Panel discusses rise of the far right

first_imgThe month of October saw a wave of violence, with the pipe bomb scare, the Tree of Life synagogue shooting and the shooting of two African Americans in Kentucky that is “being investigated as a hate crime,” according to NPR.In response to these events, members of the Kroc Institute organized a panel Tuesday to discuss the rise of populism and means to combat it, including redefining dominant social narratives, eliminating segregation and enacting grassroots political change.Professor David Anderson Hooker said in order to fight racism, xenophobia and far-right extremism, society must abandon its “narrative[s] of superiority.”“We have a narrative of superiority that has constructed us in ways that allow that there’s always going to be a superiority and an inferiority,” he said. “There’s a narrative we celebrate at Thanksgiving, we have all of the war holidays … that celebrate the glorification of violence that supports a narrative of manifest destiny and doctrine of discovery that allows for superior glorification of violence as the way we show up in the world.”In order to overcome this narrative, individuals must abandon certain identities — such as whiteness grounded in a sense of racial superiority — and reimagine themselves.“For most of you, I would ask, in your imagination, if you weren’t white, who would you be? Do you have a way of even knowing yourself?” Hooker said. “We’re going to need an imaginative capacity to know ourselves outside of the constrictions of whiteness. Otherwise, you have to continue participating in the reproduction of the hegemony that emerges from that, that we label as racism, populism and xenophobia.”Eliminating segregation is also key to combatting rising far right population, professor Rory McVeigh argued.“When a crisis hits, an economic crisis or something else, it makes it possible for some people to kind of buy into the notion that ‘It’s only our group that is suffering’ and they don’t see the suffering of other people in distant locations,” McVeigh said. “It makes it hard for them to recognize that there’s a common problem that could be solved through cooperation rather than through conflict.“And also [there is] the kind of segregation where maybe you’re actually spatially approximate but positions in the hierarchy overlap substantially with racial identities or religious identities that makes different groups affected differently by the transitions that are taking place in society.”Following the economic recession, those without college degrees had a difficult time finding employment, McVeigh said. As a result, he said, far right ideas gained more traction in the United States.“While we saw the unemployment rate going down and we saw a lot of things that suggested the economy was on the rise, there were a lot of other people who experienced something different and nobody was speaking to them,” McVeigh said. “And a demagogue came along and started speaking to them about their economic circumstances in racist terms and sexist terms and has enjoyed quite a lot of success in doing so.”Ann Mische, associate professor of sociology and peace studies, pointed to the political process as a means of addressing the rise of the far right.“My two recommendations are … try to construct insider-outsider coalitions. Pursue both electoral strategies, as we did in the U.S. in the most recent elections, but don’t just leave it to the elected representatives,” she said. “Also work on grass roots mobilization, community organizing and growing different kinds of social mobilization, including more conversational forms.”Mische traced the rise of right wing extremism in Brazil, which most recently elected Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right president. In recent years, Mische said, protests around the world have advocated for less partisanship, resulting in debates over whether theses movements have supported dictatorships.“In many of these cases, the movements that started with a kind of radical autonomy articulated with strong anti-partisanship and often strong anti-corruption themes,” she said. “In many of these countries around the world, you saw the growth of populism, sometimes from the left, as in Spain, but sometimes from the right.“So whether they were talking about Argentina, Brazil, India, other countries, you saw the articulation of anti-partisanship and anti-party sentiment coming from the right and these many of these countries as well, you see declines in democracy and the rise of the far right.”While Brazilian protests of the party system led to anti-corruption laws, the far-right also capitalized on this extremism, Mische said.“In many of the pro-impeachment rallies, [you saw] the rise of sectors that were defending the return to dictatorship, that were defending military intervention and articulating it with the claims and critiques of corruption,” she said. “And Bolsonaro was just a marginal politician. Nobody took him seriously. But he was articulating the [message] of the extreme right, back in these anti-corruption demonstrations that contributed to the impeachment of the president of the worker’s party.”Professor Atalia Omer discussed anti-Semitic stereotypes. While anti-Semitism does not manifest itself in the same ways as racism, it still plays out in society through several stereotypes, Omer said. Jews are often regarded with suspicion, and seen as mysterious and disproportionately powerful and destructive, Omer said.Anti-Semitism and other forms of scapegoating are a means of distracting from the real sources of oppression, Omer said.“Why is scapegoating appealing? Because it helps simplify the world’s problems and divert attention from those systems and groups actually complicit in direct structural, cultural forms of violence,” she said. “Instead of examining the structures of exploitive capitalism, militarism and toxic masculinity, to name a few causes of injustice, is it by far easier to direct blame to a group whose dehumanization has deep roots and readily available religious, cultural and historical grammar and vocabulary.”Tags: far-right, Jair Bolsonaro, Kroc Institute, populismlast_img read more

