How Anti-Racism Today and Racism in the Past are Actually the Same Thing - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14836453
It'll take me some time to address PIs post but I'll point out for one degree that it's very easy for two white guys to discuss race unemotionally since we aren't effected by how other races are treated. It should be no surprise that an issue like this should be emotional. I dislike how you have implicitly framed anyone who feels strongly about the issue as wrong since it precludes any minority effected by racism from discussing it just because it's effect on them has an emotional impact.
#14836509
mikema63 wrote:It'll take me some time to address PIs post but I'll point out for one degree that it's very easy for two white guys to discuss race unemotionally since we aren't effected by how other races are treated. It should be no surprise that an issue like this should be emotional. I dislike how you have implicitly framed anyone who feels strongly about the issue as wrong since it precludes any minority effected by racism from discussing it just because it's effect on them has an emotional impact.


Actually, I have found the opposite to be true. I avoid in person debates with other whites because they are too emotional. I seek out the opportunity with other races and cultures because they are usually informative without a lot of unnecessary emotion. The only exception I have encountered is discussing Nazism with Germans.
#14836514
Frankly what your saying is analogous to someone trying to discuss whether or not there is opression of LGBT people in society. Something I've directly experienced which, in this analogy, you would be denying directly to my face despite my direct experiences.

This is something that has happened to me and it's something I find monumentally insulting, to have my own experiences denied by someone.
#14836517
mikema63 wrote:Frankly what your saying is analogous to someone trying to discuss whether or not there is opression of LGBT people in society. Something I've directly experienced which, in this analogy, you would be denying directly to my face despite my direct experiences.

This is something that has happened to me and it's something I find monumentally insulting, to have my own experiences denied by someone.


What? :?:
#14836527
mikema63 wrote:Im not terribly surprised that you cant really understand what i mean.


The best I can make out of it is you think my life experience is an insult to you because I don't find it is easier to talk to other white people about race.
Is this your problem?
#14836528
No, that is entirely wrong. :lol:

I'm saying that it is inherently emotional to discuss your lived experience with someone who actively denies that experience.

It's not that your existence insults mine (I honestly don't know how you could make such a ridiculous conclusion) it's that there is no way around the emotions it brings up to be either told (explicitly or implicitly) that what happened to me wasn't what I think happened to me (because you know better than me?) Or that I'm actively lying to advance an agenda.

I'm claiming that deligitimizing anyone who feels emotions about these issues automatically deligitimizes anyone who has direct experiences of it. Which silences the victims, a rather insidious rhetorical tactic.
#14836531
mikema63 wrote:No, that is entirely wrong. :lol:

I'm saying that it is inherently emotional to discuss your lived experience with someone who actively denies that experience.

It's not that your existence insults mine (I honestly don't know how you could make such a ridiculous conclusion) it's that there is no way around the emotions it brings up to be either told (explicitly or implicitly) that what happened to me wasn't what I think happened to me (because you know better than me?) Or that I'm actively lying to advance an agenda.

I'm claiming that deligitimizing anyone who feels emotions about these issues automatically deligitimizes anyone who has direct experiences of it. Which silences the victims, a rather insidious rhetorical tactic.


Okay, but that has nothing to do with what I said, unless you are saying my talking to Blacks, for example, about race is insulting them because my experience is not the same as theirs. My being unhappy with whites who get over emotional about the circumstances of Blacks is rational because they don't understand any more than I do what it is to be Black. They are simply expressing superiority.
If I really want to hear about the Black experience then I want to hear it from a Black person.

Edit: just in case I was not clear, I find whites lecturing me on minority problems to be normally pompous, ignorant, and self serving. Basically, "look how wonderful I am."
#14836553
Okay, but that has nothing to do with what I said, unless you are saying my talking to Blacks, for example, about race is insulting them because my experience is not the same as theirs.


Then you have missed the point a second time but whatever.

just in case I was not clear, I find whites lecturing me on minority problems to be normally pompous, ignorant, and self serving. Basically, "look how wonderful I am."


And yet you feel okay with lecturing everyone else on pofo about racial issues to say that they just don't exist anymore. :lol:
#14836555
I clearly identified my comments as applying to real life discussions. Seems kind of silly to think my comments on the internet has anything to do with it. I don't even know people's race on the internet.
#14836709
Political Interest wrote:Yes, I agree that there is no culturally perfect view and none of us can escape racial bias.

