Rising Nazism and Racial Intolerance in the U.S.
A Contemporary Analysis
Report submitted to the United Nations
The historical circumstances regarding the emergence of Germanic Nazism in the 1920s were, in many ways, a product of long-held racial beliefs and undercurrents in German society. However, as Hannah Arendt points out, "Hitlerism exercised its strong international and inter-European appeal during the thirties because racism, although a state doctrine only in Germany, had been a public trend in public opinion everywhere" (Arendt, 1966). Fascism in Europe pre-dated Nazism. Mussolini's Italy, Franco's Spain, and other fascist states that emerged in Europe shared varying degrees of racial thinking; most placed less emphasis on theories of racial superiority in comparison to the Third Reich. In America, the Friends of New Germany, and later the German American Bund, emerged as pro-Nazi movements very much in keeping with Nazi Party in Germany, but with American cultural signifiers. (The Bund identified George Washington as the first real fascist.) The Bund itself was broken up during WW II, but a distinct brand of American Nazism/white supremacy emerged in the post-years. In 1959, the beginnings of a unique American culture of racism influenced by Nazism and fascism began to form. In that year, George Lincoln Rockwell inaugurated the American Nazi Party. A veteran with a commanding personality, Rockwell set down the principles that most modern neo-Nazi movements still follow: theories of racial purity that embrace essentially all European Americans; a virulent anti-Semitism in keeping with traditional Nazism; and a fixation on a white supremacist version of Christianity (Simonelli, 1999).
Studying in the Streets
The Pedagogy of Throwing Bottles at the Cops
Derek R. Ford
After yet another brutal murder of a person of color by the police, the streets of Baltimore are on fire. Protests have taken place on a near daily basis, and they are growing increasingly militant. I haven't lived in Baltimore for a while, and so I have been watching the battle unfold through social media. One of my close comrades has been reporting from the frontlines, and recently he posted a 1-minute video that captured succinctly the tragedy and hope running through the streets. The sun had long been set and the first mass protests that took place earlier that day - Saturday, April 25 - had ended. It's a nondescript street corner in Baltimore, with multicolored row houses and a corner store in sight, and a few dozen riot cops are standing behind the barricades. We don't get a full view of the street but it looks like the cops outnumber the people. Most of the people are Black and, although we can't see the cops' faces, we know what color they are. There is no march taking place, no rally, no speeches. Instead, people seem to wander about. They are yelling at the cops, and for the duration of the video bottles, cans, and other objects are constantly being hurled across the barricades. A few people are recording the interactions, and some others are standing right up at the barricades, unafraid of the cops and the state power that they represent. Most of the people are just around the corner, and that's where the attacks on the cops originate (the spatial layout of the battle and barricades makes this the safest place to be). Others approach the barricades, shouting and gesturing at the cops, and then retreat again so they don't get hit by flying bottles.
Why Comparisons Between the Boston Tea Party and Baltimore Riots are Wrong
In 1767, British Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which included a tax on the American colonies for tea imports from Britain. For the next six years, in order to avoid paying this tax, colonists established a significant smuggling ring with the Dutch, which amounted to approximately 900,000 pounds of tea being shipped into the American colonies per year. This was viewed as a crime by British authorities. So, in 1773, British Parliament passed the Tea Act. Contrary to a popular misconception, the Tea Act did not create a new royal tax on the American colonists. Rather, it was implemented for three reasons: (1) to help boost the East India Company, which had fallen on hard times, by granting them the right to ship tea directly to the colonies as a duty-free export, (2) to undercut the price of smuggled tea the colonies were receiving from the Dutch, and (3) to bolster and reinforce the tea import tax placed on the colonies due to the Townshend Acts. Since the Tea Act indirectly served as a way to enforce the tax established by the Townshend Acts, colonists were up in arms. Not because they were being denied basic necessities like food, water, clothing and shelter. Not because they were terrorized by British authorities patrolling their neighborhoods. Not because they were forced to live in constricted areas with no jobs, no resources, and no ownership over their communities. They were up in arms, ready to rebel, prepared to destroy the property of another, because their sipping tea was suddenly going to cost a little more.
The Neoliberal Banking Model of Education
Michael B. MacDonald
In 'Pedagogy of the Oppressed' Paulo Freire described negative impacts on student imagination by a process he famously called the banking model of education. Critical Pedagogy has used the banking model as a point of critical departure. But I have recently become concerned that the banking concept no longer fully describes our current challenges. While Freire's original critical analysis still stands there is another layer of oppression requiring critique, the financialization of student life in neoliberalism. I see this form of oppression as having a different texture than the banking model, emerging from post-Fordist economic transformations and the rise of the financial sector. Post-Fordist finance is not the mode of banking Freire drew upon. His banking model was located at the local savings and loan where a community of people deposits money and expects interest before withdrawing. Contemporary banking has a new and more dangerous, in fact murderous, layer. What's more, Freire's banking model drew upon a shared understanding of industrial capitalist production and its embedded forms of alienation. This alienation occurred in the capitalist mode of production in industrial capitalism where profit emerged from the exploitation of workers, and resistance was enacted through organized labor. Today, we seem to neither know where value is produced nor how to organize resistance. It feels to me that when I meet with activists, community organizers and critical scholars we have a difficult time figuring out where power and resistance are located in the post-Fordist period. Yet, examples of exploitation abound.