Monday, February 20, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos and Nathan Bedford Forrest and CPAC UPDATE1.2 & 3

UPDATE: Milo Yiannopoulos has been dis-invited as a CPAC speaker.
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-cpac-milo-yiannopoulos-tape-235204

I just finished this article and the above article comes out. I wonder if any conservative will complain about "political correctness" or free speech in regards to Yiannopoulos. It seems that not everyone at CPAC was willing to go along with him being the keynote speaker.  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/02/20/cpac-disinvites-milo-yiannopoulos-despite-his-attempt-at-contrition.html

I don't know if Yiannopoulos's career is over though. Politics has changed and what might have sunk a political career in the past may not now.

UPDATE2:

Book contract cancelled, though he has a $250,000 advance. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/21/milo-yiannopoulos-book-deal-cancelled-outrage-child-abuse-comments

Breitbart employees are threatening to quit if Milo Yiannopoulos isn't fired.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/21/milo-yiannopoulos-book-deal-cancelled-outrage-child-abuse-comments

UPDATE3

Milo has resigned from Breitbarthttp://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2017/02/21/milo-resigns-breitbart-news/

His articles are still at the Breitbart website. Is his career over? Again I don't really know. Normally I would think it would definitely be over but then again politics and media are now all different and I have no idea what is "normal" now.

Rolling Stone has an article, "Milo Yiannopoulos Isn't Going Away." http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/matt-taibbi-milo-yiannopoulos-isnt-going-away-w468012

However, I think conservative student groups likely won't invite him to speak at their universities and so there won't be counter protests and essentially Yiannopoulos as a phenomenon will fade away, at least I think it will.

Bad language quoted in the following blog posting. Given that it is about MILO it is unavoidable since his language is a significant aspect of his writings.

I hadn't paid much attention to Milo Yiannopoulos and his writings. He goes by MILO, all capital letters, and so I will use his first name in this blog posting. He contributed a lot of articles to Breitbart. This is a link to them. http://www.breitbart.com/author/milo-yiannopoulos/

The listing of his articles at Breitbart now just lists him as MILO.

However, this article refers to MILO as a Breitbart senior editor.

http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2017/02/19/milo-left-silence-us-because-they-know-they-cant-beat-us/

Condemnation of him on the Internet is widespread. He seems to be a person who just throws out a series of inflammatory statements to generate a response and he does get a response.  There are protests, at least one violent, against his speaking on campuses. Also, universities try to prevent his speaking by demanding security deposits that student groups obviously can't afford. These rather transparent attempts are publicized by MILO. These attempts, some successful I think, have allowed him to focus on the issue of free speech to the obscuring of what he says such as the article in the link above.

His writing is mostly just frothing at the mouth. However, now it is announced that he is the keynote speaker at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) which is a prominent conservative annual event. The publication for which he writes is Breitbart whose former head, Stephen Bannon, is now the chief of staff at the White House.

So as the star of the American conservative movement if and possibly  a hero to English speaking conservatives everywhere, what he says is important. I think also it indicates some significant changes in politics and needs some review.

MILO very freely, clearly, and loudly states that he is gay and attracted to men of sub-Saharan African ancestry and is very expressive about being gay. His current speaking tour he calls the, "Dangerous Faggott Tour http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2017/01/31/milo-cal-poly-state-university-no-dead-babies/

He points to his having sex with black men as proof that he isn't racist or white supremacist.

http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2017/01/27/forced-glamour-magazine-admit-im-not-white-supremacist/

In the above article, MILO states, "Some kind of racist that just got railed for 18 hours in a hotel room by his black boyfriend. You fucking morons."

However, there are men with racist attitudes that are sexually attracted to African American men and sometimes that plays into to the attraction.

The thing about claiming someone is racist is that so far there is no technology to read minds. Even if a person stated they were a white supremacist they could claim 15 minutes later that they are no longer white supremacists and though you would likely think this claim as being dubious you can't disprove it. Neo-Confederates have claimed to have changed when it has suited them. In terms of racism you have to refer to actions, what a person does, what a person says, and these actions can be described as racist, that is actions in the service of racist goals.

