In the west, the once very real and very potent word “racism” has been diluted of almost all of its meaning. Now it is common to interject accusations of racism into every minor row between individuals with even a slightly different ethnic appearance. The recent Washington D.C. battle between proverbial radio star Nancy Pelosi and the video star aiming to kill her career, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has seen the latter level subtle accusations of racism against the former. This is a perfect demonstration of how accusations of racism are now being levelled at ever more absurd levels throughout the western world.
But whilst the word “racism” has been diluted, the concept is as real now as it ever was. Although western liberals are careful not to cause offence to those in western countries with supposedly different cultural backgrounds, when it comes to attacking the millions of Filipinos who support and love President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, racism is the rule rather than the exception.
Duterte is the arch anti-liberal in terms of not only his party politics but his demeanour and his rational pro-people policies. He is straightforward rather than rhetorically soft and ambiguous, he is a pragmatist rather than an ideologue, like Lee Kuan Yew and Mahathir Mohamad he cannot be described as “right or left”, unlike most liberals he has a brilliant sense of humour and most importantly his affection for his people cannot be described as anything but genuine.
If Duterte was unpopular, the despicably racist criticisms of the Philippine leader would be vulgar attacks against a single man, but because more and more Filipinos see Duterte as a figure of political salvation and in many cases a latter-day national father figure, the racist insults spewed by western liberals against Duterte are also insults against his millions of supporters.
After winning the 2016 presidential election with over 16 million popular votes, the reality is that Duterte’s popular mandate is larger than the populations of the vast majority of European countries. As Iceland is the latest European country to lambaste Duterte, it is helpful to know that Duterte’s popular mandate is over 47 times larger than the entire population of Iceland.
But there is a further reason that Duterte is uniquely targeted by western liberals as a figure of racist abuse. The use of hard narcotics (excluding the soft and in some cases legal drug of marijuana/cannabis) in the west has become so normalised that middle and upper class liberals no longer even bother to conceal their drug habits. Drugs like cocaine, MDMA and a variety of opiates are now so normalised that speaking about one’s drug dealer in casual conversation is considered as innocuous as speaking about one’s favour music record or television show.
Unlike western liberals who seek to impose their pro-drug mentality onto The Philippines, Duterte has never expressed a desire to alter the normalisation and social proliferation of hard drugs in Europe and North America. As President, Duterte has never even visited Europe or North America, thus demonstrating that relations with the west aren’t a huge priority of his, with the possible exception being a Trump administration that stands out as largely pro-Duterte due to Donald Trump’s personal stances against drugs, drug trafficking and also alcohol.
But much of the west is so literally intoxicated that Duterte clearly creeps them out. Although Duterte has no ability to end the proliferation of drugs in the west (even if he wanted to), because drugs make one more paranoid than the sober man or woman, it is becoming ever clearer that drugged out westerners believe that “Duterte is coming for us” in the same way that when western police used to enforce anti-drug laws (they hardly do in much of the west anymore) many junkies would have been worried that “the cops are coming for me”.
This drugged out paranoia soon metamorphoses into racism which is also implicit within the liberal condition. Whilst most liberals would never mock their racially different work colleague or neighbour, racism has become completely acceptable and even advisable to western liberals when its target is a country or culture that has rejected liberalism. This is why western liberals continuously mock China and Russia to name but two examples. But whilst China will sooner or later be the world’s largest economy and whilst Russia is a military superpower, The Philippines is a post-colonial nation that continues to be held back economically by a (western liberal inspired) 1987 Constitution that Duterte is eager to reform. In this sense, anti-Duterte/anti-Filipino racism is even a lower blow than already disgusting anti-Chinese and anti-Russian racism among liberal westerners.
Additionally, as Filipinos can be found as workers (OFWs) in many countries throughout the world, when western liberals racially insult Duterte supporters, they may be insulting someone far closer to their home than they might imagine.
Whilst some westerners might be simply misinformed as to who Duterte actually is and what he actually stands for, many more do not want to know. They’ve made up their mind based on a racist stereotype that itself is the product of minds made demented, paranoid and sub-moronic through the frequent use of hard narcotics.
This is not to say that all westerners think the way that the liberals do. There are plenty moderate minded westerners who would support a Duterte style figure in their countries were such a man of valour to come to the fore. In fact, rejections of liberalism are growing throughout the west whether it be Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and recent elections throughout Europe in which populist parties have triumphed over liberal ones. In this sense, let’s not let the drugged out lunatics ruin good relations between westerners and Filipinos. When one strips away the plague of liberalism, we’re not so different after all.