OK, before I get started I gottta tell ya I really struggled on how to write this post.
So what I finally hit on was a “double steal” strategy: I would only embed quotes in this post which were also quotes in the other post.
Here’s hoping it works and I’ll give you The Link to the original post at the end along with a mea culpa and some snark.
This is all from a discussion of who are really the marginalized folks out there using today’s dominant socio-economic construct.
It’s all quoted quotes from here on out.
Off we go…
the Atlantic was sponsoring a panel about marginalized points of view and diversity in journalism. The panelists, all Atlantic writers and editors, argued that the cultural and economic decks are stacked against feminists and advocates of minority interests They made this argument under the prestigious, high-profile auspices of South by Southwest and their own magazine, hosted bu a feminist groups called the Female Quotient, which enjoys the patronage of Google, PepsiCo, AT&T, NBCUniversal, Facebook, UBS, JPMorgan Chase and Deloitte. We should all be so marginalized. If you want to know who actually has the power in our society and who is actually marginalized, ask which ideas get you sponsorships from Google and Pepsi and which get you fired.
I’m a white guy. I’m a well-educated intellectual who enjoys small arthouse movies, coffehouses and classic blues. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably mistake me for a lefty urban hipster.
And yet. I find some of the alt-right stuff exerts a pull even on me. Even though I’m smart and informed enough to see through it. It’s seductive because I am not a person with any power or privilege, and yet I am constantly bombarded with messages telling me that I’m a cancer, I’m a problem, everything is my fault.
I am very lower middle class. I’ve never owned a new car, and do my own home repairs as much as I can to save money. I cut my own grass, wash my own dishes, buy my clothes from Walmart. I have no clue how I will ever be able to retire. But oh, brother, to hear the media tell it, I am just drowning in unearned power and privilege, and America will be a much brighter, more loving, more peaceful nation when I finally just keel over and die.
Trust me: After all that, some of the alt-right stuff feels like a warm, soothing bath. A “safe space,” if you will. I recoil from the uglier stuff, but some of it — the “hey, white guys are actually okay, you know! Be proud of yourself, white man!” stuff is really VERY seductive, and it is only with some intellectual effort that I can resist the pull. And yet I still follow this stuff, not really accepting it, but following it just because it’s one of the only places I can go where people are not always telling me I’m the seed of all evil in the world. If it’s a struggle for someone like me to resist the pull, I imagine it’s probably impossible for someone with less education or cultural exposure.
It baffles me that more people on the left can’t understand this, can’t see how they’re just feeding, feeding, feeding the growth of this stuff. They have no problem understanding, and even making excuses for, say, the seductive pull of angry black radicalism for disaffected black men. They’re totally cool with straightforwardly racist stuff like La Raza. Why are they unable to put themselves into the shoes of disaffected white guys and see how something similar might appeal to them? Or if they can make this mental leap, why are they so caustically dismissive of it — an attitude they’d never do with, say, a black kid who has joined the Nation of Islam?
I think today was the day it finally hit home to me that America, as currently constituted, cannot last. Some kind of division — via secession or some other means — is simply unavoidable at this point.
The occasion for my epiphany: This Google memo thing. I was trying to have a reasonable discussion with some lefty friends on Facebook about this, and it was impossible. They just kept turning it into a burn-the-witches shout-fest. Every time I tried to steer the conversation back towards calm discussion, they doubled down on their ritual list of condemnations: Racist, sexist, homophobic, blah blah blah. They strongly implied that I should not have the right to talk about any of this stuff. I got the distinct impression that if they had the power at that moment to throw me in prison for crimethink, they wouldn’t have hesitated to do so. One of them dropped what seemed to me a very subtle hint — I could be reading this wrong, but this was how it came across — that maybe, just maybe, a Khmer Rouge-style cleansing of society was necessary.
That was scary, and that was what prompted my moment of clarity.
Thing is, I know these folks. I know them in other contexts to be good, smart, fairly normal people. They’re not just random internet weirdos. They’re not black-clad antifa bully boys out there smashing windows and slashing tires. But it became clear to me today that they inhabit a completely different moral universe from the one I occupy. I’ve read Jonathan Haidt’s book and I’ve read Alasdair MacIntyre, so this not a new concept to me. I understood it in theory. But I don’t think I really grasped it on a gut level until today.
I suddenly realized that, from my friends’ perspective (assuming they still consider me a friend), I wasn’t simply making a questionable, controversial argument. From their perspective, I was affirmatively stumping on behalf of the blackest evil. They were responding to me the way I would respond to someone trying to have a “reasonable discussion” about molesting and murdering children to please Lord Satan.
Corporations built diversity-centered human resources departments to spearhead these and other celebrations of cultural diversity. They won approval from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights activist group. These corporations marketed to America an acceptance of homosexuality. Gay was more than OK. Many managers left religion, patriotism, and the pursuit of family life behind. Instead, their lives were given meaning by their devotion to careers celebrating cultural diversity, and celebrating homosexuality is the key expression of that diversity. Homosexuality symbolized, in Paul’s words, “creativity, cosmopolitanism, authenticity, toleration, and the reward of merit.” In homosexuals, America’s corporate, coastal elites found a minority that looked like them: well-educated, creative, successful, white, and safe. According to Paul, and the various studies he cites, this corporate elite actively avoids living near the poor or near ethnic minorities. Celebrating diversity by celebrating homosexuality thus became the way corporate managers lived with what would otherwise have been an astounding cognitive dissonance.
What could not be gained thoroughly through the learned professions, education, and the courts was gained through flexing corporate power. Corporations publicly shamed and dismissed those who dissented from their orthodoxy. They used their outsized economic power to have their way: recent examples in Arizona, Indiana, and North Carolina show that corporations are on the side of normalizing formerly transgressive sexual identities and opposed to carving out protection for religious dissenters.
If you want to know who actually has the power in our society and who is actually marginalized, ask which ideas get you sponsorships from Google and Pepsi and which get you fired.
I think these quoted quotes convey the essence of the original
If you want to give a click here’s the link.
But be warned, a large part of the post is about #NeverTrump asshat extraordinaire Kevin Williamson and his brief employment at The Atlantic.