Oppose Racial Supremacism! Oppose Sectarian Supremacism!
Organised racist attacks, and racism in general, in the north east of Ireland are receiving much more attention from the media which is commendable, however reporting of such incidents are often misleading as if it were a novel phenomena that just happened to raise it’s ugly head a few weeks ago! This of course is far from the truth, organised racial supremacism has been an active and fellow traveller of Loyalism since the mid-seventies and beyond. Hundreds of organised racist attacks on ethnic minorities have been happening for years.
Unfortunately, most of the ‘liberal’ politicians who rightly condemn racial supremacism, hypocritically remain mute regarding the supremacist ‘elephant in the living room’ of unwanted sectarian marches that afflict areas like Ardoyne, Carrick Hill, Short Strand, Rasharkin and other majority Irish Republican areas in the north east of Ireland.
Supremacism as a concept rarely travels alone. Links between Unionist paramilitaries and the various prevalent race hate movements are well documented, for instance, the National Front, BNP, EDL etc. The Neo-Nazi paramilitaries of Combat 18 have acted as a British section of various Loyalist groups including the UVF, UDA and LVF. Notorious Loyalist leaders and their camp followers have often held dual membership of British-based Neo-Nazi race hate organisations. Organised racism here has a longevity rarely touched on in contemporary news stories, for example, in the 1980’s more copies of the National Front’s violent race hate publication ‘Bulldog’ were sold at the football stadium of Coleraine FC than in any British football ground; it’s Borough Council held the distinction of possibly being the only local government body in Ireland or Britain to allow the National Front to use it’s town hall for a public meeting.
In the ‘North’ organised sectarian supremacy and racial supremacy are symbiotic ideologies. This should not be surprising in a statelet constructed along sectarian supremacist lines. Of course, not all racism or even racist attacks are organised, in these instances which are just as abhorrent and shameful, they are born of ignorance, often nurtured by envy and are rightly condemned by most.
The Loyal Orders, their paramilitaries, marching bands and Unionism itself’s raison d’etre is supremacism. Their modus operandi is invariably to divide working class people with outdated notions of denominational supremacy that most societies jettisoned centuries ago. Yet in the north this despicable manifestation of supremacism is forcefully normalised in the media, dedicating hours of prime time television to Orangeism’s maximum display of religious intolerance on the 12th of July. Paramilitary bands playing tunes whose lyrics contain such offensive lines as “we are up to our necks in Fenian blood, surrender or you die” are dishonestly presented as part of a quaint folk, or should that be volk, festival. To get this in perspective, it is akin to the unlikely scenario of CNN giving air time to the KKK on the march in the USA and incredibly justifying KKK ‘feeder parades’ trampling through Afro-American or Jewish areas!
Fascism Has Never Gone Away You Know!
Those who who rightly condemn racist attacks and racial supremacism have a duty to also condemn sectarian supremacism. Fascism and supremacism should be condemned and actively opposed, whether it is organised attacks on Black people, Eastern European migrant workers etc or the much more frequent offensive ‘Croppies lie down’ marches that cause fear and distress in North Belfast and numerous other areas of the North. It may not be trendy in these times of imperfect, forced normalisation that pro-establishment parties pass-off as ‘peace’ to appease sectarian supremacism but the reality is that Loyalism, the Loyal orders and their actions tick all the boxes of Fascism. Republican Socialists, Republicans, Socialists, Trade Unionists and all freedom loving people who quite correctly condemn Racialist Supremacism and stand in solidarity with it’s victims also have a duty to oppose and stand in solidarity against sectarian supremacist parading in areas where they are not wanted and their actions are calculated to cause maximum offence.