Monday, 19 October 2015

Troubling times

The normalisation of demonisation politics in Europe and the US is a troubling thing.


Dec 2016:The most hate filled political comment BFTF has seen so far
Carl Paladino, New York co-chairman for Trumps election campaign, responded to an interviewer (see also here) asking what he would like to see happen in 2017 with :
“Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford. He dies before trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to [senior White House adviser] Valerie Jarrett, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her being a nice person and decapitated her."

and in response to a question on who he would like to see go in 2017, Paladino said :
"Michelle Obama. I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortable in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla."

For bonus extra level of disturbance, Paladino is also a school board member.


Dec 2016: Trump talks about the violence of this supporters
At a "Thank You" tour event on Orlando, Florida, Trump said this to his supporters (reported by C4):
"You people were vicious, violent, screaming, 'Where's the wall? We want the wall'; screaming 'Prison, Prison, lock her up', I mean you are going crazy. I mean you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win, right...?"

"But now, now, it's much different. Now, you're laid back, your cool, you're mellow, right? You're basking in the glow of victory...But, but, now you're mellow and you're cool, and you're not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won, right?"


Don't be a Sucker (1947)
This is a is a short film produced by the US War Department in 1947. It has anti-racist and anti-fascist themes. The movie starts by describing "Mike", a 20-something American, who is part of a small crowd listening to a street speaker blaming minoirities for American problems, for example:

"..I'm an American and some of the things I see in this country of ours make my blood boil. I see negros holding jobs that belong to me and you", adding that the country needs to be free of negros, catholics, foreigners and freemasons.

The rabble-rouser blames minorities for the counties problems

Mike is receptive to the speakers comments until freemasons are included in the list of enemies of the country (as Mike is himself a mason). A Hungarian immigrant engages Mike in conversation, pointing out that he has seen this kind of divisive talk before, in Nazi Germany. And that when the Nazi's had made the various parts of German society distrustful of each other, the Nazis then picked off those who were organised and posed a threat one by one - unions, catholics, teachers etc. He then comments that:

".. we must never let that happen to us or to our country. We must never let ourselves be divided by race or colour or religion, because in this country we all belong to minority groups, I am Hungarian, you are a mason, these are minorities. And then you belong to other minority groups too. You are a farmer, you go to the Methodist Church - your right to belong to these minorities is a precious thing.... if we allow any minority to lose their freedom by persecution or by prejudice we are threatening our own freeedom"

Youtube link :

The Hungarian immigrant explains that he has
 seen this before and it did not end well


Calls for Muslims to be "Exterminated"
On Dec9th 2016 the Facebook account of Former congressman Allen West posted a meme on FB which had an image of General "Mad Dog" Mattis and text saying "Fired by Obama to please the Muslims" and "hired by Trump to exterminate them."

Mad Dog Mattis hired by Trump to "Exterminate" Muslims

Following a media backlash the post was removed and this message from Michele Hickford was posted:

"Message to our followers: Hello everyone. This is Michele Hickford, Editor-in-Chief of Last night I posted a meme without Col. West's knowledge or consent which was inappropriate and crossed the line. I take full responsibility for this. It was wrong. I was wrong. It does not reflect Col. West's beliefs. I (Michele Hickford) personally apologize for any offense caused - and especially to Col. West. to whom I apologize for adversely affecting his reputation, principles and values."
An apology was not especially required, it seems for Muslims.

Allen B West has a history of controversial statements, including getting upset at "Coexist" bumper stickers because:

"every time I see one of those bumper stickers, I look at the person inside that is driving. Because that person represents something that would give away our country. Would give away who we are, our rights and freedoms and liberties…”
BFTF gently refers the reader to the "Don't be a sucker" item a bit higher on the post.


Nigel Farange, in a BBC Interview, 2016
"I think it's legitimate to say that it people feel they have lost control completely, and we have lost control of our borders completely as members of the European Union; and if people feel that voting doesn't change anything; then violence is the next step...I find it difficult to contemplate it happening here, but nothing's impossible."(link)

Nothing about non violent protest, nothing about organisation of pressure groups, nothing about civil disobedience. For Mr Farange, if you can't get your way, the first port of call is violence. Unbelievable. If anyone from a BME community said that that it would be a "threat".


David Cameron, 2016
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone."(link)

BFTF thought that being left alone so long as you obey the law was SPECIFICALLY how modern secular democracies worked, because otherwise the law merely sets a maximum level for personal freedom, with the ACTUAL level of personal freedom being undefined and at the whim of the state.


2015 : Two Anti-Muslim hate speech incidents on London transport
The first involved a lady who delivered a sustained volley of vitriol to a pregnant Muslim but passenger. The hate speech included repeatedly calling the victim and her friend "ISIS bitches" and also threatening to deliver a "kick in the uterus" to the innocent victim. The victim states that she asked the driver to call the Police but that the driver responded with "You can do that yourself'. This same driver tried, unsuccessfully, to resolve the situation by asking the passengers to "calm down".The perpetrator later handed herself in to Police.

The second involved a male who spend several minutes delivering a torrent of abuse, and physical threats, to a zimmer frame carrying Turkish pensioner. The driver did nothing to stop the abuse. In this case the perpetrator also later handed themselves in to Police.

BFTF asked this question of Nottingham Transport

"Following the recent instances, on London buses, of sustained torrents of hate-speech being directed at pregnant Muslim women and elderly Muslim men, I note that the bus drivers did not substantially challenge the perpetrators, nor did the bus drivers call the Police.

I do not think this is acceptable.

Can you tell me what passengers can expect from drivers on Nottingham City Transport Buses if similar instances of hate-speech happened here in our fine city.

Can you also advise where passengers can find this information on the NCT website so that they can be forearmed with knowledge of what to do if such events take place."

Update 26 Nov 15
Recently received this encouraging response from NCT :

We were shocked and saddened by the recent examples of hate speech on public transport in London.

Thankfully this type of behaviour is very rare and during my thirteen years of employment at Nottingham City Transport, I am aware of very few similar incidents on our buses. Nottingham City Transport were one of the first bus operators in the UK to install CCTV to all buses and have had 100% fleet coverage for over a decade. Since CCTV was installed and through an excellent partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and the Respect for Transport campaign, there has been a significant drop in all incidents on buses.

All of our buses have radio and text communication to a dedicated Control Room, manned 24/7. When drivers are aware of any incidents, they will contact our Control Room to request assistance from the Police and/or an Inspector on the bus. Text messages are increasingly used between drivers and the Control Room and are a discreet way to request assistance, removing the potential escalation of an incident on the bus.

Any customer who experiences or witnesses hate crime on a bus should, in the first instance, alert the driver and then report the matter to the Police. Through our partnership, we share CCTV footage and work very closely with Nottinghamshire Police to ensure the small number of people who commit crime on buses are dealt with. We are reassured, though not complacent, by the most recent independent Passenger Focus Bus Survey, where personal security on the bus scored a 93% satisfaction rating amongst Nottingham City Transport customers, the highest of any City-operator in the UK. (National average score 86%).

The Information Centre on our website advises customers what to do should there be an incident or crime on their bus and in light of these current cases, I will elevate the article to be a featured question.


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