American media is somewhat shallow about reporting on racism and to them a racist wears funny clothes and says they are a racist and MILO doesn't appear to be a member of any racist organization, doesn't make statements about racial inferiority and superiority or obvious white supremacist statements. American media doesn't seem to know how to engage him, or perhaps a critical analysis of MILO might lead to a critical analysis of other issues that would prove to be difficult for American media. Plus a critical review would take a lot of work and would be a long article.

He is self-derogatory about being gay and so I think his being gay is thus made acceptable to conservatives and my assessment is that he plays the role of being a gay person to be laughed at. It seems though it is entertainment that is very popular among conservatives as indicated by the fact that he is the keynote speaker at CPAC.

In this article MILO explains that that he would prefer to be straight.
http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2016/09/20/milo-i-would-take-a-straight-pill/

His homosexuality is in your face in some of his articles. For example this article about him having sex with a "black drug dealer" in his bedroom when he was 15 years old,"on a school night."
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/04/14/im-sooo-bored-of-being-gay/

In this article, link below, there is picture of a sign "Colored Served in Rear." In his article he explains his Grindr profile if "truthful" would say "blacks only" and so the meaning of the sign "Colored Served in Rear," becomes clear I think in any reasonable understanding of what MILO is trying to say with it. (Note: I looked up what "railed" means at the urban dictionary. It means to be vigorously and repeatedly penetrated by a penis. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Railed Warning, rather explicit language.) It isn't that this language would necessarily upset me, but I want to be considerate of the sensibilities of all my potential readers.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/10/my-grindr-profile-says-no-whites-am-i-racist/

So the keynote speaker for CPAC is a person who a man whose article makes it clear that he wants sex with African American men and has a picture of a sign to imply to the readers that this sex is anal penetration by African American men.

SO WHAT DO WE MAKE OF THIS?

First Ann Coulter must be feeling fairly down. She was a sensation in the media for her statements outraging opinion, now who is paying attention? She can't attack him since that would only help MILO. I don't think she could be anymore outrageous than MILO.

Gays and Lesbians:

I don't think that we can see it as a complete or nearly complete revolution in acceptance of gays in the conservative movement since MILO is basically playing his being gay on the old homophobic idea that being gay is inherently funny. However, it is a radical change in that he has become a conservative hero, a gay who is quite expressive about being gay and talks about his sexual desires openly. It should also be understood that part of the space created for this speech is that one of MILO's primary themes is that he is freely exercising his speech to say what needs to be said openly about race and religion and gender etc., and so critics of his being gay run the risk of being referred to as "politically correct" suppressing his speech.

Even so, even though MILO is self-derogatory as a gay person, his being the keynote speaker at CPAC as a very expressive gay man must really upset the religious right, though I don't know of any public expression by the religious right against MILO. The whole campaign against gays and Lesbians to evangelical youth is undermined by MILO being a conservative hero who has celebrity status and evidently financial success. I suppose the evangelicals can trot out their slogan, "hate the sin, but love the sinner," but I think the intention of this slogan was intended to look down on gays in a condescending way and not for a situation where a gay man, who who writes about his sex life, is cheered as the keynote speaker at CPAC.

MILO makes the religious right a sort of relic in many ways.

For the LGBT community it means a civil war of sorts. Trump is president and MILO is speaking at CPAC and the political fortunes of conservative gays will be benefited. It used to be conservative gays were closet cases and thus though they might express an opinion at a social function or bar, they weren't going to be talking to the public. Also, they were sort of worried about what the straight people might think and were sort of really negative about being gay and gay people. Other gays rejected them.

The neo-Confederate movement must be really be horrified by MILO. The neo-Confederate movement is both extremely anti-gay and against interracial sexual relations. Though it needs to be pointed out that Chronicles magazine publishes articles by Justin Raimondo who is openly gay.  But Raimondo doesn't discuss it in his writings, and I don't ever think he discussed his sex life. Chronicles is really, really anti-LGBT.