But would you deny that this applies to anyone, regardless of their race or ethnicity?


Let me start off by saying that I am probably the most stereotypical rainbows and unicorns progressive leftist on PoFo. So if any of your criticisms have merit, they will likely apply to me and my beliefs.

No, I would not deny that anyone can fall prey to their own racial bias, regardless of ethnicity.

Except that guilt always accompanis any discourse on race. There is an implication that I must feel some sort of responsibility and must attone for something. But the guilt is forever. No act of contrition seems to erase it.


You are having a guilt free discourse right now, with Mike. And our previous discussions also were guilt free.

In fact, I will now repeat my claim that white guilt is actually counterproductive.

And what do you exactly mean by social change?


I assume Mike means a societal movement towards a more egalitarian society.

But surely you cannot deny that there are a lot of people in this world who hate whites. And it is not hyperbolic or extreme to mention this, but a recognition of fact.


Yes, it is a fact.

More facts:
Whites tend to have more power in white western societies.
Groups with more power in a society have more chance of making significant social change.
Thus, racist white people tend to make more significant social changes than racist black people.

Final fact:
The history of western societies with blacks and whites shows far more racism from whites towards blacks than vice versa.

The difference between me and these types of people is that I do not deny that the American police are racist and mistreat blacks. But these types of people will not acknowledge that whites can experience racism. They will not reciprocate any acknowledgement of their situation. If they do not recognise the possibility that whites can face discrimination or ever be at a disadvantage then they are denying an objective reality.

I don't deny the existence of systemic racism. The diference between me and leftists is that they do not recognise that this exists in other countries in situations where non-whites discriminate against other non-whites. And they also do not acknowledge that whites can ever be discriminated against given the right conditions.

It is obvious that black Americans are discriminated against but what about discrimination against Uyghurs in China or the Chinese in Indonesia and Malaysia?


White women can and are discriminated against because of their sex or gender.

Poor white people are discriminated against because of their poverty.

White LGBT people have to deal with homophobia and transphobia.

White people in, for example, Japan have to deal with racism.

White people can even possibly face racism in the US, though it is almost certain that such racism would exist at the individual (i.e. not systemic or systematic) level and would be neither significant nor frequent.

The problem is that white Western discrimination is viewed as something exclusive to white Western societies. And I do not deny that the discrimination has been historically more virulent, hence why I call America a hyper-racial society. But I do not deny that when an ethnic majority is in a position of demographic strength it is in a position to discriminate against minorities, regardless of if the majority is white or non-white. Therefore it is not a case of 'white privilege' but 'majority privilege'. But leftists want to say that this type of discrimination only happpens in white Western societies and no where else.


I would say that majority privilege and racial privilege both exist and often reinforce each other.

But since you can have racial privilege without having a majority of the population, it is too simplistic to say they are the same thing.

Where did I deny this is a reality? But will you acknowledge that non-whites and non-Westerners also discriminate when they are in a position of power?


Sure, some do. Some don't. Like whites.

But it would be simplistic to say that discrimination by whites in white western societies is the same as discrimination against whites in those same societies. There are several important differences.

Racism by whites is reinforced by majority privilege while racism against whites is weakened by majority privilege. The same could be said for wealth.

We also have a long tradition of racism against people of colour, while the same tradition does not exist for white people.

Except we are imagined this way. I have no problem acknowledging what you said, but what I do have difficulty accepting is that racism is something only we can be guilty of. And obviously I am not speaking about within a Western context but when we compare the US to China, for example.

...

So then you agree that other societies, including non-white ones can be racist and in many cases are racist? But maybe American racism is the most extreme?

Yes, this is true. All I am saying is that this can happen in other national contexts as well, not only in Western English speaking societies.

...

I have no problem acknowledging systemic racism and never denied it existed. What I have a problem with is the idea of 'white privilege' because it seems to suggest that whites are privileged all over the world, including in non-Western societies. It also seems to suggest that their privilege is based on their whiteness as opposed to their hegemonic position within Western societies, including their demographic majority.


Other races can be racist. White people are not the only ones. I am almost certain that there is racism in China. Perhaps against the non-Han? I just have no useful knowledge about it, and I tend to focus on my own local community's racism.

Racism occurs in societies, and each society has its unique context which makes it difficult for people from one society to judge the racism in another. Not always, obviously, as there are clear cases of racism such as ethnic cleansing and genocide. But other cases can be less clear, such as the use of swastikas by Buddhists.

