Say What? The Fail Of Condemnation

I still remember when I finally said, “screw it.” It was during the comments* to this post about Revenge Porn Princess Mary Anne Franks calling Techdirt’s Mike Masnick a liar. As I read my responses again, I cringed. Back then, I still tried to be relatively inoffensive to the delicate sensibilities of commenters. But then I realized it wasn’t possible.

Unlike some folks, it made no sense to me to deliberately provoke the wrath of the insipid. It came anyway, as demonstrated by Franks’ immediate resort to name-calling against anyone who pointed out that she was intellectually bankrupt. But this wasn’t some male against female thing. Indeed, my head remains in the old days of equality, where women and men were equal, meaning that both could be brilliant or idiots, as deserved, and if a woman was full of shit, you said so. Women were tougher then.

But this was the post that ended it for me. It’s not that I chose to use words designed to provoke unnecessarily, but that there was no avoiding the fact that anything shy of being an obsequious sycophantic ally to the cause would make me a shitlord regardless of what I had to say. And there was no way I was going to temper thoughts to align with the girls’ feelings. So, screw it.

A Bloomberg Views writer, Noah Smith, who apparently has deep cred among the -isms, wrote a series of twits which reflects his partial epiphany.

It goes on for another 20 twits. Brevity is not his strong suit. But he eventually gets to a point:

And one more:

Ever so slowly, years after I came to the realization that I would be called racist, sexist, whatever, no matter what I had to say, the woke are, well, awakening. But as much as this is a good thing, that they’re beginning to come to grips with the notion that calling everyone who isn’t them names isn’t endearing, they’re still a long way from grasping two additional but related points.

First, Smith still believes that anyone who is not progressive gives a damn what they think. They take themselves very seriously, from their ridiculous theories of the world to their moral righteousness to condemn the evildoers. Going back to my epiphany, it’s bizarre to note that they believe that others seek their approval.

Second, Smith suffers the same error as so many of his brethren do, that they presume their belief in theories of oppression is an undeniable truth, and then extend their moral condemnation outward from there. In other words, they argue and condemn based upon the silly shit they believe without grasping that others may not buy into their theories of racism and sexism.

It is not that all white people aren’t racist, but that their vision of racism isn’t all-consuming to all white people. Same with sexism and guys. Most of us think about food and football, and not about the pain women feel because no one will hear them. And the more they argue why we don’t get it, the less we listen because they are making arguments that they care deeply about and we just don’t.

To emphasize the point, there was also an announcement by Janaya Kahn, a founder of Black Lives Matter.

“Popular social justice discourse has used ‘white privilege’ to describe the benefits that come with whiteness,” Khan elaborated in the video. “The problem with describing white privilege is that it looks at the individual as opposed to the system itself.”

“Despite the fact that there are all of these determinates of white supremacy, we still struggle to actually name the system itself. We can’t be more afraid of naming white supremacy than of white supremacy. White privilege is only half of the conversation.”

All white people used to enjoy white privilege. Are we all now white supremacists? This may matter deeply to Kahn and others, but they’re just words. If the immutable characteristic of our skin, our genitalia, or our lack of obsession for whatever identity cause is dear to you, gives rise to your condemnation and harsh names, there is only one thing to be done about it. Shrug.

We don’t understand you? Fair enough. You don’t understand us either, so we’re even. Equality unlocked. Was that what you were aiming for?

*The comments bore little connection to the post, but rather meandered into the feelz of my interlocutors, becoming a rabbit hole of early-onset insanity. If you wonder why I’m so tough about comments being on topic these days, this will give you a clue.

32 thoughts on “Say What? The Fail Of Condemnation

  1. PseudonymousKid

    Dear Papa,

    Is this the true awakening of the woke or are they evolving? There’s some class consciousness shining through the muck here. Better steer them to more peaceful waters now rather than shame them towards more radical beliefs. God forbid they read all thirty or so pages of the manifesto.

    It’s nerve-wracking when you’re actively calling out comments in the post itself. This is stressful. Whether you pat me on the back or shoot my bs down means so much to my day. Don’t ever stop being you, Pa.


    1. SHG Post author

      I can’t help but be me, PK. What I can hope is that the deeply passionate get their heads out of their collective passive-aggressive narcissistic asses and come to the realization that if they persist in going down their current path, there will be no options left. They can’t be “steered” by definition, as they are certain that they get to do the steering because they are woke. They can, however, be shocked into reality that the vast majority of Americans don’t give a shit that the woke call them names, leaving them unarmed in a battle of feelz.

      And for those who still hope that appeasing the children might bring them around, it won’t work. You, of course, are special.

      1. PseudonymousKid

        You’re a special snowflake too. There’s no flake more special than you.

        These kiddies aren’t woke. They talk about systems being an issue like it’s a revelation. Welcome to 1850, friends. They probably skipped Marx because he’s just another white supremacist. He and Engels forgot to check their privilege. Rookie mistake.

            1. SHG Post author

              Finally found a new math captcha, but this one isn’t as much fun as the old one, where I could rewrite the error messages (like, “You suck at math”).

  2. Lee

    I always try to look at your replies to my comments as Tough Love. If I say something you think is stupid or insipid, you will call me on it.

