Forget Huawei, US spying on Denmark shows the real threat for European countries comes from Washington

Tom Fowdy
Forget Huawei, US spying on Denmark shows the real threat for European countries comes from Washington
Revelations that America engaged in surveillance on Denmark should come as no surprise. It has consistently spied on its allies, and its efforts to vilify Huawei are simply an attempt to create a smokescreen.

Denmark’s public broadcaster DK has revealed, citing anonymous sources, that the US National Security Agency (NSA) cooperated with the country’s intelligence services in spying on the Danish ministries of finance and foreign affairs.

The purpose was to gather information on Denmark’s fighter jet acquisition program, with Washington aiming to secure Copenhagen’s procurement of Lockheed Martin F-35s at the expense of European defense firms.

The story, while covered in Denmark and the Netherlands, was largely ignored in the English-speaking international media. The espionage scandal comes at a time when Washington is aggressively pushing the idea of a “clean network”, demanding that European countries exclude the Chinese firm Huawei from their telecommunications networks amid allegations that it is an “espionage risk.”

However, that isn’t what is happening here. The “clean network” isn’t really clean at all, and the threat to European countries lies far closer to home than Beijing. The US has a long, well-established history of utilizing its intelligence agreements to spy on European countries for commercial reasons, not least when it comes to the bidding of the ‘military-industrial complex.’ Yet, instead of being concerned about this, the public and media have lost themselves in hysteria about a single company, Huawei, whose alleged complicity in espionage has never been proven.

What is the military-industrial complex? The term refers to an oligarchy of American multinational aerospace and defense contractors which constitute the backbone of the US military, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon, to name a few. These companies exert a disproportionate influence over American politics in order to uphold their enormous profit margins.

They employ a number of strategies to do so, which include the funding of think tanks that actively promote aggressive and military-led foreign policies, such as the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). But more alarmingly their representatives and lobbyists are immersed within the Washington DC system itself. Take for example Nikki Haley, who was until recently a member of Boeing’s executive board. What does she know about aerospace engineering? Nothing. What does she know about promoting war and neo-conservative policies? Plenty.

Yet this isn’t all. What this revelation in Denmark reminds us is that the military-industrial complex also coordinates with US intelligence to promote their interests, even undermining competitors within allied countries.

For example, in 1994 it is publicly documented that the US Echelon program undermined a deal between the European firm Airbus and Saudi Arabia in order to secure a $6 billion contract for Boeing. Likewise, it was revealed several years ago that the NSA had spied on Germany’s Chancellery for decades. What has happened in Denmark is not new, it’s part of a trend.

Despite the US spying on European countries with a view to promoting military-industrial complex interests, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s backing for the “clean network” comes with claims that the scheme promotes privacy and data security by excluding “untrusted vendors.” But it’s obvious that such a network does not exist because the US is able to infiltrate it at will; it is a disingenuous façade.

The real reason the US seeks to exclude Huawei is not on legitimate security grounds, but to uphold its strategic monopoly over the global internet and network surveillance. Whether Huawei spies or not – and nothing has ever proved it does –  it is nonetheless a company which is not under the political control of the US and its intelligence partners, which makes its networks harder to infiltrate and subvert.

The US hasn’t aggressively promoted its anti-Huawei campaign because it cares and acts in good faith. It has done so because there is an obvious set of interests which the rise of the Chinese company challenges, and Huawei’s growing influence also brushes against the military-industrial complex as well as America’s various internet surveillance efforts, such as Prism.

Thus, the message should be this: forget China, the US is the biggest, most advanced and most unrivaled advocate of global surveillance in the world, much of it publicly documented and verified. Not only does America frequently spy on countries it claims to be its allies, but it also seeks to undermine their commercial interests to ensure the global monopoly and profit margins of the military-industrial complex are sustained.

Therefore, what is described as “the clean network” is little more than hypocrisy from Pompeo, a packaged lie designed to sustain a status quo which favors Washington, and which a Chinese telecommunications firm poses a threat to.