It is not liberal. Even the most illiberal societies would have been appalled at the way blacks were treated. Interestingly enough it was the liberal maritime societies which were far more aggressive and had the slave trade whereas the insular continental empires were known to be far more tolerant of ethnic and religious minorities.


Perhaps Mike is using the term "liberal" in the vernacular US meaning.

While egalitarianism is supposed to be a basic tenet of liberalism, liberalism often fails to attain this ideal.

It is a measurable effect but what I reject are narratives which paint whites solely as oppressors and the historic struggles of the white working class are downplayed or not even acknowledged at all.


If you are going to dismiss narratives about racism because they do not discuss the struggles of white working class people, then it would also make sense to dismiss class labour narratives because they exclude discussion of racism.

This, of course, makes no sense. All narratives will exclude other narratives. To make inclusion of other narratives a criterion for accepting narratives is to create an impossible standard. The only valid narrative would be an incredibly long and complex narrative that took in every struggle for equality ever.

While such a narrative would be useful in certain situations, it would be far too cumbersome if you wish to focus on a specific aspect of discrimination, such as anti-blackness or the struggles of the English working class.

It is nothing you could not hear from Soviet propaganda and surely you do not think that was middle class?

What I meant by that slogan was that instead of resisting the liberation struggles of many oppressed peoples it would be in Europe and America's interest to support them or allow them to get on with it.


I completely agree. But there are strong financial incentives for capitalist countries to maintain global inequality. So unfortunately, this will not happen, even if it would reduce immigration to a trickle.

How so? I post a Soviet propaganda poster saying 'always together' and this is cultural liberalism?

If I was a cultural liberal I would believe that we need to export democracy to the whole world and that the Anglo-American order must be global.


@mikema63

PI wins that point!
#14836733
I believe that they understood very well how to build a unified and cohesive society, free from ethnic division. They managed to do this until their political class lost its way and allowed ethnic nationalism to develop in the Soviet republics and the Russian republic itself.


This is ahistorical. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in ... viet_Union

Russia has a lot of history with ethnic issues and they continued during the soviet.

Yes, I agree that there is no culturally perfect view and none of us can escape racial bias.

But would you deny that this applies to anyone, regardless of their race or ethnicity?


Of course, which is why I prefer social institutions that work to weed out such biases. Not social institutions that sweep them under the rug like the USSR did.

Except that guilt always accompanis any discourse on race.


It shouldn't and doesn't have to. You are not guilty directly from slavery. In so far as you are guilty of anything it's not weeding out your own biases.

There is an implication that I must feel some sort of responsibility and must attone for something.


Racial minorities aren't looking for you to give them something or have higher status than you. They want equality and a less discriminatory society. This is only you giving them something in so far as you imagine you would lose something by black people being shot less often by cops or whatever.

But the guilt is forever. No act of contrition seems to erase it.


Because the idea of white guilt and demands for some kind of contrition are fictitious and not at all what groups like BLM are looking for. They are rhetorical tools made up by the opponents of these groups and put out there so that people will be angered by the perceived messages of BLM rather than sympathetic to the real ones.

And what do you exactly mean by social change?


A change in the structure of our social institutions. This would mean different things in different specific cases. None of those cases are about you giving up anything.

But surely you cannot deny that there are a lot of people in this world who hate whites. And it is not hyperbolic or extreme to mention this, but a recognition of fact.


So? Seriously, why would this make any difference? I can point to dozens of issues where blacks are treated materially worse than whites (specifically in the context of the US which I'm most familiar with). My desire is to rectify these material differences. Not battle with some anti-white racism that doesn't actually effect any of us.

Except these groups like to portray whites as a privileged overclass and never acknowledge the existential reality.


Because whites do have privilege. It's not about some specific legal right that whites are an overclass or anything like that. It's the privilege to be treated fairly by the law, to be treated fairly by police forces, and to be treated equally in society. It's not that our privilege puts us higher than blacks, it's that blacks lack a lot of the basic legal privileges that we have IN PRACTICE. Even in something like the resume example I continuously bring up. Our privilege is not that we get put in the top of the stack for job applications, it's that we are considered in terms of our own merit, all it means for blacks to get that privilege isn't for us to lose it but for them to be equally considered on their personal merit.

The difference between me and these types of people is that I do not deny that the American police are racist and mistreat blacks. But these types of people will not acknowledge that whites can experience racism.


