending racial discrimination. Like its discredited cousin, however, it has transmogrified into something sinister and inimical to freedom. Battling racism is good and necessary; trying to suppress voices that one disagrees with is not. Woke McCarthyism goes wrong when it seeks to do the one thing that America has always sworn not to do: enforce uniformity of thought. Indeed, this principle, enshrined in the First Amendment, is so central to American national identity that it is one of the five quotes inscribed in the Jefferson Memorial: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

Weiss’s resignation letter describes numerous examples of her colleagues judging her guilty of “wrongthink” and trying to pressure superiors to fire or suppress her. She explains that “some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly ‘inclusive’ one, while others post ax emojis next to my name.” Others, she wrote, called her a racist and a Nazi, or criticized her on Twitter without reprimand. She notes that this behavior, tolerated by the paper through its editors, constitutes “unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge.”

Sullivan’s reason for departure is less clear — though he said it is “self-evident.” He had publicly supported Weiss, writing: “The mob bullied and harassed a young woman for thoughtcrimes. And her editors stood by and watched.”

In other words, both Weiss and Sullivan — like so many others — seem to have left their jobs because they were targeted for refusing to conform to its ideas of right thinking. Do you now or have you ever thought that Donald Trump might make a good president? Congratulations, president of Goya Foods: Your company is boycotted. Are you now or have you ever been willing to publish works from a conservative U.S. senator that infuriated liberal Twitter? Former New York Times editor James Bennet, the bell tolls for thee.

The mob even sacrifices people whose only crime is familial connection on its altar. The stepmother of the Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, Melissa Rolfe, was fired from her job at a mortgage lender because some employees felt uncomfortable working with her.

Such tactics work best when they force people to confess to seek repentance for the crimes they may or may not have committed. McCarthy knew this, and so he always offered lenience to suspected communists who would “name names” and turn in other supposed conspirators. The woke inquisition uses the same tactic, forcing those caught in its maw to renounce prior statements they find objectionable. NFL quarterback Drew Brees surrendered to the roar while noted leftists such as J.K. Rowling and Noam Chomsky are being pilloried for their defense of free speech.

McCarthy was enabled by a frightened and compliant center-right. They knew he was wrong, but they also knew the anti-communist cause was right and were unsure how to embrace the just cause and excise the zealous overreach. It wasn’t until McCarthy attacked the U.S. Army that one man, attorney Joseph Welch, had the courage to speak up. “Have you no decency, sir?” he said as McCarthy tried to slander a colleague. The bubble burst, and people found the inquisitorial emperor had no clothes. The Senate censured him in 1954, and McCarthy died in 1957, a broken man.

It won’t be as easy to defeat the woke movement. There isn’t one person whose humiliation will break the spell. This movement is deep, decentralized and widespread. But it can be beaten if someone’s courage can awaken the center-left as Welch’s did for the 1950s center-right.

Can Joe Biden be that person? If elected, he might have to as the frenzy shows no signs of abating on its own. But if a man who says he’s running to save the soul of America cannot defend America’s heart and soul, millions will have the right to ask him Welch’s immortal question: Have you no decency, sir?

Voir enfin:

Mark McCloskey & Patricia McCloskey: St. Louis Couple Pull Guns on Protesters
Emily Bicks
Heavy.com
Jun 30, 2020

Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey are a St. Louis couple who were seen pointing guns at protesters who were walking by their home in St. Louis, Missouri, on June 28. The husband and wife, who work together as personal injury trial lawyers, came out of their house armed to prevent protesters from walking onto their property in the Forest Park area. Video and photos of the incident went viral on Twitter.

In the videos shared online, however, it doesn’t appear that anyone walking in Sunday’s protest calling for the resignation of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson was trespassing on their palatial lawn or approached their house. While Mark McCloskey, 63, holds a large assault weapon and Patty McCloskey, 61, holds a handgun in the video, they end up pointing their weapons at each other while staring down protesters. While a video does show the protesters walking through a pedestrian gate next to signs that say “private street,” “no trespassing” and “access limited to residents,” witnesses have said the protesters were peaceful and did not approach the McCloskeys or go onto the lawn of the “Midwestern palazzo” where they live.

Another video shared on Twitter that has now been made unavailable showed Patty McCloskey holding her gun straight at passing protesters, one wearing a T-shirt that read, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

The McCloskeys could not be reached for comment by Heavy. But Mark McCloskey told KSDK:

We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened. It was, it was about as bad as it can get. I mean, those you know, I really thought it was Storming the Bastille that we would be dead and the house would be burned and there was nothing we could do about it. It was a huge and frightening crowd. And they were they broken the gate were coming at us.

Mark McCloskey told KMOV, “A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear for our lives. “This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds, our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob.”

St. Louis Police have not commented about whether an investigation into the incident is ongoing or if the couple could face charges. On social media, people have called for the McCloskeys to be arrested and have directed people to make complaints to the Missouri bar. According to BuzzFeed News, a St. Louis Police report identifies the couple as the victims in the incident and the news site reports the McCloskeys called police.

“The police report states that the couple contacted police ‘when they heard a loud commotion coming from the street’ and ‘observed a large group of subjects forcefully break an iron gate marked with ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Street’ signs,’ BuzzFeed wrote. “Police said the couple claimed protesters were ‘yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims’ and that they brought out their guns when they ‘observed multiple subjects who were armed.’” Police didn’t say in the report if officers verified whether any protesters were armed or if weapons were pointed at the McCloskeys, according to BuzzFeed News. Krewson, the St. Louis mayor who was the target of the protest hasn’t commented about the incident.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said in a statement an investigation into the incident is ongoing. Gardner said, ” I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protestors were met by guns and a violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated.”

She added, “My office is currently working with the public and police to investigate these events. Make no mistake: we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights, and will use the full power of Missouri law to hold people accountable.”

Here’s what you need to know about Mark and Patty McCloskey:


1. The McCloskeys Bought Their Million-Dollar Home at Portland Place in February 1988 & Were Profiled in a St.
Louis Magazine After Renovating It

The couple was featured in St. Louis Magazine for their impressive renovation of the famous estate in 1988. Now more than 30 years after purchasing the home, which was once owned by Edward and Anna Busch Faust — the son of a revered St. Louis restaurateur and daughter of the beer-making Busch family — they have restored the Renaissance palazzo back to its original glory.

Mark McCloskey told the magazine, “All the plumbing was made by Mott, which was the premiere manufacturer at the turn of the century, and all the door and window hardware was made by P.E. Guerin.” Patricia McCloskey noted “the glass in the windows” was from the second-floor reception hall at the 14th century Palazzo Davanzati in Florence, “and the shutters, at least the ironwork, are probably original.” The property is appraised at $1.15 million, according to St. Louis city property records.

Armed St. Louis Lawyers Confront Protesters – Riverfront TimesMark and Patricia McCloskey brandish guns at marchers in St. Louis’ Central West End. Video by Theo Welling/Riverfront Times2020-06-29T03:51:46Z

In 1992, the couple were involved in a “brouhaha” over cohabitation rules in the Portland Place neighborhood, according to an article from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Patty McCloskey was at the time a board member for the Portland Place homeowners’ association. She opposed a bylaw change to allow cohabitation in the HOA, which put the association in line with city law that doesn’t allow for discrimination.

Patty McCLoskey disputed claims made at the time by her opponents that she and her husband were trying to keep gay people out of the neighborhood. “This is insanity,” she told the newspaper. “It isn’t about gay-bashing. I want to enforce restrictions. … certain people on the street are renting their houses, and we couldn’t get a few of the trustees to agree to make a phone call and tell them it was inappropriate.” A neighbor, Dr. Saul Boyarsky, told the newspaper the McCloskeys were, “trying to preserve the exclusivity of the neighborhood.”

In videos on Sunday, the McCloskeys could be seen outside their million-dollar home with guns. While holding a rifle, Mark McCloskey can be heard yelling to the crowd, “Private property! Get out! Private property, get out!” Patricia McCloskey, holding a handgun, also yelled at the protesters. One person in the protest can be heard yelling back, “Calm down,” as others tell the group to keep moving and not engage with the couple. Another person can be heard saying, “Then call the f—— cops, you idiot!” and “It’s a public street.” The area where the McCloskeys live does have signs saying it is a private street. But it is not clear if Missouri law allows them to point guns at people for entering into the area.

Mark McCloskey told KSDK the protesters were on private property:

Everything inside the Portland Place gate is private property. There is nothing public in Portland Place. Being inside that gate is like being in my living room. There is no public anything in Portland Place. It is all private property. And you’ve got to appreciate that if there are two or three hundred people, I don’t know how many there were. We were told that 500 people showed up at the Lyda Krewson house, which is not on our street, as you know. But how many of them came through Portland Place? I don’t know. But it was a big crowd and they were aggressive, wearing body armor and screaming at us and threatening to harm us. And how they were going to be living in our house after they kill us.

He said he and his wife are “urban pioneers”:

And to call these people protesters either. I’ve lived in the City of St. Louis for 32 years. We were, you know, urban pioneers back when we bought on Portland Place in 1988. And we have done everything for 32 years to improve the neighborhood and to keep this historic neighborhood going. And it’s very frustrating to see it get targeted. And of course, we’d been told by the press and by Expect US, that they wanted to start targeting middle-class neighborhoods and upper-class neighborhoods and bring their revolution outside of the cities. And we got an email from our trustees on Thursday saying that they were going to do this on Friday. We’re very worried about it.

The full interview can be seen below:

Interview with man who pulled out gun amid protestST. LOUIS — Mark McCloskey said he and his wife Patricia appear in the now-viral photos of the protest in their Central West End neighborhood. McCloskey gave an interview to 5 On Your Side anchor Anne Allred. Below is the transcript of the interview Monday morning: Anne Allred: Tell me what happened last night. Mark McCloskey: We came back to the house. I don’t know what time it is, I’ve been up ever since. I’m a little, I’m a little blurry, but we were preparing dinner. We went out to the east patio, open porch that faces Kingshighway on one side and Portland Place Drive on the south, and we’re sitting down for dinner. We heard all this stuff going on down on Maryland Plaza. And then the mob started to move up Kingshighway, but it got parallel with the Kingshighway gate on Portland Place. Somebody forced the gate, and I stood up and announced that this is private property. Go back. I can’t remember in detail anymore. I went inside, I got a rifle. And when they … because as soon as I said this is private property, those words enraged the crowd. Horde, absolute horde came through the now smashed down gates coming right at the house. My house, my east patio was 40 feet from Portland Place Drive. And these people were right up in my face, scared to death. And then, I stood out there. The only thing we said is this is private property. Go back. Private property. Leave now. At that point, everybody got enraged. There were people wearing body armor. One person pulled out some loaded pistol magazine and clicked them together and said that you were next. We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened. It was, it was about as bad as it can get. I mean, those you know, I really thought it was Storming the Bastille that we would be dead and the house would be burned and there was nothing we could do about it. It was a huge and frightening crowd. And they were they broken the gate were coming at us. Allred: There have been some reports on Twitter and people who say they were there. It says they are saying the gate was already broken. McCloskey: Yes. That is nonsense. Absolute nonsense. The gate was up, broken. The gate was broken physically in half. Our trustees on Portland Place came out later in the night and chained it all up with an automotive tow chain it looks like. But no, you can talk to the trustees on Portland Place. The gate was not broken in half and laying on the ground one second before they came in the storm. Allred: Were the protesters on your private property at any point? McCloskey: Everything inside the Portland Place gate is private property. There is nothing public in Portland Place. Being inside that gate is like being in my living room. There is no public anything in Portland Place. It is all private property. And you’ve got to appreciate that if there are two or three hundred people, I don’t know how many there were. We were told that 500 people showed up at the Lyda Krewson house, which is not on our street, as you know. But how many of them came through Portland Place? I don’t know. But it was a big crowd and they were aggressive, wearing body armor and screaming at us and threatening to harm us. And how they were going to be living in our house after they kill us. Allred: And what has happened since last night, and those images exploded online? McCloskey: Well, I’ve had to turn the phones off in my office, so I had to come over here last night and have the office boarded up because we’re getting threats against the building and everybody. It is interesting to me that the very people that are asking the mayor to resign for ‘doxxing’ people have now put all of my information all over the web, everywhere in the world. Is there some hypocrisy there? You know, maybe I’m maybe I’m missing something. But we’ve had to turn off our telephones here at the office because all my lines have been going continuously since I got here at 10:30 last night. I am getting thousands of emails. I going to have to turn off my website. And it’s all it’s been both threatening and encouraging because of the number of people who have voiced their support. But there’s also been an awful lot of people who have the very direct threats of violence against me and my family. Allred: And you said you’ve received death threats? McCloskey: Oh, God, yes. The death threats started within minutes. I mean, I don’t know how long this whole event started. But I’ll bet we got our first e-maildeath threats before the mob moved on from Portland Place. Allred: When you see the images online of you and your wife on the patio, armed now after the fact. What do you think? McCloskey: Well, you know, we were always obviously upset. My wife doesn’t know anything about guns, but she knows about being scared. And she grabbed a pistol and I had a rifle, and I was very, very careful I didn’t point the rifle at anybody.2020-06-29T18:37:04Z

The protesters on Sunday were not targeting the McCloskeys’ home, but were instead walking to the St. Louis mayor’s house. After Krewson listed the names and addresses of protesters looking to defund the police during a Facebook live interview, she offered a formal apology.

Krewson said in a statement, “I would like to apologize for identifying individuals who presented letters to me at City Hall as I was answering a routine question during one of my updates earlier today. While this is public information, I did not intend to cause distress or harm to anyone. The post has been removed and again, I sincerely apologize.”

However, the damage was already done, and St. Louis residents accused her of doxing protesters. She was also publicly called out by Tishaura O. Jones, the treasurer of St. Louis, and St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green.

On Sunday, as reported by KMOV4, around 300 protesters chanted “resign Lyda, take the cops with you,” while marching toward her home in the Central West End.


2. The Couple, Who Have Been Married Since 1985 & Run the McCloskey Law Center, Located Inside the Historic Nieman Mansion, Met While Studying at SMU Law School

Medical Malpractice Litigation: Today’s realitySt. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyer Mark T. McCloskey discusses what you are up against if you are injured or a relative is killed through medical negligence or mistake.2015-07-16T19:08:28Z

As stated on their website, the McCloskeys, “have devoted their professional careers to assisting those sustaining serious traumatic brain injury, neck, back, spinal cord and other serious, disabling or fatal neurological injuries. The goal of our practice is to provide those sustaining such devastating injuries, or the survivors of those killed as a result of such devastating injuries, with meaningful compensation.

“We strive to provide the seriously injured and their survivors with a means to having as full and as comfortable a life as possible by obtaining every penny of reasonable compensation for their injuries and losses.”

They started their law firm, McCloskey, P.C., in 1994, according to Mark McCloskey’s LinkedIn profile. McCloskey writes on his LinkedIn profile:

We have focused our practice on the representation of individuals suffering brain/head injury, spinal cord injury, birth injuries, and all other serious injuries as the result of the negligence of others for over 29 years. If you have suffered devastating injury or the loss of a loved one as the result of car wrecks, airplane crash, medical errors, dangerous or defective products or machines, explosion, fire, falls, or through any other causes, let us help you put your lives back together. ‘If it wasn’t your fault, why are you paying for it?’

Mark and Patricia McCloskey have been married since 1985 and have one adult daughter, according to their website and social media profiles. They met while studying at the Southern Methodist University Law School. They both graduated from SMU Law.

Niemann Mansion: the home of the McCloskey Law CenterMark T. McCloskey and the McCloskey Law Center invite you to explore our office in the historic Niemann Mansion, an 1887 German style home in the Central West End of St. Louis which we have restored to its period splendor.2015-07-16T20:00:58Z

Their office is located inside the historic Nieman Mansion in St. Louis’ Central West End, which the McCloskeys have also restored.


3. Mark McCloskey, Who Has Been an Attorney Since 1986, Represents a Victim of Police Brutality

welcome to the courtroomWelcome to the McCloskey Law Center. For over a quarter of a century we have devoted our professional careers to helping victims and families who have suffered catastrophic loss, injury, death due to the negligence of others, dangerous machines and products, and almost any other unsafe practice or, structure or act. If we can be of assistance to you, please call us at (314) 721-4000 OR (800)835-46812015-07-16T14:18:00Z

Mark McCloskey graduated magna cum laude from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1982, where he studied sociology, criminal justice and psychology before attending the Southern Methodist University of Law in 1985. He is a Missouri native and graduated from Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School in Ladue, Missouri, in 1975, according to his Facebook profile.

On his law firm’s website, McCloskey is described as, “an AV rated attorney who has been nominated for dozens of awards and honors and has been voted by his peers for memberships to many exclusive ‘top rated lawyer’ and ‘multimillion dollar lawyer’ associations throughout the country.” The website also notes McCloskey has appeared on in the media, including KSDK in St. Louis and Fox News. The website states, “several of his cases have been cited in national legal publications as the highest verdicts recovered in the country for those particular injuries.” McCloskey’s profile also says:

Since 1986, he has exclusively represented individuals seriously injured as a result of accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and the negligence of others. For the past 21 years, his firm has concentrated on the representation of people injured or killed through traumatic brain injuries, neck, back or other significant neurological or orthopedic injury.

Mark T. McCloskey is licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Missouri, Illinois, Texas and the Federal Courts of Nebraska. Additionally, he has represented individuals injured through medical malpractice, dangerous products, automobiles, cars, motorcycles, boats, defective hand guns, airplane crashes, explosions, electrocution, falls, assaults, rapes, poisoning, fires, inadequate security, premises liability, dram shop liability (serving intoxicating patrons), excessive force by police, construction accidents, and negligent maintenance of premises (including retail establishments, parking lots, government property, homes, schools, playgrounds, apartments, commercial operations, parks and recreational facilities) for the past 30 years and has filed and tried personal injury lawsuits in over 28 states.

McCloskey is representing a victim of police brutality in a lawsuit against a Missouri police department and officer. According to the Associated Press, David Maas, a Woodson Terrace Police officer at the time, was caught on dashcam video appearing to assault a man and was indicted on a federal charge in March.

For the incident, which took place in April 2019, Maas was charged with one count of deprivation fo rights under color of law, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. The victim was identified by the initials, “I.F.,” which matches the 2019 civil lawsuit brought by Isaiah Forman, the AP reported. Maas is accused of kicking Forman, who is black, while he was surrendering.

“I’m glad that the law enforcement agencies are subject to the same standard as everybody else,” Mark McCloskey, said to the AP.

On his Facebook page, McCloskey defended the jury’s decision in the 2011 case against Casey Anthony, who was accused of murder in the death of her daughter. McCloskey wrote on Facebook after the controversial 2011 verdict, “thank God that the jury saw through all the hype and found there WAS in fact not enough evidence on this case. Stop your crazy RAILING after you’ve spent so much time trying this girl in the media.”

Mark McCloskey is also a member of a St. Louis Lamborghini club.

In 1993, Mark McCloskey wrote a letter to the editor about crime in St. Louis. He wrote, “the reason high-income people leave the city, and why I can’t talk my friends into moving in, is crime. Why live where your life is at risk, where you are affronted by thugs, bums, drug addicts and punks when you can afford not to. What St. Louis can do without are the murderers, beggars, drug addicts and street corner drunks. St. Louis needs more people of substance and fewer of subsistence.”


4. Patricia McCloskey Is Originally From Pennsylvania & Studied at Penn State Before Attending SMU Law School

According to her Facebook profile, Patricia Novak McCloskey is a native of Industry, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from Western Beaver High School in 1977. McCloskey then studied at Penn State University, graduating in 1982 with a degree in labor studies and a minor in Spanish. She, like her husband, attended SMU Law School in Dallas, graduating in 1986.

According to their law firm’s website, “Patricia N. McCloskey is a Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude graduate of Pennsylvania State University, graduating first in her class and with the highest cumulative average in her department in forty-seven years. Patricia N. McCloskey is also a graduate of Southern Methodist University School of Law, which she completed while simultaneously working full time and still graduating in the top quarter of her class.” The website adds:

After several years working with a major law firm in St. Louis on the defense side, she moved to representation of the injured. Since 1994, she has exclusively represented those injured by the negligence of others with Mark McCloskey. She has acted in various roles in the community including being a past Board Member of Therapeutic Horsemanship, a law student mentor, a member of the Missouri Bar Association ethical review panel and a St. Louis city committee woman.

Patricia McCloskey has extensive trial experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases arising out of all aspects of negligence, including traumatic brain injury, products liability and product defect, medical malpractice, wrongful death, neck, back and spinal cord injuries, motor vehicle collisions, motorcycle collisions, airplane crashes, and many others as set forth further

Patricia McCloskey is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Illinois, according to the law firm’s website.


5. The McCloskeys Were Given the Meme Treatment on Twitter

Thousands of online users slammed Mark and Patty McCloskey not only for pulling out firearms against peaceful protesters but for the way they incorrectly held their weapons, for running out of their home barefoot, for Mark’s salmon-colored shirt, and more.

While some Twitter members remade popular movie posters to feature the personal injury lawyers, others wondered if the trial attorneys broke the law by pointing their weapons at the protesters. Don Calloway tweeted, “A fellow lawyer from Missouri, a guy I know named Mark McCloskey committed an assault tonight in STL by pointing his AR 15 at peaceful protesters. He should be arrested and charged with assault immediately. The MO Bar should revoke their licenses.”

The McCloskeys also had their share of supporters online. One man tweeted, “The same people destroying private property and threatening residents wonder why residents are coming out of their homes with AR-15’s…? Lmao.” Ryan Fournier, founder of Students for Trump, tweeted, “God Bless the couple in St. Louis who stood their ground and defended their property. God Bless the Second Amendment.”

While some on social media have claimed the McCloskeys are registered Democrats, it was not immediately possible to determine whether the couple are actually registered as Democrats or if they are registered Republicans. But Federal Election Commission records show Mark McCloskey has contributed thousands of dollars to the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, the Republican National Committee and Donald J. Trump for President Inc. He also made contributions to a Republican congressional candidate, Bill Phelps, in 1996, and to the Bush-Quayle campaign in 1992.

Patricia McCloskey also made a contribution to the RNC in 2018 and to a Republican Senate dinner in 1988.


APRES L’HYSTERIE COLLECTIVE DU VIRUS CHINOIS, LE PSYCHODRAME DU RACISME POLICIER ! (Spot the error when against all evidence, our new flagellants demonize an imaginary systemic racism and add to both our divisions and the killings when the police withdraw from where they’re most needed)

10 juin, 2020
Jews of color on what MLK Day means to them in 2019 – J.Opinion | Black Voters Are Coming for Trump - The New York TimesDemocrats attacked for cultural appropriation, publicity stunt after Kente cloth kneeling - Tampa DispatchViolent protests in Los Angeles tear through Jewish neighborhood – The ForwardPétition · Eric Zemmour, xénophobe, doit être banni des médias ! · Change.orgDéboulonnage statue esclavagiste BristolChurchill statue defaced with 'was a racist' graffiti during Black Lives Matter protests - Republic World
Shocking footage shows US police officers laughing, mocking restrained man who died in custodyHer Name Is Justine Damond: In 2017, A Somalian Minneapolis Police Officer Murdered A White Woman Reporting A Possible Sexual Assault | Blog Posts | VDARE.com

Qu’est-ce que j’en ai à foutre, moi, des Noirs ? Ce sont des hommes comme les autres. Je ne suis pas raciste. Roland Gary
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
Debout ! les damnés de la terre ! Debout ! les forçats de la faim ! La raison tonne en son cratère, C’est l’éruption de la fin. Du passé faisons table rase, Foule esclave, debout ! debout ! Le monde va changer de base : Nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout ! C’est la lutte finale Groupons-nous, et demain, L’Internationale, Sera le genre humain. Eugène Pottier (1871)
Te rends-tu compte que le passé a été aboli jusqu’à hier ? S’il survit quelque part, c’est dans quelques objets auxquels n’est attaché aucun mot, comme ce bloc de verre sur la table. Déjà, nous ne savons littéralement presque rien de la Révolution et des années qui la précédèrent. Tous les documents ont été détruits ou falsifiés, tous les livres récrits, tous les tableaux repeints. Toutes les statues, les rues, les édifices, ont changé de nom, toutes les dates ont été modifiées. Et le processus continue tous les jours, à chaque minute. L’histoire s’est arrêtée. Rien n’existe qu’un présent éternel dans lequel le Parti a toujours raison. Je sais naturellement que le passé est falsifié, mais il me serait impossible de le prouver, alors même que j’ai personnellement procédé à la falsification. La chose faite, aucune preuve ne subsiste. La seule preuve est à l’intérieur de mon cerveau et je n’ai aucune certitude qu’un autre être humain quelconque partage mes souvenirs. De toute ma vie, il ne m’est arrivé qu’une seule fois de tenir la preuve réelle et concrète. Des années après. Winston (1984, George Orwell)
Nous sommes une société qui, tous les cinquante ans ou presque, est prise d’une sorte de paroxysme de vertu – une orgie d’auto-purification à travers laquelle le mal d’une forme ou d’une autre doit être chassé. De la chasse aux sorcières de Salem aux chasses aux communistes de l’ère McCarthy à la violente fixation actuelle sur la maltraitance des enfants, on retrouve le même fil conducteur d’hystérie morale. Après la période du maccarthisme, les gens demandaient : mais comment cela a-t-il pu arriver ? Comment la présomption d’innocence a-t-elle pu être abandonnée aussi systématiquement ? Comment de grandes et puissantes institutions ont-elles pu accepté que des enquêteurs du Congrès aient fait si peu de cas des libertés civiles – tout cela au nom d’une guerre contre les communistes ? Comment était-il possible de croire que des subversifs se cachaient derrière chaque porte de bibliothèque, dans chaque station de radio, que chaque acteur de troisième zone qui avait appartenu à la mauvaise organisation politique constituait une menace pour la sécurité de la nation ? Dans quelques décennies peut-être les gens ne manqueront pas de se poser les mêmes questions sur notre époque actuelle; une époque où les accusations de sévices les plus improbables trouvent des oreilles bienveillantes; une époque où il suffit d’être accusé par des sources anonymes pour être jeté en pâture à la justice; une époque où la chasse à ceux qui maltraitent les enfants est devenu une pathologie nationale. Dorothy Rabinowitz
Les Flagellants (nommés disciplinati ou battuti au Moyen Âge) étaient des groupes ambulants de fidèles qui se donnaient la discipline collectivement en public. Leur mouvement atteignit son apogée durant le XIIIe siècle et le XIVe siècle en Europe occidentale. Ceux qui y prenaient part pensaient que la pratique de la flagellation leur permettrait d’expier leurs péchés, atteignant ainsi la perfection, de manière à être acceptés au royaume des cieux après l’Apocalypse. Ils allaient en procession par les villes, nus jusqu’à la ceinture et armés d’un fouet dont ils se flagellaient publiquement, en chantant des cantiques, pour expier leurs péchés.(…) Les circonstances dans lesquelles les premières manifestations massives de flagellants ont eu lieu sont significatives. À la suite de la famine de 1258 et de ce qu’on supposera être une manifestation de la peste en 1259, la situation de l’Italie était particulièrement difficile à l’époque. (…) Le mouvement des flagellants avait repris des proportions considérables en 1349. Ceci était dû à l’une des plus grandes épidémies de peste du Moyen Âge : la dite Peste noire (introduite par des hordes mongoles en 1346-1347). Celle-ci fut interprétée, dans la perspective médiévale, comme un châtiment divin contre les pêchés commis par les humains. Les processions de flagellants étaient mises en avant comme un effort pour détourner ce châtiment. La zone de développement du mouvement se situa principalement en Europe centrale, de la Pologne à l’Allemagne et jusqu’aux Pays-Bas et à la France. Les flagellants se déplaçaient entre villes par bandes de cinquante à cinq cents hommes ou plus. Plusieurs régions furent prises l’une après l’autre d’une grande agitation où le mouvement prenait une grande importance avant de s’éteindre peu à peu. (…) Les Juifs furent aussi victimes des mêmes persécutions que les clercs, mais sur une tout autre échelle. Durant le grand massacre des Juifs qui suivit la Peste Noire (cf par exemple le Pogrom de Strasbourg), les flagellants jouèrent un rôle considérable. Les premiers massacres ont eu lieu en fin mars 1349 lorsqu’une partie de la population porta des accusations d’empoisonnement des puits contre les Juifs. Une seconde vague de terreur fut déclenchée par la propagande des flagellants quatre mois plus tard en juillet 1349. Des groupes de flagellants pénétrèrent à Francfort où ils se ruèrent sur le quartier juif et massacrèrent des juifs avec l’aide de la population locale. Les autorités municipales étaient si troublées par cet incident qu’elles expulsèrent les pénitents de la ville et renforcèrent les portes afin que cela ne se reproduise pas. Wikipedia
Les aspirations nationales doivent être respectées, les peuples ne peuvent être dominés et gouvernés que par leur propre consentement. L’auto-détermination n’est pas simplement un mot, c’est un principe d’action impératif que les hommes d’État ignoreront désormais à leurs risques et périls. Woodrow Wilson
La paix à laquelle nous invitent les Anglo-Américains n’est rien moins qu’un statu quo destiné à servir leurs intérêts… La vraie nature du conflit actuel est une lutte entre des puissances établies et des puissances non encore établies… Au début, l’Angleterre et la France colonisèrent des régions du monde « moins civilisées » et ont entretenu une situation de monopole sur leur exploitation. La conséquence fut que l’Allemagne et les nations venues après furent laissées sans terre à acquérir ni espace pour s’agrandir.(…) Si leur politique prévaut, le Japon qui est un petit pays sans ressource et incapable de consommer ses propres productions n’aura pas d’autre choix que de détruire ce statu quo pour espérer survivre, exactement comme l’Allemagne… Nous devons exiger tous les pouvoirs pour ouvrir les portes de leurs colonies aux autres, de sorte que toutes les nations puissent avoir un accès égal aux marchés et aux ressources naturelles des zones colonisées. Il est également impératif que le Japon insiste sur l’éradication des discriminations raciales. Prince Konoe
Je veux bien admettre l’égalité des Japonais en tant que nation, et aussi l’égalité des individus d’homme à homme. Mais je ne peux admettre les conséquences auxquelles nous devrons faire face si nous vous ouvrons notre pays. Ce n’est pas que nous ne les tenons pour être inférieurs à nous mais simplement parce que nous ne les voulons pas. Économiquement, ce sont des facteurs perturbants parce qu’ils acceptent des salaires bien inférieurs au minimum pour lequel nos compatriotes acceptent de travailler. Peu importe s’ils se mélangent bien avec notre peuple. Nous ne voulons donc pas qu’ils puissent épouser nos femmes. Ceci est une opinion personnelle. Je ne veux pas vous offenser. Notre législation n’est pas dirigée spécialement contre les Japonais. Les sujets britanniques en Inde subissent cela de la même manière. Il est impossible que nous puissions formuler une modification à votre amendement parce qu’aucune modification concevable ne saura jamais satisfaire chacun d’entre nous. W. M. Hughes
Versailles’ mixed legacy is even further complicated by a little-known attempt by Japan, one of the emerging players at the table, to move the world forward on the issue of racial equality. Japan asked for, and nearly got approved, a clause in the treaty that would have affirmed the equality of all nations, regardless of race. For all of the history forged, some historians believe the great powers missed a pivotal opportunity to fashion a much different 20th century. A driving force behind that vision for the future and the lofty ambitions of the treaty was U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, the lead negotiator at the Paris Peace Conference. In 1918, a few months before he set sail for Paris, Wilson addressed Congress to lay out his now-famous principle of self-determination, an idea that would guide the Versailles negotiations and the final treaty that emerged: « National aspirations must be respected; peoples may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. ‘Self-determination’ is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of actions which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril. » Looking back, contradictions abound in Wilson’s decree. Japan’s Racial Equality Proposal would have strengthened Wilson’s call for self-governance and equal opportunity. Yet, when the victors signed the treaty, that language was nowhere to be found. « At the bottom of all of this is the idea that certain people of color cannot be trusted and people of color do not deserve a place, not only on the world stage but also in our own communities, » says professor Chris Suh who studies Asian American history. (…) Following its victory in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and then its participation as an Allied power during World War I, Japan rose as a mighty player on the world stage. Seeking to solidify that new power, the Japanese delegation at the Versailles negotiations sought to add language about racial equality into the proposed treaty’s preamble. Its immediate goals were to strengthen its diplomatic standing and earn an equal seat at the table. (…) To be clear, historians say the Japanese were not seeking universal racial suffrage or improving the plight of black Americans, for example. But, the added language would have meant that Japanese immigrants coming to the U.S. could be treated the same as white European immigrants. France got behind the proposal. Italy championed it. Greece voted in favor. But Australia pushed back. The British dominion had instituted a White Australia Policy in 1901 limiting all nonwhite immigration. Australian Prime Minister William Morris Hughes strong-armed the rest of the British delegation into opposing the proposed clause and eventually got Wilson’s support too. Wilson came up with a way of killing the proposal without ever openly saying he opposed it. The U.S. president imposed a « unanimity ruling » that effectively squashed the racial equality language even though a majority of the nations supported it. As chairman of the League of Nations Commission, Wilson had approved a number of other issues at the conference without such a unanimous vote. His call for consensus was not a petition for democracy. It was a shrewd calculation. Wilson’s top priority at the conference was seeing the League of Nations created and the treaty ratified. The last thing he wanted was to alienate the British delegation, and he was not willing to let the Racial Equality Proposal derail those efforts. But, in a nod to appease Japan, he supported its demand to keep war-acquired territories like Shantung. Though scholars disagree on the exact reasons for the opposition by Australia and the U.S., many say the key factor was migration. The racial equality clause represented « one of the first attempts to establish … the unprecedented principle of free and open migration, » says Frederick Dickinson, a University of Pennsylvania professor of Japanese history. Japan’s industrialization and falling mortality rates created an overpopulation problem. Following the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited Chinese laborers from immigrating to America, contractors on the West Coast brought Japanese migrants over to fill their need for inexpensive labor. In 1907, the U.S. and Japan had negotiated the « Gentlemen’s Agreement, » which was designed to address the growing Japanese emigration rate. In it, Japan agreed to curb how many migrants it sent over, if the U.S. would desegregate Asian and white children in San Francisco public schools. Unlike the unilateral Chinese Exclusion Act, the Gentleman’s Agreement gave Japan some say in Japanese immigration to the United States. This agreement didn’t maintain order for long. Anti-Japanese sentiment was spreading up and down the West Coast, and lawmakers there called for stricter legislation. California passed the Alien Land Law of 1913, which prohibited Japanese immigrants from owning land. And so, by the end of World War I and the negotiations in Paris, Americans feared waves of Japanese immigrants. When word of the Japanese proposal reached Washington, pressure mounted from lawmakers to reject the clause. Democratic California Sen. James Phelan sent a telegram to the U.S. delegation in Paris, writing: « Believe western Senators and others will oppose any loophole by which oriental people will possess such equality with white race in United States. It is vital question of self-preservation. » With mounting pressure on the homefront and from Britain and its dominions, Wilson killed the proposal. The Japanese lost their bid for racial equality. Ultimately, the treaty Wilson had staked his presidency on was rejected by Congress. He suffered a stroke later in 1919, did not seek a third term and died three years after leaving office. The same year as Wilson’s death, in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge unilaterally banned all Japanese immigration with the Johnson-Reed Act. (…) The interwar years saw increased Japanese aggression as it attempted to gobble up more land and further assert its power on a global level. Japan became an imperial power consumed with nationalism and militarism. Japan struggled to resettle its burgeoning population. Its invasion of Manchuria, a region in China, in 1931, led to the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of farmers and migrants there. Ishiwara Kanji, the architect of the invasion, called for a « racial paradise » in this newly established puppet state. (…) Beyond the bloodshed in the Pacific, the domestic toll waged on Japanese Americans has lived on in infamy. More than 100,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from their homes and incarcerated during what has been called Japanese internment. The U.S. later acknowledged that it was on the wrong side of history, betraying its values of justice and liberty: The 1988 Civil Liberties Act, enacted by Congress, said that the government’s actions against Japanese Americans « were motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership. » « Obviously whenever people think of Japanese American discrimination in the United States, the big thing that comes to mind is the World War II incarceration, » says David Inoue, executive director of the Japanese American Citizens League. But the Racial Equality Proposal demonstrates that incarceration camps are not the whole story. He sees this proposal as « part of a whole continuum of discrimination that had begun years before and even we see it continuing today … in other communities that are discriminated against. » NPR
Peut-être que la prise de conscience la plus tragique de la réalité survint lorsqu’il devint clair pour moi que la guerre ne se contentait pas de dévaster les espoirs des pauvres dans le pays. Elle envoyait aussi leurs fils, leurs Frères et leurs maris combattre et mourir dans des proportions extraordinairement élevées par rapport au reste de la Population. Nous prenions de jeunes noirs, estropiés par notre société, et nous les envoyions à 10 000 kilomètres de là pour garantir des libertés en Asie du Sud Est dont ils ne bénéficient pas eux-mêmes dans le sud-ouest de la Géorgie ou dans Harlem Est. Nous avons été placés de manière répétée devant l’ironie cruelle de regarder sur nos écrans des jeunes garçons noirs et blancs tuer et mourir ensemble pour un pays où il ne leur était pas permis de s’asseoir côte à côte dans les mêmes écoles. Nous les avons vus, dans une même solidarité brutale, mettre le feu aux huttes d’un pauvre village, mais nous réalisons qu’ils ne vivraient jamais dans le même bloc à Détroit. Je ne pouvais pas rester silencieux devant une si cruelle manipulation des pauvres. Ma troisième raison provient de mon expérience dans les ghettos du Nord durant ces trois dernières années et notamment, ces trois derniers étés. En marchant parmi les jeunes gens en colère, rejetés et désespérés, je leur ait dit que les cocktails Molotov et les fusils ne résoudraient pas leurs problèmes. J’ai essayé de leur offrir ma plus profonde compassion tout en conservant ma conviction que le changement social le plus significatif vient à travers l’action non violente. Mais, demandaient-ils, et le Vietnam ? Ils demandaient si notre pays n’utilisaient pas lui-même une dose massive de violence pour résoudre ses problèmes, pour apporter les changements qu’il souhaitait. Leurs questions ont fait mouche, et j’ai su que je ne pourrai jamais plus élever ma voix contre la violence des opprimés dans les ghettos sans avoir auparavant parlé haut et clair au plus grand pourvoyeur de violence du monde aujourd’hui – mon propre gouvernement. (…) Si l’âme de l’Amérique était empoisonnée, l’autopsie, en partie, révélerait le mot « Vietnam ». L’âme de l’Amérique ne sera pas sauvée aussi longtemps que le pays détruira les espoirs des hommes à travers le monde. Que pensent les paysans vietnamiens lorsque nous nous allons avec les propriétaires terriens et que nous refusons de traduire en actes nos nombreux discours concernant une réforme agraire ? Que pensent-ils alors que nous essayons nos dernières armes sur eux, tout comme les Allemands ont essayé leurs nouveaux médicaments et tortures dans les camps de concentration en Europe ? Martin Luther King
In recent speeches and statements the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has linked his personal opposition to the war in Vietnam with the cause of Negro equality in the United States. The war, he argues, should be stopped not only because it is a futile war waged for the wrong ends but also because it is a barrier to social progress in this country and therefore prevents Negroes from achieving their just place in American life. This is a fusing of two public problems that are distinct and separate. By drawing them together, Dr. King has done a disservice to both. The moral issues in Vietnam are less clear-cut than he suggests; the political strategy of uniting the peace movement and the civil rights movement could very well be disastrous for both causes. Because American Negroes are a minority and have to overcome unique handicaps of racial antipathy and prolonged deprivation, they have a hard time in gaining their objectives even when their grievances are self-evident and their claims are indisputably just. As Dr. King knows from the Montgomery bus boycott and other civil rights struggles of the past dozen years, it takes almost infinite patience, persistence and courage to achieve the relatively simple aims that ought to be theirs by right. The movement toward racial equality is now in the more advanced and more difficult stage of fulfilling basic rights by finding more jobs, changing patterns of housing and upgrading education. The battle grounds in this struggle are Chicago and Harlem and Watts. The Negroes on these fronts need all the leadership, dedication and moral inspiration that they can summon; and under these circumstances to divert the energies of the civil rights movement to the Vietnam issue is both wasteful and self-defeating. Dr. King makes too facile a connection between the speeding up of the war in Vietnam and the slowing down of the war against poverty. The eradication of poverty is at best the task of a generation. This « war » inevitably meets diverse resistance such as the hostility of local political machines, the skepticism of conservatives in Congress and the intractability of slum mores and habits. The nation could afford to make more funds available to combat poverty even while the war in Vietnam continues, but there is no certainly that the coming of peace would automatically lead to a sharp increase in funds. Furthermore, Dr. King can only antagonize opinion in this country instead of winning recruits to the peace movement by recklessly comparing American military methods to those of the Nazis testing « new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe. » The facts are harsh, but they do not justify such slander. Furthermore, it is possible to disagree with many aspects of United States policy in Vietnam without whitewashing Hanoi. As an individual, Dr. King has the right and even the moral obligation to explore the ethical implications of the war in Vietnam, but as one of the most respected leaders of the civil rights movement he has an equally weighty obligation to direct that movement’s efforts in the most constructive and relevant way. There are no simple or easy answers to the war in Vietnam or to racial injustice in this country. Linking these hard, complex problems will lead not to solutions but to deeper confusion. Walter Lippmann (NYT, April 7, 1967)
Le président vient d’utiliser une Bible… et l’une des églises de mon diocèse, sans autorisation, comme décor pour un message contraire aux enseignements de Jésus et à tout ce que nos églises représentent… Je ne peux pas croire ce que mes yeux ont vu […] Je suis scandalisée. Et je veux juste que le monde sache que nous, dans le diocèse de Washington, conformément à Jésus et sa voie d’amour… nous nous éloignons du langage incendiaire de ce président. Nous suivons quelqu’un qui a vécu une vie de non-violence et d’amour sacrificiel […] Nous sommes du côté de ceux qui demandent justice pour la mort de George Floyd et d’innombrables autres. Mgr Mariann Edgar Budde (diocèse épiscopal de Washington)
Budde and Curry are among the pantheon of progressive religious leaders who have long been critical of Trump’s political agenda. The Episcopal Church’s policies include supporting abortion rights, refugee resettlement, an expansion of health care and other issues that Trump has opposed or not embraced. According to the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of Episcopalians are Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 39 percent of church members who are Republican or lean Republican. (…) Trump’s longtime religious allies, who are far more conservative on both domestic and foreign policy, saw his walk to St. John’s much differently. “What kind of church I need PERMISSION to attend,” tweeted Pastor Mark Burns of South Carolina after Budde and others said Trump should have let them know he was coming. “Jesus welcomes All. » Johnnie Moore, a spokesman for several of Trump’s evangelical religious advisers, tweeted favorably about the incident as well. “I will never forget seeing @POTUS @realDonaldTrump slowly & in-total-command walk from the @WhiteHouse across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Church defying those who aim to derail our national healing by spreading fear, hate & anarchy,” he wrote. “After just saying, ‘I will keep you safe.’ ” (…) Following a tradition set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Trump attended a service at St. John’s before his swearing-in ceremony in 2017. He visited the church again that year to mark a national day of prayer for victims of Hurricane Harvey and in 2019 on St. Patrick’s Day. (…) Earlier in the day, Fisher said, he and other clergy were outside the church handing out water bottles and granola bars to protesters, and expressing solidarity with their cause. He said he left the area to be interviewed on television about the damage from the fire the previous night and later watched images of the protest being dismantled “with disbelief.” Fisher, 44, became the rector of St. John’s in June 2019 and has not yet hosted a presidential visit. The church usually draws about 400 people on a typical weekend. But it has been closed since mid-March due to the broad shutdown restrictions in place to combat the novel coronavirus. Damage to the building from Sunday night’s fire and vandalism will cost at least $20,000, Fisher said. But he said the destruction should not become the focus of what has been happening in the streets outside the White House. Fisher said that when people have talked about the church being burned, he has tried to redirect them, saying it was likely one person who does not represent the majority of people protesting. “That has pulled away from the more important message that we have to address racism in this country,” he said. Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey
Budde herself is engaged in advocacy for firearms restrictions and even weighed in on changing the name of the city’s floundering NFL franchise. Within the Diocese of Washington, Budde defended a push for “gender-inclusive” language “to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God.” The Post report noted both Budde and Curry “are among the pantheon of progressive religious leaders who have long been critical of Trump’s political agenda.” I was last present in the now-damaged St. John’s parish house as it hosted a press conference for the Religious Coalition on Reproductive Choice, a progressive lobby that voices approval from religious officials for unrestricted abortion-on-demand, and which counts the Episcopal Church as a member. Post religion reporters Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey cite data from the Pew Research Center showing 49 percent of Episcopalians are Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 39 percent of church members who are Republican or lean Republican. Episcopalians have increasingly found themselves in roles difficult to maintain. Church officials simultaneously embrace leftist causes, while also serving as a boutique chaplaincy to the affluent and as presiders over American civil religion in events of national importance including state funerals. Jeffrey Walton
American history is not all glorious… George Washington was a slave owner. We need to call slave owners out for what they are. Whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not, he wasn’t protecting my freedoms. To me, I don’t care if it’s a George Washington statue or Thomas Jefferson, they all need to come down. Angela Rye (CNN)
Le racisme anti-noir se trouve dans l’ADN même de ce pays. Nikole Hannah-Jones
Je voterais pour Joe Biden même s’il faisait bouillir des bébés et les mangeait. Ce n’était pas mon candidat, mais reprendre la Maison Blanche est si important. (…) Que vous croyiez ou non Tara Reade… vous devriez voter pour Joe Biden s’il est le candidat. … Nous n’avons pas le luxe de ne pas participer aux élections pour nous sentir moralement purs ou pour envoyer un message sur les agressions sexuelles et #BelieveWomen. Cela n’aidera en rien les femmes. Ou n’importe qui d’autre. Katha Pollitt
I know that [concerns over having no law enforcement] comes from a place of privilege. For those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm is done. Lisa Bender (Minneapolis city council president)
I remember when I was being gang-raped & beaten by a mob in Egypt, would have been great to have a police force to call then. Would that have been my white privilege talking? Lara Logan (CNN)
Over the years, I have repeatedly warned in these columns that the refusal of the political establishment to defend the integrity of the western nation and its culture has opened the way for noxious forces to occupy the vacuum. We’ve seen this in both the spread through the west of jihadi Islam and the rise across Europe of political parties and groups with racist or fascist backgrounds and antecedents. In the current convulsions triggered by the violent death of George Floyd in American police custody, this baleful development has reached a crisis point. As The Times reports today, thuggish groups across the country have begun organising to “protect” monuments and war memorials after statues of Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria were defaced, the Cenotaph in London attacked and other statues, including the one of Sir Francis Drake in Plymouth, vandalised. This isn’t remotely surprising. The establishment is effectively standing back from, or even condoning or actively assisting, a sustained and organised onslaught which is taking place against not just a number of stone images but a culture’s historic memory. The stage is therefore set for a confrontation in which violent thugs from the right pitch themselves against violent thugs from the left – with the political establishment having fled the cultural battleground in order to cower, wringing its hands, at a distance. Following the toppling and dumping in Bristol harbour of the statue of slave trader and philanthropist Edward Colston, an act of vandalism and criminal damage with which the area’s police superintendent sympathised and about which he said the police were right to do nothing, an activist group called “Topple the Racists” has drawn up a list of about 60 memorials associated with slavery or colonialism which it wants destroyed. Falling meekly or even enthusiastically into line, 130 local councils run by the Labour party are to consider which ones they think should be removed on the grounds of “inappropriateness”. In 2001 in Afghanistan, the Taliban pulled down ancient statues including the world’s tallest standing Buddhas. This was greeted with utter horror in the west. It rightly described the outrage as a crime against historical memory, an attempt to destroy a culture by erasing the evidence of its history and replacing that culture by a fanatical dogma that brooked no challenge. Yet now the British establishment is kow-towing to a movement which is behaving like the Taliban, pulling down statues and other artefacts in order to erase aspects of British history as the product of a rotten society that’s institutionally racist and so must be supplanted by another. The death of Floyd, under the the knee of a police officer who pressed down on his neck for almost nine minutes, was shocking and it’s right that this officer and three others involved in this death are being brought to justice. And of course there’s racial prejudice in Britain. But so there is in every single society, in the developing world as well as in the west. Slavery was not invented by the west but has been practised across the world. It was the British and Americans who, having participated in it, eventually abolished it in their societies, while it remains practised in parts of the developing world even today. The smear that the west is institutionally racist is designed to both facilitate and obscure the real agenda of overturning capitalist society because it is white and therefore deemed intrinsically evil – which of course is itself a racist agenda. Yet instead of resisting this ignorant and wicked movement, its appeasers have been literally abasing themselves before the mob. In the past, violent anti-white racism was represented by the black power movement. Despite the support of certain posturing celebrities, black power activists were generally perceived as dangerous, violent, far-left troublemakers. It would have been unthinkable for mainstream British politicians, let alone the police, to give the clenched fist black power salute. That would have been regarded as treasonous insurrection. Yet an updated version of this is precisely what’s been happening in Britain. The new Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, and his deputy, Angela Rayner, released a picture of themselves supporting Black Lives Matter, the activist group behind many of these demonstrations, by “taking the knee”, the gesture promoted by certain black American footballers to show their contempt for white society and America. (…) These people have all been literally kneeling down in submission to an ideology which is anti-white and anti-west – and at the direction of Black Lives Matter, a racist, anti-white, anti-west violent revolutionary movement whose aim is the overthrow of white western society. These images of the British police symbolically capitulating to the erasure of British history and the defamation of the west have furnished sickening evidence that many of those tasked with protecting society have surrendered instead to cultural terrorism. Meanwhile, anyone who opposes this dogma of black victimology and points out the defamatory lies at its core will be called a racist and their livelihood placed in jeopardy. In America, people are losing their jobs for even questioning any of this. The prominent footballer Drew Brees, who despite publicly opposing racism also opposed taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem on the grounds that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America”, was forced to apologise in a display of ritual humiliation On Twitter, the malevolent, the moronic and the mentally unhinged are out in force similarly seeking to intimidate, smear and ruin any who stand up to this cultural totalitarianism. And then there’s the deeply sinister Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm set up by London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, to consider the appropriateness of the capitals’ statues, murals, street names and other memorials. Channelling Mao, the Taleban and the French revolutionary terror, Mayor Khan can surely leave no-one in any doubt that this committee will reduce diversity by aiming selectively to erase those bits of British history of which it disapproves. In Khan’s words: “…our statues, road names and public spaces reflect a bygone era. It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade…” (…) So will this commission erase memorials to all historic British figures with an obnoxious side to their achievements? Will its destroy the statues of the Labour politicians Keir Hardie or Ernest Bevin, or Karl Marx, who were all antisemites? Or the playwright George Bernard Shaw who promoted eugenics? Or the parliamentary titan Oliver Cromwell who massacred the Irish? Or Britain’s greatest Liberal prime minister, William Gladstone, whose family, like so many prominent people in previous, very different era was involved in slavery? That last question already has an answer. Liverpool university has agreed yesterday to rename its Gladstone Hall, which houses student accommodation. Bim Afolami, the Tory MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, tweeted in response: “This is all going completely nuts. When will this stop??” When indeed. As George Orwell wrote in 1984 about a state under totalitarian tyranny: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. » Or as the future US president Ronald Reagan said even more pertinently in 1975: ‘If fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the name of liberalism”. (…) Bad things happen not just because bad people do them but because otherwise decent people lack the courage to stop them; or because they indulge in fantasies that the agenda is basically good but has been “hijacked” by a few thugs; or that they agree with the ends but purse their lips at the violent means; or because of a myriad other excuses that the spineless and the misguided always provide for “taking a knee” to the destroyers of worlds. Melanie Phillips
The cause of death was listed as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” It went on to list “other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.” In other words, George Floyd fit the description of what is known in the law as an eggshell victim. The doctrine of the eggshell victim holds that a defendant is fully liable for injuries he inflicts on a plaintiff even if the plaintiff had a preexisting condition that made him more susceptible to being injured. But for this doctrine to apply, it must be shown that the defendant was acting unlawfully when he caused the injury. This is where things get murky and begin to escape the confines of the narrative. Police officers, but few others, know that “I can’t breathe” is the universal complaint of the resisting arrestee. Police officers also know, as most others do not, that handcuffed suspects can fight and escape, especially when officers are confronted by hostile onlookers. Defense attorneys will argue, not without evidence, that Floyd died not because of the application of unlawful force, but rather that it was his own resistance to lawful force, exacerbated by his documented medical conditions and drug use, that triggered a fatal heart attack. Fentanyl and methamphetamines can and often do bring about fatal arrhythmias even absent the type of exertions attributed to Floyd in the complaint. Yes, there came a point when Floyd ceased to struggle and should have been brought to a seated position. Was it this failure to follow what has for decades been standard police procedure that caused Floyd’s death, or did his struggling stop only when the fatal heart attack occurred? These are questions medical experts on both sides will testify about at trial, but for convictions the prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin was the proximate cause of Floyd’s death and that the others assisted him in the act. In all my years as a police officer I have never seen the seeds of reasonable doubt planted in the very pages of a criminal complaint as they have been here. As I wrote of Michael Slager four years ago, it is not a question of whether Chauvin and the others were right or wrong, but rather of how wrong they were. Murder is a serious charge that requires serious evidence. As things now stand, I don’t think the prosecutors have it. Jack Dunphy
We’ve never seen anything like it, at all. … I don’t even know how to put it into context. It’s beyond anything that we’ve ever seen before. When CPD has to turn its attention elsewhere and there’s suddenly this vacuum that opens up, you also unfortunately see a picture like you saw with [last] weekend where you see an absurd amount of carnage, people getting injured and killed. Max Kapustin (senior research director at the Chicago crime lab)
We didn’t find evidence for anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparity in police use of force across all shootings, and, if anything, found anti-White disparities when controlling for race-specific crime. Researchers at the University of Maryland and Michigan State University
When I look at cities in which the investigation was preceded by a viral event, homicide goes up considerably. Total crime goes up considerably.” What happens is that police effectively pull back. They don’t stop doing their jobs, but they become less proactive and curb their interactions with civilians. In Chicago, there was a 90% drop in police-civilian contacts immediately after the announcement of an investigation, and “Baltimore literally went to zero” after a probe was announced there. In cities where these contacts fell the most, homicides increased the most. Sadly, the decision to launch departmentwide state and federal inquiries into the deaths of Brown, McDonald and Gray resulted in numerous additional deaths. Mr. Fryer said that because of changes in police behavior following investigations in these and other cities, “my estimates show that we lost a thousand more lives, most of them black as well, because of an increase in homicides. I never would have guessed that if police stopped putting in the effort, that homicides would change like this. You hear some people say ‘Oh, we want to police our own neighborhoods, get out.’ No, you don’t want that. I guess I always knew it was a foolish idea, but I didn’t realize it was this deadly. Roland Fryer (Harvard)
Des hommes et des femmes se font massacrer (par la police) quotidiennement en France, pour nulle autre raison que leur couleur de peau. Camélia Jordana
Le privilège, c’est avoir le choix d’y penser, ou pas. Je ne peux pas oublier que je suis une femme. Mais je peux oublier que je suis blanche. Ça, c’est être blanche. Y penser, ou ne pas y penser, selon l’humeur. Virginie Despentes
Hourra ! Le peuple des États-Unis est en ébullition. Eh ! Vous ! Ceux qui avez trouvé la révolution citoyenne au Soudan trop exotique pour vous concerner, la révolution citoyenne à Beyrouth et à Alger trop arabes, celle du Chili trop latino, celle de Hong-Kong trop asiatique pour vous représenter ! Vous qui ne savez pas qu’il existe des synchronies discrètes mais avérées entre l’Argentine ou le Chili et la France, entre les Caraïbes et l’Île-de-France, entre Dakar et Paris, voyez ! voyez ! L’ère du peuple joue de la grosse caisse à Washington et la révolution citoyenne est dans les rues de New York. La gilet-jaunisation est entrée au cœur de l’Empire. Voici que surgissent des millions de chômeurs, des abandonnés privés de tout accès aux réseaux collectifs sans lesquels la vie est impossible, humiliés à longueur d’année par des flics racistes, manipulés par des politiciens sans conscience. Ils forment désormais un volcan qui vient de faire sa première éruption. Et ce n’est que le début d’une histoire qui va durer. Non, les USA ne sont pas le roc qu’ils donnent à voir. (…) Bon d’accord, je ne retiens pas ce rire moqueur qui me vient. C’est celui d’un « Frenchie surrender », putois notoire et ses French fries. Car c’est ainsi que nous avons été caricaturés aux USA depuis notre refus de participer à leur lamentable deuxième guerre du Golfe. L’état d’esprit anti-français se déchaina alors jusqu’à l’absurde : vider des bouteilles de vin dans les égouts et vouloir rebaptiser les frites, de « French fries » en je ne sais quoi. Oui la rigolade : voir la Maison blanche s’éteindre pour devenir invisible pendant que le président Trump se cache à la cave ! « Salut Trump tu as le bonjour de Cuba, de Venezuela, de Salvador Allende, de Patrice Lumumba, et même du Che » ! Sans oublier Edgard Snowden, Julian Assange et les torturés de Guantanamo, les asphyxiés du waterboarding, le supplice de la baignoire, qui ne serait pas une torture puisque l’actuelle cheffe de la CIA la pratiquait elle-même il y a peu ! À son tour : à la cave ! Le persécuteur des peuples dans le noir ! Ce n’est pas cher payé pour l’instant. Retenez ceci comme un avis d’observateur de longue date : tout ce qui advient aux USA arrive ensuite chez nous dans la décennie qui suit. Parfois plus vite. Qu’il s’agisse des modes, de la politique ou de faits sociaux. Le fin tissu qui nous unit n’est pas seulement économique, militaire ou ce que l’on voudra. Il est continuellement alimenté par les séries télévisées, le cinéma, les matrices narratives, les images de référence. Que cela plaise ou non, qu’on soit d’accord ou pas, il s’agit d’un effet de système profondément ancré. On peut ne pas s’être rendu compte que toutes les social-démocraties européennes répétaient soudainement les mantras clintonistes, ne pas avoir vu Sarkozy répéter en boucle à Rome et à Ryad les absurdités du « choc des civilisations » et ne pas savoir que l’autrice qui écrivait les discours, Emmanuelle Mignon les recopiait directement de Samuel Huntington, ne pas avoir vu le sommet du quai d’Orsay virer néo-conservateur. Mais quand les émeutes urbaines ont éclaté en France, quand on a vu Halloween et Black Friday occuper des millions d’esprits superficiels qui voudraient vivre comme dans une série US ? Non : rien ? Peut-être même qu’il en est encore pour ne pas savoir que Cédric Chouviat est mort d’un geste de policier comme celui commis contre Georges Floyd et que personne n’a été ni suspendu ni inculpé de quoi que ce soit. Et Adama Traoré et… et… Zineb Redouane, vieille dame abattue à sa fenêtre et qui est morte parait-il non de la grenade qu’elle a reçue dans la figure au quatrième étage à Marseille mais d’un arrêt du cœur imprévisible sur la table d’opération !… Peut-être d’autres n’ont-ils pas remarqué que les éborgnements de manifestants ne sont pas des bavures mais un fait désormais universel. Au fond, peu importe. Aucune alerte, aucune mise en garde n’aura jamais rien produit dans notre pays à part des heures de prêchi-prêcha haineux contre toute forme d’opposition et de dénigrement personnalisé contre les fortes têtes pourchassées sans répit les Jérôme Rodriguez, Taha Bouhafs, Drouet, Dufresne, Wamen et ainsi de suite et pour finir avec Camélia Jordana. Je ne sais comment dire combien cela me désole. Car la suite est écrite. Et ceux qui me lisent savent la lire. Aux USA, le fil des révolutions citoyennes est resté net : fermentation politique longue depuis Occupy et les Anonymous, évènement fortuit (la mort de Georges Floyd), union sans parti ni représentant, revendication égalitaire (« la vie des Noirs compte »), mobilisation universaliste, non communautaire pour la première fois depuis longtemps, mot d’ordre polysémique fédérateur (« je ne peux plus respirer »). Oui mais voilà : il s’agit des USA et de la première saison de l’après Covid-19. Elle ouvre la crise sociale monstrueuse qui va déferler. Les USA déjà désemparés, inondés de dollars de planche à billets, sans projet collectif, labourés par les socs contraires du petit peuple social et du petit peuple facho. Les USA paralysés par la gélatine du parti démocrate qui a eu la peau de Sanders pour ce néant qu’est Joe Biden. Les USA où les latinos seront dans une poignée d’années la plus importante minorité devant les afro-américains et les beaux blancs protestants. Les USA où le catholicisme sera bientôt la première religion chrétienne du pays modifiant ainsi la matrice spirituelle d’un pays où la religion est sur chaque billet de banque avec la formule « in God we trust ». Les USA et leur dollar bidon, leur État fédéral bringuebalant. Bref, les USA chancelant vont faire vaciller le monde. Trump voudrait interdire les anti-Fas, pendant que des miliciens d’extrême-droite en armes défilent dans les rues. Ils contrôlent ici ou là et les passants, comme nos identitaires dans le métro de Lyon et dans des bus à Lille pendant que les castors pyromanes pérorent loin de toute réalité « faire barrage ! faire barrage ! ». Les événements nord-américains sont décisifs. Ils nous obligent à faire un point réaliste. Si l’extrême droite « suprémaciste » l’emporte aux USA, ce sera bien autre chose que ce qu’elle a déjà fait en Pologne, Hongrie, Autriche, au Brésil, en Inde ou aux Philippines. Si les nôtres se donnent une expression politique capable d’être majoritaire, tout devient possible dans la civilisation humaine. Ayez grand soin de vous monsieur Bernie Sanders ! L’Histoire ne ferme jamais boutique. Jean-Luc Mélenchon
En réponse aux dérives identitaristes de la gauche américaine, une cinquantaine d’intellectuels essentiellement afro-américains sonnent la révolte. C’est le premier grand coup porté à la gauche racialiste américaine. Depuis les années 1970, ses représentants, universitaires et militants (les deux vont souvent de pair), ne ménagent pas leur peine pour imposer leurs représentations comme grille de lecture exclusive des phénomènes sociaux. Si, depuis lors, leurs idées ont incontestablement progressé, allant jusqu’à irriguer le débat public en France, elles se heurtent aujourd’hui à la résistance d’un projet intellectuel ambitieux. 1776, en référence à la déclaration d’indépendance des États-Unis, est une réponse d’intellectuels essentiellement afro-américains à une initiative commune du New-York Times et de plusieurs historiens noirs, visant à réécrire l’histoire américaine à la lumière de l’esclavage Tout commence au mois d’août 2019, lorsque le quotidien new-yorkais aux opinions très-avancées développe le projet 1619. Dans une édition spéciale de 100 pages, publiée à l’occasion des 400 ans de l’arrivée des esclaves africains en Amérique, le New York Times Magazine propose une relecture de la fondation des États-Unis « telle qu’elle s’est véritablement déroulée » — le ton est donné. Cette vaste entreprise de rééducation idéologique, bouffie de repentance, entend faire de l’arrivée en bateau d’une vingtaine d’esclaves africains à Port Comfort en Virginie (Colonie britannique d’Amérique du Nord, NDLR), « le véritable acte de naissance de l’Amérique ». Dans la classe politique et les cénacles académiques, le projet reçoit un accueil mitigé. De nombreux historiens s’émeuvent d’un détournement voire d’une falsification de l’histoire au nom de l’idéologie raciale. Toutefois, l’influence du Times est telle que ces observations critiques sont remisées à l’arrière-plan. Conçu à l’origine comme un projet médiatique interactif, composé de productions diverses (essais, poésies, photographies, articles…), 1619 se mue en une puissante machine à propagande. Le journal noue ainsi une collaboration avec le très “inclusif” Pulitzer center pour porter ce projet dans les écoles, bibliothèques et musées ; plusieurs centaines de milliers d’exemplaires du magazine et un supplément spécial y ont été distribués gratuitement. Last but no least, l’initiatrice du projet Nikole Hannah-Jones, réalise une tournée nationale de conférences dans les écoles pour expliquer à son jeune public que « le racisme anti-noir se trouve dans l’ADN même de ce pays ». Pendant plusieurs mois, à grand renfort de matraquage publicitaire, 1619 impose son point de vue à la société américaine : l’histoire des États-Unis doit être exclusivement comprise comme une lutte des Blancs pour l’hégémonie et une dévalorisation systémique des noirs. Naturellement, quiconque récuse ce récit mythologique raciste passe pour blasphémateur. Devant la réécriture et la confiscation de l’histoire des États-Unis par des idéologues obnubilés par la question raciale, une cinquantaine d’intellectuels, essentiellement afro-américains, ont décidé de se soulever. En janvier 2020, Robert Woodson, figure chrétienne conservatrice et ancien conseiller de campagne George W. Bush lance le projet 1776 en réponse à 1619. Cette fois, les grands médias ne se pressent pour relayer cette initiative portée en partie par des historiens universitaires. Loin d’eux l’idée de nier le passé esclavagiste des États-Unis, simplement, ils contestent l’idée selon laquelle l’asservissement des noirs constitue l’alpha et l’oméga de l’histoire du pays. Car pour parvenir à une telle conclusion, les promoteurs du projet 1619 ont eu recours à un grand nombre de sophismes et de falsifications. Entre autres contre-vérités, l’on apprend ainsi que, de tout temps, les noirs Américains ont combattu seuls pour leur liberté, que la guerre de Sécession est sans lien avec la libération des esclaves ou encore que le maintien de l’esclavage est le principal moteur de la guerre d’indépendance – cette liste n’est pas exhaustive. Les auteurs du contre-projet 1776 soutiennent a contrario que les inégalités structurelles qui persistent aux États-Unis résultent moins d’un problème de race que d’une logique de classes. Aussi, sont-ils pour le moins hostiles à un mouvement comme Black Lives Matter et les concepts qu’il charrie : appropriation culturelle, privilège blanc, racisme institutionnel, fragilité blanche. Selon eux, cette grille de lecture ethnocentrée est une machine à créer du ressentiment et de la culpabilité, là où la solution se trouve dans la solidarité interraciale. Deux semaines après la mort de George Floyd et les émeutes raciales qui s’en sont ensuivies, la confrontation entre ces deux visions résonne avec une certaine acuité. Au fond, les États-Unis ont désormais le choix entre deux projets de société : le premier, pétri de “bonnes intentions” — donc de racisme compassionnel – considère les afro-américains comme un bloc monolithique d’individus, victimes par essence et mus par les mêmes aspirations. Le second, refuse les assignations identitaires, croit au libre arbitre et défend une vision unitaire de la société. Entre le New York Times et l’universalisme, il faut choisir. Victor-Isaac Anne
Puisque nous en sommes au chapitre de la comptabilité morbide et raciale, la même journaliste révélait le 9 mai qu’en 2018, 2925 noirs étaient tués et que 2600 de leurs meurtriers étaient noirs. Mme Owens précisait également que «les hommes noirs tuaient deux fois plus les blancs que les hommes blancs tuaient des noirs». Puisqu’on doit apparemment sombrer dans ce racialisme permanent et obsessionnel, pourquoi donc les chiffres que je viens de livrer relèveraient-il de l’indicible? Avançons donc plus avant dans ce système pervers et sélectif, et souvenons-nous par exemple de la mort de Tony Timpa. Comme le pauvre George Floyd, il a été étouffé à mort par des flics très rigolards en dépit de ses supplications: «Vous êtes en train de me tuer». Exactement la même abomination. Mais dans ce dernier cas, ni violences, ni pillages. Ni foule médiatique déchaînée. C’est que Tony était blanc. Il faut également évoquer cet anti-trumpisme primaire qui fait que dans les premières heures du chaos, beaucoup ici en France auraient aimé lui faire porter le chapeau. Difficile quand on sait que l’appareil d’État du Minnesota est démocrate et que le mouvement Black Lives Matters est une réaction à la violence policière déplorée sous Obama. Puis-je également, sans offenser le courant médiatique principal, faire observer que les mêmes, il y a quelques jours, taxaient d’extrême-droitistes dangereux ceux qui, en Amérique, au nom de la liberté, refusaient tout confinement? À croire que le virus, malin mais compatissant, respecterait une sainte trêve en permettant les rassemblements en nombre. La même licence aura été accordée aux milliers d’étrangers sans papiers qui ont défilé sans entraves samedi dans les rues de Paris dans un silence médiatique impeccable. Ainsi, en France, lorsque des Français sont massacrés par centaines par le fanatisme ou le racisme, parfois antisémite, de l’islamisme, s’ensuivent des marches blanches forcément «dignes et silencieuses». Point de colères noires avec violences et pillages obligatoires. Je voudrais enfin écrire les lignes qui viennent pour faire réfléchir. Je n’aurais pas la stupidité de vouloir ignorer, au-delà de sa violence, un courant raciste dans la police américaine. Mais à quoi sert une généralisation abusive sauf à déclencher la guerre des races? Ici en France, par un mimétisme stupide, une artiste a évoqué les massacres que la police française commettrait à raison de la couleur de peau. Si on se regarde les choses rationnellement, imagine-t-on la réaction encolérée de certains policiers français qui, pour ne pas être racistes, ne sont pas tous des pianistes distingués? Sartre, dans ses Réflexions sur la question juive, a écrit des lignes pénétrantes sur la propension de l’être injustement caricaturé à vouloir parfois ressembler à sa caricature. Le racialisme pervers gagne chaque jour un peu plus, par mimétisme, la société française. Montre-moi de quelle couleur de peau tu es, et je te dirai si je te hais. La différence raciale devient obsessionnelle. Et le racisme, très équitablement partagé sur la planète, serait pourtant la propriété monopolistique du blanc. Déjà, sur la radio d’État, la racialisation devient un outil d’investigation journalistique. C’est ainsi que le 27 mai, le rédacteur en chef numérique de France Inter écrivait tranquillement: «Nous avons demandé à neuf personnes racisées de réagir aux propos de Camélia Jordana». Et à la suite, les photos et réactions de neuf personnes noires ou maghrébines. Je voudrais, pour conclure, écrire que je ne me fais aucune illusion sur la portée d’un raisonnement qui s’adresse à la raison. Le racialisme sélectif s’adresse aux bas instincts alimentés par cette rage idéologique que suit la foule médiatique déchaînée avec un plaisir hystérique. La race est de retour, via l’antiracisme sélectif gauchisant qui est au XXIe siècle ce que le racisme droitisant était au XIXe siècle. La guerre des races est avancée. Gilles-William Goldnadel
L’émotion doit inspirer la réflexion, mais elle ne peut pas dispenser de la connaissance. Car il y a les chiffres: selon la base de données du Washington Post, deux fois plus de Blancs (2416) que de Noirs (1263) ont été tués par la police depuis le 1er janvier 2015. Certes, comme le souligne très justement le journal Libération, le rapport s’inverse totalement en proportion de la population: les Noirs représentent 13 % de la population américaine, et les Blancs 76 %. Mais dans ce pays où les policiers ont la gâchette d’autant plus facile que les armes sont partout, on ne saurait parler d’un «racisme systémique» ou structurel des forces de l’ordre. Il y a aussi l’histoire: la guerre de Sécession, le mouvement des droits civiques qui a aboli la ségrégation, l’Affirmative Action dans les universités pour asseoir dans les faits l’égalité formelle des droits, l’apologie des minorités par le politiquement correct, les deux mandats à la Maison-Blanche de Barack Obama. Il y a enfin ces autres images: le maire afro-américain de Houston annonçant les obsèques dans sa ville de George Floyd ou encore la maire afro-américaine d’Atlanta apostrophant avec véhémence les émeutiers qui discréditaient la protestation par le pillage des magasins de vêtements ou de matériel informatique. Des élus noirs dirigent aujourd’hui deux anciens bastions du ségrégationnisme. Les suprémacistes ont bien perçu ce grand basculement: s’ils sortent aujourd’hui du bois, s’ils hurlent «You will not replace us!», c’est qu’ils craignent de voir l’Amérique leur échapper et de devenir tôt ou tard minoritaires. (…) Saisis d’une véritable frénésie mimétique, des manifestants, à Paris et dans la plupart des villes françaises, brandissent les mêmes pancartes qu’en Amérique: «I can’t breathe», «No Justice, no Peace», «Black Lives Matter». Il y a certes des racistes dans la police et ils doivent être sévèrement sanctionnés, car, forts du pouvoir que leur confère l’uniforme, ils ne se privent pas de harceler et de nuire. Sur ce point, le ministre de l’Intérieur a raison: on ne saurait tolérer l’intolérable. Mais il faut être d’une insigne mauvaise foi pour en conclure que la police dans notre pays exerce une terreur raciste sur les populations issues de l’immigration africaine ou maghrébine. La réalité, en effet, est tout autre. Dans les quartiers dits populaires, ce sont les policiers qui ont peur: ils sont attirés, comme les pompiers dans des guets-apens, victimes de tirs de mortiers, attaqués à coups de barres de fer, de jets de pierre du haut des toits, ou de plaques d’égouts du haut des passerelles. Lorsque en 2007, à Villiers-le-Bel, des «jeunes» ont tiré sur eux à balles réelles, ils n’ont pas riposté. Résultat: des dizaines de blessés parmi les policiers, aucun parmi les manifestants. Hantée par les émeutes de 2005 qui ont embrasé le pays, leur hiérarchie demande aux hommes de terrain de tout faire pour éviter l’accident ou la bavure: tout faire, c’est-à-dire ne rien faire contre les rodéos urbains ou les matchs de foot sauvages dans les dernières semaines du confinement. Ce qui caractérise notre temps, ce n’est pas l’omniprésence et l’omnipotence de l’État policier, c’est la faiblesse et la démission de l’État dans ce qu’on n’appelle pas pour rien les territoires perdus de la République. Et puis enfin, si racisme institutionnel il y avait, les manifestants crieraient-ils «policiers assassins!» au nez et à la barbe des forces de l’ordre? Si l’État était autoritaire, ou simplement s’il faisait respecter ses lois, des clandestins défileraient-ils dans Paris sans craindre d’être mis en garde à vue, ni a fortiori renvoyés manu militari dans leur pays d’origine? S’ils ne jouissaient pas d’une totale impunité, des rappeurs raconteraient-ils comment Brigitte, femme de flic, se fait gaiement «éclaté la teush» par «tous les jeunes de la cité» ? L’aptitude des êtres humains à se raconter des histoires et à se croire autres qu’ils ne sont, est sans limite. Sous l’effet d’un meurtre atroce commis à Minneapolis, Minnesota, on interviewe avec déférence le membre du groupe La Rumeur qui évoquait, en 2002 «les centaines de nos frères abattus par les forces de police sans qu’aucun des assassins n’ait été inquiété», et on en vient à prendre pour argent comptant la déclaration éhontée de la chanteuse Camélia Jordana: «Il y a des milliers de personnes qui ne se sentent pas en sécurité face à un flic, et j’en fais partie. Je ne parle pas des manifestants, mais des hommes et des femmes qui vont travailler tous les matins en banlieue qui se font massacrer pour nulle autre raison que leur couleur de peau.» Des violences policières ont certes émaillé l’année 2019, en réponse à la violence extrême de certains manifestants. Mais qui visaient-elles? Qui ont-elles mutilé ou éborgné? Des «gilets jaunes», c’est-à-dire des Français d’origine française, gentiment désignés sous le nom de «souchiens» par la porte-parole des Indigènes de la République. À l’image de ce qui se passe à Yale, à Columbia ou à Berkeley, la civilisation occidentale est désormais sur la sellette dans la plupart des universités du Vieux Continent. Les Dead White European Males sont pointés du doigt. D’eux et de leur culture vient tout le mal qui s’est répandu sur la terre: l’esclavage, le colonialisme, le sexisme et la LGBTphobie. Étudier cette culture, c’est désormais la mettre en accusation, la déconstruire, ruiner son prestige, pour permettre aux minorités de retrouver leur fierté et à la diversité culturelle de s’épanouir sans entraves. D’où l’écho rencontré par la mort de George Floyd, à Paris, aussi bien qu’à Stockholm ou à Montréal. Les nouvelles générations ont cru reconnaître dans le flegme féroce de l’assassin le visage de l’Occident qu’ils avaient appris à honnir. Mathieu Bock-Côté rappelle dans son dernier livre, que des étudiants du King’s College de Londres, ayant dénoncé «la collection d’hommes blancs de plus de 50 ans portant la barbe» qui formait le grand statuaire à la porte de l’établissement, celui-ci a été remplacé par «un statuaire conforme à l’idéologie diversitaire». Et dans un article de David Haziza, j’apprends que les élèves les plus avancés de Columbia proclamaient tout récemment qu’il fallait en finir avec un programme d’enseignement dont la blanchité, à les en croire, expliquait la persistance des meurtres racistes. Combattre l’hégémonie occidentale à l’intérieur même de l’Occident: tel est, par-delà la révolte contre les violences policières, l’objectif que s’assigne le nouvel antiracisme. (…) L’antiracisme n’est plus, hélas, la défense de l’égale dignité des personnes, mais une idéologie, une vision du monde. Dans cette vision, les traites négrières non occidentales n’ont pas leur place, ni l’antisémitisme arabo-musulman, ni celui d’une partie de la communauté noire américaine, ni les manifestations de Chinois et de Vietnamiens de Paris contre des insultes et des agressions où les Blancs n’avaient aucune part. Le raciste devient celui qui voit ce qu’il voit au lieu de fermer les yeux sur le scandale de l’impensable. Entre la réalité et le système idéologique, on a intérêt, pour ne pas être frappé d’infamie, à choisir le système. L’antiracisme s’est donc transformé de fond en comble et l’hospitalité a changé de sens: à l’heure de la grande migration, il ne s’agit plus d’accueillir les nouveaux venus en les intégrant dans la civilisation européenne, il s’agit d’exposer les tares de cette civilisation pour rendre justice à ceux qu’elle a si longtemps traités par le mépris et exploités sans vergogne. (…) La mauvaise conscience bourgeoise a conduit un grand nombre d’intellectuels à se ranger dans le camp de la classe ouvrière. Ils expiaient ainsi leurs privilèges et trouvaient une rédemption dans le combat pour l’égalité. Dans la gauche radicale d’aujourd’hui, la honte d’être blanc a supplanté la mauvaise conscience bourgeoise mais ce privilège-là colle à la peau. La honte est donc inexpiable. Pour elle, il n’y a pas de rédemption. Et ceux qu’elle affecte mettent un point d’honneur à rester confinés à la date où leur université célèbre la disparition des Blancs de l’espace public en organisant pour eux, ou plutôt contre eux, une «journée d’absence». Le soupçon de condescendance entachant toutes leurs paroles et toutes leurs actions, ils n’ont d’autres issues que de se taire, de s’effacer, ou de réciter indéfiniment le catéchisme qui les condamne. Cet autoracisme est la pathologie la plus consternante et la plus grotesque de notre époque. (…) On parle beaucoup, depuis le début de la pandémie, du monde d’avant et du monde d’après. Mais on oublie, en annonçant cette grande césure, que le monde d’avant était déjà très engagé dans la liquidation culturelle du vieux monde. À la sortie du confinement, le processus se poursuit, et même s’accélère. Alain Finkielkraut
Que font des Blancs qui s’agenouillent devant des Noirs pour leur demander pardon ? Ils se reprochent d’avoir jusque-là bénéficié, à leur insu, de droits qui étaient refusés à leurs frères de couleur. Or, ces « droits », s’il existent, ne sont pas légaux. La ségrégation est révolue depuis longtemps aux Etats-Unis. Les « droits » dont ils parlent sont des usages, des moeurs, des pratiques et toutes les manies d’une société dont les couleurs se sont toujours vécues comme séparables. Il y a peut-être tout à changer dans la société américaine, mais il n’y a rien à abolir ici. L’ennemi n’est pas une loi. L’ennemi est une attitude. Et contrairement à une loi injuste qu’on peut abroger, une attitude est indéfiniment renouvelable. Il y aura toujours des Blancs racistes et des flics violents. De sorte que le sentiment d’un « racisme systémique » trouvera toujours, dans une sortie déplorable ou dans un crime abject, une raison d’être et de s’enflammer. Pour le dire autrement : la faute dont les « Blancs » croient endosser le fardeau est très exactement insoluble. Elle ne se dissout pas dans un changement qu’on pourrait identifier et qui permettrait de passer à autre chose. Au Blanc qu’on accuse (ou qui s’accuse) en tant que blanc d’être le complice de l’oppression systémique des noirs, aucune rédemption n’est promise. La plainte est infinie. (…) Que font des Noirs qui reçoivent, debout, les supplications et les macérations de leurs frères blancs ? Et qui accordent leur pardon à des gens dont le crime n’est pas d’être coupables mais d’être blancs ? Ils accréditent l’idée que leur couleur est une faute. (…) Le but d’un tel pardon n’est pas le pardon. Le but d’un tel « pardon » est d’étendre la culpabilité à l’infini, d’ancrer l’idée que la couleur des autres est une faute universelle (pour le dire comme l’impitoyable loup de La Fontaine : « Si ce n’est toi, c’est donc ton frère. – Je n’en ai point. – C’est donc quelqu’un des tiens… ») et d’ajouter à la misère du pénitent la splendeur de leur propre clémence. Qui dit « je te pardonne » au type qui n’est pas coupable ne pardonne rien du tout, mais fabrique de toutes pièces une culpabilité infinie dont lui seul, par la grâce du pardon qu’il adore accorder, se trouve créditeur. (…) Dans ce combat déguisé en déclaration d’amour, les pénitents blancs n’ont pas dit leur dernier mot. Car de même qu’on écrase celui qu’on pardonne, on continue de traiter en enfant celui dont on implore le pardon. Que laissent-ils entendre, ces gentils blancs, en se sentant eux-mêmes coupables des crimes d’un autre blanc ? Qu’ils sont encore, en tant que blancs, responsables des malheurs de la communauté noire, qu’en somme ils sont de mauvais maîtres dont les anciennes victimes ont raison de se sentir irresponsables. Sous la génuflexion des Blancs, c’est la condescendance qui s’exprime. Sous cette pénitence monocolore, c’est encore le paternalisme qui parle. Bref, sous le spectacle merveilleux de gens qui se promettent de s’aimer, sous la contrition des repentants qui reçoivent l’absolution des mains de leurs victimes présumées, on assiste en vérité à la continuation de la guerre, sous d’autres formes, entre des communautés qui se prennent pour des identités. Toutes les conditions de la haine sont réunies dans cette image irénique. Tous les éléments du problème se trouvent à vif dans ce moment qui se vit comme une solution. En tout cas, on est bien loin de Martin Luther King, de sa génuflexion libératrice et, surtout, de « l’armée bi-raciale » qu’il appelle de ses voeux… (…) Le problème en France vient du fait qu’il existe objectivement des discriminations (sociales, morales et ethniques) à l’embauche, à la location ou à l’entrée des boîtes de nuit, mais que, comme par ailleurs, en République, sur le papier, « l’identité » sexuelle, religieuse ou ethnique n’est pas une sorte de handicap qui ouvre l’accès à des droits spécifiques, les gens qui sont victimes de discrimination ont l’impression – et en un sens à juste titre – que l’Etat les abandonne à leur sort. Et ils demandent à la loi de corriger ce qu’elle corrige déjà (mais qu’elle peine à rectifier en profondeur) en faisant du racisme un délit. En somme, ils demandent à la loi d’aller plus loin que l’affirmation abstraite de l’égalité entre tous les citoyens, pour s’en prendre à nos consciences de blancs et en extirper le racisme à la racine. Seulement, pour ce faire, pour qu’ils aient le sentiment que la loi s’attaque au « racisme systémique » en tuant nos « moeurs coloniales », il faudrait supprimer la présomption d’innocence, il faudrait systématiquement condamner pour racisme toute personne refusant un logement ou un emploi à une personne de couleur, imposer une parité sur fond de mélanine, et nantir légalement certains Français de privilèges qu’on refuserait aux autres. Bref, nous cesserions collectivement, et légalement, d’être libres et égaux. Comme tous les extrémismes dopés aux bons sentiments, ces adeptes croient démocratiser notre démocratie en la présentant comme un « Etat totalitaire et esclavagiste », alors qu’en demandant à la loi de corriger des consciences ou de réprimer des réflexes, c’est très exactement une dictature qu’ils appellent de leurs voeux. Si la « communauté juive », par exemple, avait raisonné comme les manifestants du 2 juin, elle aurait vu dans les assassinats de Mireille Knoll, d’Ilan Halimi ou de Sarah Halimi l’expression d’un « antisémitisme systémique », et dans les atermoiements du Parquet la preuve qu’il n’y a aucune différence entre le régime de Vichy et la République. Or si, comme la négrophobie, l’antisémitisme est viscéral et éternel en France, il n’est pas douteux qu’il vaut mieux y être Juif (ou Noir) en 2020 qu’en 1940. Et que, si combat il y a, c’est un combat judiciaire et juridique qu’il faut mener. En France, l’antisémitisme est virulent, mais un policier juif n’est pas vu pour autant par d’autres Juifs comme un « vendu » qui travaille avec « l’Etat antisémite ». (…) Au début de son sketch sur le « CRS arabe », mimant un poivrot franchouillard, Coluche fait valoir qu’ « un bougnoule, c’est toujours un bougnoule, même en CRS ». Quelle différence avec les manifestants qui disent « Un flic, c’est toujours un flic, même noir » ? Comme, sous prétexte de « convergence des luttes », la guerre des races a remplacé, à gauche, la guerre des classes, la police qui a longtemps été présentée comme le bras armé d’un « Etat bourgeois » est devenue, aux yeux des mêmes et de leurs successeurs, le bras armé d’un « Etat raciste ». Un tel dogme a besoin d’un sophisme. Le sophisme est : il y a des crimes racistes dans la police française (ce qui est incontestable), donc LA police française est « systémiquement » raciste (ce qu’une grande majorité d’interpellations démentent). Un tel raisonnement n’est pas un raisonnement, mais l’érection illégitime de cas particuliers en une vérité générale et a priori qui ne voit dans les contre-exemples aucune objection mais qui, en revanche, à chaque drame, s’exclame « je vous l’avais bien dit ! » En cela, il est symptomatique que le comité « Justice et vérité pour Adama » reprenne le nom du « Comité pour la vérité et la justice » crée par les maoïstes François Ewald et Serge July au moment de l’affaire de Bruay-en-Artois. Le but d’Ewald et July, à l’époque, était d’appeler au lynchage, et d’ancrer dans les consciences, à coup de témoignages de procès d’intention (« Il n’y a qu’un bourgeois pour faire ça ») et grâce aux sales méthodes du juge Pascal (qui, opposé au secret de l’instruction, diffusait les photos de l’arrestation du coupable présumé), le sentiment que le notaire Pierre Leroy était « par définition » le meurtrier de Brigitte Dewevre. Or, quel est le but du nouveau comité « vérité et justice » ? D’ancrer dans les consciences, à coup de manifestations aux slogans abstraits (« Pas de justice, pas de paix ! ») le sentiment que la police française est raciste et meurtrière. Chaque fois qu’un comité mélange les termes de « justice » et de « vérité », c’est que la vérité lui déplaît, et qu’il appelle « justice » l’autre vérité, la vérité qu’il exige, que cette « vérité » soit vraie ou non. Reste qu’au-delà de sa sottise, le geste de traiter de collabo un flic noir est, de la part des manifestants, parfaitement contradictoire. Comment peuvent-ils déplorer la sous-représentation des Noirs dans les médias ou dans la fonction publique, tout en tenant un policier noir pour un vendu ou un « bounty » (noir dehors, blanc dedans) ? Là encore, le problème qu’ils posent est insoluble ! Comme une houle qui ne croise aucun récif, une telle plainte – qui laisse le choix entre le sentiment de ne pas être représenté et l’exclusion de ceux dont la carrière invalide ce sentiment – s’est arrangée pour ne rencontrer aucun obstacle sur le chemin de sa colère, et pour balayer comme autant d’apparences trompeuses et de trahisons discrètes l’ensemble des objections qu’elle reçoit. On peut le comprendre : le problème des manifestants n’est pas que la France soit raciste. Leur problème est qu’elle ne l’est pas suffisamment. Et que, loin d’être l’avant-garde d’un monde meilleur, ils sont les fossoyeurs d’une démocratie qui n’a rien contre eux. On a tort, en cela, de qualifier de « débordements » les incidents qui ont émaillé ce rassemblement car, sans être planifiée bien sûr, la violence est inscrite dans l’esprit-même d’un telle manifestation. Pour une raison simple : celui qui manifeste contre un (imaginaire) « Etat raciste » ne vit pas sa propre violence comme un crime mais comme un geste libérateur. En réalité, plus que libératrice, la violence est créatrice. Comme le pardon du Noir au Blanc a aussi pour but de fabriquer l’éternelle culpabilité de ce dernier, la violence du manifestant ne sert qu’à témoigner de la violence qu’il a subie. Plus on casse des vitres, plus cela signifie qu’on est la victime d’un Etat raciste. Comme dit Virginie Despentes dans sa « Lettre à ses amis blancs » : « Comme si la violence ce n’était pas ce qui s’est passé le 19 juillet 2016. Comme si la violence ce n’était pas les frères de Assa Traoré emprisonnés… » C’est l’un des paradoxes, et pas le moindre, de l’hyper-démocratie victimaire où chacun voit ce qu’il veut : la violence réelle est masquée par la violence dont elle se prétend la conséquence… Pour le dire simplement : si je vous agresse, ça veut dire que VOUS êtes coupables et que JE suis victime, et que, pour cette raison, vous devez me comprendre avant de me juger, sous peine d’être un fasciste ! C’est parfait. (…) Madame Jordana a tout à tort, à mon avis, d’en faire une loi, et d’ériger de rares tragédies en considérations générales sur l’âme du flic Français. Le problème n’est pas ce qu’elle dit, mais la valeur de vérité absolue qu’elle donne à ce qui (en ce qui la concerne) n’est même pas un témoignage. Car ce faisant, tout comme les blancs pénitents ou les manifestants du 2 juin, elle raisonne à l’envers : son diagnostic n’est pas un diagnostic mais une vérité a priori qui, pour cette raison, se donne comme infalsifiable. Comment voulez-vous contredire un sentiment ? Comment voulez-vous dire qu’elle a tort à une personne qui prend son impression pour la règle ? Un sentiment qui se prend pour une vérité dégénère inévitablement en dogme. Et un dogme est immunisé contre les objections. En particulier un dogme bien-pensant qui, pour devancer les coups, présente toute objection comme une abjection : si vous dites que Camelia Jordana a tort, c’est que vous fermez les yeux sur la violence que vous ne subissez pas. Bing. Que répondre à ça ? Camelia Jordana s’est proposée de débattre avec le ministre de l’Intérieur en personne, mais elle n’a pas ouvert le débat, elle a tué le débat en le réduisant à la défense (ou l’attaque) d’une opinion péremptoire ! Si, dans les échanges qui ont suivi ce qu’elle a dit, chacun est resté fermement campé sur son catéchisme et, loin de dialoguer, les antipodes n’ont fait qu’affirmer leur détestation mutuelle, c’est que les conditions du débat étaient absentes du débat. Débattre, ce n’est pas présenter ce qu’on croit comme une vérité absolue, pour mettre les autres, ensuite, au défi de nous donner tort. Débattre, c’est douter de ce qu’on croit au point d’écouter un autre discours que le sien. Peine perdue. (…) Si Virginie Despentes se promène dans les rues de Dakar, Bamako ou Kingston, elle aura plus de mal à oublier qu’elle est blanche. Est-ce à dire que le Sénégal, le Mali ou la Jamaïque sont racistes ? Et que les Noirs y sont privilégiés ? Il y a d’autres choses, plus intéressantes, dans sa lettre. D’abord, cette phrase en apparence absurde : « En France nous ne sommes pas racistes mais je ne me souviens pas avoir jamais vu un homme noir ministre. » Les gens qui lui ont répondu en dressant la liste de tous ceux, de Gaston Monerville à Sibeth N’Diaye, dont le parcours contredit Virginie Despentes, commettent deux erreurs. La première est de rentrer dans son jeu, et de compter les noirs ministres (comme on compte les noirs à la télé, ou à la cérémonie des Césars), autrement dit : de transformer la couleur en critère d’évaluation. L’autre erreur est de la prendre au sérieux. Virginie Despentes n’est pas née demain. Elle sait très bien qu’il y a eu et qu’il y a des ministres « noirs » dans un pays où la couleur n’est pas une compétence. Seulement, elle ne les « voit » pas. La couleur de leur peau est masquée par leur costume républicain. Pour le dire simplement : puisqu’être noir empêche d’être ministre dans notre « France raciste », alors en devenant ministre, un noir cesse d’être noir. Comme le jour et la nuit, la fonction de ministre et la noirceur de la peau s’excluent aux yeux de la manichéo-daltonienne. On ne peut pas être l’un et l’autre. En cela, Virginie Despentes est bien fondée à dire qu’elle n’a « jamais vu » de ministre noir. Son erreur n’est pas de dire ce qu’elle sent, mais, comme Camelia Jordana, d’ériger sa propre cécité en perception universelle. (…) ce serait drôle si ce n’était désolant pour Madame El Moaddem, que BFM a traitée comme une vieille chaussette. Mais à toute chose, malheur est bon : une telle mésaventure est aussi l’occasion donnée, pour l’intéressée, de comprendre qu’elle est exactement la victime de la logique identitaire qui lui fait dire, ordinairement, qu’on devrait inviter les « concernés » sur les plateaux de télé, qu’on est mal placé pour parler des problèmes qu’on ne rencontre pas, et qu’en somme, la couleur des gens est en elle-même une compétence. A ce compte-là, dans un monde où la couleur (appelée « identité ») est une garantie de l’opinion, il est normal qu’on désinvite Nassira El Moaddem au profit de Maboula Soumahoro, qui (aux yeux de certains) est une meilleure interprète dans le même rôle. Madame El Moaddem s’indigne qu’on lui dise que sa présence en plateau eût fait « doublon ». Elle a raison. C’est scandaleux. D’autant qu’elle avait certainement d’autres choses à dire que Madame Soumahoro. Mais quand on invite les gens à raison de leur allure et non de leur compétence, on se moque de ce qu’ils ont à dire, et des nuances éventuelles. « Noire, arabe, on s’en fout, tant que ça fait concerné » se dit-on dans les rédacs attentives à draguer une clientèle identitaire… Bref, c’est l’arroseuse arrosée. Madame El Moadden, qui a souvent été la victime du racisme, est pour la première fois peut-être, victime du racialisme. J’avoue ne pas voir la différence entre les deux, mais c’est probablement que je ne suis pas concerné. « Qu’est-ce que j’en ai à foutre, moi, des Noirs ? disait Gary dans Chien Blanc. Ce sont des hommes comme les autres. Je ne suis pas raciste. » Si les journalistes avaient lu cette phrase, peut-être se seraient-ils mieux conduits ? Raphaël Enthoven
Nous avons tendance à imaginer, contre toute évidence, que la socialisation peut tous nous débarrasser de l’intolérance et nous apprendre un plus grand respect de la différence, si seulement nous avions la volonté, les ressources et la possibilité de fournir les bonnes expériences. (…) Selon cette compréhension de la réalité, les différents peuvent rester aussi différents qu’ils le souhaitent et les intolérants finiront tolérants par les vertus de l’éducation. Mais tous les indicateurs montrent que l’exposition à la différence, les discours sur la différence et le fait d’applaudir la différence – autant de marques de fabrique de la démocratie libérale – sont les meilleurs moyens d’exaspérer ceux qui sont foncièrement intolérants et de garantir l’expression accrue de leurs prédispositions dans des attitudes et des comportements manifestement intolérants. (…) Paradoxalement, il semblerait donc que le meilleur moyen de juguler l’intolérance envers la différence soit d’exhiber nos ressemblances, d’en discuter, de les applaudir. (…) Au bout du compte, rien n’inspire plus la tolérance chez l’intolérant qu’une abondance de croyances, de pratiques, de rituels, d’institutions et de processus communs et fédérateurs. (…) En définitive, rien n’inspire une plus grande tolérance de la part des intolérants qu’une abondance de croyances, pratiques, rituels, institutions et processus communs et unificateurs. Et malheureusement, rien n’est plus sûr de susciter une expression accrue de leurs prédispositions latentes que ‘l’éducation multiculturelle’, les politiques bilingues et la non-assimilation. En fin de compte, notre célébration criante et notre insistance absolue sur l’autonomie individuelle et la diversité sans contrainte poussent ceux qui sont par nature les moins équipés à vivre confortablement dans une démocratie libérale non pas aux limites de leur tolérance, mais à leurs extrêmes intolérants. Karen Stenner
Si vous avez des tirs de policiers qui deviennent viraux en ligne, mais qui ne sont pas suivis d’enquête (…), rien ne change – les niveaux d’activité policière et de criminalité sont à peu près les mêmes. Mais si vous avez des tirs de policiers qui deviennent viraux et qui font l’objet d’une enquête, les activités de la police chutent et la criminalité augmente de façon spectaculaire. Roland Fryer (Harvard)
Trump est le seul à attirer l’attention sur cette violence qui touche majoritairement les Noirs. Cela dit, il surestime le rôle du gouvernement fédéral dans la lutte contre le crime. La police est avant tout une affaire locale. (…) 26% des personnes tuées par la police aux Etats-Unis sont des Afro-Américains, alors qu’ils ne représentent que 13% de la population. Doit-on en déduire que les flics sont racistes? Non. Simplement, ils interviennent avant tout dans les quartiers en proie à la criminalité. Or c’est là que résident les minorités. D’où un risque accru de confrontation avec la population noire ou latino. A Chicago, les Afro-Américains représentent un tiers de la population, mais sont responsables de 75% des fusillades. Ce n’est pas un jugement, juste une statistique. (…) Depuis qu’un jeune Noir a été abattu par la police à Ferguson, en 2014, l’association Black Lives Matter « vend » l’idée que les policiers sont intrinsèquement racistes. Le débat est pollué par le tabou sur la criminalité noire. Alors sommes-nous autorisés à parler des victimes?  Les Blacks sont six fois plus souvent victimes d’homicides que les Blancs et les Latinos. En 2016, 20 enfants noirs ont été blessés ou tués à Chicago. S’ils avaient été blancs, le scandale aurait été énorme. Mais comme ce sont des Noirs tués par des Noirs, tout le monde s’en fiche… Heather Mac Donald
Les Blancs et Hispaniques représentent par exemple 58,9% des personnes arrêtées pour «crime grave». Les mêmes couleurs de peau constituent 56,7% des personnes tuées par la police, selon les données du portail statistique Statista, compilant quatre années jusqu’à juin 2020*. Les pourcentages sont proches, tendant à indiquer que les drames lors d’arrestations ne concernent pas spécifiquement les personnes de ces deux ethnies. Les Afro-Américains constituent quant à eux 37,5% des prévenus pour crime grave, et 22,1% des personnes que la police a tuées en voulant procéder à leur arrestation. Le pourcentage de victimes de police est donc plus faible chez les Afro-Américains, par rapport à leur proportion lors des arrestations. Bien sûr, les tirs létaux par les forces de l’ordre recouvrent des situations très différentes (bavures, individus armés ou non, etc.). Nul ne saurait déduire, à l’aune de ces pourcentages, à l’innocence ou la culpabilité présumée d’un policier tueur. Mais si l’on s’en tient aux chiffres de la criminalité et des arrestations, il semble difficile de conclure à un quelconque racisme systémique de la part des forces de l’ordre américaines. (…) la spécialiste Heather MacDonald (…) prend appui sur une analyse judiciaire des données de la police de Philadelphie, ayant établi en 2015 que les policiers blancs étaient moins susceptibles de tirer sur des suspects noirs non-armés que leurs collègues noirs et hispaniques. D’autres études vont en ce sens, comme celle de l’économiste d’Harvard Roland G. Fryer qui concluait en 2016 (puis à nouveau en 2018) à l’absence de preuves d’une «discrimination raciale lors des tirs de police». Pour Heather MacDonald, «toutes les analyses contraires oublient de prendre en compte les taux de crime et le comportement des civils, avant et pendant les interactions avec la police. Luc Lenoir
90% des meurtres de Noirs sont commis par d’autres Noirs, là est le vrai drame! A la violence extrême des délinquants répond celle des policiers, brutaux envers tout le monde sans distinction. C’est la violence globale de ce pays qui est à prendre en compte : n’importe quel retraité de 75 ans peut sortir une arme lors d’un contrôle! Ecoutez le Drill, la musique des gangs juvéniles ethniques des États-Unis. Ce sont des appels au meurtre par des rappeurs rendus fous par un usage massif d’alcool et de Concentrate (marijuana ultra-puissante). Tels sont les angelots qu’affrontent au quotidien les polices des métropoles américaines. Xavier Raufer
La vie de la population noire des États-Unis n’a jamais été facile et ne l’est pas plus aujourd’hui. (…) Mais aux difficultés qu’éprouve cette population, se surajoute l’attitude de la gauche académique et médiatique qui, par pur moralisme, ne s’indigne que des seuls homicides de Noirs commis par la police américaine ou par des Blancs ; considérant donc – absurdement – que les non-Noirs du pays constituent un meurtrier et tout-puissant Ku-Klux-Klan, voué à exterminer les Afro-Américains. Récemment encore, L’Express souligne ainsi que 1,5% des Noirs américains de 20 à 24 ans meurent sous les tirs de la police – fait consternant – mais tait que, constamment et de longue date, ± 90% des Noirs américains sont assassinés par d’autres Noirs. Sans doute y-a-t-il des raisons à cela, mais l’énormité même du pourcentage devrait pousser les commentateurs à exposer cet essentiel fait brut. Or la théorie du”privilège blanc” tient justement à cela : pour qu’elle soit vraie, il faut et il suffit que TOUTE la police et TOUTE la justice des États-Unis soient implicitement ou ouvertement racistes, agissant et jugeant à 100% contre les Noirs. Soulignons ici que cette idéologie du”privilège blanc” n’est pas celle de la population noire en général ; certes, soucieuse de ne pas servir de cible à tout propos, elle est sinon (sous l’influence de ses puissantes Églises) plutôt conservatrice et répressive en matière de sécurité et de justice, maints sondages le montrent. Le « privilège blanc » est plutôt l’apanage de jeunes gens riches, blancs mais torturés de haine de soi et de ludions médiatiques de toutes couleurs. Avant d’examiner les faits et données disponibles, rappelons aussi que depuis une décennie, toute la société américaine, justice et polices incluses, subit l’étouffant tsunami du « politiquement correct »… diversité… inclusif… etc.; tout fait ethnique y éprouvant le sourcilleux contrôle (sans doute bénéfique, vu le passé du pays) de Black Lives Matter et cent groupes analogues; quand cependant, les statistiques ethniques-raciales y restent permises. (…) à l’échelle des États-Unis entiers, de méticuleuses recherches des analystes du ministère fédéral de la Justice et du FBI sur la période 1976-2005, établissent le fait terrible que dans plus de 90% des cas, l’assassin d’un Noir est un autre Noir; et que les jeunes hommes afro-américains ont 20 fois plus de morts que leur proportion dans la pyramide américaine des âges et des ethnies. Et si les choses ont évolué depuis 2005, c’est plutôt en pire. Imaginons que les injonctions médiatico-académiques soient à 100% suivies d’effet et qu’on en finisse, par la prévention ou la répression, avec les meurtres commis par des policiers ou des Blancs racistes: sur cent homicides de Noirs, on en supprimerait 8 ou 9; sinon, la tuerie continuerait comme avant. Est-ce un objectif décent ? Ou faut-il, sur la base de faits réels, traiter ce drame dans sa profondeur humaine ? Xavier Raufer

