Lauren Southern, a far-right YouTuber from Canada, will be in Australia for a speaking tour in July along with fellow alt-right misfit Stefan Molyneux.
Southern was banned from the UK earlier this year for distributing racist material. She was also detained last year by the Italian coast guard for blocking search and rescue boats that were attempting to assist refugees shipwrecked in the Mediterranean Sea.
Southern was first noticed by the alt-right when she started posting videos attacking feminism. She was then promoted to become a writer for The Rebel Media, a far-right media outlet that has received praise from former Ku Klux Klan Wizards and self-proclaimed Nazis. She now says she works as an independent writer.
Southern’s writing and speeches promote racism, homophobia and general bigotry. She presents oppressed groups, particularly non-white immigrants, as the cause of the problems that ordinary people face. She is not just merely putting forward ideas, her talks are designed to whip up hate against minorities. This can result in serious harm to real people – it is not an abstract discussion.
The reality is that minorities are not responsible for our problems. They stem from the system that puts profits before all else. We have more in common with ordinary migrants and refugees than we do with the bosses who underpay us, landlords who charge us exorbitant rents and governments that cut our social services to give big businesses tax cuts.
Scapegoating minorities only serves to divide us and reduce our ability to come together and push back against the 1% who exploit us all. That is the role that people like Southern and Molyneux play. Far from providing any real solutions, they bolster the status quo.
The divisive ideas and hate speech espoused by Southern and Molyneux need to be fought against. Protests against far-right figures like these should be supported, but also linked to the important task of building a real political alternative for the 99%.
By Kai Perry