You are confusing the specific racism of someone not liking you because you are white and the generalized racism that creates things like the disparity between interviews for equal resumes that differ only in the race of the applicant. It's not the sort of racism where the person reading the resume thinks to themselves that they hate black people so they won't call them for the job, it's the sort of systematic bias that people don't even realize they or society have.

They will not reciprocate any acknowledgement of their situation.


Because they are fundamentally different. Blacks as a group get MATERIALLY harmed every day, white people who experience some anti-white racism are just really weirded out for a day but are materially unharmed.

This is an example of what I mean when I say you have a "liberal" attitude towards race. You see anti-white racism as equivalent to anti-black racism because there is an in principle similarity. Then you simply ignore the vast gulf in the material reality between the two cases. I argue that the material difference is an important and indeed defining difference, while all you seem to care about is that black people don't care about anti-white racism on idealistic grounds.

If they do not recognise the possibility that whites can face discrimination or ever be at a disadvantage then they are denying an objective reality.


This subtly shifts between classes of people being disadvantaged to individuals being disadvantaged. Certainly anyone could admit that there is some scenario where an individual white person is harmed by racism in some way. However black people as a class are harmed several orders of magnitude more by anti-black sentiments and social structures than white people are harmed by individual cases of anti-white racism.

Which country, now or in history is more racialised than America?


All the other ones that had slaves? NAZI germany? The united Kingdom for centuries before north america was even "discovered." The moors being massacred? The stuff with Ireland? On and On and on.
I don't deny the existence of systemic racism. The diference between me and leftists is that they do not recognise that this exists in other countries in situations where non-whites discriminate against other non-whites.


Sure but we live in the countries we live in and seek to improve the countries we live in. Why should racial stuff being bad in Togo mean we can't improve things here?

And they also do not acknowledge that whites can ever be discriminated against given the right conditions.


As I've pointed out, it's because the difference is vast between the actual effects black people feel and the effects the few cases of anti-white racism have on white people.

It is obvious that black Americans are discriminated against but what about discrimination against Uyghurs in China or the Chinese in Indonesia and Malaysia?


Would you propose that if we are to be serious about eliminating systemic racism in the US we must be willing to invade China and do the same there? That's just really ridiculous PI.

The problem is that white Western discrimination is viewed as something exclusive to white Western societies.


No it isn't. We focus on it because we are westerners and it is our domain and indeed responsibility to fix it here. Yes other countries also do terrible things but I would be shocked to find out that you thought we have to stop those countries from doing it too before we are allowed to fix it here.

And I do not deny that the discrimination has been historically more virulent, hence why I call America a hyper-racial society. But I do not deny that when an ethnic majority is in a position of demographic strength it is in a position to discriminate against minorities, regardless of if the majority is white or non-white. Therefore it is not a case of 'white privilege' but 'majority privilege'. But leftists want to say that this type of discrimination only happpens in white Western societies and no where else.


It is white privilege in the west though, the west is predominantly white. I want to make things better in the west. China and their problems be damned. Nobody is saying discrimination only happens in the west. Literally nobody I have ever met, known, or spoken too has ever suggested that leftists think that except right wingers claiming that they do.

Where did I deny this is a reality? But will you acknowledge that non-whites and non-Westerners also discriminate when they are in a position of power?


I don't think that, in principle, it is impossible for anyone to discriminate against others. I want to build a society that prevents this though.

Except we are imagined this way. I have no problem acknowledging what you said, but what I do have difficulty accepting is that racism is something only we can be guilty of.


again you are doing this thing where suddenly you think I care if china or togo or something has discrimination. Sure, probably it does, I do not however care when it comes down to the practical goal of fixing where I actually live and not flying half way around the world to wag my finger at them while ignoring the problems at home.

So you think that some ethnicities are more moral than others or that some are more inclined to immoral behaviour than others?


No, I don't think that at all. But you are confusing the in principle possibility of a thing with the material reality. The material reality is that black people have the shit end of the stick in the US.

It is not liberal. Even the most illiberal societies would have been appalled at the way blacks were treated. Interestingly enough it was the liberal maritime societies which were far more aggressive and had the slave trade whereas the insular continental empires were known to be far more tolerant of ethnic and religious minorities.


