A guide for the perplexed -- the craziness out there needs deciphering, and you can get that from this roundup of Good Reads on Trump's authoritarian test bench, white supremacy old and new and the phenomenon called QAnon.
/Good Reads -- compiled by Jerry Danciss/
THE FRINGE BECOMES IMPORTANT AS REHEARSAL FOR AUTHORITARIAN FASCISM
TRIAL RUNS FOR FASCISM ARE IN FULL FLOW" as Fintan O’Toole recounts in Irish Times: "Trump [is] test-marketing for barbarism" "
"People have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group"
He checks the boxes of “pre-fascist” practices being tested and normalized by Trump and his fellows, such as Erdogan in Turkey and Salvini in Italy: rigging elections, creation of threats from despised out-groups and cultivating a public “taste for savagery.”
ONE YEAR AFTER CHARLOTTESVILLE: REV. BARBER ON NOT BEING DISTRACTED BY TRUMP AND KKK/WHITE SUPREMACIST ACTIONS
The "Teach-in On White Supremacy: A Regional Townhall with Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton & Jaime Raskin …" on Friday [Aug. 10] featured the keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II's comments that: “The marchers and the rallies of the KKK are a distraction from the main issue, namely voter suppression. The amount of voter suppression in Wisconsin in 2016 exceeded Trump's margin of victory in Wisconsin.”
The Washington City Paper has a good account of that teach-in, where Barber observed “I don’t know what Russia did, but I do know what voter suppression did.”
The scope of voter suppression is not often understood by folks, especially in Maryland, where it is not an everyday threat. It is explained in events like this New America panel, The Rise of an Anti-Democracy Agenda (also on YouTube);in-depth reports like the Communication Workers of America’s “Democracy at a Crossroads” and books like Zachary Roth’s The Great Suppression (Roth is also a panelist on the New America event, above).
WHITE SUPREMACY, THE KKK AND THE “RISE ABOVE MOVEMENT” MILITANTS
Rise Above Movement –
even though the Unite the Right “rally” in DC was embarrassed and outnumbered about 100 to 1 by counter-protesters, some wings of the white supremacist movement have fashioned themselves into a dangerous crowd. A.C. Thompson, a journalist following the rise of hate groups, says of the Rise Above faction -- "They operated in a sort of paramilitary fashion. They had leaders and commanders who were directing the members of the groups where to go and what to do. And those members followed those orders. And, for example, on August 11 , the night of the infamous torch march, all those groups showed up - hundreds of people in a little field next to the UVA grounds in a matter of moments. They just materialized out of nowhere, formed up, formed a line and started marching. And it was a really remarkable display of tactical efficiency… . In my view, the Rise Above Movement are the most effective street fighters that we've seen emerge out of the white supremacist movement in the last couple years. These guys are fairly fearsome when you see them on the streets." Read a radio transcript here: NPR Fresh Air DAVE DAVIES August 2, https://www.npr.org/2018/08/02/634890750/in-the-wake-of-charlottesville-journalist-begins-documenting-hate-in-america
A good summary of the scary 2017 night march, with torches, may be seen on a CNN video. It begins with white nationalists chanting the slogan, "Jews will not replace us". You may hear this August 11, 2017 video, "Video shows what happened in Charlottesville", by clicking on it below the video at https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/12/us/unite-the-right-charlottesville-anniversary/index.html?no-st=1534373867
One of these white nationalist groups, (formed after August 11, 2017) the Patriot Front is getting its training from: "Marine Veteran Trains White Supremacists in Military Tactics" https://www.thedailybeast.com/marine-veteran-trains-white-supremacists-in-military-tactics
THAT’S THE IMPERSONATORS AND WANNABES. WHAT IS THE KKK TODAY?
Spike Lee’s new movie "BlacKkKlansman" is about the infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan by Ron Stallworth, the first black officer to work for the Colorado Springs Police Department. It ends with compelling footage from the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. It is a compelling thriller. I recommend it along with "What’s Fact and What’s Fiction in BlacKkKlansman." Unfortunately, the dramatic scenes in the end of the movie are fiction. This reduces the film from almost a documentary to propaganda.
AND WHAT IN THE WORLD IS “QANON”? THE CRAZIEST THEORY OF THE TRUMP ERA, EXPLAINED
From celebrities to the grassroots, the right is obsessed with the idea there is a secret conspiracy they have labeled the Deep State -- a cabal of global elites, including top figures in Hollywood, the Democratic Party, and the intelligence agencies, who are responsible for nearly all the evil in the world. And now Trump is going to fix it all with a secret plan to “lock them up” and the help of a military coup – an idea of which the QAnon conspiracy buffs quite approve.
But who is Q? George Soros, the Illuminati, and Snow White are all controlling the world according to a 4channer who has spawned a legion of supersleuths. “Q,” named for the leaker’s supposed clearance level at the Department of Energy, reports from within the bowels of the Deep State about Trump’s inevitable victory over the cabal. Evidence for the existence of Q is absent, but when has that ever stopped a good conspiracy theory?
Jerome Dancis is an activist in Prince George’s County and an occasional contributor of informational roundups to the PM BlogSpace.
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