Après l’hystérie collective du coronavirus, le psychodrame du racisme systémique !

Au lendemain d’un confinement aveugle qui a vu, sans compter les dommages économiques et sociaux, des sommets d’hystérie et de psychose collective

Comment ne pas voir …

Suite à l’interpellation ayant mal tourné (pour des raisons personnelles et donc non « systémiques » ?), d’un ancien délinquant multirécidiviste ayant tenté de faire passer un faux billet et ayant résisté à son arrestation …

Mais peut-être fragilisé par ses problèmes de circulation et les drogues ingérées

Sous prétexte qu’il était noir et que le principal policier était blanc alors que ce dernier était accompagné d’un autre blanc mais aussi d’un noir et d’un asiatique

La nouvelle hystérie collective qui revient entre déboulonnages de statues, autodafés matériels et culturels et appels au démantèlement de la police mais aussi meurtres

Avec cette nouvelle génération, leaders religieux « progressistes » compris, de génuflexants et flagellants qui avec son lot d’antisémitisme comme au Moyen-Age …

Après la France et maintenant l‘Espagne, suit périodiquement les épidémies …

Et qui, contre l’évidence des faits mais année électorale oblige, n’a plus que le mot racisme à la bouche …

Alors qu’étude après étude, l’on sait qu’il n’y a pas de discrimination raciale lors des tirs de police et même que les policiers blancs sont moins susceptibles de tirer sur des suspects noirs non-armés que leurs collègues noirs ou hispaniques …

Et que, loin de faire diminuer la violence, la diabolisation de la police qui suit les quelques cas d’usage disproportionné de la force par celle-ci la fait augmenter en poussant lesdits policiers au retrait dans les zones où elles sont le plus nécessaires …

Sans compter, comme l’a montré la psychologue Karen Stenner …

Que loin de mettre un terme à l’intolérance …

Les célébrations de la différence et de la diversité comme ‘l’éducation multiculturelle’, les politiques bilingues ou la non-assimilation ne font que l’exaspérer …

Alors que comme l’avait montré le pasteur Martin Luther King avant de se fourvoyer dans le pacifisme radical

Oubliant qu’au Vietnam comme au Japon, les races de couleur ont elles aussi leur volonté de puissance …

Ce sont nos ressemblances et l’ensemble des croyances, pratiques, rituels et institutions que nous avons en commun …

Qu’il faudrait, au lieu de les fouler au pied comme nos enfants gâtés à la Kaepernick avec le drapeau national, les mettre en avant … ?

Homicides, États-Unis et « privilège blanc » criminel
Xavier Raufer
Sécurité globale
Cairn
2019/4 (N° 20)

La vie de la population noire des États-Unis n’a jamais été facile et ne l’est pas plus aujourd’hui. Pour s’en persuader, il suffit de visiter les lieux où d’usage elle vit, quartiers où, comme à Chicago, son espoir de vie peut être de trente ans plus bref que dans les secteurs blancs-riches de la ville ; et de voir qu’en 2017 encore, 38% des enfants noirs fréquentent des écoles où moins de 10% des élèves sont blancs (l’apartheid, c’est ça).

Mais aux difficultés qu’éprouve cette population, se surajoute l’attitude de la gauche académique et médiatique qui, par pur moralisme, ne s’indigne que des seuls homicides de Noirs commis par la police américaine ou par des Blancs ; considérant donc – absurdement – que les non-Noirs du pays constituent un meurtrier et tout-puissant Ku-Klux-Klan, voué à exterminer les Afro-Américains.

Récemment encore, L’Express souligne ainsi que 1,5% des Noirs américains de 20 à 24 ans meurent sous les tirs de la police – fait consternant – mais tait que, constamment et de longue date, ± 90% des Noirs américains sont assassinés par d’autres Noirs. Sans doute y-a-t-il des raisons à cela, mais l’énormité même du pourcentage devrait pousser les commentateurs à exposer cet essentiel fait brut. Or la théorie du”privilège blanc” tient justement à cela : pour qu’elle soit vraie, il faut et il suffit que TOUTE la police et TOUTE la justice des États-Unis soient implicitement ou ouvertement racistes, agissant et jugeant à 100% contre les Noirs.

Soulignons ici que cette idéologie du”privilège blanc” n’est pas celle de la population noire en général ; certes, soucieuse de ne pas servir de cible à tout propos, elle est sinon (sous l’influence de ses puissantes Églises) plutôt conservatrice et répressive en matière de sécurité et de justice, maints sondages le montrent. Le « privilège blanc » est plutôt l’apanage de jeunes gens riches, blancs mais torturés de haine de soi et de ludions médiatiques de toutes couleurs.

Avant d’examiner les faits et données disponibles, rappelons aussi que depuis une décennie, toute la société américaine, justice et polices incluses, subit l’étouffant tsunami du « politiquement correct »… diversité… inclusif… etc.; tout fait ethnique y éprouvant le sourcilleux contrôle (sans doute bénéfique, vu le passé du pays) de Black Lives Matter et cent groupes analo-gues; quand cependant, les statistiques ethniques-raciales y restent permises.

Reste que dans la statistique américaine, « race », « ethnicité » ou « origine » ne vont pas de soi, recensements ou sondages opérant par auto-déclaration. On dit par exemple « X personnes se considèrent comme d’origine hispanique », mais un Hispanique peut aussi se déclarer Blanc. Et ceux qu’évidemment, nous dirions métis en Europe, comptent comme Noirs aux États-Unis.

Voici donc, pour éclairer le débat, l’éventail racial donné par le dernier recensement national des États-Unis (1/07/2016):

•Blancs (hors hispaniques): 61,3%

•Hispaniques/Latinos: 17,8%

•Noirs/Afro-Américains: 13,3%

•Asiatiques: 5,7%

•Amérindiens: 1,3%

•Métis, NSP: 0,4%

•Insulaires du Pacifique: 0,2%.

Dernier point méthodologique: nous comptons plus bas des individus, interpellés, mis en cause ou inculpés, ce qui ne préjuge bien sûr pas de leur culpabilité.

Mais aux États-Unis, les Cours fédérales jugeant les serious crimes, homicides, viols, vols avec armes, etc., ont en 2016 condamné 91,2% des inculpés, 8,8% étant innocentés – donc, taux d’adéquation correct1.

Qui plus est, deux taux, élucidation des crimes dans un sens, récidives dans l’autre, renforcent le tableau général mis en cause-culpabilité:

• Taux d’élucidation des crimes graves (« serious crimes ») aux États-Unis en 2017:

•Homicides: 61,6% (chiffre noir, 38,4%)

•Viols: 34,5% (chiffre noir, 65,5%)

•Vols avec armes: 29,7% (chiffre noir, 70,3%)

• Taux de récidive après trois ans:•États-Unis: 68%

•Comparaison avec la France et l’Allemagne: respectivement 48 et 46%.

Surreprésentation des Noirs dans les statistiques criminelles américaines2(FBI-UCR, 2016)

Total des arrestations aux États-Unis (toutes infractions) en 2016: 8 421 481

Total des arrestations pour serious crimes3aux États-Unis en 2016: 408 873,Sur ces 408 873 crimes graves, total des arrestations « par race ou origine »:

•Prévenus se disant, ou déclarés, Blancs et hispaniques: 241 063

•Prévenus se disant, ou déclarés, Afro-Américains: 153 341

•Prévenus … Amérindiens, Asiatiques ou insulaires du Pacifique: 14 416

Homicides, États-Unis et « privilège blanc » criminel 149

Proportion ethnique des inculpés pour les homicides commis aux États-Unis en 2016:

•Blancs et hispaniques: 44,7% du total

•Afro-Américains: 52,6%

•Amérindiens, Asiatiques ou insulaires du Pacifique: 2,7%

Coups de projecteurs sur cette surreprésentation

État de l’Illinois (UCR-Illinois) – Blancs, 64%, Noirs, 14%.2017: 1 010 homicides dans l’État, dont 650 à Chicago.

Pour ces 1 010 homicides, 409 mis en cause; voici leur race, telle que figurant au dossier: Noirs, 271 (66% du total); Blancs, 83; Hispaniques, 54.

État du Connecticut (UCR-Con.) Blancs, 71%; Noirs 10%.105 homicides recensés dans cet État en 2017.

Pourcentage ethnique des homicides élucidés (un coupable a été trouvé puis condamné): Blancs, 28%; Noirs, 58% des mises en examen et 40% des condamna-tions, Asiatique: 1 cas.

Ville de Seattle et King County (Étude du Public Health Department de la ville, homicides par armes à feu, 2010-2016).

Rappel, l’administration locale se situe politique-ment quelque part entre libérale-libertaire et socialiste.Blancs dans le comté, 76%; Noirs, 7%.

69 homicides par armes à feu, 2010 à 2016; mis en cause, 39 Noirs, 56% des inculpés.

Ville de Pittsburgh – Étude du Pittsburgh Police Department (PPD) et de la mairie, 2010 à 2015. Rappel, sur les 5 derniers chefs du PPD, 3 sont Afro-Américains.

Blancs, 65%; Noirs, 26%.2010-2015: sur 100 victimes d’homicides, 85 sont noires.- sur 100 victimes d’homicides non élucidés, 97 sont noires.

2018: victimes des 58 homicides: Noirs, 50, Blancs, 8.Inculpés pour ces 58 homicides: Noirs, 24; Blancs, 7.

Ville de Saint-Louis – Noirs, 49%; Blancs, 43%.

Données du Saint-Louis Police Department, 1er semestre 2019: 110 homicides dont 99 Noirs. Inculpations pour 41 de ces homi-cides: Noirs, 37 (90% du total); Blancs, 4.

Ville de Cincinnati – Blancs, 49%; Noirs, 45%.2018: 63 homicides; victimes noires, 84%; blanches, 14%. Pour ces homicides, 30 inculpations: Noirs, 58%; Blancs, 17%; la race est absente de 25% des dossiers.

2017: 74 homicides; victimes noires, 85%; blanches, 14%. Pour ces homicides, 21 inculpations: Noirs, 71%; Blancs, 5%; la race est absente de 23% des dossiers.

Les Noirs sont-ils spécialement visés par la justice des États-Unis ?5

Individus jugés par une Cour fédérale de justice, année fiscale 2016, caractéristiques démographiques – race ou origine hispanique.

Cas considérés: 63 593 (formant donc 100% du total)

•Blancs: 20,9%,

•Afro-Américains: 19,8%

•Hispaniques-Latinos: 55,7%!!

•Amérindiens, 2,2%

•Asiatiques+Pacifique: 1,3

•NSP: 1%.

Plus largement maintenant, à l’échelle des États-Unis entiers, de méticuleuses recherches des analystes du ministère fédéral de la Justice et du FBI sur la période 1976-2005, établissent le fait terrible que dans plus de 90% des cas, l’assassin d’un Noir est un autre Noir; et que les jeunes hommes afro-américains ont 20 fois plus de morts que leur proportion dans la pyramide américaine des âges et des ethnies. Et si les choses ont évolué depuis 2005, c’est plutôt en pire.

Imaginons que les injonctions médiatico-académiques soient à 100% suivies d’effet et qu’on en finisse, par la prévention ou la répression, avec les meurtres commis par des policiers ou des Blancs racistes: sur cent homicides de Noirs, on en supprimerait 8 ou 9; sinon, la tuerie continuerait comme avant.

Est-ce un objectif décent ? Ou faut-il, sur la base de faits réels, traiter ce drame dans sa profondeur humaine ?

Comparaison avec l’ensemble Angleterre+Pays de Galles (E+W)

Pays anglo-saxon, au système judiciaire proche de celui des États-Unis, mais ne souffrant sans doute pas des mêmes biais culturels.

Homicides, États-Unis et « privilège blanc » criminel 151

Dernier recensement de la population de E+W: Blancs, 83, 35%; Asiatiques, 6,69%, (dont originaires du sous-continent indien, 5,87% et Chinois, 0,82%); Noirs, 2,81%.

 

 

 

 

Sources :

L’Express+Afp – 6/08/2019 « Aux États-Unis, les noirs encourent plus de risques d’être tués par la police »

Reported Crime – Cincinnati – 25/07/2019 (by month),

Wellcome Open Research – 25/06/2019 « A systematic review of criminal recidivism rates worldwide, 3 years update – Denis Yuknenko, Seena Fazel, dept. of psychiatry, Oxford U.; Shivpriya Sridhar, U-North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC,

The Guardian – 23 Jun 2019 – ’It’s totally unfair: Chicago, where the rich live 30 years longer than the poor » – (Blancs: ± 90 ans, Noirs, ± 60 ans),

NBC News – 11/03/2019 « White parents are enabling school segregation if it doesn’ hurt their own kids »,Seattle and King County –

Public health – March 2019 « Firearm deaths among residents of King County and Seattle, 2012-1016 »,Federal Justice Statistics, 2015-2016 – January 2019,

State of Connecticut – 2017 « Crime in Connecticut – Annual report of the Uniform Crime Reporting, Dept. of emergency services and public protection, Crimes analysis unit »,

FBI – Uniform Crime Report, 2016 « Crime in the United States »,UK Crime Statistics – Year 2014 « Race and criminal justice system.

Notes

1. Sur 2474 cas en 2016, dernières données disponibles; Cf. « Table 6, Disposition and case-processing time of defendants in cases terminated in US District Courts, FY 2016 ».

2. FBI – Uniform Crime Report – 2016 (compile les statistiques et données de 13 049 services de police divers, la population américaine étant cette année-là de ± 257 113 000 individus. Le tableau ici considéré est « Table 21 – Arrests by race and ethnicity ».

3. – Homicides… coups & blessures ayant entraîné la mort… viols… vols avec armes ou vols violents. Dans tous les cas, il s’agit bien sûr des infractions connues des autorités, hors « chiffre noir ».

4. Nous avons choisi cet échantillon plutôt au nord des États-Unis, les données de sa part méridionale étant parfois encore entachées de tropismes « sudistes ». Au nord, nous avons pris des États et villes à léquilibre racial très divers (de 10% à majorité de Noirs), pour donner une vision large du problème.

5. Federal Justice Statistics – Table 5 – Demographic characteristics of defendants charged in US Federal District court, Fiscal Year 2016 – race or hispanic origin (caractéristiques démographiques des inculpés par une cour fédérale de justice US).

Voir aussi:

Interview

« Non, les flics américains ne sont pas racistes »
Heather Mac Donald, spécialiste de la police et auteur de War on Cops (« Guerre contre les flics », 2016) pourfend la bien-pensance.
Propos recueillis par Axel Gyldén
L’Express
14/03/2017

Que dire du tweet de Trump sur la criminalité à Chicago?

Heather Mac Donald. J’applaudis. Trump est le seul à attirer l’attention sur cette violence qui touche majoritairement les Noirs. Cela dit, il surestime le rôle du gouvernement fédéral dans la lutte contre le crime. La police est avant tout une affaire locale.

La police est-elle raciste?

H. M. D. 26% des personnes tuées par la police aux Etats-Unis sont des Afro-Américains, alors qu’ils ne représentent que 13% de la population. Doit-on en déduire que les cops [flics] sont racistes? Non. Simplement, ils interviennent avant tout dans les quartiers en proie à la criminalité. Or c’est là que résident les minorités.

D’où un risque accru de confrontation avec la population noire ou latino. A Chicago, les Afro-Américains représentent un tiers de la population, mais sont responsables de 75% des fusillades. Ce n’est pas un jugement, juste une statistique.

L' »effet Ferguson », c’est quoi?

H. M. D. Depuis qu’un jeune Noir a été abattu par la police à Ferguson, en 2014, l’association Black Lives Matter « vend » l’idée que les policiers sont intrinsèquement racistes. Le débat est pollué par le tabou sur la criminalité noire. Alors sommes-nous autorisés à parler des victimes?

Les Blacks sont six fois plus souvent victimes d’homicides que les Blancs et les Latinos. En 2016, 20 enfants noirs ont été blessés ou tués à Chicago. S’ils avaient été blancs, le scandale aurait été énorme. Mais comme ce sont des Noirs tués par des Noirs, tout le monde s’en fiche…

Voir également:

Crimes et abus policiers : ce que disent les statistiques ethniques aux États-Unis

DÉCRYPTAGE – Le mouvement «Black Lives Matter» fonde ses accusations contre les forces de l’ordre sur une analyse biaisée de la délinquance américaine.

Luc Lenoir
Le Figaro
9 juin 2020

Les «cops» américains devront-ils, comme les manifestants, mettre un genou à terre? Ces derniers jours, de nombreux médias ont analysé les données concernant la probabilité d’un homicide policier en fonction de la race de la victime, les statistiques ethniques étant autorisées aux États-Unis. Avec un verdict terrible selon eux : les Noirs auraient de grands risques de mourir d’une balle de police, tandis que les Blancs jouiraient au contraire d’un «privilège» en la matière, comme dans d’autres domaines. Mais peu se sont intéressés à l’analyse de la criminalité, qui donne pourtant logiquement des clés pour juger plus finement du comportement des forces de l’ordre. En jeu, l’accusation par le mouvement Black Lives Matter d’un «racisme systémique» des forces de police américaines.

Dans une note publiée par le portail Cairn en février dernier, le criminologue Xavier Raufer revenait en détail sur les «crimes graves» («serious crimes») constatés outre-atlantique : homicides, coups et blessures ayant entraîné la mort, viols, vols avec armes ou vols violents. Sans négliger les difficultés de certaines communautés afro-américaines, et soulignant d’abord l’état d’«apartheid» dans lequel se trouve le pays, Xavier Raufer souligne une surreprésentation manifeste «des Noirs dans les statistiques criminelles américaines», constat obligatoire pour comprendre ensuite la situation policière du pays. Sur les 408.873 arrestations pour «serious crime» en 2016, 241.063 prévenus se définissaient blancs ou hispaniques, et 153.341 Afro-Américains. Une proportion de 37,5% du total, supérieure aux 13,3% d’Afro-Américains recensés dans la population américaine.

Rapportés à la population, les membres déclarés ou se disant Afro-Américains ont donc davantage de risque de tomber dans la criminalité et d’être arrêtés pour cela (la relation entre mise en cause et culpabilité finale étant avérée dans 91,2% des cas, selon la justice américaine). Dans l’Illinois, les Noirs représentent ainsi 14% de la population, mais 66% des mis en cause pour homicide en 2017. À Seattle et dans le comté de King, on dénombre 6% de Noirs mais 56% parmi les inculpés pour crime. À Pittsburgh, où Xavier Raufer souligne que trois des cinq derniers chefs du Police Department sont eux-mêmes Afro-Américains, il y a 26% de Noirs dans la ville, mais sur les 58 homicides en 2018, 24 inculpés sont noirs contre 7 blancs.

Loin de conclure à une délinquance «des Noirs» sui generis, Xavier Raufer souligne auprès du Figaro que le premier constat préoccupant est celui d’une criminalité touchant principalement les… Afro-Américains : «90% des meurtres de Noirs sont commis par d’autres Noirs, là est le vrai drame!». Concernant le conflit qui oppose les manifestants du mouvement Black Lives Matter à la police, le directeur d’étude au CNAM rétorque que le climat général de violence aux États-Unis concerne toutes les communautés: «A la violence extrême des délinquants répond celle des policiers, brutaux envers tout le monde sans distinction. C’est la violence globale de ce pays qui est à prendre en compte : n’importe quel retraité de 75 ans peut sortir une arme lors d’un contrôle!» Xavier Raufer insiste toutefois sur la culture de violence qui imprègne certaines communautés noires des grandes agglomérations : «écoutez le Drill, la musique des gangs juvéniles ethniques des États-Unis. Ce sont des appels au meurtre par des rappeurs rendus fous par un usage massif d’alcool et de Concentrate (marijuana ultra-puissante). Tels sont les angelots qu’affrontent au quotidien les polices des métropoles américaines».

La police tue-t-elle certains prévenus plus que d’autres?

Mais ces derniers représentent-ils l’ensemble des Noirs arrêtés? La surreprésentation statistique suffit-elle pour donner un blanc-seing à la police, quand elle tue un prévenu? On peut ici comparer l’ethnie des personnes tuées par la police, pour vérifier si telle ou telle communauté est particulièrement visée. Les Blancs et Hispaniques représentent par exemple 58,9% des personnes arrêtées pour «crime grave». Les mêmes couleurs de peau constituent 56,7% des personnes tuées par la police, selon les données du portail statistique Statista, compilant quatre années jusqu’à juin 2020*. Les pourcentages sont proches, tendant à indiquer que les drames lors d’arrestations ne concernent pas spécifiquement les personnes de ces deux ethnies. Les Afro-Américains constituent quant à eux 37,5% des prévenus pour crime grave, et 22,1% des personnes que la police a tuées en voulant procéder à leur arrestation. Le pourcentage de victimes de police est donc plus faible chez les Afro-Américains, par rapport à leur proportion lors des arrestations.

Bien sûr, les tirs létaux par les forces de l’ordre recouvrent des situations très différentes (bavures, individus armés ou non, etc.). Nul ne saurait déduire, à l’aune de ces pourcentages, à l’innocence ou la culpabilité présumée d’un policier tueur. Mais si l’on s’en tient aux chiffres de la criminalité et des arrestations, il semble difficile de conclure à un quelconque racisme systémique de la part des forces de l’ordre américaines.

Une conclusion partagée par la spécialiste Heather MacDonald (chercheuse et auteur du best-seller War on Cops – La Guerre aux Flics, 2016), dans un article du Wall Street Journal. La chercheuse du Manhattan Institute prend appui sur une analyse judiciaire des données de la police de Philadelphie, ayant établi en 2015 que les policiers blancs étaient moins susceptibles de tirer sur des suspects noirs non-armés que leurs collègues noirs et hispaniques. D’autres études vont en ce sens, comme celle de l’économiste d’Harvard Roland G. Fryer qui concluait en 2016 (puis à nouveau en 2018) à l’absence de preuves d’une «discrimination raciale lors des tirs de police».

Une désescalade de la violence est-elle possible?

Pour Heather MacDonald, «toutes les analyses contraires oublient de prendre en compte les taux de crime et le comportement des civils, avant et pendant les interactions avec la police». Et d’appeler au calme : «Les policiers de Minneapolis qui ont arrêté George Floyd doivent répondre de leur utilisation disproportionnée de la force et de leur indifférence cruelle à sa détresse. Les entraînements de police doivent mettre les bouchées doubles sur les tactiques de désescalade». Un constat partagé par Xavier Raufer, qui entrevoit quelques solutions techniques: «Il faudrait engager un dialogue, ne serait-ce que sur le maintien de l’ordre. Interroger les criminels, comprendre ce qui les a fait se tenir tranquille ou sortir de leurs gonds lors de leur arrestation, et adapter les techniques comportementales de la police.» Suffisant pour faire l’économie d’une vraie réflexion sur les divisions communautaires américaines? «Certainement pas», s’inquiète toutefois l’essayiste français, en écho à la conclusion de son homologue américaine : «la mort de Floyd ne doit pas saper la légitimité du maintien de l’ordre aux États-Unis, sans quoi nous continuerons sur un chemin vers le chaos».


*Les chiffres des arrestations datent de 2016, tandis que ceux des tués par la police sont établis entre 2017 et 2020. Néanmoins, les tendances de criminalité par ethnies n’ont pas changé sur l’ensemble de la période.

Voir de même:

Alain Finkielkraut: « La honte d’être blanc a supplanté la mauvaise conscience bourgeoise »

GRAND ENTRETIEN – Le philosophe voit dans l’actualité qui a suivi la mort de George Floyd le déploiement d’un nouvel antiracisme qui tient moins à promouvoir l’égale dignité des personnes qu’à déconstruire l’hégémonie occidentale dans les pays occidentaux eux-mêmes.

Eugénie Bastié
10 juin 2020

Les images terribles de la mort de George Floyd, tué par un policier américain blanc, ont fait le tour du monde. L’émotion légitime s’est transformée en une «frénésie mimétique» ne tenant plus compte du réel, argumente cependant le philosophe*, qui met en garde contre l’importation de problématiques américaines dans notre pays à l’histoire bien différente. La dénonciation d’un «racisme systémique» et de violences policières racistes oublie que «dans les quartiers dits populaires, ce sont les policiers qui ont peur».

Alain Finkielkraut voit dans le moment présent le déploiement d’un nouvel antiracisme qui tient moins à promouvoir l’égale dignité des personnes qu’à déconstruire l’hégémonie occidentale dans les pays occidentaux eux-mêmes. La notion de «privilège blanc» est une forme d’ «autoracisme» qui perpétue, sous une nouvelle forme, la mauvaise conscience de la classe bourgeoise.

LE FIGARO. – L’homicide de George Floyd par un policier américain, qui a été filmé, a déclenché des émeutes partout aux États-Unis. En réponse, Donald Trump a annoncé sa volonté de rétablir «la loi et l’ordre». Que vous inspire cette Amérique à feu et à sang?

Alain FINKIELKRAUT. – Ce qui nous distingue des hommes d’autrefois, c’est que nous sommes devenus des spectateurs. Nous voyons les événements dont nos prédécesseurs prenaient connaissance par le récit oral ou par la lecture. Ce «nous» ne souffre plus guère d’exceptions: où que nous habitions, nous sommes, par la grâce de l’écran, aux premières loges. L’image de George Floyd méthodiquement asphyxié par un policier de Minneapolis a fait le tour du monde et elle est insoutenable. «I can’t breathe», haletait, suppliant, l’homme noir, tandis que son bourreau blanc, imperturbable et même arrogant, appuyait le genou sur sa nuque jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive. Je comprends les Américains qui sont spontanément descendus dans la rue pour exprimer leur dégoût, leur honte et leur colère. Mais je me pose aussi cette question: la vérité de l’Amérique est-elle tout entière déductible de cette image?

La question noire demeure la grande tragédie de l’histoire américaine, mais elle ne se résume pas à l’assassinat de George Floyd

L’émotion doit inspirer la réflexion, mais elle ne peut pas dispenser de la connaissance. Car il y a les chiffres: selon la base de données du Washington Post, deux fois plus de Blancs (2416) que de Noirs (1263) ont été tués par la police depuis le 1er janvier 2015. Certes, comme le souligne très justement le journal Libération, le rapport s’inverse totalement en proportion de la population: les Noirs représentent 13 % de la population américaine, et les Blancs 76 %. Mais dans ce pays où les policiers ont la gâchette d’autant plus facile que les armes sont partout, on ne saurait parler d’un «racisme systémique» ou structurel des forces de l’ordre. Il y a aussi l’histoire: la guerre de Sécession, le mouvement des droits civiques qui a aboli la ségrégation, l’Affirmative Action dans les universités pour asseoir dans les faits l’égalité formelle des droits, l’apologie des minorités par le politiquement correct, les deux mandats à la Maison-Blanche de Barack Obama.

Il y a enfin ces autres images: le maire afro-américain de Houston annonçant les obsèques dans sa ville de George Floyd ou encore la maire afro-américaine d’Atlanta apostrophant avec véhémence les émeutiers qui discréditaient la protestation par le pillage des magasins de vêtements ou de matériel informatique. Des élus noirs dirigent aujourd’hui deux anciens bastions du ségrégationnisme. Les suprémacistes ont bien perçu ce grand basculement: s’ils sortent aujourd’hui du bois, s’ils hurlent «You will not replace us!», c’est qu’ils craignent de voir l’Amérique leur échapper et de devenir tôt ou tard minoritaires. Ces apeurés forment le cœur de l’électorat de Donald Trump. Et celui-ci, au lieu de parler à la nation tout entière, s’adresse en priorité à eux. Il trahit, en jetant ainsi de l’huile sur le feu, sa mission présidentielle.

La question noire demeure la grande tragédie de l’histoire américaine, mais elle ne se résume pas à l’assassinat de George Floyd.

La crise aux États-Unis a occasionné en France un regain de la dénonciation des violences policières racistes à l’égard des minorités, s’appuyant notamment sur le cas d’Adama Traoré. Faut-il s’inquiéter de l’importation en France des problématiques américaines?

Saisis d’une véritable frénésie mimétique, des manifestants, à Paris et dans la plupart des villes françaises, brandissent les mêmes pancartes qu’en Amérique: «I can’t breathe», «No Justice, no Peace», «Black Lives Matter». Il y a certes des racistes dans la police et ils doivent être sévèrement sanctionnés, car, forts du pouvoir que leur confère l’uniforme, ils ne se privent pas de harceler et de nuire. Sur ce point, le ministre de l’Intérieur a raison: on ne saurait tolérer l’intolérable.

Mais il faut être d’une insigne mauvaise foi pour en conclure que la police dans notre pays exerce une terreur raciste sur les populations issues de l’immigration africaine ou maghrébine. La réalité, en effet, est tout autre. Dans les quartiers dits populaires, ce sont les policiers qui ont peur: ils sont attirés, comme les pompiers dans des guets-apens, victimes de tirs de mortiers, attaqués à coups de barres de fer, de jets de pierre du haut des toits, ou de plaques d’égouts du haut des passerelles. Lorsque en 2007, à Villiers-le-Bel, des «jeunes» ont tiré sur eux à balles réelles, ils n’ont pas riposté. Résultat: des dizaines de blessés parmi les policiers, aucun parmi les manifestants. Hantée par les émeutes de 2005 qui ont embrasé le pays, leur hiérarchie demande aux hommes de terrain de tout faire pour éviter l’accident ou la bavure: tout faire, c’est-à-dire ne rien faire contre les rodéos urbains ou les matchs de foot sauvages dans les dernières semaines du confinement. Ce qui caractérise notre temps, ce n’est pas l’omniprésence et l’omnipotence de l’État policier, c’est la faiblesse et la démission de l’État dans ce qu’on n’appelle pas pour rien les territoires perdus de la République.

L’aptitude des êtres humains à se raconter des histoires et à se croire autres qu’ils ne sont, est sans limite

Et puis enfin, si racisme institutionnel il y avait, les manifestants crieraient-ils «policiers assassins!» au nez et à la barbe des forces de l’ordre? Si l’État était autoritaire, ou simplement s’il faisait respecter ses lois, des clandestins défileraient-ils dans Paris sans craindre d’être mis en garde à vue, ni a fortiori renvoyés manu militari dans leur pays d’origine? S’ils ne jouissaient pas d’une totale impunité, des rappeurs raconteraient-ils comment Brigitte, femme de flic, se fait gaiement «éclaté la teush» par «tous les jeunes de la cité» ?

L’aptitude des êtres humains à se raconter des histoires et à se croire autres qu’ils ne sont, est sans limite. Sous l’effet d’un meurtre atroce commis à Minneapolis, Minnesota, on interviewe avec déférence le membre du groupe La Rumeur qui évoquait, en 2002 «les centaines de nos frères abattus par les forces de police sans qu’aucun des assassins n’ait été inquiété», et on en vient à prendre pour argent comptant la déclaration éhontée de la chanteuse Camélia Jordana: «Il y a des milliers de personnes qui ne se sentent pas en sécurité face à un flic, et j’en fais partie. Je ne parle pas des manifestants, mais des hommes et des femmes qui vont travailler tous les matins en banlieue qui se font massacrer pour nulle autre raison que leur couleur de peau.» Des violences policières ont certes émaillé l’année 2019, en réponse à la violence extrême de certains manifestants. Mais qui visaient-elles? Qui ont-elles mutilé ou éborgné? Des «gilets jaunes», c’est-à-dire des Français d’origine française, gentiment désignés sous le nom de «souchiens» par la porte-parole des Indigènes de la République.

Vous avez écrit que l’antiracisme serait «le communisme du XXIe siècle». Cela explique-t-il pourquoi une large partie de l’intelligentsia se rue vers ce nouvel opium?

À l’image de ce qui se passe à Yale, à Columbia ou à Berkeley, la civilisation occidentale est désormais sur la sellette dans la plupart des universités du Vieux Continent. Les Dead White European Males sont pointés du doigt. D’eux et de leur culture vient tout le mal qui s’est répandu sur la terre: l’esclavage, le colonialisme, le sexisme et la LGBTphobie. Étudier cette culture, c’est désormais la mettre en accusation, la déconstruire, ruiner son prestige, pour permettre aux minorités de retrouver leur fierté et à la diversité culturelle de s’épanouir sans entraves. D’où l’écho rencontré par la mort de George Floyd, à Paris, aussi bien qu’à Stockholm ou à Montréal.

Combattre l’hégémonie occidentale à l’intérieur même de l’Occident : tel est l’objectif que s’assigne le nouvel antiracisme

Les nouvelles générations ont cru reconnaître dans le flegme féroce de l’assassin le visage de l’Occident qu’ils avaient appris à honnir. Mathieu Bock-Côté rappelle dans son dernier livre, que des étudiants du King’s College de Londres, ayant dénoncé «la collection d’hommes blancs de plus de 50 ans portant la barbe» qui formait le grand statuaire à la porte de l’établissement, celui-ci a été remplacé par «un statuaire conforme à l’idéologie diversitaire». Et dans un article de David Haziza, j’apprends que les élèves les plus avancés de Columbia proclamaient tout récemment qu’il fallait en finir avec un programme d’enseignement dont la blanchité, à les en croire, expliquait la persistance des meurtres racistes.

Combattre l’hégémonie occidentale à l’intérieur même de l’Occident: tel est, par-delà la révolte contre les violences policières, l’objectif que s’assigne le nouvel antiracisme.

