Steal This Mic

Much to the chagrin of the unduly passionate, black women just aren’t always on the right side of history. After all, how is it even possible that the terminally deluded have to do the dirty work of seizing the microphone lest they be complicit?

As Robby Soave explains at Reason, even black women elected to office are subject to being silenced when they just don’t get it.

Sharon McBride, a black member of city council and who supports Buttigieg’s bid, was there to push back against the notion that black people disapprove of the mayor.

Her remarks were interrupted by protesters affiliated with Black Lives Matter. One of the protesters, who appeared to be a white man, marched to the front of the room, seized the microphone from McBride, and started haranguing the audience.

“Who chose these people as black leaders?” the activist asked. “Who organized this? Why are we talking about Pete Buttigieg? What kind of nonsense is this?”

He then led protesters in a chant of “this is a farce.”

There was one woman in the audience who decided to stand up for Black Lives Matter in her own way, but others stopped her before she brought her cane down on this nutjob’s head. The ironies of this scenario are beyond compare, as this apparently white man silenced a black woman who was blacking all wrong.

But this wasn’t the first time an unduly passionate ally seized the mic.

Is this a reflection of the craziness that’s consumed the unduly passionate in their embrace of their duty to fight for their cause? Is this the breakdown of norms, that audience members don’t seize the stage, and with it the narrative, when the people others came to hear aren’t saying what they want them to say?

Notably, both of these instances involve white men seizing a microphone from black women, which is particularly inexplicable given their putative ideological causes. If they believe in identity politics, Black Lives Matter, progressive ideology, is it not incumbent upon them to shut up and listen? Yet, not only do they find that impossible, but in their twisted imaginations, believe it their duty to disrupt the invited speech, steal the mic so they can spew whatever they would do better telling their therapist once the Thorazine kicks in, and silence the person of a race and gender they’ve dedicated their lives to defend.

How does this work?

The episode highlights the hypocrisy of many intersectional activists (a major theme of my book Panic Attack). They often claim that the marginalized are the sole experts on their own oppression and thus are the only people allowed to speak on issues related to it; white people, they say, should step back and let black people talk about racism. But in practice, few activists can keep quiet while someone else is touting a candidate the activist perceives to be insufficiently radical.

Perhaps there are no candidates ideologically pure enough for the most passionate believers, and between “the sky is falling” and “they must do something,” they can justify any action to further their truth, no matter whose hands were on the mic before them. Or perhaps every group has its nutjobs, incapable of impulse control and suffering from some undiagnosed or untreated mental illness that prevents them from grasping the significance of what they’re doing.

But regardless, there is an acceptance of the idea that anyone, no matter how nuts, rude or inappropriate, is entitled to speak “their truth,” even if it means some random nutjob, whose words no one came to hear, gets to seize the mic from a black woman, an elected official, a presidential candidate,

From the nutjobs’ point of view, they’re fighting existential crises, which, if true, would justify  going to any lengths to save humanity, the planet, whatever. As the cry of existential crises is one that pervades many of the issues on the left, actions like this not only make sense, but are likely to happen with greater regularity and be forgiven more readily.

It’s a shame they held back the woman with the cane at Buttigieg’s event, as she, more than anyone, reflected black lives mattering.

11 thoughts on “Steal This Mic

      1. C. Dove

        If we’re talking about those true believers who are unable or incapable of seeing anything beyond their own “one truth”, then yes, Annie Wilkes is a fitting composite for those who steal the mic and shout “I did this all for you!” when they feel their efforts have gone unappreciated.

          1. C. Dove

            I’d normally say, “I meant to do that!” but, in a pique of candor, I must admit while I’m cognizant of the “reply” button my tech skillz have otherwise slipped once I entered my 40s.

  1. B. McLeod

    Identity politics requires that people get their identities right. If they don’t, those who know better have to whip them into line.

  2. Casual Lurker

    Only enough time for one, so relax. 😉

    “…steal the mic so they can spew whatever they would do better telling their therapist once the Thorazine kicks in…”

    So you’re saying you think they will do better as in-patients?

    (If you do enough of these, I may compile them into a quiz for the incoming R1 orientation session. I can call it “lucky guess or gifted amateur?”)

    “Or perhaps every group has its nutjobs, incapable of impulse control and suffering from some undiagnosed or untreated mental illness that prevents them from grasping the significance of what they’re doing.”

    A very real possibility. Ignoring the as-yet-to-be-defined ‘nutjob’ category, poor impulse control is a known strong indicator of ADHD, which is far more likely than several other possibilities. Many practitioners believe that a not insignificant number of the population are afflicted with undiagnosed ADHD.* There are studies, some that were sponsored by Govt. agencies, that strongly suggest that our jails and prisons are filled with a percentage too high to ignore.

    While poor impulse control is typically associated with ADHD, as clinical practitioners are aware, many of the behaviors that get those known to be afflicted into trouble is often a direct result of what is known as “Reward System Dysfunction” (RSD). For extreme cases, some have been described as the type who would literally “cut off their nose to spite their face”.

    Unfortunately, the Chinese menu (one from column A, two from column B, etc.) that is the DSM does not adequately spell out details that are understood by experienced psychiatrists. A look at the spreadsheets used in the making of that Chinese menu shows that the only factor consistent across all variations of the disorder (albeit, in varying severity) is RSD.

    The effect of RSD is more readily seen in juveniles, as it usually manifests as ODD** (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), comorbid with ADHD.

    *Three points:
    1. ADHD includes ADD.
    2. It may seem counter intuitive, but ADHD is usually treated with stimulants. Typically Adderall (mixed salts of amphetamine) or Ritalin (Methylphenidate). Although, at one time, Thorazine was considered suitable, and is occasionally still used when conditions warrant.
    3. There are epidemiological indications that the distribution is on the upswing. Theories abound. While genetics is a known major factor, the media THOTs, mostly from the lower echelons of the practitioner hierarchy (*Cough* psychologists, social workers *Cough*), are touting the excessive use of smart phones as a cause, most ignoring the possibility that smart phones merely act as a honeypot for those already afflicted.

    **Depending on a number of factors, the more severe Conduct Disorder (sometimes referred to as “Primary Conduct Disorder” or “Conduct Disturbance”) may operate in place of ODD.

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