Sunday, August 18, 2019

Why I Stopped Being White (and You Should Too)

Race is a touchy subject in the West. People across the aisle, especially white folk, tend to avoid it like a plague. A big part of the reason behind this reservation has to do with the fact that both the left and the right maintain an equally immature grasp on the subject. While the right seems to be convinced that race is some kind of scientific fact like a species of bird, the left seems to view it as an inescapable historical prison sentence with no hope for escape. Like usual, the left is wrong and the right is way fucking wrong. There is nothing scientific or permanent about race. It is a social construct as fluid in nature as gender or sexuality, and it is constantly evolving. Almost every known race was created by a collision of former races that have ceased to exist. About the only thing that the clueless class in the left-right paradigm gets right is that the white race is a very unique creature, and a dangerous one.

The white race is unique in that it is the first defining race of the imperial era and modern day imperialism defines its very existence. The Western Europeans designed the concept of whiteness to justify their expanse and enslavement of the New World and it's dark skinned cousins across the Global South. As the insatiable nature of capitalism demanded endless expansion, it's moneyed mandarins required the creation of a new super-class to rationalize the enslavement of the darker nations. This concept became even more necessary with American independence and the fall of monarchism.

This new white aristocracy replaced the royal bloodline and shaped the very nature of the planet's economic ecosystem. The First World was created with the excess wealth pillaged from the Third World, and it's subjects soon became victims of new races invented to further empower the white race. The colored races of black and Latino were constructed to both consolidate white supremacy's ill-gotten gains and to rob the many tribes that made up these racial monoliths of color of their diverse indigenous cultures. The white race is unique, not simply by the Machiavellian nature of its design, but by the necessity of its supremacy over other similarly constructed mass races to justify its very existence. But like most imperial schemes, white supremacy backfired.

Unlike the white race, the black and brown races were defined by their oppression beneath the weight of another race's supremacy. But these races didn't truly become authentic identities until they began to resist this oppression. Forcibly divorced from their indigenous cultures, they had to build new ones from the shattered fragments of what remained and fused them together with the kind of solidarity that only revolution can birth. The black and brown races were born beneath the smokey moonlight of slave revolts and peasant uprisings. But these weren't the only races constructed as a means of resistance against colonialism. My race was too.

I was born white but I had zero concept of what race truly meant until I stopped hiding my queer identity beneath this pale mask and came out of the closet. Once I found myself surrounded for the very first time by people like me, people who felt the way I felt, people who looked the way I felt, I experienced a deep sense of belonging that I had thirsted for my entire life. You see, race is not defined by the fickle parameters of blood and soil. It's defined by a shared history, vision and culture, and much like the black and brown races, being queer is defined by an existential opposition to white colonial culture.

There was a time when tribes across the globe reserved spaces for those of us who could not or simply would not conform to the perceived norms of gender and sexuality. That time ended with the western bastardization and spread of Christianity, which set the stage for modern white supremacy. Like the other anti-colonial races, queer people were forced to forge a whole new racial identity from the shards of the extinct but not forgotten pagan societies which once venerated us. We were born in the shadows of white supremacy and though we have always come in many colors, our queerness is what defines our existence above all else.

Since coming out and studying the history of my people, I have made a conscious decision to reject my whiteness and to forge a new queer tribal awareness that defines queer as a race unto itself, an anti-colonial race in the robust mold of the Black Power and Chicano movements. I have borrowed ideas from everyone from Noel Ignatiev and the Black Panther Party to Oswald Spengler and the National Anarchist Movement. It is a highly inflammatory and downright politically incorrect mission, but my aim isn't simply to create a queer race but to destroy the white one by using my privileged access to the master's house to burn down the whole fucking plantation, once and for all. And I invite other oppressed "white" people to join me.