Chronicles magazine does see Trump as a great opportunity for their agenda, and hasn't criticizes MILO or as far as I know commented on him. When they do we will be understand what the significance of MILO's homosexuality is the paleoconservative movement. I suppose I need to catch up in reading my issues of Chronicleshttps://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/

The whole world of the Southern Partisan, the Abbeville Institute, M.E. Bradford and Southern Agrarians seems to have been left behind on the side of the road of the highway of history. John Shelton Reed must be as horrified as he was when he visited San Francisco and the presence of the gay male community there.


Conservative Movement:

With MILO's ascendancy in the conservative movement I think that we don't have to listen to the pretensions of conservatives to be some intellectual force. When they start talking about Edmund Burke or start quoting Eric Voegelin saying "immanetize the eschaton" we can just hold up a hand with palm facing outward, smile, and say  "MILO."

It seems the conservative movement really is, as Lionel Trilling said, "... irritable mental gestures," which would be a good description of MILO's articles and speeches. Intercollegiate Studies Institute, you can just give up your pretensions.

We have always known or at least suspected that all the involved arguments about states' rights, constitutional theory, and various philosophical rationals were often just pretexts for a racial and social order where some are subordinated. It would however take labored analysis to break it down and show that these rationals were pretexts in articles or essays often read by small audiences. MILO as a rising celebrity to a national audience in almost all the media has shown and will show as keynote speaker at CPAC what the agenda of conservatism really for most conservatives is in simple direct terms. The mask has fallen off the face of conservatism, and fallen to the ground and shattered.

Confederacy:

MILO has an July 2015 article about "Why We must End 'Burial Privilege.'"
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/07/10/why-we-must-end-burial-privilege/

MILO is commenting on the effort to get remove and bury elsewhere the body of Nathan Bedford Forrest in Memphis, Tennessee. This is a part of an effort of the city of Memphis to stop glorifying the Confederacy and not have a monument to Forrest.

MILO sarcastically informs his readers that he is obligated to inform his readers that there is a new way to "demonstrate their superiority in moral and political correctness ..."

MILO thus avoids discussing what the issues might be in monuments and historical memory and instead position it as a problem of some individuals being vainly self-righteous. MILO avoids the issue that monument monumentally endorse individuals and values. That is the whole purpose of monuments and MILO doesn't seem to understand what the purpose of a monument is.

MILO puts forth the irrelevant fact that Forrest as a commander was considered by many to be a "military genius" and Forrest's tactics are studied. However, the issue at hand isn't Forrest's ability as a military commander or whether his tactics should be studied. The issue is whether Forrest should be honored with a monument and a burial location that honors him. This is a common enough tactic to throw in items with the implication that they might justify something without explicitly saying what a specific item is supposed to prove.

Does MILO feel that there should be a monument to Forrest merely because he was a great military tactician? MILO doesn't actually say. It would seem that what Forrest fought for would be important, which is in this case was the break up of the United States to defend slavery and white supremacy. The issue of Forrest's objectives is avoided by MILO. Discuss one thing to avoid discussing another is a common enough neo-Confederate tactic.

MILO discusses Forrest's involvement in the Ku Klux Klan to exhonerate him. MILO states Forrest is "controversial" for his membership in the Ku Klux Klan and "possible leadership position in that heinous organization." MILO states that "towards the end of his life he distanced himself from the Klan." MILO uses minimizing language here. Forrest was thought to be the head of the Ku Klux Klan to give it credibility with ex-Confederates, not just any "possible leadership position."

The United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the United Confederate Veterans thought that the Ku Klux Klan were great ex-Confederate soldier heroes and believed that Forrest was the head of the KKK. S.E.F. (Laura Martin) Rose's book, "The Ku Klux Klan or The Invisible Empire," praised Forrest as the leader of the KKK and the book was endorsed by the UDC and SCV. S.E.F. Rose became the Historian General of the UDC. Rose didn't invent this understanding of the role of Forrest as the leader of the KKK. Forrest monuments in the South were put up in a time when it was popularly understood that he was the leader of the KKK.