Inside MeWe, Where Anti-Vaxxers and Conspiracy Theorists Thrive

Not true. This platform rocks. This was written in 2019 where WE-ME had 5 million members. As of now, Nov 2020, it has passed the 12 million mark. This is the future people. No ads, no censorship. Freedom. 

By the way, Tales is on Me-WE. Go here: https://mewe.com/join/talesfromtheconspiratum

What would social media look like without all the oversight?

White supremacists and members of the alt-right march to the White House on the anniversary of last year's 'Unite the Right' rally in Washington, DC, USA, 12 August 2018. On 12 August 2017, a bloody clash between white supremacists and counterprotestors in Charlottesville, Virginia left three people dead and dozens injured.White supremacists march on anniversary of Unite the Right rally in DC, Washington, USA - 12 Aug 2018

White supremacists and members of the alt-right, like those pictured here in a wire photo from a rally in D.C. on August 12th, 2018, have found a home on the social media site MeWe.

Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Last month, Sheila McNallen posted that her husband, Steve, had been kicked off of Facebook, “apparently forever.” Steve is the founder of the Ásatrú Folk Assembly, a group headquartered in California that advocates for a return to Germanic Paganism, including an espousal of what they have deemed traditional, Nordic white values. The Asatru Folk Assembly has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and in one YouTube video with more than 30,000 views, McNallen enumerates his theories on race, point by point, including his belief that racial differences are inherent to biology and his desire to defend the white race against “numerous threats to our future.” “I will fight for my race, primarily with words and ideas, but I will fight more literally if I have to,” he vows.

In the 36 comments on Sheila McNallen’s post, Facebook users sympathized with the McNallens’ plight, grousing over Facebook’s recent crackdown on white supremacists and sharing various platforms that would be more receptive to people who share his views. “Please look at MeWe,” one user wrote. “Many are heading over there.”

In an email to Rolling Stone, McNallen, who said he no longer has an official position in the Ásatrú Folk Assembly, confirmed he did indeed have a profile on the social networking app. He also expressed befuddlement that he had been banned from Facebook in the first place, saying that he has “NEVER advocated violence and I have NEVER insulted, threatened, or ridiculed any ethnic, religious, or racial group.”

“I don’t expect you to agree with my religious, social, or political beliefs  – I’m good with that,” he said. “But the honest truth is that people have been driven off of Facebook for bullshit reasons.”

A lot of people agree with McNallen, even those who don’t necessarily share his extremist views — and many of them are heading over to MeWe. Following the morass of negative media coverage surrounding Facebook’s propagation of fake news, the social media giant has issued a highly public mea culpa, cracking down on hate groups like the Ásatrú Folk Assembly as well as anti-vaxxers and other types of conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and company. As these users are being booted from or being subject to deplatforming (a term for deprioritizing content in news feeds and making it difficult to search for) on Facebook, they’re increasingly fueled by the belief that mainstream networks are censoring their views — and this is, arguably, making them even angrier and more vocal. They’re looking for platforms that will provide a home for their ideas, and newer, less stringent platforms like MeWe have been all too happy to serve this function.

MeWe was founded by entrepreneur and privacy advocate Mark Weinstein, a cheerful, loquacious man and a self-identified libertarian. He’s friendly and open, with a hoarse voice that occasionally crackles with emotion, and he’s also prone to the occasional fit of bombast: “I’m one of the guys who invented social media,” he cheerfully tells me at the start of our conversation. An MBA graduate from the UCLA School of Management, Weinstein launched his first venture, SuperGroups (which included SuperFamily and SuperFriends), in 1998, allowing users to create free, multi-member community website; that venture, a sort of precursor to Facebook groups shut down in 2001. He then developed a professional coaching and training service, publishing a series of self-help books under the “Habitually Great” brand.

