Posts Tagged ‘pioneer little Europe’

I’ve been talking about white nationalism and the Crescenta Valley PLE since I first heard about it a few weeks ago. Most of the responses that I have received have been very positive; we are all against racism and would like to make a difference. But what can be done about the PLE here in the Los Angeles area? Many of you have joked that we should let them have their PLE, but lock them up in there—and toss the key.
Of course, that’s not possible. So what is the problem with the PLE in the first place and what can be done to combat it?

I am no political strategist and in complete honesty this is the first time that I have ever tried to undertake a project of this magnitude. I’m just an average woman. I’m still working on finishing up my education and I don’t have all of the answers—which is why I need your help. I just figured that if I sat around and waited for someone else to do something that it would never get done. If I am passionate and sincere in my beliefs then I have to do something—I can’t wait for someone else, someone more experienced or better educated, to take the lead.
So here I am.

I have read the entire “PLE Prospectus” (a book written by a white supremacist regarding how the PLE is supposed to work) and I have read the comments and opinions of white supremacists regarding PLEs so I believe that I have a pretty strong grasp on this subject.
As I read the prospectus I kept looking for a definitive answer to the question of violence. Is violence among the white supremacist residents of the PLE encouraged; is it tolerated? That is a question that the prospectus avoids answering. The author does mention the issue of violence but tries to put a spin on the answer that pretty much leaves the answer open to interpretation.

Here is a quote directly from the book:
“Question: OK, I see, but if a concentrated number of WNs use this same strategy which was employed by the Chinese, Blacks, and Gays to seize a stronghold area and become an open power for the first time in a long time, won’t this local overthrow of the system be met with even greater violence?

Answer: A PLE is to be comprised of two categories of residents, those who keep their feet firmly planted in the system, and a certain percentage of those who describe themselves as militant protesters who will not.
As my personal spin tends to emphasize peaceful negotiation (not to be confused with an overall faith in all PLE supporters), I really don’t have a lot of influence over what militants do.
The Movement Needs More Peace Advocates & Builders.
Those who are participating within the system – and ideally that would be most of us most of the time – will struggle for the community from political offices and the justice system; for it’s our intention to swamp the Republicans, Democrats, and any third party on a LOCAL basis.”
I know that most of you have not read the prospectus so let me break this question and answer down for you real quick. According to the white supremacists other groups of people have created communities within communities that have become places where only they (and their kind) live. Examples of this would be areas like China town, South Central Los Angeles, and Haight- Ashbury. Of course, I probably do not need to explain to my audience how ridiculous that is. Being forced through institutional racism like the practice of ‘red-lining’ and through economic hardship into a particular area or part of town is not the same as creating your own little racial (or sexual orientation) haven. Also, even in the cases where minorities have purposefully gone to a particular area to live (which was somewhat common once upon a time especially for Jewish, Italian, and Asian immigrants) they cannot compare to the idea of the PLE. The area that the PLE is set up in is ALREADY 70% white! It’s already a PLE, as is the entire country! White people are not looking to buy homes in a particular area and being told by the real estate agent that they would be happier in another area that is more their style (i.e. has more white people). White people can and do live everywhere in this country.
Anyway, I digress. I’m preaching to the choir here—I know.

So, paraphrased, the question is: won’t the creation of PLE’s become violent when they are met with resistance?

And (paraphrased) the answer is: yes—but I’m not going to write that down in the book for fear of a future lawsuit.
The author says that there will always be a certain percentage of WNs who will be militant. In other parts of the prospectus he says that he cannot control the actions of the militants and that while he doesn’t support violent behavior that he understands that people are angry and will be violent.

Of course we have seen violent (militant) behavior from white supremacists forever—it’s kind of what they are known for. From the cross burnings and lynching of the past to the mass murder in the Sikh temple and the white supremacist couple who went on a murder spree (targeting black and Jewish people) in the northwest United States last December—we all know that they have a propensity toward violence. I believe that when the average American thinks about white supremacists the picture that comes to mind is that of an uneducated redneck with little to no influence in society. After all, that is pretty much what white supremacists have been for the last 40 years or so.
However, in recent years they have tried to change their public image. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the election of President Obama and the start of the great recession many views that were once abhorred by the general public have become more mainstream and white nationalism has gotten greater support from non-militant and educated people. They don’t always call themselves white nationalists. In fact, many do not—and never would. Instead they call themselves “conservative” (please do not think that I am including ALL CONSERVATIVES in this statement—I am only talking about a fragment of conservative people)and they join tea parties and “patriot” movements.

