Viewing posts tagged racism

Snow Job

To me, the most striking thing about the racist Christmas card circulated by the British National Party (or the Keystone Stormtroopers, as I like to call them), is how utterly mainstream it looks.




There is clearly a racist message here because

a) it's being circulated by a racist party of fascist Nazi racist racists,

and

b) because of the oh-so-clever hidden subtext of the phrase 'white Christmas' that Cyclops/Fuhrer Dickibegyourpardonnick Griffin's reichschancellory full of political geniuses have cryptically woven into it.

But, as Metro have pointed out, it's an altered stock image, also used by thoroughly mainstream publications.

The Aryan child - pale and blonde and blue-eyed - is still the vanilla standard of beauty and innocence in the aesthetic system that capitalism calls Christmas.  Mainstream adverts and cards will engage in tokenism so as to simperingly hook in with sentimenal one-world platitudes, and sell to more than just white people, but non-white faces are still the variety sprinkled around the white standard.

It's not the young model's fault, of course.  She's just peddled her own image in a system of bodily commodification (as we all must peddle ourselves, one way or another ...

Footstamping

Rich, white, male kid.  Drunk driving.  Killed and maimed people.  Got off with probation because he suffers from "affluenza".  Essentially, he couldn't help doing it because he was too privileged to know better.

It's so obvious, really, isn't it?  Shouldn't even need saying.  But.  Imagine a black person, a poor person, in the same position.  Would they be gently treated because society deprived them?  I'm not saying I want a 16 year old kid to be sent to one of those privatised totalitarian hellhole gulags that America calls 'prisons' for 20 years (though it would be a sharp lesson for him in what it feels like to be an ethnic minority, since those prisons are mostly stuffed with poor people, who are mostly people of colour).  I'm just pointing out the disparity.

Compare with the treatment of Glenn Broadnax.   Compare what happened to Zimmerman with what happened to Marissa Alexander (she is at least getting a new trial).

Things like that happen in their thousands every day.  I could fill up all the free memory Blogger has given me just describing, in ...

5

"I know it sounds mad," says Martha, "but when the Doctor became human, he took the alien part of himself and he stored it inside the watch. It's not really a watch, it just looks like a watch."

"And 'alien' means 'not from abroad', I take it," enquires the frankly incredulous Joan.

"The man you call John Smith... he was born on another world."

"A different species."

"Yeah."

Joan is a sensible woman from 1913 and she's not having any of this nonsense.

"Then tell me," she presses, "in this fairy tale, who are you?"

"Just a friend. I'm not... I mean, you haven't got a rival, as much as I might... Just his friend."

"And human, I take it?"

She humouring the deranged girl.  As John said earlier, it must be culture shock.  Someone from a less developed culture trying and failing to understand the scientific romances of an ordinary school teacher... an ordinary school teacher, by the way, with whom she is far too familiar.

"Human," confirms Martha, "Don't worry. And more than that: I just don't follow him around. I'm training to be a doctor. Not an alien ...

24

"The colonists shouldn't be here," says Dent. "My Corporation has been assigned the mineral rights on this planet. Our preliminary survey indicates a very rich concentration of duralinium. You know how the Earth needs that mineral."

"Earth, or your corporation's profits?" asks the Doctor.

Dent and his mining corporation will go on to prove that they will do literally anything, including mass murder, to obtain the duralinium they want.

"What's good for IMC is good for Earth," says Dent, echoing a famous statement once made in the real world.  "There are one hundred thousand million people back on Earth and they desperately need all the minerals we can find."

"What those people need, my dear sir," asserts the Doctor, "are new worlds to live in like this one. Worlds where they can live like human beings, not battery hens."

What nobody mentions during this conversation, or during any of the conversations anybody has about the controversy, is the notion that no non-Uxarians might have the right to appropriate Uxarius.  There are people already living there, you see.  But those people don't count.  They're "primitives".

This story is a reiteration of Western ...

25

"Come in, won’t you?" calls the Doctor, "I’ve been waiting to talk to you."

