17 Jul 19
The Irish Sun
POLITICAL incidents involving racism in the UK and US have exposed the extent to which modern western democracy is now dominated by harmful identity politics.
Donald Trump’s “go back” line to four American Congress women, three of whom are US-born, is step one in the how-to rulebook on racism.
US President Donald Trump
However some of the Congresswomen themselves practice division along race lines within the Democrat party, aping the British Labour party’s self-destruction on the subject of antisemitism.
In the UK, Jeremy Corbyn’s office alleged interference in cases involving antisemitism in his party has seen him branded an anti-semite by the two Tory leadership contenders.
At the same time, the favourite, Boris Johnson can credit the origins of his campaign to reach No10 to the anti-immigrant hue of his Brexit campaign.
The mere proximity of Corbyn to one form of racism apparently rules him out of Downing Street, according to the very man who used racist language to reach the same office.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Johnson has written hateful descriptions of black people, Muslims and gay people in his Daily Telegraph column for which he has never apologised.
Back to the US, it’s the same story. Trump used the race-baiting of his Mexico wall and “bad hombres” to reach the White House.
He’s ramped up his racist spiel this week, clearly expecting it to win him votes in 2020 and with little evidence that he might be wrong.
All the while those seeking to unseat him, the Democrats, tear each other apart with unfounded claims of racism against each other.
In this way, the Democrat contest for the nomination to take on Trump has become a mirror image of British Labour’s woes.
According to his rivals, the frontrunner, Joe Biden, is not pure enough. It’s a field full of righteousness that tries to paint Biden as an old friend of bigots.
In a recent debate, candidate Kamala Harris, whose mum was Indian and dad Jamaican, said Biden was opposed to “bussing” in the 1970s, a policy that ended segregation on school public transport.
The outburst was the moment of the debate and it hurt Biden, winning Harris acclaim.
Former Vice President of the US Joe Biden
Remember this is the man who served as VP to the first black President in US history, now being retrospectively painted with the racism brush.
It’s crazy stuff, especially when the true Democrat enemy is the man in the White House who is reluctant to criticise American neo-Nazis.
Another noisy Democrat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old bartender-turned-Congresswoman, is the chief offender in the language of identity politics.
This is where people of a particular race, religion, gender, sexuality, social background, etc prefer to form exclusive political groups against the spirit of broader party-based politics.
Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Cortez is a Democrat and a few months ago, liberals were excited at the prospect of her uniting with 79-year-old veteran Dem Nancy Pelosi as a power axis to halt Trump’s agenda.
It seemed like a feminism super-group was about to form to take on the Misogynist-in-Chief.
Instead, AOC has attacked Pelosi in a row over an aid package for the border, which she claimed backs Trump’s anti-immigration policy.
Ocasio Cortez’s stance has the support of three other younger Democrats known as ‘the squad’ but powerful Pelosi dismissed them as just “four people” living in their “Twitter world”.
AOC and the other three — Somali-born Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — hit back on social media of course, as if to prove Pelosi’s point.
Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (L), Ayanna Pressley (C-L) Ilhan Omar (C-R) and Rashida Tlaib (R)
Using rule 101 of identity politics, they claimed Pelosi had singled them out because they are “women of colour”.
The whole cause of identity politics is to not only play the victim, but to also attack the wrong target.
Trump must’ve sat back and enjoyed the Democratic infighting.
Here were the four super-left new Dems, elected amid an anti-Trump backlash, accusing the most powerful woman ever elected in the US and who effectively got Obama elected, of being sexist and racist.
It’s as if they wanted to mimic the Labour party’s collapse in internal discipline during the open goal that the Tory handling of Brexit has produced.
Instead of uniting to bring down the Conservative party, Labour has focused on a phoney row over antisemitism, aided even by left-leaning media like The Guardian.
The Tories are enjoying it very much. Trump’s busy Twitter fingers handed a lifeline to the warring Democrats.
His “go back” line to the four women along with a continuing series of follow-ups doubling down on portraying them as foreigners, has temporarily united the Dems.
However, their internal factions are now set, and will reopen as soon as the latest Trump storm fades.
Ultimately, the only winner of the identity politics phenomenon can be the most extreme example, and the right will always win that contest.
As long as whites are the majority and social media the driver of the news agenda, ‘othering’ everyone else will win votes within that demographic.
This is why Labour’s failure to capitalise on Tory turmoil has left the door open to Farage’s Nutribullet shake of racism and jingoism.