The biggest problem with the left-wing concept of white supremacy is that while they have properly diagnosed the problem, they have offered nothing in the way of a solution. Creating a new class of limp-wristed, guilt ridden, yuppies does nothing to deplete white supremacy of its lethal power. There was a time before whiteness and there can be a time after it. The Alt-Right will bellyache like snowflakes that my philosophy is one of white genocide, but the white race is an unnatural conglomeration defined by genocide, not just of dark and queer people, but of Irish, Italian, Greek, Polish, Russian, Scottish and Welsh people. All of these once proud tribes, dissolved like corpses in the acid bath of white supremacy. I invite these people to join me in throwing off the shackles that tie us to this imperial beast. I invite poor "white" folk to embrace their true cultures, as hillbillies and rednecks and Cajuns and guidos and Okies and Crackers, as new anti-colonial races.

The bloodshed, at home and abroad, loosed by a sinking white empire has made the choice stark and clear. We can either stand with the uprising Third World or the suppressing First. We can either stand with the oppressed or the oppressor. I choose, as a queer person, to stand with my black and brown brothers and sisters. I choose to reject the blood spattered gift of whiteness and I invite you to do the same. Only a world of autonomous minorities can destroy a nation of imperial majority.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Wake Up by Arcade Fire
*  Tennessee by Arrested Development
*  Another Day by Galaxie 500
*  Bring the Noise by Public Enemy
*  People Got a Lotta Nerve by Neko Case
*  The Payback by James Brown
*  You Have Killed Me by Morrissey
*  Okie from Muskogee by Merle Haggard
*  I Against I by Bad Brains
*  Margin Walker by Fugazi

Sunday, August 11, 2019

I Was a Red Flag Kid

Middle school sucks for everybody. But its harder for some people than others. After nearly a decade at a small, conservative, K-8 Catholic school, I was beginning to chafe beneath the cross of my mental illness. I had suffered from depression and anxiety since early childhood but as I entered the maelstrom of my teens, these issues became too turbulent to conceal. I didn't feel like the other kids and my awkward individuality felt far from welcome among the pious adults. Even beyond my ability to cope with the basic everyday stress of being an active human being, I felt strange and detached from what passed as normal in this stifling environment. My body felt like a mistake and I couldn't shake the fear that these feelings were evil. I had never heard of words like transgender or genderfluid. This was the Nineties and the only people who looked the way I felt were Dennis Rodman and Marilyn Manson, and the generally excepted wisdom at my church was that these freaks were going to hell, and so was I.

I was terrified. Terrified of myself. Terrified that if I ever let people in, that if people ever really truly saw me, they would either burn me at the stake or run screaming for the hills. So I retreated and found ways to cope. I lost most of my friends but I found shards of myself through the awesome power of punk rock music and radical politics. George W. Bush dropped bombs on Baghdad when I was in 8th grade and the very next day I came to school with a peace sign strapped to my arm. In early post-9/11 middle America, this mild gesture of resistance was tantamount to burning a pentagram in your forehead and declaring allegiance to Al-Qaeda.

I spent the proceeding weeks and months engaging in all out verbal combat with nearly every student and teacher I crossed. It was exhausting, but for the first time in a very long time, I wasn't scared, I was proud. I had declared my independence from "normal" and stood my ground and it felt empowering. So I dressed in all black, stopped standing for the pledge of allegiance and gave up on trying to please the normal people who occupied my life. I decorated my backpack with badges emblazoned with the portraits of my new saints; Kurt Cobain, Che Guevara and Joey Ramone. Then the wolves came in and normal bit back.

My poorly trained principle called me to her office and informed me that the whole school; students, parents and teachers, had been talking behind my back and they all agreed that my worst fears were true. I was a monster. I was accused of a litany of fictional offenses, from dressing like a criminal to plotting another Columbine. My hysterical principle had even gone so far as to contact the archdiocese for advice. All of this lunacy, the entire witch hunt, built on little more than small town rumors and soccer-mom hearsay to back it up. The only facts these adults needed to know to demonize a frightened child was that I was different and I was mentally ill. Up to that point, I had never even considered violence of any kind, I was a goddamn pacifist for Christ's sake. But after being ostracized the way I was by "concerned adults", I felt like burning that school to the fucking ground. I held high hopes that a secular public school would be different. But the very next year, the same thing happened all over again, this time over a graphic short story I wrote as a nonviolent alternative to arson. I've been broken ever since.

