#181 | The Violent Myth Of White Erasure: Terror In Christchurch w/ Shane Burley

In this episode, I speak with author, journalist, and political researcher Shane Burley. We discuss the recent mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which an Australian white supremacist targeted Muslim worshippers at two separate mosques, leading to the deaths of 50 people — the largest in the nation’s history. We place this event within Shane’s larger analysis of far right ideology and insurgency, which has been thoroughly examined in Shane’s journalism on the subject, as well as in previous interviews I have had with him.*

In this discussion with Shane, we touch on an Op-Ed Alexander Reid Ross and Shane very recently co-wrote for The Independent, titled ‘How to defeat the cretinous ‘great replacement’ theory at the heart of the Christchurch mosque attack,’ in which they respond to the recent mass shooting in Christchurch by self-proclaimed white supremacist Brenton Tarrant. Aside from embodying the most vile and insurgent aspects of white supremacist ideological violence, Tarrant live-streamed the mass killing of 50 Muslim worshippers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Along with his eagerness to share his violent acts with the world, Tarrant left a "manifesto" of sorts, which clearly defines what his motivations were for the targeted attacks, including the highly dubious claims that the "white race" is being systematically replaced and displaced from their position of dominance in European and European-in-origin societies (United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the like) by "Non-European" races through mass migration and high birthrates.** We place this mass shooting in Christchurch within Shane's robust analysis of the patterns of far right insurgent violence, as demonstrated by the long and growing list of so-called ”lone wolf" attacks on minority groups in predominantly European and European-in-origin societies over the past several decades, and especially in the past five years or less. What is fueling these attacks, and how do we combat these horrible ideologies that embolden individuals to "take matters into their own hands"? We examine possible answers to this question by identifying the root of the anxiety inherent in white identity in the modern era, including the role late-stage capitalism and ecological collapse plays in giving rise to these outbursts of violence around the world.

Shane Burley is a writer and filmmaker who regularly reports on far-right movements in the US, as well as anti-fascist resistance, workers rights, and class struggle. He is the author of ‘Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It’ from AK Press, and his work has appeared in numerous publications, such as Jacobin, Truthout, and Commune Magazine. 



Episode Notes:

- Read Shane and Alexander Reid Ross’ recent op-ed in The Independent: https://ind.pn/2uwtF9X

- Read Shane’s recent work in Truthout: http://bit.ly/2OjOHSd

- Learn more about Shane and his work at his website: https://www.shaneburley.net

- Follow Shane on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shane_burley1

- Pick up Shane’s book ‘Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It’ from AK Press: http://bit.ly/BurleyFT

- The songs featured in this episode are “Öngyilkos Vasárnap” and “Hajnal” by Venetian Snares from the album Rossz Csillag Alatt Született.

#142 | Reckoning With Whiteness: Privilege & The Wounds Of Identity w/ Tad Hargrave

In this episode, I speak with writer Tad Hargrave about his work exploring, unpacking, and addressing the concept and social reality of “whiteness” — more broadly the roots, or lack thereof, of “white culture” as we understand it to be today.

Tad and I discuss the difficult subject of race, in particular the modern and the relatively recent (historically speaking)formation of the concept of “whiteness.” To be labeled and exist as a “white” person in our current era is to live with certain privileges within the dominant culture of North America — some of which are subtle, and many of which are not subtle at all. It is important to note that along with the privileges that come with existing as a white person in modern North America, to be "white" is also to lack a connection to the land and place white people reside in. Also, to be "white" is to bear unacknowledged wounds -- intergenerational traumas that inevitably stem from being the descendants of people that fled the brutalities of Europe during centuries of land enclosures, colonial expansion, and rapid industrialization. In the process of assimilating to the dominant culture of North America, North Americans of European descent shed themselves of their ethnic and cultural traditions and ties to their homelands, and instead adopted the racial identity and social category of “white.” Of course, I’m speaking in broad generalities when it comes to this subject, but I do think that by understanding the historical trends and events that have brought us to this time and place we are in, we can begin to have an honest conversation about the subject of race, as well as engage in the difficult task of unpacking the concept of “whiteness” and begin reckoning with what we may find in this exploration. Tad provides a nuanced and enlightening perspective in our examination of the concept of “whiteness" and superbly wrestles with the complexity of the subjects discussed in this episode.

Tad Hargrave is a man with an eclectic background. Tad is a founding member of several comedy troupes, dedicated almost two years of his life learning his ancestral language (Scottish Gaelic) in Nova Scotia and Scotland, runs a marketing website “Marketing For Hippies,” worked as the Executive Director of the Canadian branch of Youth for Environmental Sanity (a world renowned youth organization), and writes for the the blog “Healing From Whiteness: Remembering the Larger Story of History” — which is the basis of this discussion. Tad lives in Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.♰

♰ Source: http://bit.ly/2NDenI4

Episode Notes:

- Read Tad’s excellent essays on the subjects discussed in this episode at his blog “Healing From Whiteness” here: https://healingfromwhiteness.blogspot.com

- Learn more about Tad’s website “Marketing For Hippies” here: https://marketingforhippies.com

- Follow Tad’s page on Facebook “Dear White Men” here: https://www.facebook.com/DearWhiteMen

- The introduction features the voice of James Baldwin. Source: https://youtu.be/nAmL3F5uylo

- The songs featured in this episode are “What Can I Do (feat. Jonwayne)” and “Rough” by Samiyam from the album Pizza Party.