Dylann Roof’s massacre of African-Americans in Charleston (2015), targeted because of their race brought out the ugly flotsam that lurks beneath the veneer of America’s melting pot. Pictures merged of him burning the American flag as he felt no loyalty to a nation that as losing its white racial identity.
Instead he felt more inclined to pose with the flags of the former Rhodesia, apartheid era South Africa and above all that of the Confederacy: the southern states which seceded in order to retain slavery of trafficked Africans and their descendants by those deemed racial superior and white.
The Confederate flag was used by diehard supporters of racial segregation to resist civil rights encroachment in the 1960s, a symbol of the uncompromising South or Dixie. Hence the calls to ban the flag by anti-racists, liberal, and generally those seen as being on the Left of American politics.
The flag of the secessionist South is seen as a symbol of racial oppression blacks suffered in slavery and the failed Reconstruction which followed it. Presidential hopeful for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton called for the Confederate battle flag to be removed from South Carolina statehouse grounds and elsewhere:
“It shouldn’t fly there,” she said. “It shouldn’t fly anywhere.”
Clinton also branded the massacre of the nine African-Americans at the Charleston church an “act of racist terrorism.”
Yet these very same pseudo ‘liberal’ types back another very racist idea, that of the Aryan Invasion Theory of India. There is not a progressive, liberal or bohemian type in academia and the media who does not support this racist theory of Indian history which was invented and later retracted by German Indologist Max Muller.
Indeed anyone who speaks against this idea is deemed a racist or at the very least trying to politicise an issue. This ridiculous racist colonialist theory so popular with the very same people who would oppose the Confederate flag had led to same strange bedfellows.
The archetypal liberal and Left idealist in the Democrat Party would find common cause with right-wing Christian fundamentalists such as Pat Robertson who through his propaganda machine of CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) pumps out the usual venom against the threat to America posed by yoga and idol-worshipping Hindus.
The Left would also find common cause with former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke who devoted an entire chapter of his anti-black, anti-Semitic and racist semi-autobiography to how Indian civilisation owed its very existence to these non-existent Aryan invaders.
Duke was once a member of his local Louisiana legislature for the Republican Party, whose views were so extreme that it led the then president George Bush Sr. and his predecessor Ronald Reagan to urge their own party faithful to actually vote Democrat.
The irony is that only a few decades before the so-called ‘progressives’ would have voted for Duke because he would have been in the Democratic Party himself.
The Confederate flag has been adopted by various groups. It is seen as a Southern symbol, not necessarily racist.
The South was the birthplace of rockabilly, the music which infused that of segregated blacks with whites such as Elvis Presley who tried to emulate their style, incorporating elements of that other genre which was popular in Dixie, country and western.
Outside America, the Confederate flag was adopted by the Teds in 1970s Britain, basing their fashion on an earlier generation of 1950s rockabilly fans known as Teddy Boys.
Taking inspiration from poor white boys from the American South, they adopted the Confederate Flag as their emblem, usually shown alone and without flag poles, and avoided rock and roll that was based on blues sounds or performed by black artists.
These Rebs or Rockabilly Rebels embraced the racist politics of Far Right groups. A picture of the time shows a member of the neo-Nazi British Movement with this flag as part of his regalia. In the famous battles with punks in 1977 in Chelsea, the latter burned the Confederate flag to inflame tensions.
But then the punks themselves would adopt this along with the Union Jack and more overtly Nazi symbols as many morphed into hardcore racist skinheads.
In the 1991 documentary ‘Punks in Prague’ skinheads can be seen wearing Confederate flags and giving Nazi salutes, while one skin leader has this flag with the slogan “The South Will Rise Again”.
In America itself the flag has been used by the Ku Klux Klan and the Council of Conservative Citizens, the latter being an attempt at respectable racism which has attracted support of several politicians such as Senate Majority leader Trent Lott and fellow Republican Strom Thurmond, who had helped win the South for Nixon from the Democrats.
In 1997, several members of the CofCC attended an event hosted by Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front party. The delegation from the CofCC presented Le Pen with a Confederate flag, which had been flown over the South Carolina state capitol building. Yet before his defection, Thurmond had been a prominent Southern Democrat.
The Aryan Invasion Theory is entrenched among the anti-Confederate flag fanatics for several reasons.
It defends their long-held view that Hinduism is the most regressive and evil ‘faith’ on the planet. It is seen as consistent with Marxist ideas of class war and class struggle.
But above all it defends their ivory tower position by which they can dictate to others. Academia and media in America vie with politics for who can be the most partisan, unreasonable and cult-like in their devotion to charisma and the easy download of simple yet wrong facts.
That is why anyone trying to have a debate on the matter will face deadlock, ostracism and untouchable status as they bring up inconvenient facts. Hence the almost psychopathic devotion to removing symbols such as the Confederate flag rather than tackle the deeper issues which led to the racial terrorism in Charleston.
That would mean thinking deeply is something which according to the fictional dystopia of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the very real nightmare of Khmer Rouge Cambodia, the masses should not engage in. Yet in 2008 both Clinton and Al Gore campaigned in the South using Confederate flag imagery.
