Tag: racist

Unrest in Avon? Trump’s message of law and order, loaded with racist undertones, takes aim at safety and security in Connecticut suburbs

In the eyes of President Donald Trump and some Republicans, electing the Democrats in 2020 would lead to a clear and frightening outcome: tranquil suburbs in Connecticut and elsewhere would be overrun by crime, violent protests, and social decay.

It’s an old message with a new twist, fueled by the backlash against Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations this summer that were largely peaceful in Connecticut, but turned violent in Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities.

Referring to the prospect of civil unrest, David X. Sullivan, a Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional District, told the Courant that he is “concerned about Avon, Farmington and Simsbury becoming as violent as Portland, New York and Chicago.”

Unrest in Avon?

Trump’s law and order message and its many versions may sound far-fetched to some. But there is a racist undertone to the rhetoric that has proven effective in the past, said Noel A. Cazenave, a professor of sociology at UConn. It reflects a long history of American politicians attempting to secure votes by playing up racial fears.

A Trump campaign video from July conjures up a world of defenseless suburbs under attack, showing a fictionalized scene of an elderly white woman watching a news segment about the defunding of the police as a shadowy intruder breaks into her house. She calls 9-1-1 but there is no dispatcher to pick up. The ad flashes a message: “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”

Sullivan said he rejects any implication that there is a racial element to his campaign messaging, which he described as an effort to “promote safety, in our homes, in our workplaces.”

But Cazenave notes that fear-mongering in political campaigns has deep roots in America, from Richard Nixon’s “Law and Order” campaign in the late 1960s to George H. W. Bush’s late 1980s political ad centered on Willie Horton, a Black man incarcerated in Massachusetts who raped a white woman while released on furlough, meant to demonstrate his Democratic opponent’s weak stance on crime. Trump is exploiting those same themes this year, Cazenave said.

“Donald Trump’s appeal to European-American suburban women voters is intended to exploit fear that if Joe Biden is elected, low-income African Americans and African American protestors will invade their suburbs,” Cazenave said. He noted that the tactic is “an extension of the old racist trope of imperiled white women.”

Message resonating?

Many Trump supporters in the state say they find comfort in Trump’s promise of safety and were angered to see Connecticut law enforcement come under attack during Black Lives Matter protests this summer and through the recent police accountability bill signed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

In a Biden White House, Trump supporters say they fear the dismantling of constitutional liberties and a lax approach to public safety.

“We haven’t seen the Democrats come out and really put a squash on the increase in crime or the rioting out West and even though we haven’t seen it here, there is that fear that

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Israel’s La Familia, the racist ‘ultras’ of Beitar Jerusalem, brought mayhem to protests this summer

When the Jerusalem police cracked down, the protests only accelerated. Eventually, Netanyahu’s backers craved their own show of force. They found it in a group of soccer fans.

That group, La Familia, is composed of infamously racist “ultras” who support the team Beitar Jerusalem. On their face, ultras are highly organized fans; at games, they lead raucous chants, unfurl massive banners and set off flares. In practice, they can operate as members of a street gang united by criminality, ideology or a little bit of both.

Beitar is the unofficial team of Israel’s political right. It is the only club in the Israeli Premier League to never have had an Arab player on its roster, and it is Netanyahu’s favorite team. So as the summer’s protests swept Jerusalem, Likud activist Amnon Ben Ami put the call out for the ultras on his popular Facebook page: “La Familia, you are the medicine against those anarchists.”

With the 2019-20 season over, La Familia was available and, apparently, spoiling for a fight. On several nights in July, La Familia members marauded through the masses at the anti-Netanyahu protests. Draped in Israeli flags, they sat on friends’ shoulders or happily shoved each other around makeshift mosh pits. “This is the land of Israel, this is the Jewish state, I hate all the Arabs,” they sang. “Where are the whores of antifa?” they shouted, then added a clap, clap, clap clap clap.

As they roamed, they lashed out violently, without knowing exactly whom they were targeting. Haaretz reporter Nir Hasson watched La Familia pursue a Palestinian man in a car, chasing him on foot and then hurling a molotov cocktail at his vehicle. Anti-Netanyahu protesters also reported being threatened by La Familia members flashing knives and asking, “Want to get stabbed?” According to another Haaretz reporter, La Familia beat up a man carrying a flag they believed was Palestinian but was in fact Rastafarian. One La Familia member was an Israel Defense Forces soldier, proudly carrying his army rifle in a blatant show of intimidation.

At first glance, it was a bizarre, pointless show of force. But to longtime La Familia watchers, it made perfect sense and could be traced to an incident earlier in the month.

On July 21, at an anti-Netanyahu protest outside the Knesset, a female demonstrator climbed a giant menorah statue and removed her shirt. A photo of her spread quickly across social media. Sophia Solomon, a doctoral student at Ben-Gurion University who conducted a three-year study of La Familia, contends that image energized the group’s members, who she says view themselves as defenders not of Netanyahu but of the sacred symbols of the state of Israel.

The protester on the menorah “had the guts,” Solomon says, “to go and hilool kodesh” — to violate the holy. So in response, La Familia raged.

A tradition of hate

Beitar Jerusalem was founded in 1936, before the creation of the state of Israel, as a youth club associated with the hardcore Zionist

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