Dr Liz Gordon: In the pool with white supremacy

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I met a white supremacist while I was out for my swim last week.  She was a woman, in her mid-fifties, who would simply not let me escape.  I believe we began with Muslims. The rant was the usual stuff: they are taking our places, they require halal meat that we have to pay for, girls are routinely raped from age nine and have compulsory clitorectomies, Mohammed blah blah and so on.

I politely asked her how she could feel like this about Muslims in the wake of the Christchurch shootings.  Aren’t we all now kotahitanga, one together? This shut her up for a minute and I managed to escape to the other end of the pool.

“We used to be able to trust our government but no longer can”, she exclaimed, following me.  “Have you heard of Agenda 21? The aim is for all the politicians to take control of the world.  It is a conspiracy against the people! Haven’t you heard of Agenda 21???”

I said that I quite liked our current government and, having just arrived back from the UK, where the politics is toxic, I was pleased to be home.  “BORIS!” She said. “All they had to do was leave him to do his good work and Britain would be free. And instead the world order has said he must be stopped! He is only trying to give the people what they wanted”

I was not rude to her (pool etiquette) but I did observe that her view of the world and mine were almost diametrically opposed.  In truth, this is the first person I have personally met (do I lead a sheltered life, perhaps – maybe white supremacists are on every corner?) who has personally constructed a world view, largely from the Facebook pages she adheres to, that is so extreme.

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The views she held were naïve and blatantly wrong but stitched together diligently into a coherent theory of the world, that was a bit frightening. She was intelligent. I certainly got the feeling that, under certain circumstances, she might act on such views.  I certainly believe she had the ability to recruit young people to the cause. 

I told her that I was not a fan of attacking groups, and thought that it almost constituted hate speech.  “HATE SPEECH?” she shouted, “that is what the new world order calls free speech. People are being put in prison for giving their own views. Can’t you feel how everyone is being pushed into having the same beliefs?”  Errr…. No, I can’t. 

There was a little more of this stuff, she was very pro-Trump because he stood up against the real powers and for the people (OMG), until she abruptly returned to a discussion of New Zealand.  “In New Zealand, there are two sets of people, the Māori and the white people….”, she commenced.

And I knew what was coming.  My beloved time swimming had been thoroughly disrupted, I felt tense and angry instead of relaxed and calm, and I was about to hear her views about how the Māori were either (a) ignorant savages who were saved by the white people, or (b) not evolved enough to live in our society.  I have heard such views before and am not impressed.

“Must go,” I said, and fled the pool, kerfuffled.

Dr Liz Gordon is a researcher and a barrister, with interests in destroying neo-liberalism in all its forms and moving towards a socially just society.  She usually blogs on justice, social welfare and education topics.

21 COMMENTS

  1. I met a real live climate change denier the other day, also ranting the set lines probably gleaned off Facebook. Along with white supremacists, we know they exist but it’s still a shock when we actually encounter them in real life isn’t it?

    I don’t think you lead a sheltered life Liz, it’s safe to say there’s plenty more where she comes from, as my climate denier. The scarey thing is, the more intelligent ones know not to go on casual rants in public and to strangers, so we don’t know who they are and how many really think that way.

  2. Yknow these people are like the woke. Perpetually offended, always follows you around as they do on social media. Yell, this is why we can’t do comedy any more. Some group will just show up and ruin it for everyone. It’s more of a problem than people realize I think.

  3. We have some sick white supremacist in our neighbourhood Stokes Valley, Lower hutt they are flying their American federation flag and putting racist remarks on people council billboards they are cowards and scum look out if people catch them. I noticed these cowards have attacked anyone brown or Asian this is disgusting and we all need to speak out and not tolerate this.

  4. We have some sick white supremacist in our neighbourhood Stokes Valley, Lower hutt they are flying their American federation flag and putting racist remarks on peoples’ council billboards they are cowards and scum look out if people catch them. I noticed these cowards have attacked anyone brown or Asian this is disgusting and we all need to speak out and not tolerate this.

    • Do you mean the Confederacy? If so interestingly the union was also a supporter of an apartheid system at the time and tacitly supported slavery.

  5. Pieta Botha may have lost his South Africa but he has won the western world to his white race homeland identity nationalism.

    It’s of course based in a predominantly white middle class privilege, and preserving that status as the underclass browns through immigration and society becomes more multi-cultural.

    The political right having established success establishing the global market for capitalist profit (lower the share of wealth to workers) is now exploiting domestic identity to escape the political consequences.

  6. Why didn’t you just do a citizen’s arrest and call the police if you thought she really was a white supremacist… or at least listen to more of what she wanted to say before filling in what you think she was going to say… minority report style.