Koquillion answers the invitation.

"This used to be the Peoples’ Hall of Judgement," remarks the Doctor, regarding the empty chamber sadly, "Fitting, in the present circumstances don’t you think?  Mr Bennett, may I remind you that masks and robes such as you are wearing are only used on absolutely ceremonial occasions, hmm?"

Koquillion removes his face.  Bennett is beneath.

He explains that he is a murderer.

"I killed a crewmember on the spaceship to Astra. I was arrested. The ship crashed. My crime hadn’t been radioed to Earth. I knew if I could get rid of the other crewmembers..."

"Get rid of the other crewmembers and blame their deaths on the Dido people, hmm?"

"When we crash landed, the inhabitants invited us all to a grand meeting. It was simple. I just arranged an explosive, using the ships armaments. The whole thing went up. All the inhabitants, the crew, the whole race."

"You destroyed a whole planet to save your own skin. You’re insane."

"The girl didn’t know I’d been arrested. When we get back to Earth ...

28

Having devoured Harg, giant green squid monster Kroll is off to the settlement of the People of the Lakes, known to Harg's compatriots by the derogatory name of 'Swampies'. 

Constructed from tropes and white liberal guilt, these green space Indians are still better than the blue ones in Avatar.  They don't get their world back in the end (neither did the Cherokee) and don't get a white man as a leader.

"The Swampies most certainly do have some problems," chuckles Thawn - Company man, racist and boss of the Refinery.

"You know," muses his second-in-command Fenner, a cynical and cowardly man, "I don't particularly like the Swampies... but I can't say that I really hate them."  He is just decent enough to be faintly disturbed by Thawn's open callousness.

Suddenly serious, Thawn says "Oh, I don't hate them Fenner.  I just want them permanently removed.  I spent many years persuading the Company to back this project, and now that we're on the verge of success I'm not going to be stopped by lily-livered sentimentalists wailing about the fate of a few primitive savages."

Thawn is lying, of ...

31

John offers the Doctor some sugar for his tea.  John is a black man with a Caribbean accent.

"Ah," says the Doctor ruminatively, regarding his sugarless tea, "A decision. Would it make any difference?"

"It would make your tea sweet," says John, humouring this strange customer.

"Yes, but beyond the confines of my tastebuds, would it make any difference?"

"Not really."

"But..."

John is suddenly strangely interested.  "Yeah?" he prompts, wanting to hear more.  (I used to think of John as a manifestation of the 'magical negro' stereotype... but actually he's just an ordinary Londoner who meets a magical Scotsman.  As such he's one of the better examples of the Cartmel era representing black people.  Sadly, those years often saw black men cast simply because the character was a rapper or a blues musician.)

"What if I could control people's tastebuds?" suggests the Doctor, "What if I decided that no one would take sugar? That'd make a difference to those who sell the sugar and those who cut the cane."

One person making a little decision doesn't change much.  Lots and lots of people making lots and lots of ...

33

Enlightenment and Persuasion have walked in on the Doctor and his friends.  They now look human.  A man and a woman, created from a sketch Tegan drew.  Pale, impassive, handsome, impeccably-groomed people in clothes that Tegan thought fashionable.  They look like she modelled them on First Class passengers on Concorde.  The Jet Set. 

Persuasion hands round drinks.  Nothing more persuasive than that.

Enlightenment is explaining her transformation from frog to aspirational 80s princess.  She speaks in cut-glass vowels and icicle consonants.

"We enjoy the most advanced technology in the universe," she claims, her voice suffused with nonchalant arrogance.

She was kissed by technology.

"The dominant emotion on planet Earth is fear," says Persuasion suavely.  Yes, that's always how the 'natives' look to the 'explorers'.  Fearful little things.  "When last we were there, our reception was hostile."

Tegan, a woman from a nation built on the destruction and subjugation of 'natives' by 'explorers', is not fooled.

"Yeah, that doesn't surprise me," she sneers.

"Well, we must read your history books," says the Doctor.  There is no better way to learn about the mindset of the rulers of ...

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