Sunday, May 07, 2006

Global hate

Well, if it will make you feel any better, the United States isn't the only place seeing a resurgence of right-wing extremism and white supremacism under the banner of anti-immigrant sentiment.

In fact, if you include Australia, you could say it's becoming largely a global phenomenon.

This weekend brought us the news that the proto-fascist British National Party made some noteworthy gains in the just-finished elections:
The British National Party, which wants non-white immigrants to leave the U.K., made its biggest gains to date in local elections, capitalizing on economic pressures and ethnic tension in some of England's poorest districts.

The BNP won 11 of the 13 seats it contested in the east London borough of Barking and Dagenham, as well as adding seats on other councils mainly in eastern England and the Midlands, according to tallies compiled by the British Broadcasting Corp.

The gains more than doubled the number of municipal lawmakers the party has to 46 across England. Lawmakers from mainstream parties have expressed concern about the rise of the BNP. Parties with an anti-immigration agenda have failed to build national support in Britain in the past, in contrast to other European countries such as France.

Even before the election, as many as 25 percent of British voters indicated they might consider voting for the BNP. Not a good sign.

A statement from Searchlight explored this further, and added a caveat:
Any BNP victory should be a cause of concern. Its presence raises tensions and divides communities, and its lies, which are central to its campaigning tactics, incite fear and racial violence.

While the media focused on the success in East London, BNP fortunes elsewhere were more mixed. Although the BNP took three seats in Stoke-on-Trent, Epping Forest and Sandwell, there were other areas where it failed to make its expected breakthrough. There were no BNP successes in Oldham, Dudley, Blackburn and Thurrock. The BNP fell back in Calderdale, where it was defending two seats but only succeeded in one. Kirklees was another top target and the two councillors elected there were fewer than expected.

Meanwhile, in Italy, the leading anti-immigrant party began handing out cudgels as vote-winning gadgets:
The leader of the 'Stop Immigration' political group running in upcoming local elections in Turin will be distributing clubs as an electoral gadget in the multi-ethnic San Salvario neighbourhood of the northern city. Turin-daily La Stampa reported on Friday that Max Loda will hand out for free some 1,000 clubs -- with 'Stop immigration' engraved on them -- to win support for the party's candidate for mayor Denis Martucci at the 28 May election.

Martucci, who is backed by a number of lists including a 'Forza Toro' group of fans of the Torino soccer team, is one of nine candidates for Turin mayor.

Loda said the initiative will be promoted in the neighbourhood with the highest number of immigrant residents as well as in the rest of the city because "Turin risks to become a stronghold of illegald immigrants from over the world."

He claimed the clubs "only represent a cry of alarm, to say: dear citizens of Turin, dear Italians, we must defend ourselves from criminal ethnic gangs."

An estimated 2.8 million of Italy's 60 million inhabitants are non-EU foreigners, according to a survey by Catholic relief agency Caritas. Immigrants in Turin mainly live in the San Salvario and Porta Palazzo neighbourhoods.

Loda, previously unknown on the national political scene, made headlines in Turin in 2000 with a member of the anti-immigration Northern League Party, European MP Mario Borghezio, when a bridge in Turin was set on fire at the end of a demonstration against foreigners he was co-sponsoring.

Meanwhile, in Poland, a fellow named Roman Giertych, who heads up an extreme-right party called the League of Polish Families, was just named the nation's Minister of Education.

This would be akin to having Fred Phelps named Education Secretary. Giertych, whose grandfather was a notorious anti-Semite who advocated, in the 1930s, expelling all of Poland's Jews, made a name for himself primarily by advocating for laws against homosexuals, including "a bill in parliament that would penalize, through fine or even imprisonment, those who publicly promote the change of the 'traditional' definition of marriage".

He also thinks highly of the press:
"They call themselves moral authorities, but in fact they're just scum."

The Polish anti-fascist group Never Again spoke out against Giertych's rise:
Roman Giertych, the leader of the extreme-right political party League of Polish Families (LPR) and of the nationalist youth organisation All-Polish Youth (MW), was nominated to the post of Minister of Education today.
"It is a disgrace! Our worst worries are coming true" -- comments Marcin Kornak, the chairman of the anti-fascist 'Never Again' Association. "The lack of reaction from the politicians to the growing wave of chauvinism in Poland has led to an extreme nationalist being nominated to the ministry of education post. We protest against it!"
The newly appointed minister of education is the leader of the All-Polish Youth and he is going to promote its educational patterns in Polish schools. The All-Polish Youth draws from the darkest traditions tainted with extreme nationalism and antisemitism. For years it has recruited its members from among skinheads. It promotes xenophobia and a violent rejection of everything that does not match its criteria of "true Polishness". The All-Polish Youth has been repeatedly accused of being fascist and the media have published photos of its members (today MPs for the LPR) raising hands in the Hitler-salute.

Meanwhile, back in the USA ....

... at the University of Texas-Arlington, the renowned white supremacist Jared Taylor was recently presented as the "conservative" side in a debate sponsored by College Republicans.
Taylor said Mexican immigration is bad for the United States and cited statistics detailing high crime and school dropout rates among Hispanics. Gutierrez said those statistics are an ugly reality because whites have been in charge and have discriminated so harshly against Hispanics.

Taylor said even though Hispanics are in charge of everything south of America's borders, residents are fleeing those failed societies. He said he hopes a wall is built along the border to keep illegal Hispanic immigrants out.

Gutierrez said walls separating people have always failed. He argued that Mexicans have a right to move throughout the Americas because they were here before white settlers and because much of their land was "stolen" from them in the Mexican-American war.

Taylor pointed to that sentiment as deep disloyalty to the United States.

"Mexicans in particular are the worst candidates for U.S. citizenship," he said. "They don't respect our sovereignty."

You see? Sure they may be racist, but they come off so reasonable, so patriotic, so ... authoritative.

Round and round and round it goes, and where it stops ...

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