As he recalls it, Weinstein watched Facebook’s ascent to global domination with horror, viewing what he perceived to be its relentless crusade against user privacy. “Social media wasn’t invented for us to be data to be bought and sold and for the governments around the world to be able to have access to know everything about us,” he tells Rolling Stone. He became committed to engineering and building a social network “that didn’t spy on people, that didn’t track them, that didn’t sell them down the river.”

Mark WeinsteinEvan Ross hosts MeWe Summer Kick Off Party, Los Angeles, USA - 29 Jun 2016MeWe, the next gen social network & Evan Ross Host a Summer Kick Off Party

Mark Weinstein attends a MeWe Summer Kick Off Party in Los Angeles in 2016. Photo credit: Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock

Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock

The end result was MeWe, a social networking app that claimed to fiercely protect user privacy. The genesis of the name, says Weinstein, is exactly what it sounds like: “My life is composed of me and then my ‘we,’ which is everybody that’s part of my life. That’s the we. It resonates really well with people. People love our name. We get a lot of thumbs up on our brand.” MeWe was released to minor acclaim in 2016, but it didn’t really start taking off until last year, when it started trending in the Google Play store and grew 405 percent, from 700,000 members to 3 million.

MeWe is not known as a hotbed of extremist discourse in the same way that 8Chan or Discord are, nor does it have nearly as big of a user base. (The gaming platform Discord, for instance, which has attracted criticism for its lax moderation policies, has 145 million users.) Keegan Hankes, senior research analyst at the SPLC’s intelligence project, is familiar with MeWe, and has seen far-right extremists like McNallen gravitating to the platform. But Hankes isn’t as concerned about MeWe’s ability to serve as an echo chamber for Facebook expats as nearly as he is about Facebook and Twitter serving as a radicalization portal for those susceptible to far-right extremist messaging.

“The way I look at this, Facebook and Twitter have always served as funnels to get people in more extreme communities,” he says. “You want to keep [extremists] out of the major platforms, and you want to limit exposure. Those sub-communities that are hard to see, hard to track and have very radical individuals — they have always existed.”

Continue with article: 

Source

This article has been updated to clarify that many different types of users, not just those on the far right, use the MeWe platform. An additional quote from Weinstein has been added to emphasize that point.

The Big Tech Exodus Has Begun — Join Us!

It’s been a long time coming and we still have a long way to go, but we can now confidently say that an era of new media has begun.

Over the last several years, we have clearly seen the writing on the wall that Big Tech would start getting far more aggressive about how it polices content. Not satisfied with merely fact checking and adding notices, entire channels have been deleted for wrongthink.

Readers might have noticed, however, that while we continue to highlight the injustices seen across social media, we do not advocate for government intervention. Instead, we always have promoted the building of entirely new systems. Nevertheless, most people do not understand how laborious and costly such an undertaking really is – especially now that Big Tech systems are so firmly entrenched in the daily lives of most people. However, due to millions of readers across independent media being told they have no access to the information they desire, we are now witnessing a dramatic increase in the breadth of alternative offerings as well as much higher quality.

Below, for example, is a group of our most respected independent journalists who recently threw a Goodbye YouTube Party (originally hosted on YouTube, LOL!!!). You’ll notice that there are no tears shed for their collective deplatforming, but rather an agreement that this is an exciting new beginning.

Goodbye YouTube indeed – look at today’s Tweet from rival BitChute:

There are many new social media channels, but we would like to highlight where we participate the most frequently so that our readers have a clearer understanding of how to migrate over to these new platforms TODAY. You also will find ALL of our content at these sites.

SoMee (Somee.social) – This platform might prove to be the true Facebook killer. It’s a project that is still in Beta, but has framed an incredible system to “gamify” audience participation. With a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, readers can earn SoMee tokens (ONG) for posting, upvoting and eventually commenting on their favorite content. An ad-share marketplace is also currently being designed. Additionally, SoMee has made a commitment to free speech without arbitrary censorship based on politics – only the most obviously egregious violations will result in removal and bans. SoMee currently has 80,000 users with very little marketing of the project. In our estimation, their slow rollout is indicative of a careful and long-lasting approach. Activist Post contributor Aaron Kesel is involved with SoMee as business development director. Perhaps most refreshing of all is how positive and supportive the community is with a broad range of cultures taking part. A tutorial is posted below. Once you sign up, you can send us a friend request at https://somee.social/profile/activist-post/. You can also follow SoMee’s mission to bring transparency to their development here.