    But then, I’m a grown-ass man attorney and have a tougher skin than the average SJW. Moreover, they seem to have the belief that should never have to grow a tougher skin because they have a right to not be offended.

    Keep doing what you do, Scott. We need someone to call bullshit when he sees it.


    1. SHG Post author

      For a bit of context, Mark Bennett is a dear friend, but he will be the first to tell me when I’ve said something he thinks is idiotic. Because I respect him, it makes me take a hard look at it. It never makes me upset with him or hurts my feelings. As you say, we’re grown-ass attorneys. We can talk straight with each other and take a punch.

  3. B. McLeod

    Common sense-wise, “white privilege” was a stupid model on which to put their chips. Daily, I have to deal with the fact that there are people who have more money and influence than I do, and there are also people who are stronger and faster, or who have better cars and bigger houses. Shouldn’t I get something too? If and to the extent that I were to choose to believe in “white privilege,” why in the Hell would I ever want to do anything to get rid of it?

    1. SHG Post author

      If you were woke, you would hand your house keys and paycheck to the unprivileged. Why should your kids eat tonight?

    2. Lee

      I once heard a Jewish comedian ask (when such questions could be asked in jest), “If there is a worldwide Jewish conspiracy, where the hell is MY check?”

      I feel the same about White Privilege.

  4. el purrp

    “If the immutable characteristic of our skin, our genitalia, or our lack of obsession for whatever identity cause is dear to you, gives rise to your condemnation and harsh names, there is only one thing to be done about it. Shrug.”

    A shrug gets us increasingly radicalized echo-chamber extremes and a vast middle of apathy. So does getting defensive on behalf of the dominant identities. Alternately, one could call out how their essentialist and segregationist identity paradigms help enforce the systemic oppression they claim to fight. We now have a bunch of functional white supremacists who think they are good allies.

    They aren’t entirely wrong with their “punching up” and “prejudice plus power” concepts. Stereotypes function in hierarchies like floodwaters: they don’t affect the population equally. You can’t use them to flood the higher ground without getting the folks in the lowlands wet.

    1. SHG Post author

      So here’s the question I ask myself, pee pee. Do I put in the effort to make sense of your comment or scratch some part of my anatomy that itches?

        1. SHG Post author

          But I have an itch. Is it not worthy of being scratched?

          Sigh. Okay. So no, they’re not “entirely wrong” at all, but the neither the means nor ends will serve their cause. They are not merely ineffective, but counterproductive. I’ve explained before my bastardized Hersberg theory. This answers your question, even though it’s not my job to repeat myself for your benefit. You’re welcome.

          Also, if you don’t frame your response in the form of a question, you will lose final Jeopardy. You have been warned.

          1. el pee pee

            Hey, you snuck in some other stuff there.

            “They are not merely ineffective, but counterproductive.”

            You’re right, that would have been a much simpler way of making my point. Except to add that Ineffective merits a shrug, but counterproductive should merit more serious judgment.

            “This answers your question”

            Is this Jeopardy? Was I supposed to phrase my comment in the form of a question?

  5. cthulhu

    As far as I can tell, these words and phrases like “racist”, “white privilege”, “fascist”, and even “Nazi” are pretty much just mouth noises the Woke use to signify to other Woke that somebody is a Bad Man and the Woke should immediately confiscate all of the Bad Man’s stuff and probably beat him up while the getting is good. IOW, it’s your basic primate poo-flinging, and deserves no more respect than the actual article.

    1. Fubar

      Only Nazis would give the Woke shrugs,
      When they need big magnanimous hugs.
      You love them, they’ll love you,
      And won’t fling so much poo.
      Don’t believe me yet? Try better drugs!

  6. Matthew S Wideman

    I got sucked into a conversation on Facebook where an Asian American journalist student called everyone out to check their privilege and accept their share of the original sin of slavery as a way to diminish “white privilege”. I pointed a few things out. Then I just shrugged my shoulders. No one wants a concert of discussion…. everyone just wants an acapella concert of how bad one group is. SHG great post.

  7. Karl Kolchak

    I’m a middle aged white male who has always deplored racism, homophobia and misogyny. I’ve always believed in the idea that minorities and women should have the same opportunities I’ve had to succeed or fail according to their abilities. That said, whenever I hear the term “white privilege” I immediate shut down and stop listening. Having grown up in a small town and moved away from my family and friends to the big cities after college, I had to make my own way and was never handed anything because of my race.

    The people saying the term seem not to comprehend that since whites still represent 70% of the population, they need to get at least half of whites on their side if they ever hope to effect real change. The quickest way to ensure that will never happen is to use terminology that condemns all whites, including quite a number of those who otherwise might be sympathetic to their concerns.

    1. SHG Post author

      Those inclined to call you racist for your views would be unmoved by your reply to their opposition. You can ignore “white privilege” because you have white privilege. No matter how hard you worked for whatever you achieved (and ignoring that it remains largely a matter of luck regardless of how hard you workd), you still had it far easier than any black guy would have had. Fair enough, but neither relevant nor helpful.

      This is a discussions we’ve had here a number of times, that without creating a consensus, the minority remains the minority.

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