This is more consistent with her party background than many think or would care to recognise. As a Democratic governor, Bill Clinton in 1987 signed Act 116, which concerned his state banner. It read: “The blue star above the word ‘ARKANSAS’ is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.”
As the debate raged over civil rights in 1961, the Democratic legislature under Governor Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, the Confederate flag to mark the “Confederate War Centennial.” He even presented a flag to President Kennedy.
Democratic U.S. senators such as former KKK Grand Cyclops Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tennessee’s Albert Gore Sr. (father of Al Gore), and Arkansas’s J. William Fulbright (Bill Clinton’s mentor) stood shoulder to shoulder with Hollings and other segregationist Democratic governors, such as Arkansas’s Orval Faubus and Alabama’s George Wallace.
It was actually Illinois’s Republican senator Everett Dirksen who finally broke the bigoted Democrats’ filibuster and got the Civil Rights Act approved for the signature of Democratic president Lyndon Johnson.
Noel Ignatiev is an academician and former American history professor at the Massachusetts College of Art. He is best known for his work on race and social class and for his call to abolish “whiteness” as a sociopolitical category. Ignatiev is the co-founder and co-editor of the journal Race Traitor and the New Abolitionist Society.
In his 1995 book ‘How the Irish Became White’ he elucidates how nineteenth century Irish immigrants were scorned by ‘nativist’ whites of English and Scots-Irish stock, and only through their own violence against free blacks and support of slavery did the Irish gain acceptance as white, something which has been ignored by liberal and Left historians:
Nativism was replaced by race as the Democrat Party appealed to the Irish as whites to keep blacks in slavery in this alliance of slave owners and northern white proletariat which emerged from the 1840s.
In rejecting nativism the Democrats were making racial demarcations stronger, and thus allowing the poverty stricken Irish immigrants to force African-Americans from formerly skilled occupations, vastly increasing the pauperisation of northern blacks who were not slaves.
It was the Republican president Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves as against the southern states ruled by Democrats who wished to retain it. After the Civil War the former slaves voted overwhelmingly Republican.
It was the failure of Reconstruction which allowed Democrat politicians to enforce segregation and disenfranchisement across the South and reinvent slavery in the form of peonage, a system of convict labour which was worse than slavery.
By 1901 the vast majority of African-Americans were living in the South fettered by new chains and unable to vote. Yet there was one lacuna. Blacks could still send delegates to the national convention of the Republican Party.
Theodore Roosevelt took the first small steps at tackling peonage because he needed black support. Indeed the GOP basis in the South depended upon African-American support.
Hence the friendship between Roosevelt and civil rights pioneer, the ex-slave Booker T Washington, who was invited for lunch at the White House. This earned the wrath of Democrats such as Ben ‘Pitchfork’ Tillman of South Carolina who demanded the massacre of blacks to keep them in their place.
Republicans such as Roosevelt were battling a tsunami of ‘progress’ epitomised by the Democrats and their Confederate flag waving supporters.
In the early twentieth century ‘progress’ meant eugenics, Social Darwinism and belief that certain races had to become extinct to make way for whites. Southerner and Democrat Woodrow Wilson as president extended segregation into federal employment, claiming it benefited blacks.
This ‘progressive’ viewed the pro-Klan and Dixie film ‘Birth of a Nation in the White House itself, regarding its bias against blacks and abolitionists and “depressingly true”.
Under Democrat president FD Roosevelt, America’s welfare programme began as a eugenic racial project aimed at weeding out weak, unfit and racially inferior elements in order to strengthen the Anglo-Saxon race.
It was not initiated to protect the weak from the ravages of capitalism. The Tuskegee experiments which deliberately infected African-Americans with syphilis was part of this Progressive programme, in this case with regard to public health.
The Ku Klux Klan revived after 1915 as a result of the very film President Wilson so avidly viewed in the aptly named White House, was urban, cosmopolitan and modern and widely perceived as reformist, linked to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Its ranks included a future president and a future Supreme Court judge: Harry Truman and Hugo Black, respectively. Close to FDR was Mississippi senator Theodore Bilbo, a member of the Klan and former progressive Democrat governor, who was the New Deal as a means of linking labour reform with deportation of all African-Americans to Liberia.
He even wrote a book on the subject shortly before his death in 1948 warning of America’s impending racial mongrelisation if his warnings were not heeded.
It is not just the support of the racist Aryan Invasion Theory which should embarrass these liberal, progressives and Leftists. It should also be their historic support for the Confederate flag along with a pro-slavery and pro-Southern view of the Civil War, as well as racism and eugenics.
Just as the Left has disowned its earlier support for ideas that advocated genocide and came out of the colonialist era, so should these farcically named ‘progressives’ also disown their racist and false version of Indian history and civilisation.
The support for the theories of Aryan race and Aryan invasion of India are as much their last stand as Appomattox was for General Lee of the secessionist slavocratic South, against the abolitionist North and forces of Ulysses Grant. And we all know who won that battle.