Raoul Peck’s HBO docuseries Exterminate All the Brutes isn’t easy to watch — but it’s important popular education on the 600-year development of the concept and system of white supremacy associated with colonialism, slavery, and genocide.
distills how white supremacy, or, more specifically, whites’ presumption to supremacy was asserted with violence and justified with lies. Exterminate All the Brutes serves as an origin story for white supremacy. Peck sets out to “re-write” history that was written by the exterminators that Andrew Bolt mythologizes supports and takes so much pride in. The docuseries takes down a succession of sacred cows from the pages of history
Throughout the series, Peck lines up the likes of Henry Morton Stanley (whom he calls “a murderer”); Winston Churchill, who as a young war correspondent called the slaughter of thousands of Muslim troops “a splendid game;” and Donald Trump, which the film compares to other bigots of history — and dismantles their racist rhetoric in one felt swoop.
Before Hitler’s rise to power, the German Empire exterminated the Herrero people in the first genocide of the 20th century
Though he is unsparing in his accounts of colonial violence, Peck’s endgame is not to make white viewers wallow in lonely self-hatred; it’s to encourage change. Citing Rwanda, he argues that the conditions that enabled the Holocaust were not unique, and that humanity will keep committing atrocities until we take a stark look at our history and choose not to repeat it. No wonder Peck feels an affinity for Baldwin, who framed white America’s repressed guilt over centuries of cruelty to Black America as the root of both groups’ misery. “To accept one’s past—one’s history—is not the same thing as drowning in it,” he wrote, “it is learning how to use it.” To that end, Exterminate All the Brutes makes an electrifying instruction manual.
Exterminate All the Brutes,” Sven Lindqvist's widely acclaimed masterpiece, is a searching examination of Europe's dark history in Africa and the origins of ...
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