Flote (Flote.app) – This platform has been heavily promoted by Josh Sigurdson of World Alternative Media, as well as Derrick Broze of The Conscious Resistance Network. Flote also has a built-in crypto wallet where Bitcoin donations can be sent and received by users. Flote is fast, simple, super clean and also offers video hosting. Please visit us at: https://flote.app/ActivistPost. Here is an introduction to this censorship-resistant site which is currently seeing a massive influx of new users judging by the uptick in our personal followers:

Minds (minds.com) – This is one of the longer-running alternative platforms where we’ve been participating. Here, too, you can find a built-in wallet for crypto tokenization and transfer. Please visit us: https://www.minds.com/ActivistPost/. Here is an interview with co-founder Bill Ottman giving an overview of their mission for decentralized social media based on privacy and transparency, as well as some of the key features.

Parler (Parler.com) – This platform is becoming the de facto Twitter of the “right” and is absolutely exploding in the wake of this heavily contested election. While it is indeed heavily focused on the establishment political right, there is a growing diversity of voices there including AP contributor Spiro Skouras and many other respected independent voices. Follow us here: https://parler.com/profile/Activist/

MeWe (mewe.com): This is a new one for us, but not for many others. We finally set up our profile after being prodded by our good friends at The Free Thought Project. MeWe – along with Parler – is among the top 3 most downloaded apps right now as the Big Tech Exodus accelerates. Follow us here: https://mewe.com/i/activistpost

Here’s an excellent overview of MeWe, including strategies to build your own MeWe presence from our friend Jack Spirko:

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Lastly, censorship is not only online. Recently, PayPal deleted our account after 10 years in good standing without explanation. Their only stated reason was “potential risk.” They also froze our funds for 180 days. The impact was significant, so we do appreciate support at Patreon where you can follow us for as little as $1 per month HERE. We also accept crypto support here: https://www.activistpost.com/support

Please choose at least one of these platforms today and accompany us on this journey to build something great!

RCEP: Asia-Pacific nations sign world’s biggest trade pact

While the USA is embroiled in a meaningless fight between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Asia has had enough and is deciding to go on its own way. This is the future people and it does not include North America or Europe. 

Source

http://www.aljazeera.com

15 Nov 2020

The China-backed RCEP deal excludes the US and will account for 30 percent of the world’s economy and population.

ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific leaders pose for a group photo during the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit in Bangkok on November 4, 2019 [Manan Vatsyayana/ AFP]
ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific leaders pose for a group photo during the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit in Bangkok on November 4, 2019 [Manan Vatsyayana/ AFP]

China and 14 other countries have agreed to form the world’s largest free-trade bloc, encompassing nearly a third of all economic activity, in a deal many in Asia are hoping will help hasten a recovery from the shocks of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, was signed virtually on Sunday on the sidelines of the annual summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In the online ceremony, leaders of RCEP countries took turns standing behind their trade ministers who, one by one, signed copies of the agreement, which they then showed triumphantly to the cameras.

“RCEP will soon be ratified by signatory countries and take effect, contributing to the post-COVID pandemic economic recovery,” said Nguyen Xuan Phuc, prime minister of Vietnam, which hosted the ceremony as ASEAN chair.

RECP will take already low tariffs on trade between member countries still lower, over time. It will account for 30 percent of the global economy, 30 percent of the global population and reach 2.2 billion consumers, according to Vietnam.

