Posts Tagged ‘Alternet’

Anarchist Cookbook front coverby Chaz Bufe, co-author The Anerchist Cookbook

If you’ve ever doubted that the PC left is more of a hindrance than a help to those trying to make the world a better place, consider this: Alternet, a prominent leftist news/opinion site, ran a piece on December 22nd (subsequently reposted by titled “White men must be stopped: the very future of mankind depends on it,” by Frank Joyce, a frequent Alternet contributor.  (Interestingly, Alternet has apparently taken down the piece–I couldn’t find it there today with a cursory search; perhaps they were embarrassed by the blatant bigotry of the title, or perhaps they took it down for another reason.)

Subsequently, the extreme right-wing web site, Infowars, gleefully seized upon the Joyce article, with a piece that quoted the Alternet title in its headline and then added as a subhead, “The left declare open war on White Americans.”

This is the best example I’ve seen recently of the left’s stupidly playing into the hands of the right. If you wanted to drive one class of people, based purely on race and gender, into the arms of their oppressors, it’s difficult to think of a more effective tactic than attacking them and identifying them with their oppressors. (Believe it or not, corporate capitalism oppresses white men, too.)

You see this sort of crap all the time on leftist sites: white men, or men period, are the problem. Those making such reductionistic, counterproductive assertions seem never to think of the consequences. They seem not to realize that not only are they driving those they attack into the arms of the right, but they’re also diverting attention away from the real problems of economic inequality, militarism, erosion of civil liberties, mass surveillance, and racism-related problems such as police brutality . (It’s quite possible to talk about that problem without going out of your way to alienate people because of their race.)

If you think that the people who are attacked because of their race and gender will read on after a bigoted headline, think again. If you read a headline stating that you were the problem simply because of your race or gender, how would you react? My hunch is that you wouldn’t be receptive to anything the author had to say, if you even bothered to read another word, and you’d come away feeling that the author (and those allied with him or her) was your enemy.

So, why do PC leftists attack people because of their gender and/or race? They apparently do care about social justice issues, so why do they act so stupidly? Why do they engage in worse-than-useless bigotry based on gender and race? It’s a reasonable guess that some people acting in such a  way are guilt-ridden white liberals, and others are so angry that rather than attack all of the interlocking systems of oppression, they attack convenient scapegoats. It matters not a whit that these particular scapegoats are in some ways less oppressed than they are. The end result is that they drive their targets to the right, and that they divert attention away from the real problems.

The PC left is playing the game of its (and our) oppressors: Divide and Conquer.

by Chaz Bufe, publisher See Sharp Press

Alternet, the leftist opinion site, has chosen for some inexplicable reason to run a very poorly argued piece by Richard Chu attacking atheist Richard Dawkins for being “racist” because he opposes Islam. Here are the first two paragraphs from Chu’s piece:

One of the most obnoxious refrains you hear when you complain about Islamophobia in the United States being a form of racism is “Islam isn’t a race, it’s a religion.” It’s a nasty derailing technique that’s endorsed by luminaries such as Richard Dawkins.

And it’s wrong for transparent reasons. You don’t need to look far for other examples where religion and ethnicity are conflated within the logic of prejudice. You only need to look as far as the Holocaust, the single bloodiest genocidal campaign in history, which targeted anyone of Jewish ethnic descent regardless of what religious beliefs they professed, based on stereotypes that explicitly invoked biological, racial difference.

The entire thing continues at length in this vein.

First, notice that Chu nowhere attempts to prove that Islam is not a religion and is, rather, a race of people. (Follow the link to Chu’s piece to confirm this.) Next, notice that he nowhere shows any racial animus on Dawkins’ part. Instead, he relies on the weakest form of argument: argument by analogy. This form of “argument” doesn’t even attempt to prove its points. Rather, it relies on naked emotional appeal.

Further in his piece, Chu states:

But the sheer hypocrisy of saying that anti-Muslim prejudice is a consequence of rational disagreement with the tenets of Islam rather than xenophobic distrust of people who look different from “normal” Americans becomes most obvious when you see how much of it falls on Sikhs…..

What this has to do with Dawkins is anybody’s guess.

The point Chu is trying–and failing–to make is that because some who oppose Islam are racists, all who oppose Islam are racists. This is a major, and vile, contention, and Chu doesn’t even attempt to prove it. He just asserts it. One could just as well argue that because some people who believe the Earth revolves around the sun are racists, all who believe the Earth revolves around the sun are racists.

Chu simply equates Dawkins’ principled opposition to all forms of religion (including Islam) with the racism of some American conservatives. He doesn’t even try to prove that Dawkins’ reasons for oppositing Islam are the same as those of racist conservatives who oppose Islam, because he can’t. So he asserts that they are, relying on argument by analogy, much as some American right-wingers once argued that liberals were identical to Communists.

Chu apparently doesn’t realize that people oppose Islam for very different reasons. Or he’s deliberately ignoring that obvious fact in order to slander all who oppose Islam.

Chu is engaging in McCarthyism, in character assassination. Chu should be ashamed of himself for writing his piece, and the editors of Alternet should be even more ashamed of themselves for running it.