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  • Buffalo Massacre Aftermath: Mainstream Media Still Validating Racist ‘Replacement Theory’

    By: Brian Becker, Esther Iverem, Nicole Rousseau The following is a lightly edited transcription from In the News, the weekly Tuesday show on The Socialist Program. Subscribe here. Brian: The horrific, racist massacre in a Black community in Buffalo, New York was carried out by a self-identified fascist. He came in and mercilessly killed so many people. Ten people. It's also obviously racist because the shooter is saying that he's an adherent to replacement theory. There’s a direct connection to Charlottesville, when the fascists marched, and there was a very strong anti-fascist response to them, and they were chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” Replacement theory is being promoted not only by the fascists in the streets with guns, but also by Fox News. Esther: President Biden was addressing a gathering of police officers when he commented on this tragedy on Saturday. He pivoted very quickly to talk about how important police officers are, how brave they are, and really, I was just really shocked at how the white supremacist nature of this massacre was not being talked about. But we know that's because these corporate politicians are finding themselves in a real quandary, because they are supporting white supremacist neo-Nazis in Ukraine. They still claim that this is not true, and I’m still hearing commentators talk about “Oh, that’s not true, that’s Russian propaganda. There are no neo-Nazis in Ukraine. There are no Nazis. We're not supporting Nazis. We're not arming Nazis.” But then you have this young man who carried out this massacre wearing Azov battalion symbols, the same symbols that they're wearing in Ukraine. So maybe that's why people are staying away from it. But I was just really shocked at how people were really holding up the police and talking about the police as opposed to the victims and the massacre and the anguish and tragedy and trauma in this community. Brian: If you watch the media coverage, you couldn't but come to the conclusion that from the point of view of the media in the United States, the corporate capitalist owned media, that Black lives actually don't matter, because none of the stories were about the lives of the people who were killed, about their family members. In Buffalo, New York, that local coverage exists, but nationwide, no. Nationwide, the story is about a troubled, mentally ill young man, a lone gunman, somehow subscribing to fringe theories without making clear that at the very center of this is a rising tide of racist violence going on in the country that is being generated and promoted by a climate that says that there is such a thing as white grievance. This argument is that somehow white people will be offended by telling the story of this country, which is a story of white supremacy, the story of the enslavement of African people. This whole idea is that white people have a legitimate beef and so let's try to really understand what replacement theory is? That would be like saying, “let's try to get to the bottom of why Hitler wanted to exterminate Jews.” No, people don't do that. This type of coverage is another reflection of the profound racism that's everywhere in American society. Nicole: And there have been a slew of these disgusting massacres and mass shootings that have this as the motivation. In 2015, people may remember Dylan Roof was invited to come in and pray in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in a Black church with predominantly Black parishioners. Toward the end of the service, he opened fire and killed nine people. Then in 2017, in the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, white supremacists rallied together and one of them drove his car into counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more. At that rally they chanted “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us,” which are clearly chants referencing the great replacement theory. 2018, at a Pittsburgh synagogue, a man shot and killed 11 people and wounded six. He had written that a Jewish organization that had supported Central American migrant caravans, “likes to bring invaders in that kill our people.” “Screw your people, I'm going in.” Brian: Some are saying that this is just a person, an individual, who carried out that massacre. But that was the main theme of the whole Trump administration, that migrants were this great invading horde. And then you have people like Tucker Carlson and other racists who are promoting this replacement theory, like immigrants from Latin America and Africa are going to replace white people, or Black Americans or Asian Americans are replacing white people at the job. It's this great political drumming up of grievance, of scapegoating, and it's not simply individual souls gone astray. There's a large section of the right wing in America using the mass media to create a climate where these ideas are considered not just okay, but completely valid. If you decontextualized the massacres from the political climate, you're missing the big picture. Nicole: People don't just come up with these insane ideas out of thin air on their own, and these massacres are clearly happening so frequently. In addition to the 2015 shooting in Charleston at Emanuel AME, the 2017 Charlottesville Unite the Right killing, the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, in 2019 another shooter shot and killed 23 shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso. He told police that he had sought to kill Mexicans, and his manifesto referenced a “cultural and ethnic replacement” and a “Hispanic invasion.” And then this past weekend in Buffalo, a white shooter specifically targeted a Black neighborhood of Buffalo, and killed 10 and injured three more. He wrote online that