Le XXe siècle et son cortège sanglant semblait avoir fait disparaître la question de la race, au profit de l’utopie cosmopolite. Comment expliquer que celle-ci ait fait son grand retour dans le débat public? L’antiracisme est-il devenu fou?

L’antiracisme n’est plus, hélas, la défense de l’égale dignité des personnes, mais une idéologie, une vision du monde. Dans cette vision, les traites négrières non occidentales n’ont pas leur place, ni l’antisémitisme arabo-musulman, ni celui d’une partie de la communauté noire américaine, ni les manifestations de Chinois et de Vietnamiens de Paris contre des insultes et des agressions où les Blancs n’avaient aucune part. Le raciste devient celui qui voit ce qu’il voit au lieu de fermer les yeux sur le scandale de l’impensable. Entre la réalité et le système idéologique, on a intérêt, pour ne pas être frappé d’infamie, à choisir le système.

L’antiracisme s’est donc transformé de fond en comble et l’hospitalité a changé de sens: à l’heure de la grande migration, il ne s’agit plus d’accueillir les nouveaux venus en les intégrant dans la civilisation européenne, il s’agit d’exposer les tares de cette civilisation pour rendre justice à ceux qu’elle a si longtemps traités par le mépris et exploités sans vergogne.

On voit de plus en plus de «Blancs» s’excuser pour leurs «privilèges». Que vous inspire ce phénomène? Que sous-entend la notion de «racisme systémique»?

La mauvaise conscience bourgeoise a conduit un grand nombre d’intellectuels à se ranger dans le camp de la classe ouvrière. Ils expiaient ainsi leurs privilèges et trouvaient une rédemption dans le combat pour l’égalité. Dans la gauche radicale d’aujourd’hui, la honte d’être blanc a supplanté la mauvaise conscience bourgeoise mais ce privilège-là colle à la peau. La honte est donc inexpiable. Pour elle, il n’y a pas de rédemption. Et ceux qu’elle affecte mettent un point d’honneur à rester confinés à la date où leur université célèbre la disparition des Blancs de l’espace public en organisant pour eux, ou plutôt contre eux, une «journée d’absence». Le soupçon de condescendance entachant toutes leurs paroles et toutes leurs actions, ils n’ont d’autres issues que de se taire, de s’effacer, ou de réciter indéfiniment le catéchisme qui les condamne. Cet autoracisme est la pathologie la plus consternante et la plus grotesque de notre époque.

Pendant plusieurs mois les guerres culturelles et identitaires semblaient avoir été suspendues par la crise du coronavirus, mais elles repartent de plus belle… Est-ce le signe que rien n’a vraiment changé?

On parle beaucoup, depuis le début de la pandémie, du monde d’avant et du monde d’après. Mais on oublie, en annonçant cette grande césure, que le monde d’avant était déjà très engagé dans la liquidation culturelle du vieux monde. À la sortie du confinement, le processus se poursuit, et même s’accélère.

* De l’Académie française. Dernier ouvrage paru: À la première personne (Gallimard, 2019).

Voir de plus:

Raphaël Enthoven : « On ne corrige pas le racisme en inversant le rapport de force »

« Racisme systémique », « privilège blanc », comité Adama, Despentes… Le philosophe analyse comment « la guerre des races a remplacé, à gauche, la guerre des classes ».
Propos recueillis par Thomas Mahler

L’Express : « Hourra ! Le peuple des Etats-Unis est en ébullition » a salué Jean-Luc Mélenchon sur son site, avant de se réjouir d’une « gilet-jaunisation (…) entrée au coeur de l’Empire ». Peut-on se féliciter d’une telle situation après la mort de George Floyd ?

Raphaël Enthoven : Comme souvent, les tribunes de Mélenchon renseignent sur l’humeur du tribun, plus que sur l’état du monde. Or, son humeur est la même depuis 2017. Mauvaise. Ronchon Mélenchon. A dire vrai, en trois ans, après avoir dilapidé d’un coup son capital de sympathie en se prenant pour la République au lieu de se soumettre à la loi, Saint-Jean-Luc est passé de la mauvaise humeur à l’humeur mauvaise de celui qui, voyant s’éloigner l’horizon de sa gloire, se trouve réduit, faute d’incarner l’avenir, à prédire l’apocalypse, applaudir la sédition, défendre des factieux, dénoncer des complots imaginaires, cracher sur des élus, justifier la violence illégitime et répandre, de sa plume, autant qu’il peut, les gouttes d’huile qui lui restent sur un feu dont il n’espère même plus tirer les marrons…

Certains politiques entrent dans l’Histoire parce qu’après avoir accompli de grandes choses, ils sont partis au bon moment. D’autres, à l’inverse, accèdent à la postérité parce qu’après avoir tout échoué, ils persistent à s’accrocher au manche et s’éteignent de leur vivant. Il n’est pas dit que les seconds soient moins légendaires que les premiers. On aurait pu se souvenir de Mélenchon comme d’un héros de la République (parmi d’autres) et il restera comme un avatar (parmi d’autres) de Pierre Poujade ou du général Boulanger. C’est déjà ça.

« Take a knee » est d’abord le geste de Martin Luther King qui prit le temps de la prière, aux cotés d’autres défenseurs des droits civils, le 1er février 1965, devant le Palais de Justice du Comté de Dallas (Alabama). Et il est essentiel de rappeler qu’il prie à cet instant. Autrement dit : qu’il ne se soumet qu’à Dieu. Car en cela, sa révolte est d’abord un amour, son humilité est un courage et sa génuflexion n’est qu’une meilleure façon de redresser la tête. Qui s’agenouille devant Dieu sait aussi s’insurger contre le mal que l’homme fait à l’homme : « Au coeur de ma révolte, écrivait Camus, dormait un consentement.  » Au-delà des lois iniques, et d’une justice humaine qui croit se bander les yeux alors qu’elle est aveugle, il y a LA Justice, et le sentiment d’obéir à la nécessité quand on se décide à changer le monde. C’est en consentant à LA justice (divine) que Martin Luther King trouve la force de s’opposer à l’injustice légale. Camus encore (en substance) : c’est parce qu’il dit oui que l’homme révolté est en mesure de dire non. Le geste de Martin Luther King est la belle version d’Antigone (qui refuse la loi des hommes et se sacrifie au nom d’une loi supérieure, en bravant l’injuste interdiction d’enterrer son frère) : sa foi est, pour le meilleur, la source vive d’un courage qui défie l’injustice, qu’aucune menace n’intimide et qu’aucune police n’ébranle.

C’est dans ce sillage, sublime, que s’inscrit Colin Kaepernic qui, aux dépens de sa carrière, choisit (lors d’un match de préparation de la NFL) de s’agenouiller pendant l’hymne américain. La colère dont il témoigne est aux antipodes de la haine : « Je ne suis pas antiaméricain. J’aime les Etats-Unis (…) Je veux aider à rendre l’Amérique meilleure. » En somme, Kaepernic refuse d’aimer son pays aux dépens de la justice elle-même. Camus, toujours : dans les Lettres à un ami allemand, le philosophe écrit « je voudrais pouvoir aimer mon pays tout en aimant la justice. Je ne veux pas pour lui de n’importe quelle grandeur, fût-ce celle du sang ou du mensonge. C’est en faisant vivre la justice que je veux le faire vivre.  » De fait, c’est mal aimer son pays que d’en gommer les infamies. C’est trahir sa nation que d’en masquer les crimes. Tout comme Martin Luther King affirmait paradoxalement la liberté en s’agenouillant devant Dieu, Kaepernic défend paradoxalement son pays en dénonçant ses crimes et en s’inclinant devant ses victimes. Son patriotisme est, à tous égards, plus respectable (et plus aimant) que les érections patriotiques d’un président qui croit défendre son pays quand il veut « virer » les « fils de pute » qui osent le critiquer.

C’est le même amour de son pays, exigeant et soucieux de justice, qui porta Willy Brandt à s’agenouiller devant le Mémorial du Ghetto de Varsovie en demandant pardon pour les crimes de l’Allemagne pendant la seconde guerre mondiale. A ceci près que, tout comme les policiers américains qui, depuis quelques jours, à travers tout le pays, se mettent à genoux devant les manifestants, le chancelier ouest-allemand s’agenouillait en qualité de « responsable » et non plus de victime.

Aucun Blanc n’est responsable, en tant que Blanc, du crime raciste d’un autre Blanc

Et faites-vous une différence entre les génuflexions de Martin Luther King, de Kaepernic, de Willy Brandt ou des policiers américains, et celle des Blancs qui ont cru bon de s’agenouiller devant les Noirs de leur quartier (ou de leur immeuble) pour leur demander pardon ?

La différence est considérable. Qu’un athlète se sente responsable des injustices dont son statut le préserve, qu’un chancelier se sente responsable des atrocités commises par ses prédécesseurs nazis (et néanmoins élus), qu’un policier ait honte, en tant que policier, de voir un collègue assassiner un homme dans la rue, c’est une évidence. Dans les trois cas, la génuflexion est une élévation, une extension du domaine de la responsabilité aux hommes qui savent souffrir des douleurs qu’ils n’ont pas infligées ou qui leur ont été épargnées.

Mais qu’un Blanc ait honte, en qualité de Blanc, du crime raciste d’un autre Blanc, c’est une connerie. Pour une raison simple : on ne choisit pas la couleur de sa peau. Et, à moins d’avoir joui sans s’en indigner, en tant que Blanc, des privilèges d’une loi raciale (ce qu’on peut dire de certains Afrikaners ou de certains Américains jusque dans les années 60), aucun Blanc n’est responsable, en tant que Blanc, du crime raciste d’un autre Blanc. Il n’y a pas lieu de demander pardon à qui que ce soit, à ce titre.

Pour autant, ceux qui voient là-dedans du « racisme inversé » vont trop vite en besogne. Car l’Histoire existe, et elle doit peser dans l’évaluation d’une image : on ne peut pas mettre sur le même plan des Blancs qui s’agenouillent devant des Noirs et des Noirs qui s’agenouillent devant des Blancs. Des siècles d’esclavage et de tortures ne sont pas comparables à ce genre de cérémonies qui s’achèvent en général par une prière commune, où tout le monde est à genoux. Reste que, sans être le reflet des Noirs que leurs esclavagistes mettaient à genoux, les Blancs pénitents offrent une image détestable, dont la hideur saute aux yeux quand on la dépouille de ses bons sentiments.

C’est-à-dire ?

Que font des Blancs qui s’agenouillent devant des Noirs pour leur demander pardon ? Ils se reprochent d’avoir jusque-là bénéficié, à leur insu, de droits qui étaient refusés à leurs frères de couleur. Or, ces « droits », s’il existent, ne sont pas légaux. La ségrégation est révolue depuis longtemps aux Etats-Unis. Les « droits » dont ils parlent sont des usages, des moeurs, des pratiques et toutes les manies d’une société dont les couleurs se sont toujours vécues comme séparables. Il y a peut-être tout à changer dans la société américaine, mais il n’y a rien à abolir ici. L’ennemi n’est pas une loi. L’ennemi est une attitude. Et contrairement à une loi injuste qu’on peut abroger, une attitude est indéfiniment renouvelable. Il y aura toujours des Blancs racistes et des flics violents. De sorte que le sentiment d’un « racisme systémique » trouvera toujours, dans une sortie déplorable ou dans un crime abject, une raison d’être et de s’enflammer. Pour le dire autrement : la faute dont les « Blancs » croient endosser le fardeau est très exactement insoluble. Elle ne se dissout pas dans un changement qu’on pourrait identifier et qui permettrait de passer à autre chose. Au Blanc qu’on accuse (ou qui s’accuse) en tant que blanc d’être le complice de l’oppression systémique des noirs, aucune rédemption n’est promise. La plainte est infinie.

Comment pouvez-vous dire qu’aucune rédemption n’est promise, alors que l’enjeu est précisément de demander et d’obtenir le pardon des Noirs ?

Que font des Noirs qui reçoivent, debout, les supplications et les macérations de leurs frères blancs ? Et qui accordent leur pardon à des gens dont le crime n’est pas d’être coupables mais d’être blancs ? Ils accréditent l’idée que leur couleur est une faute. Ils se conduisent comme les gens qui disent « je ne déteste pas les homosexuels puisque j’ai en moi une grande faculté de pardon » (Christine Boutin). Le but d’un tel pardon n’est pas le pardon. Le but d’un tel « pardon » est d’étendre la culpabilité à l’infini, d’ancrer l’idée que la couleur des autres est une faute universelle (pour le dire comme l’impitoyable loup de La Fontaine : « Si ce n’est toi, c’est donc ton frère. – Je n’en ai point. – C’est donc quelqu’un des tiens… ») et d’ajouter à la misère du pénitent la splendeur de leur propre clémence. Qui dit « je te pardonne » au type qui n’est pas coupable ne pardonne rien du tout, mais fabrique de toutes pièces une culpabilité infinie dont lui seul, par la grâce du pardon qu’il adore accorder, se trouve créditeur.

Donc, c’est une inversion du rapport de forces, qui ne résout pas le problème ?

Pas seulement. Dans ce combat déguisé en déclaration d’amour, les pénitents blancs n’ont pas dit leur dernier mot. Car de même qu’on écrase celui qu’on pardonne, on continue de traiter en enfant celui dont on implore le pardon. Que laissent-ils entendre, ces gentils blancs, en se sentant eux-mêmes coupables des crimes d’un autre blanc ? Qu’ils sont encore, en tant que blancs, responsables des malheurs de la communauté noire, qu’en somme ils sont de mauvais maîtres dont les anciennes victimes ont raison de se sentir irresponsables. Sous la génuflexion des Blancs, c’est la condescendance qui s’exprime. Sous cette pénitence monocolore, c’est encore le paternalisme qui parle. Bref, sous le spectacle merveilleux de gens qui se promettent de s’aimer, sous la contrition des repentants qui reçoivent l’absolution des mains de leurs victimes présumées, on assiste en vérité à la continuation de la guerre, sous d’autres formes, entre des communautés qui se prennent pour des identités. Toutes les conditions de la haine sont réunies dans cette image irénique. Tous les éléments du problème se trouvent à vif dans ce moment qui se vit comme une solution. En tout cas, on est bien loin de Martin Luther King, de sa génuflexion libératrice et, surtout, de « l’armée bi-raciale » qu’il appelle de ses voeux…

Chaque fois qu’un comité mélange les termes de « justice » et de « vérité », c’est que la vérité lui déplaît…

Le comité Adama a importé l’émotion suscitée par la mort de George Floyd en organisant une manifestation de 20 000 personnes devant le Palais de Justice, interdite pour des motifs sanitaires. Au-delà des cas distincts d’Adama Traoré et George Floyd, les situations en France et aux Etats-Unis sont-elles comparables ?

Il faut faire la différence entre les gens qui, de bonne foi, redoutent que la France ne devienne l’Amérique, et défilent (à bon droit) dans le but de conjurer cette possibilité, et certains organisateurs de la manifestation qui, en toute mauvaise foi, aimeraient que ce soit le cas, et rêvent que les situations soient identiques. Car elles ne le sont pas.

D’abord, quoiqu’on pense du « plaquage ventral », en l’absence d’images, et face à des expertises contradictoires, nul n’est en mesure, techniquement, à l’heure où nous discutons, d’affirmer qu’Adama Traoré a subi un sort comparable au martyre de George Floyd. Dans ces conditions, crier que c’est la « même chose », c’est faire offense à la mémoire des deux, en instrumentalisant la mort du premier, et en minorant, de fait, le calvaire du second.

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Mais surtout : même si c’était le cas, même si Adama Traoré était tombé, comme c’est arrivé à Malik Oussekine, sur des policiers manifestement meurtriers, il n’y aurait pas moins de différences entre les Etats-Unis, où le communautarisme et l’attribution de droits spécifiques répondent au racisme (comme si le favoritisme rectifiait la haine, alors qu’il l’alimente), et notre sublime République, dont la raison d’être est de ne pas entrer dans ce jeu de miroirs, et dont la survie dépend de la capacité à ne pas céder à un engrenage où la haine répond à la haine, et l’identitarisme répond au racisme.

Le problème en France vient du fait qu’il existe objectivement des discriminations (sociales, morales et ethniques) à l’embauche, à la location ou à l’entrée des boîtes de nuit, mais que, comme par ailleurs, en République, sur le papier, « l’identité » sexuelle, religieuse ou ethnique n’est pas une sorte de handicap qui ouvre l’accès à des droits spécifiques, les gens qui sont victimes de discrimination ont l’impression – et en un sens à juste titre – que l’Etat les abandonne à leur sort. Et ils demandent à la loi de corriger ce qu’elle corrige déjà (mais qu’elle peine à rectifier en profondeur) en faisant du racisme un délit. En somme, ils demandent à la loi d’aller plus loin que l’affirmation abstraite de l’égalité entre tous les citoyens, pour s’en prendre à nos consciences de blancs et en extirper le racisme à la racine. Seulement, pour ce faire, pour qu’ils aient le sentiment que la loi s’attaque au « racisme systémique » en tuant nos « moeurs coloniales », il faudrait supprimer la présomption d’innocence, il faudrait systématiquement condamner pour racisme toute personne refusant un logement ou un emploi à une personne de couleur, imposer une parité sur fond de mélanine, et nantir légalement certains Français de privilèges qu’on refuserait aux autres. Bref, nous cesserions collectivement, et légalement, d’être libres et égaux. Comme tous les extrémismes dopés aux bons sentiments, ces adeptes croient démocratiser notre démocratie en la présentant comme un « Etat totalitaire et esclavagiste », alors qu’en demandant à la loi de corriger des consciences ou de réprimer des réflexes, c’est très exactement une dictature qu’ils appellent de leurs voeux.

Si la « communauté juive », par exemple, avait raisonné comme les manifestants du 2 juin, elle aurait vu dans les assassinats de Mireille Knoll, d’Ilan Halimi ou de Sarah Halimi l’expression d’un « antisémitisme systémique », et dans les atermoiements du Parquet la preuve qu’il n’y a aucune différence entre le régime de Vichy et la République. Or si, comme la négrophobie, l’antisémitisme est viscéral et éternel en France, il n’est pas douteux qu’il vaut mieux y être Juif (ou Noir) en 2020 qu’en 1940. Et que, si combat il y a, c’est un combat judiciaire et juridique qu’il faut mener. En France, l’antisémitisme est virulent, mais un policier juif n’est pas vu pour autant par d’autres Juifs comme un « vendu » qui travaille avec « l’Etat antisémite ».

Vous faites référence à la vidéo virale du policier noir que certains manifestants du 2 juin ont traité de « bounty » et de « vendu »…

Au début de son sketch sur le « CRS arabe », mimant un poivrot franchouillard, Coluche fait valoir qu’ « un bougnoule, c’est toujours un bougnoule, même en CRS ». Quelle différence avec les manifestants qui disent « Un flic, c’est toujours un flic, même noir » ? Comme, sous prétexte de « convergence des luttes », la guerre des races a remplacé, à gauche, la guerre des classes, la police qui a longtemps été présentée comme le bras armé d’un « Etat bourgeois » est devenue, aux yeux des mêmes et de leurs successeurs, le bras armé d’un « Etat raciste ». Un tel dogme a besoin d’un sophisme. Le sophisme est : il y a des crimes racistes dans la police française (ce qui est incontestable), donc LA police française est « systémiquement » raciste (ce qu’une grande majorité d’interpellations démentent). Un tel raisonnement n’est pas un raisonnement, mais l’érection illégitime de cas particuliers en une vérité générale et a priori qui ne voit dans les contre-exemples aucune objection mais qui, en revanche, à chaque drame, s’exclame « je vous l’avais bien dit ! »

En cela, il est symptomatique que le comité « Justice et vérité pour Adama » reprenne le nom du « Comité pour la vérité et la justice » crée par les maoïstes François Ewald et Serge July au moment de l’affaire de Bruay-en-Artois. Le but d’Ewald et July, à l’époque, était d’appeler au lynchage, et d’ancrer dans les consciences, à coup de témoignages de procès d’intention (« Il n’y a qu’un bourgeois pour faire ça ») et grâce aux sales méthodes du juge Pascal (qui, opposé au secret de l’instruction, diffusait les photos de l’arrestation du coupable présumé), le sentiment que le notaire Pierre Leroy était « par définition » le meurtrier de Brigitte Dewevre. Or, quel est le but du nouveau comité « vérité et justice » ? D’ancrer dans les consciences, à coup de manifestations aux slogans abstraits (« Pas de justice, pas de paix ! ») le sentiment que la police française est raciste et meurtrière. Chaque fois qu’un comité mélange les termes de « justice » et de « vérité », c’est que la vérité lui déplaît, et qu’il appelle « justice » l’autre vérité, la vérité qu’il exige, que cette « vérité » soit vraie ou non.

Reste qu’au-delà de sa sottise, le geste de traiter de collabo un flic noir est, de la part des manifestants, parfaitement contradictoire. Comment peuvent-ils déplorer la sous-représentation des Noirs dans les médias ou dans la fonction publique, tout en tenant un policier noir pour un vendu ou un « bounty » (noir dehors, blanc dedans) ? Là encore, le problème qu’ils posent est insoluble ! Comme une houle qui ne croise aucun récif, une telle plainte – qui laisse le choix entre le sentiment de ne pas être représenté et l’exclusion de ceux dont la carrière invalide ce sentiment – s’est arrangée pour ne rencontrer aucun obstacle sur le chemin de sa colère, et pour balayer comme autant d’apparences trompeuses et de trahisons discrètes l’ensemble des objections qu’elle reçoit.

On peut le comprendre : le problème des manifestants n’est pas que la France soit raciste. Leur problème est qu’elle ne l’est pas suffisamment. Et que, loin d’être l’avant-garde d’un monde meilleur, ils sont les fossoyeurs d’une démocratie qui n’a rien contre eux. On a tort, en cela, de qualifier de « débordements » les incidents qui ont émaillé ce rassemblement car, sans être planifiée bien sûr, la violence est inscrite dans l’esprit-même d’un telle manifestation. Pour une raison simple : celui qui manifeste contre un (imaginaire) « Etat raciste » ne vit pas sa propre violence comme un crime mais comme un geste libérateur. En réalité, plus que libératrice, la violence est créatrice. Comme le pardon du Noir au Blanc a aussi pour but de fabriquer l’éternelle culpabilité de ce dernier, la violence du manifestant ne sert qu’à témoigner de la violence qu’il a subie. Plus on casse des vitres, plus cela signifie qu’on est la victime d’un Etat raciste. Comme dit Virginie Despentes dans sa « Lettre à ses amis blancs » : « Comme si la violence ce n’était pas ce qui s’est passé le 19 juillet 2016. Comme si la violence ce n’était pas les frères de Assa Traoré emprisonnés… » C’est l’un des paradoxes, et pas le moindre, de l’hyper-démocratie victimaire où chacun voit ce qu’il veut : la violence réelle est masquée par la violence dont elle se prétend la conséquence… Pour le dire simplement : si je vous agresse, ça veut dire que VOUS êtes coupables et que JE suis victime, et que, pour cette raison, vous devez me comprendre avant de me juger, sous peine d’être un fasciste ! C’est parfait.

Virginie Despentes érige sa propre cécité en perception universelle

L’actrice et chanteuse Camélia Jordana avait déjà dénoncé les violences policières en expliquant que « des hommes et des femmes se font massacrer (par la police) quotidiennement en France, pour nulle autre raison que leur couleur de peau »…

Camelia Jordana n’a pas tort de dire qu’il arrive, en France, d’être massacré par la police pour « nulle autre raison que sa couleur de peau ». Car une telle chose est déjà arrivée. Et arrivera de nouveau. Rarement. En revanche, Madame Jordana a tout à tort, à mon avis, d’en faire une loi, et d’ériger de rares tragédies en considérations générales sur l’âme du flic Français. Le problème n’est pas ce qu’elle dit, mais la valeur de vérité absolue qu’elle donne à ce qui (en ce qui la concerne) n’est même pas un témoignage. Car ce faisant, tout comme les blancs pénitents ou les manifestants du 2 juin, elle raisonne à l’envers : son diagnostic n’est pas un diagnostic mais une vérité a priori qui, pour cette raison, se donne comme infalsifiable. Comment voulez-vous contredire un sentiment ? Comment voulez-vous dire qu’elle a tort à une personne qui prend son impression pour la règle ? Un sentiment qui se prend pour une vérité dégénère inévitablement en dogme. Et un dogme est immunisé contre les objections. En particulier un dogme bien-pensant qui, pour devancer les coups, présente toute objection comme une abjection : si vous dites que Camelia Jordana a tort, c’est que vous fermez les yeux sur la violence que vous ne subissez pas. Bing. Que répondre à ça ? Camelia Jordana s’est proposée de débattre avec le ministre de l’Intérieur en personne, mais elle n’a pas ouvert le débat, elle a tué le débat en le réduisant à la défense (ou l’attaque) d’une opinion péremptoire ! Si, dans les échanges qui ont suivi ce qu’elle a dit, chacun est resté fermement campé sur son catéchisme et, loin de dialoguer, les antipodes n’ont fait qu’affirmer leur détestation mutuelle, c’est que les conditions du débat étaient absentes du débat. Débattre, ce n’est pas présenter ce qu’on croit comme une vérité absolue, pour mettre les autres, ensuite, au défi de nous donner tort. Débattre, c’est douter de ce qu’on croit au point d’écouter un autre discours que le sien. Peine perdue.

Dans sa « Lettre adressée à mes amis blancs qui ne voient pas où est le problème… », Virginie Despentes a développé la notion de « privilège blanc » : « Car le privilège, c’est avoir le choix d’y penser, ou pas. Je ne peux pas oublier que je suis une femme. Mais je peux oublier que je suis blanche. Ça, c’est être blanche. Y penser, ou ne pas y penser, selon l’humeur ». Que pensez-vous de cette notion ?

Si Virginie Despentes se promène dans les rues de Dakar, Bamako ou Kingston, elle aura plus de mal à oublier qu’elle est blanche. Est-ce à dire que le Sénégal, le Mali ou la Jamaïque sont racistes ? Et que les Noirs y sont privilégiés ?

Il y a d’autres choses, plus intéressantes, dans sa lettre. D’abord, cette phrase en apparence absurde : « En France nous ne sommes pas racistes mais je ne me souviens pas avoir jamais vu un homme noir ministre. » Les gens qui lui ont répondu en dressant la liste de tous ceux, de Gaston Monerville à Sibeth N’Diaye, dont le parcours contredit Virginie Despentes, commettent deux erreurs. La première est de rentrer dans son jeu, et de compter les noirs ministres (comme on compte les noirs à la télé, ou à la cérémonie des Césars), autrement dit : de transformer la couleur en critère d’évaluation. L’autre erreur est de la prendre au sérieux. Virginie Despentes n’est pas née demain. Elle sait très bien qu’il y a eu et qu’il y a des ministres « noirs » dans un pays où la couleur n’est pas une compétence. Seulement, elle ne les « voit » pas. La couleur de leur peau est masquée par leur costume républicain. Pour le dire simplement : puisqu’être noir empêche d’être ministre dans notre « France raciste », alors en devenant ministre, un noir cesse d’être noir. Comme le jour et la nuit, la fonction de ministre et la noirceur de la peau s’excluent aux yeux de la manichéo-daltonienne. On ne peut pas être l’un et l’autre. En cela, Virginie Despentes est bien fondée à dire qu’elle n’a « jamais vu » de ministre noir. Son erreur n’est pas de dire ce qu’elle sent, mais, comme Camelia Jordana, d’ériger sa propre cécité en perception universelle.

L’autre chose passionnante de cette lettre (dont je m’indigne que son auteure ne l’ait pas rédigée en écriture inclusive), c’est la comparaison qu’ose l’écrivaine entre Assa Traoré et Antigone. A première vue, elle n’a pas tort. Comme Antigone (qui brave la loi pour ensevelir son frère Polynice), Assa Traoré brave les institutions pour honorer la mémoire de son frère, le « premier homme » (Adama). Sauf que les deux situations et les deux héroïnes ne sont pas comparables. Du tout. Polynice, frère d’Antigone, n’est pas une (possible) victime de la police mais la victime de son propre frère, Etéocle, avec qui il s’est entretué devant les murs de Thèbes. Et nul ne menace, jusqu’à nouvel ordre, de « murer vivante » Assa Traoré si elle persiste à contredire la dernière expertise en date, comme Antigone fut murée vivante pour avoir enseveli son frère malgré l’interdiction de son oncle Créon, le roi de Thèbes. Enfin, comme le rappelle Despentes, « Antigone n’est plus seule. Elle a levé une armée. La foule scande : Justice pour Adama…  » Mais Antigone à la tête d’une armée, ce n’est plus Antigone, c’est (peut-être) Créon !

« Qu’est-ce que j’en ai à foutre, moi, des Noirs ? disait Gary dans Chien Blanc. Ce sont des hommes comme les autres. Je ne suis pas raciste »

Ancienne directrice du Bondy Blog, Nassira El Moaddem s’est plainte à la suite de sa désinvitation d’un plateau de télévision parce qu’elle faisait « doublon » avec une autre militante antiraciste, Maboula Soumahoro. N’est-ce pas une illustration de la logique identitaire à l’oeuvre aujourd’hui ?

Oui, ce serait drôle si ce n’était désolant pour Madame El Moaddem, que BFM a traitée comme une vieille chaussette. Mais à toute chose, malheur est bon : une telle mésaventure est aussi l’occasion donnée, pour l’intéressée, de comprendre qu’elle est exactement la victime de la logique identitaire qui lui fait dire, ordinairement, qu’on devrait inviter les « concernés » sur les plateaux de télé, qu’on est mal placé pour parler des problèmes qu’on ne rencontre pas, et qu’en somme, la couleur des gens est en elle-même une compétence. A ce compte-là, dans un monde où la couleur (appelée « identité ») est une garantie de l’opinion, il est normal qu’on désinvite Nassira El Moaddem au profit de Maboula Soumahoro, qui (aux yeux de certains) est une meilleure interprète dans le même rôle. Madame El Moaddem s’indigne qu’on lui dise que sa présence en plateau eût fait « doublon ». Elle a raison. C’est scandaleux. D’autant qu’elle avait certainement d’autres choses à dire que Madame Soumahoro. Mais quand on invite les gens à raison de leur allure et non de leur compétence, on se moque de ce qu’ils ont à dire, et des nuances éventuelles. « Noire, arabe, on s’en fout, tant que ça fait concerné » se dit-on dans les rédacs attentives à draguer une clientèle identitaire… Bref, c’est l’arroseuse arrosée. Madame El Moadden, qui a souvent été la victime du racisme, est pour la première fois peut-être, victime du racialisme. J’avoue ne pas voir la différence entre les deux, mais c’est probablement que je ne suis pas concerné. « Qu’est-ce que j’en ai à foutre, moi, des Noirs ? disait Gary dans Chien Blanc. Ce sont des hommes comme les autres. Je ne suis pas raciste. » Si les journalistes avaient lu cette phrase, peut-être se seraient-ils mieux conduits ?

Justement, que peut nous apprendre Chien blanc, le roman de Romain Gary sur le racisme et l’antiracisme ?

Tout. Toutes les idées, toutes les aberrations et tous les protagonistes de l’époque que nous vivons se retrouvent dans ce chef-d’oeuvre de Gary, qui revient sur les émeutes raciales en Amérique à la fin des années 60.

Les Blancs paternalistes et pénitents qui portent comme une tare la couleur de leur peau et n’ont pas assez de genoux pour se soumettre ni de cendres à se mettre sur la tête y feront connaissance avec leurs ancêtres, « libéraux engagés dans la lutte pour les droits civiques » qui organisent des réunions dans la maison d’un professeur d’art dramatique dont l’enjeu est d’informer les blancs riches (à qui on soutire de l’argent) du « degré atteint par la haine des blancs dans le psychisme des enfants noirs » et où, pour ce faire, on fait venir des enfants noirs qu’une dame blanche oblige à dire, à contre-coeur, devant des militants blancs émerveillés, qu’elle est une « sale blanche », une « diablesse aux yeux bleus », et qu’il la « hait plus que tout « . Les mêmes trouveront en Jean Seberg (avec qui Romain Gary est marié et vit dans une villa à Los Angeles) leur Sainte-Patronne : car tous les jours, dans sa villa, Seberg accueille et subventionne des cohortes de groupuscules racialistes qui lui font les poches tout en la persuadant qu’elle ne donnera jamais assez.

Les gens qui prennent la France pour l’Amérique gagneront à suivre le Narrateur, que son parcours conduit des émeutes sanglantes en Californie aux gentilles barricades de Mai 68, pour comprendre que toutes les grenouilles ne deviennent pas des boeufs.

Les théoriciens de la convergence des luttes et les sociologues avides d’excuser les prédations en cas d’émeutes raciales ou sociales trouveront dans la description de la « société de provocation » un hymne à leurs certitudes : « J’appelle société de provocation toute société d’abondance qui se livre à l’exhibitionnisme constant de ses richesses et pousse à la consommation par la publicité… tout en laissant en marge une fraction importante de la population… » Comment s’étonner, se demande Gary, si « un jeune noir du ghetto, cerné de Cadillac et de magasins de luxe, bombardé par une publicité frénétique » finit par se ruer à la première occasion sur « les étalages béants derrière les vitres brisées » ?

Enfin, les gens qui traitent de « vendus » les policiers noirs, qui confondent George Floyd et Adama Traoré, les doctrinaires d’un « Etat systémiquement raciste », bref, les gens qui croient qu’on corrige le racisme en inversant le rapport de forces entre deux communautés trouveront leur ancêtre véritable en la personne de Keys, le gardien de zoo dont tout le travail consiste, par la peur, à transformer un chien dressé pour tuer les noirs en un chien dressé pour tuer les blancs. C’est même l’humanité tout entière qui trouve un reflet sans appel dans la tragédie du berger Allemand Batka à qui son maître, Gary, veut apprendre à « mordre tout le monde » et « pas seulement les noirs », alors que Keys veut en faire un « chien noir.  » Or, c’est Keys qui l’emporte, et au lieu de mordre (et d’aimer) tout le monde, Batka se met à mordre uniquement les Blancs. A l’issue de ces métamorphoses, ne sachant plus où donner des dents, et à l’image d’une République qu’on croit pacifier en la présentant comme une dictature, le chien meurt de douleur et d’indécision devant la porte de l’ancien maître qu’il n’arrive pas à vouloir mordre. Voici l’oeuvre de Keys. Et après lui, de tous les militants qui communautarisent le rapport de forces et croient que la haine autorise la haine : « Des Noirs comme vous, dit Gary, qui trahissent leurs frères en nous rejoignant dans la haine, perdent la seule bataille qui vaille la peine d’être gagnée. »

Projet 1776, l’anti Black Lives Matter porté par des conservateurs afro-américains

Victor-Isaac Anne
Valeurs actuelles
09/06/2020

En réponse aux dérives identitaristes de la gauche américaine, une cinquantaine d’intellectuels essentiellement afro-américains sonnent la révolte.

C’est le premier grand coup porté à la gauche racialiste américaine. Depuis les années 1970, ses représentants, universitaires et militants (les deux vont souvent de pair), ne ménagent pas leur peine pour imposer leurs représentations comme grille de lecture exclusive des phénomènes sociaux. Si, depuis lors, leurs idées ont incontestablement progressé, allant jusqu’à irriguer le débat public en France, elles se heurtent aujourd’hui à la résistance d’un projet intellectuel ambitieux. 1776, en référence à la déclaration d’indépendance des États-Unis, est une réponse d’intellectuels essentiellement afro-américains à une initiative commune du New-York Times et de plusieurs historiens noirs, visant à réécrire l’histoire américaine à la lumière de l’esclavage.

Une falsification de l’histoire

Tout commence au mois d’août 2019, lorsque le quotidien new-yorkais aux opinions très-avancées développe le projet 1619. Dans une édition spéciale de 100 pages, publiée à l’occasion des 400 ans de l’arrivée des esclaves africains en Amérique, le New York Times Magazine propose une relecture de la fondation des États-Unis « telle qu’elle s’est véritablement déroulée » — le ton est donné.

Cette vaste entreprise de rééducation idéologique, bouffie de repentance, entend faire de l’arrivée en bateau d’une vingtaine d’esclaves africains à Port Comfort en Virginie (Colonie britannique d’Amérique du Nord, NDLR), « le véritable acte de naissance de l’Amérique ». Dans la classe politique et les cénacles académiques, le projet reçoit un accueil mitigé. De nombreux historiens s’émeuvent d’un détournement voire d’une falsification de l’histoire au nom de l’idéologie raciale. Toutefois, l’influence du Times est telle que ces observations critiques sont remisées à l’arrière-plan. Conçu à l’origine comme un projet médiatique interactif, composé de productions diverses (essais, poésies, photographies, articles…), 1619 se mue en une puissante machine à propagande. Le journal noue ainsi une collaboration avec le très “inclusif” Pulitzer center pour porter ce projet dans les écoles, bibliothèques et musées ; plusieurs centaines de milliers d’exemplaires du magazine et un supplément spécial y ont été distribués gratuitement. Last but no least, l’initiatrice du projet Nikole Hannah-Jones, réalise une tournée nationale de conférences dans les écoles pour expliquer à son jeune public que « le racisme anti-noir se trouve dans l’ADN même de ce pays ». 

Pendant plusieurs mois, à grand renfort de matraquage publicitaire, 1619 impose son point de vue à la société américaine : l’histoire des États-Unis doit être exclusivement comprise comme une lutte des Blancs pour l’hégémonie et une dévalorisation systémique des noirs. Naturellement, quiconque récuse ce récit mythologique raciste passe pour blasphémateur.

Projet contre projet

Devant la réécriture et la confiscation de l’histoire des États-Unis par des idéologues obnubilés par la question raciale, une cinquantaine d’intellectuels, essentiellement afro-américains, ont décidé de se soulever. En janvier 2020, Robert Woodson, figure chrétienne conservatrice et ancien conseiller de campagne George W. Bush lance le projet 1776 en réponse à 1619. Cette fois, les grands médias ne se pressent pour relayer cette initiative portée en partie par des historiens universitaires.

Loin d’eux l’idée de nier le passé esclavagiste des États-Unis, simplement, ils contestent l’idée selon laquelle l’asservissement des noirs constitue l’alpha et l’oméga de l’histoire du pays. Car pour parvenir à une telle conclusion, les promoteurs du projet 1619 ont eu recours à un grand nombre de sophismes et de falsifications. Entre autres contre-vérités, l’on apprend ainsi que, de tout temps, les noirs Américains ont combattu seuls pour leur liberté, que la guerre de Sécession est sans lien avec la libération des esclaves ou encore que le maintien de l’esclavage est le principal moteur de la guerre d’indépendance – cette liste n’est pas exhaustive.

Les auteurs du contre-projet 1776 soutiennent a contrario que les inégalités structurelles qui persistent aux États-Unis résultent moins d’un problème de race que d’une logique de classes. Aussi, sont-ils pour le moins hostiles à un mouvement comme Black Lives Matter et les concepts qu’il charrie : appropriation culturelle, privilège blanc, racisme institutionnel, fragilité blanche. Selon eux, cette grille de lecture ethnocentrée est une machine à créer du ressentiment et de la culpabilité, là où la solution se trouve dans la solidarité interraciale.

Deux semaines après la mort de George Floyd et les émeutes raciales qui s’en sont ensuivies, la confrontation entre ces deux visions résonne avec une certaine acuité. Au fond, les États-Unis ont désormais le choix entre deux projets de société : le premier, pétri de “bonnes intentions” — donc de racisme compassionnel – considère les afro-américains comme un bloc monolithique d’individus, victimes par essence et mus par les mêmes aspirations. Le second, refuse les assignations identitaires, croit au libre arbitre et défend une vision unitaire de la société. Entre le New York Times et l’universalisme, il faut choisir.

An excerpt from “Shame”

Shelby Steele

1776

When I traveled to Africa back in 1970, it was partly because I had been more and more seduced by this great looming idea of America’s characterological evil. It was such a summary judgment, and, at the time, still new and audacious. It had not existed in the original civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s. Martin Luther King Jr. had never charged America with an inherent and intractable evil. He had lived in good faith with America, believing in reform and the innate goodwill of the American character, even as he also lived under constant threat of assassination. Still, when his assassination actually came to pass—with almost macabre predictability—young blacks, like myself (and many whites as well), saw it as a final straw. The evil character of America would always prevail over decency.

I came of age—in my early twenties—precisely when this idea began to take hold. Suddenly it was everywhere among the young. Belief in America’s evil was the new faith that launched you into a sophistication that your parents could never understand. And in linking you to the disaffection of your generation, it made youth itself into a group identity that bore witness to the nation’s evil and that, simultaneously, embraced a new “counterculture” innocence. Coming out of this identity, you owed nothing to your parent’s conventional expectations for your life. You could go to medical or law school if you wanted, but you could also roll in the mud at Woodstock, do drugs, or join a commune.

A result of this generation’s explicit knowledge of America’s historical evils was to make social and political morality a more important measure of character than private morality. In the 1950s, your private morality was the measure of your character; in the 1960s, your stance against war, racism, and sexism became far more important measures—so important that you were granted a considerable license in the private realm. Sleep with whomever you wanted, explore your sexuality, expand your mind with whatever drug you liked, forgo marriage, follow your instincts and impulses as inner truths, enjoy hedonism as a kind of radical authenticity. The only important thing was that you were dissociated from American evil. Dissociation from this evil became a pillar of identity for my generation.

But I was from the working class. I had put myself through college. I couldn’t afford to bank my life on the dramatic notion that America was characterologically evil unless it was actually true. Africa was a continent full of new countries that had banked their fate on precisely this view of their former oppressors. I wanted to see some of these countries then led by a generation of charismatic men who had won hard-fought revolutions against their Western oppressors—Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Léopold Sédar Senghor of Senegal. They were all seen as redeemers— redeemers—the selfless founding fathers of newly independent nations. And, having thrown off the yoke of colonialism, there was the expectation that their countries would begin to flourish.

But in fact, they were not flourishing. We left Algeria in the middle of the night and landed the next morning on the other side of the Sahara Desert in Lagos, Nigeria, where we—along with all the passengers on our flight—were held at gunpoint in the airport for several hours for mysterious reasons having to do with the Biafran War. Finally, we made it to Nkrumah’s Ghana, which only looked more and more bedraggled and directionless—a sharp contrast to the revolutionary glory that Kwame Nkrumah had projected around the world. (Kwame was fast becoming a popular name for male babies among black Americans.) Food was scarce and unrelievedly bad even in the American hotel in the capital city of Accra. You saw chickens pecking for food in open sewers, and then at dinner, you wondered at the gray meat on your plate smothered in nondescript brown gravy. Then there were ten days in Dakar, Senegal, where Senghor, the father of “negritude,” was president. But it wasn’t “negritude” that made Dakar a little more bearable than Accra. There were still some French there, and it was their fast-fading idea of Dakar as an African Paris that meant better food and the hint of café society.

The Africa we saw was, at best, adrift. The Africans themselves—as opposed to the Middle Eastern and European shopkeepers and middlemen—looked a little abandoned. Today I would say they were stuck in placelessness. They obviously didn’t want to go back to their colonial past, yet, except for a small, educated elite, they had no clear idea of how to move into the future. They had wanted self-determination, but they had not been acculturated to modernity. How does one do self-determination without fully understanding the demands of the modern world?

In Dakar, an enterprising middle-aged man—someone who would surely have owned his own business had he been born in America—appeared every day outside our hotel trying to sell us the same malformed and unfinished wooden sculpture. Every day a different story and a different price attached to this “sculpture.” The man was charming and quick, but I also sensed anger and impatience just beneath the surface. He scared me a little. One morning, out of sheer frustration, I gave him five dollars (a lot of money then), but then walked away without taking the sculpture. Within a minute, I felt a tug on my sleeve. Angrily, he pushed the money and the ugly little sculpture back into my hands—as if to be rid of not only me but also a part of himself he couldn’t stand. Then he stormed off. I had hurt his pride, and I felt terrible. I chased him down, gave him the money again, and took the sculpture (which I have to this day). His umbrage was still visible, but he accepted the deal.

In 1970, I had no way of understanding an encounter like this. Now a few things are clear. I was conspicuously American. My voluminous Afro only drove that point home. Thus I was an emissary from modernity itself. When I gave him money without taking his sculpture, I didn’t just devalue him and his culture; I virtually mocked his historical circumstance by reminding him of what he already knew: that he was outside of history, that he was not of the modern world and had nothing really to offer me that I wanted or needed. Yes, the world by then knew that African art could be world-class. Picasso, among others, had brought its genius to the West. But he would not have known about Picasso or even much about the art of woodcarving within his own culture. He wanted to be a tradesman, a businessman. But his ignorance even of what he was selling sabotaged his entrepreneurialism. So when I gave him money but rejected his statue, I treated him like a beggar to whom one gives alms, not like a businessman.

And wouldn’t a man like this—and the millions like him all across Africa, the Middle East, and the Third World generally—soon be in need of a politics to fight back with. Wouldn’t he need a political identity that lessened the sting of his individual humiliation by making him a member of an aggrieved collective? Wouldn’t some ideology or other—nationalism, cultural nationalism, pan-Africanism, some version of Marxism, negritude, Islamism, jihadism, any idea of “unity” that merges the individual with the group—come into play to console individual alienation by normalizing it, by making it a collective rather than individual experience? Your humiliation does not reflect on you. You languish outside of history—hawking shapeless pieces of ebony on the streets of Dakar—because you belong to a people who were pushed out of history and exploited, first by colonialism and then by neocolonialism.

Placelessness literally demands a political identity that collectivizes people, one that herds them into victim-focused identities and consoles them with a vague myth of their own human superiority. Léopold Senghor, the first president of newly independent Senegal and the father of “negritude,” said, “Far from seeing in one’s blackness inferiority, one accepts it; one lays claim to it with pride; one cultivates it lovingly.” Marcus Garvey, a popular racialist black American leader in the 1920s, said, “Negroes, teach your children that they are the direct descendants of the greatest and proudest race who ever peopled the earth.” The Islamic extremism that so threatens the world today operates by the same formula: devout followers of Allah are superior to their decadent former oppressors (mere infidels) in the West. The feminism that came out of the 1960s argued that if women were victimized by male chauvinism, they were also superior to men in vital ways. (“If women ruled the world there would be no wars” was a feminist mantra in the 1970s.)

All these identities assign a “place” against the experience of placelessness by giving the formerly oppressed an idea both of their victimization and their superiority. This “places” them back into the world and into the flow of history. You are somebody, these identities say. You were simply overwhelmed by your oppressor’s determination to exploit you. Thus the consoling irony at the heart of victimization: you possess inherent human supremacy to those who humiliated you.

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But there is a price for this consolation: all these victim-focused identities are premised on a belief in the characterological evil of America and the entire white Western world. This broad assumption is the idea that makes them work, which makes for that sweet concoction of victimization and superiority. So the very people who were freed by America’s (and the West’s) acknowledgment of its past wrongs then made that acknowledgment into a poetic truth that they could build their identities in reaction to. Once America’s evil became “poetic” (permanently true), the formerly oppressed could make victimization an ongoing feature of their identity—despite the fact that their actual victimization had greatly declined.

And think of all the millions of people across the world who can find not only consolation in such an identity but also self-esteem, actual entitlements, and real political power—and not just the poor and dark-skinned people of the world but also the Park Avenue feminist, the black affirmative-action baby from a well-heeled background, and white liberals generally who seek power through an identification with America’s victims. Today, all these identities are leverage in a culture contrite over its past.

The point is that these identities—driven by the need for “place,” esteem, and power—keep the idea of American/ Western characterological evil alive as an axiomatic truth in the modern world, as much a given as the weather. In other words, this charge of evil against the white West is one of the largest and most influential ideas of our age—and this despite the dramatic retreat of America and the West from these evils. The scope and power of this idea—its enormous influence in the world—is not a measure of its truth or accuracy; it is a measure of the great neediness in the world for such an idea, for an idea that lets the formerly oppressed defend their esteem, on the one hand, and pursue power in the name of their past victimization, on the other. It is also an idea that gave a contrite white America (and the Western world) new and essentially repentant liberalism.

In this striking vision of the white Western world as characterologically evil, both the former dark-skinned victims of this evil and its former white perpetrators found a common idea out of which to negotiate a future. This vision restored esteem to the victims (simply by acknowledging that they were victims rather than inferiors) and gave them a means to power; likewise, it opened a road to redemption and power for the former white perpetrators. This notion of America’s characterological evil became the basis of a new social contract in America.

_______________________

Not much of this was clear to me in 1970 as we traveled through Africa. But one thing did become clearer as the trip progressed. Back home, I had been flirting with real radicalism—not radicalism to the point of violence, but radicalism nonetheless. For me that meant living a life that would presume America’s evil and that would be forever disdainful toward and subversive of traditional America. It meant I would be a radical liberal living in bad faith with my country—“in it but not of it,” as we used to say back then. So here in my early twenties I genuinely wondered if the subversive life wasn’t the only truly honorable life. Wouldn’t it be “selling out” (the cardinal sin of the counterculture) to look past America’s evil and cast my fate in the mainstream?

On some level I knew, even at the time, that the trip to Africa was an attempt to resolve this dilemma. I wanted to see real radicalism in the faces of people in a society where it had actually come to hold sway. I wanted to see what it looked like as a governing reality in a real society. And this is pretty much what I accomplished on that trip. I didn’t understand placelessness at the time, or the pursuit of esteem through grandiose identities. But, beginning with our encounter with the Black Panthers in Algiers, I knew that I was seeing what I needed to see. And I began to feel a growing certainty within myself. My dilemma was resolving itself. The more we traveled—a month and a half in all—the firmer my certainty became. And when we at last boarded the plane in Dakar headed for New York, I felt at peace. I was clear. The American mainstream would be my fate.

__________________________

The clarity I found that trip was based on one realization: I learned that America, for all its faults failings, was not intractably evil. In the Black Panther villa in Algiers, on those balmy afternoons eating the local shrimp, I spent time with the people who banked their entire lives on America’s inherent evil—and on the inherent evil of capitalism. On one level, they were glamorous figures, revolutionaries ensconced in a lavish villa provided by the new radical government of Algeria. The impression was of a new and more perfect world order just around the corner, and these special people with the moral imagination to see it coming would soon be marching in victory.

Yet I could see that as human beings they were homesick and in despair. As revolutionaries, they were impotent and hopelessly lost. It was like seeing a pretty woman whose smile unfolds to reveal teeth black with rot. They had no future whatsoever, and so they were chilling to behold. We had all grown up in segregation. We all had war stories. And we all had legitimate beefs against America. But to embrace the idea that America and capitalism were permanent oppressors was self-destructive and indulgent. It cut us off from both the past and the future.  It left us in the cul-de-sac of placelessness, though I could not have described this way at the time. But I could see even then that someone like DC had gotten himself into the same cul-de-sac as the street hawker selling chunks of wood as art in Dakar. They were both languishing in a truly existential circumstance. And they were both consoled by a faith in the evil of America and the West.

Looking back, I now think of DC as a cautionary tale, an essentially softhearted man who had allowed himself to be captured by a bad idea—that his country was irretrievably evil.  Unlike most other Black Panthers, he ended up living and long—if strained—life. Soon after I met him, the Algerian government began to tire of supporting the Black Panthers in their fast-fading glory while so many Algerians languished in poverty. At the end of July 1972, another American black, George Wright, along with four other men and women, hijacked a plane in America en route to Miami and then extorted a $1 million ransom from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The hijackers ordered the pilots to take them to Boston and then Algeria. Eldridge Cleaver wanted the money and wrote an open letter to Houari Boumediene, the president of Algeria, in effect asking the government to continue supporting the cause of black American liberation. But the Algerian government recovered the ransom money and returned it to American authorities. Algeria’s romance with the black American revolutionaries was over.

DC, who by then had made hay of his French lessons, made his way to France, where he lived for the rest of his life in exile from America and the San Francisco Bay Area that he so loved.  Wanted always by the FBI, he lived an underground life even in France. He worked as a house painter in Paris and did other odd jobs. He ended up in Camps-sur-l’Agly, France, where, at the age of seventy-four, after a day spent working in his garden, he apparently died in his sleep.

I was lucky.  After one of my radical kitchen-table rants against America toward the end of the 1960s, my father—the son of a man born in slavery—had said to me: “You know, you shouldn’t underestimate America. This is a strong country.” I protested, started on racism once again. He said, “No, it’s strong enough to change. You can’t imagine the amount of change I’ve seen in my own lifetime.

Voir encore:

“Taking a knee” to the destroyers of worlds

Over the years, I have repeatedly warned in these columns that the refusal of the political establishment to defend the integrity of the western nation and its culture has opened the way for noxious forces to occupy the vacuum.

We’ve seen this in both the spread through the west of jihadi Islam and the rise across Europe of political parties and groups with racist or fascist backgrounds and antecedents.

In the current convulsions triggered by the violent death of George Floyd in American police custody, this baleful development has reached a crisis point.

As The Times reports today, thuggish groups across the country have begun organising to “protect” monuments and war memorials after statues of Winston Churchill and Queen Victoria were defaced, the Cenotaph in London attacked and other statues, including the one of Sir Francis Drake in Plymouth, vandalised.

This isn’t remotely surprising. The establishment is effectively standing back from, or even condoning or actively assisting, a sustained and organised onslaught which is taking place against not just a number of stone images but a culture’s historic memory.

The stage is therefore set for a confrontation in which violent thugs from the right pitch themselves against violent thugs from the left – with the political establishment having fled the cultural battleground in order to cower, wringing its hands, at a distance.

Following the toppling and dumping in Bristol harbour of the statue of slave trader and philanthropist Edward Colston, an act of vandalism and criminal damage with which the area’s police superintendent sympathised and about which he said the police were right to do nothing, an activist group called “Topple the Racists” has drawn up a list of about 60 memorials associated with slavery or colonialism which it wants destroyed. Falling meekly or even enthusiastically into line, 130 local councils run by the Labour party are to consider which ones they think should be removed on the grounds of “inappropriateness”.

In 2001 in Afghanistan, the Taliban pulled down ancient statues including the world’s tallest standing Buddhas. This was greeted with utter horror in the west. It rightly described the outrage as a crime against historical memory, an attempt to destroy a culture by erasing the evidence of its history and replacing that culture by a fanatical dogma that brooked no challenge.

Yet now the British establishment is kow-towing to a movement which is behaving like the Taliban, pulling down statues and other artefacts in order to erase aspects of British history as the product of a rotten society that’s institutionally racist and so must be supplanted by another.

The death of Floyd, under the the knee of a police officer who pressed down on his neck for almost nine minutes, was shocking and it’s right that this officer and three others involved in this death are being brought to justice.

And of course there’s racial prejudice in Britain. But so there is in every single society, in the developing world as well as in the west. Slavery was not invented by the west but has been practised across the world. It was the British and Americans who, having participated in it, eventually abolished it in their societies, while it remains practised in parts of the developing world even today.

The smear that the west is institutionally racist is designed to both facilitate and obscure the real agenda of overturning capitalist society because it is white and therefore deemed intrinsically evil – which of course is itself a racist agenda.

Yet instead of resisting this ignorant and wicked movement, its appeasers have been literally abasing themselves before the mob.

In the past, violent anti-white racism was represented by the black power movement. Despite the support of certain posturing celebrities, black power activists were generally perceived as dangerous, violent, far-left troublemakers. It would have been unthinkable for mainstream British politicians, let alone the police, to give the clenched fist black power salute. That would have been regarded as treasonous insurrection.

Yet an updated version of this is precisely what’s been happening in Britain. The new Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, and his deputy, Angela Rayner, released a picture of themselves supporting Black Lives Matter, the activist group behind many of these demonstrations, by “taking the knee”, the gesture promoted by certain black American footballers to show their contempt for white society and America.

In similar fashion, no less than the chief constable of Kent “took the knee” along with numerous other police officers – some as the direct result of mass bullying. At Oriel college, Oxford, which for years has been resisting a campaign to remove its statue of Cecil Rhodes, demonstrators renewing their campaign chanted “Kneel, kneel, kneel” – and a police officer duly sank down on one knee.

These people have all been literally kneeling down in submission to an ideology which is anti-white and anti-west – and at the direction of Black Lives Matter, a racist, anti-white, anti-west violent revolutionary movement whose aim is the overthrow of white western society.

These images of the British police symbolically capitulating to the erasure of British history and the defamation of the west have furnished sickening evidence that many of those tasked with protecting society have surrendered instead to cultural terrorism.

Meanwhile, anyone who opposes this dogma of black victimology and points out the defamatory lies at its core will be called a racist and their livelihood placed in jeopardy.

In America, people are losing their jobs for even questioning any of this. The prominent footballer Drew Brees, who despite publicly opposing racism also opposed taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem on the grounds that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America”, was forced to apologise in a display of ritual humiliation.

On Twitter, the malevolent, the moronic and the mentally unhinged are out in force similarly seeking to intimidate, smear and ruin any who stand up to this cultural totalitarianism.

And then there’s the deeply sinister Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm set up by London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, to consider the appropriateness of the capitals’ statues, murals, street names and other memorials.

Channelling Mao, the Taleban and the French revolutionary terror, Mayor Khan can surely leave no-one in any doubt that this committee will reduce diversity by aiming selectively to erase those bits of British history of which it disapproves. In Khan’s words: “…our statues, road names and public spaces reflect a bygone era. It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade…”

So the Mayor of London now stands revealed as someone who hates his nation. For if it was indeed created, as he so misleadingly claims, by a great evil then how can it be anything other than evil itself? Feeling at last the wind in his sails supplied by the rage and contempt of the mob on the streets, he intends to abolish the nation’s birthright to the evidence of its own past and construct its future in the image he will determine.

So will this commission erase memorials to all historic British figures with an obnoxious side to their achievements? Will its destroy the statues of the Labour politicians Keir Hardie or Ernest Bevin, or Karl Marx, who were all antisemites?

Or the playwright George Bernard Shaw who promoted eugenics? Or the parliamentary titan Oliver Cromwell who massacred the Irish? Or Britain’s greatest Liberal prime minister, William Gladstone, whose family, like so many prominent people in previous, very different era was involved in slavery?

That last question already has an answer. Liverpool university has agreed yesterday to rename its Gladstone Hall, which houses student accommodation. Bim Afolami, the Tory MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, tweeted in response: “This is all going completely nuts. When will this stop??”

When indeed. As George Orwell wrote in 1984 about a state under totalitarian tyranny: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

Or as the future US president Ronald Reagan said even more pertinently in 1975: ‘If fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the name of liberalism”.

Well, here it is, on both sides of the pond.

Bad things happen not just because bad people do them but because otherwise decent people lack the courage to stop them; or because they indulge in fantasies that the agenda is basically good but has been “hijacked” by a few thugs; or that they agree with the ends but purse their lips at the violent means; or because of a myriad other excuses that the spineless and the misguided always provide for “taking a knee” to the destroyers of worlds.

Voir enfin:

EXCLUSIVE: A new start turns to a tragic end for George Floyd, who moved to Minneapolis determined to turn his life around after being released from prison in Texas

George Floyd moved to Minnesota to start a new life shortly after being released from prison in Texas, but his pursuit of a better life ended tragically when he died during a violent arrest, according to court records obtained by DailyMail.com.

Floyd was left gasping for breath when a white officer kneeled on his neck for eight minutes while arresting him for allegedly paying with a fake $20 bill at a convenience store on Monday evening.

All four cops involved in his arrest have been fired as outraged citizens across the country demand they be charged over the father-of-two’s death.

None of the officers could have been aware of Floyd’s more than a decade-old criminal history at the time of the arrest.

The 46-year-old moved to the city in 2014 and worked as a bouncer at a local restaurant, leaving behind his past in the Houston area.

Floyd had made changes to his lifestyle and a recent video has emerged of him pleading with younger generations to make good choices and to stop gun violence.

He had been there himself years ago, first being arrested in his 20s for theft and then a later arrest for armed robbery before he turned his life around.

George Floyd moved to Minnesota to start a new life shortly after being released from prison in Texas, but his pursuit of a better life ended tragically when he died during a violent arrest, according to court records obtained by DailyMail.com

Floyd had been sentenced to five years in prison in 2009 for aggravated assault stemming from a robbery where Floyd entered a woman’s home, pointed a gun at her stomach and searched the home for drugs and money, according to court records

Floyd had at least five stints in jail. In one of the charging documents, officials noted Floyd had two convictions in the 1990s for theft and delivery of a controlled substance, but it is not clear if Floyd served any time for either of those offenses

Floyd had at least five stints in jail. In one of the charging documents, officials noted Floyd had two convictions in the 1990s for theft and delivery of a controlled substance, but it is not clear if Floyd served any time for either of those offenses

All four cops involved in his arrest have been fired as outraged citizens across the country demand they be charged over the father-of-two’s death. None of the officers could have been aware of Floyd’s more than a decade-old criminal history at the time of the arrest

Floyd had moved to Minneapolis in 2014 to start fresh and find a job but was left gasping for breath when a white officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes while arresting Floyd for allegedly paying with a fake $20 bill at a convenience store on Monday evening

The final straw for Floyd came after serving five years in prison in 2009 for aggravated assault stemming from a robbery in 2007 where he entered a woman’s home, pressed a gun into her stomach and searched the home for drugs and money, according to court records.

Floyd pleaded guilty to the robbery where another suspect posed as a worker for the local water department, wearing a blue uniform in an attempt to gain access to the woman’s home, according to the charging document.

But when the woman opened the door, she realized he was not with the water department and attempted to close the door, leading to a struggle.

At that time, a Ford Explorer pulled up to the home and five other males exited the car and went up to the front door.

The report states the largest of the group, who the victim later identified as Floyd, ‘forced his way inside the residence, placed a pistol against the complainant’s abdomen, and forced her into the living room area of the residence.

‘This large suspect then proceeded to search the residence while another armed suspect guarded the complainant, who was struck in the head and sides by this second armed suspect with his pistol while she screamed for help.’

Not finding any drugs or money at the house, the men took jewelry and the woman’s cell phone and fled in their car. A neighbor who witnessed the robbery took down the car’s license plate number.

Later, police tracked down the car and found Floyd behind the wheel. He was later identified by the woman as the large suspect who placed a gun against her stomach and forced her into her living room, the document states.

The 46-year-old was working as a bouncer at a local restaurant and known in local music circles, leaving behind his past in the Houston area where he had just been released from jail

Floyd served 10 months at Harris County jail for a theft offense

Floyd pleaded guilty to the first degree felony and was sentenced in April 2009 to five years in prison.

Prior to that, Floyd was sentenced to 10 months in state jail for possession of cocaine. He had been charged in December 2005 for having less than one gram of the controlled substance.

However, a few months later the charge was updated to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, amending the amount Floyd allegedly had to more than four grams of cocaine.

But according to court records, Floyd was able to have the charge reverted back to possession of cocaine less than a gram.

Floyd had two other cocaine offenses, receiving an eight month-sentence stemming from an October 2002 arrest and was sentenced to 10 months from a 2004 arrest.

Floyd was arrested in April 2002 for criminal trespassing and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

He did another stint for theft with a firearm in August 1998. He served 10 months at Harris County jail.

In one of the charging documents, officials noted Floyd had two convictions in the 1990s for theft and delivery of a controlled substance, but it is not clear if Floyd served any time for either of those offenses.

Despite his checkered past, it seems that Floyd had turned his life around before his death on Monday. A heartbreaking video emerged online of Floyd encouraging the younger generation to put an end to gun violence

Floyd was arrested in April 2002 for criminal trespassing and was sentenced to 30 days in jail

After his last arrest in 2007, Floyd moved to Minneapolis in 2014 shortly after his prison release.

Christopher Harris, one of Floyd’s lifelong friends, said Floyd moved to the city to start over to find a job, telling the Atlanta Journal Constitution: ‘He was looking to start over fresh, a new beginning. He was happy with the change he was making.’

Indeed, it seems that Floyd had turned his life around before his death on Monday.

A heartbreaking video emerged online of Floyd encouraging the younger generation to put an end to gun violence.

The undated video was circulated on Twitter on Wednesday as protesters descended on the streets of Minneapolis for a second night calling for the arrest of the cops involved in his death.

Floyd is seen addressing the camera directly as he speaks out about the need for gun violence to end.

‘It’s clearly the generation after us that’s so lost, man,’ he says before telling them to ‘come home’.

Christopher Harris, one of Floyd’s lifelong friends, said Floyd moved to the city to start over to find a job, telling the Atlanta Journal Constitution: ‘He was looking to start over fresh, a new beginning. He was happy with the change he was making’

Floyd, a father of two, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes in an incident that was captured on video and has sparked violent protests and riots in the city that left one looter dead.

In widely circulated footage of his arrest, Floyd was seen on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back as white officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the pavement until he lost consciousness and later died.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said on Thursday that he considers Floyd’s death to be a murder.

‘I’m not a prosecutor, but let me be clear. The arresting officer killed someone,’ he told CBS.

‘He’d be alive today if he were white.’ The facts that I’ve seen, which are minimal, certainly lead me down the path that race was involved.’

 

Voir enfin:

Chronique enthousiaste : Gilet-jaunisation aux USA

L’Ere du peuple

Hourra ! Le peuple des États-Unis est en ébullition. Eh ! Vous ! Ceux qui avez trouvé la révolution citoyenne au Soudan trop exotique pour vous concerner, la révolution citoyenne à Beyrouth et à Alger trop arabes, celle du Chili trop latino, celle de Hong-Kong trop asiatique pour vous représenter ! Vous qui ne savez pas qu’il existe des synchronies discrètes mais avérées entre l’Argentine ou le Chili et la France, entre les Caraïbes et l’Île-de-France, entre Dakar et Paris, voyez ! voyez ! L’ère du peuple joue de la grosse caisse à Washington et la révolution citoyenne est dans les rues de New York. La gilet-jaunisation est entrée au cœur de l’Empire. Voici que surgissent des millions de chômeurs, des abandonnés privés de tout accès aux réseaux collectifs sans lesquels la vie est impossible, humiliés à longueur d’année par des flics racistes, manipulés par des politiciens sans conscience. Ils forment désormais un volcan qui vient de faire sa première éruption. Et ce n’est que le début d’une histoire qui va durer.

Non, les USA ne sont pas le roc qu’ils donnent à voir. Remontent en moi les souvenirs. Ma génération a pu voir les USA quitter leur ambassade à Saïgon dans une totale débandade, jeter à la mer hélicoptères et avions par-dessus bord de leurs navires de guerre parce que leurs collaborateurs locaux avaient tout envahi. Nous avons vu les USA qui avaient promis de « ramener le Vietnam à l’âge de la pierre » selon l’expression de l’abject général Westmorland, les USA vaincus à plate couture par l’inflexible patriotisme du petit peuple et de ses bodoïs, gazés, napalmisés, massacrés en masse et en détail. Le peuple américain peut tout lui aussi.

Bon d’accord, je ne retiens pas ce rire moqueur qui me vient. C’est celui d’un « Frenchie surrender », putois notoire et ses French fries. Car c’est ainsi que nous avons été caricaturés aux USA depuis notre refus de participer à leur lamentable deuxième guerre du Golfe. L’état d’esprit anti-français se déchaina alors jusqu’à l’absurde : vider des bouteilles de vin dans les égouts et vouloir rebaptiser les frites, de « French fries » en je ne sais quoi. Oui la rigolade : voir la Maison blanche s’éteindre pour devenir invisible pendant que le président Trump se cache à la cave ! « Salut Trump tu as le bonjour de Cuba, de Venezuela, de Salvador Allende, de Patrice Lumumba, et même du Che » ! Sans oublier Edgard Snowden, Julian Assange et les torturés de Guantanamo, les asphyxiés du waterboarding, le supplice de la baignoire, qui ne serait pas une torture puisque l’actuelle cheffe de la CIA la pratiquait elle-même il y a peu ! À son tour : à la cave ! Le persécuteur des peuples dans le noir ! Ce n’est pas cher payé pour l’instant.