My calling you essentially liberal is about the way you continue to confuse in principle possibilities with what the material reality here and now actually is. Is like patting yourself on the back about how there is in principle free speech in the west when the materially reality is that some people have bigger megaphones and speech is not particularly free and certainly not equal.

So then you agree that other societies, including non-white ones can be racist and in many cases are racist? But maybe American racism is the most extreme?


You say this like it makes any difference to the material reality here and now.

It is a measurable effect but what I reject are narratives which paint whites solely as oppressors and the historic struggles of the white working class are downplayed or not even acknowledged at all.


Again, nobody has ever done this, said this, or claimed this to me except right wingers trying to frame the other side as believing this. This isn't about fucking over white people in america or downplaying our struggles. It's about making black peoples lives less systematically filled with disadvantages that, all else being equal, a white person wouldn't experience.

Yes, this is true. All I am saying is that this can happen in other national contexts as well, not only in Western English speaking societies.


Again, and? So? I want to fix my own country, not be a crusader riding across the lands and forcing china to do better as well.
I have no problem acknowledging systemic racism and never denied it existed. What I have a problem with is the idea of 'white privilege' because it seems to suggest that whites are privileged all over the world, including in non-Western societies. It also seems to suggest that their privilege is based on their whiteness as opposed to their hegemonic position within Western societies, including their demographic majority.


You can claim that it seems to suggest whatever you want. It's not what it actually means and I prefer to use the actual definitions rather than ranting about what I think it seems like it might mean.

It is nothing you could not hear from Soviet propaganda and surely you do not think that was middle class?

What I meant by that slogan was that instead of resisting the liberation struggles of many oppressed peoples it would be in Europe and America's interest to support them or allow them to get on with it.


It would also be in our interests to deal with our own issues. What I mean by this being middle class is that you are essentially taking an abstract ideal and running with it as if it were a material reality.

How so? I post a Soviet propaganda poster saying 'always together' and this is cultural liberalism?


Just because you found a soviet poster that says a phrase you like doesn't make it communist. You could literally make the same poster with hillary and obama without changing the meaning you are trying to extrapolate from it. Cultural liberals also wear che shirts.

Just because you are appropriating soviet immagery does not change the fact that your hiding behind idealizations as a justification for not doing anything to fix the actual material disparities and problems in our societies.

If I was a cultural liberal I would believe that we need to export democracy to the whole world and that the Anglo-American order must be global.


That is the logical conclusion of your claims that other countries are racist and we can't do anything to fix our own because they are. That is the sort of thing that happens when you universalize an idealistic principle like you have been doing.

I am only accusing the far right and Alt-Right of not understanding the ideology they profess to believe in. I am probably more right wing than the majority of them but they call me a cuck because I reject racism and Islamophobia. In fact they are cultural liberals and they base their world view on Anglocentrism and WASP supremacist ideas. They have combined WASP racism with a strange misunderstanding of continental European fascism.


That's all well and good, and I don't entirely disagree with that point. However I still think your views on racial issues are really screwed up, idealistic, out of touch with the material reality, and fundamentally culturally liberal and misguided.
#14836737
http://www.macrotrends.net/2524/black-u ... tory-chart

I just ran across this. It appears the unemployment gap by race is immune to civil rights actions. The chart does not go back far enough to be positive, but the indication is there.
I was thinking of all the minorities who had great factory jobs before the economy changed, and was curious about minority actual unemployment historically.

Edit: It appears the lower unemployment overall, the smaller the gap.
Last edited by One Degree on 24 Aug 2017 20:19, edited 1 time in total.
#14836793
mikema63 wrote:Frankly what your saying is analogous to someone trying to discuss whether or not there is opression of LGBT people in society. Something I've directly experienced which, in this analogy, you would be denying directly to my face despite my direct experiences.

This is something that has happened to me and it's something I find monumentally insulting, to have my own experiences denied by someone.

I don't doubt what you say Mike. I don't doubt it for a moment. The problem comes when leftists want to institutionalise victimhood. The Marxist "dictatorship of the Proletariat" is this institutionalisation of victimhood taken to extreme. The left is never content to seek to eliminate prejudicial discrimination, but always seeks its own counter discrimination in the vain pursuit of equality.
#14836805
Israeli point of view on American Jewish supremacists and "anti racism" racism

Warning signs for US Jews

New York is home to the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, whose director, Steve Goldstein, finds it appropriate to "make the voice heard" of the Jewish teen killed in the Holocaust on the most controversial matters in U.S. politics. Goldstein has turned Anne Frank into a political voice, as if she were expressing an opinion on current events.

