Sunday, March 30, 2014

#CancelIrony: an open letter to white male leftists who criticize identity politics

When Stephen Colbert is called a racist for ironically mocking a racist, the only proper response for white male allies is to ignore all discussions of anti-racism and anti-sexism and let women and people of color lead.

Seriously. If you're concerned about class, ignore self-styled anti-racists and feminists—they make their priority clear by their name. Most of them are more concerned with becoming Condi Rice or Hillary Clinton than leveling the economic pyramid. You can no more change an identitarian's mind than you can change a Scientologist's. Belief systems are about beliefs, not logic. All you'll do is get hated, and that doesn't help anyone's cause.

I briefly wondered if Tumblr's social justice warriors could be useful to socialists. An "I need socialism because" campaign would be a lot of fun. Then I realized most of them don't need socialism. They're concerned with what they see as the last flaws of capitalism. The working class are irrelevant to them.

Inspired by #CancelColbert: Suey Park, the activist behind the hashtag: What continues to amuse me about this kerfuffle is a privileged Asian-American hijacked a discussion about American Indian mascot names to insist Asian-Americans are oppressed because a white man said "Oriental" when making fun of the guy who owns the Washington Redskins. Last time I looked, Asian Americans are one of the groups that are richer than white Americans. As for social oppression rather than economic oppression, the US Senate, our country's version of the House of Lords, is a fine measure of both kinds of power. Our first Asian American senator was elected in 1959, and we have an Asian American senator now. Considering that Asian Americans are 6% of the US population, that's actually representative. But there still aren't any working class Senators.

For anyone keeping track, there's a tiny circle of "activists" behind #cancelColbert. Several of the usual suspects appear at Twitter / debreese: @Karnythia See this? ...

This comment at reclaiming brocialism amused me: "a brocialist is a socialist who has your back, knows where you're comin' from, will let you stay on their couch for a bit, buy a round every once in a while, and will like be there for you when you need someone". While I'll happily agree some male socialists can be embarrassingly sexist, there's a lot to be said for being a brocialist. Malcolm X's preferred title was "brother", after all.