Retenez ceci comme un avis d’observateur de longue date : tout ce qui advient aux USA arrive ensuite chez nous dans la décennie qui suit. Parfois plus vite. Qu’il s’agisse des modes, de la politique ou de faits sociaux. Le fin tissu qui nous unit n’est pas seulement économique, militaire ou ce que l’on voudra. Il est continuellement alimenté par les séries télévisées, le cinéma, les matrices narratives, les images de référence. Que cela plaise ou non, qu’on soit d’accord ou pas, il s’agit d’un effet de système profondément ancré. On peut ne pas s’être rendu compte que toutes les social-démocraties européennes répétaient soudainement les mantras clintonistes, ne pas avoir vu Sarkozy répéter en boucle à Rome et à Ryad les absurdités du « choc des civilisations » et ne pas savoir que l’autrice qui écrivait les discours, Emmanuelle Mignon les recopiait directement de Samuel Huntington, ne pas avoir vu le sommet du quai d’Orsay virer néo-conservateur. Mais quand les émeutes urbaines ont éclaté en France, quand on a vu Halloween et Black Friday occuper des millions d’esprits superficiels qui voudraient vivre comme dans une série US ? Non : rien ? Peut-être même qu’il en est encore pour ne pas savoir que Cédric Chouviat est mort d’un geste de policier comme celui commis contre Georges Floyd et que personne n’a été ni suspendu ni inculpé de quoi que ce soit. Et Adama Traoré et… et… Zineb Redouane, vieille dame abattue à sa fenêtre et qui est morte parait-il non de la grenade qu’elle a reçue dans la figure au quatrième étage à Marseille mais d’un arrêt du cœur imprévisible sur la table d’opération !… Peut-être d’autres n’ont-ils pas remarqué que les éborgnements de manifestants ne sont pas des bavures mais un fait désormais universel.

Au fond, peu importe. Aucune alerte, aucune mise en garde n’aura jamais rien produit dans notre pays à part des heures de prêchi-prêcha haineux contre toute forme d’opposition et de dénigrement personnalisé contre les fortes têtes pourchassées sans répit les Jérôme Rodriguez, Taha Bouhafs, Drouet, Dufresne, Wamen et ainsi de suite et pour finir avec Camélia Jordana. Je ne sais comment dire combien cela me désole. Car la suite est écrite. Et ceux qui me lisent savent la lire.

Aux USA, le fil des révolutions citoyennes est resté net : fermentation politique longue depuis Occupy et les Anonymous, évènement fortuit (la mort de Georges Floyd), union sans parti ni représentant, revendication égalitaire (« la vie des Noirs compte »), mobilisation universaliste, non communautaire pour la première fois depuis longtemps, mot d’ordre polysémique fédérateur (« je ne peux plus respirer »). Oui mais voilà : il s’agit des USA et de la première saison de l’après Covid-19. Elle ouvre la crise sociale monstrueuse qui va déferler. Les USA déjà désemparés, inondés de dollars de planche à billets, sans projet collectif, labourés par les socs contraires du petit peuple social et du petit peuple facho. Les USA paralysés par la gélatine du parti démocrate qui a eu la peau de Sanders pour ce néant qu’est Joe Biden. Les USA où les latinos seront dans une poignée d’années la plus importante minorité devant les afro-américains et les beaux blancs protestants. Les USA où le catholicisme sera bientôt la première religion chrétienne du pays modifiant ainsi la matrice spirituelle d’un pays où la religion est sur chaque billet de banque avec la formule « in God we trust ». Les USA et leur dollar bidon, leur État fédéral bringuebalant. Bref, les USA chancelant vont faire vaciller le monde. Trump voudrait interdire les anti-Fas, pendant que des miliciens d’extrême-droite en armes défilent dans les rues. Ils contrôlent ici ou là et les passants, comme nos identitaires dans le métro de Lyon et dans des bus à Lille pendant que les castors pyromanes pérorent loin de toute réalité « faire barrage ! faire barrage ! ».

Les événements nord-américains sont décisifs. Ils nous obligent à faire un point réaliste. Si l’extrême droite « suprémaciste » l’emporte aux USA, ce sera bien autre chose que ce qu’elle a déjà fait en Pologne, Hongrie, Autriche, au Brésil, en Inde ou aux Philippines. Si les nôtres se donnent une expression politique capable d’être majoritaire, tout devient possible dans la civilisation humaine. Ayez grand soin de vous monsieur Bernie Sanders ! L’Histoire ne ferme jamais boutique.

Voir par ailleurs:

Dr. King’s Error
Walter Lippman
NYT
April 7, 1967

In recent speeches and statements the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has linked his personal opposition to the war in Vietnam with the cause of Negro equality in the United States. The war, he argues, should be stopped not only because it is a futile war waged for the wrong ends but also because it is a barrier to social progress in this country and therefore prevents Negroes from achieving their just place in American life.

This is a fusing of two public problems that are distinct and separate. By drawing them together, Dr. King has done a disservice to both. The moral issues in Vietnam are less clear-cut than he suggests; the political strategy of uniting the peace movement and the civil rights movement could very well be disastrous for both causes.

Because American Negroes are a minority and have to overcome unique handicaps of racial antipathy and prolonged deprivation, they have a hard time in gaining their objectives even when their grievances are self-evident and their claims are indisputably just. As Dr. King knows from the Montgomery bus boycott and other civil rights struggles of the past dozen years, it takes almost infinite patience, persistence and courage to achieve the relatively simple aims that ought to be theirs by right.

The movement toward racial equality is now in the more advanced and more difficult stage of fulfilling basic rights by finding more jobs, changing patterns of housing and upgrading education. The battle grounds in this struggle are Chicago and Harlem and Watts. The Negroes on these fronts need all the leadership, dedication and moral inspiration that they can summon; and under these circumstances to divert the energies of the civil rights movement to the Vietnam issue is both wasteful and self-defeating. Dr. King makes too facile a connection between the speeding up of the war in Vietnam and the slowing down of the war against poverty. The eradication of poverty is at best the task of a generation. This « war » inevitably meets diverse resistance such as the hostility of local political machines, the skepticism of conservatives in Congress and the intractability of slum mores and habits. The nation could afford to make more funds available to combat poverty even while the war in Vietnam continues, but there is no certainly that the coming of peace would automatically lead to a sharp increase in funds.

Furthermore, Dr. King can only antagonize opinion in this country instead of winning recruits to the peace movement by recklessly comparing American military methods to those of the Nazis testing « new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe. » The facts are harsh, but they do not justify such slander. Furthermore, it is possible to disagree with many aspects of United States policy in Vietnam without whitewashing Hanoi.

As an individual, Dr. King has the right and even the moral obligation to explore the ethical implications of the war in Vietnam, but as one of the most respected leaders of the civil rights movement he has an equally weighty obligation to direct that movement’s efforts in the most constructive and relevant way.

There are no simple or easy answers to the war in Vietnam or to racial injustice in this country. Linking these hard, complex problems will lead not to solutions but to deeper confusion.

Voir par ailleurs:

DC Riots and Bishop Mariann Budde’s Selective Episcopal Outrage

Jeffrey Walton
Juicy Ecumenism
June 2, 2020
Episcopal Diocese of Washington Bishop Mariann Budde has worked her way into a froth over a photo opportunity by President Trump.Lafayette Square across from the White House was cleared Monday evening of Black Lives Matter protesters (with the use of either tear gas or smoke canisters, depending on which report you read) seemingly for the purpose of facilitating Trump’s walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for the photo op. Reports from the Washington Post describe Trump briefly standing in front of the church with Bible in hand, but neither entering the building nor speaking with anyone nor opening the Bible, which apparently signaled something at merely being raised like a talisman.

Workers install temporary plywood to protect windows from damage at the parish house of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 (Photo: Jeff Walton/IRD)

“I am outraged,” Budde told the Post about Trump’s posturing in an interview a short time later, pausing between words to emphasize her anger as her voice slightly trembled. She had nothing critical to say about the burning of one of her churches, which according to the parish vestry incurred about $20,000 in damages, mostly to the church nursery.

“This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, lifted up a bible, and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes,” Tweeted Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. “This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us.”

The prominent St. John’s Parish House located on Lafayette Square had been briefly set afire the night before, after peaceful protesters headed home for a District of Columbia curfew.

Some who remained in defiance of the curfew threw rocks at windows in the adjacent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs building and spray painted a nearby statue of Revolutionary War hero Tadeusz Kościuszko with profanity. Most of the damage appeared directed at a small building that houses park bathrooms. A number of storefronts in the downtown, Georgetown and Tenleytown neighborhoods were also vandalized, including a hair salon and a looted sandwich shop owned by Pakistani immigrants directly below IRD’s downtown offices.

A brief walk around the St. John’s building this afternoon showed graffiti had largely been removed and windows were proactively boarded up to prevent any further damage. A pole with an American flag had been yanked off the building and thrown into a fire by protesters, but little else was noticeably amiss.

Would Budde have given a similar pass if right-wing protesters had done the same? the bishop of Washington doesn’t shrink from activism. Budde herself is engaged in advocacy for firearms restrictions and even weighed in on changing the name of the city’s floundering NFL franchise. Within the Diocese of Washington, Budde defended a push for “gender-inclusive” language “to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God.”

The Post report noted both Budde and Curry “are among the pantheon of progressive religious leaders who have long been critical of Trump’s political agenda.” I was last present in the now-damaged St. John’s parish house as it hosted a press conference for the Religious Coalition on Reproductive Choice, a progressive lobby that voices approval from religious officials for unrestricted abortion-on-demand, and which counts the Episcopal Church as a member.

Post religion reporters Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey cite data from the Pew Research Center showing 49 percent of Episcopalians are Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 39 percent of church members who are Republican or lean Republican.

Episcopalians have increasingly found themselves in roles difficult to maintain. Church officials simultaneously embrace leftist causes, while also serving as a boutique chaplaincy to the affluent and as presiders over American civil religion in events of national importance including state funerals.

For his part, President Trump is in close proximity to the Episcopal Church: his youngest son was baptized at an Episcopal parish and attends a private Episcopal high school (Trump himself is Presbyterian and his wife Melania is Roman Catholic). The Trump family typically attends services at Bethesda-by-the-sea Episcopal Church when in Palm Beach, Florida, minutes from Mar-a-Lago.

Budde draws a distinction between those engaged in peaceful protest, opportunistic looters and violent organized provocateurs like Antifa. Would she do the same if the partisan affiliations were flipped?

The danger of selective outrage is in exposing one’s self as another partisan instead of acting like a senior shepherd.

Voir enfin:

The Washington Post
June 2, 2020

The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, was seething.

President Trump had just visited St. John’s Episcopal Church, which sits across from the White House. It was a day after a fire was set in the basement of the historic building amid protests over the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

Before heading to the church, where presidents have worshiped since the days of James Madison, Trump gave a speech at the White House emphasizing the importance of law and order. Federal officers then used force to clear a large crowd of peaceful demonstrators from the street between the White House and the church, apparently so Trump could make the visit.

“I am outraged,” Budde said in a telephone interview a short time later, pausing between words to emphasize her anger as her voice slightly trembled.

She said she had not been given any notice that Trump would be visiting the church and did not approve of the manner in which the area was secured for his appearance.

“I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop,” Budde said.

She excoriated the president for standing in front of the church — its windows boarded up with plywood — holding up a Bible, which Budde said “declares that God is love.”

“Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence,” Budde of the president. “We need moral leadership, and he’s done everything to divide us.”

In a written statement, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, head of the Episcopal denomination, accused Trump of using “a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes.”

“This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us,” Curry wrote.

“The prophet Micah taught that the Lord requires us to ‘do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God,’ ” he continued, calling on Trump and others in power to be moral. “For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be ‘one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.’ ”

Budde and Curry are among the pantheon of progressive religious leaders who have long been critical of Trump’s political agenda. The Episcopal Church’s policies include supporting abortion rights, refugee resettlement, an expansion of health care and other issues that Trump has opposed or not embraced. According to the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of Episcopalians are Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 39 percent of church members who are Republican or lean Republican.

Trump’s longtime religious allies, who are far more conservative on both domestic and foreign policy, saw his walk to St. John’s much differently. “What kind of church I need PERMISSION to attend,” tweeted Pastor Mark Burns of South Carolina after Budde and others said Trump should have let them know he was coming. “Jesus welcomes All.”

Johnnie Moore, a spokesman for several of Trump’s evangelical religious advisers, tweeted favorably about the incident as well.

“I will never forget seeing @POTUS @realDonaldTrump slowly & in-total-command walk from the @WhiteHouse across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Church defying those who aim to derail our national healing by spreading fear, hate & anarchy,” he wrote. “After just saying, ‘I will keep you safe.’ ”

Trump did not enter St. John’s on Monday evening. No one associated with the church was present for his visit.

Andrew Whitehead, a sociologist at Clemson University who studies Christian nationalism, said the president’s appearance was an attempt to promote the idea of America as a distinctly Christian nation after his Rose Garden speech.

“Going to the church, not going in it, not meeting with any clergy, holding up a Bible, but not quoting any scripture, after an authoritarian speech, was about using the religious symbolism for his ends,” Whitehead said.

“It was a signal to the people that embrace the idea of a Christian nation, that he will defend Christianity in the public sphere,” Whitehead said. “He said he’ll make America safe. That raised the question, for whom? It’s largely for white, mostly Protestant America.”

Budde — who spent 18 years in as a rector in Minneapolis before being elected bishop of the Washington diocese — said the Episcopal Church disassociates itself from the messages offered by the president.

“We hold the teachings of our sacred texts to be so so grounding to our lives and everything we do,” she said. “It is about love of neighbor and sacrificial love and justice.”

Following a tradition set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Trump attended a service at St. John’s before his swearing-in ceremony in 2017. He visited the church again that year to mark a national day of prayer for victims of Hurricane Harvey and in 2019 on St. Patrick’s Day.

Budde said she learned he was headed back to the yellow, 19th-century building on Monday by watching the news.

“No one knew this was happening,” she said. “I don’t want President Trump speaking for St. John’s.”

The Rev. Robert W. Fisher, the church rector, said he felt blindsided by the visit. Usually, the White House gives the church at least 30 minutes’ notice before the president comes by.

“We want St. John’s to be a space for grace, as a place where you can breathe,” he said. “Being used as a prop, it really takes away from what we’re trying to do.”

Earlier in the day, Fisher said, he and other clergy were outside the church handing out water bottles and granola bars to protesters, and expressing solidarity with their cause. He said he left the area to be interviewed on television about the damage from the fire the previous night and later watched images of the protest being dismantled “with disbelief.”

Fisher, 44, became the rector of St. John’s in June 2019 and has not yet hosted a presidential visit. The church usually draws about 400 people on a typical weekend. But it has been closed since mid-March due to the broad shutdown restrictions in place to combat the novel coronavirus.

Damage to the building from Sunday night’s fire and vandalism will cost at least $20,000, Fisher said. But he said the destruction should not become the focus of what has been happening in the streets outside the White House.

Fisher said that when people have talked about the church being burned, he has tried to redirect them, saying it was likely one person who does not represent the majority of people protesting.

“That has pulled away from the more important message that we have to address racism in this country,” he said.


Hanouka/2184e: Trump invente le sionisme antisémite ! (Ultimate sleight of hand: How can opposition to the existence of an apartheid state be called racism ?)

23 décembre, 2019
tied willyPresident Trump at the Israeli American Council National Summit last week in Hollywood, Fla.En ces jours-là surgit d’Israël une génération de vauriens qui séduisirent beaucoup de personnes en disant : “Allons, faisons alliance avec les nations qui nous entourent, car depuis que nous nous sommes séparés d’elles, bien des maux nous sont advenus.” (…) Plusieurs parmi le peuple s’empressèrent d’aller trouver le roi, qui leur donna l’autorisation d’observer les coutumes païennes. Ils construisirent donc un gymnase à Jérusalem, selon les usages des nations, se refirent des prépuces et renièrent l’alliance sainte pour s’associer aux nations. 1 Maccabées 1: 11-15
Il n’était même pas permis de célébrer le sabbat, ni de garder les fêtes de nos pères, ni simplement de confesser que l’on était Juif. On était conduit par une amère nécessité à participer chaque mois au repas rituel, le jour de la naissance du roi et, lorsqu’arrivaient les fêtes dionysiaques, on devait, couronné de lierre, accompagner le cortège de Dionysos. (…) Ainsi deux femmes furent déférées en justice pour avoir circoncis leurs enfants. On les produisit en public à travers la ville, leurs enfants suspendus à leurs mamelles, avant de les précipiter ainsi du haut des remparts. D’autres s’étaient rendus ensemble dans des cavernes voisines pour y célébrer en cachette le septième jour. Dénoncés à Philippe, ils furent brûlés ensemble, se gardant bien de se défendre eux-mêmes par respect pour la sainteté du jour. (…) Eléazar, un des premiers docteurs de la Loi, homme déjà avancé en âge et du plus noble extérieur, était contraint, tandis qu’on lui ouvrait la bouche de force, de manger de la chair de porc. Mais lui, préférant une mort glorieuse à une existence infâme, marchait volontairement au supplice de la roue,non sans avoir craché sa bouchée, comme le doivent faire ceux qui ont le courage de rejeter ce à quoi il n’est pas permis de goûter par amour de la vie. 2 Maccabées 6 : 6-20
On célébrait à Jérusalem la fête de la Dédicace. C’était l’hiver. Et Jésus se promenait dans le temple, sous le portique de Salomon. Jean 10: 22
La crise maccabéenne n’est pas un affrontement entre un roi grec fanatique et des Juifs pieux attachés à leurs traditions. C’est d’abord une crise interne au judaïsme, d’un affrontement entre ceux qui estiment qu’on peut rester fidèle au judaïsme en adoptant néanmoins certains traits de la civilisation du monde moderne, le grec, la pratique du sport, etc.., et ceux qui au contraire, pensent que toute adoption des mœurs grecques porte atteinte de façon insupportable à la religion des ancêtres. Si le roi Antiochos IV intervient, ce n’est pas par fanatisme, mais bien pour rétablir l’ordre dans une province de son royaume qui, de plus, se place sur la route qu’il emprunte pour faire campagne en Égypte. (…) Là où Antiochos IV commettait une magistrale erreur politique, c’est qu’il n’avait pas compris qu’abolir la Torah ne revenait pas seulement à priver les Juifs de leurs lois civiles, mais conduisait à l’abolition du judaïsme. Maurice Sartre
L’assemblée générale (…) considère que le sionisme est une forme de racisme et de discrimination raciale. Résolution 379 (ONU, le 10 novembre 1975)
L’assemblée générale décide de déclarer nulle la conclusion contenue dans le dispositif de sa résolution 3379 (XXX) du 10 novembre 1975. Résolution 4686 (ONU, le 16 décembre 1991)
I stand before you as the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, parents who experienced being stripped of their human rights – the right to freedom of travel, equal treatment. I cannot stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government and the State of Israel. I love our country’s freedom of speech, madam speaker. Dissent is how we nurture democracy. and grow to be better and more humane and just. This is why I oppose resolution 243. All Americans have a right, a constitutional right guaranteed by the first amendment to freedom of speech. To petition their government and participate in boycotts. Speech in pursuit of civil rights at home and abroad is protected by our first amendment. That is one reason why our first amendment is so powerful. With a few exceptions the government is simply not allowed to discriminate against speech based on its viewpoint or speaker. The right to boycott is deeply rooted in the fabric of our country. What was the Boston tea party but a boycott ? Where would we be now with the civil rights activists in the 1950’s and 1960’s like the united farm workers grape boycott? Some of this country’s most important advances in racial equality and equity and workers’ rights has been achieved through collective action, protected by our constitution. Americans of conscience have long and proud history of participating in boycotts, specifically to advocate for human rights abroad. Americans boycotted nazi Germany in response to dehumanization, imprisonment, and genocide of Jewish people. In the 1980’s, many of us in this very body boycotted South African goods in the fight against apartheid. Our right to free speech is being threatened with this resolution. It sets a dangerous precedent because it attempts to delegitimatize a certain people’s political speech and to send a message that our government can and will take action against speech it doesn’t like. Madam speaker, the Supreme court has time and time again recognized the expressive conduct is protected by the constitution. from burning a flag to baking a cake, efforts to restrict and target that protected speech run the risk of eroding the civil rights that form the foundation of our democracy. All Americans have the right to participate in boycotts, and I oppose all legislative efforts that target speech. I urge congress, state governments, and civil rights leaders from all communities to preserve our constitution, preserve our bill of rights, and preserve the first amendment’s guaranteed of freedom of speech by opposing h. res. 246 and the boycott, anti-boycott efforts wherever they rise. Rashida Tlaib (July 23, 2019)
Melania and I send our warmest wishes to Jewish people in the United States, Israel and across the world as you commence the 8-day celebration of Hanukkah. More than 2,000 years ago, the Maccabees boldly reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, securing a victory for the Jewish people and their faith. They proudly lit the menorah to rededicate the Second Temple. Even though there was only enough olive oil to burn for one day, through divine providence, the flames miraculously burned for eight nights. As the Jewish community gathers together to celebrate this special and sacred time of year, we are reminded of God’s message of hope, mercy, and love. Throughout the coming eight days, each candle to be lit on the menorah will signal to the world that freedom and justice will always shine brighter than hate and oppression. Today, the relationship between the United States and Israel, one of our most cherished allies and friends, is stronger than ever. We will continue to stand with the Jewish people in defending the God-given right to worship freely and openly. As our Jewish brothers and sisters gather around the menorah each night, we pray for a memorable and blessed celebration of the Festival of Lights. May the light of the menorah and the fellowship of family and friends fill your hearts with happiness and a renewed sense of faith. Happy Hanukkah! President Trump
Le président Donald J. Trump prend un décret présidentiel pour renforcer la lutte contre la montée de l’antisémitisme aux États-Unis. Le décret du président Trump indique clairement que le Titre VI de la loi sur les droits civils de 1964 s’applique à la discrimination antisémite fondée sur la race, la couleur ou l’origine nationale. Dans le cadre de l’application du Titre VI contre la discrimination antisémite dissimulée, les agences se référeront à la définition de l’antisémitisme de l’Alliance internationale pour la mémoire de l’Holocauste (IHRA) ainsi que ses exemples contemporains. (…) Ces dernières années, les Américains ont assisté à une augmentation inquiétante des incidents antisémites et à une montée de la rhétorique correspondante dans l’ensemble du pays. (…) Les incidents antisémites se sont multipliés en Amérique depuis 2013, en particulier dans les écoles et sur les campus universitaires. Il s’agit en particulier d’actes de violence horribles à l’encontre de Juifs américains et de synagogues aux États-Unis. 18 membres démocrates du Congrès ont coparrainé cette année une législation en faveur du mouvement antisémite « Boycott, désinvestissement, sanctions » (BDS). Dans leur résolution, ces membres du Congrès comparaient de manière choquante le soutien à Israël à celui à l’Allemagne nazie. Ambassade des Etats-Unis en France
États-unis. Quand Trump voit le judaïsme comme une nationalité: Sous prétexte de combattre l’antisémitisme, le président américain signe un décret qui empêche toute critique d’Israël. L’Humanité
Le président Trump prévoit de signer mercredi un décret visant à cibler ce qu’il considère comme de l’antisémitisme sur les campus universitaires en menaçant de retenir l’argent fédéral des établissements d’enseignement qui ne parviennent pas à lutter contre la discrimination, ont déclaré mardi trois responsables de l’administration. L’ordonnance devrait effectivement interpréter  le judaïsme comme une race ou une nationalité, et pas seulement comme une religion, pour inciter une loi fédérale pénalisant les collèges et universités qui se dérobent à leur responsabilité à favoriser un climat ouvert pour les étudiants issus de minorités. Ces dernières années, le boycott, le désinvestissement et les sanctions – ou B.D.S. – le mouvement contre Israël a troublé certains campus, laissant certains étudiants juifs se sentir importuns ou attaqués. En signant l’ordonnance, M. Trump utilisera son pouvoir exécutif pour agir là où le Congrès ne l’a pas fait, reproduisant essentiellement une législation bipartite bloquée par le Capitol Hill depuis plusieurs années. D’éminents démocrates se sont joints aux républicains pour promouvoir un tel changement de politique afin de combattre l’antisémitisme ainsi que le mouvement de boycott d’Israël. Mais les critiques se sont plaints qu’une telle politique pourrait être utilisée pour étouffer la liberté d’expression et l’opposition légitime à la politique d’Israël envers les Palestiniens au nom de la lutte contre l’antisémitisme. La définition de l’antisémitisme utilisée dans l’ordonnance correspond à celle utilisée par le Département d’État et par d’autres nations, mais elle a été critiquée comme étant trop ouverte et trop générale. Par exemple, il y est décrit comme antisémite « nier au peuple juif son droit à l’autodétermination » dans certaines circonstances et offre comme exemple de ce comportement « affirmer que l’existence d’un État d’Israël est une entreprise raciste ». (…) Les responsables de l’administration, qui ont insisté sur l’anonymat pour discuter de l’ordonnance avant son annonce officielle, ont déclaré qu’elle n’était pas destiné à étouffer la liberté d’expression. La Maison Blanche a contacté certains démocrates et groupes militants qui ont critiqué le président pour obtenir un soutien à cette décision. (…) Au fil des ans, M. Trump a été accusé de faire des remarques antisémites, de fermer les yeux sur les tropes antisémites ou d’enhardir les suprémacistes blancs comme ceux de Charlottesville, en Virginie, en 2017. Le week-end dernier, il a été critiqué pour ses propos tenus en Floride devant le Conseil israélo-américain au cours de laquelle il a déclaré au public juif qu’ils n’étaient « pas des gens sympas » mais qu’ils appuieraient sa réélection parce que « vous n’allez pas voter pour l’impôt sur la fortune ». Mais il s’est également positionné comme un partisan indéfectible d’Israël et un champion des Juifs américains, en déplaçant l’ambassade des États-Unis à Jérusalem, en soutenant les colonies en Cisjordanie et en reconnaissant la saisie des hauteurs du Golan. Il a également agressé la représentante Ilhan Omar, démocrate du Minnesota, lorsqu’elle a déclaré que le soutien à Israël était « tout au sujet des Benjamins », ce qui signifie de l’argent. (…) L’ordonnance à signer par M. Trump habiliterait le Département de l’éducation à de telles actions. En vertu du titre VI de la loi sur les droits civils de 1964, le ministère peut retenir le financement de tout collège ou programme éducatif qui établit une discrimination «fondée sur la race, la couleur ou l’origine nationale». La religion n’était pas incluse dans les catégories protégées, donc l’ordre de Donald Trump aura pour effet d’embrasser un argument selon lequel les Juifs sont un peuple ou une race d’origine nationale collective au Moyen-Orient, comme les Italo-Américains ou les Polonais américains. La définition de l’antisémitisme qui doit être adoptée par le Département d’État et formulée à l’origine par l’Alliance internationale pour la mémoire de l’Holocauste comprend « une certaine perception des Juifs, qui peut être exprimée comme de la haine envers les Juifs ». Cependant, elle ajoute que « des critiques d’Israël similaires à ce niveau contre tout autre pays ne peut pas être considéré comme antisémite ». (…) Bien qu’un ordre exécutif ne soit pas aussi permanent que la législation et puisse être annulé par le prochain président, l’action de M. Trump peut avoir pour effet d’étendre la politique au-delà de son administration, car ses successeurs peuvent trouver politiquement peu attrayant de le renverser. NYT
President Trump plans to sign an executive order on Wednesday targeting what he sees as anti-Semitism on college campuses by threatening to withhold federal money from educational institutions that fail to combat discrimination, three administration officials said on Tuesday. The order will effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality, not just a religion, to prompt a federal law penalizing colleges and universities deemed to be shirking their responsibility to foster an open climate for minority students. NYT
In an alternate universe, the idea of a presidential order designed to protect Jews from discrimination on college campuses would not necessarily create a firestorm of mutual recrimination and internecine political warfare. True, there is no consensus on whether “Jewish” is a religious, cultural, ethnic, or national identity. Most often, it is framed as a combination of at least three, but not always and certainly not in the views of all the various denominations and sects that accept the appellation. But there is no question that anti-Semitic acts are increasing across the United States, and they are being undertaken by people who could not care less about these distinctions. And there is nothing inherently objectionable about using the power of the federal government to try to protect people, including college students, from those incidents’ consequences. But in this universe, the guy who ordered this protection, Donald Trump, has revealed himself repeatedly to be an inveterate anti-Semite. (…) That’s on the one hand. On the other, Trump has been a perfect patsy for Israel’s right-wing government and its supporters in what is misnamed the American “pro-Israel” community. While previous presidents sought, without much success, to restrain Israel on behalf of a hoped-for future peace agreement with the Palestinians, Trump has given that nation’s most corrupt and extremist leadership in its 71-year-history carte blanche—peace and the Palestinians be damned. If the simultaneous embrace of anti-Semitism at home and philo-Semitism when it comes to Israel strikes one as contradictory, this is a mistake. Trump, like so many of today’s elected “populists,” sees considerable advantage in playing to hometown prejudices for personal gain while boosting Israel as a bulwark against worldwide Islam, which many of the president’s supporters consider an even greater offense to Christian belief than Jews are. Jews may be greedy and disloyal at home, but as long as Israel is out there kicking the shit out of the Arabs, it’s a trade-off that right-wing autocrats and their neofascist followers can get behind. (…) But the issue of the executive order is complicated by the fact that it is understood by all to be a means for the federal government to step in and quash the intensifying criticism of Israel on college campuses—most notably, criticism that takes the form of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, or BDS. And it does this in part by insisting, as Jared Kushner recently argued in a New York Times op-ed, that all “anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.” I’ve been an outspoken critic of the academic BDS movement for some time now. But if you ask me, the movement has been a spectacular failure in every respect, save one: It has succeeded in turning many college campuses into anti-Israel inculcation centers and therefore has scared the bejesus out of the Jewish parents paying for their kids to attend them. At the same time—even if you allow that occasional anti-Semitic comments and actions by some of BDS’s supporters are outliers and not indicative of most of its followers—I find the idea and, even more so, the practice of an academic boycott to be undeniably contradictory to universities’ philosophical commitment to freedom of expression and ideas. Nonetheless, the explicit and intellectually indefensible equation of anti-Zionism with actionable anti-Semitism is an obvious offense to the notion of freedom of expression, however much it cheers the tiny hearts of right-wing Jews and other Trump defenders. Jewish students already had all the protections they needed before Trump’s executive order. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act covers discrimination on the basis of a “group’s actual or perceived ancestry or ethnic characteristics” or “actual or perceived citizenship or residency in a country whose residents share a dominant religion or a distinct religious identity.” The New York Times’ early, inaccurate reporting on the executive order, in which the paper falsely stated that the order would “effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality,” deserves special mention here for creating the panic. But the result of the entire episode is that, yet again, the Trump administration has placed a stupid, shiny object before the media, and the hysteria that has ensued has divided Americans, Jews, liberals and conservatives, and free speech and human rights activists, all while the administration continues its relentless assault on our democracy and better selves. The Nation
US President Donald Trump thinks that anti-Semitism is a serious problem in America. But Trump is not so much concerned about neo-Nazis who scream that Jews and other minorities “will not replace us,” for he thinks that many white supremacists are “very fine people.” No, Trump is more worried about US college campuses, where students call for boycotts of Israel in support of the Palestinians. (…) In the first years of the Jewish state, Israel was popular among many leftists, because it was built on socialist ideas. Left-wing opinion in Europe and the United States began to turn against Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967, when Arab territories were occupied by Israeli troops. More and more, Israel came to be seen as a colonial power, or an apartheid state. One may or may not agree with that view of Israel. But few would deny that occupation, as is usually the case when civilians are under the thumb of a foreign military power, has led to oppression. So, to be a strong advocate for Palestinian rights and a critic of Israeli policies, on college campuses or anywhere else, does not automatically make one an anti-Semite. But there are extreme forms of anti-Zionism that do. The question is when that line is crossed. Some would claim that it is anti-Semitic to deny Jews the right to have their own homeland. This is indeed one of the premises of Trump’s presidential order. There are also elements on the radical left, certainly represented in educational institutions, who are so obsessed by the oppression of Palestinians that they see Israel as the world’s greatest evil. Just as anti-Semites in the past often linked Jews with the US, as the twin sources of rootless capitalist malevolence, some modern anti-Zionists combine their anti-Americanism with a loathing for Israel.In the minds of certain leftists, Israel and its American big brother are not just the last bastions of racist Western imperialism. The idea of a hidden Jewish capitalist cabal can also enter left-wing demonology as readily as it infects the far right. This noxious prejudice has haunted the British Labour Party, something its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has consistently failed to recognize.In short, anti-Zionism can veer into anti-Semitism, but not all critics of Israel are anti-Zionist, and not all anti-Zionists are prejudiced against Jews.Quite where people stand on this issue depends heavily on how they define a Jew – a source of endless vagueness and confusion. (…)There is, in any case, something ill-conceived about the stress on race and nationhood in Trump’s order on combating anti-Semitism. Israel is the only state claiming to represent all Jews, but not all Jews necessarily identify with Israel. Some even actively dislike it. Trump’s order might suggest that such people are renegades, or even traitors. This idea might please Israel’s current government, but it is far from the spirit of the Halakha, or even from the liberal idea of citizenship.Defining Jews as a “race” is just as much of a problem. Jews come from many ethnic backgrounds: Yemenite, Ethiopian, Russian, Moroccan, and Swedish Jews are hard to pin down as a distinctive ethnic group. Hitler saw Jews as a race, but that is no reason to follow his example.To combat racism, wherever it occurs, is a laudable aim. But singling out anti-Semitism in an executive order, especially when the concept is so intimately linked to views on the state of Israel, is a mistake. Extreme anti-Zionists may be a menace; all extremists are. But they should be tolerated, as long as their views are peacefully expressed. To stifle opinions on campuses by threatening to withhold funds runs counter to the freedom of speech guaranteed by the US Constitution. This is, alas, not the only sign that upholding the constitution is not the main basis of the current US administration’s claim to legitimacy. Ian Buruma
Donald Trump has a knack for taking some of humanity’s most problematic ideas and turning them on their head to make them even worse. He has done it again. On Wednesday, he signed an executive order that will allow federal funds to be withheld from colleges where students are not protected from anti-Semitism—using an absurdly defined version of what constitutes anti-Semitism. Recent precedent and the history of legislative efforts that preceded the executive order would suggest that its main targets are campus groups critical of Israeli policies. What the order itself did not make explicit, the President’s son-in-law did: on Wednesday, Jared Kushner published an Op-Ed in the Times in which he stressed that the definition of anti-Semitism used in the executive order “makes clear what our administration has stated publicly on the record: Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.” Both Kushner and the executive order refer to the definition of anti-Semitism that was formulated, in 2016, by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; it has since been adopted by the State Department. The definition supplies examples of anti-Semitism, and Kushner cited the most problematic of these as the most important: “the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity”; denial to “the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor”; and comparing “contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” All three examples perform the same sleight of hand: they reframe opposition to or criticism of Israeli policies as opposition to the state of Israel. And that, says Kushner, is anti-Semitism. To be sure, some people who are critical of Israeli policies are opposed to the existence of the state of Israel itself. And some of those people are also anti-Semites. I am intimately familiar with this brand of anti-Semitism, because I grew up in the Soviet Union, where anti-Zionist rhetoric served as the propaganda backbone of state anti-Semitism. The word “Zionist,” when deployed by Pravda, served as incitement to violence and discrimination against Soviet Jews. All of this can be true at the same time that it is also true that Israel has effectively created an apartheid state, in which some Palestinians have some political rights and the rest have none. Human-rights organizations such as Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem—Israeli groups, founded and run by Jews—continue to document harrowing abuse of Palestinians in Israel, the occupied West Bank, and Gaza. One does not have to be an anti-Semite to be an anti-Zionist, but one certainly can be both an anti-Semite and an anti-Zionist. Trump, however, has inverted this formula by positioning himself as a pro-Zionist anti-Semite. Masha Gessen (New Yorker)
The key point we were making is that sometimes discrimination against Jews, Muslims, and others is based on a perception of shared race, ethnicity, or national origin, and in those cases it’s appropriate to think of that discrimination as race or national origin discrimination as well as religious discrimination. It doesn’t mean that the government is saying that the group is a racial or national group. The government is saying that the discrimination is based on the discriminator’s perception of race or national origin. That’s a very different matter from saying that anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian speech constitutes discrimination. Sam Bagenstos (University of Michigan Law School)
The text of the order, which leaked on Wednesday, does not redefine Judaism as a race or nationality. It does not claim that Jews are a nation or a different race. The order’s interpretation of Title VI—insofar as the law applies to Jews—is entirely in line with the Obama administration’s approach. It only deviates from past practice by suggesting that harsh criticism of Israel—specifically, the notion that it is “a racist endeavor”—may be used as evidence to prove anti-Semitic intent. There is good reason, however, to doubt that the order can actually be used to suppress non-bigoted disapproval of Israel on college campuses. Title VI bars discrimination on the basis of “race, color or national origin” in programs that receive federal assistance—most notably here, educational institutions. It does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, an omission that raises difficult questions about religions that may have an ethnic component. For example, people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities can be Muslim. But Islamophobia often takes the form of intolerance against individuals of Arab or Middle Eastern origin. If a college permits rampant Islamophobic harassment on campus, has it run afoul of Title VI? In a 2004 policy statement, Kenneth L. Marcus—then–deputy assistant secretary for enforcement at the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights—answered that question. “Groups that face discrimination on the basis of shared ethnic characteristics,” Marcus wrote, “may not be denied the protection” under Title VI “on the ground that they also share a common faith.” Put differently, people who face discrimination because of their perceived ethnicity do not lose protection because of their religion. The Office of Civil Rights, Marcus continued, “will exercise its jurisdiction to enforce the Title VI prohibition against national origin discrimination, regardless of whether the groups targeted for discrimination also exhibit religious characteristics. Thus, for example, OCR aggressively investigates alleged race or ethnic harassment against Arab Muslim, Sikh and Jewish students.” The Obama administration reaffirmed this position in a 2010 letter written by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, who is now the chair of the Democratic National Committee. “We agree,” Perez wrote, with Marcus’ analysis. “Although Title VI does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, discrimination against Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and members of other religious groups violates Title VI when that discrimination is based on the group’s actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, rather than its members’ religious practice.” Perez added that Title VI “prohibits discrimination against an individual where it is based on actual or perceived citizenship or residency in a country whose residents share a dominant religion or a distinct religious identity.” On Wednesday, I asked Perez’s former principal deputy, Sam Bagenstos—now a professor at University of Michigan Law School—whether he felt this reasoning equated any religious group of a nationality or race. “The key point we were making,” he told me, “is that sometimes discrimination against Jews, Muslims, and others is based on a perception of shared race, ethnicity, or national origin, and in those cases it’s appropriate to think of that discrimination as race or national origin discrimination as well as religious discrimination. It doesn’t mean that the government is saying that the group is a racial or national group. The government is saying that the discrimination is based on the discriminator’s perception of race or national origin. That’s a very different matter from saying that anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian speech constitutes discrimination.” Trump’s executive order mostly just reaffirms the current law. Trump’s EO does not deviate from this understanding of the overlap between discrimination on the basis of race or nationality and discrimination against religion. It only changes the law insofar as it expands the definition of anti-Semitism that may run afoul of Title VI. In assessing potential violations, the order directs executive agencies to look to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition—chiefly “hatred toward Jews” directed at individuals, their property, their “community institutions and religious facilities.” Agencies must also refer to the IHRA’s “Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism.” That list contains a number of obvious, unobjectionable examples. But it also includes two more controversial examples: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” and “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” To the extent that anyone is alarmed by Wednesday’s order, these examples should be the focus of their concern. A tendentious reading of this rule could theoretically get students in trouble for severe condemnation of Israeli policy, even when it does not cross the line into a condemnation of Jews. But the order only directs agencies to consider the IHRA’s list “to the extent that any examples might be useful as evidence of discriminatory intent.” In other words, applying double standards to Israel alone would not trigger a Title VI investigation. Instead, the IHRA’s list would only come into play after an individual is accused of overt anti-Semitism with an ethnic component, and then only as evidence of bigoted intent. Moreover, the order states that agencies “shall not diminish or infringe upon any right protected under Federal law or under the First Amendment” in enforcing Title VI. Because political criticism of Israel is plainly protected speech, the impact of the order’s revised definition of anti-Semitism will likely be limited. In fact, it’s unclear whether Wednesday’s order will have any impact, given that it mostly just reaffirms the current law. The New York Times’ reporting provoked anger among many Jews, who feared that an order to “effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality” would stoke anti-Semitism. But the order does no such thing. It restates the federal government’s long-standing interpretation of Title VI to encompass some anti-Jewish bias. And it raises the faint possibility that, in some case down the road, a student’s sharp criticism of Israel may be used as evidence of anti-Semitic intent after he has been accused of targeting Jews because of their perceived race or nationality. Is this order red meat for Republicans who believe colleges are increasingly hostile to Jews? Probably. Will it quash the pro-Palestine movement on campuses or impose an unwanted classification on American Jews? Absolutely not.

Plus raciste que moi, tu meurs !

En cette première journée d’Hanoukah, la Fête des lumières juive célébrant la reconsécration du Temple par les Maccabées en décembre 165 avant notre ère suite à sa désécration par le roi Séleucide (syrien descendant des généraux d’Alexandre) Antiochus (ou Antiochos) IV dit Epiphane …

Qui derrière la tentative d’héllénisation forcée et les mesures d’une sorte de génocide culturel …

Et la véritable crise identitaire que déclencha, avant celle des Romains puis la nôtre aujourd’hui, cette première mondialisation …

Vit en fait au sein même d’Israël non seulement une révolte fiscale…

Mais une véritable guerre civile entre factions opposées du judaïsme (héllenisés contre traditionalistes) …

Les premiers allant jusqu’à faire appel à la puissante occupante des Séleucides pour arbitrer le conflit …

Et au lendemain de la retentissante et réjouissante remise aux poubelles de l’histoire par le peuple britannique …

De la véritable institutionnalisation de l’antisémitisme, derrière le parti de Jeremy Corbyn, de toute une gauche européenne et américaine …

Comment ne pas voir rejouer sous nos yeux, toutes proportions gardées, cette même guerre culturelle …

Au sein même de la communauté juive aussi bien américaine que mondiale …

Et, 70 ans après sa re-création, ce même refus d’une souveraineté juive restaurée

Suite aux premières fuites (d’un toujours aussi zélé NYT ayant conclu un peu hâtivement à une assimilation qui y aurait été faite du judaïsme à une race ou un groupe ethnique) d’un décret que vient de publier le président Trump contre l’antisémitisme  …

Qui, entre appels au boycott d’Israël et intimidation de toute parole pro-israélienne, continue ses ravages sur les campus américains …

Et comment ne pas découvrir horrifié derrière l’interdiction de l’antisionisme …

L’opposition à un « Etat d’apartheid » ne pouvant être, y compris on le sait à coup d’associations au nazisme, qualifié de racisme …

L’abomination de cette nouvelle race de super-racistes …

A savoir celle du… sioniste antisémite ?

Trump’s Racist Ban on Anti-Semitism
To combat racism, wherever it occurs, is a laudable aim. But singling out anti-Semitism in an executive order, especially when the concept is so intimately linked to views on the state of Israel, is a mistake.
Ian Buruma
Project syndicate
Dec 13, 2019

NEW YORK – US President Donald Trump thinks that anti-Semitism is a serious problem in America. But Trump is not so much concerned about neo-Nazis who scream that Jews and other minorities “will not replace us,” for he thinks that many white supremacists are “very fine people.” No, Trump is more worried about US college campuses, where students call for boycotts of Israel in support of the Palestinians.

Trump just signed an executive order requiring that federal money be withheld from educational institutions that fail to combat anti-Semitism. Since Jews are identified in this order as a discriminated group on the grounds of ethnic, racial, or national characteristics, an attack on Israel would be anti-Semitic by definition. This is indeed the position of Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, who believes that “anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”There are, of course, as many forms of anti-Semitism as there are interpretations of what it means to be Jewish. When Trump and his supporters rant in campaign rallies about shadowy cabals of international financiers who undermine the interests of “ordinary, decent people,” some might interpret that as a common anti-Semitic trope, especially when an image of George Soros is brandished to underline this message. Trump even hinted at the possibility that the liberal Jewish human rights promoter and philanthropist was deliberately funding “caravans” of refugees and illegal aliens so that they could spread mayhem in the US. In Soros’s native Hungary, attacks on him as a cosmopolitan enemy of the people are unmistakably anti-Semitic.Conspiracy theories about sinister Jewish power have a long history. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a Russian forgery published in 1903, popularized the notion that Jewish bankers and financiers were secretly pulling the strings to dominate the world. Henry Ford was one of the more prominent people who believed this nonsense.The history of extreme anti-Zionism is not so long. In the first years of the Jewish state, Israel was popular among many leftists, because it was built on socialist ideas. Left-wing opinion in Europe and the United States began to turn against Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967, when Arab territories were occupied by Israeli troops. More and more, Israel came to be seen as a colonial power, or an apartheid state.One may or may not agree with that view of Israel. But few would deny that occupation, as is usually the case when civilians are under the thumb of a foreign military power, has led to oppression. So, to be a strong advocate for Palestinian rights and a critic of Israeli policies, on college campuses or anywhere else, does not automatically make one an anti-Semite. But there are extreme forms of anti-Zionism that do. The question is when that line is crossed.

Some would claim that it is anti-Semitic to deny Jews the right to have their own homeland. This is indeed one of the premises of Trump’s presidential order. There are also elements on the radical left, certainly represented in educational institutions, who are so obsessed by the oppression of Palestinians that they see Israel as the world’s greatest evil. Just as anti-Semites in the past often linked Jews with the US, as the twin sources of rootless capitalist malevolence, some modern anti-Zionists combine their anti-Americanism with a loathing for Israel.

In the minds of certain leftists, Israel and its American big brother are not just the last bastions of racist Western imperialism. The idea of a hidden Jewish capitalist cabal can also enter left-wing demonology as readily as it infects the far right. This noxious prejudice has haunted the British Labour Party, something its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has consistently failed to recognize.In short, anti-Zionism can veer into anti-Semitism, but not all critics of Israel are anti-Zionist, and not all anti-Zionists are prejudiced against Jews.Quite where people stand on this issue depends heavily on how they define a Jew – a source of endless vagueness and confusion. According to Halakha, or Jewish law, anyone with a Jewish mother, or who has converted to Judaism, is Jewish. That is the general Orthodox view. But more liberal Reform Jews allow Jewish identity to pass through the father as well.On the other hand, while most Orthodox Jews consider a person to be Jewish even if they convert to another religion, Reform Jews do not. Israel’s Law of Return grants “every Jew” the right to immigrate, but refrains from defining Jewishness. Since 1970, even people with one Jewish grandparent have been eligible to become Israeli citizens. In the infamous Nuremberg laws, promulgated by the Nazis in 1935, people with only one Jewish parent could retain German citizenship, while “full” Jews could not.The whole thing is so complicated that Amos Oz, the Israeli novelist, once sought to simplify the matter as follows: “Who is a Jew? Everyone who is mad enough to call himself or herself a Jew, is a Jew.”There is, in any case, something ill-conceived about the stress on race and nationhood in Trump’s order on combating anti-Semitism. Israel is the only state claiming to represent all Jews, but not all Jews necessarily identify with Israel. Some even actively dislike it. Trump’s order might suggest that such people are renegades, or even traitors. This idea might please Israel’s current government, but it is far from the spirit of the Halakha, or even from the liberal idea of citizenship.Defining Jews as a “race” is just as much of a problem. Jews come from many ethnic backgrounds: Yemenite, Ethiopian, Russian, Moroccan, and Swedish Jews are hard to pin down as a distinctive ethnic group. Hitler saw Jews as a race, but that is no reason to follow his example.To combat racism, wherever it occurs, is a laudable aim. But singling out anti-Semitism in an executive order, especially when the concept is so intimately linked to views on the state of Israel, is a mistake. Extreme anti-Zionists may be a menace; all extremists are. But they should be tolerated, as long as their views are peacefully expressed. To stifle opinions on campuses by threatening to withhold funds runs counter to the freedom of speech guaranteed by the US Constitution. This is, alas, not the only sign that upholding the constitution is not the main basis of the current US administration’s claim to legitimacy.

Voir aussi:

The Real Purpose of Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism
The President’s new order will not protect anyone against anti-Semitism, and it’s not intended to. Its sole aim is to quash the defense—and even the discussion—of Palestinian rights.
Masha Gessen
The New Yorker
December 12, 2019

Donald Trump has a knack for taking some of humanity’s most problematic ideas and turning them on their head to make them even worse. He has done it again. On Wednesday, he signed an executive order that will allow federal funds to be withheld from colleges where students are not protected from anti-Semitism—using an absurdly defined version of what constitutes anti-Semitism. Recent precedent and the history of legislative efforts that preceded the executive order would suggest that its main targets are campus groups critical of Israeli policies. What the order itself did not make explicit, the President’s son-in-law did: on Wednesday, Jared Kushner published an Op-Ed in the Times in which he stressed that the definition of anti-Semitism used in the executive order “makes clear what our administration has stated publicly on the record: Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”

Both Kushner and the executive order refer to the definition of anti-Semitism that was formulated, in 2016, by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; it has since been adopted by the State Department. The definition supplies examples of anti-Semitism, and Kushner cited the most problematic of these as the most important: “the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity”; denial to “the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor”; and comparing “contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” All three examples perform the same sleight of hand: they reframe opposition to or criticism of Israeli policies as opposition to the state of Israel. And that, says Kushner, is anti-Semitism.

To be sure, some people who are critical of Israeli policies are opposed to the existence of the state of Israel itself. And some of those people are also anti-Semites. I am intimately familiar with this brand of anti-Semitism, because I grew up in the Soviet Union, where anti-Zionist rhetoric served as the propaganda backbone of state anti-Semitism. The word “Zionist,” when deployed by Pravda, served as incitement to violence and discrimination against Soviet Jews. All of this can be true at the same time that it is also true that Israel has effectively created an apartheid state, in which some Palestinians have some political rights and the rest have none. Human-rights organizations such as Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem—Israeli groups, founded and run by Jews—continue to document harrowing abuse of Palestinians in Israel, the occupied West Bank, and Gaza.

In August, I went on a tour designed by Breaking the Silence that aims to show Israelis and foreigners what the occupation looks like. This particular tour ended in a Palestinian village which has been largely overtaken by an Israeli settlement that is illegal under international law. One of the Palestinian houses ended up on territory claimed by the settlers, so the settlers built a chain-link cage around the house, the yard, and the driveway. A young Palestinian child, who is growing up in a house inside a cage, waved to us through the fencing. Comparing this sort of approach to Nazi policies may not make for the most useful argument, but it is certainly not outlandish. The memory of the Holocaust stands as a warning to humanity about the dangers of dehumanizing the other—and invoking that warning in Palestine is warranted.

One does not have to be an anti-Semite to be an anti-Zionist, but one certainly can be both an anti-Semite and an anti-Zionist. Trump, however, has inverted this formula by positioning himself as a pro-Zionist anti-Semite. He has proclaimed his support often for the state of Israel. His Administration’s policies, which have included moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and, more recently, declaring that the U.S. does not view Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal, have pleased the state of Israel, especially its most militantly expansionist citizens. Over the weekend, however, at the Israeli American Council National Summit, in Florida, Trump gave a speech that brimmed with Jewish stereotypes: Jews and greed, Jews and money, Jews as ruthless wheeler-dealers. “A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well,” he said. « You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all.” It was the kind of stuff that requires no definitions, op-eds, or explanations—it was plain, easily recognizable anti-Semitism. And it was not the first time that Trump trafficked in anti-Semitic stereotypes. The world view behind these stereotypes, combined with support for Israel, is also recognizable. To Trump, Jews—including American Jews, some of whom vote for him—are alien beings whom he associates with the state of Israel. He finds these alien beings at once distasteful and worthy of a sort of admiration, perhaps because he ascribes to them many of the features that he also recognizes in himself.

It should come as no surprise that anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. increased by sixty per cent during the first year of Trump’s Presidency, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The current year is on track to set a record for the number of anti-Semitic attacks. The latest appears to have occurred on Tuesday, when shooters reportedly connected to a fringe group targeted a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, killing four people.

The new executive order will not protect anyone against anti-Semitism, and it’s not intended to. Its sole aim is to quash the defense—and even the discussion—of Palestinian rights. Its victim will be free speech.

Voir également:

No, the Trump Administration Is Not Redefining Judaism as a Nationality

Its executive order on anti-Semitism won’t change much at all.

The New York Times published a bombshell report on Tuesday claiming that President Donald Trump planned to sign an executive order that interpreted Judaism “as a race or nationality” under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VI governs federally funded educational programs, so the Times warned that the order might be deployed to squelch anti-Israel speech on campus. “Mr. Trump’s order,” the Times further claimed, “will have the effect of embracing an argument that Jews are a people or a race with a collective national origin in the Middle East, like Italian Americans or Polish Americans.”

That turned out to be untrue. The text of the order, which leaked on Wednesday, does not redefine Judaism as a race or nationality. It does not claim that Jews are a nation or a different race. The order’s interpretation of Title VI—insofar as the law applies to Jews—is entirely in line with the Obama administration’s approach. It only deviates from past practice by suggesting that harsh criticism of Israel—specifically, the notion that it is “a racist endeavor”—may be used as evidence to prove anti-Semitic intent. There is good reason, however, to doubt that the order can actually be used to suppress non-bigoted disapproval of Israel on college campuses.

Title VI bars discrimination on the basis of “race, color or national origin” in programs that receive federal assistance—most notably here, educational institutions. It does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, an omission that raises difficult questions about religions that may have an ethnic component. For example, people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities can be Muslim. But Islamophobia often takes the form of intolerance against individuals of Arab or Middle Eastern origin. If a college permits rampant Islamophobic harassment on campus, has it run afoul of Title VI?

In a 2004 policy statement, Kenneth L. Marcus—then–deputy assistant secretary for enforcement at the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights—answered that question. “Groups that face discrimination on the basis of shared ethnic characteristics,” Marcus wrote, “may not be denied the protection” under Title VI “on the ground that they also share a common faith.” Put differently, people who face discrimination because of their perceived ethnicity do not lose protection because of their religion. The Office of Civil Rights, Marcus continued, “will exercise its jurisdiction to enforce the Title VI prohibition against national origin discrimination, regardless of whether the groups targeted for discrimination also exhibit religious characteristics. Thus, for example, OCR aggressively investigates alleged race or ethnic harassment against Arab Muslim, Sikh and Jewish students.”

The Obama administration reaffirmed this position in a 2010 letter written by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, who is now the chair of the Democratic National Committee. “We agree,” Perez wrote, with Marcus’ analysis. “Although Title VI does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, discrimination against Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and members of other religious groups violates Title VI when that discrimination is based on the group’s actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, rather than its members’ religious practice.” Perez added that Title VI “prohibits discrimination against an individual where it is based on actual or perceived citizenship or residency in a country whose residents share a dominant religion or a distinct religious identity.”

On Wednesday, I asked Perez’s former principal deputy, Sam Bagenstos—now a professor at University of Michigan Law School—whether he felt this reasoning equated any religious group of a nationality or race. “The key point we were making,” he told me, “is that sometimes discrimination against Jews, Muslims, and others is based on a perception of shared race, ethnicity, or national origin, and in those cases it’s appropriate to think of that discrimination as race or national origin discrimination as well as religious discrimination. It doesn’t mean that the government is saying that the group is a racial or national group. The government is saying that the discrimination is based on the discriminator’s perception of race or national origin. That’s a very different matter from saying that anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian speech constitutes discrimination.”

Trump’s EO does not deviate from this understanding of the overlap between discrimination on the basis of race or nationality and discrimination against religion. It only changes the law insofar as it expands the definition of anti-Semitism that may run afoul of Title VI. In assessing potential violations, the order directs executive agencies to look to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition—chiefly “hatred toward Jews” directed at individuals, their property, their “community institutions and religious facilities.”

Agencies must also refer to the IHRA’s “Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism.” That list contains a number of obvious, unobjectionable examples. But it also includes two more controversial examples: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” and “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” To the extent that anyone is alarmed by Wednesday’s order, these examples should be the focus of their concern. A tendentious reading of this rule could theoretically get students in trouble for severe condemnation of Israeli policy, even when it does not cross the line into a condemnation of Jews.

But the order only directs agencies to consider the IHRA’s list “to the extent that any examples might be useful as evidence of discriminatory intent.” In other words, applying double standards to Israel alone would not trigger a Title VI investigation. Instead, the IHRA’s list would only come into play after an individual is accused of overt anti-Semitism with an ethnic component, and then only as evidence of bigoted intent. Moreover, the order states that agencies “shall not diminish or infringe upon any right protected under Federal law or under the First Amendment” in enforcing Title VI. Because political criticism of Israel is plainly protected speech, the impact of the order’s revised definition of anti-Semitism will likely be limited.

In fact, it’s unclear whether Wednesday’s order will have any impact, given that it mostly just reaffirms the current law. The New York Times’ reporting provoked anger among many Jews, who feared that an order to “effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality” would stoke anti-Semitism. But the order does no such thing. It restates the federal government’s long-standing interpretation of Title VI to encompass some anti-Jewish bias. And it raises the faint possibility that, in some case down the road, a student’s sharp criticism of Israel may be used as evidence of anti-Semitic intent after he has been accused of targeting Jews because of their perceived race or nationality. Is this order red meat for Republicans who believe colleges are increasingly hostile to Jews? Probably. Will it quash the pro-Palestine movement on campuses or impose an unwanted classification on American Jews? Absolutely not.

Voir de même:

In an alternate universe, the idea of a presidential order designed to protect Jews from discrimination on college campuses would not necessarily create a firestorm of mutual recrimination and internecine political warfare. True, there is no consensus on whether “Jewish” is a religious, cultural, ethnic, or national identity. Most often, it is framed as a combination of at least three, but not always and certainly not in the views of all the various denominations and sects that accept the appellation. But there is no question that anti-Semitic acts are increasing across the United States, and they are being undertaken by people who could not care less about these distinctions. And there is nothing inherently objectionable about using the power of the federal government to try to protect people, including college students, from those incidents’ consequences.

But in this universe, the guy who ordered this protection, Donald Trump, has revealed himself repeatedly to be an inveterate anti-Semite. Just a few days before he issued the executive order, he told supporters of the Israeli-American Council, “You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all…. Some of you don’t like me. Some of you I don’t like at all, actually.” He went on to insist nevertheless that the Jews gathered to hear him were “going to be my biggest supporters,” because Democrats were proposing to raise taxes on the superwealthy. In other words, Jews are greedy and care only about their personal fortunes. Trump, of course, was playing to type. He, his party, and his highest-profile supporters have repeatedly demonized Jews in political advertisements, deploying age-old anti-Semitic tropes that have been used to stir up violence against vulnerable Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere. In addition, Trump frequently implies that Jews are not “real” Americans. He tells Jews that Bibi Netanyahu is “your prime minister” and complains that Jewish Democrats—which is most Jews—are “disloyal to Israel.”

That’s on the one hand. On the other, Trump has been a perfect patsy for Israel’s right-wing government and its supporters in what is misnamed the American “pro-Israel” community. While previous presidents sought, without much success, to restrain Israel on behalf of a hoped-for future peace agreement with the Palestinians, Trump has given that nation’s most corrupt and extremist leadership in its 71-year-history carte blanche—peace and the Palestinians be damned.

If the simultaneous embrace of anti-Semitism at home and philo-Semitism when it comes to Israel strikes one as contradictory, this is a mistake. Trump, like so many of today’s elected “populists,” sees considerable advantage in playing to hometown prejudices for personal gain while boosting Israel as a bulwark against worldwide Islam, which many of the president’s supporters consider an even greater offense to Christian belief than Jews are. Jews may be greedy and disloyal at home, but as long as Israel is out there kicking the shit out of the Arabs, it’s a trade-off that right-wing autocrats and their neofascist followers can get behind.

Most American Jews understandably want no part of this devil’s bargain. They are not interested in having their patriotism questioned. They remain among the most loyal and liberal constituencies in what is left of the decidedly tattered New Deal coalition that Franklin Roosevelt constructed back in the 1930s. And most hold Trump and his alt-right supporters accountable for the atmosphere of menace that has led to horrific attacks on Jews, like the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue last year.

But the issue of the executive order is complicated by the fact that it is understood by all to be a means for the federal government to step in and quash the intensifying criticism of Israel on college campuses—most notably, criticism that takes the form of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, or BDS. And it does this in part by insisting, as Jared Kushner recently argued in a New York Times op-ed, that all “anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”

I’ve been an outspoken critic of the academic BDS movement for some time now. But if you ask me, the movement has been a spectacular failure in every respect, save one: It has succeeded in turning many college campuses into anti-Israel inculcation centers and therefore has scared the bejesus out of the Jewish parents paying for their kids to attend them. At the same time—even if you allow that occasional anti-Semitic comments and actions by some of BDS’s supporters are outliers and not indicative of most of its followers—I find the idea and, even more so, the practice of an academic boycott to be undeniably contradictory to universities’ philosophical commitment to freedom of expression and ideas.

Nonetheless, the explicit and intellectually indefensible equation of anti-Zionism with actionable anti-Semitism is an obvious offense to the notion of freedom of expression, however much it cheers the tiny hearts of right-wing Jews and other Trump defenders. Jewish students already had all the protections they needed before Trump’s executive order. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act covers discrimination on the basis of a “group’s actual or perceived ancestry or ethnic characteristics” or “actual or perceived citizenship or residency in a country whose residents share a dominant religion or a distinct religious identity.”

The New York Times’ early, inaccurate reporting on the executive order, in which the paper falsely stated that the order would “effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality,” deserves special mention here for creating the panic. But the result of the entire episode is that, yet again, the Trump administration has placed a stupid, shiny object before the media, and the hysteria that has ensued has divided Americans, Jews, liberals and conservatives, and free speech and human rights activists, all while the administration continues its relentless assault on our democracy and better selves.

The president’s order would allow the government to withhold money from campuses deemed to be biased, but critics see it as an attack on free speech.

Peter Baker and

NYT

WASHINGTON — President Trump plans to sign an executive order on Wednesday targeting what he sees as anti-Semitism on college campuses by threatening to withhold federal money from educational institutions that fail to combat discrimination, three administration officials said on Tuesday.

The order will effectively interpret Judaism as a race or nationality, not just a religion, to prompt a federal law penalizing colleges and universities deemed to be shirking their responsibility to foster an open climate for minority students. In recent years, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — or B.D.S. — movement against Israel has roiled some campuses, leaving some Jewish students feeling unwelcome or attacked.

In signing the order, Mr. Trump will use his executive power to take action where Congress has not, essentially replicating bipartisan legislation that has stalled on Capitol Hill for several years. Prominent Democrats have joined Republicans in promoting such a policy change to combat anti-Semitism as well as the boycott-Israel movement.

But critics complained that such a policy could be used to stifle free speech and legitimate opposition to Israel’s policies toward Palestinians in the name of fighting anti-Semitism. The definition of anti-Semitism to be used in the order matches the one used by the State Department and by other nations, but it has been criticized as too open-ended and sweeping.

For instance, it describes as anti-Semitic “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” under some circumstances and offers as an example of such behavior “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, said Mr. Trump’s order is part of a sustained campaign “to silence Palestinian rights activism” by equating opposition to Israeli treatment of Palestinians with anti-Semitism.

“Israeli apartheid is a very hard product to sell in America, especially in progressive spaces,” Mr. Munayyer said, “and realizing this, many Israeli apartheid apologists, Trump included, are looking to silence a debate they know they can’t win.”

Administration officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the order before its official announcement, said it was not intended to squelch free speech. The White House reached out to some Democrats and activist groups that have been critical of the president to build support for the move.

Among those welcoming the order on Tuesday was Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, who said the group recorded its third-highest level of anti-Semitic episodes in the United States last year.

“Of course we hope it will be enforced in a fair manner,” he said. “But the fact of the matter is we see Jewish students on college campuses and Jewish people all over being marginalized. The rise of anti-Semitic incidents is not theoretical; it’s empirical.”

David Krone, a former chief of staff to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada when he was Senate Democratic leader, has lobbied for years for such a policy change and praised Mr. Trump for taking action.

“I know people are going to criticize me for saying this,” Mr. Krone said, “but I have to give credit where credit is due.” He added, “It’s too important to let partisanship get in the way.”

Mr. Reid helped push for legislation similar to the order called the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016. It passed the Senate in December 2016 unanimously but died in the House as that session of Congress ended. It has been reintroduced by Democrats and Republicans but has made little progress to Mr. Trump’s desk.

Mr. Krone continued to work on the issue after Mr. Reid retired and reached out through a mutual friend last summer to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser. The Jewish grandson of Holocaust survivors, Mr. Kushner embraced the idea, which also had been explored over the past year by the president’s domestic policy aides. With Mr. Kushner’s support, the White House drafted the order and Mr. Trump agreed to sign it.

Mr. Trump over the years has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks, turning a blind eye to anti-Jewish tropes or emboldening white supremacists like those in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. Just last weekend, he drew criticism for remarks in Florida before the Israeli American Council in which he told the Jewish audience they were “not nice people” but would support his re-election because “you’re not going to vote for the wealth tax.”

But he has also positioned himself as an unflinching supporter of Israel and a champion of Jewish Americans, moving the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, supporting settlements in the West Bank and recognizing the seizure of the Golan Heights. He also assailed Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, when she said support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” meaning money.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, a liberal Israel advocacy group, said the president’s order was a cynical effort to crack down on critics, not to defend Jews from bias. “It is particularly outrageous and absurd for President Trump to pretend to care about anti-Semitism during the same week in which he once again publicly spouted anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money,” he said in a statement.

The president’s action comes soon after the Education Department ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to remake their joint Middle East studies program on the grounds that it featured a biased curriculum. The move was part of a broader campaign by Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, and her civil rights chief, Kenneth L. Marcus, to go after perceived anti-Israel bias in higher education.

The order to be signed by Mr. Trump would empower the Education Department in such actions. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the department can withhold funding from any college or educational program that discriminates “on the ground of race, color, or national origin.” Religion was not included among the protected categories, so Mr. Trump’s order will have the effect of embracing an argument that Jews are a people or a race with a collective national origin in the Middle East, like Italian Americans or Polish Americans.

The definition of anti-Semitism to be adopted from the State Department and originally formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance includes “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.” However, it adds that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”

The American Civil Liberties Union was among the groups that opposed using the definition in the 2016 legislation, deeming it overly broad. “It cannot and must not be that our civil rights laws are used in such a way to penalize political advocacy on the basis of viewpoint,” the group said in a letter to Congress at the time. Kenneth S. Stern, the original lead author of the definition, also objected to using it, saying that “students and faculty members will be scared into silence, and administrators will err on the side of suppressing or censuring speech.”

But Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida, who was among the sponsors of the 2016 legislation, wrote in an op-ed article in The Times of Israel last week that the definition “was drafted not to regulate free speech or punish people for expressing their beliefs.” Instead, he wrote, “This definition can serve as an important tool to guide our government’s response to anti-Semitism.”

Last week, a group of 80 education, civil rights and religious organizations sent a letter to Ms. DeVos complaining that some Middle East studies centers on college campuses financed by the government under Title VI have sought to boycott Israel or shut down their universities’ study abroad programs in Israel.

“Recent incidents have demonstrated the willingness of faculty across the country to implement the academic boycott of Israel on their campuses,” the letter said.

The president is expected to be joined at the signing by several prominent Republican lawmakers, including Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina and James Lankford of Oklahoma and Representative Doug Collins of Georgia. But Democrats who have advocated the legislation in the past are not expected, including Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, who on Tuesday released articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

While an executive order is not as permanent as legislation and can be overturned by the next president, Mr. Trump’s action may have the effect of extending the policy beyond his administration anyway because his successors may find it politically unappealing to reverse.

Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from Hershey, Pa.

Etats-Unis/Antisémitisme – Donald Trump cible l’antisémitisme et le boycott israélien sur les campus universitaires

L’ordonnance du président permettrait au gouvernement de retenir de l’argent sur les campus réputés biaisés, mais les critiques y voient une attaque contre la liberté d’expression.

Publié le 10 décembre dans le New York Times sous le titre Trump Targets Anti-Semitism and Israeli Boycotts on College Campuses

Traduction proposée par le Crif

Le président Trump prévoit de signer mercredi un décret visant à cibler ce qu’il considère comme de l’antisémitisme sur les campus universitaires en menaçant de retenir l’argent fédéral des établissements d’enseignement qui ne parviennent pas à lutter contre la discrimination, ont déclaré mardi trois responsables de l’administration.

L’ordonnance interprétera efficacement le judaïsme comme une race ou une nationalité, et pas seulement comme une religion, pour inciter une loi fédérale pénalisant les collèges et universités réputés pour se dérober à leur responsabilité afin de favoriser un climat ouvert pour les étudiants issus de minorités. Ces dernières années, le boycott, le désinvestissement et les sanctions – ou B.D.S. – le mouvement contre Israël a troublé certains campus, laissant certains étudiants juifs se sentir importuns ou attaqués.