So the first thing that needs to change is how those of us who do not live in a world of racism and fear view those who do. We have to change our paradigm—continuing to think of white supremacists as toothless, uneducated rednecks will only work in their favor, not ours. We must realize that increasingly, there are well-educated upstanding citizens who subscribe to white nationalist views. Take for instance one local here in the Los Angeles area: Kevin MacDonald. Mr. MacDonald is a tenured professor of psychiatry at the University of California Long Beach. Mr. MacDonald writes and edits a blatantly racist blog called “The Occidental Observer.” University administration, staff, and students have been unable to have Mr. MacDonald fired from his position (although thanks to student protests and low enrolment in his classes they have been able to reduce the number of classes he is teaching).
Mr. MacDonald is just one example of how the face of white nationalism is changing. They have lobbyists, politicians, and I am sure, even judges.

This is where we come in. It is difficult, if not impossible to stop militant behavior before it starts. We can’t be there to protect an interracial couple walking down an alley. But we can be there to vote. We can be there to protect our government from being overrun by people who want to take us back to the 1950s. We can limit the scope and reach of those within the PLE which will ultimately discourage new PLE residents and send them looking for some other place to gather. We all know that hatred in large numbers is not a good thing and leads to mob mentality. If the PLE continues to grow, so does the likelihood of violent acts in and around the area.
Such is the focus of Celebrate Diversity Southern California. Educate the residents in and around the PLE – inform them of what is going on in their very own communities and encourage residents who stand with us to make that clear in local elections.
It is imperative that we find out who the local (and national) politicians are who support white supremacist ideas and shut them down in the polls.
My goal right now is weed out any possible supporter of the PLE who may be involved in local politics in the Crescenta Valley area and make sure that such a person is never elected to local (or national) office again.
We can also learn who the supporters of the PLE are in the area who own businesses and we can organize a boycott.
I believe that having a Diversity Fair in the Crescenta Valley area will be an effective way to spread the word to local residents and encourage like-minded residents to support our efforts.

We also need to keep in mind that our country has laws to prevent people from discriminating on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, and other factors—however, I worked in apartment leasing in the Phoenix area for years and I have to tell you– laws change nothing. In fact I was fired from two leasing positions because of my refusal to discriminate against perspective residents on the basis of race. Those experiences, more than anything, are the main reasons that I am here today writing this. Seeing racism in action, and not just in words, forced me to see my own white privilege for the first time and it was quite a shock.
When legal action is used to fight back against discriminatory practices by real estate agents, landlords, police, and business owners – those militant types that the author of the prospectus mentioned may become more likely to strike. It is important that we do not underestimate the risk that comes with extremist views. Just because a view holds greater acceptance among the general public, does not mean that it is less likely to become violent. In fact, I believe that history has shown us that public tolerance of hatred leads to greater and greater acts of violence. This is something that was very evident during the struggle for Civil Rights in the 1960s. Having politicians and community leaders on “their side” will likely make them feel justified and above the law.
This is one of the main reasons that we cannot sit on our laurels and wait for someone else to do something about this. We must act now.

Of course, as I said at the start of this post—I have never done this before. I am open to any and all reasonable suggestions and I am still looking for administrative help (and I am grateful to those who are already helping—an official website is in the works, by the way). So please, if you are reading this and you have anything to suggest or add to the conversation please feel free to let me know.

Most of my readers are either my friends or they have been referred by my friends—in that case feel free to send me an email or facebook message. Otherwise, you can leave a comment here on the blog—I will read it. I allow comments from everyone (including non-registered users) but I do read them before I post them, so have patience.

Thank you for reading—please visit Celebrate Diversity Southern California’s facebook page to learn more about how you can help.