RCEP  “will help reduce or remove tariffs on industrial and agricultural products and set out rules for data transmission,” said Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department at Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

In addition to the 10 ASEAN nations, the accord includes China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, but not the United States. Officials said the accord leaves the door open for India, which dropped out due to fierce domestic opposition to its market-opening requirements, to rejoin the bloc.

“After eight years of negotiating with blood, sweat and tears, we have finally come to the moment where we will seal the RCEP Agreement,” Malaysia’s Trade Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, said in a statement ahead of the ceremony.

The deal sends a signal that RCEP countries have chosen “to open our markets instead of resorting to protectionist measures during this difficult time,” he said.

The accord is a coup for China, by far the biggest market in the region with more than 1.3 billion people, allowing Beijing to cast itself as a “champion of globalisation and multilateral cooperation” and giving it greater influence over rules governing regional trade, Gareth Leather, senior Asian economist for Capital Economics, said in a report.

The US is absent from RCEP and the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that US President Donald Trump pulled out of shortly after taking office. This leaves the world’s biggest economy out of two trade groups that span the fastest-growing region on earth.

Now that Trump’s opponent Joe Biden has been declared president-elect, the region is watching to see how US policy on trade and other issues will evolve.

Analysts are skeptical Biden will push hard to rejoin the trans-Pacific trade pact or to roll back many of the US trade sanctions imposed on China by the Trump administration given the widespread frustration with Beijing’s trade and human rights records and accusations of spying and technology theft.

Ahead of Sunday’s RCEP “special summit” meeting, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he would firmly convey his government’s support for “broadening a free and fair economic zone, including a possibility of India’s future return to the deal and hope to gain support from the other countries”.

The RCEP agreement is loose enough to stretch to fit the disparate needs of member countries as diverse as Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia. Unlike the European Union, it does not establish unified standards on labour and the environment or commit countries to open services and other vulnerable areas of their economies.

But it does set rules for trade that will facilitate investment and other business within the region, Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Centre, said in a report for the Asia Society, an organisation that promotes US-Asia understanding.

“RCEP, therefore, is a much-needed platform for the Indo-Pacific’s post-COVID recovery,” he wrote.

The pact will take effect once enough participating countries ratify the agreement domestically within the next two years.

ASEAN members include Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

SOURCE : NEWS AGENCIES

Canada Victory: The Supreme Court ruled today that corporations cannot claim “cruel and unusual treatment” and do not have a Charter right to this protection

The Supreme Court ruled today that corporations cannot claim “cruel and unusual treatment” and do not have a Charter right to this protection. This is a victory for human rights. CCLA was an intervenor in the case, arguing that human rights are first and foremost for human beings; human rights should not be available to corporations as a legal tool for maximizing profit.

Cod liver oil, a weapon in the fight against Covid-19? Norwegian scientists expand massive study to find out

Cod liver oil, a weapon in the fight against Covid-19? Norwegian scientists expand massive study to find out
Researchers in Norway are expanding a major ongoing study to determine whether cod liver oil can help fight off Covid-19 or whether those who take the supplement anyway tend to lead healthier lives in general.

Previously, the major national Covid-19 study (‘Koronastudien’) that began this spring, found that cod liver oil users had a lower risk of catching the virus.

“Preliminary data from our ongoing COVID-19 study, Koronastudien, suggest that cod liver oil users may have a reduced risk of COVID-19 and a lower risk of severe disease outcomes if they are infected,” says Arne Søraas, physician-scientist at the Department of Microbiology, Oslo University Hospital.

Now researchers want to expand the study into a “randomized, parallel-group treatment, quadruple masked, two-arm study” to test cod liver oil’s mettle and determine if it can help prevent or reduce both Covid-19 infections as well as other seasonal viral diseases like flu and the common cold.

The research team is calling for 70,000 volunteers to participate, half of whom will be dosed with the cod liver oil and the other given a placebo (corn oil) from November until April next year.

This hypothesis is in line with current prevailing findings in the scientific literature regarding omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both found in cod liver oil, and how they help prevent respiratory tract infections and Covid-19.