For Goldstein, Frank is first and foremost an up-to-date, political radical in the Huffington Post mold. The main picture on the center's website shows a portrait of Frank surrounded by Syrian refugees. She even has her own Twitter account, #saveeveryanne. In recent days, the center's website has functioned as the official center for re-starting the Left's protests against the extremist Right. Frank even shows more sympathy for the "responsible" conduct of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un than she does for U.S. President Donald Trump.

Despite the growing protests against him, Goldstein is an authentic representative of a prominent sector whose collective personality is seen in vengeful rage against Trump, obsequiousness to the Left and to Muslims, and fear.

Because America is entering, and in fact for the past few years has already been in, an era of intolerance. Characteristically, educated American Jews are very confused, and unable to balance between Right and Left. Because flags with swastikas are not good for Anne Frank -- that is, for college graduates -- they are raising an outcry about the "extreme Right" at every turn. We still have not heard how Anne Frank "behaved" at Smith College or at Berkeley or at Columbia -- did she try to hide her Judaism? Did she dress up as Amy Schumer and dye her hair yellow-purple? We don't know. Goldstein hasn't filled us in.



Since swastikas in the streets of America are horrific, they go to the other extreme, which includes Black Lives Matter, BDS groups, and Linda Sarsour, the director of the underground resistance to Trump who also rejects Zionists and other Jewish states. When former President Barack Obama was in office, left-wing organizations and the media confronted American Jews with a choice: Either they were for Obama, or they were for Israel. The clear choice was Obama.

Given the threat to U.S. stability and democracy, American Jews will find themselves in the same situation as European Jews, particularly those in France and Britain. In most EU nations, those noted for their liberalism -- in contrast to the barbarians from Poland and the Danube -- Jews cannot walk around freely. They have to hide any outward sign that could identify them as Jews. American Jews did not raise a fuss in recent years when the air ran out for the Jews of France and they started fleeing. Their president denied time after time that there was a ghost of anti-Semitism in the slaughter at the Hyper-Cacher supermarket in Paris two years ago, and his spokespeople insisted it was just a coincidence that the victims were Jewish.

Last weekend, a poll was published in the U.K. which shows that 40% of the country's Jews feel unwanted there, and that one out of every three British Jews is considering leaving. A decade ago, the city of Malmo in the south of Sweden was emptied of the few thousand Jews who lived there because of Islamist-leftist pressure that won the backing of the mayor.

In America, the liberal-left combo will lead to the Jews being punished -- not in European terms, but in American terms. This combination tends toward totalitarianism and is linked with the black and Muslim communities. Even now, under pressure, the Jews are starting to break into three groups: the "good" Jews, the "bad" Jews, and the ones who hide their identity or emigrate to Israel -- Jews or liberals of "Jewish descent." The good Jews are asked to attack Israel and Zionist racism, lest they be boycotted and attacked, as Jews had to do in the former Soviet Union. The bad Jews are asked to support Israel through thick and thin. They have self-respect and respect for themselves as a nation. This is an interesting group. Will this group grow, as we saw in France and Britain, and will its members veer right, or will the Trump confusion thin its ranks? One thing is certain: They won't bring the Democratic Party back to the center.


http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newslet ... p?id=19723
#14837288
Certainly past Western racism and the 'liberal left combo' today, which includes anti-racism, do seem to share an anti-Semitic attitude.

Tossing Jewish Women Out of Dyke March Was an Intersectional Fail

This past Sunday afternoon, as our local Pride parade streamed by, signifying the semi-official end of our Pride weekend, I sat down to have a much-deserved drink and smoke, and casually checked my phone. There was an email from my editor at The Advocate letting me know about the Dyke March in Chicago, where a group of Jewish attendees were thrown out because they were carrying a Pride flag with a Star of David on it, which made attendees uncomfortable.

I simply rolled my eyes, shook my head, and muttered a well-earned “Goddamn it, people.” The organizers made sure to defend themselves with a statement that said they were certainly not anti-Semitic but were anti-Zionist and supported a free Palestine. They also made sure to let people know that they were welcoming of all, embraced diversity, and were not bad people. Well, of course they aren’t. They’re not bad people, just political partisans who are using LGBT issues to push their ideological agenda, which ironically is what they were accusing these individuals of doing, though only after apparently interrogating them.

