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No! Stop! Just Stop!

By Petr Knava | Politics | May 21, 2018 |

By Petr Knava | Politics | May 21, 2018 |


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The Sunday Times probably wants to think that it’s sounding a quiet alarm. In a piece published over the weekend, it reported on a group called ‘Generation Identity’ (GI). GI are a far-right youth organisation with membership spread across multiple European nations. Their mission? Resisting the ‘great replacement’ of white people in our major cities, with a particular focus on stoking fears of an ‘Islamisation of Europe’. In reporting on Generation Identity, The Sunday Times would like to think that it’s shining a light on these Nazi fuckpigs and their insidious tactics, and thereby performing a public good. But by framing the reporting in a certain way, and by using imagery like the one in the header above, all the Times have really done is played right into GI’s hands. Let’s be clear: This is irresponsible, complicit fuckery masquerading as ‘objective journalism’. And there’s a hidden, liberal racist undercurrent to proceedings too. Those responsible for reporting on violent, extremist ideologies in these ways are never the ones in any personal danger from such ideologies. Deeming themselves above the fray, they examine these groups as if they were long-extinct curiosities in a museum, instead of burgeoning movements who run run military-style training camps across Europe and whose goal is nothing less than ethnic cleansing. There are entire swathes of humanity who groups like this wish to see eliminated. They are a real, present danger. You don’t get to report on them as if they were a trendy new tech start-up whose chic attitude to workplace dress and multiple croissant-dispensing vending machines you are just blown away by. I mean, again, look at the state of this:

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STOP!

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JUST STOP!

It’s impossible to tell what ratio of stupidity, ignorance, and a racism-enabled lax attitude to white supremacy this particular cocktail is made up of, but it’s a safe bet that if these boys weren’t white, then this report would be looking a whole lot different than it does now.

If you want to warn people of the dangers posed by a resurgent, youth-oriented far-right, fair enough. That’s good, important work. Just do the following: Name the group, name its members, describe their goals. If you’re feeling extra generous, explain the socioeconomic background that gives context to the rising appeal of fascist organisations—a few notes on the failures of modern capitalism in addressing the needs of the majority of the world’s population would go far; as would a cartoon showing succinctly the inherently exploitative nature of modern industry—but that’s it. Leave it at that. Although, this is the Murdoch-owned Times we’re talking about here, so I guess the context bit is probably too much to expect. But just start here then: Don’t use a header image that makes the neo-Nazis look like the hottest new post-punk revival band coming out of Shoreditch. We’ll go from there, yeah?



Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.



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