Thursday, October 15, 2015

My anti-racist bona fides

I was home sick from work yesterday so I ended up wasting more time than usual arguing with people on Facebook. This time it was with Michael Kimmel over his approval of a video that tells white women to shut the fuck up. Literally:

You want to deprive white women of a voice?
Start with yourself, Emma Gray.

Kimmel has a Facebook page for the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities of which I was a member up until yesterday. I got into an argument with someone using the name of the group, so I can't be sure it was Kimmel himself, but probably, especially since someone has been checking into this blog several times in the past 36 hours, most recently from SUNY at Stony Brook.

Kimmel is clearly in league with the identitarians - I used to call them Social Justice Warriors but the term has been co-opted by the Right. An identitarian is someone who is obsessed with ethnicity - everything is about ethnicity for them, and if you dare to suggest otherwise, they will brand you a racist. That is their main weapon. That and censorship. Identitarians love to tell people to STFU mainly because they are not smart people and so the only way they can win any argument is by silencing their opponents - that's why they are so quick to tell any objectors to shut up, and to make them shut up if possible. Which is why Kimmel threw me out of his Facebook page.

I've written at length about my unpleasant experiences with identitarians, including the queen of the white woman-hating identitarians, Mikki Kendall.

Now I try to assume that people like Kimmel mean well, but in their ill-considered approach to injustice they are only perpetrating more injustice. The professional identitarian Robin DiAngelo is a case in point, as I blogged about not long ago. She decided that somebody needed to pay for the 1955 murder of Emmet Till, and so she used her authority during a company meeting to humiliate a woman by telling her she had to leave the room when she cried because white people were not allowed to cry. She did it because some woman prior to the meeting had griped about "white women's tears." 

The white woman in this case probably thought of herself as an individual human being, not as a dehumanized signifier of white women in the Southern patriarchy tradition. But Robin DiAngelo decided that she should be dehumanized - as payback for the way black people have been dehumanized.

Dehumanizing random white people as payback is not how you fix racism.

You want to talk about slave reparations? Let's talk about slave reparations - I thought Ta-Nehisi Coates made a good case for them. You want to talk about how black people have a higher arrest rate for drugs than white people even though white people deal drugs more? There's a Washington Post article with data showing this happens and it needs to be addressed. 

There are plenty of white people who are pissed off about ethnic-based injustice. It's completely idiotic to tell others they can't talk based on their ethnicity - you may be silencing an ally. It's not only unjust, it's ineffective politics.

And I am certainly an ally. As I pointed out to Kimmel, I have stood up against racism, as I discussed on this blog.

I also helped to keep professional racist Razib Khan from getting a gig at the New York Times.

I've always spoken out against racism, because racism is both evil and stupid.

But none of that matters to identitarians. Because they decided that "white feminist" means an ignoramus who has to be told everything. And according to identitarian ideology, white people do not get to speak for themselves. No matter what is said about them. You don't have a right to defend yourself, ever.

Identitarians cannot tolerate dissent. Because what identitarians are really about is not justice for all, but revenge against white people. And since women are less likely to get violent, and more likely to be apologetic than men they decided to target white women specifically. And since they are essentially an anti-liberal, reactionary bunch, white feminists especially.

And Michael Kimmel, who pretends to be interested in equality, approves this effort to silence women on the basis of their ethnicity. That should tell you something about him and his organization.

And once again I'm left wondering if people like Michael Kimmel and Emma Gray, the Executive Women's Editor of the Huffington Post are secretly working for some Koch brothers-funded organization - because identitarianism benefits conservatives more than anybody else by promoting the notion that we should all be judged on the color of our skin rather than the content of our character.