Saturday, September 23, 2017

What's Wrong with Julian Assange?

I always had a great deal of respect for Julian Assange. His work at Wikileaks exposes what powerful forces want to keep hidden and that makes it inherently valuable to the world.

He always said he would face rape charges in Sweden if that government would promise not to turn him over to the United States. Even after those charges were dropped the U.K. and the U.S. are still intent on punishing him and his lock down in the Ecuadorean embassy in London continues. This is a great injustice to Assange and a warning to anyone who intends to expose criminal wrong doing committed by states around the world.

But lately Assange has made some highly questionable statements. Perhaps the imprisonment has taken its toll or maybe revealed what was already there. Perhaps he always was a misogynistic racist who parrots white supremacist talking points.

These are just two recent tweets from Assange. In the first he sounds like an old school fascist. White women must eschew feminism, go to church and make babies in order to keep the migration of brown people at bay. Oh yes, and white leaders must make babies too. Cuz brown people.

As if this wasn't vile enough Assange chose to wade into the murky waters of American history.

Warfare was the only way to end slavery in this country. The confederacy struck first at Fort Sumter. They actually began seceding immediately after Lincoln was elected. Lincoln was not anti-slavery and his dream was to send black people out of the country. But the south gambled on war because even Lincoln's limited goal of stopping the spread of slavery was too much for them. They refused any offer to be compensated for their enslaved property. They refused to accept keeping slavery where it already existed. So yes, the military defeat of the confederacy was the only way to end slavery.

I'm always suspicious of white people who make this argument. Not only is their understanding of history suspect, but they are also admitting that they don't think slavery was such a bad thing. 

I know black people who never trust white people of any political stripe. Assange certainly makes the case for that point of view.