My Moment of the Year

As 2017 draws to a close it is appropriate to reflect on this year’s events. There have been some important developments this year; the snap election, Grenfell tower, the Brexit negotiations, President Trump’s tiff with North Korea to name a few.

But none of these are my ‘political moment of the year’. For my money, I am going to go with the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Rarely does an event so perfectly capture the tensions that create the political climate of our times. Furthermore, it is not very often that a news story causes to revaluate my worldview so comprehensively.

As the mid-2010s rolled around this began to change. The first episode of this story that I saw was the shooting of Treyvon Martin by George Zimmerman in 2012. The accepted narrative I had grown up with about race had been called into question.

There didn’t seem to be a comfortable middle ground between the protestors calling for retribution from George Zimmerman and the people (the term Alt-Right was not in wide circulation then) saying that this Black teenager got what he deserved.

All the while on social media, radio and in the press the debate about racism in the UK was brought to the surface. But Ferguson was different, all of a sudden these Alt-Right nutters were wandering around American streets with clubs and shields. One drove his car into a crowd of protesters killing somebody.

It is clear that this issue is not going away. The election of Donald Trump had exposed fault lines in American society but not to the extent that Charlottesville had. Voting for president Trump can be explained by industrial decline and lack of enthusiasm for Hilary Clinton. Which side people supported in Ferguson seemed to be a much clearer indication of one’s ideology.

I am going to resists the temptation to call our current situation a ‘culture war’. But it does appear that we are entering a new chapter in the way we engage with Race, Ethnicity, identity and history. Whether this is for the better or for the worse I will leave up to you. For me, Charlottesville represented the tension about what western civilisation stands for in the twenty-first century.

Radical political movements rarely gain enough public support to enforce their ideas fully. They tend to generate a certain amount of heat before dissipating. The ideas that the public find palatable are taken on board before and the most extreme ideas fall away- in other words, radical movements need to be digested by the general population.

It may strike some as premature, but I think that Charlottesville is our ‘digestion’ moment for identity politics in the USA and here in Britain. Going forward, Charlottesville will be in the back of our minds because it is uncomfortable, and more importantly, it forces us to think about the serious issues that are the agents of change in our culture.

 

It would be interesting to hear what other people’s ‘moments of the year’ are.

 

  9 comments for “My Moment of the Year

  1. Steve Kerby
    Jan 1, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    That’s a good choice Jordan, and one I might have gone for myself, had more recent events not worried me more.

    No, my choice is what might be called ‘Porngate’ in tabloid-speak, namely the so-called scandal involving Damian Green. What transpired, in my opinion, is a cause for despair, with perhaps a glimmer of hope.

    What made me despair, was that this was the very essence of the surveillance state in action. A raid on a political party’s office (then in opposition) of extremely dubious legality, after which no charges were filed and nothing illegal was uncovered. However, information gained in this (quite possibly illegal) raid was obtained, stored for years and then released at a time of the protagonists’ choosing. I am not here to defend a lying Damian Green, but a political career has been cut short, simply (or so it seems) to settle a score. Character assassination, by releasing embarrassing, but not illegal behaviour, which is a classic tactic as often used by The Stasi.

    What gives me a little hope is that the principle of non-disclosure of confidential information has been widely argued from many quarters, and even amazingly from the top brass of the police.

    However, I am under no illusions. Damian Green was cornered into lying and still had to resign, not for watching porn, but for trying to conceal the fact by lying about it. So, the Deep State – for that is what it is – was able to influence political events in the absence of any due process or democratic accountability, and get their man.

    As we sink ever deeper into this Orwellian nightmare, we can expect more of this.

    As defenders of freedom – as I assume we all are – we need to up our game.

    • Jan 1, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      The nature of Damien Green’s departure was indeed uncomfortable to watch. Something about two police officers using records that they essentially smuggled out of Scotland Yard going after a politician they have a grudge with is alarming.

      Whether I feel much sympathy for Mr Green is another question…

      What distinguishes British civil servants from other countries is that (speaking generally) our public servants are not prone to abusing their powers or corruption.

      Compared to many other nations our ‘deep state’ is relatively well behaved. British people generally trust civil servants- if not politicians.

      Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing I will leave to you.

  2. Jan 2, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    For me, it was when bystanders lobbed pint glasses and bicycle parts at knife wielding terrorists in Borough Market.

    The Manchester massacre should perhaps have been definitive, on the basis of the age and number of victims. In fact, what sums up the year for many will be #StopBrexit etc etc.

