Tag Archive | Institutional Racism

Donald Trump, KKK & The Revolution: Transformative Education

Bio

Daniel Gallant is a former white supremacist and a practicing Social Worker that is currently studying law. Most recently Daniel Gallant was interviewed on this topic by the Montreal Gazette.

Letter to the Editor

President-Elect Donald Trump.

Successful in his presidential campaign, 2016, Trump has enshrined and emulated living controversies from the depths of American society’s psyche. He has advocated and capitalized upon angst of many citizen’s valid grievances against the state. Additionally, Trump has echoed the long standing American right wing rhetoric; many of his statements can only be described as discriminatory and bigoted. Much of the commentary from Trump, echoes that of the extreme far right.

There is no doubt that many people echo sentiments, similar to that expressed by the likes of the KKK, and David Duke. Right wing extremists have proclaimed that it is their vote that succeeded the Trump vote. A question remains: is this true?

What we know, as evidenced through a plethora of academic research, theorizing and confirming that our Americas (namely Canada and USA) are built upon capitalist precepts that include white supremacy.

The privilege gained by the dominant society has been attained and maintained through injustices served upon the other(s). Our system is historically white supremacist and classist, some will claim a cultural predation and law entrenched in arcane supremacist doctrines. While others emphasizing that the power belongs to the nations descendants; albeit missing the context of indigenous peoples. Perhaps, the most intense shock for Trump’s critics is that merely the point that America is not all that different than it’s ever been.

While, the KKK may not have directly affected the voting majority per se, it is known that Klan’s (and kin networks) message is directly aligned with the ideological construct of Trump’s campaign, and the collective conscious of the voting majority in the USA. This was not ideologically distinguished from that of the Harper-era in Canada. In many contexts and applications of politic, the violent right wing extremist ideology and doctrine (e.g. KKK) is cut from the literal same social fabric as is Trump and his voting majority. This is not to say that all Trump voters are white supremacist. However, it is fair to argue that the absorption of collective consciousness has become what was white supremacist and could now be legitimately concluded as mono-ethno-centric in construct. This ethno-centric trend espouses hatred, on both the left and right wing majority and fringes.

Those identified as the left wing, often believe our societies have progressed away from racism and other arcane political practices. We only need to see the manifestation of the 2016 campaign to understand this is not true. The right wing proclaims the left wing is as bad, or worse, than the right wing; that the left wing who claim to be anti-fascist are demonstrating attributes of fascism themselves. Both, left and right, have turned into ugly polarizations of the other. Violence is brought forth, emerged, from both narratives, but there is a simple solution: building upon common ground through human relationships.

Trump merely mimics that which already exists.  It does not take a rocket scientist to understand this. Trump is a mere expressive mouthpiece, a trumpet if you will, that has a platform of power that expresses what other groups have been doing for decades. Obviously what Trump has said and does coincides, and is congruent, to that of the voting majority in USA.

Expressively, the voting majority does concur with Trump. Those left wingers who are frustrated have emulated the aesthetic of their opponent, as they engage violent rhetoric and action on the streets. Citizens have a right to be angry and frustrated and to express that. However, it is unlikely that the right to expression is to include the right be violent in messaging and action. The left wing now demonstrates engagement similar to their right opponent. Polarizations and rock throwing do not resolve issues. Dialogue and education resolve these issues.

I have affirmed through formal education and research that of which the far right wing extremists have stated for decades; that their views are not foreign to that of the dominant colonial nations and culture of the Americas. I believed this to be true when I was young homeless street youth entrenched in right wing extremist doctrine, and now as an academic, practitioner, researcher and global citizen. Moreover, the actions of the left wing are turning ugly and violent, just as are the expressions of the right wing; including Trump himself.

The Revolution

Moving forward with the political reality and social mirror we gaze into, we know that the historic context of North American society is racist and continues to be; it is embedded into law and culture. The existence of racism, or white supremacy if you will, in law is undisputable. The question remains: can we overcome these arcane elements of our western ‘civilized’ society?

The American normalization of racialization, discrimination, hate, and supremacy combined with the lack of educational outcomes that foster practical critical thinking skills and the ability to practically identify and overcome logical fallacies will continue to result in a tidal wave of reemerging right wing politics, which continues to navigate ends of causing harm to identifiable groups seen as the other; as the dominant class (whether race or socio-economic) mainstays its power and privilege.

It is worrisome that the norm is still the social acceptability that people can conduct, and express, themselves in discriminatory fashions. More to this point, what is feared by most people is that both the left and right wing have become viscerally entrenched in acts of violence and hatred.

Hopefully the election of Donald Trump will demonstrate to those who are opposed, or reject, the dominant supremacist doctrines will collectively find a way to ensure our education systems construct and incorporate practical critical thinking skills and how to identify and overcome logical fallacies, which are embedded within our culture, institutions, law and politics. Only then can we engage dialogue.

The revolution needs to begin now. We need to overcome our arcane past of supremacist doctrines, and walk towards a future that includes all of us. Including those who hold racist views and have a long way to go. Our revolution must be education, not violence and hate. We must not embody the aesthetic of the arcane element that still grips onto power. We must become the change we want to see in the world. This can be achieved through transformative education and dialogue. Revolution through education.

Senator Clay Davis, The Hegemonic Academy, and Whole Lotta Sheeeeeit!

Today, and for the last few weeks, I have been very discouraged and frustrated with the university I attend. I am a graduate student at the end of my program and have completed my research and thesis writing. I still need to defend. It will happen…in time, I hope.