the victims he targeted were trying to “ethnically replace my own people.” Listen to all these words. These are some of the same words, the same phrases, and they're clearly part of the same theory or idea. They're also part of a lot of the mainstream right wing culture and media and obviously more fringe as well. But they are becoming more and more mainstream. Esther: And also, Nicole, there's this real danger of normalizing these massacres because even when you have that list, we can’t forget the 2012 massacre of Sikhs in Wisconsin. And the fact that this killer in Buffalo referenced the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Muslims were targeted. And there was a whole period here where Muslims were being demonized and politically targeted and then these murderers go after those people as well. And to expand it further, this great replacement theory also has deep connections to the pro-choice movement and the right for abortion in this country, because the drive to limit the ability of white women to get an abortion was connected to the fear that enslaved and then emancipated Black people in this country would outnumber white people at some point. So you have this same movement happening, the same roots of the great replacement theory happening at the same time that white women are targeted for restrictions on their ability to have a child or to have an abortion. And if you bring it up to today, the language that people like Tucker Carlson uses is the mainstream version of this kind of racist violence that we saw in Buffalo. Tucker Carlson basically describes white people almost as the indigenous people of the United States, and everybody else coming in are the replacement to this indigenous population. Have a listen: “An unrelenting stream of immigration but why? Well, Joe Biden just said it: to change the racial mix of the country. That's the reason. To reduce the political power of people whose ancestors lived here and dramatically increase the proportion of Americans newly arrived from the third world. And then Biden went further. He said that nonwhite DNA is the ‘source of our strength.’ Imagine saying that. This is the language of eugenics. It's horrifying. But there's a reason Biden said it. In political terms, this policy is called the great replacement, the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries.” Brian: Legacy Americans?! Esther: The fact that he uses this type of really ignorant, ahistorical language, it just really tells the truth. It tells the full scope of this movement that this young man, this murderer in Buffalo, is following. Of course, he doesn't talk about the fact that white people are not the indigenous people. They're not the legacy people. The legacy people in the United States were murdered. Not only does he not talk about the fact that these people have been removed through a course of genocide, but he doesn't also deal with the fact that all those people in Mexico or El Salvador, Honduras, they're the indigenous people of this world. The level of ignorance is really laughable, except that it leads to these types of massacres because people are listening to people like Tucker Carlson on Fox News. Brian: I want to also remind everyone that just a little more than two years ago, 35 million people came into the streets after George Floyd. It was Black people, Latino people, white people, Asian Americans, indigenous people, Arab-Americans, South Asians, people of all ethnicities and nationalities marched together against racism. At that time, these same white racist militia type forces started to mobilize and bring weapons to confront the protests. There was this great divide in the country. The reason I'm mentioning that is that when the cities and the urban areas in the centers even of small towns, which were the places where the uprising against racism took place, it shows that the majority sentiment in the country and in fact, the most powerful parts of the population, are against racism and are standing together against this kind of racist violence. But you have the political climate fostered by the ruling class and its institutions like the media that give added weight to the voices of the right wing and the racists. When I listen to NPR or CNN, they talk about the Democratic Party as the left. It's these racists, these fascists that are the right wing of the Republican Party, and then presumably there's the left, which is the Democratic Party. But when you look at the nature of what's going on, it wasn't the Democratic Party that called the 35 million people out into the streets in 2020. We were in the streets right here in Washington, D.C. Muriel Bowser declared a curfew against the protest the same day that Trump was announcing that the military will be used against urban areas and that the mayors and governors had to control the battlespace, which was, of course, the cities of this country. So we have a battle going on. It's a battle for ideas. It's a battle in the streets. It's a battle of all types between anti-racist forces that are rooted in a vision of progress and of fighting against the injustice of a system that hurts working class people of all races and ethnicities, and on the other side are these goons and stooges for the capitalists, these right wingers, and their own strength in the country is magnified. When violent acts are carried out like they were against the Black community in Buffalo, New York, the media attention is all on the racist cops in Buffalo or all on the supposed individual problems of the shooter, rather than building solidarity with the Black community, which in this case was victimized again in western New York. I really want to emphasize this for context. Our side, the side of progress, is strong, but it's only strong when we're mobilized, when we're in the streets, in motion, when you can feel the energy and the power of the people.

