by Dr. Jim Saleam
I read with some trepidation the linked article from Melbourne Age, that venerable Fairfax propaganda sheet.
It purports to offer analysis of this dangerous trend, the “radicalisation” of white males, angry people who take the path of violence against their respective multicultural societies.
We read of French Canadian man Alexandre Bissonnette who murdered worshipers at a Mosque in Quebec and Dylann Roof who murdered some black church-goers in Carolina. And then, our own boof head Phil Galea who thought of doing violence at an anarchist bookshop in Melbourne (at least, that is sort of political?) and the sad Michael Holt who considered massacring shoppers at a mall (or school kids per another report) in the New South Wales Central Coast.
The Melbourne Age suggests:
“They are not “loners”; rather they have groups and organisations and are well-networked online. They are, right now, also validated by our political system and systems overseas. Some of them are indeed radicalising, and willing to commit violence against innocent Australians.”
My disturbance as to this narrative has two aspects. It would seem that Galea’s plan for criminal violence was known very early on (was it encouraged?) and it may be thought its rather political quality excludes it from the mass murder aspect shown with the others. Further, whilst Galea had political contacts in the Reclaim movement, the plan was all his own (and whomsoever helped him) and had no political support. That is suggestive.
The group to which media erroneously stated Galea belonged – United Patriots Front – certainly did not encourage him, nor did it desire he do whatever he did. So in that regard, that group was less than incidental to the plan. Melbourne Age set out to libel the United Patriots Front – and that was its only point. So really therefore, Galea was – a loner. And in the same way the others from overseas are too. If they contact political groups of any sort, it is to see if they might support their already established views. After all, the media, which throws around terms like fascist, far-right, white supremacy and so on, at this group or that, means these loners have to go-see. They go-see and leave their footprint, but they move away because the groups are just not like them.
However, it is the case of Holt that should set the alarm bells ringing, but not for Fairfax’s reason.
I reveal here for the first time that Michael Holt did have a political connection beyond online posturing and that he was part of an organisation (if I can use that term).
Michael Holt had been employed for a number of years on and off by a political police informer in Sydney. The informer, whom I will term ‘Cabbie’ (a code-name established for him in 1989 by the New South Wales Police Special Branch), operated a militaria and antiques business and sold all sorts of German Nazi militaria, fascist militaria etc and occasionally sold various types of ‘racist’ material (like Klux nonsense). Cabbie has also sold pornography, underage-sex material and illegal weapons. Although supposedly retired as an informer, Cabbie has reportedly remained occasionally active. Some sources say that in exchange for official blindness towards anything illegal in his business dealings, he would trade information on so-called ‘right-wing’ people. It is understood Mr. Holt travelled across the country with him, setting up stalls at arms fairs. It is believed the relationship remained intact until not long before Mr. Holt was arrested.
The Melbourne Age added:
“We are currently in a political environment that tolerates the formation of far right groups and elects One Nation representatives to parliament. Indeed, Holt is part of a well-networked demographic in this country and his radicalisation should be of concern to us all.”
No. It has long been the public position of nationalists that the sort of neo-nazi politics of Mr. Holt has been essentially – a manipulated environment.
This claim is known to Fairfax. Ironically, almost two decades ago, Fairfax paraded Cabbie as a shock-horror neo-nazi about to foment the end of multiculturalism as we know it and then a while back, gave him anonymous status in one of its publications to suggest that I was a purveyor of political violence to his own personal knowledge, because in some manner he ‘witnessed’ it (how convenient?). Does Fairfax know that Cabbie employed Holt? Might it have been that Mr. Holt was manipulated by Cabbie and later given up by him? Would Fairfax care?
The entire neo-nazi thing can act as a honey-trap to the intellectually fractured. Strong symbols of violence and death and redemption in rebirthing a system of universal power come out of its false interpretation of the history of Nazism in particular and fascism generally. People like Cabbie keep it alive and ready to ‘recruit’ the next sad character.
Fairfax’s propaganda script is the excuse for restrictive laws, extra political policing and the repression of genuine patriotic views, actions done on the excuse of something that doesn’t really exist. Yes, I believe “white males” (sic) in Australia will radicalise, but in the direction of true political action, the thing the Melbourne Age reviles I think too, that the leaders of the nationalist movement are a little too street wise to be taken in by the next Manchurian Candidate.
From Quebec to Melbourne, we need to stop ignoring the radicalisation of white men.
How many more mass killings need to take place before the views of fascists and white supremacists are recognised as the threat they truly are?
Source: From Quebec to Melbourne, we need to stop ignoring the radicalisation of white men, by Celeste Liddle, Feb 2 2017.