I was a red flag kid, dearest motherfuckers. The kind our truly psychotic president has been demonizing on social media, like some self-loathing preteen troll. The result of these experiences continue to haunt me. No one should ever be made to feel like monster when they're only 14 years old, especially not someone who was very clearly emotionally fragile. But as traumatizing as these experiences were, they would have been ten times worse in today's police state climate. After a seemingly endless string of mass shootings in the heartlands of the most violent empire the world has ever trembled beneath, everyone seems desperate for a quick and easy government solution to a very complicated socio-cultural problem. If I had been 14 in 2019 or, even worse, 2020, the predatory adult authority figures in my life would have been empowered to use police resources to restrain me.

With frantic calls from war-mongering politicians and alarmist talking heads to crack down on the mentally ill like a human virus with the revocation of our constitutional rights and even draconian measures like involuntary confinement, what we're talking about here isn't addressing the very real problem of mental illness, it's weaponizing it. We are talking about giving the state the downright Stalinesque ability to police an entire class of people numbering in the millions, not on their actions but on certain authority figure's fear of crimes that have not yet been committed, gutting due process like a fucking trout in the process. Well, this is one crazy person who won't fucking stand for it.

I do not own a gun, but as a mentally ill person, I am far more likely to be a victim of violence than a perpetrator. And as a trans person, I do not nor will I ever trust the police to keep me safe. I should have every right to both my Zoloft and my revolver. The Constitution doesn't come with asterisks. But with today's rapidly expanding red flag laws, all the state would have to do to disarm me of my Second Amendment rights is point to my online activity as a radical anarchist with connections to both the far-left and the far-right and tell the public that my mental illness and social media extremism makes me a threat to myself and others. And if I resisted this blatant violation of my basic human rights, it would only give them the moral green light to throw me a Ruby Ridge Chivaree.

I honestly don't have all the answers to America's epidemic of mass shootings and though I think our countries war addiction is a much more likely culprit, I don't deny that mental illness and gun culture are part of the problem. But turning this country into a giant goddamn gulag is not the solution. As I mentioned above, millions of Americans suffer from mental illness and even more millions of Americans are discontent with the derelict state of our dying empire, I honestly suspect the latter informs the prior rather than the other way around. Vilifying these people, especially when they're young, will only push them deeper into the shadows where they can fall prey to violent parasites like ISIS, the Alt-right and the US Army and maybe that's the point. My point is that the problem isn't the mentally ill, it's the society that alienates and stigmatizes us for not fitting their tight definition of normal in these pathologically abnormal times.

When I was a scared, lonely, confused adolescent, all I really needed was for someone to fucking listen to me, and that's the one thing I do have in common with these shooters. We're all too goddamn busy with our fears and hang-ups to just sit the fuck down and fucking listen to one another. We need to fight the stigma. We need to put down the fucking phones, turn off the fucking news and stop turning to the police state to raise our fucking children for us. The violence doesn't stop until we shut the fuck up and start listening to these kids before they have to start a fire just get our attention.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Toy Soldiers by Martika
*  Kerosene by Big Black
*  Everybody Does by Julien Baker
*  Sin by Nine Inch Nail
*  Old Friends by Pinegrove
*  I Wanna Be Sedated by the Ramones
*  Heart Attack by Slaughter Beach, Dog
*  Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode
*  Get Your Gunn by Marilyn Manson
*  I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats
*  Everything Is Embarrassing by Sky Ferreira
*  Blank Generation by Richard Hell & the Voidoids

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Who's Afraid of Tulsi Gabbard?