    • Jan 2, 2018 at 6:03 pm

      Suprised at the tenacity of the #stopbrexit campaigners. If they were successful in stopping Breixt, that my 2018 moment sorted!

    • Steve Kerby
      Jan 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Yes Simon,

      That WAS quite a moment. As critics of ‘how things are’ (as we all tend to be), it is easy to forget the basic decency of most people under fire.

  3. Paul Marks
    Jan 2, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    The tragic events in Virginia had one good effect – the “unite the right” movement was killed off, it became clear that people who wanted to defend an historic culture (which includes President George Washington, President James Madison, President Jefferson Jefferson and General Robert E. Lee and other slave holders [technically General Lee was never a slave OWNER – but Jefferson was] – there is no history or culture of Virginia or the United States in general without such historical figures AND THEIR STATUES) can not cooperate with people who are motivated by RACE. For example one can not hold a demonstration on the same day and in the same place.

    “Scientific racialism” is a doctrine that emerged in the late 19th century and has as much to do with General Robert E. Lee as it has with the Emperor Marcus Aurelius – and defenders of history and culture (of President Washington, President Jefferson and the rest of the Founding Fathers) have no business “uniting” with fans of Nazi Germany making chants against “the Jews” (never more than about 2% of the population of the United States – and a lot less than now).

    Actually it was more the torch light march the previous night (not the car killing the next day) that changed minds – most people were disgusted with what these people were chanting. It became clear that, for once, the Marxists were not lying – there were Nazis present.

    As for the Marxists (“Antifa” and so on) they often try and kill people (I have seen them try to do so) – but they just do not seem to be very good at killing. It has become a general rule that when is there is a fight with the Marxists in the black masks (the “Antifa” and so on) even if the Marxists have the advantage in numbers and weapons – they-tend-to-lose. I do not know why.

    As for George Zimmerman down in Florida – he was an hispanic Democrat who killed someone he thought was a criminal in a fight (no connection to any part of the right – historic, cultural or racial). For some reason the media decided that Mr Zimmerman was not an hispanic – most likely because this did not fit their “all evil comes from whites” narrative, as for whether he was right or wrong in using his firearm (he was on night patrol – as a volunteer in his neighbourhood) I do not know – the problem is that the man he killed is not around to give his side of the argument (such as who really started the fight).

    “Ferguson was different” – well yes it was.

    Ferguson is in Missouri – Mr Martin was a violent criminal (a lot older than the photographs the lying media normally show) high-on-drugs, who robbed a store and then attacked a policeman (broke his face actually), but the police officer managed to reach his pistol and shoot the violent criminal.

    Good – accept that the media and Marxist agitators (such as “Black Lives Matter” – a group just a racialist as the KKK, accept in reverse) decided to cause trouble and LIE THEIR HEADS OFF about what happened in Ferguson.

    Well the Marxists got their way Jordan Lee.

    In many towns and cities the police have “backed off” (as the pro Marxist media demanded) but what has happened to BLACK PEOPLE?

    No surprise to students of American social history – the MURDER RATE for black people in these towns and cities has go UP (yes UP).

    Everywhere the police have “backed off” (left the streets – as the Marxists demanded) the murder rate has gone UP. And who lives in these areas? BLACK people do.

    So what has been the net result of “Black Lives Matter”? Lots and lots and lots of DEAD BLACK PEOPLE – murdered by other black people (just like the 1960s and the 1970s when the police also “backed off”).

    Unless one wants lots of DEAD BLACK PEOPLE – I would say the net result of the police backing off has been bad.

    The murder rate had been going DOWN for decades – then “Black Lives Matter” came along and the murder rate (in these cities) started to go UP again, AFTER they (the media) got the police to back off.

    Lastly on the use of firearms – a big old fashioned Irish-American cop could beat the resistance out of someone before they could say “I am going to kill you Pig” (having been caught just after raping and murdering some 11 year old), someone the size of Officer Wilson in Ferguson has, no disrespect meant to him, has a problem being a police officer.

    The bottom line in being a police officer is being able to ENFORCE the law (a police officer is not a lawyer – he is not there to make legal arguments, he is then to overpower criminals). An officer the size of Mr Wilson can not enforce the law on someone the size of Mr Martin (the drug abusing violent criminal – who was much bigger than Officer Wilson), without using his gun.