  • How French Neo-Colonialism Destabilized Africa’s Sahel, with Hannah Armstrong

    Africa’s Sahel region encompasses Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad and has been an arena of French colonialism, liberation struggles, ongoing imperialist interventions, the war on terror, and coups d’etat. To discuss this and more Rania Khalek, was joined by Hannah Rae Armstrong, a long-time researcher with years of experience living and working in Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and then covering the Sahel for the International Crisis Group from her base in Senegal.

  • Summit of Americas Collapsing: Region Says NO to Exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua

    The Summit of the Americas being held next month in Los Angeles is shaping up to be a humiliation for the Biden administration. In response to the United States’ attempt to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the gathering, leaders in Bolivia, Mexico and Caribbean states plan to boycott. And activists in Los Angeles along with others throughout the country and the hemisphere are planning a People’s Summit for Democracy as a counter-event to demand an end to U.S. aggression against Latin America and highlight the people’s struggles against injustice inside the United States itself. Brian is joined by Manolo De Los Santos, the co-executive director of The People’s Forum in New York, and a longtime popular educator.

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    MEET THE TEAM Host & Producer EUGENE PURYEAR Eugene Puryear is a longtime journalist and community organizer currently-based in New York City. Eugene helped to organize a number of the large-scale demonstrations that took place against the continuing U.S. war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, he was a key leader In the struggle to free the Jena Six in 2007, and a founder of the anti-gentrification group Justice First, the Jobs Not Jails coalition, DC Ferguson Movement and Stop Police Terror Project-D.C. Puryear is the author of the book Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America, and spent five years in radio prior to helping found BT News. Host & Producer RANIA KHALEK Rania Khalek is a Middle East-based journalist for Breakthrough News. Her work has also appeared at The Grayzone, The intercept, Truthout, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Al Jazeera, The Nation, Salon, AlterNet, Vice and more. Editor-in-Chief BEN BECKER Ben Becker is a New York City-based journalist and historian, who has edited several books including Shackled and Chained and Imperialism in the 21st Century. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the City University of New York, where he also taught classes on the Civil Rights Movement and Labor History. He previously worked as a National Organizer with the anti-war ANSWER Coalition, which led mass protests against U.S. interventionism in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Creative Director WILLIAM WHITEMAN William Whiteman is an English journalist and filmmaker, now based in New York. Before joining BreakThrough as Creative Director, Will worked as a war zone reporter and a trade unionist. His dispatches from the Libyan front lines against Islamic State won the 2017 New York Festivals gold award for Special Reporting. His documentary on the Grenfell tower fire, "Failed by the State" won the award for Best Documentary at The Portobello Film Festival in London 2019. Designer, Journalist, Social Media Specialist RACHEL HU Rachel Hu is a New York City based journalist, designer, and Asian American anti-war activist. She is the host of CovertAction Bulletin the official podcast of CovertAction Magazine which airs on 99.5FM in NYC. She has also been a community organizer for nine years fighting against police terror and racism. Rachel has seven years experience in design, and two years experience in motion design. Rachel's design direction of the aesthetics of BreakThrough News reflects her deep passion for bringing modern design to left media. Producer & Editor MATT BELEN Matt Belen is a video editor with six years of experience as well as a background in film. Other outlets Matt has worked for are Vice News, Buzzfeed, MTV, Means TV, and more. Producer NICOLE ROUSSELL Nicole Roussell is a producer with BreakThrough News and has spent five years in radio production. She is also a longtime activist based in Washington D.C. Journalist KEI PRITSKER Kei Pritsker is a New York based journalist and activist. He has previously reported for Mintpress News. To Reach Us For interview requests or inquiries for any of our staff please reach us at: 443-961-1040