Elections are different for anarchists. We've already made our peace with the basic fact that representative democracy is a sham even when it's not rigged by moneyed oligarchs. So when we do actually take part in the process, it's usually for purposes of propaganda and/or Machiavellian strategy. One thing Trump was right about is the influence of the deep state, though it's hardly the shadowy coalition of dope smoking lesbian Bolsheviks the Alex Jones-set imagines them to be (I wish.) Rather, they're more of a loose coalition of rich old white men who travel back and forth between unelected positions in the federal government and the numerous industrial complexes of the Fortune 500. At the risk of sounding like a member of the tinfoil hat brigade, these are the people who really run this country. Elections, especially at the presidential level, are largely just theater, a glorified reality TV show designed to feed the masses the illusion of living in a democratic society beneath the steel boot of a rapidly decomposing empire.

I personally subscribe to the Murray Rothbard philosophy on elections, which basically goes that since the state is defined by it's monopoly on the use of force, the best we the people can do when we're not loading rifles is to support the most antiwar candidate available. To me, this school of thought is made doubly relevant by the fact that theoretically the only thing the president has direct authority over is the armed forces. To say that this philosophy has brought me to some strange places is an understatement. I have personally changed political parties no fewer than three times and counting. And I've found myself openly backing everyone from Jurassic goldbugs like Ron Paul to New Age hippie vaxxers like Jill Stein (who's 2016 campaign sticker continues to haunt Hillaryites from the bumper of my Ford Taurus.)

The DNC's bottomless clown car of milquetoast morons doesn't exactly provide a lot of options for the Rothbardian voter. Most of the candidates seem to come from the Oprah School of social democracy, chumming debt besodden millennials with the promise of an endless procession of free shit, payed through taxing super-villains without offering to cut a single missile. The only solidly antiwar candidate was 89 year old former senator Mike Gravel, but since Mike has called it quits after essentially being banned from Cable TV and screwed out of his rightful place in the latest debates, that only leaves contrarian powder-keg, Tulsi Gabbard.

An active duty National Guardsman who has recently become one of Washington's last critics of the American regime change addiction, Tulsi is kind of like a young Hawaiian Smedley Butler, only with way better tits (What? I'm a feminist, not a monk.) Aside from good Old Man Gravel, she is the only candidate running a campaign centered on peace, denuclearization and detente in an age when the Cold War is back with a bipartisan vengeance. And with our dear old empire lurching closer to nuclear holocaust than it has since the Cuban Missile Crisis, this candidacy has become a necessity of existential proportions. Tulsi, as I will later address, is far from a perfect peace candidate. But her willingness to take on her own parties derelict leadership and throw partisan horseshit to the fan makes what may have previously been a rather mild candidacy downright revolutionary.

So then why has the congresswoman become persona no grata across the spectrum of the left-wing zeitgeist? Whether she's being banned on Google, ambushed on CNN or skewered by every progressive organ from the Nation to the Jacobin, it appears to be open season on the only underdog candidate not allergic to peace. But why? What is so damn dangerous about this woman that even the anti-establishment left finds her too toxic to touch with a twelve and a half foot pole? Well, lets unpack some of the most common gripes from my comrades and see if we can't come up with an answer to this conundrum.

An early arrow in Tulsi's tire is the idea that she is some kind of raging homophobe. On this I have to concur that Tulsi Gabbard's views on queer folk like myself were repulsive, in the fucking Nineties! Tulsi is the daughter of a wack-job, fag-bashing, zealot named Mike Gabbard who has long served in the Hawaiian State Senate. The bastard has earned an unsavory reputation as a kind of Fred Phelps of the South Pacific. The fact that Tulsi actually managed to climb out of that familial cesspool of hate and has still gone on to recieve a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign on queer rights issues speaks volumes about her character, all of it good. Who the fuck wasn't an asshole when they were 23? I was a goddamn Leninist suffering under the delusion that my penis made me a man. The fact that Tulsi may still hold some social conservative values related to her devotion to Hinduism is rendered further irrelevant when you consider that she has very openly voiced her belief that these values should not be a matter of public policy, a decidedly libertarian position that she adopted upon seeing what her father's brand of mass theocratic skulduggery leads to during her service in the Middle East.