    I know finding white supremacists on every corner is now a woke passion and spreading faster than Peter Ellis hysteria of ritual abuse occurring in creches, but as unpalatable as you might have found the women’s views, she doesn’t meet the criteria of a white supremacist… just wanting less immigration into NZ and being a general nutcase doesn’t qualify.

    People are allowed to believe what they want (but no doubt the woke want to change that just like the right wingers), aliens, transgender rights, zionism, Maori Nationalism and so forth… all allowed until we turn Kaftka of course, which the woke seem to be the flag bearers the most of.

    white supremacist
    n. One who believes that white people are racially superior to others and should therefore dominate society.
    n. An advocate of white supremacy, a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.
    n. a person who believes that the white race is or should be supreme

    Personally I’m tired of headlines of new residents in NZ telling everyone what to do and who can speak to their exacting standards, aka this Australian who apparently had only been in NZ for 18 months banning Don Brash speaking at a university. I don’t like Don Brash, but he should be allowed to speak at a university just like his counter part who believes the opposite, so we get honest and healthy and open debate not what ever we are encouraging now, which is pretty much death to democracy and free speech! https://croakingcassandra.com/2018/08/07/massey-vice-chancellor-bans-don-brash/… while another short term Australian blows away 52 people in cold blood at CHCH, but apparently that’s not the problem…

    I’m tired of these extreme people (both woke and white supremacists) coming to NZ becoming the norm and as of right when the same does not apply the other way. If we had less extreme viewed people coming in, maybe resources could be spent on actually solving the local problem, provided there is one…. and not just another mental funding resource issue…

    unlike the woke, who can probably get funding for a lovely conference on the subject and a few more papers out of it… many others are tired by the over use and mis use of white supremacist hysteria and the lack of help to anybody who might actually be suffering from something like homelessness, mental illness, over zealous wokies at every institution criminalising minor transgressions and telling everyone the correct way to think.

    • The inclusive left has died.
      In its place are woke zealots who want the government to punish those who don’t think like the them.
      The stale oxygen of Facebook groups feeds their binary decision making, just like the actual white supremacists who probably number fuck all. They are as bigoted as those they deride but are absolutely certain of their own moral superiority.
      The person under discussion seems to hold some racist views, doesn’t mean they are a white supremacist. Did they advocate for an aryan motherland and ethnic cleansing?
      It’s time a few people took a step back and looked at what the left has become. You ( the left) has become what it once despised.

  7. I hear similar diatribes pretty well every day, either from my fellow workers or from members of the public in the course of my job. Problem is I can’t walk away so I basically have to pretend ti grin and bear it. Many times I have itched to argue or tell these people what their pedigrees are, but I know that if I do I will be the one who loses in the end – earn the wrath of my employer, lose income and become a public figure in stuffyou.com or facelessbook.com. And I don’t like being the centre of attention – good or bad.
    It really amazes me the rubbish that some people swallow and constantly reguritate like automotons, not individual free thinkers.

  8. I read this post. Twice; to make sure that I hadn’t missed any of its content. I couldn’t see anything that looked like white supremacy; though in truth, I’m not entirely sure what that is.

    The Muslim stuff: well, that sounds very like the anti-immigrant rants I’ve heard and read, not just here, but in many parts of the world. Given the depredations of ISIS in the ME and elsewhere over rather a lot of years – and, a fortiori, Muslim invasions of central Europe, as well as the persecution of Christians out of the aforementioned ME over the past century in particular – I’m not in the least surprised to hear this sort of thing here as well. It’s not clear to me why the March shootings would necessarily change people’s minds.

    “Have you heard of Agenda 21?”

    Conspiracy theory. This is the origin of it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

    Though in fairness, there may be substance to some of the wilder conspiracy theories infesting the internet. Dunno about this one; but I’m not sure what it has to do with white supremacy.

    Boris Johnson? A significant number of British citizens want out of the EU. After the referendum, I looked at the voting patterns: it was instructive to note that boomers – the generation which originally voted the UK into what is now the EU – were disproportionately among those who voted Leave. I’ve been told that many UK citizens have had it up to here with largely uncontrolled migration from the EU. In their view, those migrants have overwhelmed social and health services, housing and so on; they want a stop to it. If Johnson can bring it about, more power to him. The UK needs to return the 6 Counties to the Irish Republic; that would, at a stroke, eliminate the border problem. Of course, Scotland may decamp: them’s the breaks…. But: I fail to see what Johnson and leaving the EU has to do with white supremacy.

    Hate speech vs free speech? Many of us are seriously concerned about the crimping of free speech masquerading as an attempt to control hate speech; your interlocutor certainly wouldn’t be alone in that. I’m yet to see a definition of “hate speech” that cannot equally be glossed as “stuff you say that I don’t like”. The rest of us prefer free speech: the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint. White supremacists we ain’t; but we cherish our freedoms.