En signant l’ordonnance, M. Trump utilisera son pouvoir exécutif pour agir là où le Congrès ne l’a pas fait, reproduisant essentiellement une législation bipartite bloquée par le Capitol Hill depuis plusieurs années. D’éminents démocrates se sont joints aux républicains pour promouvoir un tel changement de politique afin de combattre l’antisémitisme ainsi que le mouvement de boycott d’Israël.

Mais les critiques se sont plaints qu’une telle politique pourrait être utilisée pour étouffer la liberté d’expression et l’opposition légitime à la politique d’Israël envers les Palestiniens au nom de la lutte contre l’antisémitisme. La définition de l’antisémitisme utilisée dans l’ordonnance correspond à celle utilisée par le Département d’État et par d’autres nations, mais elle a été critiquée comme étant trop ouverte et trop générale.

Par exemple, il y est décrit comme antisémite « nier au peuple juif son droit à l’autodétermination » dans certaines circonstances et offre comme exemple de ce comportement « affirmer que l’existence d’un État d’Israël est une entreprise raciste ».

Yousef Munayyer, directeur exécutif de la Campagne américaine pour les droits des Palestiniens, a déclaré que l’ordonnance de M. Trump faisait partie d’une campagne soutenue « pour faire taire l’activisme pour les droits des Palestiniens » en assimilant l’opposition au traitement israélien des Palestiniens à l’antisémitisme.

« L’apartheid israélien est un produit très difficile à vendre en Amérique, en particulier dans les espaces progressistes« , a déclaré M. Munayyer, « et réalisant cela, de nombreux apologistes de l’apartheid israélien, Trump inclus, cherchent à faire taire un débat qu’ils savent qu’ils ne peuvent pas gagner… « 

Les responsables de l’administration, qui ont insisté sur l’anonymat pour discuter de l’ordonnance avant son annonce officielle, ont déclaré qu’elle n’était pas destiné à étouffer la liberté d’expression. La Maison Blanche a contacté certains démocrates et groupes militants qui ont critiqué le président pour obtenir un soutien à cette décision.

Mardi, Jonathan Greenblatt, directeur général de la Ligue anti-diffamation, a déclaré que le groupe avait enregistré son troisième épisode antisémite aux États-Unis l’année dernière.

« Bien sûr, nous espérons qu’il sera appliqué de manière équitable », a-t-il déclaré. « Mais le fait est que nous voyons des étudiants juifs sur les campus universitaires et des Juifs partout marginalisés. La montée des incidents antisémites n’est pas théorique; c’est empirique. « 

David Krone, ancien chef de cabinet du sénateur Harry Reid du Nevada lorsqu’il était leader démocrate du Sénat, a fait pression pendant des années pour un tel changement de politique et a félicité M. Trump d’avoir pris des mesures.

« Je sais que les gens vont me critiquer pour avoir dit cela », a déclaré M. Krone, « mais je dois donner du crédit là où le mérite est dû ». Il a ajouté: « Il est trop important de laisser la partisanerie faire obstacle. »

M. Reid a aidé à faire pression pour une législation similaire à l’ordonnance appelée Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016. Elle a été adoptée à l’unanimité par le Sénat en décembre 2016, mais est décédée à la Chambre à la fin de cette session du Congrès. Il a été réintroduit par les démocrates et les républicains mais a peu progressé sur le bureau de M. Trump.

M. Krone a continué de travailler sur la question après que M. Reid a pris sa retraite et a contacté l’été dernier un ami commun avec Jared Kushner, gendre du président et conseiller principal. Le petit-fils juif des survivants de l’Holocauste, M. Kushner, a adopté l’idée, qui avait également été explorée au cours de l’année écoulée par les aides à la politique intérieure du président. Avec le soutien de M. Kushner, la Maison-Blanche a rédigé l’ordonnance et M. Trump a accepté de la signer.

Au fil des ans, M. Trump a été accusé de faire des remarques antisémites, de fermer les yeux sur les tropes antisémites ou d’enhardir les suprémacistes blancs comme ceux de Charlottesville, en Virginie, en 2017. Le week-end dernier, il a critiqué les propos tenus dans La Floride devant le Conseil israélo-américain au cours de laquelle il a déclaré au public juif qu’ils n’étaient « pas des gens sympas » mais qu’ils appuieraient sa réélection parce que « vous n’allez pas voter pour l’impôt sur la fortune ».

Mais il s’est également positionné comme un partisan indéfectible d’Israël et un champion des Juifs américains, en déplaçant l’ambassade des États-Unis à Jérusalem, en soutenant les colonies en Cisjordanie et en reconnaissant la saisie des hauteurs du Golan. Il a également agressé la représentante Ilhan Omar, démocrate du Minnesota, lorsqu’elle a déclaré que le soutien à Israël était « tout au sujet des Benjamins », ce qui signifie de l’argent.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, président de J Street, un groupe de défense libéral d’Israël, a déclaré que l’ordre du président était un effort cynique pour réprimer les critiques, pas pour défendre les Juifs contre les préjugés. « Il est particulièrement scandaleux et absurde que le président Trump prétende se préoccuper de l’antisémitisme au cours de la même semaine au cours de laquelle il a de nouveau publiquement jeté des tropes antisémites sur les Juifs et l’argent », a-t-il déclaré dans un communiqué.

L’action du président intervient peu de temps après que le département de l’éducation a ordonné à l’Université Duke et à l’Université de Caroline du Nord à Chapel Hill de refaire leur programme d’études conjointes sur le Moyen-Orient au motif qu’il comportait un programme biaisé. Cette décision faisait partie d’une campagne plus large menée par Betsy DeVos, la secrétaire à l’Éducation, et son chef des droits civiques, Kenneth L. Marcus, pour s’attaquer aux préjugés anti-Israël perçus dans l’enseignement supérieur.

L’ordonnance à signer par M. Trump habiliterait le Département de l’éducation à de telles actions. En vertu du titre VI de la loi sur les droits civils de 1964, le ministère peut retenir le financement de tout collège ou programme éducatif qui établit une discrimination «fondée sur la race, la couleur ou l’origine nationale». La religion n’était pas incluse dans les catégories protégées, donc l’ordre de Donald Trump aura pour effet d’embrasser un argument selon lequel les Juifs sont un peuple ou une race d’origine nationale collective au Moyen-Orient, comme les Italo-Américains ou les Polonais américains.

La définition de l’antisémitisme qui doit être adoptée par le Département d’État et formulée à l’origine par l’Alliance internationale pour la mémoire de l’Holocauste comprend « une certaine perception des Juifs, qui peut être exprimée comme de la haine envers les Juifs« . Cependant, elle ajoute que « des critiques d’Israël similaires à ce niveau contre tout autre pays ne peut pas être considéré comme antisémite ».

L’American Civil Liberties Union faisait partie des groupes qui se sont opposés à l’utilisation de la définition dans la législation de 2016, la jugeant trop large. « Il ne peut et ne doit pas être que nos lois sur les droits civils sont utilisées de manière à pénaliser le plaidoyer politique sur la base du point de vue », a déclaré le groupe dans une lettre au Congrès de l’époque. Kenneth S. Stern, l’auteur principal de la définition, s’est également opposé à son utilisation, affirmant que « les étudiants et les professeurs seront effrayés dans le silence, et les administrateurs se tromperont du côté de la suppression ou de la censure du discours. »

Mais le représentant Ted Deutch, démocrate de Floride, qui était parmi les sponsors de la législation de 2016, a écrit dans un article d’opinion dans le Times of Israel la semaine dernière que la définition « avait été rédigée pour ne pas réglementer la liberté d’expression ou punir les gens pour avoir exprimé leur opinion ». Au lieu de cela, il a écrit: « Cette définition peut servir d’outil important pour guider la réponse de notre gouvernement à l’antisémitisme ». 

La semaine dernière, un groupe de 80 organisations de l’éducation, des droits civils et des organisations religieuses a envoyé une lettre à Mme DeVos se plaignant que certains centres d’études du Moyen-Orient sur les campus universitaires financés par le gouvernement au titre VI ont cherché à boycotter Israël ou à fermer les programmes d’études de leurs universités à l’étranger en Israël.

« Les récents incidents ont démontré la volonté des professeurs à travers le pays de mettre en œuvre le boycott universitaire d’Israël sur leurs campus », indique la lettre.

Le président devrait être rejoint lors de la signature par plusieurs éminents législateurs républicains, dont les sénateurs Tim Scott de Caroline du Sud et James Lankford d’Oklahoma et le représentant Doug Collins de Géorgie. Mais les démocrates qui ont préconisé la législation dans le passé ne sont pas attendus, y compris le représentant Jerrold Nadler de New York, qui a publié mardi des articles de destitution contre M. Trump.

Bien qu’un ordre exécutif ne soit pas aussi permanent que la législation et puisse être annulé par le prochain président, l’action de M. Trump peut avoir pour effet d’étendre la politique au-delà de son administration, car ses successeurs peuvent trouver politiquement peu attrayant à renverser.

Voir de plus:

Donald Trump signe un décret controversé pour élargir la définition de l’antisémitisme sur les campus

Alors que le décret présidentiel vise à défendre les étudiants juifs, les détracteurs de Donald Trump dénoncent une atteinte à la liberté d’expression.

Le Monde avec AFP

12 décembre 2019

Le président américain se retrouve au cœur d’une nouvelle controverse. Donald Trump a signé, mercredi 11 décembre, un décret visant à lutter contre l’antisémitisme sur les campus américains. Ce texte élargit la définition de l’antisémitisme utilisée par le ministère de l’éducation lorsqu’il fait appliquer la loi sur les droits civiques de 1964. Il ordonne en particulier d’utiliser la définition de l’antisémitisme donnée par l’Alliance internationale pour la mémoire de l’Holocauste (IHRA).

« C’est notre message aux universités : si vous voulez bénéficier des énormes sommes que vous recevez chaque année de la part de l’Etat fédéral, vous devez rejeter l’antisémitisme », a déclaré M. Trump à l’occasion d’une cérémonie à la Maison Blanche pour célébrer Hanouka, la fête des lumières. Avec ce décret, Donald Trump « défend les étudiants juifs » et « indique clairement que l’antisémitisme ne sera pas toléré », a insisté son gendre et conseiller Jared Kushner dans une tribune publiée dans le New York Times.

Un décret pour « limiter » les critiques visant Israël

Mais des défenseurs de la liberté d’expression redoutent qu’une définition trop large et trop vague de l’antisémitisme soit utilisée pour interdire tous les propos critiques envers la politique du gouvernement israélien.

Pour Jeremy Ben-Ami, président de l’organisation progressiste juive J-Street, le décret présidentiel « semble moins destiné à combattre l’antisémitisme qu’à limiter la liberté d’expression et sévir sur les campus contre les critiques visant Israël ».

Voir encore:

Ambassade des Etas-Unis en France

« Le poison vil et haineux de l’antisémitisme doit être condamné et combattu quel que soit le lieu et le moment auquel il surgit. »

Président Donald J. Trump

COMBATTRE L’ANTISÉMITISME : Le président Donald J. Trump prend un décret présidentiel pour renforcer la lutte contre la montée de l’antisémitisme aux États-Unis.

  • Le décret du président Trump indique clairement que le Titre VI de la loi sur les droits civils de 1964 s’applique à la discrimination antisémite fondée sur la race, la couleur ou l’origine nationale.
  • Dans le cadre de l’application du Titre VI contre la discrimination antisémite dissimulée, les agences se référeront à la définition de l’antisémitisme de l’Alliance internationale pour la mémoire de l’Holocauste (IHRA) ainsi que ses exemples contemporains.
  • Le président demande également aux agences fédérales d’identifier d’autres moyens par lesquels le gouvernement peut utiliser ses pouvoirs en matière de lutte contre la discrimination pour combattre l’antisémitisme.
  • Cette action démontre en outre l’engagement indéfectible du président Trump et de son administration à lutter contre toutes les formes d’antisémitisme.

LUTTER CONTRE LA MONTÉE DE LA HAINE : Ces dernières années, les Américains ont assisté à une augmentation inquiétante des incidents antisémites et à une montée de la rhétorique correspondante dans l’ensemble du pays.

  • Au cours des quelques dernières années, on a assisté à une tendance inquiétante à la montée de l’antisémitisme aux États-Unis.
  • Les incidents antisémites se sont multipliés en Amérique depuis 2013, en particulier dans les écoles et sur les campus universitaires.
  • Il s’agit en particulier d’actes de violence horribles à l’encontre de Juifs américains et de synagogues aux États-Unis.
  • 18 membres démocrates du Congrès ont coparrainé cette année une législation en faveur du mouvement antisémite « Boycott, désinvestissement, sanctions » (BDS).
    • Dans leur résolution, ces membres du Congrès comparaient de manière choquante le soutien à Israël à celui à l’Allemagne nazie.

AGIR : Le président Trump et son administration ont pris des mesures à plusieurs reprises pour lutter contre la haine et soutenir la communauté juive.

  • Lors du discours sur l’état de l’Union de cette année, le président Trump a promis de « ne jamais ignorer le vil poison de l’antisémitisme ou ceux qui répandent cette idéologie venimeuse ».
  • Depuis janvier 2017, la division des droits civils du département de la Justice a obtenu 14 condamnations dans des affaires d’attentats ou de menaces contre des lieux de culte.
    • La division a également obtenu 11 condamnations dans des affaires de crimes motivés par la haine en raison des convictions religieuses des victimes.
  • Le département de la Justice a lancé un nouveau site web complet qui constitue un portail centralisé permettant aux forces de l’ordre, aux médias, aux groupes de défense des droits et à d’autres organismes d’accéder à des ressources sur les crimes motivés par la haine.
  • Le service des relations avec la communauté du département de la Justice a facilité 17 forums axés sur la protection des lieux de culte et la prévention des crimes motivés par la haine depuis septembre 2018.
  • Le président a signé la loi JUST Act en faveur des efforts de restitution à la suite de l’Holocauste.
  • L’administration Trump a expulsé le dernier criminel nazi connu des États-Unis.
    Voir enfin:

    NYT

    WASHINGTON — The House, brushing aside Democratic voices of dissent over American policy in the Middle East, on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution condemning the boycott-Israel movement as one that “promotes principles of collective guilt, mass punishment and group isolation, which are destructive of prospects for progress towards peace.”

    The 398-to-17 vote, with five members voting present, came after a debate that was equally lopsided; no one in either party spoke against the measure. The House’s two most vocal backers of the boycott movement — Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, freshman Democrats and the first two Muslim women in Congress — did not participate in the floor debate.

    However, earlier in the day, Ms. Tlaib, who is Palestinian-American, delivered an impassioned speech in defense of the boycott movement. She branded Israel’s policies toward Palestinians “racist” and invoked American boycotts of Nazi Germany, among others, as an example of what she described as a legitimate economic protest to advance human rights around the world.

    “I stand before you as the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, parents who experienced being stripped of their human rights, the right to freedom of travel, equal treatment,” Ms. Tlaib said. “So I can’t stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government and the state of Israel.”

    The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or B.D.S., movement is intended, among other things, to pressure Israel into ending the occupation of the West Bank, and backed by some who advocate a single state with equal rights for all, instead of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Opponents warn it would lead to the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state; during Tuesday’s debate, they repeatedly quoted from a founder of the movement, Omar Barghouti, who has argued for the creation of a “secular democratic state” and has called for Israel to “accept the dismantling of its Zionist apartheid regime.”

    “Boycotts have been previously used as tools for social justice in this very country,” said Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida and a backer of the resolution. “But B.D.S. doesn’t seek social justice. It seeks a world in which the state of Israel doesn’t exist.”

    For months, Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar have been the target of intense criticism for statements about Israel and Israel’s supporters that many have regarded as anti-Semitic tropes, including insinuations that Jews have dual loyalty to the United States and Israel. Ms. Omar drew the condemnation of House Democratic leaders, and was forced to apologize after invoking an ancient trope about Jews and money by suggesting that American support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins” — a reference to $100 bills.

    At a hearing last week, Ms. Omar spoke out forcefully against Israel, and the resolution.

    “We should condemn in the strongest terms violence that perpetuates the occupation, whether it is perpetuated by Israel, Hamas or individuals,” she said. “But if we are going to condemn violent means of resisting the occupation, we cannot also condemn nonviolent means.”

    Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Omar and two other freshman Democratic women of color — Representatives Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — have lately been under fire from President Trump, who has accused them of being anti-American and suggested they should “go back” to their home countries, even though just one of them, Ms. Omar, was born outside the United States. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez voted against the resolution, as did a number of other progressives; Ms. Pressley voted in favor.

    The timing of the vote drew complaints from Palestinian rights activists and supporters of Ms. Omar and Ms. Tlaib, who said House Democratic leaders were effectively isolating them. Both women have also joined with Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia and a civil rights icon, in introducing a measure affirming that “all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad,” as protected by the First Amendment.

    “They are displaying leadership even as the president is attacking and marginalizing people of color,” said Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

    But Democratic backers of Israel were eager to have their votes on record before Congress goes home for its six-week August recess. Earlier Tuesday, Representative Josh Gottheimer, an ardent supporter of Israel, was joined in his home state, New Jersey, by Elan Carr, the State Department’s envoy to combat anti-Semitism, at an event billed to address anti-Semitism.

    The coming vote proved to be a central topic.

    “There is of course nothing wrong about having a robust debate about our foreign policy, as I said, but that debate veers into something much darker when there is talk of dual loyalty or other ancient tropes,” Mr. Gottheimer said. “These are not legitimate opinions about our foreign policy. We have often seen such anti-Semitic tropes and rhetoric when it comes to the global B.D.S. movement.”

    Asked if he thought the timing of the vote was inopportune, Mr. Gottheimer said, “We should look for any moment to stand up to anti-Semitism, and I think, to me, the sooner the better.”

    Backers of the boycott movement say the resolution threatens free speech rights, and they argue that boycotts are a legitimate form of economic protest. In her remarks, Ms. Tlaib cited civil rights boycotts, boycotts of apartheid South Africa and American boycotts of Nazi Germany “in response to dehumanization, imprisonment and genocide of Jewish people” — a comment that raised eyebrows among Republicans.

    Proponents of the resolution argue that nothing in it abridges the right to free speech; indeed, House Democrats rejected a more far-reaching bill, passed by the Republican-led Senate, that would allow state and local government to break ties with companies that participate in the boycott movement.

    The chief sponsor of the Senate bill, Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, on Tuesday accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of promoting a watered-down measure and allowing “the radical, anti-Semitic minority in the Democratic Party to dictate the House floor agenda.”

    During Tuesday’s floor debate, many Republicans, including Representative Lee Zeldin of New York and Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Republican whip, argued for the Rubio measure. But in a rare moment of House comity, both sounded eager to join with Democrats in passing the bipartisan resolution.

    “If a boycott is being used to advance freedom, that’s one we should support,” Mr. Scalise said. “But if a boycott is being used to undermine the very freedoms that exist in the only real elective democracy in the Middle East, we all need to rise up against that.”


When they see us: Dans notre société tout homme qui ne parle pas bien risque d’être condamné à mort (Just in time: Guess why a Netflix series by Obama close friend on the 30-year old Central Park Five wilding case amplifying the theme that Trump is a longtime racist just happened to come out a year and a half away from election time ?)

8 décembre, 2019

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J’ai résumé L’Étranger, il y a longtemps, par une phrase dont je reconnais qu’elle est très paradoxale :“Dans notre société tout homme qui ne pleure pas à l’enterrement de sa mère risque d’être condamné à mort.” Je voulais dire seulement que le héros du livre est condamné parce qu’il ne joue pas le jeu. En ce sens, il est étranger à la société où il vit, où il erre, en marge, dans les faubourgs de la vie privée, solitaire, sensuelle. Et c’est pourquoi des lecteurs ont été tentés de le considérer comme une épave. On aura cependant une idée plus exacte du personnage, plus conforme en tout cas aux intentions de son auteur, si l’on se demande en quoi Meursault ne joue pas le jeu. La réponse est simple : il refuse de mentir.  (…) Meursault, pour moi, n’est donc pas une épave, mais un homme pauvre et nu, amoureux du soleil qui ne laisse pas d’ombres. Loin qu’il soit privé de toute sensibilité, une passion profonde parce que tenace, l’anime : la passion de l’absolu et de la vérité. Il s’agit d’une vérité encore négative, la vérité d’être et de sentir, mais sans laquelle nulle conquête sur soi et sur le monde ne sera jamais possible. On ne se tromperait donc pas beaucoup en lisant, dans L’Étranger, l’histoire d’un homme qui, sans aucune attitude héroïque, accepte de mourir pour la vérité. Il m’est arrivé de dire aussi, et toujours paradoxalement, que j’avais essayé de figurer, dans mon personnage, le seul Christ que nous méritions. On comprendra, après mes explications, que je l’aie dit sans aucune intention de blasphème et seulement avec l’affection un peu ironique qu’un artiste a le droit d’éprouver à l’égard des personnages de sa création. Albert Camus (préface américaine à L’Etranger, 1955)
Le thème du poète maudit né dans une société marchande (…) s’est durci dans un préjugé qui finit par vouloir qu’on ne puisse être un grand artiste que contre la société de son temps, quelle qu’elle soit. Légitime à l’origine quand il affirmait qu’un artiste véritable ne pouvait composer avec le monde de l’argent, le principe est devenu faux lorsqu’on en a tiré qu’un artiste ne pouvait s’affirmer qu’en étant contre toute chose en général. Albert Camus (discours de Suède, 1957)
Personne ne nous fera croire que l’appareil judiciaire d’un Etat moderne prend réellement pour objet l’extermination des petits bureaucrates qui s’adonnent au café au lait, aux films de Fernandel et aux passades amoureuses avec la secrétaire du patron. René Girard (Critiques dans un souterrain, 1976)
La même force culturelle et spirituelle qui a joué un rôle si décisif dans la disparition du sacrifice humain est aujourd’hui en train de provoquer la disparition des rituels de sacrifice humain qui l’ont jadis remplacé. Tout cela semble être une bonne nouvelle, mais à condition que ceux qui comptaient sur ces ressources rituelles soient en mesure de les remplacer par des ressources religieuses durables d’un autre genre. Priver une société des ressources sacrificielles rudimentaires dont elle dépend sans lui proposer d’alternatives, c’est la plonger dans une crise qui la conduira presque certainement à la violence. Gil Bailie
En présence de la diversité, nous nous replions sur nous-mêmes. Nous agissons comme des tortues. L’effet de la diversité est pire que ce qui avait été imaginé. Et ce n’est pas seulement que nous ne faisons plus confiance à ceux qui ne sont pas comme nous. Dans les communautés diverses, nous ne faisons plus confiance à ceux qui nous ressemblent. Robert Putnam
What they’re trying to do is what the KGB under Lavrentiy Beria said to Stalin, the dictator — I’m not comparing our country to the Soviet Union — I just want to make sure it never becomes anything like that. Beria, once the Soviet deputy premier and interior minister, famously would reassure Stalin, « Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime. » And that’s what some of the Democrats are doing. They have Trump in their sights. They want to figure out a way of impeaching him and they’re searching for a crime. First, they came up with abuse of power — not a crime — it’s not in the Constitution. So now they’re saying ‘bribery,’ but they’re making it up. There is no case for bribery based on, even if all the allegations against the president were to be proved, which they haven’t been. Alan Dershowitz
I see him as the quintessential bully. Too much power truly does warp a person, even a very brilliant person who was once an authentic idealist. Like some of today’s bullies and Machiavellian politicians, he and his family benefited from the democratic society that he later scorned and tried to overpower. We can look back and use the clarity about the past to raise a warning about the present. You can experience viscerally what we lost when we let corrupt people move unchecked. What is our core national character?  Are we going to make heroes out of bullies and prioritize the achievements of power, or are we going to assert that heroism means having empathy for people’s struggles? Edward Norton
C’est une période au cours de laquelle les choses changeaient. On associe souvent New York à une ville libérale, progressive et cosmopolite. Mais dans les années 50, il y avait énormément d’anti-démocratie, de racisme, ce qui a eu un important impact sur le reste du siècle, jusqu’à aujourd’hui. Et je crois que choisir cette période m’a permis d’évoquer ce qui se passe aujourd’hui sans en parler directement. Edward Norton
In an op-ed from Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, former New York City prosecutor Linda Fairstein responded to the recent Netflix series on the Central Park Five, and accused its producer, Ava DuVernay, of fabricating words attributed to her character, played by Felicity Huffman, to portray her as a racist who was determined to convict the teens in the face of an alleged lack of evidence against them. Fairstein began the article, titled « Netflix’s False Story of the Central Park Five, » by declaring that the series, When They See Us, is « so full of distortions and falsehoods as to be an outright fabrication, » and complained that it is « an utterly false narrative involving an evil mastermind (me) and the falsely accused (the five). » She added that it « attempts to portray me as an overzealous prosecutor and a bigot, the police as incompetent or worse, and the five suspects innocent of all charges against them. None of this is true. Fairstein listed a number of pieces of misinformation from the series and argued that there was plenty of evidence to reasonably convict them at the time, as she stood by charges that they attacked several other people in the park that same night. Among several pieces of misinformation she claimed were included in the series was that it « portrays the suspects as being held without food, deprived of their parents’ company and advice, and not even allowed to use the bathroom, » and argued that if such accusations were true, they would have come out in the pre-trial hearings or inthe lawsuit that was filed years after their release from prison. Fairstein — who was supervisor over the sex crimes unit — argued that the series exaggerates how closely involved she was in handling the case and recalled that she « did not run the investigation, and never made any of the comments the screenwriter attributes to me. » She also directly contradicted a couple of scenes involving the questioning of an underage member of the group: The film claims that when Mr. Salaam’s mother arrived and told police that her son was only 15 — meaning they could not question him without a parent in the room — I tried to stop her, demanding to see a birth certificate. The truth is that Mr. Salaam himself claimed to be 16 and even had a forged bus pass to « prove » it. When I heard his mother say he was 15, I immediately halted his questioning. This is all supported by sworn testimony. The former prosecutor also argued that there was additional evidence of their guilt: There is, for example, the African American woman who testified at the trial — and again at the 2002 reinvestigation — that when Korey Wise called her brother, he told her that he had held the jogger down and felt her breasts while others attacked her. There were blood stains and dirt on clothing of some of the five. She soon added that more than a dozen other witnesses « named some or all of the five » in helping attack other victims. It is noteworthy that, while the Netflix series depicts the five teens as innocent bystanders who merely witnessed other assailants attacking and beating up other victims in the park, the film, The Central Park Five, by Ken Burns, accepted that they were « beating up other people » in the park even while that film was devoted to defending the teens regarding the attack on the jogger, Trisha Meili. Fairstein also recalled that Salaam « testified that he had gone into the park carrying a 14-inch metal pipe — the same type of weapon that was used to bludgeon both a male school teacher and Ms. Meili. » The former prosecutor also argued that the fact that DNA testing on the semen found at the scene did not match any of the five teens did not mean that they could not have been part of the attack on her, as they were charged as « accomplices » to the person who eventually confessed to raping her, serial rapist Matias Reyes. She further recalled that « two of them admitted to climbing on top of her and siimulating intercourse, » adding that « Semen was found on the inside of their clothing, corroborating those confessions. » Fairstein concluded her article: That Ms. DuVernay ignored so much of the truth about the gang of 30 and about the suffering of their victims — and that her film includes so many falsehoods — is nonetheless an outrage. Ms. DuVernay does not define me, and her film does not speak the truth. Newsbusters
The NYPD police officer who made the first arrests in the Central Park Five investigation has condemned Netflix’s drama When They See Us as ‘lies’ and said it puts the lives of cops and prosecutors at risk. Eric Reynolds, who as a plainclothes officer arrested Raymond Santana and Kevin Richardson, tells DailyMailTV that the four-part television adaptation is so filled with errors that it is ‘malicious recreation’. He described the miniseries, produced by Robert De Niro and Oprah Winfrey and directed by Ava DuVernay, as ‘total nonsense’ that left him ‘flabbergasted’ (…) He spoke out after an outcry in the wake of the series led to prosecutors Linda Fairstein and Elizabeth Lederer losing publishing contracts, board seats and lecturing roles. Reynolds, 59, rejected criticism of the investigation, prosecution and conviction of the five for the rape of 28-year-old jogger, Patricia Meili – and particularly took issue with the portrayal of the black men as victims of a racist system. As an African American, he said, the allegations of racism cut particularly deep. (…) And he said that even the brief appearance he makes in the series, which has been watched by 23 million Netflix accounts worldwide, is pure ‘fiction,’ portraying events which simply did not happen; he was shown as a uniformed officer when he in fact wore plain clothes. He believes the series is inflammatory by depicting members of the five looking badly beaten when they were arrested. Reynolds told DailyMailTV, ‘Please, someone, show me the pictures of them. Show me the injuries, show me the black eyes, show me the swollen faces because every single one of them that came out of that precinct had none of that.’ He has shared his own recollections of the night of April 19, 1989 when more than 30 young men embarked on a violent spree of terror, and Meili was found raped and close to death in Central Park. Raymond Santana, then 14, Kevin Richardson, 14, Korey Wise, 16, Antron McCray, 15 and Yusef Salaam, 15 all confessed and were convicted of participating in multiple crimes on April 19. But the one that is remembered is Meili’s rape. In 2002 their convictions were sensationally vacated in their entirety when Matias Reyes, a serial rapist already in prison, confessed to the crime and claimed to have acted alone. The five sued New York City, said their confessions were coerced and won a $41 million payout. Supporters said they had been exonerated and the Central Park Five became synonymous with an unimaginable miscarriage of justice. When They See Us opens on the night of the ‘wilding’, where a mass of young men rushed through Central Park, casting the five very squarely as innocents caught up in events and on the fringes of any violence. Reynolds said, ‘When I saw the opening scenes it was like watching a musical. I was flabbergasted. That absolutely was not what occurred.’ The Central Park Five had their convictions vacated after serial rapist Matias Reyes admitted raping jogger Patricia Meili. His DNA matched evidence found at the scene In one scene a man, most likely a depiction of teacher John Loughlin, is shown being felled by a single punch while three of the five look on. Reynolds said, ‘It did not happen that way. They were beating him with a pipe. They beat him so savagely that both of his eyes were shut and he had a cracked skull.’ Testimony from one who was there stated that Yusef Salaam was wielding that pipe and ‘going to work on him.’ The cop who found Loughlin told Reynolds that he ‘looked like his head was dunked in a bucket of blood.’ In another scene the boys are part of a crowd halfheartedly harassing a couple on a tandem bike. Again Reynolds watched in outrage at what he said is a ‘total fiction.’ He explained, ‘The group lay in wait. They stretched out across the roadway and held hands to knock them off their bike. It was a couple on the tandem and the woman said she was scared for her life. ‘Her boyfriend just told her, ‘Put your head down and pedal as hard as you can.’ And they rode through them as they were grabbing at her clothes and by the grace of God they got away.’ Pointing to the couple attacked on their tandem he said it was the violence, not the ethnicity, of its perpetrators that mattered to police officers. He said, ‘I don’t understand how that’s a race issue if you’re in the middle of a park riding on a bike in the middle of the night and a group of males, whether they’re black, white or whatever, you know are standing on the road with the express purpose of knocking you off the bike. (…) He recalled, ‘We were getting numerous radio runs of a large crowd of black and Hispanic kids assaulting and robbing people. We had people going into the station house and cops out in the field who had gotten flagged down by civilians saying, ‘There’s a crowd of kids there. They’ve tried to assault us and thrown rocks. (…)  Reynolds recalled, ‘There were 30 of them on the move. There’s only two of us so, you know, clearly we’re not going to get all of them. Long story short we got five of them.’ Two were Raymond Santana – who had, Reynolds said, been leading the pack – and Kevin Richardson who started crying in the back of the squad car. Reynolds said, ‘He [Richardson] started crying and saying that he ‘knew who did the murder’. He said it was Antron McCray and he would tell us where he lived.’ The officers assumed he was talking about Loughlin who was beaten unconscious. (…) Reynolds’ partner asked Santana and Stephen Lopez, a member of the group he was arrested alongside, what they were doing out making trouble and why weren’t they with their girlfriends instead. According to Reynolds, ‘Santana said, ‘I already got mine,’ and they kind of laughed. I just assumed it was an in-joke. It only became significant after we learned what had happened to the jogger.’ (…) While the boys were waiting, at around 1.30am, the call came in that a female jogger had been found in the park, raped and beaten to within an inch of her life. The detectives responding to the crime had been told that Reynolds had arrested five out of a group of about 30 kids ‘wilding’ in the park. Now they instructed Reynolds not to let them go. He recalled, ‘They said, ‘Look, we don’t think these kids have anything to do with it but they were up there at the same time that she was attacked. They might have seen something so we’re going to come down and debrief them.’ Reynolds was in the room for all of those interviews. He said, ‘Their parents are there, they’re getting their rights read. We ask them what happened in the park? According to Reynolds they did not ask the kids about the rape directly. The first two kids told almost identical stories. They said they’d been in the park with a bunch of kids who were beating people up but they didn’t touch anybody Reynolds wrote them up and let them go home. Then, he said, ‘The third kid is Kevin Richardson. He’s there with his mother. We read him his rights. We ask him what happened. He said the exact same thing the other kids said – everyone else was beating people up but I didn’t touch anyone.’ Then one of the detectives noticed he had a scratch on his face. They asked him how he’d got it and at first he blamed Reynolds’s partner for the injury. When told the officer was next door and would be asked if that was true Richardson changed his story. Reynolds said, ‘He said, « Okay, it was the female jogger. » And I’ll be honest with you I almost fell off my seat because I was not expecting him to say that. ‘And then he starts to go into the story of the attack on the jogger. No coercion. We didn’t even think he was involved. He starts to give it up right there in front of us.’ Ultimately police questioned 37 boys and, contrary to Netflix’s dramatic depiction, there was nothing random or rushed in the five who were ultimately charged. They became the Central Park Five, he said, not because cops were anxious to pin the crime on someone but because they implicated themselves and each other when interviewed. In DuVernay’s drama particular attention is given to Korey Wise’s story. He is shown accompanying his friend Salaam to the station, an act of loyalty that sees him embroiled in the case when he wasn’t even on the cops’ radar. Reynolds is exasperated by this. He said: ‘Korey Wise was named by other participants in the wilding that day. We went specifically to look for him. ‘When detectives asked a couple of people in front of their building if they had seen him they said they saw him earlier and he said, « Y’all better stay away from me because the cops are after me. »‘ When they asked him why, Reynolds said, the people in front of the building stated that Wise had told them: ‘You see that woman in Central Park last night? That was us.’ (…) Reynolds points to a wealth of physical evidence that was never refuted at trial: hair and blood ‘consistent’ with the jogger’s was found on the boys’ sneakers and clothing, along with semen in the boys’ underwear. The fact that none of them claimed to be able to finish the act of penetrative sex is the reason, Reynolds said, that their semen was only found on the inside of their underwear and clothing rather than on Meili. (…) Reynolds explained, ‘Reyes comes forward to say he did it by himself and he can prove it because he knows something we don’t know. And he’s correct. ‘She had a fanny pack with her Walkman in it and he took it and he threw it away. (…) ‘But then Armstrong found that a detective had taken some notes of an interview with Korey Wise. And Korey said that there was a guy named ‘Rudy,’ who he said took her fanny pack and her Walkman.’ Reynolds believes that Rudy was Reyes and his name muddled up by Wise who has hearing difficulties. He said, ‘He told that to us on April 20, 1989, the day after. So how in the world does Korey Wise know about her fanny pack and Walkman in 1989 when Reyes says he knows about it because he was the only person there?’ (…) The report stated, ‘the most likely scenario for the events of April 19, 1989 was that the defendants came up on the jogger and subjected her to the same kind of attack, albeit with sexual overtones, that they inflicted upon other victims in the park that night. ‘Perhaps attracted to the scene by the jogger’s screams, Reyes either joined in the attack as it was ending or waited until the defendants have moved on to their next victims before descending upon her himself, raping her and inflicting upon her the brutal injuries that almost caused her death.’ Reynolds’s view is supported by both the medical opinion of Meili’s two Urgent Care Physicians at Metropolitan Hospital and the Armstrong Report. Dr Robert Kurtz is on record as saying Meili had injuries consistent with a sharp, clean blade or object while Reyes’ confession only mentioned a blunt object. Dr Kurtz noted that Reyes, ‘never said he had used a knife, or broken glass, or broken bottle or something like that that would have been able to inflict a clean laceration.  Dr Jane Mauer, a surgeon who helped reconstruct Meili’s face recalled seeing hand print bruising on her thighs Dr Mauer said, ‘You could see the four fingers and the thumb indented in her skin to hold her legs apart.’ It led her to doubt that this could be the work of one man. Moreover the Armstrong Report concluded Reyes could not be considered a reliable witness. It revealed a fellow inmate in prison with Reyes said Reyes told him ‘the attack on the jogger was already in progress when he joined, attracted to the scene by the jogger’s screams.’ Reynolds does not believe that the five should still be in prison. He said, ‘They did their time. They paid the price for what they did. You know, that’s it.’ When Bill de Blasio was elected New York City mayor in 2014 he ordered the $41 million settlement to go through for the five men. All legal action finished in 2016 when the men were awarded a further $3.9 million from New York State But despite the case now being closed, Reynolds feel the Netflix mini-series is unfairly punishing people who prosecuted the five. In the wake of the drama’s release Linda Fairstein, who supervised the prosecution, and lead prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer have both fallen victim to an angry public backlash. Fairstein, who now writes crime fiction, was dropped by her publisher. Lederer, who continues to work in the District Attorney’s office, resigned from teaching law as an adjunct at Columbia University in New York. Reynolds said, ‘It’s like mob justice. People are doing everything they can to destroy these women’s lives and they’ve done nothing wrong. They don’t even know that they’re not basing their opinions and their fury on what actually happened. (…) Reynolds believes the show falsely depicts a racist criminal justice system. He is keen to point out that growing up in Eighties New York, criminals posed the threat to public safety, not police officers. (…) He said, ‘This has got people so divided and so at each other’s throats it’s sad. Let me tell you there’s a lot of people who believe that they are guilty but they’re not going to say anything because they don’t want to get shouted down. They don’t want to be called racist.’ Daily Mail
More than three decades have passed since Jane Jacobs and Robert Caro tore down Moses’s once pristine public image, but his physical legacy remains standing. Our New York is Moses’s New York. He built 13 bridges, 416 miles of parkways, 658 playgrounds, and 150,000 housing units, spending $150 billion in today’s dollars. If you are riding the waves at Jones Beach or watching the Mets at Shea Stadium or listening to « La Traviata » at Lincoln Center or using the Triborough Bridge to get to the airport, then you are in the New York that Moses built. If we are to realize Mayor Bloomberg’s plans for a city of 9 million people with newer, greener infrastructure, then New York will again need to embrace construction and change. We will need again builders like Moses, who can put the needs of the city ahead of the opposition of a neighborhood. Yet Moses’s flaws, which were emphasized so eloquently by Jacobs and Mr. Caro, have led many to see nothing but evil in Moses and his works. Moses’s supposed villainy has established its place in the iconography of the preservationists who stand against growth. The opening of a three-part exhibition on Moses — at the Queens Museum of Art on January 28, at the Wallach Art Gallery of Columbia University on January 31, and at the Museum of the City of New York on February 1 — gives us a chance to reappraise his achievements. We should avoid the excesses of Moses’s early hagiography or his later vilification. The successes and failures of this master builder teach us that great cities need great builders, but that we must check their more Pharaonic excesses. The lessons of Moses’s life are taught by his projects. His best work, such as the parks and pools that had large benefits and modest costs, happened early in his career. When he was starting as Governor Smith’s park tsar, Moses could get public funding for his projects only if they were popular. The need to build support didn’t stop Moses from taking risks. Indeed, Smith accused Moses of wanting to « give the people a fur coat when what they need is red flannel underwear, » but Moses’s bold vision was just what the public wanted. Society was getting richer, and those parks and pools helped New York succeed as a place of consumption and as a center of production. Most of Moses’s bridges and expressways are also major successes. New York is a city of islands. The city’s waterways were ideal in the ages of sail and steam, but they became a major headache in the age of the car. Despite his lack of a driver’s license, Moses understood that New York needed to adapt to the automobile. His bridges made it easier for cars to cross between the city’s islands. His parkways made it more pleasant to drive into New York. Boston’s Big Dig should remind us that it is hard to retrofit a pre-car city for the automobile. By comparison, Moses’s achievements look cheap and effective. Some say Moses was wrong to build for the car. Some say the city should have bet exclusively on public transportation that would better serve the poor. But those critics ignore the millions of people who fled the older cities that weren’t car friendly. Every one of the 10 largest cities in the country in 1950 — except for Los Angeles and, miraculously, New York — lost at least one-fifth of its population between 1950 and today. Moses’s bridges and highways helped to keep some drivers living and working in New York. Those middle-class drivers helped New York to survive and grow, while every other large, cold city in the second half of the 20th century shrank. Not all of Moses’s transportation projects were winners. To build the Cross Bronx Expressway, Moses took thousands of apartments using the power of eminent domain. Neighborhoods were shattered as the highway smashed through a once-vibrant area. I cannot tell whether the benefits to the millions who have used the expressway outweigh the costs to the thousands who were evicted, but I am sure that the process was deeply flawed. To any friend of liberty, Robert Moses’s use of eminent domain represents big government at its most terrifying. At the stroke of a pen, entire communities can be wiped out because someone in government thinks that this removal is in the public interest. Without eminent domain, however, large-scale projects will either flounder or cost as much as the Big Dig. Mayor Bloomberg’s dream of a renewed New York will need eminent domain. But I hope that eminent domain in the post-Bloomberg era will become much fairer than it was during the era of Robert Moses. The state should develop better legal infrastructure to oversee takings. Perhaps there should be a state-level commission, independent of local government, with both elected and appointed members, that can subject each use of eminent domain to cost-benefit analysis and determine just compensation for the evicted. The right response to Moses’s excesses is not to renounce eminent domain, but to strengthen the process so that it can play its needed role. Mr. Caro criticizes Moses for catering to the prosperous by destroying low-income housing to build roads, housing, and amenities for the rich like Lincoln Center. This criticism may be apt, but the problem lies not in the man but in his situation. Moses was an appointed official whose career depended on the approval of elites, not the votes of the poor. While elected officials have an unfortunate tendency toward shortsighted populism, appointed officials have a tendency to cater to the well-connected. One of the most bizarre responses to the unelected power of Moses was to create the unelected power of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which seems almost designed to empower the most eloquent of squeaky wheels. A better response would have been to seek pro-growth solutions that combine the involvement of appointed and elected officials. Moses’s greatest failures were his housing projects. More than 40 years ago, Jacobs attacked Moses for replacing well-functioning neighborhoods with Le Corbusier-inspired towers. She was prescient. Moses spent millions and evicted tens of thousands to create buildings that became centers of crime, poverty, and despair. A simple but stark lesson emerged from Moses’s travails as housing tsar: The government is not good at the housing business. New York is filled with apartment buildings that provide decent housing and a comfortable social environment for their residents. Almost none of them were built by the government. New York has an affordable-housing problem, but it is the result of government intervention in the housing market that has limited housing supply. Rent control and an increasingly anti-growth regulatory environment have ensured that new supply has not kept up with the demand to live in reinvigorated New York. We need people with the vision of Robert Moses building homes in New York, but they should come from a private sector that is less fettered by government constraints. Moses was at his best when he had to make sure his projects would fund themselves or would really appeal to the people of New York. When Moses acquired vast federal funding, he also acquired the freedom to pursue his own vision, and that vision wasn’t always in the interests of the city. Mr. Bloomberg’s plan for New York in 2030 needs its own Moses-like master builders, but the city will be best served if those builders are funded by and accountable to the city. Those builders must not be beholden to every neighborhood group or cadre of unelected elites. While Moses’s successes would have been impossible under such conditions, his failures could have been checked if he had faced a greater degree of citywide oversight. Edward Glaeser
La violence le long de la ligne de tramway bordée de chênes Uptown a troublé ce qui avait été jusque là une journée de festivités plutôt paisible dans laquelle des centaines de milliers de personnes avaient fait la fête dans les rues en ce dernier jour du carnaval. NYT (sur les six victimes du Mardi gras de la Nouvelle–Orléans hier soir)
A l’exception d’un demandeur d’asile afghan, tous sont d’origine pakistanaise. Toutes les filles sont blanches. L’équation est aussi froide et simple qu’explosive, dans un Royaume-Uni en proie au doute sur son modèle multiculturel. (…) Dans les semaines suivant le procès, les médias égrènent les noms de villes où des gangs similaires à celui de Rochdale sont démantelés : Nelson, Oxford, Telford, High Wycombe… Et, fin octobre, c’est à nouveau à Rochdale qu’un groupe de neuf hommes est appréhendé. Chaque fois, les violeurs sont en grande majorité d’origine pakistanaise. Les micros se tendent vers les associations ou les chercheurs spécialisés dans la lutte contre les abus sexuels. Selon leurs conclusions, entre 46 % et 83 % des hommes impliqués dans ce type précis d’affaires – des viols commis en bande par des hommes qui amadouent leurs jeunes victimes en « milieu ouvert » – sont d’origine pakistanaise (les statistiques ethniques sont autorisées en Grande-Bretagne). Pour une population d’origine pakistanaise évaluée à 7 %. (…) En septembre, un rapport gouvernemental conclura à un raté sans précédent des services sociaux et de la police, qui renforce encore l’opinion dans l’idée qu’un « facteur racial » a joué dans l’affaire elle-même, mais aussi dans son traitement par les autorités : entre 2004 et 2010, 127 alertes ont été émises sur des cas d’abus sexuels sur mineurs, bon nombre concernant le groupe de Shabir Ahmed, sans qu’aucune mesure soit prise. A plusieurs reprises, les deux institutions ont estimé que des jeunes filles âgées de 12 à 17 ans « faisaient leurs propres choix de vie ». Pour Ann Cryer, ancienne députée de Keighley, une circonscription voisine, aucun doute n’est permis : police et services sociaux étaient « pétrifiés à l’idée d’être accusés de racisme ». Le ministre de la famille de l’époque, Tim Loughton, reconnaît que « le politiquement correct et les susceptibilités raciales ont constitué un problème ». L’air est d’autant plus vicié que, à l’audience, Shabir Ahmed en rajoute dans la provocation. Il traite le juge de « salope raciste » et affirme : « Mon seul crime est d’être musulman. » Un autre accusé lance : « Vous, les Blancs, vous entraînez vos filles à boire et à faire du sexe. Quand elles nous arrivent, elles sont parfaitement entraînées. » (…) un employé de la mairie s’interroge. Anonymement. « Où est la limite du racisme ? Les agresseurs voyaient ces filles comme du « déchet blanc », c’est indéniablement raciste. Mais les services sociaux, des gens bien blancs, ne les ont pas mieux considérées. » A quelques rues de là, dans sa permanence, Simon Danczuk, député travailliste de Rochdale qui a été l’un des premiers à parler publiquement d’un « facteur racial », juge tout aussi déterminant ce qu’il appelle le « facteur social » : « Les responsables des services sociaux ont pu imaginer que ces filles de même pas 15 ans se prostituaient, alors qu’ils en auraient été incapables à propos de leurs propres enfants. » (…) Mohammed Shafiq estime qu’ »une petite minorité d’hommes pakistanais voient les femmes comme des citoyens de seconde catégorie et les femmes blanches comme des citoyens de troisième catégorie ». Mais, pour lui, les jeunes filles agressées étaient surtout vulnérables. « Le fait qu’elles traînent dehors en pleine nuit, qu’elles soient habillées de façon légère, renforçait les agresseurs dans leur idée qu’elles ne valaient rien, qu’elles étaient inférieures. Mais cela faisait surtout d’elles des proies faciles, alors que les filles de la communauté pakistanaise sont mieux protégées par leur famille, et qu’un abus sexuel y est plus difficilement dissimulable. » Le Monde
Cologne résonne pourtant avec ce qui a pu être constaté en Egypte. On pense au film de Mohamed Diab Les Femmes du bus 678 (2011), et la façon dont des femmes subissent des attouchements. On pense à une enquête de l’écrivain et ancien journaliste du Monde Robert Solé qui décrivait les viols collectifs à répétition en Egypte (« Culture & idées » du 27 avril 2013). Des dizaines voire des centaines d’hommes se jettent sur une ou plusieurs femmes pour arracher leurs vêtements, les toucher, les pénétrer avec leurs doigts. Cette folie collective porte le nom de « taharosh ». Elle a souvent lieu lors de fêtes religieuses. Cela ressemble à ce qui s’est passé lors du soulèvement place Tahrir, au Caire, en 2011. Et cela ressemble à Cologne. Le Monde
We see more blind violence where people are attacked, ambushed and beaten up. This is terrorising our community. Jan Bøhler (Norwegian Labour Party)
Over the last month (…) Oslo’s city centre has witnessed an eruption of unprovoked attacks on random victims—most of them ethnic Norwegian men—by what police have described as youth gangs, each consisting of five to 10 young immigrants. The attacks typically take place on weekends. On Saturday, October 19, as many as 20 such attacks were recorded, with victims suffered varying degrees of injuries. One of the incidents involved a group of young men, originally from the Middle East, detained for attacking a man in his twenties in the affluent west end. According to police, the victim had been kicked repeatedly in the head while lying on the ground, in what appeared to be a random, unprovoked beating. Another victim that weekend was the uncle of Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr, who suffered several broken ribs after being mobbed at the Romsås subway station. The following weekend in Oslo, Kurds and Turks clashed over recent developments in Turkey, and ended up looting a branch of the Body Shop on Karl Johan gate, as well as destroying several cars. Car fires also have been on the rise, though the problem has been around for years. (Even in 2013, cars were set alight in Oslo at the rate of about one per week, mostly in the city’s poorer east end.) Overall, crime rates are still low by the standards of other cities, but the recent rise in youth crime suggests that may be changing. “We see more blind violence where people are attacked, ambushed and beaten up,” said Labour Party politician Jan Bøhler to the media last month. “This is terrorising our community.” While such observations are widely shared, Bøhler is notable for being one of the few politicians on the left who’s raised his voice about rising crime among young immigrants. Oslo is the fastest growing capital city in Europe, despite the fact the country now is registering fewer births than at any time since the government started keeping track in the 19th century. About 14% of the country’s population is now composed of immigrants, with Poles, Lithuanians and Swedes topping the European migration sources; and Somalian, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria supplying the greatest number of non-OECD arrivals. Many of the immigrants congregate in Oslo, where, according to Statistics Norway, about a third of all residents are immigrants or born to immigrants. (As recently as 2004, the figure was just 22%.) In several areas, such as Stovner, Alna and Søndre Nordstrand, the figure is over 50%. According to a 2015 Statistics Norway report, “most persons with an immigrant background living in Oslo come from Pakistan (22,000), while 13-14,000 are from Poland, Sweden and Somalia. There are large differences between the districts: Persons with a background from Pakistan and Sri Lanka are most represented in [the far eastern suburbs of] Oslo.” By one 2012 estimate, 70 percent of Oslo’s first- and second-generation immigrants will have roots outside Europe by 2040, and about half of the city’s residents will be immigrants. Until now, Norway had seemed to cope well with the influx of immigrants from war-torn Muslim countries, in part because the intake levels generally were kept at a level that permitted newcomers to be integrated without overwhelming local resources. Indeed, there has been a broad consensus in Norwegian politics to keep immigration rates lower than those of comparable countries such as Sweden and Germany. Nevertheless, concerns have been rising in recent years, even if the ruling class was hesitant to discuss the issue. The country’s libertarian Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet) has repeatedly asked the country’s statistical agency to report on the statistical relationship between crime and country of origin. In the past, Statistics Norway refused, saying that such a task was “beyond its capacity.” But this year, for the first time, such a report was published. And the numbers were clear: Immigrants from certain backgrounds—particularly Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghanis—were many times more likely to commit violent crimes than other Norwegians (including other immigrant groups). In 65 out of 80 crime categories, non-Norwegians were over-represented. The largest discrepancy was in regard to domestic violence: Immigrants from non-Western countries were found to be eight times more likely to be charged for such crimes. Rape and murder were also heavily skewed toward these immigrant groups. Worryingly, the figures showed that second-generation immigrants were more likely to be criminals than their parents. For a long time, the expression svenske tilstander—“Swedish conditions”—has been used to describe large Swedish cities such as Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm, which feature areas plagued by bombings, gang-related gun violence, robbery and rape. In the past, Norwegians used the expression somewhat disparagingly, insisting that such issues would never arise in Norway (while also suggesting that the situation in Sweden was itself exaggerated by those with an anti-immigration agenda). But gradually, “Swedish conditions” have seemed less distant. Heidi Vibeke Pedersen, a Labour politician representing the immigrant-heavy area of Holmlia, recently wrote a Facebook post about her own experience, which was subsequently reprinted in VG, Norway’s biggest tabloid, under the headline “We have a problem in Oslo” (…) Pedersen’s article alluded to the fact that, in the quest to maintain their own cultures, some Muslims in Norway prefer to segregate instead of integrate. The newspaper Aftenposten recently uncovered the existence of Islamic schools presenting as cultural centres. And Islamsk Råd, the Islamic Council of Norway, now has proposed a separate branch of the Barnevernet—the government-run social services responsible for children—to deal with Muslim children. The article was shared by many. But Pedersen’s use of such terms as “Norwegian-Norwegian” (or norsk-norske) didn’t sit well with progressives and community advocates. Hasti Hamidi, a writer and Socialist Party politician, and Umar Ashraf, a Holmlia resident, wrote in VG that Pedersen’s use of the term “must mean that the author’s understanding of Norwegian-ness is synonymous with white skin.” Camara Lundestad Joof, a well known anti-racist activist and writer at the Dagbladet newspaper, accused Pedersen of branding local teenagers as terrorists. Using her own hard-done-by brother as an example, she explained how, in her opinion, Norwegian society has failed non-white young people. Had he been treated better, she argues, he and others like him would fare better. (One problem with this argument is that Norway is one of the least racist countries in the world.) Of course, this tension between racial sensitivity and blunt talk on crime has existed for generations in many Western societies. But it’s a relatively new topic in Norway, which is only now embracing certain hyper-progressive academic trends. (Oslo Metropolitan University, for instance, has recently produced an expert in so-called Whiteness Studies.) In fact, some influential Norwegians apparently would prefer that Statistics Norway had never released its report on crime and immigration in the first place. This includes Oslo’s vice mayor, Kamzy Gunaratnam, who told Dagbladet, “Damn, I’m angry! I’m not interested in these numbers…We don’t have a need to set people up against each other. These are our children, our people.” But burying the truth is never a good long-term strategy for anyone, including members of immigrant communities. The more persuasive view is that these issues should be addressed candidly, while they are still manageable. Unlike many other European countries, Norway doesn’t yet have an influential far-right party. But that may change if voters see that mainstream politicians are too polite to address a problem that ordinary people all over Oslo are talking about. Quillette
Les jeunes grandissent aujourd’hui dans un environnement où les menaces et la violence sont monnaie courante, où les adultes ont parfois peur d’intervenir et où on leur dit que la police est raciste. Notre quartier est de plus en plus divisé. Nous avons des régions qui sont principalement ‘norvégiennes-norvégiennes’, et d’autres à forte majorité immigrée. Ce n’est pas cela, la diversité. Heidi Vibeke Pedersen (élue travailliste norvégienne)
Depuis plusieurs semaines, le centre-ville d’Oslo est le théâtre d’agressions gratuites, qui prennent pour cible des hommes norvégiens « de souche ». Le mode opératoire est désormais connu des policiers, qui évoquent des gangs de jeunes immigrés, dont le nombre varie entre 5 et 10 habituellement. Une vingtaine de ces attaques, d’une rare violence, ont été recensées durant le seul samedi 19 octobre. Un jeune du quartier riche de la ville avait notamment été passé à tabac, prenant plusieurs cours de pied au visage. Au même moment, l’oncle du ministre de la Justice, le jeune Jøran Kallmyr, s’est fait casser plusieurs côtes. Le week-end suivant, plusieurs voitures ont été brûlées dans des échauffourées entre communautés turque et kurde. Mais en Norvège, rares sont les politiciens à se prononcer sur la hausse de la criminalité chez les jeunes immigrés… Valeurs actuelles
The random, apparently motiveless rampage in Central Park last week that the suspects in the case called wilding was an especially ferocious version of group delinquency that is common but usually not so vicious, law-enforcement officials and psychologists said this week. A 28-year-old investment banker, who was raped and savagely beaten, remains in a coma at Metropolitan Hospital as a result of the gang violence, and at least eight other people were assaulted by members of a group that the police now say numbered between 32 and 41. Eight youths have been arraigned on charges of rape, assault and attempted murder in the case, while five charges of assault, one involving a 13-year-old suspect, have been filed in the beating of a male jogger in his 40’s, who was seriously wounded in the head with a metal pipe. He was released from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center over the weekend. Also, a 15-year-old has been charged with being one of 17 youths who beat and robbed a male jogger who has been identified only as wearing an Army jacket. A grand jury is expected to take up all of the cases on Thursday.  »’Wilding seems to be a new term, but it’s hardly a new activity, » said Peter Reinharz, chief prosecutor for the Family Court Division of the city’s Law Department.  »In terms of group attacks, the No. 1 crime that we’ve seen among juveniles in Family Court, at least prior to the crack invasion, is robbery 2 – that is, aided robberies, the wolf-pack robberies.  »Prior to that, » he said,  »the No. 1 crime was jostling, which is pickpocketing. But for some reason, I guess it became a little bit easier to knock the old lady over and just grab the bag rather than to reach into the pocket and hope you came out with something. So things have gotten a lot rougher in the city with respect to wolf packs. » Last year, Mr. Reinharz said, 622 wolf-pack cases were referred to Family Court, along with 139 attempted robberies of that type. In 1987, there were 608 such cases and 144 attempted wolf-pack robberies. The police quoted some of the youths questioned in the case, all of whom live in Harlem near the park, as saying that the rampage grew out of a plan to attack joggers and bicyclists in the park for fun.  »It certainly got out of control, » Mr. Reinharz said of the episode,  »but I don’t know if it was out of control for these types of kids. I think that kids like this, given what I would call their predatory nature, are people who, given the chance, would do something like this again. There really isn’t any way to control them – at least we haven’t found it in the juvenile justice system. Although Chief of Detectives Robert Colangelo said last week that the eight separate assaults on nine people seemed unrelated to money, drugs, alcohol or race, police officials said yesterday that they were investigating to what extent racial factors may have played a role in the youths’ choice of victims.  »The question of whether this was a series of bias-related incidents is being looked at very closely, » said Deputy Police Commissioner Alice T. McGillion. Police officials said that the evidence of bias consisted of testimony from victims, as well as a statement from one suspect in the rape attack, 15-year-old Yusef Salaam, who is said to have told detectives that one member of the group had suggested that they  »get a white girl. » Another 15-year-old, Jermain Robinson, who is charged with robbery of the male jogger in the Army jacket, is also said to have told detectives that youths who chased and threw stones at a white couple on a tandem bicycle had shouted racial epithets. All of those involved in the Central Park attacks are said to be black. The victims were a black man, who was briefly harassed until one youth shouted that he knew the man, two Hispanic people, – and six whites. Police investigators also said that while the other suspects had made no explicit references to racial factors, their acknowledgement that the chief target of their forays were joggers and bicyclists in the park was an indication that a racial motive was at work because, the police suggested, the majority of those who tend to use that part of the park at night tend to be white. For many psychologists, the idea of attacking people who seem to personify a level of unattainable affluence is a common pattern among particpants in wolf-pack attacks.  »From what I have been able to gether about the Central Park case, there seem to be some socioeconomic factors involved, » said Dr. Leah Blumberg Lapidus, a specialist in adolescent behavior in Columbia University’s department of clinical psychology.  »The media, especially television, is constantly advertising these various things that are necessary to define yourself, and the joggers may represent a level of socioeconomic attainment that the media has convinced everybody is necessary to have in order to be an acceptable person, » she said.  »So, to that extent, such people become a target. » On the other hand, Dr. Lapidus said, that did not explain why some of the victims were black or Hispanic. Law-enforcement officials said the the scale of the Central Park episode was reminiscent of an incident in July 1983, when gangs of youths ran amok at a Diana Ross concert in Central Park, beating and robbing scores of people. Two years later, in April 1985, a March of Dimes walkathon in which 26,000 people marched through Manhattan broke up in turmoil after packs of youths attacked and harassed dozens of people in and around Central Park, snatching chains, purses and other property. Police officials, who said Friday that none of the suspects in the park case had a criminal record, said yesterday that they had discovered that that one, 17-year-old Michael Brisco, had been on three years’ probation since December after a wolf-pack-style robbery last year. Officials said he and two others, 12 and 15 years old, had assaulted and robbed a 14-year-old on Nov. 10 on East 90th Street near Second Avenue. Authorities reported over the weekend that they were investigating the possibility that some of the participants in the park attacks had been involved in three separate robbery sprees four days earlier in East Harlem, one of which involved a stabbing. Professor Lapidus and another psychologist, Dr. Ann M. Jernberg, who is director of the Theraplay Institute of Chicago and Wilmette, Ill., both said that what they found set the park rampage apart from others were the intensity of the violence and the apparent failure of almost all of the nine accused youths to show any remorse. Police and prosecutors said they laughed and joked while in police custody, and that only one expressed any sorrow.  »This lack of awareness of the consequences of what they’ve done – almost as if they’re benumbed – is a little more extreme than what we’ve seen, » Dr. Lapidus said. For Dr. Jernberg, who traces the origin of many forms of antisocial behavior to early childhood problems in the family,  »the mob psychology that these kids were obviously caught up in protects them against remorse. » ‘You get together a group of adolescents and you’ve got the worst possible combination for trouble, » Dr. Jernberg said in a telephone interview from Chicago.  »The idea of collective violence, the risks involved, is terribly exciting, very dramatic, and sometimes all kids this age need is to see a violent movie or hear a song to encourage them. » For Mr. Reinharz, the randomness of such attacks – which he believes are largely underreported because  »people expect this kind of activity in the city » – is a component of what he called the  »predatory instincts » of youths who carry out wolf-pack behavior. NYT
En quatre épisodes, Dans leur regard reconstitue par la fiction l’affaire des “cinq de Central Park”, symbole de la violence et de l’arbitraire de la justice américaine envers les Noir.e.s. Au printemps 1989, cinq adolescents (quatre Afro-Américains et un Hispanique) ont été injustement accusés du viol et de la tentative de meurtre d’une joggeuse à Central Park. Condamnés par deux jurys successifs, ils ont passé entre six et treize ans derrière les barreaux avant que le véritable coupable ne se dénonce. Exonérés de toutes les charges en 2002, ils n’ont obtenu réparation de la part de l’Etat de New York qu’en 2014. Les Inrockuptibles
Pour ceux qui ne connaitraient pas l’affaire, elle a secoué New York et les États-Unis à la fin des années 80, et ses dernières répercussions ont eu lieu en 2014. Dans la nuit du 19 avril 1989, la joggeuse Trisha Melli est sauvagement attaquée, violée et laissée pour morte dans Central Park. La même nuit, une bande d’ados afro-américains et latinos (dont Raymond Santana et Kevin Richardson), sortis pour terrifier les promeneurs du parc, est raflée par la police et emmenée au poste. Le lendemain, trois autres jeunes (Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, et Korey Wise) sont à leurs tours arrêtés, interrogés par les inspecteurs et poussés à avouer ce crime qu’ils n’ont jamais commis.  Les cinq garçons seront jugés coupables et jetés en prison en 1990. Il faudra attendre 2002 pour que le véritable criminel (ironie du sort, il était blanc) vienne se dénoncer et soit arrêté. La libération de Korey Wise et l’acquittement des cinq garçons suivront plus ou moins rapidement. Enfin, en 2014, ils recevront une compensation financière d’environ 40 millions de dollars. (…) Comment dépeindre, 30 ans après les faits, un New York pré-Giuliani gangréné par la drogue et les violences interraciales ? (…) Comment la presse a-t-elle a pu les jeter en pâture et les rendre coupables avant même le procès ? (…) Mais l’injustice de l’histoire de ce garçon commence bien avant le procès : au départ, il n’aurait même pas dû être arrêté. Celui qui n’était pas sur la liste de noms donnés par Raymond Santana au moment de son arrestation, celui qui s’est retrouvé au poste dans l’unique but de ne pas laisser son ami seul, est finalement celui qui a purgé la plus longue peine et a connu les conditions d’incarcération les plus difficiles – conditions auxquelles un jeune de 16 ans n’est absolument pas préparé. Le choix d’Ava DuVernay d’offrir à Korey Wise un épisode entier n’a alors rien d’étonnant. Si le calvaire du jeune garçon est de moins en moins supportable à regarder à mesure que l’épisode se déroule, c’est sans doute grâce au talent de son interprète. (…) Dans leur regard est puissante, l’injustice de son histoire et la souffrance de ses personnages font facilement passer de la rage aux larmes. En 1989, l’affaire avait pris une proportion nationale. L’attaque raciale et contre les minorités avait été mise en avant par les défenseurs des « Cinq de Central Park ». Mais Ava DuVernay se plaît à rappeler autre chose : contre eux, il y avait un milliardaire de l’immobilier (dont les bureaux bordaient le parc) maintenant président des États-Unis. Donald Trump avait payé plus de 80 000 dollars pour des pages entières dans des journaux, appelant notamment au rétablissement de la peine de mort dans l’État. Outre Donald Trump, la procureur Linda Fairstein, campée par Felicity Huffman, est également pointée du doigt. Les accusations de la réalisatrice vont même plus loin : elle serait responsable de l’arrestation et surtout de l’acharnement de la police et de la cour sur les cinq adolescents et leur famille. Aujourd’hui, l’ex-procureur reconvertie en autrice est à son tour lynchée sur la place publique (et notamment la tweetosphère). Il faut dire que devant les conditions des interrogatoires des cinq garçons, la violence verbale et physique dont ils ont (ou auraient, pour Fairstein) fait les frais, et l’instrumentalisation politique de leur incarcération, l’opportunisme de la procureur se confond facilement avec un racisme aveugle. Aujourd’hui encore, la femme dément la vision des interrogatoires que propose DuVernay et reproche à la réalisatrice d’avoir non seulement omis une grande partie des méfaits du gang cette nuit du 19 avril 1989, mais aussi de ne s’être penchée que sur l’innocence des cinq garçons. S’il fallait faire un reproche à la série émouvante et militante, on pourrait pointer du doigt sa mise en scène très classique. Comme le but n’est pas d’esthétiser, mais de redonner leur place, leur parole et leur dignité à des personnes à jamais meurtries, la réalisation use d’effets dramatiques (musique, ralentis…) pour augmenter l’empathie du spectateur. C’est un peu facile et attendu, mais rien d’étonnant de la part de la réalisatrice de Selma. Ecran large
“The fact that wilin’ became wilding, became wolf pack, became these boys are animals… I remember for the first time realizing that the news might not be true, that the news is something that you have to really think about and question. Ava DuVernay
When Donald Trump took out that full-page ad, and put them in all of New York City’s newspapers, calling for our execution, he placed a bounty on our head. Yusuf Salaam
I look at Donald Trump, and I understand him as a representation of a symptom of America. We were convicted because of the colour of our skin. People thought the worst of us. And this is all because of prominent New Yorkers – especially Donald Trump. Yusuf Salaam
Though the Central Park attacks were certainly the backdrop to Trump’s ad, his language did not presume the guilt of the defendants, whom he scarcely mentioned, and he did not call specifically for the execution of anyone. In fact, Trump demanded capital punishment only for murderers, and by the time his ad appeared, Trisha Meili was expected to survive. Moreover, Trump was hardly alone, in New York City, in expressing horror and anguish about the attack—neither the New York Times nor the Daily News objected to running the ad, after all. New York City in 1989 was under violent assault from predatory criminals. There were nine times as many murders then as now; robbery and muggings were more than ten times as frequent as they are today. Rape and felony assault were well over double today’s rates. Pack-style violence like what happened that night in Central Park was all too common. Gangs “ran amok” at a 1983 Diana Ross concert in the Park, according to the Times, “beating and robbing scores of people.” In 1985, a March of Dimes walkathon was broken up around Central Park when “packs of youth attacked and harassed dozens of people,” stealing jewelry and pocketbooks. David Dinkins, running against Ed Koch in the 1989 Democratic primary for mayor, called for “anti-wilding” legislation in the wake of the Central Park Jogger attack. He won the general election against Rudy Giuliani in part for his promise to be tough on crime. Trump’s ad, though cast as a brutal call for revenge, is actually a demand for public safety, and a return to the “feeling of security New York’s finest once gave to the citizens of this City.” Written in 1989, it is a prescient call for Broken Windows policing, which from 1994 on resulted in the sharpest and most enduring decrease in crime that any city has seen in American history. The policies that Trump called for saved the lives of tens of thousands of people—most of them black and Latino—who would otherwise have fallen victim to New York’s spiraling violence. The latest outbreak of passions regarding this case, and the novel twist of making Trump a central player in it, raise other questions. Given that there have been no new developments, except for the city payouts, in the Central Park case since Burns’s 2012 documentary, why was a new movie called for, anyway? The Netflix series, arguably, exists only to make Trump a target for his behavior in a long-ago New York episode—just in time for the 2020 campaign. Ana DuVernay, director of the docudrama, is a close friend of Barack and Michelle Obama. Like DuVernay, the Obamas have multiyear, multimillion-dollar development deals with Netflix. Amplifying the theme that Trump is a longtime racist is likely to be part of the eventual Democratic candidate’s campaign strategy. When They See Us may be a valuable tool for that purpose; it certainly has little value for truthfulness. Seth Barron
Before their arrest, the teens crested through their city with youthful ebullience. They were “just baby boys.” But in the days following the rape of Trisha Meili, the teens—ages 14 to 16—transmogrified into a “wolf pack.” They became “savage.” Meili, who became known as the “Central Park jogger,” was often characterized as their “prey.” The flurry of media attention reached a galling crescendo when Donald J. Trump, then a local real-estate mogul, purchased full-page ads in four New York publications calling for the return of the death penalty so that the boys could be executed. The boys eventually became known as the “Central Park Five,” a pithy moniker picked up by local and national media outlets that served as much to undercut their humanity as it did to free up copy space. “If they had their way,” Salaam told CNN in 2012, 10 years after a man named Matias Reyes confessed to the crime and two years before the Central Park Five received a $41 million settlement from the City of New York, “we would have been hanging from one of those lovely trees here in Central Park.” In rendering their journeys, DuVernay pays careful attention to the terrifying power of language, especially the animalistic rhetoric with which prosecutors and journalists referred to the teens. (Trump is referenced often, particularly in the second installment; he is depicted as the most powerful of the boys’ zealous detractors, not the sole purveyor of racial animus.) In its early installments, When They See Us implicates New York media, and the ensuing frenzy of the public, in spurring along the boys’ wrongful verdicts. The series re-creates the glee with which people seized upon words such as wildin’, common slang for any range of boisterous behavior, as evidence of the boys’ inherent criminality. The series enters a broader landscape of artistic reckoning with the Central Park Five case, as well as with the country’s history of weaponizing language against black and brown people. Most immediately, a new project from the artist and journalist Alexandra Bell appears in this year’s Whitney Biennial. No Humans Involved—After Sylvia Wynter takes its name from a seminal 1994 essay by the scholar and poet. In it, Wynter wrote at length about “NHI,” the unofficial acronym that Los Angeles law enforcement used to classify cases involving black men. Referencing a term coined by the sociologist Helen Fein, Wynter wrote that the acronym, and its attendant category of “nonhuman,” rendered black men (and by extension, all black people) targets for systemic violence: For the social effects to which this acronym, and its placing outside the “sanctified universe of obligation,” of the category of young Black males to which it refers, leads, whilst not overtly genocidal, are clearly having genocidal effects with the incarceration and elimination of young Black males by ostensibly normal and everyday means. Bell’s Wynter-inspired series is composed of photo prints she made using an exacting process of lithography and screen-printing. No Humans Involved zeroes in on the New York Daily News coverage of the Central Park Five case. The paper published some of the most egregious reporting on the case—details of the minors’ addresses and family histories, and inflammatory headlines such as “WOLF PACK’S PREY”—well before the case was even (wrongfully) adjudicated. The Daily News also published Trump’s full-page ad. By redacting and highlighting specific text and images from 10 days of the publication’s 1989 issues, Bell underscores the devastating effects of the outlet’s glaring bias against the young black and brown boys. “I really want people to look at [my series] and question the role that the Daily News played in the way we viewed these particular people,” she told The New Yorker recently. “And maybe even in some ways the outcome ultimately of the case.” (…) DuVernay’s project enters a wildly different political landscape. The man who wielded his money and influence to call for the teens’ execution now occupies the White House. From his perch, he refers to Mexicans as “rapists” and black men as “thugs”; the language of dehumanization has again shed its politesse. It’s understandable, then, if also sometimes frustrating, that When They See Us sometimes abandons subtlety in its references to Trump. The president’s lengthy, bombastic oeuvre of bigotry creates both a moral terror and an artistic quandary. Still, When They See Us pulls back the language of biased prosecution and journalistic malfeasance to revelatory effect. At the end—despite the cloud of animus that surrounds them—Yusef, Antron, Kevin, Korey, and Raymond get to be human. The Atlantic
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, DuVernay said that when the case was first publicized, she was shocked at how the media’s misinterpretation of slang in the Central Park Five case led to the further dehumanization of the boys. One scene in Episode Two shows how, after some of the boys told detectives that they were “wilin’ out” in Central Park on the same night the rape occurred, the media interpreted the phrase to mean “wilding,” when it just means having fun or hanging out. The screen cuts to tabloids and newspapers with the words “WILDING” splashed across them as an indictment. Audio clips play newscasters interpreting « wilin’ out » as a description of violent acts committed by “wolf packs” of young people. To translate « wilin’ out » as « wilding » cements a vision of these innocent boys as « wild, » as savage, as animal, as other, a vision that’s rooted in the institutional dehumanization of Black people. (…) Unfortunately, even though the Central Park Five were convicted in 1990, this is still an issue today. In addition to facing barriers in employment, housing, healthcare, and education, Black people are often punished simply for a way of speaking. Black language is thought to be deviant, something that is undesirable or indicative of unintelligence, criminality, or depravity (until, of course, it’s appropriated by non-Black pop stars). When neither court recorders, jurors, lawyers, or judges possess a grasp of this valid form of language, it can lead to injustices that take years to correct — if they ever are meaningfully addressed. The men of the Central Park Five case lost years of their lives because of linguistic discrimination. How many are still suffering? Bustle

Attention: une instrumentalisation peut en cacher une autre !