It’s also why new leftist Democrats who attack their own and remain addicted to expressions of their own purity to brainwashed Twitter fans will hand Trump a second term.
We live in a world where humans have never been more connected, never before known more about each other, in a week where we remember a space mission that forced us to look down from the moon to see ourselves as one entity in a vast universe.
Yet down on terra firma 50 years later, even the self-proclaimed liberals relish in division and highlight our differences.
It feels a lot like the precursor to all the worst moments in modern human history.
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FOREIGNERS who come to Ireland for economic reasons but have no entitlement to a visa are known to us mainly as “illegal immigrants”.
However, Irish people who stay in the US for economic reasons with no rights to a visa are “undocumented”. Words make all the difference and it really shows a strange quirk of human nature that we view people according to the degree to which we can relate to them.
There’s been huge sympathy for the case of Keith Byrne, an Irishman arrested by immigration officers last week. The Fermoy man has been staying in the US for ten years, working hard in a painting and decorating business to look after his family of three children.
He’s currently in a US jail and we know enough about them to conclude that he far from deserves such treatment. However, Byrne is also there illegally and those who take a dim view of his abuse of the system share much in common with those opposed to immigration here.
For anti-immigrant campaigners, migrants either take jobs from locals or live off worker-funded taxes.
Byrne could be accused by Republican-leaning Americans, many of whom are ironically Irish diaspora, of stealing American jobs. He tried to gain legal status by interacting with US government agencies rather than hiding.
His good behaviour in this respect appears to have backfired as he was easy to track and detain. With immigration the burning issue and a case stacked against him, you wouldn’t hold out much hope he’ll stay in the US.
The least good that can come out of it is that we look with a little more heart the next time we hear about people coming to Ireland to find work to feed their families, even if they don’t have the right papers.
BANKERS CONTINUE TO BE LET RUN WILD
THE Central Bank’s final report on the tracker mortgage scandal was grim reading.
It’s easy to forget that this outrage actually came AFTER the crash, where Irish bankers had already ensured the hurt of the global economic fall was exacerbated in Ireland.
The Central Bank of Ireland
The report shows the issue was an “industry-wide” practice, “causing immense distress and damage to customers and their families”.
It is hard to imagine the astonishing cruelty practised by these bankers.
Having already inflicted the harm of wild lending in the boom, they then meticulously sought to take customers off tracker mortgages, knowing they were effectively cancelling their family home in the end.
There were not foreign vulture funds or bureaucrats in distant offices.
Irish people, who were still lucky enough to find themselves in jobs after the crash, signed off on illegal policies robbing homes off people who were out of work and sunk in debt.
Oliver Callan speaks about the lack of individual responsibility taken for the tracker mortgage scandal
It’s unspeakable and no amount of money could compensate those hurt.
This being Ireland, the banks were fined and no-one was individually held responsible for what in any man’s language was a crime and a wrong.
The report is final and allures us with a sense of security that this’ll never happen again. But what is really the outcome?
The Government collects the fines from the banks who profited from taking people off tracker mortgages and that dirty money in turn re-enters the system to get misused in other ways.
This is the definition of justice in a country that bailed out the very people who caused the mess in the first place. Some of them are still in the job.
PREMIER LEAGUE SHOOTS AND SCORES
THE Commercial Court is rarely fascinating but a case involving the illegal streaming of Premier League matches online and on ‘dodgy boxes’ is worth paying attention to.
In early July, the company that owns the licence to Premier League games sought a court order forcing all broadband providers to block illegal streaming.
The Premier League games has gotten a court order to stop unofficial streams of their games being watched online
The firm argued that due to advances in technology, it’s now possible to stop in one blow, all “unofficial streams across several platforms and apps such as on phones, computers and set-top boxes”.
On Monday that order was granted, meaning bad news for those who’ve watched the Premier League without paying the hefty monthly fees to Sky Sports, BT Sports etc.
The interesting thing however is that none of the internet providers — Eir, Sky Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone Ireland — opposed the court order.
The Premier League case will apply to all current and subsequent websites seeking to stream unlicensed matches online.
More streaming services are starting up in a bid to take over Netflix
So why didn’t the major internet service providers oppose the court bid? Perhaps since all rights are invested in one single company, it was harder to fight.
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More giant streaming services are being created to take on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Disney Plus, BritBox, Apple TV Plus and WarnerMedia are rolling out with a specific war chest of content that they will need to protect to maintain their business.
After the Premier League case this week, they can come calling on internet firms to reign in illegal streams, knowing those firms will not try to stop them.