Following news of a murder or mass shooting incident, there is often a meme I see floating around social media. On it is a chart with a number of colours ranging from black, through hues of brown, then on to pink, beige and finally white, held up next to a cartoon man with fair skin.
The lighter colours are labelled “mentally ill” on the chart, whereas the darker colours denote “terrorist”. It’s perhaps a crude demonstration of a phenomenon we see play out time and time again when violent crime is reported.
Violence has no place in Canada Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemns the attack on a Quebec City mosque that killed six people on Sunday.
When I hear police or a news report confirm that they believe a murderous act was not linked to “terrorism”, I go ahead and make the assumption that they mean the perpetrator is white. This is compounded if I further read that the perpetrator was a “loner” or there is a mention of a history of mental health issues. Racial motivations, sexist motivations, or indeed any motivations behind the crime are often a mere footnote placed at the end of the story.
This is not to make light of the impact that mental health issues can have on a person’s life. It’s just that when it comes to crimes committed by people of colour, their mental health status and social network seem to be of little importance. If they’re Muslim, that fact will be highlighted. Terrorism will not be dismissed so quickly. Indeed, even if the police investigations conclude that the crime is not a “terrorist attack”, the message that filters to the press and the public often remains the opposite.
Yet what about the crimes committed by white men which clearly fit the description of “terrorism”? Take the recent attacks on a mosque in Quebec which killed six people as they prayed and critically wounded another eight. As justice writer Shaun King details, for an entire day after the shooting, false reports circulated around the internet that the perpetrators were Muslim terrorists.
And as King also points out, our Facebook profile pictures are not suddenly awash with Canadian flags. Why not? It seems that now we know the killer was a white man and the people he murdered were Muslims, people don’t care. This is despite the fact that by Justin Trudeau’s own description, this was a “terrorist attack”.
This undated image of Roof waving a confederate flag that appeared on a website being investigated by the FBI. Photo: AP
Bissonnette has also been described by those who know him as a white supremacist and an anti-feminist with strong anti-immigration views, while also being a big Donald Trump supporter. He is has been vocal online about his views.
The question then becomes this: when are the dangerous views expressed by fascists and white supremacists – views currently being nullified by non-confronting terminology such as “alt-right” – going to be seen as the threat to life and liberty that they truly are?
Robert Lewis Dear killed three people and wounded nine when he shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic. Photo: AP
When are these sorts of ideologies and allegiances going to be investigated as fully by the authorities? Despite clear evidence of a trend of ideologically-motivated mass murder by racist, sexist white men (Dylann Roof, Robert Lewis Dear, Elliot Rodger, Marc Lepine), US legislation continues to target people of colour who are religious minorities.
We need not look across the Pacific for examples of this. Only last week it emerged that 26 year old white supremacist Michael Holt, arrested in September 2015, had planned to walk into a Central Coast shopping centre and go on a shooting rampage. In a country that describes itself as “multicultural”, it should be of concern to all of us yet this was the first I’d heard of him.
Michael James Holt has pleaded guilty to making and possessing prohibited firearms. Photo: Supplied
Again, he had been active online. Again, we see his mental health discussed in reports. But we need to stop viewing individuals like this as “lone wolves” whose motives are merely personal. We are currently in a political environment that tolerates the formation of far right groups and elects One Nation representatives to parliament. Indeed, Holt is part of a well-networked demographic in this country and his radicalisation should be of concern to us all.
It’s also telling that the first right-wing extremist to be charged under anti-terrorism measures, Phillip Galea, barely generated a whisper amongst Melbournians. Reports on Galea, who had been active in Reclaim Australia and United Patriots Front, have detailed his plans to blow up both the Melbourne Anarchist Club and the headquarters for Socialist Alliance. Again, his mental health state has been focussed upon in reports and investigations despite him stating that he is well. Is this apathy due to Galea being a white man who was targeting left wing activist groups?
The people he was targeting are the same people I am likely to march with at protests for social justice causes; their wellbeing is important to me. I cannot understand the broader community’s indifference.
Society, the press and our politicians through their legislation would have us believe that the “real” threat is a brown man from some other part of the world who is not a Christian. Yet there are very real threats right here. These individuals feel they are “disenfranchised” because they believe themselves entitled to space and place which was never theirs to begin with. They are not “loners”; rather they have groups and organisations and are well-networked online. They are, right now, also validated by our political system and systems overseas. Some of them are indeed radicalising, and willing to commit violence against innocent Australians.
As an Aboriginal woman who expresses left wing opinion, I know who the biggest threat to “my way of life” is. How many other lives are going to be threatened while we continue to ignore the radicalisation of right wing white men?