    A return to old fashioned physically big cops who know how to use their night sticks (even if they do not have much “education”) is in order – the police have to rule-the-streets, or the criminal gangs will rule instead (and LIBERTARIANS PLEASE NOTE – that would be the same for a private police force hired by local property owners). And you can only rule what you can hold – physically. Thankfully a lot of black police officers (the majority of police officers in some cities for many years now) understand that – if you are not feared you are not going to be respected (not in these areas) and if you are not big enough (and hard enough) to be feared for your fists you are going to have to use your pistol and that is a BAD thing, so be big enough (and hard enough) to be respected WITHOUT using your pistol.

    Of course any police officer (or volunteer) may be killed at any time – that goes with the tin star (shield these days) and the killer can be of any skin colour. If violence and the risk of death upset you too much for you to be able to think clearly – then do not sign up.

    In the end, as the Marxists (such as “Black Lives Matter” or the, mostly white, “Social Justice Warriors” who seem oddly incompetent in actual combat to the death) understand – private property can only exist if it is defended. and that means, , if need be, counter violence. Whether it is government police or private volunteers.

    How to get the murder rate in these towns and cities going DOWN again? Retake the streets – block by block. And that will mean a lot of CRACKING HEADS – mostly black heads as mostly black people live there, so there will be cries of “racism” even if the police officers (or volunteers) are black.

    But only then can shops reopen and manufacturing be restored – go into these areas and go in HARD.

    • Jan 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      I’m not sure if I want to see policemen beating people up and ‘cracking heads’ but something must be done to sort out law-enforcement in US cities. One thing that Ferguson has taught me is that sometimes it is best to listen to people before jumping to conclusions.

      It was clear from interviews with people around the US (most of whom were black) that their perception of the police was not good. While groups like BLM focus on the whole of America most of the anger was directed at police conduct in the local area. This is where movements like BLM go wrong, most people just want a more pleasant community to live in- not a nationwide marxist revolution. This is why in the long term I think BLM will fizzle out.

      It is the mistake of the Alt-right to say ‘the statistics don’t support this’. Numbers can be manipulated to support many different arguments. The fact that so many black Americans perceive unfair treatment by the police to be a reality is in itself an issue. Of course in a private law enforcement situation, Black Americans could simply switch their protection provider…

      • Paul Marks
        Jan 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm

        “Black Lives Matter” did not “go wrong” – it was always a Marxist organisation that WANTED large numbers of black people murdered. The increase in the murder rate in the cities where the police backed off the streets was not a “bug” to BLM – it is a “feature”, it is what they want. Or rather PART of what they want – the rest of it being the closing of all “reactionary capitalist” business enterprises in order to increase unemployment and poverty, in order to push Revolution (or the “fundamental transformation of society” as Comrade Barack, a backer of BLM, would describe it).

        And the alternative to “cracking heads” is SHOOTING people

        Officer Wilson had to reach for his pistol (or die – allowing Mr Martin, the drug abusing violent criminal who had just robbed a store, to beat him to death) because Officer Wilson was too small and non violent to defeat Mr Martin in unarmed combat.

        The law has to be ENFORCED in these areas (unless all production and trade is to break down – which is what the Marxists want) and if it is not the old stereotype of “Officer O’Reilly” with his nightstick smashing the head of criminals who resist him (and the “Officer O’Reilly” types really did exist) then it is desperate Officer Wilson reaching for his pistol.

        Take your pick.

        As for black police officers – most police officers in (for example) Baltimore are black – that did not stop the Marxists denouncing them as racists. And the methods of black police officers are no more gentle than the methods of old “Officer O’Reilly” , because they can not be more gentle.

        Gentle does not cut it on the streets.

        And, libertarians please note, private police or volunteers (vigilantes) could not be more gentle either.

        The murder rate was FALLING – for many years. If we want it to FALL again then someone is going have to go back on the streets and (yes) CRACK HEADS if need be.

        As for the Marxists – they assume (as always) that if they destroy society a wonderful new society will emerge from the ashes.

        They are mistaken – all there will be, if the Marxists win, is ashes and dried blood.

  4. Paul Marks
    Jan 4, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Of course it would help if the education system and the media were not pushing out endless Marxist propaganda – not that they admit it is Marxist, but the basic assumptions of their stuff are Marxist.

    The collapse in families and other civil society cultural institutions (such as traditional churches – but also secular fraternities led by local businessmen, including black businessmen) since the 1950s, is also at the heart of all this.

    The culture did not die a natural death – the culture was murdered.

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