    “In New Zealand, there are two sets of people, the Māori and the white people.”

    And here we get to it: the possibility that she’d say something that would brand her as a white supremacist. But she doesn’t get the chance, does she? You skedaddled before she could say anything. So: it by no means follows that she’d have said what you’d expected of her.

    Culture is the marker of difference between peoples, not skin colour, which is just an extrinsic characteristic. It’s indisputable that the Western culture brought to NZ by the first European settlers, with its technological development, was superior to Maori culture. Maori at the time were quick to recognise the advantages of that technology, and to adopt it. But cultural superiority doesn’t entail biological superiority. In his book “Guns, Germs and Steel”, Jared Diamond explains how it is that Western culture and technology is more advanced than that in other parts of the world. It has nothing whatever to do with white superiority.

      • Frank Macskasy: “….It seems to be one of the more obscure of conspiracy theories…”

        Yup! Something to do with pollies taking over the world: or something…

        It started life as a perfectly inoffensive UN initiative; but the internet being what it is, if it can be glossed as a conspiracy, it will be. I’d put money on any conspiracy theory stuff about Agenda 21 having come out of the US.

      • Frank I don’t know when you’ll wake up if ever. Your (once I had great hopes by your thoroughness..) research skills turn out to be useless 🙁

    • reason: “On the internet there are a lot of good entertaining educational material…”

      I watched that You Tube clip. Perhaps understandably, he focuses on the US; and his historical reference point is restricted to Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. And fair enough, as far as it goes.

      However. Ethno-nationalism, morphing into fascism, has plagued various post-colonial African polities. Anyone old enough will recall Idi Amin’s rule of Uganda. I remember when he turfed out the Indians; some of them were accepted here as refugees. Amin wasn’t alone among the post-colonial African fascist despots: though as far as I recall, nobody called them that. But fascist they certainly were.

      Robert Mugabe: started so promisingly, slid into fascist totalitarianism. It was largely due to Mandela that South Africa didn’t go the same way; though there are now signs of it, with suggestions of land seizures from whites.

      I’ve seen signs of emerging ethno-nationalism here in NZ: hints of it on this site, even. We all need to be aware of it and challenge it when we see it.

      “….eventually we will all look like Tana…”

      Apologies to Tana, but Christ! I hope not. He’s one plug-ugly fellow, isn’t he? Though I’m sure that he’s a lovely person…. However, I completely agree that in the long run, intermarriage will produce a population which looks very different from what it does now.

      But I’d prefer that NZ citizenry in generations to come, favour the more pulchritudinous members of my extended family who are of mixed descent.

  9. Cheers D’Esterre …. I’ve presently been banned from TS ,… for being rude to the racist greedy warmongering Wayne Mapp … Everything I wrote in the post that got me for ‘slander’ was true …. Wayne got in a huff about me calling him Wayne double dipper Mapp … which he was
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/general/row-continues-over-doubledipping-ministers-2009080510
    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/double-dipping-ministers-face-scrutiny

    I called Key ‘ Sir Kiddy Killer Key ‘ … which is also true …. and noted the KKK in his title, and how this reflected Mapps attitude to Afghanistan people.

    Wayne Mapp was doing the most vile of slander to dead Afghan children and civilians …. calling them taliban…. for years

    And while Wayne himself did not order their deaths …. he could have prevented them … instead he passed the parcel onto Sir KKK …. as Wayne knows who the important people are …. and who are unimportant https://www.bitchute.com/video/ZHZJ5mSveuFh/

    On a lighter note …..Tana is a hell of a nice bloke with a good sense of humor … and his mum thinks he’s handsome.

    And heres another interesting vid on modern fascism … of which racism is a core belief /pillar .

    It may be usa centric … but having read the christchurch white subpremacist terrorists ‘manifesto ‘ , (which I mainly did to check and and disprove ‘ mad jennys ‘ Assad links to the christchurch crime)… But the alt right in the usa and europe were ‘his people , and audience.
    Spiritually Ugly , angry, inadequate, sexually dysfunctional frustrated idiot loser cowards ….

    I’m antifa … as we should all be 🙂
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx4BVGPkdzk