Cod liver oil is one of the few natural sources of vitamin D for most Norwegians, whose dark winters usually limit the body’s natural production of the substance through exposure to sunlight.

The randomized study aims to determine whether cod liver oil might be a cheap but effective weapon that could easily be distributed worldwide with life-saving consequences for limited cost.

The researchers are also hoping to gain further insight into demographic-specific Covid-19 infections and whether cod liver oil doses might be of particular use to certain sections of the population.

“The target group is those who have a vitamin D deficiency. We know that people with darker skin more often have such a deficiency. So it’s very important that the study recruits as many people with a vitamin D deficiency, or with dark skin, so we can see the effects more clearly,” Saumia Shankar, a doctor at Oslo University Hospital, said.

Bolivia’s Government Will Tax Large Fortunes in 2021

  • Bolivian Minister of Economy and Finances Marcelo Montenegro announced in an interview with Bolivian media that the MAS government will place a tax on all large fortunes above 4.3 million dollars.
    Bolivian Minister of Economy and Finances Marcelo Montenegro announced in an interview with Bolivian media that the MAS government will place a tax on all large fortunes above 4.3 million dollars. | Photo: @QuienNoticias
Published 13 November 2020

Bolivia’s government will apply in 2021 a tax on those whose wealth exceeds 30 million Bolivians (about 4.3 million dollars), the Minister of Economy and Finance, Marcelo Montenegro, informed Friday.

In an interview for the Bolivian TV channel UNITEL, the minister said that the newly elected government is working on the scope of this tax, which was announced by the new Bolivian President, Luis Arce, during his political campaign.

Montenegro explained that “it is a tax on large fortunes” and would impact at least 150 people, achieving a potential collection of 100 million Bolivians (14.4 million dollars).

According to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bolivia is one of the countries in Latin America with a considerably low tax base, meaning tax revenues are minimal.

The tax had been announced by Arce since the beginning of his campaign and was ratified after his victory in the general elections on October 18. However, he clarified that it would be applied to personal assets and not to companies to avoid the private sector’s complications and prevent decapitalization.

Arce has commented that the tax’s purpose is to generate new sources of income from those who have more and give to those who have less.

Financial analyst Luis Ballivián said this Friday to Xinhua that applying a tax on those who have more money would be a wise measure and that it would have, above all, a component of solidarity with the less favored.

A former official with the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) considered that such tax would significantly contribute to the country, which faces a deep economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ballivián commented that if the new government’s idea is to capture more income and create a new tax, it would also be prudent to analyze the situation of other sectors that handle large sums of capital.

Trump lost, but racism is alive and infused in U.S. history

Source

theconversation.com

Nov 13, 2020

The United States presidential election was a great spectacle. It was also a battle over the nation’s history and its future.

As historians will tell you, how we characterize the past has direct bearing on how we imagine possible futures. What is the vision for a post-Trump America?

In both the lead-up to Nov. 3 and its aftermath, history loomed large. More than 200 scholars of authoritarianism, fascism and populism signed an Open Letter of Concern about the imminent threat to democratic processes and institutions, drawing on histories of past regimes that have curtailed democratic rights and freedoms in moments of instability and unrest.

Fascism historians Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Federico Finchelstein warned that Donald Trump’s narcissism is more than just a character flaw; it is a clarion call to build an authoritarian state. Even in defeat, they argued, strongmen and their followers often continue to undermine institutions — just as Trump appears to be doing following the election with his refusal to accept the results. The answer? See through the rhetoric, exercise caution and remain vigilant.

For others, fascism may not be knocking at the door, but the shock of the 2016 election was not undone by the 2020 results. If anything, the strong showing of the Republican party, despite a platform of xenophobia and hatred, exposed the chasms that divide Americans by race and class.

Trump is reminiscent of far-away strongmen like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A good portion of the electorate likes what he’s selling anyway. That’s a bitter pill for a country that came of age on pledges of allegiance to fundamental freedoms.