What’s interesting is that according to everything I’ve read, these individuals weren’t carrying Israeli flags, just Pride flags with a Star of David on them. Now, yes, the Israeli flag does have a Star of David on it, but the Star of David is not the Israeli flag. Crazy concept, I know, but follow me on this one. The Star of David is an emblem of the Jewish faith that goes back over a thousand years, much like the crescent for Islam or the cross for Christianity. In fact, the image of the Star of David is called the Seal of Solomon in Islamic mysticism, it’s a symbol that predates the nation of Israel by centuries. So what appears to have happened is that a few people saw a hexagram and immediately concluded, “Star of David=Israel=Zionism=Evil".

This is simple thinking for simple people who want a simple ideology that makes them feel righteous. That’s the problem, though; when you feel righteous in a belief that reduces the overwhelming complexity of humanity and the world to symbols, stereotypes, and a basic good versus evil dynamic, you usually end up being a bigoted zealot. This time around, these bigoted zealots have wrapped themselves in a rainbow shroud to defend their beliefs.

All of this stems from something a part of the left calls “pinkwashing,” which has come to describe the way Israel promotes its LGBT acceptance to allegedly cover up its mistreatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. Let me go ahead and say this right now and get this out of the way: If you think you can reduce the cosmic nightmare that is the Israel-Palestine conflict to fancy buzzwords, either/or equations, and a black-and-white morality, you are a moron.

The Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict is easily the most morally, legally, and geopolitically complex issue of modern history, with its roots going back hundreds of years, and is almost baked into the two sides' identities. Oh, yes, I said the two sides because there is no “good guy” in this. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have committed atrocities, violated human rights, broken treaties, and used religion and propaganda as weapons. I don’t pretend to think I have a simple solution or a hashtag-worthy buzzword to frame an issue this complex.

Additionally, and this is very important to understand, to use LGBT+ issues as a shield for your pro-Palestinian stance on the conflict is fundamentally morally abhorrent and hypocritical. For 10 years one of the participants in the Dyke March has carried her Jewish Pride flag with no incident till now. According to her, only anti-LGBT protesters harassed her previously, and they were asked to leave.

Yet now the organizers who objected to the flag want to claim inclusivity, intersectionality, and acceptance. Well, you can’t say that and exclude one group of people at the expense of another, especially when the primary thing binding you together is being LGBT. The uniting factor here is LGBT+ rights, which are used to find that commonality that breaks down prejudices and systems of oppression, and all other things come second. What happened in Chicago was people choosing a side in a complex geopolitical conflict and attacking LGBT+ Jews by using their own queer identities as weapons.

The culpable Dyke March organizers claim that they are inclusive and fighting for social justice, but only if the participants believe like them and support their politics, and all other things be damned. The Jews who were expelled and made to feel ostracized and unwelcome despite their own queer identities were sacrificed for these people to further their goals, as if throwing three gay Jews out of the Dyke March would accomplish anything.

Well, I guess it did in a way. It told these people that their own feelings of oppression and marginalization, along with their queerness, don’t count because they don’t have the same politics; that their lives, their experiences, their pain don’t matter as long as some vastly abstracted conflict on the other side of the planet is decided in these people’s favor.

The people responsible for the embarrassment in Chicago value their chosen political allies and comfort in their beliefs over everything else. That’s not intersectional or inclusive; that’s a partisan, ideological tactic that will gladly hurt people to achieve its ends. There’s nothing about social justice here, just a particular cruelty that’s the seed of much darker things.

If you are going to call yourself an LGBT+ group, take its identifiers, and claim to speak and represent the LGBT+ community, then you represent all of them, you protect all of them, and you use that aspect to find the common ground to build bridges.

When you call yourself something like the “Dyke March” and throw out queer women because they believe something that only through a Byzantine and contrived web can be related to LGBT+ issues, you are no longer a gay rights group; you are a political group with a partisan ideology that has decided to wrap itself in a rainbow flag and use it to deflect and obfuscate that fact. Your queerness is no longer a positive thing, but something weaponized to achieve an end that has no real effect on LGBT+ issues in the greater scheme of things. It is, in all reality, “pinkwashing,” and a very obvious and hypocritical kind at that.

AMANDA KERRI is a writer and comedian based in Oklahoma City. Follow her on Twitter @EternalKerri.


https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/6/28/tossing-jewish-women-out-dyke-march-was-intersectional-fail

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