Lakers to support Jordan Clarkson, Nick Young amid harassment allegations

first_imgSo Young and Clarkson stood together and both described the incident as “a miscommunication between both sides.”“We don’t want to go into further detail on who’s right and who’s wrong in that situation,” Clarkson said. “But at the end of the day, it was a miscommunication.”Black said he had “several conversations” with Jones and her publicist about meeting with Young and Clarkson. Both players deferred to the Lakers when asked if they felt open toward talking with Jones.“Unfortunately, Alexis’s schedule didn’t allow for this to happen (Monday),” Black said. “We will also continue to stay in touch with her about the possibility of addressing our team about the important issues with which she’s involved.”Jones, who said she has worked with various universities including USC and UCLA, said in a statement she wants to speak with Young and Clarkson.“I just want to be a partner who helps these athletes and others realize the opportunity and enormous responsibility they have to protect and respect the women in their lives,” Jones said in a statement. “I hope these guys will take me up on my invitation to have a conversation, put this issue behind us and talk about their bright futures.”Lakers coach Byron Scott had what he called a “good, candid conversation” with Clarkson and Young. Scott described their demeanor as “good.” But Scott declined to say whether either two expressed any apologies. “We live in a society today with camera phones,” Scott said. “Guys are at risk so you have to be careful.”It sounds like both took notes.“You have to watch your surroundings,” Young said. “We live in a world where social media plays a big part in what you do.”Yet, both Young and Clarkson did not directly answer a question on if they had gained more awareness surrounding the sensitivity of sexual harassment issues. “If I had known that the car that pulled up next to me on Sunday contained athletes, I honestly wouldn’t have posted the photo,” Jones said in a statement, though her account said it followed the accounts of Young and Clarkson already. “I wanted whoever was in that photo to know the effect of actions like this on a woman when she experiences this type of verbal assault.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error After talking with all parties involved, the Lakers reported “different interpretations of what happened” surrounding harassment allegations that activist Alexis Jones made against both Nick Young and Jordan Clarkson.• PHOTOS: Kobe Bryant scores 20 as Lakers beat Memphis 107-100“We support Nick and Jordan and believe what they told us about the incident and their actions,” Lakers spokesman John Black said in a statement. “We also are supportive of Alexis and her feelings about what happened, about women’s rights, and of the fine work Alexis is doing with her organization.”Jones, an activist devoted toward women’s equality with the ProtectHer program, uploaded photos of Young and Clarkson in a car on her Instagram account. Jones then accused them of sexually harassing her and her 68-year-old mother on Sunday night in Hollywood. center_img “It’s been crazy for both of us,” Clarkson said, “especially with how everything is being broadcast and all over the world.”Various sources close to Clarkson and Young disputed Jones’ accusations. Young has considered filing a lawsuit, according to a person familiar with his thinking.“If you want some attention, take a pic of me and say anything next to it and post,” Young said in a tweet that has since been deleted.But both Young and Clarkson hardly struck a combative tone in their public comments to reporters. “It’s a very bold statement,” Young said of Jones’ accusations. “But we have to handle it the right way and keep going.”last_img read more