  10. Those who have looked into the political phenomenon of ethno-nationalism will recognise that while it is based on a history which speaks of European racial superiority, it is in fact symptomatic of a racial inferiority complex. So long as we refuse to acknowledge that fact, we will fail to understand the true nature and causes of European ethno-nationalism, which will continue to warp the national psyche.
    The history, as recounted by ethno-nationalists like Brenton Tarrant, goes back some nine centuries, starting with the Crusades to the Holy Land in 1095. From there it moves through the Spanish reconquista (expulsion of the Moors and Jews from Spain in 1492) to the defeat of the Ottoman armies at the battle of Vienna in 1683. These events spoke of the ability of European peoples to defeat other hostile nations, most particularly Arabs, Turks and Muslims generally.
    In the latter part of this early period of conflict between Christian European and Arab or Turkish Muslims, European states also began to colonize lands occupied by indigenous African, American and Polynesian peoples.
    That period of European empire building, in which Spain, Portugal, Holland, England, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium were all engaged adds another crucial dimension to the European sense of racial superiority, but it does not figure nearly as prominently as one might expect in ethno-nationalist ideology, because ethno-nationalism, recognising the social and economic catastrophe that imperialism has inflicted upon the European working class, tends to be anti-imperialist.
    Moreover the adverse economic and social consequences of imperialism for the European working class (ignoring the slaughter of inter-imperial wars) have only become apparent in very recent times, in the period since the end of the Second World War when the European powers suffered a string of defeats at the hands of non-European peoples. “Wars of liberation” in Vietnam, China and Algeria challenged the notion of European invincibility, and over the next half century the European powers lost the mass of their colonies to indigenous independence movements.
    During this time, however, the European powers transformed themselves in innovative ways. “Colonies” gave way to “commonwealth” and “empire” to “globalization” and “European civilization” yielded to “multi-culturalism”. However, this process did no favors to the European working class, who had by and large prospered under the imperial system in which they were relatively secure against labour market competition from the non-European subjects of empire.
    European ethno-nationalist doctrines found fertile ground among members of the defeated imperial forces and European colonists, initially in the French-Algerian OAS terror organisation. Later, US defeat in Vietnam gave rise to the “white power” movement among Vietnam veterans in the US forces.
    The theme of betrayal of ethnic European interests by the European political establishment, and a refusal to admit that European forces had been roundly and fairly defeated by Asian, African, or Middle Eastern armies, has been a common theme of all white power or ethno-nationalist movements within the imperialist nations in the period since 1949.
    The point most often overlooked is that the ethno-nationalism theories are, at least in part, soundly based. The European political establishments betrayed their peoples twice over. First, in the act of establishing empires in America, Asia, Africa and Polynesia for which the European working class eventually paid a price in blood. Second by abandoning those empires in favour of the rule of global capital to the grave cost of their own working classes.
    So ethno-nationalism does not look to the era of imperialism as its inspiration. Imperialism, and the globalization which followed, were acts of betrayal. Nor does it look to European civilization, which essentially means the civilization of the imperial era. Instead it harks back to the period of European Christian nation states which existed between the tenth and fourteenth centuries and which had demonstrated a power to overcome all external enemies.
    The most recent manifestations of ethno-nationalist ideology, which includes Anders Breivik and Brenton Tarrant, arose out of the humiliation suffered by the Western powers in a series of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and in confrontations with Islamic Iran and Turkey. These failed military and political enterprises, which sent a flood of Arab and Muslim refugees into the European nations, fitted neatly into the ethno-nationalist schema of Christian European peoples engaged in an existential conflict with the Arab, Muslim, and more generally non-European world, as well as with their own European governments.
    Quite clearly, blame for the catastrophe does lie with those European governments, whether Conservative and Republican or Labour and Democratic. They instituted and ran the imperial system, and they then oversaw its transformation into the system of global capitalism. Along the way, they taught European peoples to see the world through the frame of race.
    In the period of empire, which ran from the early sixteenth century into the late twentieth, they sponsored the notion of European racial supremacy – “white supremacy” in the true sense of the term. Vestiges of that period of white race supremacy (specifically British race supremacy) remain in those nations which still give allegiance to the British monarch, including New Zealand. During the period of empire the notion of British race supremacy was the implicit and explicit foundation of the social order.
    When entering the era of global capitalism, these same elites introduced the concept of “multi-culturalism”, which everyone rightly takes to mean “multi-ethnic societies”. Multi-culturalism sends a mixed message. On the one hand it suggests that “race no longer matters” and on the other it means that “race is profoundly important”. Some people will be able to accommodate both sides of the contradiction, but many extract only the second meaning from the concept, and some of those will be galvanized into extremes of racial violence.
    The European popular reaction to the defeats which brought empire to its end is not based on ideas of racial superiority. Rather they come from a sense of defeat which manifests itself in the racial inferiority complex evident in Brenton Tarrant’s writings.
    Reporting of the kind seen here, and the harsh system of censorship put in place by the New Zealand state, does nothing to remove the spectre of ethno-nationalism from our society. It simply fits into the ethno-nationalist paradigm of deceit and betrayal by the political elite.
    Multi-culturalism feeds ethno-nationalism, and global capitalism provokes it.
    Apart from reflecting seriously on ethno-nationalist ideology – something Dr Gordon has signally failed to do here – there can be no solution while global capitalism and its attendant doctrine of multi-culturalism remain the ideological norm for European political establishments – including New Zealand’s.

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