I have learned one thing in my masters program. The academy is filled with to many archaic thinking mofos, but there are also great thinkers who push boundaries and create social change.

I went to school to learn and challenge myself as a former right wing extremist, as suggested by an effective counsellor. The counsellor suggested women’s studies or social work. Now at the end of my degree I find a lot of resistance to my theoretical lens that is based within the very curriculum I was taught, in my program. It is ironic that the information I was taught  is considered by a couple of men as not being sound due to the fact it implicates them as complicit in hegemony and schismatic socio-political function(s). I must shake my head and ask “why are you teaching a curriculum in a program that includes anti-oppression if you want to be such an ol’ boy in an elitest club.”

Perhaps the words I heard Cindy Blackstock speak at my university are becoming true . She said something to the effect that if I hear these social workers at this university speak of anti-oppressive practice again I think I am going to puke in my mouth.

I am currently reading Bell Hooks’ Teaching Community. What a beautiful and timely read. The gears of an archaic machine turn as it produces pre-ordained factory aligned marching bots. Hooks discusses the mechanical nature of most teachers in these contemporary and historical teaching institutions and blatantly calls them white supremacists. Although their actions can be overtly white supremacist, often their actions consist of complicit subtly. She left the academy because it was filled with individuals who are unwilling to self reflect on their contribution to maintain a privileged hegemonic schismatically designed institution that all to often intentionally harms students who dare to speak their minds and challenge the false authoritative system.

I live in a country where I have to pay for my tuition. That does not mean I am paying to oppressed, repressed, nor abused. It means I am paying for a service. I will do what I can to ensure that I get an appropriate service. I do not want to dictated to by individuals who believe they have reached a high and mighty power-over position, or authority.

My graduate studies are proving to be a long challenging and arduous path riddled with politics within the academy. I have been witnessing subtle in-fighting and apathetic bureaucracy. Meanwhile, wolves step out from behind closed doors with frothing mouths at the opportunity to gorge on a meal of left overs, while leaving the young to fend for themselves.  Attempts are made in a figurative lynching, I am supposed to accept the sacrifice of my work as a casualty, as a faculty member is targeted, and they attempt to force me to swallow the crow from other peoples plates. That is not happening.

I have been through far to many things in life to allow this to happen.

As I sat to drink a tea and relax, after a day of feet stomping academics who scream “I do not want to hear what you say!!! I want my power! My power-over!!! Where is it!! Give it to me…if not I am leaving. I am not listening to you.”

The door slams as the individuals chose to not engage is transformative learning because I would not accept the deposit being made into my work in order to offer back the same ideological position being imposed upon me. I am unapologetic about my position. I have been experiencing inappropriateness from a faculty that is interpretively breaching their role as an education service provider just because I will not buy into the belief that social work has cured itself from racism. Social work operates in conjunction with apartheid in Canada and is often an extension of a racist colonial arm that literally kills, rapes, beats, and neglects children. There is in fact a Human Rights complaint against the federal government about this very issue. The Supreme Court of Canada has approved the Human Rights complaint against the federal government for the continuation of atrocities against indigenous children in care of child welfare. Social Work is integral within that system. Social Work is complicit in racial policies that segregate the citizenship of First Nations people. Yes there are good Social Work Practitioners out there, and more importantly there are solutions. That is what my thesis is about: social transformation.

I drink my tea. I recall two poems I gave to my thesis supervisor over a year ago. So I thought I would share them now. Both are unpublished.

The first poetic narrative is about in-fighting in our program amongst faculty that I actually wrote about what I had witnessed my supervisor experience over a year ago. I watched her be ripped to shreds by faculty with rolling eyes. It infuriated me. I talked to three separate faculty members about this incident. They stated frustration and low tolerance thresholds with regret that a student was able to identify their physiological responses…now, a year later that dynamic continues.

The latter poetic narrative is about the discipline of social work, in reflection of when I was young and MCFD attempted to apprehend me. You see, when I was twelve and suffering physical and sexual abuse I went to child welfare. They said they would send the police over. The OPP came. They did not do anything but tell me if I was there kid I may get hit even harder. They blamed the child-victim for abuse. Child welfare decidedly took an indifferent response. Over a year after I had been surviving on my own by stealing and selling drugs MCFD attempted to apprehend me. I figured they just wanted to lock me in a foster home with another apathetic and most likely a child raping man. I said no and ran to the city.

I got to social work graduate studies on my own. Here I am  twenty four years later. Now I am fighting the same types of people situated in an apathetic system, the only difference is they have more wrinkles and have learned to diplomatically hone their pervasive hegemonic narratives.

One professor who has proven to be a closed minded fella, indicated that a student can write poetry about anything they want to without political backlash because poetry is seen as a frivolous expression. Thus, I this is an ode to he.

In the words of Senator Clay Davis:

“Sheeeeeeeit”

People are people. We all make mistakes. If a person is not willing to self reflect and engage in dialogue that is conscious choice. When that choice adversely affects me, or results in an injury, that becomes a problem for me. I can forgive and move on if there is resolve through dialogue and communication. I can learn through dialogue. I am saddened when someone I trust will engage in dialogue and chooses not to. Nonetheless, I digress.

This is what it looks like in the clouds above me, where the faculty of our program linger.

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*disclaimer: anyone who wants to get mad at me for this, or come at me politically for speaking my creative expression just remember poetic narratives are frivolous expressions that are easily disregarded.