A l’heure où, entre chasse aux sorcières et procès de Moscou, un parti d’opposition américain n’ayant jamais accepté le choix populaire poursuit sa fuite en avant suicidaire pour se débarrasser de Trump …

Et où une vidéo de surveillance montre deux jeunes noirs cagoulés dévalisant avec force violence deux jeunes touristes étrangères à leur sortie du métro de Brooklyn …

Pendant que de Cologne à Stockholm ou même  Oslo, l’Europe découvre à son tour l’autre face de la diversité

Comment ne pas voir …

Ecrite par une proche de la famille Obama eux-mêmes sous contrat de la plateforme et sortie à un an et demi d’une élection présidentielle cruciale …

Et suvie de près, Alec Baldwin dans le rôle du méchant promoteur compris, par un autre film anti-Trump

La minisérie de Netflix sur les Cinq de Central Park « sortis pour terrifier les promeneurs du parc » (sic) .. …

Comme la continuation, sous prétexte d’une tribune alors publiée appelant au retour de la paix civile y compris par la peine de mort, de l’actuel hallali sur l’actuel occupant de la maison Blanche ?

Et au moment où faisant l’impasse sur nombre des conditions de l’affaire comme notamment le climat de véritable sauvagerie de bandes de jeunes noirs descendant, avant la reprise de contrôle par Giuliani, en meutes dépouiller et molester les passants du célèbre parc de New York …

La réalisatrice elle-même et certains des commentateurs présentent les évnèments comme un effet de la discrimination linguistique …

Ne pas repenser au premier Camus qui avant de remettre lui-même en cause le « thème du poète maudit » qui ne pouvait s’affirmer que « contre la société de son temps, quelle qu’elle soit » …

Expliquait aussi doctement que faussement que « dans notre société tout homme qui ne pleure pas à l’enterrement de sa mère risque d’être condamné à mort » ?

Ava DuVernay’s new Netflix docuseries When They See Us depicts the heartbreaking story of the 1990 Central Park Five case in which a group of young Black and Latinx boys were convicted of a crime that they did not commit. Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, falsely confessed to the rape of a female jogger, which led to them being imprisoned for six to 13 years. The series explores the ways the Central Park Five were villainized in the media and in public opinion — and particularly for their use of African American English (AAVE) and Black slang.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, DuVernay said that when the case was first publicized, she was shocked at how the media’s misinterpretation of slang in the Central Park Five case led to the further dehumanization of the boys. One scene in Episode Two shows how, after some of the boys told detectives that they were “wilin’ out” in Central Park on the same night the rape occurred, the media interpreted the phrase to mean “wilding,” when it just means having fun or hanging out. The screen cuts to tabloids and newspapers with the words “WILDING” splashed across them as an indictment. Audio clips play newscasters interpreting « wilin’ out » as a description of violent acts committed by “wolf packs” of young people. To translate « wilin’ out » as « wilding » cements a vision of these innocent boys as « wild, » as savage, as animal, as other, a vision that’s rooted in the institutional dehumanization of Black people.

“The fact that wilin’ became wilding, became wolf pack, became these boys are animals… I remember for the first time realizing that the news might not be true, that the news is something that you have to really think about and question,” DuVernay told The Hollywood Reporter. Unfortunately, even though the Central Park Five were convicted in 1990, this is still an issue today. In addition to facing barriers in employment, housing, healthcare, and education, Black people are often punished simply for a way of speaking.

It’s important to stress that not every Black person speaks AAVE and not every speaker of AAVE is Black. Nonetheless, it is a Black dialect with its own unique structure, rules, and syntax — all vital components of every language. Although many linguists now recognize the validity of AAVE, its association with a marginalized racial group can have devastating consequences.

University of Pennsylvania linguist Taylor Jones, along with New York University sociologist Jessica Kalbfeld, Ryan Hancock of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity and Robin Clark, recently authored a study showing that Philadelphia court reporters frequently misinterpret AAVE. Philadelphia court reporters are required to score 95% accuracy when transcribing court proceedings, but none were able to score 95% when tested on AAVE. The study also found that most of the court recorders held negative beliefs about both AAVE and Black people, impacting their ability to correctly interpret what they heard.

Taylor tells Bustle that his team’s research illuminates how “the toxic mix of misunderstanding the language, negative attitudes about the language, negative attitudes about slang, and not understanding facial expressions,” can lead to unfair legal consequences for Black people. Think of what happened when Warren Demesme, then 22, was denied a lawyer because, during an interrogation by New Orleans police, he said, “just give me a lawyer, dawg.” This was misinterpreted to mean that he wanted a canine attorney and his request was denied, in a bewildering misapplication of justice. Anyone familiar with hip-hop slang or pop culture at large would know that “dawg” is shorthand for “dude” or “man.” While this kind of willfully obtuse reading of AAVE ultimately is rare, the more common forms of misinterpretation are more insidious.

That’s one reason, of many, that the Central Park Five case is so haunting.

Taylor points out that due to extensive racial segregation in the U.S., many non-Black folks truly don’t understand the most basic expressions of AAVE. He says although their study was intentionally careful about omitting slang terms — which he says are “ever-changing and shifting » — the participants were not able to accurately translate AAVE language structures into standard English. “We assume that we understand way more than we do and we assume that we’re communicating more effectively than we are,” Taylor says, meaning that sometimes AAVE speakers also don’t realize that they aren’t being heard.

Many speakers of AAVE — and this includes non-Black people, too — have found that to avoid the the possibility of their dialect being misinterpreted, they must code-switch, or use different tone and diction in different social settings. As a Black woman, I’ve had to code-switch in all aspects of my life. I even had to code-switch around my own family, as my great-grandmother felt that Black American language and slang was « undignified. » However, the ability to code-switch is a kind of privilege of its own, because as Taylor’s study points out, dialect is also correlated with socio-economic status. And while many people are vulnerable to discrimination within the criminal justice system, lower-income people with less education are disproportionately impacted. And in moments of intense emotion — such as an interrogation — anyone’s ability to code-switch can be impacted. This lack of access to code-switching can be devastating.

A 2016 paper by Stanford University researchers John R. Rickford and Sharese King argues that linguistic discrimination led to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin’s close friend Rachel Jeantel was the prosecution’s main witness, but because she spoke Carribbean-inflected AAVE, Rickford and King say her “crucial testimony was dismissed as incomprehensible and not credible.” On Megyn Kelly’s show America Live, attorney Jonna Spilbor said that Jeantel, then 19, seemed “brutally ignorant.” On Fox News, Sean Hannity said that she had a “credibility problem.” In their paper, Rickford and King state that “the disregard for her speech in court and the media is familiar to vernacular speakers.”

These cases are infuriating, because they’re unfair. It’s shocking to think of how many people might be wrongfully punished simply because they use a dialect that’s different to what’s considered standard. That’s one reason, of many, that the Central Park Five case is so haunting; these men spent years in prison because of institutionalized racism around the way they spoke.

Black language is thought to be deviant, something that is undesirable or indicative of unintelligence, criminality, or depravity (until, of course, it’s appropriated by non-Black pop stars). When neither court recorders, jurors, lawyers, or judges possess a grasp of this valid form of language, it can lead to injustices that take years to correct — if they ever are meaningfully addressed. The men of the Central Park Five case lost years of their lives because of linguistic discrimination. How many are still suffering?

Voir aussi:

Is Trump the Real Target of a Netflix Series?

A new film about the Central Park Jogger case seems conveniently timed.

Seth Barron
City journal

June 13, 2019

A Netflix docudrama about the 1989 Central Park “wilding” case has enflamed passions about the purported injustice done to the five teenagers who went to prison for it. Though they confessed that they had sexually assaulted Trisha Meili and beaten half-a-dozen other people in the park that night, their convictions were vacated 12 years later when a convicted murderer—whose DNA matched semen found on the victim—owned up to the rape. In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio settled a civil suit brought by the “Central Park Five,” and the city paid out more than $40 million in damages—even though Linda Fairstein, head of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit in 1989, and others have long maintained that significant evidence exists that the young men participated in the attack on Meili and committed other acts of violence in the park that night.

When They See Us, the new film about the case, has sparked fury among activists and retaliation against both Fairstein and Elizabeth Lederer, the prosecutor in the case. Fairstein, also a bestselling novelist, has been dumped by her publisher, Dutton, and Lederer has quit her professorship at Columbia University. Jumaane Williams, the New York City public advocate, has called for both women to be disbarred and wants all their previous cases opened for review by Manhattan DA Cy Vance.

Somehow, amid the current rage about the Central Park case, President Trump has become a part of the story—at least, the story that activists are telling. That’s because, on May 1, 1989, ten days after news of the assaults broke, Trump took out a full-page ad in four New York City dailies calling for a tough-on-crime approach to policing in a city then suffering an average of more than five murders a day. “Bring back the death penalty. Bring back our police!” the ad blared in bold type. Trump spoke of the “complete breakdown of life as we knew it,” and lamented that “New York families—White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian—have had to give up the pleasure of a leisurely stroll in the Park at dusk.” Trump affirmed his “hate” for “muggers and murderers,” who, he said, “should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.”

In Netflix’s dramatized version of the story, Trump’s role in the prosecution of the teens is pivotal. “That devil wants to kill my son,” says the mother of one of the defendants. “You gonna take an ad out about killing my son?” The media have amplified this theme of Trump as a central figure in the purported hysteria surrounding the case. Receiving a “courage award” from the ACLU last week, Yusuf Salaam, one of the participants in the 1989 Central Park wilding, tearfully said, “when Donald Trump took out that full-page ad, and put them in all of New York City’s newspapers, calling for our execution, he placed a bounty on our head.”

Ken Burns, whose documentary about the Central Park case was highly regarded but lacked the cultural impact of When They See Us, now gives Trump more significance than he did in his 2012 film. “There was an orange-haired real estate developer in New York. . . . And he believed that these children should be executed.” Time reports that “President Trump played a key role in the Central Park Five case.” The BBC tells us that Trump’s ad fed into “the atmosphere of high crime rates and poor race relations in the city at the time.” The New Yorker says that “one of Trump’s first political acts” was to demand the teens’ execution. CNN White House correspondent April Ryan tweeted, “The injustice against the Central Park Five and @realDonaldTrump inability to apologize after wrongfully asking for the death penalty is horrific.”

Though the Central Park attacks were certainly the backdrop to Trump’s ad, his language did not presume the guilt of the defendants, whom he scarcely mentioned, and he did not call specifically for the execution of anyone. In fact, Trump demanded capital punishment only for murderers, and by the time his ad appeared, Trisha Meili was expected to survive. Moreover, Trump was hardly alone, in New York City, in expressing horror and anguish about the attack—neither the New York Times nor the Daily News objected to running the ad, after all. New York City in 1989 was under violent assault from predatory criminals. There were nine times as many murders then as now; robbery and muggings were more than ten times as frequent as they are today. Rape and felony assault were well over double today’s rates.

Pack-style violence like what happened that night in Central Park was all too common. Gangs “ran amok” at a 1983 Diana Ross concert in the Park, according to the Times, “beating and robbing scores of people.” In 1985, a March of Dimes walkathon was broken up around Central Park when “packs of youth attacked and harassed dozens of people,” stealing jewelry and pocketbooks. David Dinkins, running against Ed Koch in the 1989 Democratic primary for mayor, called for “anti-wilding” legislation in the wake of the Central Park Jogger attack. He won the general election against Rudy Giuliani in part for his promise to be tough on crime.

Trump’s ad, though cast as a brutal call for revenge, is actually a demand for public safety, and a return to the “feeling of security New York’s finest once gave to the citizens of this City.” Written in 1989, it is a prescient call for Broken Windows policing, which from 1994 on resulted in the sharpest and most enduring decrease in crime that any city has seen in American history. The policies that Trump called for saved the lives of tens of thousands of people—most of them black and Latino—who would otherwise have fallen victim to New York’s spiraling violence.

The latest outbreak of passions regarding this case, and the novel twist of making Trump a central player in it, raise other questions. Given that there have been no new developments, except for the city payouts, in the Central Park case since Burns’s 2012 documentary, why was a new movie called for, anyway? The Netflix series, arguably, exists only to make Trump a target for his behavior in a long-ago New York episode—just in time for the 2020 campaign. Ana DuVernay, director of the docudrama, is a close friend of Barack and Michelle Obama. Like DuVernay, the Obamas have multiyear, multimillion-dollar development deals with Netflix. Amplifying the theme that Trump is a longtime racist is likely to be part of the eventual Democratic candidate’s campaign strategy. When They See Us may be a valuable tool for that purpose; it certainly has little value for truthfulness.

Voir également:

David E. Pitt
The New York Times
April 25, 1989

The random, apparently motiveless rampage in Central Park last week that the suspects in the case called wilding was an especially ferocious version of group delinquency that is common but usually not so vicious, law-enforcement officials and psychologists said this week.

A 28-year-old investment banker, who was raped and savagely beaten, remains in a coma at Metropolitan Hospital as a result of the gang violence, and at least eight other people were assaulted by members of a group that the police now say numbered between 32 and 41.

Eight youths have been arraigned on charges of rape, assault and attempted murder in the case, while five charges of assault, one involving a 13-year-old suspect, have been filed in the beating of a male jogger in his 40’s, who was seriously wounded in the head with a metal pipe. He was released from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center over the weekend. Also, a 15-year-old has been charged with being one of 17 youths who beat and robbed a male jogger who has been identified only as wearing an Army jacket. A grand jury is expected to take up all of the cases on Thursday.

‘Things Have Gotten a Lot Rougher’

 »’Wilding seems to be a new term, but it’s hardly a new activity, » said Peter Reinharz, chief prosecutor for the Family Court Division of the city’s Law Department.  »In terms of group attacks, the No. 1 crime that we’ve seen among juveniles in Family Court, at least prior to the crack invasion, is robbery 2 – that is, aided robberies, the wolf-pack robberies.

 »Prior to that, » he said,  »the No. 1 crime was jostling, which is pickpocketing. But for some reason, I guess it became a little bit easier to knock the old lady over and just grab the bag rather than to reach into the pocket and hope you came out with something. So things have gotten a lot rougher in the city with respect to wolf packs. »

Last year, Mr. Reinharz said, 622 wolf-pack cases were referred to Family Court, along with 139 attempted robberies of that type. In 1987, there were 608 such cases and 144 attempted wolf-pack robberies.

The police quoted some of the youths questioned in the case, all of whom live in Harlem near the park, as saying that the rampage grew out of a plan to attack joggers and bicyclists in the park for fun.

 »It certainly got out of control, » Mr. Reinharz said of the episode,  »but I don’t know if it was out of control for these types of kids. I think that kids like this, given what I would call their predatory nature, are people who, given the chance, would do something like this again. There really isn’t any way to control them – at least we haven’t found it in the juvenile justice system.

Racial Epithets, But Victims Mixed

Although Chief of Detectives Robert Colangelo said last week that the eight separate assaults on nine people seemed unrelated to money, drugs, alcohol or race, police officials said yesterday that they were investigating to what extent racial factors may have played a role in the youths’ choice of victims.

 »The question of whether this was a series of bias-related incidents is being looked at very closely, » said Deputy Police Commissioner Alice T. McGillion.

Police officials said that the evidence of bias consisted of testimony from victims, as well as a statement from one suspect in the rape attack, 15-year-old Yusef Salaam, who is said to have told detectives that one member of the group had suggested that they  »get a white girl. »

Another 15-year-old, Jermain Robinson, who is charged with robbery of the male jogger in the Army jacket, is also said to have told detectives that youths who chased and threw stones at a white couple on a tandem bicycle had shouted racial epithets.

All of those involved in the Central Park attacks are said to be black. The victims were a black man, who was briefly harassed until one youth shouted that he knew the man, two Hispanic people, – and six whites.

Police investigators also said that while the other suspects had made no explicit references to racial factors, their acknowledgement that the chief target of their forays were joggers and bicyclists in the park was an indication that a racial motive was at work because, the police suggested, the majority of those who tend to use that part of the park at night tend to be white.

For many psychologists, the idea of attacking people who seem to personify a level of unattainable affluence is a common pattern among particpants in wolf-pack attacks.

 »From what I have been able to gether about the Central Park case, there seem to be some socioeconomic factors involved, » said Dr. Leah Blumberg Lapidus, a specialist in adolescent behavior in Columbia University’s department of clinical psychology.

 »The media, especially television, is constantly advertising these various things that are necessary to define yourself, and the joggers may represent a level of socioeconomic attainment that the media has convinced everybody is necessary to have in order to be an acceptable person, » she said.  »So, to that extent, such people become a target. »

On the other hand, Dr. Lapidus said, that did not explain why some of the victims were black or Hispanic.

Law-enforcement officials said the the scale of the Central Park episode was reminiscent of an incident in July 1983, when gangs of youths ran amok at a Diana Ross concert in Central Park, beating and robbing scores of people.

Two years later, in April 1985, a March of Dimes walkathon in which 26,000 people marched through Manhattan broke up in turmoil after packs of youths attacked and harassed dozens of people in and around Central Park, snatching chains, purses and other property.

Police officials, who said Friday that none of the suspects in the park case had a criminal record, said yesterday that they had discovered that that one, 17-year-old Michael Brisco, had been on three years’ probation since December after a wolf-pack-style robbery last year. Officials said he and two others, 12 and 15 years old, had assaulted and robbed a 14-year-old on Nov. 10 on East 90th Street near Second Avenue.

Authorities reported over the weekend that they were investigating the possibility that some of the participants in the park attacks had been involved in three separate robbery sprees four days earlier in East Harlem, one of which involved a stabbing.

Unusual in Intensity

Professor Lapidus and another psychologist, Dr. Ann M. Jernberg, who is director of the Theraplay Institute of Chicago and Wilmette, Ill., both said that what they found set the park rampage apart from others were the intensity of the violence and the apparent failure of almost all of the nine accused youths to show any remorse. Police and prosecutors said they laughed and joked while in police custody,and that only one expressed any sorrow.

 »This lack of awareness of the consequences of what they’ve done – almost as if they’re benumbed – is a little more extreme than what we’ve seen, » Dr. Lapidus said. For Dr. Jernberg, who traces the origin of many forms of antisocial behavior to early childhood problems in the family,  »the mob psychology that these kids were obviously caught up in protects them against remorse. »

 »You get together a group of adolescents and you’ve got the worst possible combination for trouble, » Dr. Jernberg said in a telephone interview from Chicago.  »The idea of collective violence, the risks involved, is terribly exciting, very dramatic, and sometimes all kids this age need is to see a violent movie or hear a song to encourage them. »

Attacks Thought Underreported

For Mr. Reinharz, the randomness of such attacks – which he believes are largely underreported because  »people expect this kind of activity in the city » – is a component of what he called the  »predatory instincts » of youths who carry out wolf-pack behavior.

 »These tend to be situations where these kids get together and there really isn’t any specific plan, » he said,  »I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t profess to understand them – but it seems to me that that one of the common threads you see among the most violent of these kids is that they really don’t have a game plan with respect to the day, let alone their lives.

 »They get up in the morning, or they get up in the afternoon many of them certainly only have only limited contact with school – and they just live for the moment. »

Slight Improvement Seen

Physicians at Metropolitan Hospital caring for the Wall Street banker said yesterday that she was still comatose and in critical condition, and that the prospects for her survival remained uncertain.

There have been a few improvements, including a reduction of brain swelling, according to Dr. Robert S. Kurtz, assistant chief of surgery and director of the surgical intensive care unit, and Dr. Kent Duffy, chief of neurosurgery.

Besides brain injuries, the woman also sustained fractures of the skull, of the bone around the left eye and the bone crossing the left temple.

 »We are worried about brain damage caused by lack of oxygen during the four to five hours she lay in the in the park, » Dr. Kurtz said.  »We won’t be able to assess that until the swelling is down. That is our deep and underlying concern. But the statistics are against her. »

Voir de plus:

EXCLUSIVE: ‘When They See Us is LIES.’ NYPD cop who arrested two of the Central Park Five says they DID attack jogger and forensic evidence proves it – and showing police and prosecutors as racist is putting lives at risk

  • On April 19, 1989, more than 30 young men terrorized New York’s Central Park, teacher James Loughlin was beaten and jogger Patricia Meili was raped
  • Raymond Santana, then 14, Kevin Richardson, 14, Korey Wise, 16, Antron McCray, 15 and Yusef Salaam, 15 all confessed and were convicted of participating in multiple crimes. They were known as the Central Park Five.
  • In 2002 their convictions were vacated after serial rapist Matias Reyes said he was Meili’s lone attacker. His DNA matched evidence found at the scene
  • The five sued New York City, said their confessions were coerced and won a $41 million payout
  • Their arrest, incarceration and exoneration is the subject of Netflix miniseries When They See Us, directed by Ava DuVernay and produced by Oprah Winfrey
  • But Eric Reynolds, lead police officer in the Central Park Five case tells DailyMailTV the series is filled with ‘malicious’ lies
  • Reynolds believes the Central Park Five did attack Meili and said, ‘That notion that there was none, no physical evidence, that tied them to the crime is an absolute lie.
  • Despite Reyes confession for rape, Reynolds said, ‘There was blood, semen, there was grass stains on Kevin Richardson’s underwear.’
  • He said inaccuracies in the show could cause people to threaten the lives of Central Park Five prosecutors Linda Fairstein and Elizabeth Lederer
  • Reynolds said: ‘It’s a malicious recreation, which has nothing to do with the facts other than they ended up arrested and going to jail’

The NYPD police officer who made the first arrests in the Central Park Five investigation has condemned Netflix‘s drama When They See Us as ‘lies’ and said it puts the lives of cops and prosecutors at risk.

Eric Reynolds, who as a plainclothes officer arrested Raymond Santana and Kevin Richardson, tells DailyMailTV that the four-part television adaptation is so filled with errors that it is ‘malicious recreation’.

He described the miniseries, produced by Robert De Niro and Oprah Winfrey and directed by Ava DuVernay, as ‘total nonsense’ that left him ‘flabbergasted’.

Reynolds retired in 2001 after a 20-year career where he rose to Detective Third Grade and earned department recognition multiple times for his police work.

He spoke out after an outcry in the wake of the series led to prosecutors Linda Fairstein and Elizabeth Lederer losing publishing contracts, board seats and lecturing roles.

Reynolds, 59, rejected criticism of the investigation, prosecution and conviction of the five for the rape of 28-year-old jogger, Patricia Meili – and particularly took issue with the portrayal of the black men as victims of a racist system.

As an African American, he said, the allegations of racism cut particularly deep.

Asked if he has been accused of being a race-traitor he said, ‘Oh yes and worse.’ Yet all he wanted to do as an officer was, he said, ‘serve his community.’

And he said that even the brief appearance he makes in the series, which has been watched by 23 million Netflix accounts worldwide, is pure ‘fiction,’ portraying events which simply did not happen; he was shown as a uniformed officer when he in fact wore plain clothes.

He believes the series is inflammatory by depicting members of the five looking badly beaten when they were arrested.

Reynolds told DailyMailTV, ‘Please, someone, show me the pictures of them. Show me the injuries, show me the black eyes, show me the swollen faces because every single one of them that came out of that precinct had none of that.’

He has shared his own recollections of the night of April 19, 1989 when more than 30 young men embarked on a violent spree of terror, and Meili was found raped and close to death in Central Park.

Raymond Santana, then 14, Kevin Richardson, 14, Korey Wise, 16, Antron McCray, 15 and Yusef Salaam, 15 all confessed and were convicted of participating in multiple crimes on April 19. But the one that is remembered is Meili’s rape.

In 2002 their convictions were sensationally vacated in their entirety when Matias Reyes, a serial rapist already in prison, confessed to the crime and claimed to have acted alone. The five sued New York City, said their confessions were coerced and won a $41 million payout.

Supporters said they had been exonerated and the Central Park Five became synonymous with an unimaginable miscarriage of justice.

When They See Us opens on the night of the ‘wilding’, where a mass of young men rushed through Central Park, casting the five very squarely as innocents caught up in events and on the fringes of any violence.

Reynolds said, ‘When I saw the opening scenes it was like watching a musical. I was flabbergasted. That absolutely was not what occurred.’

The Central Park Five had their convictions vacated after serial rapist Matias Reyes admitted raping jogger Patricia Meili. His DNA matched evidence found at the scene

In one scene a man, most likely a depiction of teacher John Loughlin, is shown being felled by a single punch while three of the five look on.

Reynolds said, ‘It did not happen that way. They were beating him with a pipe. They beat him so savagely that both of his eyes were shut and he had a cracked skull.’

Testimony from one who was there stated that Yusef Salaam was wielding that pipe and ‘going to work on him.’

The cop who found Loughlin told Reynolds that he ‘looked like his head was dunked in a bucket of blood.’

In another scene the boys are part of a crowd halfheartedly harassing a couple on a tandem bike. Again Reynolds watched in outrage at what he said is a ‘total fiction.’

He explained, ‘The group lay in wait. They stretched out across the roadway and held hands to knock them off their bike. It was a couple on the tandem and the woman said she was scared for her life.

‘Her boyfriend just told her, ‘Put your head down and pedal as hard as you can.’ And they rode through them as they were grabbing at her clothes and by the grace of God they got away.’

Pointing to the couple attacked on their tandem he said it was the violence, not the ethnicity, of its perpetrators that mattered to police officers.

He said, ‘I don’t understand how that’s a race issue if you’re in the middle of a park riding on a bike in the middle of the night and a group of males, whether they’re black, white or whatever, you know are standing on the road with the express purpose of knocking you off the bike.

‘As a woman I think you’re going to be scared out of your mind.’

As an example of one of the worst ‘lies’ in the drama Reynolds pointed to the scenes where Fairstein, played by Felicity Huffman, arrives at the precinct to take charge of the rape investigation.

She is shown repeatedly referring to the boys in the park as ‘animals’ and delivering orders to detectives with the words, « I need the whole group. Every young black male who was in the park. You go into the projects and stop every motherf**** you see. »‘

According to Reynolds, ‘It is so preposterous that it’s laughable. The sad thing is people believe it and are incensed by this.

‘As detectives we work on evidence. We don’t go rounding people up and Linda Fairstein wasn’t even there the first day. It just never happened.’

Reynolds was a plainclothes officer in the Anti-Crime Unit on patrol with his partner on the night of April 19, 1989.

He recalled, ‘We were getting numerous radio runs of a large crowd of black and Hispanic kids assaulting and robbing people. We had people going into the station house and cops out in the field who had gotten flagged down by civilians saying, ‘There’s a crowd of kids there. They’ve tried to assault us and thrown rocks.’

Reynolds and his partner were just one of many units looking for the group reportedly moving through the vast dark interior of Central Park.

And the reports were getting more serious. Reynolds said, ‘We find out about John Loughlin who had been beaten savagely and we figured because there were so many cops in the park they must have left.’

The cops were barely out of the park when they saw them. Reynolds recalled, ‘There were 30 of them on the move. There’s only two of us so, you know, clearly we’re not going to get all of them. Long story short we got five of them.’

Two were Raymond Santana – who had, Reynolds said, been leading the pack – and Kevin Richardson who started crying in the back of the squad car.

Reynolds said, ‘He [Richardson] started crying and saying that he ‘knew who did the murder’. He said it was Antron McCray and he would tell us where he lived.’

The officers assumed he was talking about Loughlin who was beaten unconscious.

Back at the precinct Reynolds began processing the arrests, reaching out to their parents and writing up appearance tickets for the boys who, as juveniles, would have to return to family court at a later date.

Reynolds’ partner asked Santana and Stephen Lopez, a member of the group he was arrested alongside, what they were doing out making trouble and why weren’t they with their girlfriends instead.

According to Reynolds, ‘Santana said, ‘I already got mine,’ and they kind of laughed. I just assumed it was an in-joke. It only became significant after we learned what had happened to the jogger.’

Reynolds couldn’t release any of them or complete the mounds of paperwork required by their juvenile status until their parents had shown up.

Reynolds, played by ‘Power’ actor Ty Jones, makes a brief appearance in the mini-series’ first episode – but Reynolds says the show makers got this wrong as well.

Reynolds is seen angrily remonstrating with Santana’s father Raymond Santana Sr, played by John Leguizamo, for turning up late. Reynolds says that never happened.

Instead, Reynolds explained, he sent a squad car to bring Santana’s grandmother to the station as various family members who said they would come failed to show.

He also noted, as a plainclothes officer, he never wore his uniform when in the police precinct. Jones wears a uniform in the scene.

While the boys were waiting, at around 1.30am, the call came in that a female jogger had been found in the park, raped and beaten to within an inch of her life.

The detectives responding to the crime had been told that Reynolds had arrested five out of a group of about 30 kids ‘wilding’ in the park. Now they instructed Reynolds not to let them go.

He recalled, ‘They said, ‘Look, we don’t think these kids have anything to do with it but they were up there at the same time that she was attacked. They might have seen something so we’re going to come down and debrief them.’

Reynolds was in the room for all of those interviews. He said, ‘Their parents are there, they’re getting their rights read. We ask them what happened in the park?’

According to Reynolds they did not ask the kids about the rape directly. The first two kids told almost identical stories. They said they’d been in the park with a bunch of kids who were beating people up but they didn’t touch anybody.

Reynolds wrote them up and let them go home.

Then, he said, ‘The third kid is Kevin Richardson. He’s there with his mother. We read him his rights. We ask him what happened. He said the exact same thing the other kids said – everyone else was beating people up but I didn’t touch anyone.’

Then one of the detectives noticed he had a scratch on his face. They asked him how he’d got it and at first he blamed Reynolds’s partner for the injury.

When told the officer was next door and would be asked if that was true Richardson changed his story.

Reynolds said, ‘He said, « Okay, it was the female jogger. » And I’ll be honest with you I almost fell off my seat because I was not expecting him to say that.

‘And then he starts to go into the story of the attack on the jogger. No coercion. We didn’t even think he was involved. He starts to give it up right there in front of us.’

Ultimately police questioned 37 boys and, contrary to Netflix’s dramatic depiction, there was nothing random or rushed in the five who were ultimately charged.

They became the Central Park Five, he said, not because cops were anxious to pin the crime on someone but because they implicated themselves and each other when interviewed.

In DuVernay’s drama particular attention is given to Korey Wise’s story. He is shown accompanying his friend Salaam to the station, an act of loyalty that sees him embroiled in the case when he wasn’t even on the cops’ radar.

Reynolds is exasperated by this. He said: ‘Korey Wise was named by other participants in the wilding that day. We went specifically to look for him.

‘When detectives asked a couple of people in front of their building if they had seen him they said they saw him earlier and he said, « Y’all better stay away from me because the cops are after me. »‘

When they asked him why, Reynolds said, the people in front of the building stated that Wise had told them: ‘You see that woman in Central Park last night? That was us.’

This account was committed to written statements.

Reynolds also pointed to the fact that the first thing Wise did when he got home late on April 19 was wash the clothes he’d been wearing.

When they went to pick up Antron McCray – whom Reynolds had earlier let go – the detective asked him to go and get the clothes he had been wearing the night before.

Reynolds said, ‘He comes back out and he’s got on a sweat suit. The front of it is completely covered with mud from head to toe. What could he possibly be doing that he’s completely flat in mud?’

NYPD mug shots taken of the Central Park Five on April 23, 1989. Top Row (L-R): Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana. Lower Row (L-R) Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, Antron McCray

Reynolds said the officers who discovered the jogger told him she was ‘covered from head to toe in mud.’

Several weeks after his police confession to participating in the attack on Meili, McCray repeated this admission, while minimizing his own role, to the pre-trial psychologist appointed by his own team.

Meanwhile, while Wise was being held on Riker’s Island awaiting trial, a female friend came forward with information she thought would exonerate him but in fact only bolstered the case against him.

Reynolds said, ‘He called this young lady and she was surprised to hear his voice. She was like, ‘Korey, what did you do? They’re saying that you raped this woman.’

‘He says, ‘I didn’t rape her. I only held her legs while Kevin Richardson f***** her.’

If true, that scenario would make Wise every bit as guilty of rape as Richardson under New York law.

The crime, the trial and the convictions of the four black and one Hispanic teen were the focus of public outrage and racial conflict at the time.

Donald Trump took out newspaper advertisements demanding the death penalty for the Central Park Five in 1989

Donald Trump, then a real estate mogul in New York, took out newspaper advertisements calling for the return of the death penalty.

But Reynolds insisted, ‘Look, this idea that there’s outside pressure for us to wrap it up and get some suspects is totally false.

‘Nobody was looking at the newspaper and saying, ‘Donald Trump’s mad, we’d better do something.’ And the jury weren’t asking to see the newspaper, they were asking to see the evidence.’

Reynolds points to a wealth of physical evidence that was never refuted at trial: hair and blood ‘consistent’ with the jogger’s was found on the boys’ sneakers and clothing, along with semen in the boys’ underwear.

The fact that none of them claimed to be able to finish the act of penetrative sex is the reason, Reynolds said, that their semen was only found on the inside of their underwear and clothing rather than on Meili.

But isn’t Reynolds in danger of sounding like somebody who just can’t accept that he was involved in a terrible miscarriage of justice?

After all, weren’t the five exonerated thanks to Reyes’ confession – one backed up by the presence of his DNA on the victim and clear proof that he had penetrated her?

Reynolds rejected this notion. He does not equate the vacation of the five’s sentences with their exoneration. And he does not believe that Reyes’ clear guilt is proof of the others’ innocence.

Reynolds said, ‘They were not cleared. The convictions were vacated. They were given the opportunity to have another trial but there was no reason to retry because they had already done their time.

‘The reason they were granted that is because Matias Reyes came forward with the fictitious claim that he had attacked her alone.

Reynolds explained, ‘Reyes comes forward to say he did it by himself and he can prove it because he knows something we don’t know. And he’s correct.

‘She had a fanny pack with her Walkman in it and he took it and he threw it away.

‘She didn’t have it on her in the hospital. She was in a coma for 50 something days. She couldn’t tell us that she’d had one and it had been stolen, right?

‘But then Armstrong found that a detective had taken some notes of an interview with Korey Wise. And Korey said that there was a guy named ‘Rudy,’ who he said took her fanny pack and her Walkman.’

Reynolds believes that Rudy was Reyes and his name muddled up by Wise who has hearing difficulties.

He said, ‘He told that to us on April 20, 1989, the day after. So how in the world does Korey Wise know about her fanny pack and Walkman in 1989 when Reyes says he knows about it because he was the only person there?’

The Armstrong report noted, ‘At the time of this interview the police had no way of knowing that the jogger had a Walkman or that she carried it in a pouch.’

It said that, based on the evidence including Reyes confession, ‘it was more likely than not that the defendants participated in an attack upon the jogger.’

The report stated, ‘the most likely scenario for the events of April 19, 1989 was that the defendants came up on the jogger and subjected her to the same kind of attack, albeit with sexual overtones, that they inflicted upon other victims in the park that night.

‘Perhaps attracted to the scene by the jogger’s screams, Reyes either joined in the attack as it was ending or waited until the defendants have moved on to their next victims before descending upon her himself, raping her and inflicting upon her the brutal injuries that almost caused her death.’

Reynolds’s view is supported by both the medical opinion of Meili’s two Urgent Care Physicians at Metropolitan Hospital and the Armstrong Report.

Dr Robert Kurtz is on record as saying Meili had injuries consistent with a sharp, clean blade or object while Reyes’ confession only mentioned a blunt object.

Dr Kurtz noted that Reyes, ‘never said he had used a knife, or broken glass, or broken bottle or something like that that would have been able to inflict a clean laceration.’

Dr Jane Mauer, a surgeon who helped reconstruct Meili’s face recalled seeing hand print bruising on her thighs.

Dr Mauer said, ‘You could see the four fingers and the thumb indented in her skin to hold her legs apart.’

It led her to doubt that this could be the work of one man.

Moreover the Armstrong Report concluded Reyes could not be considered a reliable witness.

It revealed a fellow inmate in prison with Reyes said Reyes told him ‘the attack on the jogger was already in progress when he joined, attracted to the scene by the jogger’s screams.’

Reynolds does not believe that the five should still be in prison. He said, ‘They did their time. They paid the price for what they did. You know, that’s it.’

When Bill de Blasio was elected New York City mayor in 2014 he ordered the $41 million settlement to go through for the five men.

All legal action finished in 2016 when the men were awarded a further $3.9 million from New York State.

But despite the case now being closed, Reynolds feel the Netflix mini-series is unfairly punishing people who prosecuted the five.

In the wake of the drama’s release Linda Fairstein, who supervised the prosecution, and lead prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer have both fallen victim to an angry public backlash.

Fairstein, who now writes crime fiction, was dropped by her publisher. Lederer, who continues to work in the District Attorney’s office, resigned from teaching law as an adjunct at Columbia University in New York.

Reynolds said, ‘It’s like mob justice. People are doing everything they can to destroy these women’s lives and they’ve done nothing wrong. They don’t even know that they’re not basing their opinions and their fury on what actually happened.

‘If they knew what actually happened they would be ashamed of themselves.’

But, he said, ‘Don’t come back for revenge and destroy two people who were only doing their job and did nothing wrong. Linda Fairstein and Elizabeth Lederer did absolutely nothing wrong.’

Reynolds believes the show falsely depicts a racist criminal justice system.

He is keen to point out that growing up in Eighties New York, criminals posed the threat to public safety, not police officers.

He said, ‘I grew up in the projects, my mother used to go to school at night. She got her high school diploma the same year I got mine. She went to college at night also.

‘I would have to go every night and meet [my mother] at the bus-stop and bring her upstairs because it just wasn’t safe. And who was she going to get victimized by? It wasn’t the cops.’

Reynolds said of When They See Us, ‘We can’t even call it a sanitized version. It’s a malicious recreation, which has nothing to do with the facts other than they ended up arrested and going to jail.

‘I think that’s the only thing in it that stays true to what actually occurred.’

He said, ‘This has got people so divided and so at each other’s throats it’s sad. Let me tell you there’s a lot of people who believe that they are guilty but they’re not going to say anything because they don’t want to get shouted down. They don’t want to be called racist.’

But Reynolds, who was there and part of it all, believes facing that backlash is the lesser of two evils and remaining silent in the face of what he sees as injustice isn’t an option.

For Reynolds, his reason for speaking up is clear and unimpeachable, ‘The truth matters.’

Voir encore:

In an op-ed from Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, former New York City prosecutor Linda Fairstein responded to the recent Netflix series on the Central Park Five, and accused its producer, Ava DuVernay, of fabricating words attributed to her character, played by Felicity Huffman, to portray her as a racist who was determined to convict the teens in the face of an alleged lack of evidence against them.

Fairstein began the article, titled « Netflix’s False Story of the Central Park Five, » by declaring that the series, When They See Us, is « so full of distortions and falsehoods as to be an outright fabrication, » and complained that it is « an utterly false narrative involving an evil mastermind (me) and the falsely accused (the five). »

She added that it « attempts to portray me as an overzealous prosecutor and a bigot, the police as incompetent or worse, and the five suspects innocent of all charges against them. None of this is true. »

Fairstein listed a number of pieces of misinformation from the series and argued that there was plenty of evidence to reasonably convict them at the time, as she stood by charges that they attacked several other people in the park that same night.

Among several pieces of misinformation she claimed were included in the series was that it « portrays the suspects as being held without food, deprived of their parents’ company and advice, and not even allowed to use the bathroom, » and argued that if such accusations were true, they would have come out in the pre-trial hearings or inthe lawsuit that was filed years after their release from prison.

Fairstein — who was supervisor over the sex crimes unit — argued that the series exaggerates how closely involved she was in handling the case and recalled that she « did not run the investigation, and never made any of the comments the screenwriter attributes to me. » She also directly contradicted a couple of scenes involving the questioning of an underage member of the group:

The film claims that when Mr. Salaam’s mother arrived and told police that her son was only 15 — meaning they could not question him without a parent in the room — I tried to stop her, demanding to see a birth certificate. The truth is that Mr. Salaam himself claimed to be 16 and even had a forged bus pass to « prove » it. When I heard his mother say he was 15, I immediately halted his questioning. This is all supported by sworn testimony.

The former prosecutor also argued that there was additional evidence of their guilt:

There is, for example, the African American woman who testified at the trial — and again at the 2002 reinvestigation — that when Korey Wise called her brother, he told her that he had held the jogger down and felt her breasts while others attacked her. There were blood stains and dirt on clothing of some of the five.

She soon added that more than a dozen other witnesses « named some or all of the five » in helping attack other victims.

It is noteworthy that, while the Netflix series depicts the five teens as innocent bystanders who merely witnessed other assailants attacking and beating up other victims in the park, the film, The Central Park Five, by Ken Burns, accepted that they were « beating up other people » in the park even while that film was devoted to defending the teens regarding the attack on the jogger, Trisha Meili.

Fairstein also recalled that Salaam « testified that he had gone into the park carrying a 14-inch metal pipe — the same type of weapon that was used to bludgeon both a male school teacher and Ms. Meili. »

The former prosecutor also argued that the fact that DNA testing on the semen found at the scene did not match any of the five teens did not mean that they could not have been part of the attack on her, as they were charged as « accomplices » to the person who eventually confessed to raping her, serial rapist Matias Reyes.

She further recalled that « two of them admitted to climbing on top of her and siimulating intercourse, » adding that « Semen was found on the inside of their clothing, corroborating those confessions. »

Fairstein concluded her article:

That Ms. DuVernay ignored so much of the truth about the gang of 30 and about the suffering of their victims — and that her film includes so many falsehoods — is nonetheless an outrage. Ms. DuVernay does not define me, and her film does not speak the truth.

Voir par ailleurs:

Dans leur regard Saison 1 : pourquoi Netflix frappe fort avec sa nouvelle série puissante, révoltante et politique

Camille Vignes
Ecran large
15 juin 2019

Après le biopic un peu académique Selma, et après le four Un raccourci dans le tempsAva DuVernay revient avec une nouvelle oeuvre engagée et sans concession, sur Netflix cette fois. Dans leur regard retrace la sordide histoire de cinq jeunes de Harlem, arrêtés en 1989, accusés à tort du viol d’une joggeuse et incarcérés. Et c’est certainement l’une des séries les plus bouleversantes de l’année, s’attaquant au racisme institutionnel et systémique aux Etats-Unis.

« CENTRAL PARK FIVE »

D’Escape at Dannemora(série de Brett Johnson et Michael Tolkin, réalisée par Ben Stiller) à The Act(de Nick Antosca et Michelle Dean), en passant par Dirty John (d’Alexandra Cunningham) ou American Crime Story : The People v OJ Simpson, c’est une mutation qui anime la télévision américaine depuis quelques années, laissant fleurir de plus en plus de séries romancées retraçant des faits divers glaçants. Que ce soit pour pointer du doigt un système corrompu ou pour en montrer l’efficacité, un nombre croissant de showrunners s’attaque à des affaires criminelles pour rappeler leur importance dans l’histoire judiciaire américaine.

Loin de la froideur et de la rigidité induite par le format du documentaire classique, comme The Central Park Five(Ken BurnsSarah Burns et David McMahon), et ne lésinant pas sur les effets de pathos, la minisérie Netflix Dans leur regard (When They See Us en VO – « Quand ils nous voient ») d’Ava DuVernay se détache du lot. La cinéaste (qui a coécrit et réalisé les quatre épisodes) se penche sur l’histoire tristement connue des « Cinq de Central Park ». 

Pour ceux qui ne connaitraient pas l’affaire, elle a secoué New York et les États-Unis à la fin des années 80, et ses dernières répercussions ont eu lieu en 2014. Dans la nuit du 19 avril 1989, la joggeuse Trisha Melli est sauvagement attaquée, violée et laissée pour morte dans Central Park. La même nuit, une bande d’ados afro-américains et latinos (dont Raymond Santana et Kevin Richardson), sortis pour terrifier les promeneurs du parc, est raflée par la police et emmenée au poste. Le lendemain, trois autres jeunes (Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, et Korey Wise) sont à leurs tours arrêtés, interrogés par les inspecteurs et poussés à avouer ce crime qu’ils n’ont jamais commis. 

Les cinq garçons seront jugés coupables et jetés en prison en 1990. Il faudra attendre 2002 pour que le véritable criminel (ironie du sort, il était blanc) vienne se dénoncer et soit arrêté. La libération de Korey Wise et l’acquittement des cinq garçons suivront plus ou moins rapidement. Enfin, en 2014, ils recevront une compensation financière d’environ 40 millions de dollars. 

DÉCOUPE CHIRURGICALE

Comment traiter une affaire aussi difficile et injuste ? Comment dépeindre, 30 ans après les faits, un New York pré-Giuliani gangréné par la drogue et les violences interraciales ?

Deux questions simples, terriblement actuelles et tellement innocentes comparées à celles que n’importe quelle personne ayant vu la série a dû se poser. Comment est-il possible de traiter cinq jeunes de la sorte ? Comment une procureur et un système peuvent-ils être assez cruels pour ignorer l’amas d’éléments prouvant leur innocence ? Comment la presse a-t-elle a pu les jeter en pâture et les rendre coupables avant même le procès ?

Divisé en quatre longues parties (64, 71, 73 et 88 minutes), le récit d’Ava DuVernay est extrêmement bien construit. Chacun des chapitres s’attarde sur un élément clef de l’histoire globale des cinq accusés, sans jamais dépasser le propos ni tomber dans la simplicité ou le cliché d’une série policière ou du récit d’un procès. Ce découpage permet non seulement de remettre en question différents aspects du système judiciaire américain, mais surtout de faire monter crescendo le sentiment de révolte et d’injustice du spectateur. 

Le premier chapitre montre comment les cinq jeunes ont été piégés et forcés de mentir pour avouer un crime qu’ils n’ont pas commis, pointant du doigt les méthodes plus que douteuses de la police et de la procureur Linda Fairstein (Felicity Huffman). Ils auraient contourné la loi et mené la plupart des interrogatoires sans la présence des parents (alors que les jeunes étaient âgés de 14 à 16 ans).

Le deuxième chapitre est centré sur le déroulement du procès, expliquant rapidement pourquoi il a été divisé en deux, mettant sous le feu des projecteurs le racisme systémique américain, et laissant tomber comme une sentence de mort la décision du jury en fin de course.

Après la narration linéaire des deux premiers chapitres, les deux suivants s’aventurent dans des chemins différents, s’attardant plus sur les destins des accusés. Le troisième épisode montre ainsi l’adaptation en milieu carcéral des quatre plus jeunes (Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray et Yusef Salaam) et surtout leur difficile tentative de réhabilitation dans le monde à leur sortie de prison, de nombreuses années après (6 à 13 ans).

Quant au dernier chapitre, il tourne autour de Korey Wise et de l’enfer qu’il a vécu en prison, entre passages à tabac et isolement volontaire. Âgé de 16 ans au moment des faits et jugé comme un adulte, il passe de prison en prison, demandant son transfert régulièrement pour se rapprocher de sa mère – sans réussite. 

WISE DECISION

Ce dernier chapitre est tout particulièrement poignant. S’il fallait faire une gradation, l’histoire de Korey Wise reste d’ailleurs peut-être la plus déchirante. Parce qu’il avait 16 ans au moment des faits, il a été jugé et jeté dans une prison pour adulte, alors que tous les autres ont été placés en détention pour mineurs. 

Mais l’injustice de l’histoire de ce garçon commence bien avant le procès : au départ, il n’aurait même pas dû être arrêté. Celui qui n’était pas sur la liste de noms donnés par Raymond Santana au moment de son arrestation, celui qui s’est retrouvé au poste dans l’unique but de ne pas laisser son ami seul, est finalement celui qui a purgé la plus longue peine et a connu les conditions d’incarcération les plus difficiles – conditions auxquelles un jeune de 16 ans n’est absolument pas préparé. Le choix d’Ava DuVernay d’offrir à Korey Wise un épisode entier n’a alors rien d’étonnant.

Si le calvaire du jeune garçon est de moins en moins supportable à regarder à mesure que l’épisode se déroule, c’est sans doute grâce au talent de son interprèteJharrel Jerome (vu dans MoonlightMr. Mercedesou encore Mon premier combat) se glisse dans la peau de Korey avec brio. C’est le seul à jouer le Korey Wise adolescent et adulte, alors que les quatre autres personnages ont chacun deux interprètes. C’est certainement l’acteur le plus marquant et puissant, même si Kevin RichardsonCaleel HarrisEthan Herisse, Marquis Rodriguez, Michael Kenneth WilliamsJovan AdepoChris Chalk et Justin Cunningham font aussi un excellent travail.

Et justement, deux de ses scènes sont particulièrement déchirantes et méritent d’être citées (bien qu’elles ne soient absolument pas les seules à révéler l’acteur). La première a lieu pendant le procès de Korey, alors qu’il est appelé à la barre, et qu’on le harcèle pour qu’il lise sa déposition, alors qu’il a bien dit et répété ne pas en être capable : il y a une telle détresse dans le regard de l’acteur, une telle incompréhension, que l’on ne peut qu’être révolté avec lui. 

La seconde arrive quand il est en prison, à des centaines de kilomètres de New York. Alors qu’il passe la plupart de son temps dans une cellule isolée pour ne pas se faire battre à mort par les autres détenus, il implore sa mère de venir le voir plus souvent lors d’une de ses trop rares visites. La scène est un véritable crève-coeur, un moment de désespoir brut.  

QUAND FICTION ET RÉALITÉ S’EMMÊLENT

Dans leur regard est puissante, l’injustice de son histoire et la souffrance de ses personnages font facilement passer de la rage aux larmes. En 1989, l’affaire avait pris une proportion nationale. L’attaque raciale et contre les minorités avait été mise en avant par les défenseurs des « Cinq de Central Park ».

Mais Ava DuVernay se plaît à rappeler autre chose : contre eux, il y avait un milliardaire de l’immobilier (dont les bureaux bordaient le parc) maintenant président des États-Unis. Donald Trump avait payé plus de 80 000 dollars pour des pages entières dans des journaux, appelant notamment au rétablissement de la peine de mort dans l’État.

Outre Donald Trump, la procureur Linda Fairstein, campée par Felicity Huffman, est également pointée du doigt. Les accusations de la réalisatrice vont même plus loin : elle serait responsable de l’arrestation et surtout de l’acharnement de la police et de la cour sur les cinq adolescents et leur famille. Aujourd’hui, l‘ex-procureur reconvertie en autrice est à son tour lynchée sur la place publique (et notamment la tweetosphère).

Il faut dire que devant les conditions des interrogatoires des cinq garçons, la violence verbale et physique dont ils ont (ou auraient, pour Fairstein) fait les frais, et l’instrumentalisation politique de leur incarcération, l’opportunisme de la procureur se confond facilement avec un racisme aveugle. Aujourd’hui encore, la femme dément la vision des interrogatoires que propose DuVernay et reproche à la réalisatrice d’avoir non seulement omis une grande partie des méfaits du gang cette nuit du 19 avril 1989, mais aussi de ne s’être penchée que sur l’innocence des cinq garçons. 

S’il fallait faire un reproche à la série émouvante et militante, on pourrait pointer du doigt sa mise en scène très classique. Comme le but n’est pas d’esthétiser, mais de redonner leur place, leur parole et leur dignité à des personnes à jamais meurtries, la réalisation use d’effets dramatiques (musique, ralentis…) pour augmenter l’empathie du spectateur. C’est un peu facile et attendu, mais rien d’étonnant de la part de la réalisatrice de Selma.

Dans tous les cas, Dans leur regard reste un uppercut porté par des acteurs formidables, et une série passionnante et déchirante, particulièrement importante.

Dans leur regard est disponible en intégralité sur Netflix depuis le 31 mai.

Résumé

L’adaptation de faits réels en fiction se soumet toujours à un point de vue (auteur, réalisateur…), et Dans leur regard n’y échappe pas. C’est pourtant une série forte, qui imprègne le spectateur et le suivra plusieurs heures après l’avoir finie. Et quand bien même le personnage incarné par Felicity Huffman n’est pas un témoignage de vérité, la série rappelle que le racisme institutionnel accuse encore aujourd’hui sans savoir. Elle éveille les consciences et met la lumière sur un système judiciaire américain à deux vitesses, qui existe toujours. 

Voir encore:

Dans leur regard: que vaut la mini-série de Netflix réalisée par Ava DuVernay?

 Constance Jamet

Le Figaro

CRITIQUE – Avec cette mini-série qui provoque une véritable onde de choc outre-Atlantique, Ava DuVernay, la réalisatrice de Selma, poursuit sa trilogie sur le racisme dans le système judiciaire américain.

C’est une des plus édifiantes erreurs judiciaires de l’histoire contemporaine américaine. En 1989, cinq adolescents originaires de Harlem sont condamnés à tort pour le viol barbare d’une joggeuse blanche dans Central Park. Embarqués par des policiers sur les dents, les garçons, quatre Afro-Américains et un Hispanique, se promenaient ce soir-là dans le parc de New York. Ils livrent des confessions forcées au bout de 42 heures d’interrogatoire musclé sans sommeil, sans nourriture, sans avocat. Malgré l’absence de preuves matérielles (leurs ADN ne correspondent pas à celui trouvé sur la victime) et leurs protestations, ils passeront entre six et quatorze ans en prison. Et ne seront innocentés qu’après les aveux du vrai coupable… en 2002.

Ce fait divers qui avait inspiré Donald Trump, alors simple magnat, à demander le rétablissement de la peine de mort, a divisé les États-Unis mais reste peu connu en France. Il est à redécouvrir dans le puissant réquisitoire Dans leur regard (When they see us), remarquable mini-série de quatre épisodes signée pour Netflix par Ava DuVernay. La réalisatrice engagée de Selma poursuit sa réflexion implacable sur le racisme latent du système judiciaire américain, inadapté à protéger les plus faibles. Comme avec son film Middle of Nowhere et son documentaire 13, nommé aux Oscars, qui liait esclavage et incarcération de masse, la cinéaste déconstruit les préjugés à l’égard des minorités.

Procès ubuesque

Face à l’engrenage, le quinté d’ados est d’une naïveté enfantine douloureuse. Ignorant jusqu’à la définition du mot viol. Considérés d’office comme de la mauvaise graine. Des boucs émissaires de l’insécurité qui gangrenait alors la Grosse pomme. Perdus, leurs parents les poussent à dire ce que les enquêteurs veulent entendre.

Lycéenne au moment des faits, Ava DuVernay s’est laissé convaincre de reconstituer l’affaire après avoir été contactée sur Twitter par l’un des membres de cette tragédie. Épaté par la rigueur de la réalisatrice sur Selma, Raymond Santana rêvait du même traitement pour raconter leur histoire. La réalisatrice a passé quatre ans de sa vie à discuter avec Santana, ses compagnons d’infortune et leurs familles.

Dans leur regard ne retrace pas uniquement le procès ubuesque. La fiction plonge dans l’enfer carcéral, les marques que ces années passées derrière les barreaux ont laissées. Corruption des gardiens, passage à tabac des autres détenus, isolement, réinsertion impossible… La série montre comment le système pousse à la récidive. Comme dans le fabuleux et éprouvant Chernobyl, le sens méticuleux des détails le dispute à l’humanité des personnages. Mention spéciale à Jharrel Jerome. Découvert dans Moonlight, il interprète Korey Wise, l’un des cinq innocents, à tous les âges. Fiction la plus regardée sur Netflix aux États-Unis depuis son lancement fin mai, Dans leur regard a déjà un impact qui la dépasse. Face à cette onde de choc, l’ex-procureur en charge du dossier a été lâché par son éditeur. De même, l’avocate générale de l’époque a démissionné de l’université de Columbia où elle enseignait. Et cette réparation tardive n’est sans doute pas terminée…

Voir enfin:

Fearful Norwegians Wonder: Are ‘Swedish Conditions’ Coming to the Streets of Oslo?

Quillette
November 21, 2019

Oslo is an unremarkable place compared to other European capitals, lacking the picturesque charm of smaller Norwegian cities such as Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger. But it’s pleasant and pretty enough. Tourists find it easy to get around, with lots to explore. The Oslo Opera House, which opened in 2008, is spectacular. And in summer, you can swim in the Oslofjord and enjoy expensive utepils (“outside beer”) on the seafront or on Karl Johans gate, the city’s broad main street. Like the rest of Norway, Oslo traditionally has been a safe place, even by the standards of other wealthy countries. It’s also remained more demographically homogenous than most of its neighbours, being geographically isolated from migration patterns that have affected the rest of Europe.

Over the last month, however, Oslo’s city centre has witnessed an eruption of unprovoked attacks on random victims—most of them ethnic Norwegian men—by what police have described as youth gangs, each consisting of five to 10 young immigrants. The attacks typically take place on weekends. On Saturday, October 19, as many as 20 such attacks were recorded, with victims suffered varying degrees of injuries.

One of the incidents involved a group of young men, originally from the Middle East, detained for attacking a man in his twenties in the affluent west end. According to police, the victim had been kicked repeatedly in the head while lying on the ground, in what appeared to be a random, unprovoked beating. Another victim that weekend was the uncle of Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr, who suffered several broken ribs after being mobbed at the Romsås subway station.

The following weekend in Oslo, Kurds and Turks clashed over recent developments in Turkey, and ended up looting a branch of the Body Shop on Karl Johan gate, as well as destroying several cars. Car fires also have been on the rise, though the problem has been around for years. (Even in 2013, cars were set alight in Oslo at the rate of about one per week, mostly in the city’s poorer east end.) Overall, crime rates are still low by the standards of other cities, but the recent rise in youth crime suggests that may be changing. “We see more blind violence where people are attacked, ambushed and beaten up,” said Labour Party politician Jan Bøhler to the media last month. “This is terrorising our community.” While such observations are widely shared, Bøhler is notable for being one of the few politicians on the left who’s raised his voice about rising crime among young immigrants.

Oslo is the fastest growing capital city in Europe, despite the fact the country now is registering fewer births than at any time since the government started keeping track in the 19th century. About 14% of the country’s population is now composed of immigrants, with Poles, Lithuanians and Swedes topping the European migration sources; and Somalian, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria supplying the greatest number of non-OECD arrivals. Many of the immigrants congregate in Oslo, where, according to Statistics Norway, about a third of all residents are immigrants or born to immigrants. (As recently as 2004, the figure was just 22%.) In several areas, such as Stovner, Alna and Søndre Nordstrand, the figure is over 50%.

According to a 2015 Statistics Norway report, “most persons with an immigrant background living in Oslo come from Pakistan (22,000), while 13-14,000 are from Poland, Sweden and Somalia. There are large differences between the districts: Persons with a background from Pakistan and Sri Lanka are most represented in [the far eastern suburbs of] Oslo.” By one 2012 estimate, 70 percent of Oslo’s first- and second-generation immigrants will have roots outside Europe by 2040, and about half of the city’s residents will be immigrants.

Until now, Norway had seemed to cope well with the influx of immigrants from war-torn Muslim countries, in part because the intake levels generally were kept at a level that permitted newcomers to be integrated without overwhelming local resources. Indeed, there has been a broad consensus in Norwegian politics to keep immigration rates lower than those of comparable countries such as Sweden and Germany. Nevertheless, concerns have been rising in recent years, even if the ruling class was hesitant to discuss the issue. The country’s libertarian Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet) has repeatedly asked the country’s statistical agency to report on the statistical relationship between crime and country of origin. In the past, Statistics Norway refused, saying that such a task was “beyond its capacity.”

A map of the Oslo area published by Statistics Norway, showing immigrant concentrations, from under 20% (yellow) to over 40% (brown).

But this year, for the first time, such a report was published. And the numbers were clear: Immigrants from certain backgrounds—particularly Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghanis—were many times more likely to commit violent crimes than other Norwegians (including other immigrant groups). In 65 out of 80 crime categories, non-Norwegians were over-represented. The largest discrepancy was in regard to domestic violence: Immigrants from non-Western countries were found to be eight times more likely to be charged for such crimes. Rape and murder were also heavily skewed toward these immigrant groups. Worryingly, the figures showed that second-generation immigrants were more likely to be criminals than their parents.

For a long time, the expression svenske tilstander—“Swedish conditions”—has been used to describe large Swedish cities such as Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm, which feature areas plagued by bombings, gang-related gun violence, robbery and rape. In the past, Norwegians used the expression somewhat disparagingly, insisting that such issues would never arise in Norway (while also suggesting that the situation in Sweden was itself exaggerated by those with an anti-immigration agenda). But gradually, “Swedish conditions” have seemed less distant.

Heidi Vibeke Pedersen, a Labour politician representing the immigrant-heavy area of Holmlia, recently wrote a Facebook post about her own experience, which was subsequently reprinted in VG, Norway’s biggest tabloid, under the headline “We have a problem in Oslo”:

Yesterday, my 15-year-old daughter went past [the suburb of] Bøler on a bus half an hour before another 15-year-old was robbed and beaten. Now I need to make a risk assessment: Is it too dangerous for her to go alone to the youth club…Young people now grow up in an environment where threats and violence are common, where adults might be afraid to interfere, and where they are told that the police are racist…Our part of the city is becoming more and more divided. We have areas that are mainly “Norwegian-Norwegian,” and others that have large immigrant populations. This isn’t diversity.

Pedersen’s article alluded to the fact that, in the quest to maintain their own cultures, some Muslims in Norway prefer to segregate instead of integrate. The newspaper Aftenposten recently uncovered the existence of Islamic schools presenting as cultural centres. And Islamsk Råd, the Islamic Council of Norway, now has proposed a separate branch of the Barnevernet—the government-run social services responsible for children—to deal with Muslim children.

The article was shared by many. But Pedersen’s use of such terms as “Norwegian-Norwegian” (or norsk-norske) didn’t sit well with progressives and community advocates. Hasti Hamidi, a writer and Socialist Party politician, and Umar Ashraf, a Holmlia resident, wrote in VG that Pedersen’s use of the term “must mean that the author’s understanding of Norwegian-ness is synonymous with white skin.”

Camara Lundestad Joof, a well known anti-racist activist and writer at the Dagbladet newspaper, accused Pedersen of branding local teenagers as terrorists. Using her own hard-done-by brother as an example, she explained how, in her opinion, Norwegian society has failed non-white young people. Had he been treated better, she argues, he and others like him would fare better. (One problem with this argument is that Norway is one of the least racist countries in the world.)

Of course, this tension between racial sensitivity and blunt talk on crime has existed for generations in many Western societies. But it’s a relatively new topic in Norway, which is only now embracing certain hyper-progressive academic trends. (Oslo Metropolitan University, for instance, has recently produced an expert in so-called Whiteness Studies.)