  • Breakthrough News | Media Arm of a Movement | United States

    Support independent journalism for and by working-class people, become a patron. Click Here This Week BreakThrough Staff a few seconds ago How Ukraine War Affects the World Order & Global Power Balance: Vijay Prashad & Rania Khalek The impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine isn’t isolated to Europe. As the US and NATO pour weapons into a Ukrainian insurgency, the risk... BreakThrough Staff a few seconds ago How Ukraine War Affects the World Order & Global Power Balance: Vijay Prashad & Rania Khalek The impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine isn’t isolated to Europe. As the US and NATO pour weapons into a Ukrainian insurgency, the risk... BreakThrough Staff 1 day ago Ukraine War: Russia, the United States, and the Nature of Imperialism As the world enters a new phase of major power conflict, it is crucial to understand the character of the Russian government and the role... BreakThrough Staff 4 days ago Ukraine War: Who’s to Blame and What’s the Solution? 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DAILY EPISODES The Punch Out is your daily anti-capitalist news hit. Everything you need to know in 15-to-20 minutes, delivered daily, Monday-Friday at 5pm. PODCAST The Punch Out SUBSCRIBE arrow&v The Socialist Program With Brian Becker Feb 23 Ukraine Powder Keg: Why NATO Expansion Must End A historic crisis is playing out in Eastern Europe over Ukraine, one that has profound ramifications for the entire world. The United... Feb 17 Peace is Possible: The Solution to the Crisis in Ukraine Tensions remain sky high in Ukraine and across Europe but do they have to remain so? There is a path to peace — and solution to the... Feb 9 Revolution vs. Counter Revolution after World War Two After the triumph of the Soviet Union over fascism in World War Two, world politics was completely transformed. No longer allies in the... International Mar 4 DSA Organizer Responds to White House & Media Attacks, Explains Anti-NATO Position The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) released a statement on the war in Ukraine that condemned Russia’s invasion. But it has been... Feb 26 Ukraine: Questions for the US Anti-War Movement with Abby Martin & Brian Becker Featuring live audience Q&A, Abby Martin and Brian Becker discuss the Ukraine war and what it means for the anti-war movement. Feb 18 Journalist: ‘Anonymous U.S. Intelligence Officials’ the Only ‘So-Called Evidence’ Russia announced a pull-back of troops from the border with Ukraine, but U.S. officials have accused Russia of lying and continuing their... Feb 18 German Parliamentarian: ‘Peace Can Only Exist with Russia, Not Against Russia’ Germany has emerged as the center of skepticism towards escalation in the US-Russia-Ukraine conflict, Why? MP Sevim Dagdelen, Die Linke... How Ukraine War Affects the World Order & Global Power Balance: Vijay Prashad & Rania Khalek a few seconds ago Ukraine War: Russia, the United States, and the Nature of Imperialism 1 day ago Ukraine War: Who’s to Blame and What’s the Solution? A Socialist View 4 days ago Building the Anti-War Movement Amid War Fever & Censorship 4 days ago Hillary Clinton Wants a Repeat of Afghanistan-Style Insurgency in Ukraine 4 days ago DSA Organizer Responds to White House & Media Attacks, Explains Anti-NATO Position Mar 4 Ukraine War Exposes US Hypocrisy, Double Standards & Racism How Russia’s War In Ukraine Is Playing Out Inside Russia, w/ Prof. Boris Kagarlitsky What Do Cubans Think About Biden, the Blockade, the Revolution & U.S. Health Care Costs? Aleida Guevara, Daughter of Che, Internationalist Doctor: ‘I Do It Because I’m Cuban’ Meet the U.S. Students Studying Medicine For Free in Cuba ‘The US Is A Predator’: Cuban Official on the Blockade & Cuba’s Anti-Imperialism Who Speaks for Ethiopia? Voices from the Opposition Retreating TPLF Leaves Path of Death and Destruction in Lalibela Women Accuse TPLF of Mass Rape | The War on Ethiopia Dispatch 2 Hermela Aregawi: Why ‘I Had a Responsibility to Speak Out’ on Ethiopia The War on Ethiopia Dispatch 1: U.S. Crushes Ethiopian Workers Twitter Censors Ethiopian & Eritrean Activists Ukraine Powder Keg: Why NATO Expansion Must End Peace is Possible: The Solution to the Crisis in Ukraine Revolution vs. Counter Revolution after World War Two The Untold History of NATO and Case for Its Abolition Africa in Resistance Jan 20 Who Speaks for Ethiopia? Voices from the Opposition As we traveled through Ethiopia, BT News met with Minister of Education Dr. Berhanu Nega, of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice... Jan 11 Retreating TPLF Leaves Path of Death and Destruction in Lalibela BT News traveled to the historic Ethiopian city of Lalibela, home to the famous rock-hewn churches, as it emerged from weeks under TPLF... Jan 7 Women Accuse TPLF of Mass Rape | The War on Ethiopia Dispatch 2 Nifas Mewcha, a town in northern Ethiopia, was attacked and captured by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, from August 12...

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