As historian Adam Tooze put it in the Guardian immediately after the election, Trump supporters love “his aggression, and his gleeful slaughter of liberal sacred cows.” Will the defeat of a single politician silence his millions of supporters and change a system rife with inequality and abuse?

People carrying anti-Trump signs gather with the White House seen in the background.
Americans celebrate the election’s outcome outside the White House, in Black Lives Matter Plaza, on Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Changed the playing field

Even in defeat, Trump has already changed the playing field. His linguistic disobedience, alternative facts, lies and media manipulation have given false claims some legitimacy, paving the way for others to carry the baton forward in a politics of hate, recriminations and denial of truth.

Without serious social and electoral reform, the next authoritarian to make a play to lead the U.S. may be much more capable. Trump may have been stopped from his “autocratic attempt,” but the party he transformed has yet to renounce his politics. Trump lost, but Trumpism is alive and well, along with the conditions that propelled him to power in the first place.

Trump supporters carry signs alleging an illegal election
Trump supporters protest outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Nov. 8, 2020, a day after the 2020 election was called for Biden. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

At best, the post-election future might be one of regrouping and rebuilding; at worst, there will be more challenges to legal norms and truths by the outgoing president and the Republican Party.

Americans rose to the challenge?

Biden supporters, meanwhile, have tapped into other American pasts. While they acknowledge Trump’s brutalism has been concerning, they saw Americans rising to the challenge, “taking back the conversation” and placing renewed faith in institutions.

They saw glimmers of hope in the record-breaking voter turnout, and in efforts to replace Confederate emblems from state flags and remove racist language from state constitutions.

They revelled in America’s diversity, praising the herculean efforts of African American and Indigenous activists and voters for defeating Trump. But they did so often without recognizing that these same groups had the most to lose from a Republican victory during a global pandemic that hit their communities particularly hard.

Some saw this election as an extension of Civil Rights movement struggles, going so far as to compare Kamala Harris, the vice-president-elect, to Ruby Bridges, the girl who desegregated her Louisiana elementary school. This is a broken democracy, the argument goes, not a defeated one.

Yet American democracy wasn’t under attack simply by the Trump presidency. It has never adequately accounted for minority experiences in the first place.

Trump’s everyday racism is not an aberration. Although it may be extreme, it’s at the core of America’s history.

Tiffany Florvil, a scholar of transnational Black activism, put a fine point on it when she echoed the words of historian Thomas Holt: In the United States, “race lives because it is part and parcel of the means of living.” Racism is woven into the very fabric of American life. It is a feature of American democracy, not any authoritarian aberration.

What this means is the Civil Rights movement is not a thing of the past. It is an ongoing, unfinished project.

Scholars of African American history and law have been saying this for a long time. America’s institutions, economy and media are all built upon a history of what UCLA historian Robin D.G. Kelley has called racial capitalism — a system of exploitation with repercussions into the current day.

As Kimberlé Crenshaw put it in Time magazine, referring to Trump’s directive to all federal agencies to stop anti-bias training to address white privilege:

“It’s an approach to grappling with a history of white supremacy that rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past, and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it.”

America’s past — borne of stolen land, slavery, head taxes and segregation — is evident in the dog whistles of Trump’s rigged election speechciting Detroit and Philadelphia as notoriously corrupt, and the chatter on the far right about the need to turn the election result into a justification for another civil war.

But it also surfaces when Democrats too quickly forget the struggles racialized populations endure to safeguard a democracy that has not always protected them.


Read more: Trump has made America nostalgic again for a past that never existed


All of these facets of America’s past and future are circulating right now as Americans ponder Trump’s exit and whether he will go peacefully.

But the lessons drawn from history should not be solely focused on patterns that repeat themselves; they should also guide us in shaping policy and law.

Only an honest engagement with the full scope of American history, including the crushing role racial inequality has played for generations, will help its citizens imagine an alternative future in which freedom and equality might indeed be possible.

Understanding the sinister agenda being forced upon us