In fact, some influential Norwegians apparently would prefer that Statistics Norway had never released its report on crime and immigration in the first place. This includes Oslo’s vice mayor, Kamzy Gunaratnam, who told Dagbladet, “Damn, I’m angry! I’m not interested in these numbers…We don’t have a need to set people up against each other. These are our children, our people.”

But burying the truth is never a good long-term strategy for anyone, including members of immigrant communities. The more persuasive view is that these issues should be addressed candidly, while they are still manageable. Unlike many other European countries, Norway doesn’t yet have an influential far-right party. But that may change if voters see that mainstream politicians are too polite to address a problem that ordinary people all over Oslo are talking about.

Kathrine Jebsen Moore grew up in Norway. She now lives with her husband and four children in Edinburgh.


Columbus Day/527e: Cherchez le massacre ! (Looking back at the holiday that helped Italians join the white race)

14 octobre, 2019

Chagall-Tabernacles-1916Le premier repas de Thanksgiving (novembre 1621), par Jean Leon Gerome FerrisImage result for Canadian Thanksgiving Oct 14 2019Related imagehttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/1891_New_Orleans_Italian_lynching.jpg?uselang=frMontgomery Advertiser, Vol. LXXVII, Issue 21, p. 4.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/Biblioteca_del_Senado_de_la_Provincia_-_52_-_Por_una_raza_fuerte%2C_laboriosa%2C_pacifista_y_soberana.jpg

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Le quinzième jour du septième mois, quand vous récolterez les produits du pays, vous célébrerez donc une fête à l’Éternel (…) et vous vous réjouirez devant l’Éternel, votre Dieu, pendant sept jours. (…) Vous demeurerez pendant sept jours sous des tentes … afin que vos descendants sachent que j’ai fait habiter sous des tentes les enfants d’Israël, après les avoir fait sortir du pays d’Égypte. Je suis l’Éternel, votre Dieu. Lévitique 23: 39-43
They all laughed at Columbus when he said the world was round, They all laughed when Edison recorded sound. Ira Gershwin
Je vous diray, que soubs le ciel, il n’y a nation plus liberalle, de ce qui croist en leur païs, que ceux-cy, pourvu que ce ne soient point de leurs ennemys. Thevet
Je pense qu’il y a plus de barbarie à manger un homme vivant qu’à le manger mort, à déchirer par tourments et par géhennes un corps encore plein de sentiment, le faire rôtir par le menu, le faire mordre et meurtrir aux chiens et aux pourceaux (comme nous l’avons non seulement lu, mais vu de fraîche mémoire, non entre des ennemis anciens, mais entre des voisins et concitoyens, et, qui pis est, sous prétexte de piété et de religion), que de le rôtir et manger après qu’il est trépassé. Il ne faut pas juger à l’aune de nos critères. (…) Je trouve… qu’il n’y a rien de barbare et de sauvage en cette nation, à ce qu’on m’en a rapporté, sinon que chacun appelle barbarie ce qui n’est pas de son usage. (…) Leur guerre est toute noble et généreuse, et a autant d’excuse et de beauté que cette maladie humaine en peut recevoir ; elle n’a d’autre fondement parmi eux que la seule jalousie de la vertu… Ils ne demandent à leurs prisonniers autre rançon que la confession et reconnaissance d’être vaincus ; mais il ne s’en trouve pas un, en tout un siècle, qui n’aime mieux la mort que de relâcher, ni par contenance, ni de parole, un seul point d’une grandeur de courage invincible ; il ne s’en voit aucun qui n’aime mieux être tué et mangé, que de requérir seulement de ne l’être pas. Ils les traitent en toute liberté, afin que la vie leur soit d’autant plus chère ; et les entretiennent communément des menaces de leur mort future, des tourments qu’ils y auront à souffrir, des apprêts qu’on dresse pour cet effet, du détranchement de leurs membres et du festin qui se fera à leurs dépens. Tout cela se fait pour cette seule fin d’arracher de leur bouche parole molle ou rabaissée, ou de leur donner envie de s’enfuir, pour gagner cet avantage de les avoir épouvantés, et d’avoir fait force à leur constance. Car aussi, à le bien prendre, c’est en ce seul point que consiste la vraie victoire. Montaigne
Aux États-Unis, certains musées d’ethnologie amérindienne minimisent, et parfois éliminent, toute violence religieuse et guerrière dans les cultures des native Americans. Pour en revenir aux Tupinambas, il se trouve qu’on est très bien renseigné sur eux. Alfred Métraux a fait le point sur la question, dès 1928, s’appuyant sur plusieurs témoignages distincts de contemporains de Montaigne : capturés par cette peuplade farouche, ils avaient pu s’en sortir, et nous décrivent par le menu les mœurs terribles de ces peuples, qui faisaient des prisonniers afin de se procurer de futures victimes sacrificielles, mises à mort et dévorées après acclimatation à la tribu des vainqueurs ! Métraux ironisait sur le fait que cette tribu fût justement à l’origine du mythe du « bon sauvage » ! Son texte, si contraire à la vague primitiviste qui allait suivre, fut repris plusieurs fois; L’anthropologie rituelle des Tupinambas se trouve aujourd’hui dans Religions et magies indiennes d’Amérique du Sud (Gallimard 1967). (…)  D’une part, on a pu trouver chez de vieux auteurs (imparfaitement christianisés !) la justification de l’offrande du Christ à la messe au titre d’une « efficacité » comparable à celle des sacrifices païens qui obtiennent quelques bons résultats, quand c’est, au cœur du salut, l’efficace de l’amour du Fils qui est à l’œuvre… et vous savez que la Rédemption elle-même a pu être interprétée dans des langages discutables. D’autre part, on rencontre, dans certains rites païens, une espèce d’excuse présentée à la victime, comme si, sachant qu’elle n’était pas vraiment coupable, on lui reprochait seulement son imprudence… (…) Toute la part esthétique de la religion, cette espèce d’amoindrissement du sacrifice que constitue la cérémonie (par rapport au lynchage), nous ne devons pas la négliger. On pourrait peut-être en dessiner le parcours dans une histoire de la danse, qui montrerait qu’elle va des choses les plus sauvages aux figures les plus sereines… En tous cas, l’apaisement obtenu par un rite sacrificiel de plus en plus symbolique, on aurait tort d’en faire fi trop vite, et d’en détruire sans précaution les usages sous prétexte de « lumières », dans un monde qui cherche fiévreusement des « repères ». (…) à Byzance, on jouait Oedipe-Roi comme la Passion du Christ ? Je trouve cela bouleversant; cette lecture naïve illustre, avec une grande force, le regard que le christianisme porte légitimement sur la culture. (…) je m’intéresse de plus en plus à Pascal. Cette œuvre est si puissante ! Mais, pour appliquer ce que vous dites à ce que nous vivons, n’est-il pas clair qu’on met bien à tort sur le dos de « différences » (traditionnelles, ancestrales, culturelles, religieuses…) des phénomènes enracinés au contraire dans la perte de ces traditions ? L’incapacité – par trop de retard pris – à participer à la concurrence avec l’Occident, dont on rêve, qui fait le tourment unique, et dont on a, par imitation, adopté les valeurs, devient le désir brûlant de briser ce qu’on ne peut atteindre. Peut-être Pascal n’a-t-il pas vu pleinement cet entraînement mimétique; mais comment ne pas admirer la mise en cause du désir qu’il opère à travers la notion de « divertissement » ? (…) J’adhère profondément à l’idée chrétienne que notre âme est une passion du divin. Simplement, quand nous le rencontrons, ce désir, il a déjà manqué son objet, il est dévoyé. Gare aux conséquences ! (…) Il semble en effet inconcevable qu’on puisse être jaloux du bien. Et cependant… Vous connaissez cette histoire de monarchie sacrée au Soudan : renversant les anciennes façons, le nouveau roi et son épouse avaient instauré le régime le plus raisonnable qu’il soit possible d’imaginer, et produisant le plus de bien commun. Une telle envie en était résultée que les voisins s’étaient réunis pour le détruire… Sans aucunement idéaliser notre propre histoire, c’est peut-être la fable du destin de l’Occident… (…) C’est justement ce qui justifie « la repentance », que certains catholiques ont bien tort de reprocher au pape. Certes, les non-chrétiens, qui oublient régulièrement de se repentir, n’ont pas moins de choses à se reprocher (souvent, bien davantage : quand je pense que l’on continue à monter en épingle les abus de l’Inquisition, après ce que l’incroyance a fait au XXe siècle !) Mais grâce à la Révélation, les chrétiens auraient dû avancer, et faire avancer le monde plus vite. Nous avons « les paroles de la vie éternelle ». Or, c’est toujours le petit nombre qui a compris, et vécu de l’esprit du Christ. Seulement, aujourd’hui, je ne vois pas d’autre lieu que l’Église pour faire barrière à cette terrible désagrégation de tout, qu’on appelle parfois l’apocalypse. Est-ce pour cela que cette Église devient comme un ultime bouc émissaire, et qu’on emploie tant d’efforts pour discréditer ou empêcher sa parole, alors qu’elle n’a plus de pouvoir que spirituel ? Et parfois de son sein même… On a l’impression d’une force diabolique d’auto-destruction. René Girard
My undergraduate alma mater, UC Santa Cruz, recently agreed to remove a mission bell donated years ago by a local women’s club. (…) Apparently, no one wondered, while considering the list of impediments to the progress of Native Americans, just how high an offending bell at UC Santa Cruz ranks. About the same time, at San Francisco’s Washington High School, it was announced that an 83-year-old mural chronicling George Washington’s life was slated to be removed, destroyed, or covered up, owing to “accusations of racism.” Yet the artist, Victor Arnautoff, was a leftist who in 1936 had sought to offer a realistic view of what he thought was a flawed American history. (…) These examples of destruction or removal could easily be multiplied. (…) Epidemics of iconoclasm (from the Greek “breaking of icons”) erupt often throughout history, usually but not always in a religious context. And is not political correctness our era’s version of religion? In our own time, we remember the Taliban’s recent destruction of the monumental sixth-century “Buddhas of Bamiyan” statues in Afghanistan, or the torching of priceless manuscripts in Timbuktu by Mali Islamists. The arguments for such destruction were not unfamiliar to American leftists and identity-politics activists: Such icons were hurtful to particular marginalized groups and an affront to their dignity and therefore must vanish. The destruction of pictures, books, statues, and icons occurred periodically during Byzantine, Catholic, and Protestant church history, and was usually marked spurts of religious fanaticism, intolerance, and fear. Indeed, in early Byzantine history, iconoclasm was in part driven by frontier Christian towns, terrified that Constantinople’s use of ubiquitous symbols of Christ and Church fathers might provoke their neighboring Muslim adversaries into violence. We forget the role of fear and cowardice in iconoclasm, ancient and modern. Politics of the day of course often determined who or what was defaced or destroyed. Yesterday’s deified Roman emperor was today’s persona non grata. Recently deceased Roman grandees suffered damnatio memoriae (damnation of memory) and so, Soviet-style, had their faces erased from stone imagery — albeit sometimes bodies were left intact as a money-saving gesture, in perhaps history’s first example of the efficacy of interchangeable parts. French revolutionaries, like our modern iconoclasts who topple statues of Confederate soldiers in the night, often went wild destroying monuments, portraits, and names affiliated with the Ancien Régime and the Catholic Church. Like frontier posses who stormed jails to lynch detained suspects, such gangs often relied on numbers and darkness. (…) So iconoclasm of the past and our current social-justice statue-topplers, aggrieved name-changers, and angry image-removers are often predictable. Here are a few of the rules of their ancient and modern wars on the past. The agitators are never democratic and rarely act with any popular mandate or consensus. (…) Instead, in most cases, bureaucrats simply react to the loudest and most bothersome agitation. Their assumption is that political activists can easily smear their résumés, while the silent majority of citizens is mostly too busy to object and will not rally en masse to their sobriety. When the wild demands of a few are made to destroy this or rename that, the race is on among administrators, bureaucrats, and careerist state officials to appease rapidly, and in the most unctuous fashion, usually by employing bureaucratese such as “harmful” and “hurtful” and “impacts” — without any real research into the complexities of the history in question, which so often is paradoxically tragic rather than simplistically melodramatic. (…) Rarely do the revisionists who wage war on history offer any rational and systematic agenda for their otherwise spontaneous tantrums. (…) Note that the university is no more likely to change the name of Stanford to something like Amah Mutsun University to rectify the theft of indigenous peoples’ lands than Yale University is willing to give up the names of its slave-owning founders. The selective outrage is not just because old white Neanderthal alumni love going to Yale or Stanford iconic football games, but rather because tens of thousands of woke nonwhite students and alumni are proud of their tony “Yale” and “Stanford” diplomas. They are not about to destroy their career investments in such a brand name on the altar of systematic and coherent politically correct name-changing. The new iconoclasm is almost as exclusively progressive in the West as it is reactionary in the contemporary Muslim world. But the common thread, past and present, East and West, to epidemics of name-changing, statue-smashing, and mural-erasing is political opportunism fueled by fear and careerist anxiety. Certainly — in the age of #MeToo and heightened awareness of the lifelong damage to women from rape, sexual harassment, and asymmetrical sexual relationships fueled by an imbalance of power — no one is suggesting that thousands of local and state boulevards that were renamed Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1970s should now retransition, given recent disturbing revelations that King might have allowed a rape to occur in his presence, was a serial philanderer, and often, under today’s definitions, pressured sex from younger and more vulnerable females. No one would dare suggest that feminist icon Margaret Sanger’s name be removed from awards, dinners, or monuments, given that by any modern standard she would be classified as a racist eugenicist. She saw abortion on demand, at least partly, as a way of limiting the growth of perceived nonwhite populations. The disproportionate number of African Americans aborted through the agency of Sanger’s legacy, Planned Parenthood, seems a logical consequence of her founding ideology. In my hometown, I certainly have not demanded that the city council remove what I see as a somewhat offensive statue of the Aztec goddess Coatlicue. She is usually portrayed as a hideous clawed mother goddess, decked out in writhing serpents, with a grotesque necklace of dangling human hearts, skulls, and hands. She was an unforgiving goddess for whom tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and especially children, many of them indigenous peoples enslaved by the Aztecs, were sacrificed. Why honor such a monster? In such a vein, one could argue that the San Diego State “Aztecs” glorify triumphalist imperialist mass murderers, even more than the supposedly offensively named Washington Redskins do. Immigrants from Oaxaca and southern Mexico are as likely to be descendants from Tlaxcala, which resisted the Aztec Empire, as they are descendants of the Aztecs themselves. So they could be the progeny of people targeted for extinction and human sacrifice by a neighboring fascist imperialist bully. The truth is that once the statue-smasher and name-changer gets a free hand, we should expect no logic, no respite from zealotry and bigotry. He operates from emotion, not reason, and his currency is intimidation, not persuasion, consistency, and coherence — when no official is willing to just say “No!” Taking down a mural of George Washington makes about as much sense as erasing all the thousands of streets and statues named for Caesar Chavez, who at times operated hand in glove with a nightmarish Synanon cult to denigrate his own members (“Every time we look at them, they want more money,” Chavez said in 1977, complaining about farm workers. “Like pigs, you know. Here we’re slaving, and we’re starving and the goddamn workers don’t give a shit about anything.”) Chavez sent his union goons down to the border to beat up, intimidate, and force back illegal aliens whom he derided as scab laborers dangerous to the unionizing efforts of his familial union empire. Pressed on his derogatory use of “illegals” and treatment of the undocumented, he scoffed, “No, a spade’s a spade. You guys get these hang-ups. Goddamn it, how do we build a union? They’re wets, you know. They’re wets, and let’s go after them.” (…) The insanity that we are witnessing has little or nothing to do with icons that institutionalize disparities or impede social justice. Iconoclasm is about power — and the psychological lift that comes with exercising it. Victor Davis Hanson
Si l’image nous révolte tant, c’est parce que nous en sommes tous collectivement responsables (…) cette scène, ces mots, ce comportement sont d’une violence et d’une haine inouïes. Mais par notre lâcheté, par nos renoncements, nous avons contribué, petit à petit, à les laisser passer, à les accepter. Cette femme a été « publiquement piétinée, chosifiée, déshumanisée, devant le groupe d’enfants qu’elle accompagnait bénévolement (…) Quelles seront les conséquences d’une telle humiliation publique si ce n’est renvoyer à cet enfant qu’il demeure un citoyen de seconde zone, indigne d’être pleinement français et reconnu comme tel ? Où est l’indignation générale ? Où sont les émissions de télévision, de radio, hormis quelques billets et tribunes comme celle-ci pour condamner cette agression ? Où est la parole publique de premier niveau, celle de nos élus, des partis politiques, celle des ministres, celle du président de la République pour refuser l’inacceptable ? Ne nous y trompons donc pas. L’extrême droite a fait de la haine contre les musulmans un outil majeur de sa propagande, mais elle n’en a pas le monopole. Des membres de la droite et de la gauche dites républicaines n’hésitent pas à stigmatiser les musulmans, et en premier lieu les femmes portant le voile, souvent -au nom de la laïcité-. Jusqu’où laisserons-nous passer ces haines ? (…) Jusqu’à quand allons-nous accepter que la laïcité, socle de notre République, soit instrumentalisée pour le compte d’une vision ségrégationniste, raciste, xénophobe, mortifère de notre société ? Acceptons-nous de nous laisser sombrer collectivement ou disons-nous stop maintenant, tant qu’il est encore temps ? Nous demandons urgemment au Président de la République de condamner publiquement l’agression dont cette femme a été victime devant son propre fils (…) de refuser que nos concitoyens musulmans soient fichés, stigmatisés, dénoncés pour la simple pratique de leur religion et d’exiger solennellement que cessent les discriminations et les amalgames envers une partie de notre communauté nationale. 90 personnalités
Dans une tribune publiée ce mardi sur lemonde.fr, 90 personnalités, dont l’acteur Omar Sy, le rappeur Nekfeu, le réalisateur Mathieu Kassovitz, ou encore la députée LFI Danièle Obono demandent au Chef de l’Etat d’intervenir pour condamner fermement « l’agression » dont a été victime la mère voilée vendredi dernier après la vidéo tournée par un élu RN au Conseil régional de Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Parmi les 90 personnalités signataires : Rokhaya Diallo, journaliste et réalisatrice, DJ Snake, artiste, Marina Foïs, actrice, Mathieu Kassovitz, acteur et réalisateur, Kyan Khojandi, auteur, Tonie Marshall, réalisatrice, productrice, Guillaume Meurice, humoriste, Géraldine Nakache, actrice et réalisatrice, Nekfeu, artiste, Danièle Obono, députée (La France insoumise), Alessandra Sublet, animatrice, Omar Sy, acteur… France bleu
Columbus makes Hitler look like a juvenile delinquent. Russell Means
It’s almost obscene to celebrate Columbus because it’s an unmitigated record of horror. We don’t have to celebrate a man who was really — from an Indian point of view — worse than Attila the Hun. Hans Koning
The evidence of Aztec cannibalism has largely been ignored and consciously or unconsciously covered up. Michael Harner (New School for Social Research)
Dr. Harner’s theory of nutritional need is based on a recent revision in the number of people thought to have been sacrificed by the Aztecs. Dr. Woodrow Borah an authority on the demography of ancient Mexico at the University of California, Berkeley, has recently estimated that the Aztecs sacrificed 250,000 people a year. This consituted about 1 percent of the region’s population of 25 million. (…) He argues that cannibalism, which may have begun for purely religious reasons, appears to have grown to serve nutritional needs because the Aztecs, unlike nearly all other civilizations, lacked domesticated herbivores such as pigs or cattle. Staples of the Aztec diet were corn and beans supplemented with a few vegetables, lizards, snakes and worms. There were some domesticated turkeys and hairless dogs. Poor people gathered floating mats of vegetation from lakes. (…) In contemporary sources, however, such as the writings of Hernando Cortes, who conquered the Aztecs in 1521, and Bernal Diaz, who accompanied Cortes, Dr. Hamer says there is abundant evidence that human sacrifice was a common event in every town and that the limbs of the victims were boiled or roasted and eaten. Diaz, who is regarded by anthropologists as a highly reliable source, wrote in “The Conquest of New Spain,” for example, that in the town of Tlaxcala “we found wooden cages made of lattice‐work in which men and women were imprisoned and fed until they were fat enough to be sacrificed and eaten. These prison cages existed throughout the country.” The sacrifices, carried out by priests, took place atop the hundreds of steepwalled pyramids scattered about the Valley of Mexico. According to Diaz, the victims were taken up the pyramids where the priests “laid them down on their backs on some narrow stones of sacrifice and, cutting open their chests, drew out their palpitating hearts which they offered to the idols before them. Then they kicked the bodies down the steps, and the Indian butchers who were waiting below cut off their arms and legs. Then they ate their flesh with a sauce of peppers and tomatoes.” (…) Diaz’s accounts indicate that the Aztecs ate only the limbs of their victims. The torsos were fed to carnivores in zoos. According to Dr. Harner, the Aztecs never sacrificed their own people. Instead they battled neighboring nations, using tactics that minimized deaths in battle and maximized the number of prisoners. The traditional explanation for Aztec human sacrifice has been that it was religious—a way of winning the support of the gods for success in battle. Victories procured even more victims, thus winning still more divine support in the next war. (…) Traditional anthropological accounts indicate that to win more favor from the gods during the famine the Aztecs arranged with their neighbors to stage battles for prisoners who could be sacrificed. The Aztecs’ neighbors, sharing similar religious tenets, wanted to sacrifice Aztecs to their gods. The NYT
Specialists in Mesoamerican history are going to be upset about this for obvious reasons. They’re not going to have the people they study looking like cannibals. They’re clinging to a very romantic point of view about the Aztecs. It’s the Hiawatha syndrome. Michael Harner
Some conquistadors wrote about the tzompantli and its towers, estimating that the rack alone contained 130,000 skulls. But historians and archaeologists knew the conquistadors were prone to exaggerating the horrors of human sacrifice to demonize the Mexica culture. As the centuries passed, scholars began to wonder whether the tzompantli had ever existed. Archaeologists at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) here can now say with certainty that it did. Beginning in 2015, they discovered and excavated the remains of the skull rack and one of the towers underneath a colonial period house on the street that runs behind Mexico City’s cathedral. (The other tower, they suspect, lies under the cathedral’s back courtyard.) The scale of the rack and tower suggests they held thousands of skulls, testimony to an industry of human sacrifice unlike any other in the world. Science
Some post-conquest sources report that at the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs sacrificed about 80,400 prisoners over the course of four days. This number is considered by Ross Hassig, author of Aztec Warfare, to be an exaggeration. Hassig states « between 10,000 and 80,400 persons » were sacrificed in the ceremony. The higher estimate would average 15 sacrifices per minute during the four-day consecration. Four tables were arranged at the top so that the victims could be jettisoned down the sides of the temple. Nonetheless, according to Codex Telleriano-Remensis, old Aztecs who talked with the missionaries told about a much lower figure for the reconsecration of the temple, approximately 4,000 victims in total. Michael Harner, in his 1977 article The Enigma of Aztec Sacrifice, cited an estimate by Borah of the number of persons sacrificed in central Mexico in the 15th century as high as 250,000 per year which may have been one percent of the population. Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxochitl, a Mexica descendant and the author of Codex Ixtlilxochitl, estimated that one in five children of the Mexica subjects was killed annually. Victor Davis Hanson argues that a claim by Don Carlos Zumárraga of 20,000 per annum is « more plausible ». Wikipedia
Certains chercheurs ont émis l’hypothèse que l’apport en protéines des aliments dont disposaient les Aztèques était insuffisant, en raison de l’absence de grands mammifères terrestres domesticables, et que les sacrifices humains avaient pour fonction principale de pallier cette carence nutritionnelle. Cette théorie, en particulier quand elle a été diffusée par le New York Times, a été critiquée par la majorité des spécialistes de la Mésoamérique. Michael Harner a notamment accusé les chercheurs mexicains de minimiser le cannibalisme aztèque par nationalisme ; Bernardo R. Ortiz de Montellano, en particulier, a publié en 1979 un article détaillant les failles de l’analyse de Harner, en démontrant notamment que le régime alimentaire aztèque était équilibré, varié et suffisamment riche en protéines, grâce à la pêche d’une abondante faune aquatique et la chasse de nombreux oiseaux, et que donc l’anthropophagie ne pouvait pas être une nécessité, car elle n’aurait pas pu améliorer significativement un apport en protéines déjà suffisant. Michel Graulich a apporté d’autres éléments de critique. Il affirme que si cette théorie était exacte, la chair des victimes aurait dû être distribuée au moins autant aux gens modestes qu’aux puissants, mais il semble que ce n’était pas le cas ; il ajoute que seules les grandes villes pratiquaient le sacrifice humain de masse, et que ce phénomène n’a pas été prouvé dans la plupart des autres populations mésoaméricaines, dont l’alimentation semble pourtant comparable à celle des Aztèques. Wikipedia
Considérant que c’est le devoir de toutes les Nations de reconnaître la providence de Dieu Tout-puissant, d’obéir à sa volonté, d’être reconnaissantes pour ses bienfaits, et humblement implorer sa protection et sa faveur, et tandis que les deux Chambres du Congrès m’ont, par leur Comité mixte, demandé de recommander au Peuple des États-Unis qu’un jour public d’action de grâce et de prières soit observé en reconnaissance aux nombreux signes de faveur de Dieu Tout-puissant, particulièrement en ayant donné au Peuple les moyens d’établir pacifiquement une forme de gouvernement pour sa sûreté et son bonheur. Maintenant donc, je recommande et assigne que le premier jeudi après le 26e jour de novembre soit consacré par le Peuple de ces États au service du grand et glorieux Être, qui est l’Auteur bienfaisant de tout ce qu’il y a eu, qu’il y a et qu’il y aura de bon. Nous pouvons alors tous nous unir en lui donnant notre sincère et humble merci, pour son soin et sa protection, appréciés du Peuple de ce Pays, avant que celui-ci ne soit devenu une Nation de pitié ; pour les interpositions favorables de sa Providence lors de nos épreuves durant le cours et la fin de la récente guerre ; pour le grand degré de tranquillité, d’union, et d’abondance, que nous avons depuis appréciées ; pour le pacifisme et la raison qui nous ont été conférés pour nous permettre d’établir des constitutions de gouvernement pour notre sûreté et notre bonheur, en particulier la Loi nationale récemment instituée, ; pour la liberté civile et la liberté religieuse formant à elles seules une vraie bénédiction ; pour les moyens que nous avons d’acquérir et de répandre la connaissance utile ; et d’une manière générale pour toutes les grandes et diverses faveurs qu’il nous a bien heureusement conférées. Nous pouvons alors nous unir en offrant le plus humblement nos prières et supplications au grand Seigneur et Gouverneur des Nations et le solliciter pour pardonner nos transgressions nationales et autres transgressions ; pour nous permettre à tous, en poste public ou privé, de remplir nos nombreuses fonctions respectives, correctement et ponctuellement ; pour permettre à notre gouvernement national de rendre bénédiction à toutes les personnes, en étant constamment un Gouvernement de lois sages, justes, et constitutionnelles, discrètement et loyalement exécutées et obéies ; pour protéger, guider et bénir tous les Souverains et toutes les Nations (particulièrement celles qui ont montré de la bonté envers nous), afin de leur assurer paix et concordance, et assurer un bon gouvernement ; pour favoriser la connaissance et la pratique vraies de la religion et de la vertu, ainsi que davantage de science parmi eux et nous, et accorder généralement à toute l’Humanité un tel degré de prospérité temporelle comme lui seul sait pour être le meilleur. « Donné sous ma main à la Ville de New-York le troisième jour d’octobre par année 1789 de notre Seigneur. George Washington
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth. Abraham Lincoln
Whereas by a joint resolution approved June 29, 1892, it was resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled— That the President of the United States be authorized and directed to issue a proclamation recommending to the people the observance in all their localities of the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America, on the 21st of October, 1892, by public demonstrations and by suitable exercises in their schools and other places of assembly. Now, therefore, I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of the aforesaid joint resolution, do hereby appoint Friday, October 21, 1892, the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus, as a general holiday for the people of the United States. On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life. Columbus stood in his age as the pioneer of progress and enlightenment. The system of universal education is in our age the most prominent and salutary feature of the spirit of enlightenment, and it is peculiarly appropriate that the schools be made by the people the center of the day’s demonstration. Let the national flag float over every schoolhouse in the country and the exercises be such as shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duties of American citizenship. In the churches and in the other places of assembly of the people let there be expressions of gratitude to Divine Providence for the devout faith of the discoverer and for the divine care and guidance which has directed our history and so abundantly blessed our people. (…) Done at the city of Washington, this 21st day of July, A.D. 1892, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and seventeenth. US president Benjamin Harrison
Of all the bedtime-story versions of American history we teach, the tidy Thanksgiving pageant may be the one stuffed with the heaviest serving of myth. This iconic tale is the main course in our nation’s foundation legend, complete with cardboard cutouts of bow-carrying Native American cherubs and pint-size Pilgrims in black hats with buckles. And legend it largely is. In fact, what had been a New England seasonal holiday became more of a “national” celebration only during the Civil War, with Lincoln’s proclamation calling for “a day of thanksgiving” in 1863. That fall, Lincoln had precious little to be thankful for. The Union victory at Gettysburg the previous July had come at a dreadful cost – a combined 51,000 estimated casualties, with nearly 8,000 dead. Enraged by draft laws and emancipation, rioters in Northern cities like New York went on bloody rampages. And the president and his wife, Mary, were still mourning the loss of their 11-year-old son, Willie, who had died the year before. So it might seem odd that Lincoln chose this moment to announce a national day of thanksgiving, to be marked on the last Thursday in November. His Oct. 3, 1863, proclamation read: “In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity … peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict.” But it took another year for the day to really catch hold. In 1864 Lincoln issued a second proclamation, which read, “I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust.”(…) What prompted Lincoln to issue these proclamations – the first two in an unbroken string of presidential Thanksgiving proclamations – is uncertain. He was not the first president to do so. George Washington and James Madison had earlier issued “thanksgiving” proclamations, calling for somber days of prayer. Perhaps Lincoln saw an opportunity to underscore shared American traditions – a theme found in the “mystic chords of memory” stretching from “every patriot grave” in his first inaugural. Or he may have been responding to the passionate entreaties of Sara Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book – the Good Housekeeping of its day. Hale, who contributed to American folkways as the author of “Mary had a Little Lamb,” had been advocating in the magazine for a national day of Thanksgiving since 1837. (…)  But one crucial piece remained: The elevation of Thanksgiving to a true national holiday, a feat accomplished by Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1939, with the nation still struggling out of the Great Depression, the traditional Thanksgiving Day fell on the last day of the month – a fifth Thursday. Worried retailers, for whom the holiday had already become the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season, feared this late date. Roosevelt agreed to move his holiday proclamation up one week to the fourth Thursday, thereby extending the critical shopping season. Some states stuck to the traditional last Thursday date, and other Thanksgiving traditions, such as high school and college football championships, had already been scheduled. This led to Roosevelt critics deriding the earlier date as “Franksgiving.” With 32 states joining Roosevelt’s “Democratic Thanksgiving, ” 16 others stuck with the traditional date, or “Republican Thanksgiving.” After some congressional wrangling, in December 1941, Roosevelt signed the legislation making Thanksgiving a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. And there it has remained. Kenneth C. Davis
Le 14 mars 1891, à la Nouvelle-Orléans, en Louisiane, onze Italiens furent lynchés par la foule en raison du rôle qu’ils avaient supposément joué dans le meurtre du commissaire de police David Hennessy. Ce lynchage, qui restera comme le lynchage de masse le plus important de toute l’histoire des États-Unis, eut lieu le lendemain du procès de neuf sur les dix-neuf hommes inculpés dans cette affaire de meurtre. Six de ces prévenus furent alors acquittés, et le jugement fut ajourné concernant les trois autres, pour défaut d’unanimité dans le jury sur le verdict. Croyant que le jury avait été soudoyé, une foule d’émeutiers fit irruption dans la prison où les hommes étaient détenus et tuèrent onze d’entre eux. Ce lynchage apparaît inhabituel en ceci que les émeutiers étaient au nombre de plusieurs milliers et que dans leurs rangs figuraient quelques-uns parmi les citoyens les plus en vue de la ville. La couverture de l’événement par la presse américaine fut d’ailleurs largement complaisante, et les responsables du lynchage ne furent jamais poursuivis. Le New York Times félicita les meurtriers, car la mort des Italiens « accroissait la sécurité des biens et de la vie des habitants de La Nouvelle-Orléans ». Le Washington Post assura que le lynchage mettrait un terme au « règne de la terreur » qu’imposerait les Italiens. Selon le Saint Louis Globe Democrat, les lyncheurs n’avaient fait qu’exercer « les droits légitimes de la souveraineté populaire ». L’incident eut de graves répercussions au plan national. L’Italie suspendit ses relations diplomatiques avec les États-Unis après le refus du président Benjamin Harrison d’ouvrir une enquête fédérale. La presse et la rumeur publique propagèrent l’idée que la marine italienne s’apprêtait à attaquer les ports américains et des milliers de volontaires se présentèrent pour faire la guerre à l’Italie3. La recrudescence des sentiments anti-italiens s’accompagna d’appels à une restriction de l’immigration. Le vocable mafia fit son entrée dans le lexique des Américains, et le stéréotype du mafioso italo-américain s’implanta durablement dans l’imaginaire populaire. En 1955, un homme d’affaires, décédé cette année-là, reconnut dans une lettre que l’assassinat du policier avait été organisé par un comité d’une cinquantaine d’hommes d’affaires anglo-saxons qui entendaient se débarrasser d’hommes d’affaires rivaux italiens. Ces lynchages constituent l’argument du téléfilm Vendetta, produit en 1999 par HBO et adapté d’un ouvrage de Richard Gambino paru en 1977, avec Christopher Walken dans le rôle principal. Wikipedia
La première célébration du jour de Christophe Colomb s’est faite dans la ville de San Francisco, en 1869, par une communauté majoritairement italo-américaine. Pourtant, le premier État tout entier à célébrer cette fête fut le Colorado, en 1907. Trente ans après, Franklin D. Roosevelt instaure ce jour comme un jour de fête nationale aux États-Unis. Il faudra cependant attendre la Proclamation du président George W. Bush du 4 octobre 2007 pour que le jour de Christophe Colomb soit officiellement fixé au deuxième lundi du mois d’octobre de chaque année. Christophe Colomb était au service de l’Espagne cependant il était d’origine italienne. « Cristoforo Colombo » est né en 1451 sur le territoire de la République de Gênes. Les Italiens ont été les premiers à célébrer le jour de Christophe Colomb lors de leur immigration vers les États-Unis. L’Empire State Building se pare alors des couleurs du drapeau italien (vert, blanc et rouge). Le Jour de Christophe Colomb (Columbus Day) est un jour férié fédéral aux États-Unis. Il est organisé depuis 1929 par la Columbus Citizens Foundation. Chaque État célèbre différemment le jour de Christophe Colomb. Cette fête a lieu sous forme de parades dans les rues américaines, il y a plusieurs défilés. Une Columbus Day Parade est organisée dans plusieurs villes comme à Denver. À New York, la Columbus Day Parade a lieu depuis 1915 le long de la célèbre 5e avenue à la hauteur de la 44e rue et continue sur la célèbre avenue de la Big Apple jusqu’au niveau de la 86e rue. On retrouve ainsi des fanfares, des chars, et différentes manifestations et fêtes dans tous les quartiers aux alentours de la route de la parade. À Washington, devant la Gare de l’Union a lieu une cérémonie officielle devant le Mémorial de Christophe Colomb. Les festivités commencent juste après le dépôt de gerbes aux pieds de ce monument. Ce n’est pas un jour férié dans tous les États des États-Unis, comme en Alaska, dans le Nevada, à Hawaï et dans le Dakota du Sud. Ces États ne reconnaissent pas le Jour de Christophe Colomb et fêtent d’autres événements. Cette fête est contestée aux États-Unis. Nombreux sont ceux rappelant que derrière la découverte de l’Amérique par Christophe Colomb se cachent des faits moins glorieux, tels que la colonisation ou encore le massacre des Indiens d’Amérique. Le Jour de Christophe Colomb est plus communément appelé « Jour de la Race » (Día de la Raza) dans les pays d’Amérique Latine comme le Brésil, le Guatemala, le Paraguay, Porto Rico, le Nicaragua ou la République Dominicaine. Il se déroule généralement le 12 octobre et est considéré, pour de nombreux pays, comme un anti-Colombus Day. Il célèbre la résistance à l’arrivée des européens dans le Nouveau Monde et est aussi utilisé pour commémorer les cultures indigènes. Au cours de cette journée des festivités sont organisées pour lutter contre le racisme, se souvenir des cultures et des traditions des peuples précolombiens. En Argentine la fête est appelée « Journée de la Diversité Culturelle » (Día de la Diversidad Cultural). Elle se veut être la naissance d’une nouvelle identité, issue de la fusion entre les peuples d’origine et les colonisateurs espagnols. Le 24 septembre 1892, le Congrès mexicain décréta le 12 octobre jour de fête nationale. Depuis 1917 à l’initiative de Venustiano Carranza il porte le nom de Día de la Raza. Le président Emilio Portes Gil lui donna le nom de Día de la Raza y Aniversario del Descubrimiento de América en 1929. Ce jour n’est plus un jour férié officiel actuellement, mais il donne lieu a de nombreuses festivités. L’Espagne est la seule à utiliser le nom de « Jour de l’Hispanité » (Día de la Hispanidad) pour célébrer cette fête. Le terme « hispanité » a été défini à la fin du XIXe siècle par des intellectuels. Il est officialisé fête nationale par Alfonso XIII en 1918 sous l’appellation «Fête de la Race » (Día de la Raza) en contradiction avec les idées progressistes. Après la restauration de la monarchie en 1981, un arrêté royal publié dans le premier Bulletin Officiel de l’État en 1982, officialise la date de 12 octobre en tant que Fête Nationale de l’Espagne et Jour de l’Hispanité. Cet événement est très cher au cœur des Espagnols puisque le navigateur est venu chercher la grande majorité de son équipage en Espagne. Wikipedia
Sans pouvoir préciser avec certitude l’ampleur de l’impact des maladies infectieuses chez les Amérindiens, le taux de mortalité aurait atteint 90 pour cent pour certaines populations durement affectées. Les Amérindiens, qui n’étaient pas immunisés contre des virus et maladies comme la coqueluche, la rougeole ou la variole qui sévissaient depuis des millénaires dans l’Ancien Monde, auraient été foudroyés par des épidémies plusieurs décennies avant que des colons arrivent dans des territoires apparemment peu peuplés de l’intérieur. N’ayant aucune connaissance sur les virus à l’époque, les Européens n’ont donc aucunement profité en connaissance de cause des faiblesses immunitaires des populations autochtones. Le processus a commencé dès les années 1500 et a emporté des centaines de milliers de vies. En 1520 et 1521, une épidémie de variole toucha les habitants de Tenochtitlan et fut l’un des principaux facteurs de la chute de la ville au moment du siège. En effet, on estime entre 10 et 50 % la part de la population de la cité qui serait morte à cause de cette maladie en deux semaines. Deux autres épidémies affectèrent la vallée de Mexico : la variole en 1545-1548 et le typhus en 1576-1581. Les Espagnols, pour compenser la diminution de la population, ont rassemblé les survivants des petites villes de la vallée de Mexico dans de plus grandes cités. Cette migration a brisé le pouvoir des classes supérieures, mais n’a pas dissous la cohésion de la société indigène dans un Mexique plus grand. Les épidémies de variole, de typhus, de grippe, de diphtérie de rougeole, de peste auraient tué entre 50 et 66 % de la population indigène selon les régions de Amérique latine. En 1617-1619, une épidémie de peste bubonique ravage la Nouvelle-Angleterre. Le bilan de ces épidémies est difficile à donner avec exactitude. Les sources sont inexistantes et les historiens ne sont pas d’accord sur les estimations. Certains avancent 10 millions d’Amérindiens pour tout le continent ; d’autres pensent plutôt à 90 millions, dont 10 pour l’Amérique du Nord. Le continent américain entier (de l’Alaska au Cap Horn) aurait abrité environ 50 millions d’habitants en 1492 ; pour comparaison, il y avait 20 millions de Français au XVIIe siècle. Les chiffres avancés pour le territoire des États-Unis d’aujourd’hui sont compris entre 7 et 12 millions d’habitants. Environ 500 000 Amérindiens peuplaient la côte Est de cet espace. Ils ne sont plus que 100 000 au début du XVIIIe siècle. Dans l’Empire espagnol, la mortalité des Amérindiens était telle qu’elle fut l’un des motifs de la traite des Noirs, permettant d’importer dans le « Nouveau Monde » de la main-d’œuvre pour les mines et les plantations. Wikipedia
Celebration of Christopher Columbus’s voyage in the early United States is recorded from as early as 1792. In that year, the Tammany Society in New York City (for whom it became an annual tradition) and the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston celebrated the 300th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the New World. For the 400th anniversary in 1892, following a lynching in New Orleans where a mob had murdered 11 Italian immigrants, President Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day as a one-time national celebration. The proclamation was part of a wider effort after the lynching incident to placate Italian Americans and ease diplomatic tensions with Italy. During the anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These rituals took themes such as citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and the celebration of social progress. Many Italian-Americans observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage, and the first such celebration had already been held in New York City on October 12, 1866. The day was first enshrined as a legal holiday in the United States through the lobbying of Angelo Noce, a first generation Italian, in Denver. The first statewide holiday was proclaimed by Colorado governor Jesse F. McDonald in 1905, and it was made a statutory holiday in 1907. In April 1937, as a result of lobbying by the Knights of Columbus and New York City Italian leader Generoso Pope, Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed October 12 be a federal holiday under the name Columbus Day. Since 1971 (Oct. 11), the holiday has been attributed to the second Monday in October,[20] coincidentally exactly the same day as Thanksgiving in neighboring Canada since 1957. It is generally observed nowadays by banks, the bond market, the U.S. Postal Service, other federal agencies, most state government offices, many businesses, and most school districts. Some businesses and some stock exchanges remain open, and some states and municipalities abstain from observing the holiday. The traditional date of the holiday also adjoins the anniversary of the United States Navy (founded October 13, 1775), and thus both occasions are customarily observed by the Navy and the Marine Corps with either a 72- or 96-hour liberty period. Actual observance varies in different parts of the United States, ranging from large-scale parades and events to complete non-observance. Most states do not celebrate Columbus Day as an official state holiday. Some mark it as a « Day of Observance » or « Recognition.” Most states that celebrate Columbus Day will close state services, while others operate as normal. San Francisco claims the nation’s oldest continuously existing celebration with the Italian-American community’s annual Columbus Day Parade, which was established by Nicola Larco in 1868, while New York City boasts the largest, with over 35,000 marchers and one million viewers around 2010. As in the mainland United States, Columbus Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. In the United States Virgin Islands, the day is celebrated as both Columbus Day and « Puerto Rico Friendship Day. » Virginia also celebrates two legal holidays on the day, Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day, which honors the final victory at the Siege of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War. The celebration of Columbus Day in the United States began to decline at the end of the 20th century, although many Italian-Americans, and others, continue to champion it. The states of Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, Vermont, South Dakota, New Mexico, Maine, Wisconsin, and parts of California including, for example, Los Angeles County do not recognize it and have each replaced it with celebrations of Indigenous People’s Day (in Hawaii, « Discoverers’ Day », in South Dakota, « Native American Day »). A lack of recognition or a reduced level of observance for Columbus Day is not always due to concerns about honoring Native Americans. For example, a community of predominantly Scandinavian descent may observe Leif Erikson Day instead. In the state of Oregon, Columbus Day is not an official holiday. Iowa and Nevada do not celebrate Columbus Day as an official holiday, but the states’ respective governors are « authorized and requested » by statute to proclaim the day each year. Several states have removed the day as a paid holiday for state government workers, while still maintaining it—either as a day of recognition, or as a legal holiday for other purposes, including California and Texas. The practice of U.S. cities eschewing Columbus Day to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day began in 1992 with Berkeley, California. The list of cities which have followed suit as of 2018 includes Austin, Boise, Cincinnati, Denver, Los Angeles, Mankato, Minnesota, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Seattle, St. Paul, Minnesota, Phoenix, Tacoma, and « dozens of others. » Columbus, Ohio has chosen to honor veterans instead of Christopher Columbus, and removed Columbus Day as a city holiday. Various tribal governments in Oklahoma designate the day as Native American Day, or name it after their own tribe. Wikipedia
In a country of diverse religious faiths and national origins like the United States, it made sense to develop a holiday system that was not entirely tied to a religious calendar. (Christmas survives here, of course, but in law it’s a secular holiday much like New Year’s Day.) So Americans do not all leave for the shore on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the way Italians do; and while St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by many Americans, it is not a legal holiday in any of the states. The American system of holidays was constructed mostly around a series of great events and persons in our nation’s history. The aim was to instill a feeling of civic pride. Holidays were chosen as occasions to bring everyone together, not for excluding certain people. They were supposed to be about the recognition of our society’s common struggles and achievements. Civic religion is often used to describe the principle behind America’s calendar of public holidays. Consider the range and variability of the meanings of our holidays. Certainly they have not always been occasions for celebration: Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day involve mourning for the dead and wounded. Labor Day commemorated significant hardships in the decades when unions were struggling to organize. Having grown up in the 1960s I remember how Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (now lumped in with Presidents’ Day, and with some of its significance transferred to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) took on special meaning during the Civil Rights movement and after the JFK assassination. When thinking about the Columbus Day holiday it helps to remember the good intentions of the people who put together the first parade in New York. Columbus Day was first proclaimed a national holiday by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892, 400 years after Columbus’s first voyage. The idea, lost on present-day critics of the holiday, was that this would be a national holiday that would be special for recognizing both Native Americans, who were here before Columbus, and the many immigrants—including Italians—who were just then coming to this country in astounding numbers. It was to be a national holiday that was not about the Founding Fathers or the Civil War, but about the rest of American history. Like the Columbian Exposition dedicated in Chicago that year and opened in 1893, it was to be about our land and all its people. Harrison especially designated the schools as centers of the Columbus celebration because universal public schooling, which had only recently taken hold, was seen as essential to a democracy that was seriously aiming to include everyone and not just preserve a governing elite. You won’t find it in the public literature surrounding the first Columbus Day in 1892, but in the background lay two recent tragedies, one involving Native Americans, the other involving Italian Americans. The first tragedy was the massacre by U.S. troops of between 146 and 200 Lakota Sioux, including men, women and children, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890. Shooting began after a misunderstanding involving an elderly, deaf Sioux warrior who hadn’t heard and therefore did not understand that he was supposed to hand over his rifle to the U.S. Cavalry. The massacre at Wounded Knee marked the definitive end of Indian resistance in the Great Plains. The episode was immediately seen by the government as potentially troubling, although there was much popular sentiment against the Sioux. An inquiry was held, the soldiers were absolved, and some were awarded medals that Native Americans to this day are seeking to have rescinded. A second tragedy in the immediate background of the 1892 Columbus celebration took place in New Orleans. There, on March 14, 1891—only 10 weeks after the Wounded Knee Massacre—11 Italians were lynched in prison by a mob led by prominent Louisiana politicians. A trial for the murder of the New Orleans police chief had ended in mistrials for three of the Italians and the acquittal of the others who were brought to trial. Unhappy with the verdict and spurred on by fear of the “Mafia” (a word that had only recently entered American usage), civic leaders organized an assault on the prison to put the Italians to death. This episode was also troubling to the U.S. Government. These were legally innocent men who had been killed. But Italians were not very popular, and even Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that he thought the New Orleans Italians “got what they deserved.” A grand jury was summoned, but no one was charged with a crime. President Harrison, who would proclaim the Columbus holiday the following year, was genuinely saddened by the case, and over the objections of some members of congress he paid reparations to the Italian government for the deaths of its citizens. Whenever I hear of protests about the Columbus Day holiday—protests that tend to pit Native Americans against Italian Americans, I remember these tragedies that occurred so soon before the first Columbus Day holiday, and I shake my head. President Harrison did not allude to either of these sad episodes in his proclamation of the holiday, but the idea for the holiday involved a vision of an America that would get beyond the prejudice that had led to these deaths. Columbus Day was supposed to recognize the greatness of all of America’s people, but especially Italians and Native Americans. Consider how the first Columbus Day parade in New York was described in the newspapers. It consisted mostly of about 12,000 public school students grouped into 20 regiments, each commanded by a principal. The boys marched in school uniforms or their Sunday best, while the girls, dressed in red, white and blue, sat in bleachers. Alongside the public schoolers there were military drill squads and 29 marching bands, each of 30 to 50 instruments. After the public schools, there followed 5,500 students from the Catholic schools. Then there were students from the private schools wearing school uniforms. These included the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Barnard School Military Corps, and the Italian and American Colonial School. The Dante Alighieri Italian College of Astoria was dressed entirely in sailor outfits. These were followed by the Native American marching band from the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, which, according to one description, included “300 marching Indian boys and 50 tall Indian girls.” That the Native Americans came right after the students from the Dante Alighieri School speaks volumes about the spirit of the original Columbus Day. (…) So Columbus Day is for all Americans. It marks the first encounter that brought together the original Americans and the future ones. A lot of suffering followed, and a lot of achievement too. That a special role has been reserved for Italians in keeping the parades and the commemoration alive for well over a century seems right, since Columbus was Italian (…) So much for his ethnicity. What about his moral standing? In the late 19th century an international movement, led by a French priest, sought to have Columbus canonized for bringing Christianity to the New World. To the Catholic Church’s credit, this never got very far. It sometimes gets overlooked in current discussions that we neither commemorate Columbus’s birthday (as was the practice for Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and as we now do with Martin Luther King, Jr.) nor his death date (which is when Christian saints are memorialized), but rather the date of his arrival in the New World. The historical truth about Columbus—the short version suitable for reporters who are pressed for time—is that Columbus was Italian, but he was no saint. The holiday marks the event, not the person. What Columbus gets criticized for nowadays are attitudes that were typical of the European sailing captains and merchants who plied the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in the 15th century. Within that group he was unquestionably a man of daring and unusual ambition. But what really mattered was his landing on San Salvador, which was a momentous, world-changing occasion such as has rarely happened in human history. William J. Connell
These sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins, who have transported to this country the lawless passions, the cutthroat practices … are to us a pest without mitigations. Our own rattlesnakes are as good citizens as they. Our own murderers are men of feeling and nobility compared to them. The Times
Congress envisioned a white, Protestant and culturally homogeneous America when it declared in 1790 that only “free white persons, who have, or shall migrate into the United States” were eligible to become naturalized citizens. The calculus of racism underwent swift revision when waves of culturally diverse immigrants from the far corners of Europe changed the face of the country. As the historian Matthew Frye Jacobson shows in his immigrant history “Whiteness of a Different Color,” the surge of newcomers engendered a national panic and led Americans to adopt a more restrictive, politicized view of how whiteness was to be allocated. Journalists, politicians, social scientists and immigration officials embraced the habit, separating ostensibly white Europeans into “races.” Some were designated “whiter” — and more worthy of citizenship — than others, while some were ranked as too close to blackness to be socially redeemable. The story of how Italian immigrants went from racialized pariah status in the 19th century to white Americans in good standing in the 20th offers a window onto the alchemy through which race is constructed in the United States, and how racial hierarchies can sometimes change. Darker skinned southern Italians endured the penalties of blackness on both sides of the Atlantic. In Italy, Northerners had long held that Southerners — particularly Sicilians — were an “uncivilized” and racially inferior people, too obviously African to be part of Europe. Racist dogma about Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As the historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the newcomers encountered waves of books, magazines and newspapers that “bombarded Americans with images of Italians as racially suspect.” They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people. They were described in the press as “swarthy,” “kinky haired” members of a criminal race and derided in the streets with epithets like “dago,” “guinea” — a term of derision applied to enslaved Africans and their descendants — and more familiarly racist insults like “white nigger” and “nigger wop.” The penalties of blackness went well beyond name-calling in the apartheid South. Italians who had come to the country as “free white persons” were often marked as black because they accepted “black” jobs in the Louisiana sugar fields or because they chose to live among African-Americans. This left them vulnerable to marauding mobs like the ones that hanged, shot, dismembered or burned alive thousands of black men, women and children across the South. The federal holiday honoring the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus — celebrated on Monday — was central to the process through which Italian-Americans were fully ratified as white during the 20th century. The rationale for the holiday was steeped in myth, and allowed Italian-Americans to write a laudatory portrait of themselves into the civic record. Few who march in Columbus Day parades or recount the tale of Columbus’s voyage from Europe to the New World are aware of how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it as a one-time national celebration in 1892 — in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian-Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war. (…) Italian immigrants were welcomed into Louisiana after the Civil War, when the planter class was in desperate need of cheap labor to replace newly emancipated black people, who were leaving backbreaking jobs in the fields for more gainful employment. These Italians seemed at first to be the answer to both the labor shortage and the increasingly pressing quest for settlers who would support white domination in the emerging Jim Crow state. Louisiana’s romance with Italian labor began to sour when the new immigrants balked at low wages and dismal working conditions. The newcomers also chose to live together in Italian neighborhoods, where they spoke their native tongue, preserved Italian customs and developed successful businesses that catered to African-Americans, with whom they fraternized and intermarried. In time, this proximity to blackness would lead white Southerners to view Sicilians, in particular, as not fully white and to see them as eligible for persecution — including lynching — that had customarily been imposed on African-Americans. (…) The carnage in New Orleans was set in motion in the fall of 1890, when the city’s popular police chief, David Hennessy, was assassinated on his way home one evening. Hennessy had no shortage of enemies. The historian John V. Baiamonte Jr. writes that he had once been tried for murder in connection with the killing of a professional rival. He is also said to have been involved in a feud between two Italian businessmen. On the strength of a clearly suspect witness who claimed to hear Mr. Hennessy say that “dagoes” had shot him, the city charged 19 Italians with complicity in the chief’s murder. That the evidence was distressingly weak was evident from the verdicts that were swiftly handed down: Of the first nine to be tried, six were acquitted; three others were granted mistrials. The leaders of the mob that then went after them advertised their plans in advance, knowing full well that the city’s elites — who coveted the businesses the Italians had built or hated the Italians for fraternizing with African-Americans — would never seek justice for the dead. After the lynching, a grand jury investigation pronounced the killings praiseworthy, turning that inquiry into what the historian Barbara Botein describes as “possibly one of the greatest whitewashes in American history. (…) President Harrison would have ignored the New Orleans carnage had the victims been black. But the Italian government made that impossible. It broke off diplomatic relations and demanded an indemnity that the Harrison administration paid. Harrison even called on Congress in his 1891 State of the Union to protect foreign nationals — though not black Americans — from mob violence. Harrison’s Columbus Day proclamation in 1892 opened the door for Italian-Americans to write themselves into the American origin story, in a fashion that piled myth upon myth. As the historian Danielle Battisti shows in “Whom We Shall Welcome,” they rewrote history by casting Columbus as “the first immigrant” — even though he never set foot in North America and never immigrated anywhere (except possibly to Spain), and even though the United States did not exist as a nation during his 15th-century voyage. The mythologizing, carried out over many decades, granted Italian-Americans “a formative role in the nation-building narrative.” It also tied Italian-Americans closely to the paternalistic assertion, still heard today, that Columbus “discovered” a continent that was already inhabited by Native Americans. But in the late 19th century, the full-blown Columbus myth was yet to come. The New Orleans lynching solidified a defamatory view of Italians generally, and Sicilians in particular, as irredeemable criminals who represented a danger to the nation. The influential anti-immigrant racist Representative Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, soon to join the United States Senate, quickly appropriated the event. He argued that a lack of confidence in juries, not mob violence, had been the real problem in New Orleans. “Lawlessness and lynching are evil things,” he wrote, “but a popular belief that juries cannot be trusted is even worse.” Facts aside, Lodge argued, beliefs about immigrants were in themselves sufficient to warrant higher barriers to immigration. Congress ratified that notion during the 1920s, curtailing Italian immigration on racial grounds, even though Italians were legally white, with all of the rights whiteness entailed. The Italian-Americans who labored in the campaign that overturned racist immigration restrictions in 1965 used the romantic fictions built up around Columbus to political advantage. This shows yet again how racial categories that people mistakenly view as matters of biology grow out of highly politicized myth making. NYT

Attention: un massacre peut en cacher beaucoup d’autres !

En cette journée où, entre Israël, les Etats-Unis et le Canada, voire les pays hispaniques, coïncident les célébrations de plusieurs traditions culturelles différentes …

Et où, énième illustration de la division toujours plus grande des Etats-Unis par nos déconstructeurs postmodernes obsédés par un prétendu génocide indien – pire qu’Attila et Hitler réunis !

Dû pour l’essentiel à un choc microbien, un nombre croissant d’états ne la fêtent plus ou l’ont même remplacée par la Journée des peuples indigènes  …

Pendant qu’après l’égorgement de quatre policiers du renseignement de la lutte anti-islamique et quelque 250 victimes de la barbarie islamiste …

Nos courageux enfants gâtés du showbiz dénonçaient dès le lendemain l’agression « d’une violence et d’une haine inouïes » que l’on sait …

Retour …

Sans parler, avant et après Colomb ou Cortez, des centaines de milliers de sacrifices humains de nos amis aztèques et mayas

Sur le massacre …

Et pratiquement plus grand lynchage, avec 11 immigrants italiens extraits manu militari de leur prison de la Nouvelle Orléans et sommairement abattus, de l’histoire américaine …

Qui comme après la fête du Thanksgiving du président Lincoln suite aux centaines de milliers de morts de la Guerre civile américaine …

Et à l’instar de la Saint Patrick d’une communauté irlandaise elle aussi initialement discriminée …

Lança nationalement, au moins pour une journée, cette véritable marche des fiertés

Qu’est devenue le Columbus Day pour une communauté italo-américaine et notamment sicilienne …

Jusque-là assimilée non seulement à une race de criminels …

Mais à une sous-race à peine au-dessus des esclaves affranchis et des emplois méprisés …

Qu’ils étaient venus remplacer dans un Sud tout récemment sorti du traumatisme d’une guerre civile meurtrière…

How Italians Became ‘White’
Vicious bigotry, reluctant acceptance: an American story.

Brent Staples Mr. Staples is a member of the editorial board.
NYT
Oct. 12, 2019

Congress envisioned a white, Protestant and culturally homogeneous America when it declared in 1790 that only “free white persons, who have, or shall migrate into the United States” were eligible to become naturalized citizens. The calculus of racism underwent swift revision when waves of culturally diverse immigrants from the far corners of Europe changed the face of the country.

As the historian Matthew Frye Jacobson shows in his immigrant history “Whiteness of a Different Color,” the surge of newcomers engendered a national panic and led Americans to adopt a more restrictive, politicized view of how whiteness was to be allocated. Journalists, politicians, social scientists and immigration officials embraced the habit, separating ostensibly white Europeans into “races.” Some were designated “whiter” — and more worthy of citizenship — than others, while some were ranked as too close to blackness to be socially redeemable. The story of how Italian immigrants went from racialized pariah status in the 19th century to white Americans in good standing in the 20th offers a window onto the alchemy through which race is constructed in the United States, and how racial hierarchies can sometimes change.

Darker skinned southern Italians endured the penalties of blackness on both sides of the Atlantic. In Italy, Northerners had long held that Southerners — particularly Sicilians — were an “uncivilized” and racially inferior people, too obviously African to be part of Europe.

Racist dogma about Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As the historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the newcomers encountered waves of books, magazines and newspapers that “bombarded Americans with images of Italians as racially suspect.” They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people. They were described in the press as “swarthy,” “kinky haired” members of a criminal race and derided in the streets with epithets like “dago,” “guinea” — a term of derision applied to enslaved Africans and their descendants — and more familiarly racist insults like “white nigger” and “nigger wop.”

The penalties of blackness went well beyond name-calling in the apartheid South. Italians who had come to the country as “free white persons” were often marked as black because they accepted “black” jobs in the Louisiana sugar fields or because they chose to live among African-Americans. This left them vulnerable to marauding mobs like the ones that hanged, shot, dismembered or burned alive thousands of black men, women and children across the South.

The federal holiday honoring the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus — celebrated on Monday — was central to the process through which Italian-Americans were fully ratified as white during the 20th century. The rationale for the holiday was steeped in myth, and allowed Italian-Americans to write a laudatory portrait of themselves into the civic record.

Few who march in Columbus Day parades or recount the tale of Columbus’s voyage from Europe to the New World are aware of how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it as a one-time national celebration in 1892 — in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian-Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war.

Historians have recently showed that America’s dishonorable response to this barbaric event was partly conditioned by racist stereotypes about Italians promulgated in Northern newspapers like The Times. A striking analysis by Charles Seguin, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University, and Sabrina Nardin, a doctoral student at the University of Arizona, shows that the protests lodged by the Italian government inspired something that had failed to coalesce around the brave African-American newspaper editor and anti-lynching campaigner Ida B. Wells — a broad anti-lynching effort.

A Black ‘Brute’ Lynched

The lynchings of Italians came at a time when newspapers in the South had established the gory convention of advertising the far more numerous public murders of African-Americans in advance — to attract large crowds — and justifying the killings by labeling the victims “brutes,” “fiends,” “ravishers,” “born criminals” or “troublesome Negroes.” Even high-minded news organizations that claimed to abhor the practice legitimized lynching by trafficking in racist stereotypes about its victims.

As Mr. Seguin recently showed, many Northern newspapers were “just as complicit” in justifying mob violence as their Southern counterparts. For its part, The Times made repeated use of the headline “A Brutal Negro Lynched,” presuming the victims’ guilt and branding them as congenital criminals. Lynchings of black men in the South were often based on fabricated accusations of sexual assault. As the Equal Justice Initiative explained in its 2015 report on lynching in America, a rape charge could occur in the absence of an actual victim and might arise from minor violations of the social code — like complimenting a white woman on her appearance or even bumping into her on the street.

The Times was not owned by the family that controls it today when it dismissed Ida B. Wells as a “slanderous and nasty-minded mulattress” for rightly describing rape allegations as “a thread bare lie” that Southerners used against black men who had consensual sexual relationships with white women. Nevertheless, as a Times editorialist of nearly 30 years standing — and a student of the institution’s history — I am outraged and appalled by the nakedly racist treatment my 19th-century predecessors displayed in writing about African-Americans and Italian immigrants.

When Wells took her anti-lynching campaign to England in the 1890s, Times editors rebuked her for representing “black brutes” abroad in an editorial that joked about what they described as “the practice of roasting Negro ravishers alive and boring out their eyes with red-hot pokers.” The editorial slandered African-Americans generally, referring to rape as “a crime to which Negroes are particularly prone.” The Times editors may have lodged objections to lynching — but they did so in a rhetoric firmly rooted in white supremacy.
‘Assassins by Nature’

Italian immigrants were welcomed into Louisiana after the Civil War, when the planter class was in desperate need of cheap labor to replace newly emancipated black people, who were leaving backbreaking jobs in the fields for more gainful employment.

These Italians seemed at first to be the answer to both the labor shortage and the increasingly pressing quest for settlers who would support white domination in the emerging Jim Crow state. Louisiana’s romance with Italian labor began to sour when the new immigrants balked at low wages and dismal working conditions.

The newcomers also chose to live together in Italian neighborhoods, where they spoke their native tongue, preserved Italian customs and developed successful businesses that catered to African-Americans, with whom they fraternized and intermarried. In time, this proximity to blackness would lead white Southerners to view Sicilians, in particular, as not fully white and to see them as eligible for persecution — including lynching — that had customarily been imposed on African-Americans.

Nevertheless, as the historian Jessica Barbata Jackson showed recently in the journal Louisiana History, Italian newcomers were still well thought of in New Orleans in the 1870s when negative stereotypes were being established in the Northern press.

The Times, for instance, described them as bandits and members of the criminal classes who were “wretchedly poor and unskilled,” “starving and wholly destitute.” The stereotype about inborn criminality is plainly evident in an 1874 story about Italian immigrants seeking vaccinations that refers to one immigrant as a “burly fellow, whose appearance was like that of the traditional brigand of the Abruzzi.”

A Times story in 1880 described immigrants, including Italians, as “links in a descending chain of evolution.” These characterizations reached a defamatory crescendo in an 1882 editorial that appeared under the headline “Our Future Citizens.” The editors wrote:

“There has never been since New York was founded so low and ignorant a class among the immigrants who poured in here as the Southern Italians who have been crowding our docks during the past year.”

The editors reserved their worst invective for Italian immigrant children, whom they described as “utterly unfit — ragged, filthy, and verminous as they were — to be placed in the public primary schools among the decent children of American mechanics.”

The racist myth that African-Americans and Sicilians were both innately criminal drove an 1887 Times story about a lynching victim in Mississippi whose name was given as “Dago Joe” — “dago” being a slur directed at Italian and Spanish-speaking immigrants. The victim was described as a “half breed” who “was the son of a Sicilian father and a mulatto mother, and had the worst characteristics of both races in his makeup. He was cunning, treacherous and cruel, and was regarded in the community where he lived as an assassin by nature.”
Sicilians as ‘Rattlesnakes’

The carnage in New Orleans was set in motion in the fall of 1890, when the city’s popular police chief, David Hennessy, was assassinated on his way home one evening. Hennessy had no shortage of enemies. The historian John V. Baiamonte Jr. writes that he had once been tried for murder in connection with the killing of a professional rival. He is also said to have been involved in a feud between two Italian businessmen. On the strength of a clearly suspect witness who claimed to hear Mr. Hennessy say that “dagoes” had shot him, the city charged 19 Italians with complicity in the chief’s murder.

That the evidence was distressingly weak was evident from the verdicts that were swiftly handed down: Of the first nine to be tried, six were acquitted; three others were granted mistrials. The leaders of the mob that then went after them advertised their plans in advance, knowing full well that the city’s elites — who coveted the businesses the Italians had built or hated the Italians for fraternizing with African-Americans — would never seek justice for the dead. After the lynching, a grand jury investigation pronounced the killings praiseworthy, turning that inquiry into what the historian Barbara Botein describes as “possibly one of the greatest whitewashes in American history.”

The blood of the New Orleans victims was scarcely dry when The Times published a cheerleading news story — “Chief Hennessy Avenged: Eleven of his Italian Assassins Lynched by a Mob” — that reveled in the bloody details. It reported that the mob had consisted “mostly of the best element” of New Orleans society. The following day, a scabrous Times editorial justified the lynching — and dehumanized the dead, with by-now-familiar racist stereotypes.

“These sneaking and cowardly Sicilians,” the editors wrote, “the descendants of bandits and assassins, who have transported to this country the lawless passions, the cutthroat practices … are to us a pest without mitigations. Our own rattlesnakes are as good citizens as they. Our own murderers are men of feeling and nobility compared to them.” The editors concluded of the lynching that it would be difficult to find “one individual who would confess that privately he deplores it very much.”
Lynchers in 1891 storming the New Orleans city jail, where they killed 11 Italian-Americans accused in the fatal shooting of Chief Hennessy. Italian Tribune

President Harrison would have ignored the New Orleans carnage had the victims been black. But the Italian government made that impossible. It broke off diplomatic relations and demanded an indemnity that the Harrison administration paid. Harrison even called on Congress in his 1891 State of the Union to protect foreign nationals — though not black Americans — from mob violence.

Harrison’s Columbus Day proclamation in 1892 opened the door for Italian-Americans to write themselves into the American origin story, in a fashion that piled myth upon myth. As the historian Danielle Battisti shows in “Whom We Shall Welcome,” they rewrote history by casting Columbus as “the first immigrant” — even though he never set foot in North America and never immigrated anywhere (except possibly to Spain), and even though the United States did not exist as a nation during his 15th-century voyage. The mythologizing, carried out over many decades, granted Italian-Americans “a formative role in the nation-building narrative.” It also tied Italian-Americans closely to the paternalistic assertion, still heard today, that Columbus “discovered” a continent that was already inhabited by Native Americans.

But in the late 19th century, the full-blown Columbus myth was yet to come. The New Orleans lynching solidified a defamatory view of Italians generally, and Sicilians in particular, as irredeemable criminals who represented a danger to the nation. The influential anti-immigrant racist Representative Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, soon to join the United States Senate, quickly appropriated the event. He argued that a lack of confidence in juries, not mob violence, had been the real problem in New Orleans. “Lawlessness and lynching are evil things,” he wrote, “but a popular belief that juries cannot be trusted is even worse.”