Another popular swipe taken at Tulsi is the theory that her foreign policy is motivated primarily by latent Islamaphobia. I held this position myself at first, stemming largely from my uncomfortability with her past relationships with some pretty blatantly anti-Muslim Hindu nationalist organizations. But if you listen closely to Tulsi's positions in regards to 'Islamic Terrorism', you quickly realize that she's not anti-Muslim but anti-Wahhabi and there is a strong difference between the two. Islam is a huge and diverse collection of Abrahamic philosophies that are largely peaceful and anti-authoritarian at heart. Wahhabi Salafism is a pseudo-Islamic death cult propagated by our clients in Saudi Arabia in order to spread violence and instability across a population with a totally rational disdain for western-style capitalism. It's an inherently imperialist and supremacist philosophy just like Zionism and American Exceptionalism. I believe that Tulsi's position could benefit greatly from re-branding 'Islamic Terrorism' as 'Wahhabist Terrorism' but I'm not about to cut my support for a candidate based on something as petty as politically correct semantics. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter what motivates Tulsi's foreign policy, be it the troops or Wahhabism, as long as that policy is peace.

None of this is to say that Tulsi Gabbard is some kind of spotless dove. She may be among the last of the McGovern Democrats, but she's no Ilhan Omar. Her views regarding the genocidal apartheid state of Israel remain alarmingly inconsistent and her connections to arch-Zionist creep-a-zoids like the Addelson's are nothing short of disturbing. Her positions on torture and drones are also disconcertingly opaque. But her overall values still speak to the experience of a grizzled warrior who would rather break bread with the enemy than to pick back up the sword. Her short comings are part of the reason I had hoped that Old Man Gravel would find a way to hack the debate stage and hold Tulsi's feet to the fire. Tulsi's inconsistencies remain very bridgeable in light of the fact that they're contrary to her overall world view and this is what makes the left's concession to the radical center's demonization of her so infuriating.

Tulsi's independent streak has earned her a very diverse cheering section, including not only libertarian lefties like myself, but so-called 'Sputnik Leftists' and even a few lapsed Trumpsters who feel cheated by a president who promised them detente with Russia and an end to the endless circus of suicidal regime change wars. The diversity of Tulsi's appeal should be considered a strength in a country that has grown dismally weary of our long outdated left-right partisan paradigm. But this very appeal to diversity appears to be exactly why even the ostensibly antiwar left remains allergic to her campaign. The left in this country has become infected by a bitter strain of bigotry that views any interaction between their rank and file with the white trash deplorables in Trump Country as tantamount to treason. This isn't just offensively closed minded, it's cripplingly counter-revolutionary and precisely what the cretins of the deep state rely on to keep poor and disenfranchised people of every color divided against each other.

What makes a truly successful campaign in a hopelessly corrupt empire? Is it some safe vanilla centrist poster-boy for banality who we can hope against hope grows a spine in the Oval Office for just long enough to have it severed by a sniper's bullet from some foggy grassy knoll? Does anyone remember what Humphrey stood for? How about John Kerry? That's what I thought. But people remember the wildcards like George McGovern, Ron Paul, Ralph Nader and Ross Perot. Not because they won, but because they lost with dignity on their terms and succeeded in changing the national conversation. And right now, Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate pushing that conversation towards peace. I don't know if that's enough to earn my vote but it sure as shit is a good start.

Lets have that conversation, dearest motherfuckers. Let make some goddamn noise for peace.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley
*  Monkeywrench by Foo Fighters
*  Broken Face by the Pixies
*  What's My Age Again? by Blink 182
*  Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
*  North American Scum by LCD Soundsystem
*  See No Evil by Television
*  Freedom of Choice by Devo
*  Forever Half Mast by Lucy Dacus
*  Power to the People by John Lennon