12 Days Remaining

Tuesday 29th
posted by Morning Star in Features

It would befit the PM to rescind Trump’s state visit in light of his tolerance for the neonazis of Charlottesville, write Anthony J Onwuegbuzie and Richard Maunders

ON Saturday August 12 white supremacists — some armed in paramilitary fashion, carrying shields, protective clothing, rods and automatic weapons taking advantage of Virginia’s lax firearm laws — gathered together in Charlottesville.

They and various other groups of neonazis and the Ku Klux Klan, known collectively as the alt-right, replete with their fascist regalia sought to parade their brands of obnoxious racist poison through the town’s streets.

They were met by fierce opposition from counter-protesters, which, by the end of the day, resulted in the cruel death of Heather Heyer by a deranged racist using the Isis-style tactic of driving a vehicle into the crowd of anti-racist marchers.

The KKK is no stranger to violence, murder, lynchings and burnings. Its vile history is a testament to the bigotry and hate of white supremacy.

The KKK’s first incarnation came out of the 1860s, followed by another reinvention around 1915 and, thirdly by the current brand, whose membership numbers range between 3,000 and 6,000.

Its ideology, which is based on the supremacy of the white man, includes nationalism, antisemitism, nativism, Christian terrorism, anti-Catholicism and neofascism.

This organisation would be banned in Britain (one hopes) for its dissemination of hate propaganda and the promotion of racial violence and terrorism.

Indeed, the United Nations defines terrorism as: “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes [which] are in any circumstances unjustifiable, whatever the consideration of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them.”

There is more than one justi- fication among those definitions to brand and to outlaw the KKK.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre and Anti-Defamation League have declared the KKK a “hate group.”

That they certainly are but surely, like Isis, they fall under the definition of a “terrorist organisation”?

President Donald Trump views them rather differently though; in his view there are some “fine people” among the KKK and other pro-confederate marchers, as he remarked three days after the Charlottesville atrocities. Disturbingly, Trump — who makes a statement one day and a contradictory statement the very next day, or even sometimes on the same day — is described by monopoly-owned Western media as the leader of the so-called “free world” and a friend of British Prime Minister Theresa May.

After the violent incidents in Charlottesville it took May four days to respond with the banal observation that “there is no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them” — the same platitudinous rhetoric that some other world figures had already made.

May, although stating that she thought it “important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them,” made no condemnation of Trump’s bombastic tirade during a press conference that was held at the infamous Trump Tower on Tuesday August 15.

The same Theresa May who could not wait to go to the White House and invite this parody of a president on a British state visit — anxious no doubt to show that she too is a leader of the “free world.”

Racism has no place in any civilised society or political class. Yet the legacy of racism runs deep throughout capitalist society, spawning as it did from an imperialist past of subjugation, slavery and exploitation.

Although May’s response to Trump’s inadequate handling of racism has been tame, she still has the opportunity to make a difference as British Prime Minister.

In particular, just as Shirley Lynn Phelps-Roper (a US lawyer and political activist) has been banned from Britain for “fostering extremism or hatred”; Stephen Donald “Don” Black (a US white supremacist) and Michael Savage (a US radio host, author, activist and conservative political commentator) have been banned for “fostering hatred that might lead to intercommunity violence”; and Abdul Alim Musa (a Muslim US activist) has been banned for “fomenting and glorifying terrorist violence in furtherance of his particular beliefs and seeking to provoke others to terrorist acts,” it would befit May to rescind Trump’s invitation. His rhetoric is not conducive towards racial harmony and it would be a fitting way to honour the murdered Heather Heyer. Failure to challenge Trump’s dangerous tolerance for racism would be tantamount to May committing a crime of silence.