Facts aside, Lodge argued, beliefs about immigrants were in themselves sufficient to warrant higher barriers to immigration. Congress ratified that notion during the 1920s, curtailing Italian immigration on racial grounds, even though Italians were legally white, with all of the rights whiteness entailed.

The Italian-Americans who labored in the campaign that overturned racist immigration restrictions in 1965 used the romantic fictions built up around Columbus to political advantage. This shows yet again how racial categories that people mistakenly view as matters of biology grow out of highly politicized myth making.

Voir aussi:

What Columbus Day Really Means

If you think the holiday pits Native Americans against Italian Americans, consider the history behind its origin

William J. Connell
American scholar
October 4, 2012

During the run-up to Columbus Day I usually get a call from at least one and sometimes several newspaper reporters who are looking for the latest on what has become one of the most controversial of our national holidays. Rather than begin with whatever issues the media are covering—topics like the number of deaths in the New World caused by the European discovery; or the attitude of Columbus toward the indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean (whom he really did want to use as forced laborers); or whether syphilis really came from the Americas to Europe; or whether certain people (the cast of The Sopranos, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) deserve to be excluded from or honored in the parade in New York—I always try to remind the reporters that Columbus Day is just a holiday.

Leave the parades aside. The most evident way in which holidays are celebrated is by taking a day off from work or school. Our system of holidays, which developed gradually over time and continues to evolve, is founded upon the recognition that weekends are not sufficient, that some jobs don’t offer much time off, and that children and teachers need a break now and then in the course of the school year. One characteristic of holidays is that unless they are observed widely, which is to say by almost everyone, many of us wouldn’t take them. There are so many incremental reasons for not taking time off (to make some extra money, to impress the boss, or because we’re our own bosses and can’t stop ourselves) that a lot of us would willingly do without a day’s vacation that would have been good both for us and for society at large if we had taken it. That is why there are legal holidays.

But which days should be holidays? Another way of posing the question would be to say, “Given that holidays are necessary, but that left to their own devices people would simply work, how do you justify a legal holiday so that it does not appear completely arbitrary, and so that people will be encouraged to observe it?” Most of the media noise around the Columbus Day holiday is about the holiday’s excuse, not the holiday itself. Realizing that helps to put matters in perspective.

In a country of diverse religious faiths and national origins like the United States, it made sense to develop a holiday system that was not entirely tied to a religious calendar. (Christmas survives here, of course, but in law it’s a secular holiday much like New Year’s Day.) So Americans do not all leave for the shore on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the way Italians do; and while St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by many Americans, it is not a legal holiday in any of the states. The American system of holidays was constructed mostly around a series of great events and persons in our nation’s history. The aim was to instill a feeling of civic pride. Holidays were chosen as occasions to bring everyone together, not for excluding certain people. They were supposed to be about the recognition of our society’s common struggles and achievements. Civic religion is often used to describe the principle behind America’s calendar of public holidays.

Consider the range and variability of the meanings of our holidays. Certainly they have not always been occasions for celebration: Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day involve mourning for the dead and wounded. Labor Day commemorated significant hardships in the decades when unions were struggling to organize. Having grown up in the 1960s I remember how Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (now lumped in with Presidents’ Day, and with some of its significance transferred to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) took on special meaning during the Civil Rights movement and after the JFK assassination.

When thinking about the Columbus Day holiday it helps to remember the good intentions of the people who put together the first parade in New York. Columbus Day was first proclaimed a national holiday by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892, 400 years after Columbus’s first voyage. The idea, lost on present-day critics of the holiday, was that this would be a national holiday that would be special for recognizing both Native Americans, who were here before Columbus, and the many immigrants—including Italians—who were just then coming to this country in astounding numbers. It was to be a national holiday that was not about the Founding Fathers or the Civil War, but about the rest of American history. Like the Columbian Exposition dedicated in Chicago that year and opened in 1893, it was to be about our land and all its people. Harrison especially designated the schools as centers of the Columbus celebration because universal public schooling, which had only recently taken hold, was seen as essential to a democracy that was seriously aiming to include everyone and not just preserve a governing elite.

You won’t find it in the public literature surrounding the first Columbus Day in 1892, but in the background lay two recent tragedies, one involving Native Americans, the other involving Italian Americans. The first tragedy was the massacre by U.S. troops of between 146 and 200 Lakota Sioux, including men, women and children, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890. Shooting began after a misunderstanding involving an elderly, deaf Sioux warrior who hadn’t heard and therefore did not understand that he was supposed to hand over his rifle to the U.S. Cavalry. The massacre at Wounded Knee marked the definitive end of Indian resistance in the Great Plains. The episode was immediately seen by the government as potentially troubling, although there was much popular sentiment against the Sioux. An inquiry was held, the soldiers were absolved, and some were awarded medals that Native Americans to this day are seeking to have rescinded.

A second tragedy in the immediate background of the 1892 Columbus celebration took place in New Orleans. There, on March 14, 1891—only 10 weeks after the Wounded Knee Massacre—11 Italians were lynched in prison by a mob led by prominent Louisiana politicians. A trial for the murder of the New Orleans police chief had ended in mistrials for three of the Italians and the acquittal of the others who were brought to trial. Unhappy with the verdict and spurred on by fear of the “Mafia” (a word that had only recently entered American usage), civic leaders organized an assault on the prison to put the Italians to death. This episode was also troubling to the U.S. Government. These were legally innocent men who had been killed. But Italians were not very popular, and even Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that he thought the New Orleans Italians “got what they deserved.” A grand jury was summoned, but no one was charged with a crime. President Harrison, who would proclaim the Columbus holiday the following year, was genuinely saddened by the case, and over the objections of some members of congress he paid reparations to the Italian government for the deaths of its citizens.

Whenever I hear of protests about the Columbus Day holiday—protests that tend to pit Native Americans against Italian Americans, I remember these tragedies that occurred so soon before the first Columbus Day holiday, and I shake my head. President Harrison did not allude to either of these sad episodes in his proclamation of the holiday, but the idea for the holiday involved a vision of an America that would get beyond the prejudice that had led to these deaths. Columbus Day was supposed to recognize the greatness of all of America’s people, but especially Italians and Native Americans.

Consider how the first Columbus Day parade in New York was described in the newspapers. It consisted mostly of about 12,000 public school students grouped into 20 regiments, each commanded by a principal. The boys marched in school uniforms or their Sunday best, while the girls, dressed in red, white and blue, sat in bleachers. Alongside the public schoolers there were military drill squads and 29 marching bands, each of 30 to 50 instruments. After the public schools, there followed 5,500 students from the Catholic schools. Then there were students from the private schools wearing school uniforms. These included the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Barnard School Military Corps, and the Italian and American Colonial School. The Dante Alighieri Italian College of Astoria was dressed entirely in sailor outfits. These were followed by the Native American marching band from the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, which, according to one description, included “300 marching Indian boys and 50 tall Indian girls.” That the Native Americans came right after the students from the Dante Alighieri School speaks volumes about the spirit of the original Columbus Day.

I teach college kids, and since they tend to be more skeptical about Columbus Day than younger students, it’s nice to point out that the first Columbus Day parade had a “college division.” Thus 800 New York University students played kazoos and wore mortarboards. In between songs they chanted “Who are we? Who are we? New York Universitee!” The College of Physicians and Surgeons wore Skeletons on their hats. And the Columbia College students marched in white hats and white sweaters, with a message on top of their hats that spelled out “We are the People.”

So Columbus Day is for all Americans. It marks the first encounter that brought together the original Americans and the future ones. A lot of suffering followed, and a lot of achievement too. That a special role has been reserved for Italians in keeping the parades and the commemoration alive for well over a century seems right, since Columbus was Italian—although even in the 1890s his nationality was being contested. Some people, who include respectable scholars, still argue, based on elements of his biography and family history, that Columbus must really have been Spanish, Portuguese, Jewish, or Greek, instead of, or in addition to, Italian. One lonely scholar in the 1930s even wrote that Columbus, because of a square jaw and dirty blond hair in an old portrait, must have been Danish. The consensus, however, is that he was an Italian from outside of Genoa.

So much for his ethnicity. What about his moral standing? In the late 19th century an international movement, led by a French priest, sought to have Columbus canonized for bringing Christianity to the New World. To the Catholic Church’s credit, this never got very far. It sometimes gets overlooked in current discussions that we neither commemorate Columbus’s birthday (as was the practice for Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and as we now do with Martin Luther King, Jr.) nor his death date (which is when Christian saints are memorialized), but rather the date of his arrival in the New World. The historical truth about Columbus—the short version suitable for reporters who are pressed for time—is that Columbus was Italian, but he was no saint.

The holiday marks the event, not the person. What Columbus gets criticized for nowadays are attitudes that were typical of the European sailing captains and merchants who plied the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in the 15th century. Within that group he was unquestionably a man of daring and unusual ambition. But what really mattered was his landing on San Salvador, which was a momentous, world-changing occasion such as has rarely happened in human history. Sounds to me like a pretty good excuse for taking a day off from work.

Voir également:

Study traces origins of syphilis in Europe to New World

New evidence from the jungles of Guyana suggests Christopher Columbus and his crewmates carried syphilis-causing bacteria from America to Europe, triggering a massive epidemic that killed more than five million people there.

The findings — which scientists said are the first attempt to use molecular genetics to address the problem of the origin of the venereal disease — were published Monday in the online journal Public Library of Science/Neglected Tropical Disease.

They suggest that Columbus and his crew of explorers brought the deadly disease back from the New World during their famous voyage in 1492 while a non-sexually transmitted subspecies was already in existence in Renaissance Europe, or the Old World.

The study was based around an exceptionally large specimen provided by Canadian infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Silverman, who leads a medical team into the rainforests of Guyana each year to treat villagers who have virtually no contact with the outside world.

There, he discovered children with ulcer-like lesions on their arms and legs, « just like you get with syphilis but in the wrong place, » he told CBC.

Blood tests confirmed the children had yaws, an infectious skin disease believed to be extinct in the Western Hemisphere, though still present in parts of Africa and southeast Asia.

Yaws is considered the cousin of syphilis as they are both distinct varieties of the same bacterium.

Further testing by researchers in the United States suggested that yaws, in fact, was the elder cousin — an ancient infection that evolved from a harmless skin-to-skin condition of the limbs into a devastating sexually transmitted disease around the time of contact with Europeans.

« They couldn’t really catch it because they had long sleeves, long pants, » Silverman said. « So the only way they could get it, the only time they would expose their skin and might touch somebody was when they dropped their pants to have sex. »

Upon the Europeans’ return, many of them joined the army of Charles VIII in 1495 and invaded Italy. After their victory in Naples, the army — mostly made of mercenaries — returned home and spread syphilis across the Continent, culminating in the Great Pox.

This first outbreak of syphilis, documented just two years after Columbus and his men sailed the ocean blue in 1492, is believed to have killed more than five million Europeans.

« In this case we have an example of a disease that went the other way, from Native Americans to Europeans, » said Dr. Kristin Harper, a researcher in molecular genetics at Atlanta’s Emory University and the principal investigator in the study published Monday.

« So that’s especially interesting, I think. »

Syphilis is usually transmitted through sexual contact and initially results in a painless, open sore or ulcer in the area of exposure. The second stage consists of a rash on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

Left untreated, the disease eventually attacks the heart, eyes and brain and can lead to mental illness, blindness and death.

Voir de plus:

Case Closed? Columbus Introduced Syphilis to Europe

Syphilis was one of the first global diseases, and understanding where it came from and how it spread may help us combat diseases today

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but when he returned from ‘cross the seas, did he bring with him a new disease?

New skeletal evidence suggests Columbus and his crew not only introduced the Old World to the New World, but brought back syphilis as well, researchers say.

Syphilis is caused by Treponema pallidum bacteria, and is usually curable nowadays with antibiotics. Untreated, it can damage the heart, brain, eyes and bones; it can also be fatal.

The first known epidemic of syphilis occurred during the Renaissance in 1495. Initially its plague broke out among the army of Charles the VIII after the French king invaded Naples. It then proceeded to devastate Europe, said researcher George Armelagos, a skeletal biologist at Emory University in Atlanta.

« Syphilis has been around for 500 years, » said researcher Molly Zuckerman at Mississippi State University. « People started debating where it came from shortly afterward, and they haven’t stopped since. It was one of the first global diseases, and understanding where it came from and how it spread may help us combat diseases today. »

Stigmatized disease

The fact that syphilis is a stigmatized sexually transmitted disease has added to the controversy over its origins. People often seem to want to blame some other country for it, said researcher Kristin Harper, an evolutionary biologist at Emory. [Top 10 Stigmatized Health Disorders]

Armelagos originally doubted the so-called Columbian theory for syphilis when he first heard about it decades ago. « I laughed at the idea that a small group of sailors brought back this disease that caused this major European epidemic, » he recalled. Critics of the Columbian theory have proposed that syphilis had always bedeviled the Old World but simply had not been set apart from other rotting diseases such as leprosy until 1500 or so.

However, upon further investigation, Armelagos and his colleagues got a shock — all of the available evidence they found supported the Columbian theory, findings they published in 1988. « It was a paradigm shift, » Armelagos says. Then in 2008, genetic analysis by Armelagos and his collaborators of syphilis’s family of bacteria lent further support to the theory.

Still, there have been reports of 50 skeletons from Europe dating back from before Columbus set sail that apparently showed the lesions of chronic syphilis. These seemed to be evidence that syphilis originated in the Old World and that Columbus was not to blame.

Armelagos and his colleagues took a closer look at all the data from these prior reports. They found most of the skeletal material didn’t actually meet at least one of the standard diagnostic criteria for chronic syphilis, such as pitting on the skull, known as caries sicca, and pitting and swelling of the long bones.

In the seafood?

The 16 reports that did meet the criteria for syphilis came from coastal regions where seafood was a large part of the diet. This seafood contains « old carbon » from deep, upwelling ocean waters. As such, they might fall prey to the so-called « marine reservoir effect » that can throw off radiocarbon dating of a skeleton by hundreds or even thousands of years. To adjust for this effect, the researchers figured out the amount of seafood these individuals ate when alive. Since our bodies constantly break down and rebuild our bones, measurements of bone-collagen protein can provide a record of diet.

« Once we adjusted for the marine signature, all of the skeletons that showed definite signs of treponemal disease appeared to be dated to after Columbus returned to Europe, » Harper said, findings detailed in the current Yearbook of Physical Anthropology.

« What it really shows to me is that globalization of disease is not a modern condition, » Armelagos said. « In 1492, you had the transmission of a number of diseases from Europe that decimated Native Americans, and you also had disease from Native Americans to Europe. »

« The lesson we can learn for today from history is that these epidemics are the result of unrest, » Armelagos added. « With syphilis, wars were going on in Europe at the time, and all the turmoil set the stage for the disease. Nowadays, a lot of diseases jump the species barrier due to environmental unrest. »

« The origin of syphilis is a fascinating, compelling question, » Zuckerman said. « The current evidence is pretty definitive, but we shouldn’t close the book and say we’re done with the subject. The great thing about science is constantly being able to understand things in a new light. »

Of all the bedtime-story versions of American history we teach, the tidy Thanksgiving pageant may be the one stuffed with the heaviest serving of myth. This iconic tale is the main course in our nation’s foundation legend, complete with cardboard cutouts of bow-carrying Native American cherubs and pint-size Pilgrims in black hats with buckles. And legend it largely is.

In fact, what had been a New England seasonal holiday became more of a “national” celebration only during the Civil War, with Lincoln’s proclamation calling for “a day of thanksgiving” in 1863.

That fall, Lincoln had precious little to be thankful for. The Union victory at Gettysburg the previous July had come at a dreadful cost – a combined 51,000 estimated casualties, with nearly 8,000 dead. Enraged by draft laws and emancipation, rioters in Northern cities like New York went on bloody rampages. And the president and his wife, Mary, were still mourning the loss of their 11-year-old son, Willie, who had died the year before.

So it might seem odd that Lincoln chose this moment to announce a national day of thanksgiving, to be marked on the last Thursday in November. His Oct. 3, 1863, proclamation read: “In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity … peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict.”

But it took another year for the day to really catch hold. In 1864 Lincoln issued a second proclamation, which read, “I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust.” Around the same time, the heads of Union League clubs – Theodore Roosevelt’s father among them – led an effort to provide a proper Thanksgiving meal, including turkey and mince pies, for Union troops. As the Civil War raged on, four steamers sailed out of New York laden with 400,000 pounds of ham, canned peaches, apples and cakes – and turkeys with all the trimmings. They arrived at Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters in City Point, Va., then one of the busiest ports in the world, to deliver dinner to the Union’s “gallant soldiers and sailors.”

This Thanksgiving delivery was an unprecedented effort – a huge fund-raising and food-collection drive. One soldier said, “It isn’t the turkey, but the idea we care for.”

The good people of nearby Petersburg, Va., had no turkey. Surrounded and besieged by Grant’s armies since June, they were lucky to eat at all. The local flocks of pigeons had all mysteriously disappeared and “starvation parties” were a form of mordant entertainment in this once cosmopolitan town.

What prompted Lincoln to issue these proclamations – the first two in an unbroken string of presidential Thanksgiving proclamations – is uncertain. He was not the first president to do so. George Washington and James Madison had earlier issued “thanksgiving” proclamations, calling for somber days of prayer. Perhaps Lincoln saw an opportunity to underscore shared American traditions – a theme found in the “mystic chords of memory” stretching from “every patriot grave” in his first inaugural.

Or he may have been responding to the passionate entreaties of Sara Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book – the Good Housekeeping of its day. Hale, who contributed to American folkways as the author of “Mary had a Little Lamb,” had been advocating in the magazine for a national day of Thanksgiving since 1837. Even as many states had begun to observe Thanksgiving, she wrote in 1860, “It will no longer be a partial and vacillating commemoration of our gratitude to our Heavenly Father, observed in one section or State, while other portions of our common country do not sympathize in the gratitude and gladness.”

So how did the lore of that Pilgrim repast get connected to Lincoln’s wartime proclamations?

The Plymouth “first Thanksgiving” dates from an October 1621 harvest celebration, an event at which the surviving passengers of the Mayflower – about half of the approximately 100 on board — were able to mark their communal harvest with a shared feast. By the account of the Pilgrim leader Edward Winslow, this event was no simple sit-down dinner, but a three-day revel. “Amongst other recreations,” Winslow wrote, “we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation.”

There is nothing novel or uniquely American — and nothing especially “Pilgrim”– about giving thanks for a successful harvest. Certainly it has been done by people throughout history and surely by earlier Europeans in America as well as Native Americans.

But New Englanders, who had long marked a Founders Day as a celebration of the Pilgrim and Puritan arrivals, began to move across America and took this tradition – and their singular version of history — with them. Essentially a churchgoing day with a meal that followed, the celebration of that legendary feast gradually evolved into the Thanksgiving we know.

Eventually, it was commingled with Lincoln’s first proclamation. During the post-Civil War period, the iconic Thanksgiving meal and the connection to the Pilgrims were cemented in the popular imagination, through artistic renderings of black-cloaked, churchgoing, gun-toting Puritans, a militant, faithful past that most likely rang familiar for many Civil War Americans.

But one crucial piece remained: The elevation of Thanksgiving to a true national holiday, a feat accomplished by Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1939, with the nation still struggling out of the Great Depression, the traditional Thanksgiving Day fell on the last day of the month – a fifth Thursday. Worried retailers, for whom the holiday had already become the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season, feared this late date. Roosevelt agreed to move his holiday proclamation up one week to the fourth Thursday, thereby extending the critical shopping season.

Some states stuck to the traditional last Thursday date, and other Thanksgiving traditions, such as high school and college football championships, had already been scheduled. This led to Roosevelt critics deriding the earlier date as “Franksgiving.” With 32 states joining Roosevelt’s “Democratic Thanksgiving, ” 16 others stuck with the traditional date, or “Republican Thanksgiving.” After some congressional wrangling, in December 1941, Roosevelt signed the legislation making Thanksgiving a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. And there it has remained.


Kenneth C. Davis is the author of “Don’t Know Much About History” and “America’s Hidden History.” His forthcoming book, “The Hidden History of America At War: Untold Tales from Yorktown to Fallujah,” includes an account of the siege of Petersburg, Va.

Voir par ailleurs:

The Cowardly Incoherence of Name-Changing, Statue-Toppling, and other Iconoclasms

 

 

 

 

A few activists succeed in demonizing Father Serra and removing a mission bell, but progressives still want the names ‘Stanford’ and ‘Yale’ on their résumés.My undergraduate alma mater, UC Santa Cruz, recently agreed to remove a mission bell donated years ago by a local women’s club.

The university ceded to the wishes of one Valentin Lopez. He is the chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.

Val brought forth concerns to us about the symbolism of the bell. He spoke of the historical injustices and oppression that the bell represents to the Amah Mutsun and indigenous populations. It was such a compelling statement of impact and I am pleased we have been able to work in partnership with them on the removal. Our students have also given voice to the need to remove the bell.

So said Sarah Latham, vice chancellor for business and administrative services at UCSC.

The triumphant Lopez added, “These bells are deeply painful symbols that celebrate the destruction, domination and erasure of our people. They are constant reminders of the disrespect our tribe faces to this day.” Latham offered no clarification about the definition of “students have also given voice,” in terms of numbers of students or votes. Neither the taxpayers of the state-funded institution nor the alumni were surveyed. Apparently, no one wondered, while considering the list of impediments to the progress of Native Americans, just how high an offending bell at UC Santa Cruz ranks.

About the same time, at San Francisco’s Washington High School, it was announced that an 83-year-old mural chronicling George Washington’s life was slated to be removed, destroyed, or covered up, owing to “accusations of racism.”

Yet the artist, Victor Arnautoff, was a leftist who in 1936 had sought to offer a realistic view of what he thought was a flawed American history. No matter. The school board caved to the objections of one Virginia Marshall, apparent spokesperson for “the Alliance of Black School Educators,” who demanded the removal: “It is a racist mural. My history should not be racist but it is. I came from slaves.”

Apparently thus spoke Zarathustra. And, presto, the board of education then caved, vowing to find the $375,000 to $825,000 to Trotskyize the mural and please Virginia Marshall.

No one meekly suggested that perhaps 20 to 30 annual tutors might be hired for the same sum to address any perceived asymmetries in comparative school achievement. A cynic might add that there are greater challenges to achieving parity for black public-school students than a historic mural. (I would suggest either recalling the school board, providing more vouchers and access to charter schools, or inculcating a new ethos among wealthy progressives that would lead them to enroll their children in inner-city public schools and match their elevated rhetoric with concrete reality.)

These examples of destruction or removal could easily be multiplied. My graduate alma mater and current employer, Stanford University, recently removed the name of Father Junipero Serra from two buildings and a mall on campus. Yet to avoid too much disruption (and perhaps to allay fears of alumni donors), it did not erase all things referencing the now odious Serra from other more recognizable streets and places.

As Stanford put it, describing the deplatformed and defriended Father Serra: As founder of the missions of early California, he was responsible for “harmful and violent impacts of the mission system on Native Americans, including through forced labor, forced living arrangements and corporal punishment.”

Epidemics of iconoclasm (from the Greek “breaking of icons”) erupt often throughout history, usually but not always in a religious context. And is not political correctness our era’s version of religion?

In our own time, we remember the Taliban’s recent destruction of the monumental sixth-century “Buddhas of Bamiyan” statues in Afghanistan, or the torching of priceless manuscripts in Timbuktu by Mali Islamists. The arguments for such destruction were not unfamiliar to American leftists and identity-politics activists: Such icons were hurtful to particular marginalized groups and an affront to their dignity and therefore must vanish.

The destruction of pictures, books, statues, and icons occurred periodically during Byzantine, Catholic, and Protestant church history, and was usually marked spurts of religious fanaticism, intolerance, and fear. Indeed, in early Byzantine history, iconoclasm was in part driven by frontier Christian towns, terrified that Constantinople’s use of ubiquitous symbols of Christ and Church fathers might provoke their neighboring Muslim adversaries into violence. We forget the role of fear and cowardice in iconoclasm, ancient and modern.

Politics of the day of course often determined who or what was defaced or destroyed. Yesterday’s deified Roman emperor was today’s persona non grata. Recently deceased Roman grandees suffered damnatio memoriae (damnation of memory) and so, Soviet-style, had their faces erased from stone imagery — albeit sometimes bodies were left intact as a money-saving gesture, in perhaps history’s first example of the efficacy of interchangeable parts.

French revolutionaries, like our modern iconoclasts who topple statues of Confederate soldiers in the night, often went wild destroying monuments, portraits, and names affiliated with the Ancien Régime and the Catholic Church. Like frontier posses who stormed jails to lynch detained suspects, such gangs often relied on numbers and darkness.

When I lived in Greece, it became a parlor game in my Athenian neighborhood to count how many time nocturnal political vandals would chop off the bronze head of the Harry Truman statue. His apparent sins at that time were that, years earlier, he had funneled American money to war-torn impoverished Greece and thus curtained its chance of enjoying the benefits of Soviet Communism with its Balkan neighbors of the era. Since then, poor twelve-foot bronze Harry has been guillotined, graffitied, painted, bombed, and toppled, according to the current anti-American gripe of the day.

So iconoclasm of the past and our current social-justice statue-topplers, aggrieved name-changers, and angry image-removers are often predictable. Here are a few of the rules of their ancient and modern wars on the past.

Undemocratic

The agitators are never democratic and rarely act with any popular mandate or consensus. UC Santa Cruz did not hold a referendum to see whether Valentin Lopez enjoyed majority student, much less community, support. Many in the Latino community, as traditional Catholics, might hold a more balanced view of Father Serra, given the crowds of present-day tourists and worshipers who daily frequent the California missions. That demographic fact may be why an otherwise hyper-political and often unhinged California state government apparently does not dare rename, remodel, or close down the touristy missions.

Instead, in most cases, bureaucrats simply react to the loudest and most bothersome agitation. Their assumption is that political activists can easily smear their résumés, while the silent majority of citizens is mostly too busy to object and will not rally en masse to their sobriety.

Bureaucratic and Careerist

When the wild demands of a few are made to destroy this or rename that, the race is on among administrators, bureaucrats, and careerist state officials to appease rapidly, and in the most unctuous fashion, usually by employing bureaucratese such as “harmful” and “hurtful” and “impacts” — without any real research into the complexities of the history in question, which so often is paradoxically tragic rather than simplistically melodramatic. Anyone who has served on a dean or provost’s search committee will be familiar with the embarrassing boilerplate letter from the applicant that references his past progressive dexterity in caving to such demands, the more obsequiously the better for future advancement.

Opportunistic and Selective

Rarely do the revisionists who wage war on history offer any rational and systematic agenda for their otherwise spontaneous tantrums. Father Serra is a demon because his views of civilization included transforming California from a sparsely populated land of impoverished native peoples into a Catholic outpost of the Spanish Empire, to be supposedly enriched by faith, commerce, agriculture, communications, and literacy — an agenda that included coercive beating and cultural transformation.

But is Father Serra a Hitlerian figure to his contemporary enemies or just a nuisance? Translated, does that mean Lopez is satisfied that he gets credit for removing one obscure bell at UC Santa Cruz, when there are still hundreds of such iconic bells dotting the ancient El Camino Real that joined the missions? Would he be willing to take on much of the working classes of the California Latino community who may feel that Serra’s legacy enhances their religious heritage and whose anachronistic ideas of “progress,” mutatis mutandis, nonetheless helped make California the sort of place that was preferable to, say, Oaxaca and thus worth risking one’s life to cross the border to reach?

Stanford justifies its selective Father Serra name-changing by citing the “violent impacts” of his “forced labor, forced living arrangements and corporal punishment.”

How rich the vocabulary, given that many social reformers of the last 150 years have targeted Leland Stanford himself — maligned as the “robber baron” and “Big Four” schemer, founder and donor of Leland Stanford Jr. University — with precisely that allegation. The usual writ is that Stanford brutally imported Asian laborers as construction workers in his vast railroad archipelago. He wrote freely about their racial inferiority, and he exploited them mercilessly as he built a vast fortune, much of it central to founding the university that now bears both his son’s and, by extension, his own family name.

When I was a graduate student in 1975, undergraduates (at least then far less hypocritical than their contemporary descendants) voted to rename their own university mascot from “Indians” to “Robber Barons,” a plebiscite whose results were quickly nullified by administrators.

In the pantheon of race, class, and gender villains, many historians might rank Stanford as a Serra coequal who justified his civilizing mission in terms of breaking eggs to make an omelet.

To be consistent, Stanford University might at least decide whether or not Serra nomenclature is toxic, rather than selectively blotting out a rarer Serra reference here and there on the theory that students will be pacified by a morsel of politically correct iconoclasm while gift-giving alums might go ballistic at a politically correct feast. Certainly, Stanfordites would not welcome any name change of their beloved Junipero Serra Boulevard that runs through campus; otherwise, it logically might be the best virtue-signaled target of Stanford political correctness.

Note that the university is no more likely to change the name of Stanford to something like Amah Mutsun University to rectify the theft of indigenous peoples’ lands than Yale University is willing to give up the names of its slave-owning founders. The selective outrage is not just because old white Neanderthal alumni love going to Yale or Stanford iconic football games, but rather because tens of thousands of woke nonwhite students and alumni are proud of their tony “Yale” and “Stanford” diplomas. They are not about to destroy their career investments in such a brand name on the altar of systematic and coherent politically correct name-changing.

Left-Wing

The new iconoclasm is almost as exclusively progressive in the West as it is reactionary in the contemporary Muslim world. But the common thread, past and present, East and West, to epidemics of name-changing, statue-smashing, and mural-erasing is political opportunism fueled by fear and careerist anxiety.

Certainly — in the age of #MeToo and heightened awareness of the lifelong damage to women from rape, sexual harassment, and asymmetrical sexual relationships fueled by an imbalance of power — no one is suggesting that thousands of local and state boulevards that were renamed Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1970s should now retransition, given recent disturbing revelations that King might have allowed a rape to occur in his presence, was a serial philanderer, and often, under today’s definitions, pressured sex from younger and more vulnerable females.

No one would dare suggest that feminist icon Margaret Sanger’s name be removed from awards, dinners, or monuments, given that by any modern standard she would be classified as a racist eugenicist. She saw abortion on demand, at least partly, as a way of limiting the growth of perceived nonwhite populations. The disproportionate number of African Americans aborted through the agency of Sanger’s legacy, Planned Parenthood, seems a logical consequence of her founding ideology.

In my hometown, I certainly have not demanded that the city council remove what I see as a somewhat offensive statue of the Aztec goddess Coatlicue. She is usually portrayed as a hideous clawed mother goddess, decked out in writhing serpents, with a grotesque necklace of dangling human hearts, skulls, and hands. She was an unforgiving goddess for whom tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and especially children, many of them indigenous peoples enslaved by the Aztecs, were sacrificed. Why honor such a monster?

In such a vein, one could argue that the San Diego State “Aztecs” glorify triumphalist imperialist mass murderers, even more than the supposedly offensively named Washington Redskins do. Immigrants from Oaxaca and southern Mexico are as likely to be descendants from Tlaxcala, which resisted the Aztec Empire, as they are descendants of the Aztecs themselves. So they could be the progeny of people targeted for extinction and human sacrifice by a neighboring fascist imperialist bully.

The truth is that once the statue-smasher and name-changer gets a free hand, we should expect no logic, no respite from zealotry and bigotry. He operates from emotion, not reason, and his currency is intimidation, not persuasion, consistency, and coherence — when no official is willing to just say “No!” Taking down a mural of George Washington makes about as much sense as erasing all the thousands of streets and statues named for Caesar Chavez, who at times operated hand in glove with a nightmarish Synanon cult to denigrate his own members (“Every time we look at them, they want more money,” Chavez said in 1977, complaining about farm workers. “Like pigs, you know. Here we’re slaving, and we’re starving and the goddamn workers don’t give a shit about anything.”) 

Chavez sent his union goons down to the border to beat up, intimidate, and force back illegal aliens whom he derided as scab laborers dangerous to the unionizing efforts of his familial union empire. Pressed on his derogatory use of “illegals” and treatment of the undocumented, he scoffed, “No, a spade’s a spade. You guys get these hang-ups. Goddamn it, how do we build a union? They’re wets, you know. They’re wets, and let’s go after them.” In comparison, Father Serra might seem to some benign.

The insanity that we are witnessing has little or nothing to do with icons that institutionalize disparities or impede social justice. Iconoclasm is about power — and the psychological lift that comes with exercising it.


Populisme: Avez-vous lu Lasch ? (Uprootedness uproots everything except the need for roots)

23 juillet, 2019

Image may contain: 4 people, text
Image may contain: 4 people, text

Yoram Hazony (2) : les impérialistes de l’UE contre les nationalistes européens
Toi qui as fixé les frontières, dressé les bornes de la terre, tu as créé l’été, l’hiver !  Psaumes 74: 17
La vertu même devient vice, étant mal appliquée, et le vice est parfois ennobli par l’action. Frère Laurent (Roméo et Juliette, Shakespeare)
Un peuple connait, aime et défend toujours plus ses moeurs que ses lois. Montesquieu
Aux États-Unis, les plus opulents citoyens ont bien soin de ne point s’isoler du peuple ; au contraire, ils s’en rapprochent sans cesse, ils l’écoutent volontiers et lui parlent tous les jours. Ils savent que les riches des démocraties ont toujours besoin des pauvres et que, dans les temps démocratiques, on s’attache le pauvre par les manières plus que par les bienfaits. La grandeur même des bienfaits, qui met en lumière la différence des conditions, cause une irritation secrète à ceux qui en profitent; mais la simplicité des manières a des charmes presque irrésistibles : leur familiarité entraîne et leur grossièreté même ne déplaît pas toujours. Ce n’est pas du premier coup que cette vérité pénètre dans l’esprit des riches. Ils y résistent d’ordinaire tant que dure la révolution démocratique, et ils ne l’abandonnent même point aussitôt après que cette révolution est accomplie. Ils consentent volontiers à faire du bien au peuple ; mais ils veulent continuer à le tenir à distance. Ils croient que cela suffit ; ils se trompent. Ils se ruineraient ainsi sans réchauffer le coeur de la population qui les environne. Ce n’est pas le sacrifice de leur argent qu’elle leur demande; c’est celui de leur orgueil. Tocqueville
La bourgeoisie ne peut exister sans révolutionner constamment les instruments de production et donc les rapports de production, c’est-à-dire l’ensemble des rapports sociaux. Le maintien sans changement de l’ancien mode de production était, au contraire, pour toutes les classes industrielles antérieures, la condition première de leur existence. Ce bouleversement continuel de la production, ce constant ébranlement de toutes les conditions sociales, cette agitation et cette insécurité perpétuelles distinguent l’époque bourgeoise de toutes les précédentes. Tous les rapports sociaux stables et figés, avec leur cortège de conceptions et d’idées traditionnelles et vénérables, se dissolvent ; les rapports nouvellement établis vieillissent avant d’avoir pu s’ossifier. Tout élément de hiérarchie sociale et de stabilité d’une caste s’en va en fumée, tout ce qui était sacré est profané, et les hommes sont enfin forcés d’envisager leur situation sociale, leurs relations mutuelles d’un regard lucide. Karl Marx (Manifeste du parti communiste, 1848)
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
Condamner le nationalisme parce qu’il peut mener à la guerre, c’est comme condamner l’amour parce qu’il peut conduire au meurtre. C.K. Chesterton
Il faut constamment se battre pour voir ce qui se trouve au bout de son nez. George Orwell
Le plus difficile n’est pas de dire ce que l’on voit mais d’accepter de voir ce que l’on voit. Charles Péguy
L’enracinement est peut-être le besoin le plus important et le plus méconnu de l’âme humaine. C’est un des plus difficiles à définir. Un être humain a une racine par sa participation réelle, active et naturelle à l’existence d’une collectivité qui conserve vivants certains trésors du passé et certains pressentiments d’avenir. Participation naturelle, c’est-à-dire amenée automatiquement par le lieu, la naissance, la profession, l’entourage. Chaque être humain a besoin d’avoir de multiples racines. Il a besoin de recevoir la presque totalité de sa vie morale, intellectuelle, spirituelle, par l’intermédiaire des milieux dont il fait naturellement partie. Simone Weil (1943)
Nous apprenons à nous sentir responsable d’autrui parce que nous partageons avec eux une histoire commune, un destin commun. Robert Reich
Sade imaginait une utopie sexuelle où chacun avait le droit de posséder n’importe qui ; des êtres humains, réduits à leurs organes sexuels, deviennent alors rigoureusement anonymes et interchangeables. Sa société idéale réaffirmait ainsi le principe capitaliste selon lequel hommes et femmes ne sont, en dernière analyse, que des objets d’échange. Elle incorporait également et poussait jusqu’à une surprenante et nouvelle conclusion la découverte de Hobbes, qui affirmait que la destruction du paternalisme et la subordination de toutes les relations sociales aux lois du marché avaient balayé les dernières restrictions à la guerre de tous contre tous, ainsi que les illusions apaisantes qui masquaient celle-ci. Dans l’état d’anarchie qui en résultait, le plaisir devenait la seule activité vitale, comme Sade fut le premier à le comprendre — un plaisir qui se confond avec le viol, le meurtre et l’agression sans freins. Dans une société qui réduirait la raison à un simple calcul, celle-ci ne saurait imposer aucune limite à la poursuite du plaisir, ni à la satisfaction immédiate de n’importe quel désir, aussi pervers, fou, criminel ou simplement immoral qu’il fût. En effet, comment condamner le crime ou la cruauté, sinon à partir de normes ou de critères qui trouvent leurs origines dans la religion, la compassion ou dans une conception de la raison qui rejette des pratiques purement instrumentales ? Or, aucune de ces formes de pensée ou de sentiment n’a de place logique dans une société fondée sur la production de marchandises. Christopher Lasch
Nous ne pouvons pas faire de distinction dans les droits, que ce soit la PMA, la GPA ou l’adoption. Moi, je suis pour toutes les libertés. Louer son ventre pour faire un enfant ou louer ses bras pour travailler à l’usine, quelle différence ? C’est faire un distinguo qui est choquant. Pierre Bergé
Il n’y a pas d’identité fondamentale, pas de courant dominant, au Canada. Il y a des valeurs partagées — ouverture, compassion, la volonté de travailler fort, d’être là l’un pour l’autre, de chercher l’égalité et la justice. Ces qualités sont ce qui fait de nous le premier État postnational. Justin Trudeau
Vous allez dans certaines petites villes de Pennsylvanie où, comme ans beaucoup de petites villes du Middle West, les emplois ont disparu depuis maintenant 25 ans et n’ont été remplacés par rien d’autre (…) Et il n’est pas surprenant qu’ils deviennent pleins d’amertume, qu’ils s’accrochent aux armes à feu ou à la religion, ou à leur antipathie pour ceux qui ne sont pas comme eux, ou encore à un sentiment d’hostilité envers les immigrants. Barack Hussein Obama (2008)
. Pour la première fois de ma vie d’adulte, je suis fière de mon pays. Michelle Obama
Pour généraliser, en gros, vous pouvez placer la moitié des partisans de Trump dans ce que j’appelle le panier des pitoyables. Les racistes, sexistes, homophobes, xénophobes, islamophobes. A vous de choisir. Hillary Clinton (2016)
On vous demande une carte blanche, et vous salissez l’adversaire, et vous proférez des mensonges. Votre projet, c’est de salir, c’est de mener une campagne de falsifications, de vivre de la peur et des mensonges. La France que je veux vaut beaucoup mieux que ça. Il faut sortir d’un système qui vous a coproduit. Vous en vivez. Vous êtes son parasite. L’inefficacité des politiques de droite et de gauche, c’est l’extrême droite qui s’en nourrit. Je veux mener la politique qui n’a jamais été menée ces trente dernières années. Emmanuel Macron (2017)
Le patriotisme est l’exact contraire du nationalisme. Le nationalisme en est sa trahison. Emmanuel Macron
Les démocrates radicaux veulent remonter le temps, rendre de nouveau le pouvoir aux mondialistes corrompus et avides de pouvoir. Vous savez qui sont les mondialistes? Le mondialiste est un homme qui veut qu’il soit bon de vivre dans le monde entier sans, pour dire le vrai, se soucier de notre pays. Cela ne nous convient pas. (…) Vous savez, il y a un terme devenu démodé dans un certain sens, ce terme est « nationaliste ». Mais vous savez qui je suis? Je suis un nationaliste. OK? Je suis nationaliste. Saisissez-vous de ce terme! Donald Trump
I think it’s very unfortunate. (…) it’s almost like they’re embarrassed at the achievement coming from America. I think it’s a terrible thing. (…) because when you think of Neil Armstrong and when you think about the landing on the moon, you think about the American flag. And I understand they don’t do it. So for that reason I wouldn’t even want to watch the movie. (…) I don’t want to get into the world of boycotts. Same thing with Nike. I wouldn’t say you don’t buy Nike because of the Colin Kaepernick. I mean, look, as much as I disagree, as an example, with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way, I wouldn’t have done it. In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people may think you shouldn’t do. So you know, I personally am on a different side of it, you guys are probably too, I’m on a different side of it. Donald Trump
Nous n’avons pas besoin de visages basanés qui ne veulent pas être une voix basanée. Nous n’avons pas besoin de visages noirs qui ne veulent pas être une voix noire. Nous n’avons pas besoin de musulmans qui ne veulent pas être une voix musulmane. Nous n’avons pas besoin d’homos qui ne veulent pas être une voix homo. Si vous craignez d’être marginalisé et stéréotypé, ne vous présentez même pas, nous n’avons pas besoin de vous pour représenter cette voix. Ayanna Pressley (représentante démocrate, Massachusetts)
So apparently Donald Trump wants to make this an election about what it means to be American. He’s got his vision of what it means to be American, and he’s challenging the rest of us to come up with a better one. In Trump’s version, “American” is defined by three propositions. First, to be American is to be xenophobic. The basic narrative he tells is that the good people of the heartland are under assault from aliens, elitists and outsiders. Second, to be American is to be nostalgic. America’s values were better during some golden past. Third, a true American is white. White Protestants created this country; everybody else is here on their sufferance. When you look at Trump’s American idea you realize that it contradicts the traditional American idea in every particular. In fact, Trump’s national story is much closer to the Russian national story than it is toward our own. It’s an alien ideology he’s trying to plant on our soil. ​ Trump’s vision is radically anti-American.​ The real American idea is not xenophobic, nostalgic or racist; it is pluralistic, future-oriented and universal. America is exceptional precisely because it is the only nation on earth that defines itself by its future, not its past. America is exceptional because from the first its citizens saw themselves in a project that would have implications for all humankind. America is exceptional because it was launched with a dream to take the diverse many and make them one — e pluribus unum.​ (…) Trump’s campaign is an attack on that dream. The right response is to double down on that ideal. The task before us is to create the most diverse mass democracy in the history of the planet — a true universal nation. It is precisely to weave the social fissures that Trump is inclined to tear. David Brooks
In the matter of immigration, mark this conservative columnist down as strongly pro-deportation. The United States has too many people who don’t work hard, don’t believe in God, don’t contribute much to society and don’t appreciate the greatness of the American system. They need to return whence they came. I speak of Americans whose families have been in this country for a few generations. Complacent, entitled and often shockingly ignorant on basic points of American law and history, they are the stagnant pool in which our national prospects risk drowning.​ (…) Bottom line: So-called real Americans are screwing up America. Maybe they should leave, so that we can replace them with new and better ones: newcomers who are more appreciative of what the United States has to offer, more ambitious for themselves and their children, and more willing to sacrifice for the future. In other words, just the kind of people we used to be — when “we” had just come off the boat.​ O.K., so I’m jesting about deporting “real Americans” en masse. (Who would take them in, anyway?) But then the threat of mass deportations has been no joke with this administration.​ On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security seemed prepared to extend an Obama administration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which allows the children of illegal immigrants — some 800,000 people in all — to continue to study and work in the United States. The decision would have reversed one of Donald Trump’s ugly campaign threats to deport these kids, whose only crime was to have been brought to the United States by their parents. Yet the administration is still committed to deporting their parents, and on Friday the D.H.S. announced that even DACA remains under review — another cruel twist for young immigrants wondering if they’ll be sent back to “home” countries they hardly ever knew, and whose language they might barely even speak.​ Beyond the inhumanity of toying with people’s lives this way, there’s also the shortsightedness of it. We do not usually find happiness by driving away those who would love us. Businesses do not often prosper by firing their better employees and discouraging job applications. So how does America become great again by berating and evicting its most energetic, enterprising, law-abiding, job-creating, idea-generating, self-multiplying and God-fearing people?​ Because I’m the child of immigrants and grew up abroad, I have always thought of the United States as a country that belongs first to its newcomers — the people who strain hardest to become a part of it because they realize that it’s precious; and who do the most to remake it so that our ideas, and our appeal, may stay fresh.​ That used to be a cliché, but in the Age of Trump it needs to be explained all over again. We’re a country of immigrants — by and for them, too. Americans who don’t get it should get out.​ Bret Stephens
Très intéressant de voir des élues démocrates du Congrès, “progressistes”, qui viennent originellement de pays dont les gouvernements sont des catastrophes complètes et absolues, les pires, les plus corrompus et les plus ineptes du monde (si tant est qu’on puisse parler de gouvernement) et qui maintenant clament férocement au peuple des États-Unis, la plus grande et la plus puissante nation du monde, comment notre gouvernement doit être dirigé. Pourquoi ne retournent-elles pas d’où elles viennent, pour aider à réparer ces lieux totalement dévastés et infestés par le crime ? Puis, qu’elles reviennent et qu’elles nous montrent comment elles ont fait. Ces endroits ont bigrement besoin de votre aide, vous n’y partirez jamais trop vite. Je suis sûr que Nancy Pelosi serait très heureuse d’organiser rapidement un voyage gratuit ! Donald Trump
N’en déplaise aux chiens de garde de la pensée unique, il n’y a rien de choquant dans ce texte. Trump ne critique ni des peuples ni des cultures, mais des gouvernements. Il mentionne des « élues démocrates », mais sans les citer nommément. Quant à ce qu’elles partent à l’étranger redresser ces pays qui sont à les entendre tellement mieux que les États-Unis, il ne s’agit pas d’un exil, puisqu’il mentionne explicitement qu’elles en reviennent. La seule flèche réelle est à l’encontre de Mme Pelosi, qui a le plus grand mal à tenir les rênes de ses troupes démocrates à la Chambre des Représentants. (…) Quatre élues démocrates se sentirent donc indignées par ces tweets: Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts) et Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), et Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York). Trois d’entre elles ne correspondent même pas au portrait brossé par Trump puisqu’elles sont nées aux États-Unis, mais qu’importe, les médias se chargent de tous les raccourcis. (…) Ayanna Pressley déclencha une polémique il y a quelques jours par une vision de la société uniquement basée sur l’appartenance raciale, religieuse ou sexuelle, soit l’exact opposé du melting pot américain (…) Pour Mme Pressley, quelqu’un est blanc ou noir avant d’être Américain. Rashida Tlaib, qui grandit dans le paradis socialiste du Nicaragua, devint la première élue musulmane du Michigan. Ce qui n’est pas en soi un problème, si ce n’est qu’elle se fit remarquer dès son arrivée au Congrès par de nombreuses attaques antisémites. Elle traita également Trump de « fils de pute » dans sa première déclaration officielle, ce qui donne le niveau de finesse de la dame. Sur la carte du monde dans son bureau, elle recouvrit Israël avec un Post-It sur lequel il était marqué « Palestine ». Elle soutient l’organisation de promotion de l’islam CAIR, proche des Frères Musulmans. Bref, elle affiche clairement son allégeance (…) Ilhan Omar est née en Somalie et avoua en public son allégeance somalienne. Son statut civil est délicat: des rumeurs persistantes affirme qu’aurait pu être mariée à son propre frère pour s’installer aux États-Unis. Elle est en délicatesse avec le fisc américain pour de fausses déclarations fiscales. Politiquement, elle se fit remarquer par son indifférence à l’égard des attentats du 11 septembre 2001 (rien de plus pour elle que « des gens ont fait quelque chose ») mais surjoua son émotion à l’évocation de l’opération de secours « Black Hawk Down » où des soldats américains virent libérer un des leurs dans un hélicoptère abattu dans une mission de maintien de la paix. Enfin, elle refuse toujours de condamner publiquement Al-Qaeda (…) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez est la plus souvent mise en avant par les médias, au point d’avoir son abréviation AOC. Issue d’une riche famille de New-York, elle travailla brièvement comme serveuse (permettant de donner corps à ses « humbles débuts » dans son récit personnel) avant d’embrasser la carrière politique. Depuis son élection, son radicalisme de gauche et ses délires utopiques montrent à quel point elle est coupée de la réalité. Ses sorties plongent régulièrement les responsables démocrates dans l’embarras. Elle réussit à faire fuir Amazon qui envisageait de s’installer à New York, perdant ainsi l’opportunité de créer 25’000 emplois, un exploit remarqué. Sans-frontiériste convaincue et imbue de son image, elle se fit aussi photographier dans une poignante séquence où elle pleure face à une clôture grillagée… Le tout étant en fait une mise en scène dans un parking vide. (…) Avec des rivales comme celles-ci, Trump pourrait dormir sur ses deux oreilles pour 2020. Leur bêtise et leur extrémisme fait fuir les électeurs centristes et provoque des remous jusque dans le camp démocrate. (…) Trump n’a que faire des accusations de racisme ; il est traité de raciste cent fois par semaine depuis qu’il est Président. De leur côté, les stratèges démocrates sont on ne peut plus embarrassés par leurs « étoiles montantes ». Nancy Pelosi essayait depuis plusieurs semaines de diminuer leur exposition médiatique dans l’espoir de restaurer un semblant de crédibilité au Parti Démocrate pour l’échéance de 2020 ; tout vient de voler en éclat. Les médias ne s’intéressent même plus aux candidats à l’investiture présidentielle. Seules comptent les réactions et les invectives des élues d’extrême-gauche. Pire encore, par réaction, les autres Démocrates ont été contraints de s’aligner avec elles pour prendre leur défense – augmentant encore l’alignement du parti avec ces extrémistes repoussantes pour qui n’est pas un militant d’extrême-gauche. En poussant le Parti Démocrate dans les cordes de l’extrême-gauche comme il le fait, Trump s’assure que les Démocrates passent pour des fous et des illuminés sans la moindre crédibilité. Les glapissements hystériques d’AOC, la vulgarité antisémite de Rashida Tlaib, l’obsession raciale de Ayanna Pressley et la sympathie affichée d’Ilhan Omar pour les islamistes auront tôt fait de détourner les Américains modérés de se rendre aux urnes pour chasser « l’ignoble Trump » du pouvoir – lui sur lequel il n’y a plus grand-chose à ajouter tant les médias lui envoient quotidiennement du fumier depuis trois ans. Stéphane Montabert
Obama est le premier président américain élevé sans attaches culturelles, affectives ou intellectuelles avec la Grande-Bretagne ou l’Europe. Les Anglais et les Européens ont été tellement enchantés par le premier président américain noir qu’ils n’ont pu voir ce qu’il est vraiment: le premier président américain du Tiers-Monde. The Daily Mail
Culturellement, Obama déteste la Grande-Bretagne. Il a renvoyé le buste de Churchill sans la moindre feuille de vigne d’une excuse. Il a insulté la Reine et le Premier ministre en leur offrant les plus insignifiants des cadeaux. A un moment, il a même refusé de rencontrer le Premier ministre. Dr James Lucier (ancien directeur du comité des Affaire étrangères du sénat américain)
We want our country back ! Marion Maréchal
La jeune génération n’est pas encouragée à aimer notre héritage. On leur lave le cerveau en leur faisant honte de leur pays. (…) Nous, Français, devons nous battre pour notre indépendance. Nous ne pouvons plus choisir notre politique économique ou notre politique d’immigration et même notre diplomatie. Notre liberté est entre les mains de l’Union européenne. (…) Notre liberté est maintenant entre les mains de cette institution qui est en train de tuer des nations millénaires. Je vis dans un pays où 80%, vous m’avez bien entendu, 80% des lois sont imposées par l’Union européenne. Après 40 ans d’immigration massive, de lobbyisme islamique et de politiquement correct, la France est en train de passer de fille aînée de l’Eglise à petite nièce de l’islam. On entend maintenant dans le débat public qu’on a le droit de commander un enfant sur catalogue, qu’on a le droit de louer le ventre d’une femme, qu’on a le droit de priver un enfant d’une mère ou d’un père. (…) Aujourd’hui, même les enfants sont devenus des marchandises (…) Un enfant n’est pas un droit (…) Nous ne voulons pas de ce monde atomisé, individualiste, sans sexe, sans père, sans mère et sans nation. (…) Nous devons faire connaitre nos idées aux médias et notre culture, pour stopper la domination des libéraux et des socialistes. C’est la raison pour laquelle j’ai lancé une école de sciences politiques. (…) Nous devons faire connaitre nos idées aux médias et notre culture, pour stopper la domination des libéraux et des socialistes. C’est la raison pour laquelle j’ai lancé une école de sciences politiques. (…) La Tradition n’est pas la vénération des cendres, elle est la passation du feu. (…)Je ne suis pas offensée lorsque j’entends le président Donald Trump dire ‘l’Amérique d’abord’. En fait, je veux l’Amérique d’abord pour le peuple américain, je veux la Grande-Bretagne d’abord pour le peuple britannique et je veux la France d’abord pour le peuple français. Comme vous, nous voulons reprendre le contrôle de notre pays. Vous avez été l’étincelle, il nous appartient désormais de nourrir la flamme conservatrice. Marion Maréchal
Tout racisme est un essentialisme et le racisme de l’intelligence est la forme de sociodicée caractéristique d’une classe dominante dont le pouvoir repose en partie sur la possession de titres qui, comme les titres scolaires, sont censés être des garanties d’intelligence et qui ont pris la place, dans beaucoup de sociétés, et pour l’accès même aux positions de pouvoir économique, des titres anciens comme les titres de propriété et les titres de noblesse. Pierre Bourdieu
« Pourquoi la Suède est-elle devenue la Corée du Nord de l’Europe ? » C’est la question qu’un Danois avait posée sous forme de demi-boutade au caricaturiste suédois Lars Vilks lors d’une conférence à laquelle j’ai participé en 2014. En guise de réponse qui n’avait d’ailleurs pas convaincu, Vilks avait marmonné en disant que la Suède avait une prédilection pour le consensus. Aujourd’hui, il existe à cette question une réponse plus convaincante qui nous est donnée par Ryszard Legutko, professeur de philosophie et homme politique polonais influent. Traduit en anglais par Teresa Adelson sous le titre The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies (Le démon de la démocratie : les tentations totalitaires au sein des sociétés libres), son livre paru chez Encounter montre de façon méthodique les similitudes surprenantes mais réelles entre le communisme de type soviétique et le libéralisme moderne tel qu’il est conçu par la Suède, l’Union européenne ou Barack Obama. (Avant d’analyser son argumentation, je tiens toutefois à préciser que là où Legutko parle de démocratie libérale, un concept trop complexe selon moi, je préfère parler de libéralisme.) Legutko ne prétend pas que le libéralisme ressemble au communisme dans ce que celui-ci a de monstrueux et encore moins que les deux idéologies sont identiques. Il reconnaît pleinement le caractère démocratique du libéralisme d’une part et la nature brutale et tyrannique du communisme d’autre part. Mais une fois établie cette distinction nette, il met le doigt sur le point sensible commun aux deux idéologies. C’est dans les années 1970 au cours d’un voyage effectué en Occident qu’il s’est rendu compte pour la première fois de ces similarités. Il s’est alors aperçu que les libéraux préféraient les communistes aux anti-communistes. Par après, avec la chute du bloc soviétique, il a vu les libéraux accueillir chaleureusement les communistes mais pas leurs opposants anticommunistes. Pourquoi ? Car selon lui le libéralisme partage avec le communisme une foi puissante en l’esprit rationnel propre à trouver des solutions. Cela se traduit par une propension à améliorer le citoyen, à le moderniser et à le façonner pour en faire un être supérieur, une propension qui conduit les deux idéologies à politiser, et donc à dévaloriser, tous les aspects de la vie dont la sexualité, la famille, la religion, les sports, les loisirs et les arts. (…) Les deux idéologies recourent à l’ingénierie sociale de façon à créer une société dont les membres seraient « identiques dans les mots, les pensées et les actes ». L’objectif serait d’obtenir une population en grande partie interchangeable et dépourvue de tout esprit dissident susceptible de causer des ennuis. Chacune des deux idéologies assume complètement le fait que sa vision particulière constitue le plus grand espoir pour l’humanité et représente la fin de l’histoire, l’étape finale de l’évolution de l’humanité. Le problème, c’est que de tels plans d’amélioration de l’humanité conduisent inévitablement à de terribles déceptions. En réalité, les êtres humains sont bien plus têtus et moins malléables que ne le souhaitent les rêveurs. Quand les choses vont mal (disons la production alimentaire pour les communistes, l’immigration sans entraves pour les libéraux), apparaissent deux conséquences néfastes. La première est le repli des idéologues dans un monde virtuel qu’ils cherchent ardemment à imposer à des sujets réfractaires. Les communistes déploient des efforts colossaux pour convaincre leurs vassaux qu’ils prospéreront bien plus que ces misérables vivant dans des pays capitalistes. Les libéraux transforment les deux genres – masculin et féminin – en 71 genres différents ou font disparaître la criminalité des migrants. Quand leurs projets tournent au vinaigre, les uns et les autres répondent non pas en repensant leurs principes mais, contre toute logique, en exigeant l’application d’un communisme ou d’un libéralisme plus pur et en s’appuyant fortement sur le complotisme : les communistes blâment les capitalistes et les libéraux blâment les entreprises pour expliquer par exemple pourquoi San Francisco détient aux États-Unis le record d’atteintes à la propriété ou pourquoi la ville de Seattle est gangrenée par une mendicité épidémique. La deuxième conséquence survient quand les dissidents apparaissent immanquablement. C’est alors que les communistes comme les libéraux font tout ce qu’ils peuvent pour étouffer les opinions divergentes. Autrement dit, les uns comme les autres sont prêts à forcer leurs populations ignorantes « à la liberté » selon les termes de Legutko. Ce qui signifie, bien entendu, le contrôle voire, la suppression de la liberté d’expression. Dans le cas du communisme, les bureaux de la censure du gouvernement excluent toute opinion négative vis-à-vis du socialisme et les conséquences sont fâcheuses pour quiconque ose persister. Dans le cas du libéralisme, les fournisseurs d’accès à Internet, les grands réseaux sociaux, les écoles, les banques, les services de covoiturage, les hôtels et les lignes de croisière font le sale boulot consistant à mettre hors-jeu les détracteurs qui tiennent ce qui est appelé un discours de haine consistant notamment à affirmer l’idée scandaleuse selon laquelle il n’y a que deux genres. Bien entendu l’islam est un sujet insidieux : ainsi le fait de se demander si Mahomet était un pédophile, est passible d’une amende, et une caricature, d’une peine de prison. Résultat : en Allemagne à peine 19% des citoyens ont l’impression qu’ils peuvent exprimer leur opinion librement en public. Daniel Pipes
Ce qui est nouveau, c’est d’abord que la bourgeoisie a le visage de l’ouverture et de la bienveillance. Elle a trouvé un truc génial : plutôt que de parler de « loi du marché », elle dit « société ouverte », « ouverture à l’Autre » et liberté de choisir… Les Rougon-Macquart sont déguisés en hipsters. Ils sont tous très cools, ils aiment l’Autre. Mieux : ils ne cessent de critiquer le système, « la finance », les « paradis fiscaux ». On appelle cela la rebellocratie. C’est un discours imparable : on ne peut pas s’opposer à des gens bienveillants et ouverts aux autres ! Mais derrière cette posture, il y a le brouillage de classes, et la fin de la classe moyenne. La classe moyenne telle qu’on l’a connue, celle des Trente Glorieuses, qui a profité de l’intégration économique, d’une ascension sociale conjuguée à une intégration politique et culturelle, n’existe plus même si, pour des raisons politiques, culturelles et anthropologiques, on continue de la faire vivre par le discours et les représentations. (…) C’est aussi une conséquence de la non-intégration économique. Aujourd’hui, quand on regarde les chiffres – notamment le dernier rapport sur les inégalités territoriales publié en juillet dernier –, on constate une hyper-concentration de l’emploi dans les grands centres urbains et une désertification de ce même emploi partout ailleurs. Et cette tendance ne cesse de s’accélérer ! Or, face à cette situation, ce même rapport préconise seulement de continuer vers encore plus de métropolisation et de mondialisation pour permettre un peu de redistribution. Aujourd’hui, et c’est une grande nouveauté, il y a une majorité qui, sans être « pauvre » ni faire les poubelles, n’est plus intégrée à la machine économique et ne vit plus là où se crée la richesse. Notre système économique nécessite essentiellement des cadres et n’a donc plus besoin de ces millions d’ouvriers, d’employés et de paysans. La mondialisation aboutit à une division internationale du travail : cadres, ingénieurs et bac+5 dans les pays du Nord, ouvriers, contremaîtres et employés là où le coût du travail est moindre. La mondialisation s’est donc faite sur le dos des anciennes classes moyennes, sans qu’on le leur dise ! Ces catégories sociales sont éjectées du marché du travail et éloignées des poumons économiques. Cependant, cette« France périphérique » représente quand même 60 % de la population. (…) Ce phénomène présent en France, en Europe et aux États-Unis a des répercussions politiques : les scores du FN se gonflent à mesure que la classe moyenne décroît car il est aujourd’hui le parti de ces « superflus invisibles » déclassés de l’ancienne classe moyenne. (…) Toucher 100 % d’un groupe ou d’un territoire est impossible. Mais j’insiste sur le fait que les classes populaires (jeunes, actifs, retraités) restent majoritaires en France. La France périphérique, c’est 60 % de la population. Elle ne se résume pas aux zones rurales identifiées par l’Insee, qui représentent 20 %. Je décris un continuum entre les habitants des petites villes et des zones rurales qui vivent avec en moyenne au maximum le revenu médian et n’arrivent pas à boucler leurs fins de mois. Face à eux, et sans eux, dans les quinze plus grandes aires urbaines, le système marche parfaitement. Le marché de l’emploi y est désormais polarisé. Dans les grandes métropoles il faut d’une part beaucoup de cadres, de travailleurs très qualifiés, et de l’autre des immigrés pour les emplois subalternes dans le BTP, la restauration ou le ménage. Ainsi les immigrés permettent-ils à la nouvelle bourgeoisie de maintenir son niveau de vie en ayant une nounou et des restaurants pas trop chers. (…) Il n’y a aucun complot mais le fait, logique, que la classe supérieure soutient un système dont elle bénéficie – c’est ça, la « main invisible du marché» ! Et aujourd’hui, elle a un nom plus sympathique : la « société ouverte ». Mais je ne pense pas qu’aux bobos. Globalement, on trouve dans les métropoles tous ceux qui profitent de la mondialisation, qu’ils votent Mélenchon ou Juppé ! D’ailleurs, la gauche votera Juppé. C’est pour cela que je ne parle ni de gauche, ni de droite, ni d’élites, mais de « la France d’en haut », de tous ceux qui bénéficient peu ou prou du système et y sont intégrés, ainsi que des gens aux statuts protégés : les cadres de la fonction publique ou les retraités aisés. Tout ce monde fait un bloc d’environ 30 ou 35 %, qui vit là où la richesse se crée. Et c’est la raison pour laquelle le système tient si bien. (…) La France périphérique connaît une phase de sédentarisation. Aujourd’hui, la majorité des Français vivent dans le département où ils sont nés, dans les territoires de la France périphérique il s’agit de plus de 60 % de la population. C’est pourquoi quand une usine ferme – comme Alstom à Belfort –, une espèce de rage désespérée s’empare des habitants. Les gens deviennent dingues parce qu’ils savent que pour eux « il n’y a pas d’alternative » ! Le discours libéral répond : « Il n’y a qu’à bouger ! » Mais pour aller où ? Vous allez vendre votre baraque et déménager à Paris ou à Bordeaux quand vous êtes licencié par ArcelorMittal ou par les abattoirs Gad ? Avec quel argent ? Des logiques foncières, sociales, culturelles et économiques se superposent pour rendre cette mobilité quasi impossible. Et on le voit : autrefois, les vieux restaient ou revenaient au village pour leur retraite. Aujourd’hui, la pyramide des âges de la France périphérique se normalise. Jeunes, actifs, retraités, tous sont logés à la même enseigne. La mobilité pour tous est un mythe. Les jeunes qui bougent, vont dans les métropoles et à l’étranger sont en majorité issus des couches supérieures. Pour les autres ce sera la sédentarisation. Autrefois, les emplois publics permettaient de maintenir un semblant d’équilibre économique et proposaient quelques débouchés aux populations. Seulement, en plus de la mondialisation et donc de la désindustrialisation, ces territoires ont subi la retraite de l’État. (…) Même si l’on installe 20 % de logements sociaux partout dans les grandes métropoles, cela reste une goutte d’eau par rapport au parc privé « social de fait » qui existait à une époque. Les ouvriers, autrefois, n’habitaient pas dans des bâtiments sociaux, mais dans de petits logements, ils étaient locataires, voire propriétaires, dans le parc privé à Paris ou à Lyon. C’est le marché qui crée les conditions de la présence des gens et non pas le logement social. Aujourd’hui, ce parc privé « social de fait » s’est gentrifié et accueille des catégories supérieures. Quant au parc social, il est devenu la piste d’atterrissage des flux migratoires. Si l’on regarde la carte de l’immigration, la dynamique principale se situe dans le Grand Ouest, et ce n’est pas dans les villages que les immigrés s’installent, mais dans les quartiers de logements sociaux de Rennes, de Brest ou de Nantes. (…) In fine, il y a aussi un rejet du multiculturalisme. Les gens n’ont pas envie d’aller vivre dans les derniers territoires des grandes villes ouverts aux catégories populaires : les banlieues et les quartiers à logements sociaux qui accueillent et concentrent les flux migratoires. Christophe Guilluy
Comment expliquer que les ouvriers constituent toujours le groupe social le plus important de la société française et que leur existence passe de plus en plus inaperçue ? Stéphane Beaud et Michel Pialoux (Retour sur la condition ouvrière, 1999)
J’ai regardé les premières cartes qui avaient été faites par l’IFOP concernant les ronds-points occupés par les Gilets jaunes. Ce qui était frappant, c’était la parfaite corrélation avec celle de la France périphérique, développée autour d’un indicateur de fragilité sociale. Ce qui est très intéressant c’est que cette carte fait exploser toutes les typologies traditionnelles : la division est-ouest entre la France industrielle et la France rurale par exemple. En réalité, le mouvement est parti de partout, aussi bien dans le sud-ouest que dans le nord-est, on voit donc quelque chose qui correspond exactement à la France périphérique, c’est-à-dire à la répartition des catégories modestes et populaires dans l’espace. Cette typologie casse celle de la France du vide qui n’est plus pertinente et cela nous montre bien les effets d’un modèle économique nouveau qui est celui de la mondialisation. C’est pour cela que je dis que le mouvement des Gilets jaunes n’est pas une résurgence de la révolution française ou de mai 68, cela est au contraire quelque chose de très nouveau : cela correspond à l’impact de la mondialisation sur la classe moyenne au sens large : de l’ouvrier au cadre supérieur. La classe moyenne, ce ne sont pas seulement les professions intermédiaires, c’est un ensemble, ce sont les gens qui travaillent et qui ont l’impression de faire partie d’un tout, peu importe qu’il y ait des inégalités de salaires. (…) Ce qui était malsain dans l’analyse qui en a été fait, cela a été le moment ou l’on a dit « en réalité, ils ne sont pas pauvres ». On opposait une nouvelle fois les pauvres aux classes populaires alors que la presque totalité des pauvres sont issus des classes populaires. Il y a un lien organique entre eux. Quand on prend ces catégories, ouvriers, employés, paysans etc.…ils peuvent être pauvres, au chômage, et même quand ils ont un emploi, ils savent très bien que la case pauvreté est toute proche sur l’échiquier.  Surtout, ils ont un frère, un cousin, un grand parent, un ami, un voisin qui est pauvre. On oublie toujours de dire que la pauvreté n’est pas un état permanent, il y a un échange constant entre classes populaires et pauvreté. Opposer ces catégories, c’est refuser ce lien organique entre pauvres et travailleurs modestes. C’est donc ne rien comprendre à ce qui se joue actuellement. (…) Ce que nous constatons aujourd’hui, c’est une dysfonction entre l’économie et la société. Et cela est la première fois. Avant, l’économie faisait société, c’