Nathan Bedford Forrest II was the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan for Georgia during its 1920s revival. It does suggest but doesn't prove that Forrest II saw being a KKK leader as part of the family tradition. He probably got to be Grand Dragon based on his name and that his father was popularly understood to be the leader of the original KKK.

However, reviewing Forrest's role in the KKK, which will probably, barring some discovery of some documents, remain always unclear avoids the main issue. At the time when Confederate monuments were being erected the Ku Klux Klan was thought to be a great heroic organization of ex-Confederates by those who chose to honor the Confederacy and erect Confederate monuments.

Nathan Beford Forrest fought for the Confederacy a nation created to defend slavery and white supremacy and the fact that Forrest fought for the Confederacy and what the Confederacy's purpose was is very clear in the historical record. This isn't discussed by MILO. Neo-Confederates often like to shift the discussion to one issue to avoid discussion of another issue.

MILO then tries to distract from the issue of historical memory and race by asserting that the mayor of Memphis is expecting that the removal of Forrest from the park "will fix the lives of the citizens of predominately black Memphis." MILO brings up the rate of murder in Memphis and that it "is overwhelming a result of black-on-black crime." MILO states that Wharton "seems to value symbolism over substance."

Did Memphis Mayor Wharton say that the removal of Forrest from the park fix all or some of Memphis' problems?  MILO is refuting an argument that very likely wasn't made.  In debate this is know as knocking down Straw men. You assert an argument as being by the opposition and then refute the argument.

Also, this is a classic neo-Confederate tactic of making two issues as being competitive choices. The idea is that if there is any other problem in a city or county that removing a Confederate statue is denying resources to address the other problems. It sets up the situation that no statue can be removed unless all other social problems in society are gone which effectively means that the Confederate statues will be there forever.  There is no reason that the city of Memphis can't get rid of Forrest and also work on other urban problems.

But in all of this MILO is avoiding the whole point of monuments, is that they exist to monumentally endorse individuals and values. That is why they are put up because the expectations is that they will work to support a historical point of view and influence people.

The Forrest monument and burial site work to glorify Forrest and the Confederacy and to define Memphis as valuing the values of the Confederacy which were white supremacy and the support for slavery.

Every Confederate monument whispers, "Racial equality might be the slogan of the day, but white supremacy is for the ages." After all if racial equality was sincerely believed in the Confederate statues would be long gone.

MILO throws in some comments about "burial privilege" and "reap culture" so that opposition to Forrest memorialization sounds sort of like something at a college or believed by liberals that Breitbart readers would hate. The term "reap culture" sounds like feminist references to "rape culture," which is an anathema to conservatives.

MILO finishes by satirically listing individuals who he thinks should be disinterred. The singer Elvis Pressley for "appropriating black culture"; Betsy Ross, "reinforcing traditional gender roles as a seamstress"; Sir Francis Drake, who "by circumnavigating the globe .. inadvertently violated dozens of safe spaces."

One of MILO's messages here is that reconsidering who we memorialize and to whom we have monuments dedicated to is frivolous and and silly.

Confederate monuments inscribe the landscape and the land as being white and define values of white nationalism. The more important message MILO is communicating to his readers need to consider is that if one white person's role in American history is reconsidered, another white person's role in history might be reconsidered. This section of his article effectively is an appeal to white nationalist panic and loss of control of the landscape to non-whites or at the very minimum having to face lose of control of the white land which makes a white nation when the landscape is contested by non-whites.

The article is a defense against  non-whites this contesting the landscape. It doesn't directly make an appeal to white nationalism and even asserts that pursing the removal of Forrest body is a neglect of the interests of the the African American community in Memphis. So it wears disguises.

So is MILO a white nationalist or alt-right, I am not going to say. I don't have a mind reading machine. Is his writing in service of white nationalism and the neo-Confederate movement and the continued definition of the land as white nationlist, I think it clearly is.








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