Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Too Tall to Bow Down"

There are "white supremacists" and then there are White Supremacists.

In an interview with This Week in Blackness podcasters Elon James White and Imani Gandi, Black Lives Matters activist Marissa Janae Johnson defended her #BowDownBernie action as "super important" because it confronted the "hordes and hordes of white liberals and white progressives" whose political effect "is often very harmful and is upholding the white supremacist society that we live in."

The "bow down" command apparently is a reference a Beyonce song. It's inappropriateness has been noted by several commentators but in researching the Waveland Memo archives, I came across an ominous historical document that highlights the hideous stupidity of indulging in false equivalence between ineffectual leftists and avowed white supremacist.

The Freedom Fighter announced the "awakening" of the Klu Klux Klan "from a thirty five year sleep." It, too, relied on a facile rhetoric of false equivalence, explaining the reasons for the return of the KKK in the following terms:
It has now been proven that the negro that is trying to take over in America is communist led. If you are senile enough to think this is wrong, you are a complete fool and a very useful tool in the hands of both the negro and communist.
As for politeness and all that respectability jazz, the KKK proclaimed itself "too tall to bow down" because it "is made of men."
The KLU KLUX KLAN is made of men. Real tall American men who love America very much. They are not going to give up to the Kennedys, Johnsons, communist and negros. These men are bound together in a Holy and Fraternal order, depending upon God and each other, answering to God and each other. Tall strong men, men of great courage, coming out of fields, stores, factories, service stations, men that are doctors, builders, lawyers, writers, barbers, mechanics and laborers. These men are too tall to bow down. They are men who have had enough. Enough of the Kennedys, communist, negros, high taxes, foreign aid, cheap politicians, governmental crime and graft, the united nations, cash for bastard negro babies, cotton acreage, Walter Ruether, social security and half made this and that. They have had enough of ruin, and will now restore sensible rule in our land. They see all, hear all, know all. They live among you. These men are TENS OF THOUSANDS STRONG, TOO TALL TO BOW DOWN, AND THEY HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!!!!!!
To an interviewer's question about the people who say the Seattle action was hurting the cause of Black Lives Matters, Ms. Johnson replied, "I don’t give a fuck about the white gaze, I don’t. I literally don’t."

Some folks don't give a fuck. They just don't.


Thornton Hall said...

A. What "false equivalence"? Equivalently what? Bad? I'd it advisable to attack the most bad? Two points: Obama didn't go after Republican voters, he went after people who would support him if they got out to vote. Should movements go after the KKK and seek to make them less KKK? Or should they go after people who say they care, but always seem to have something else to do? Second, isn't at the heart of your view a notion that change happens by talking people out of their views? An almost libertarian belief in the marketplace for ideas? What empirical evidence is there for this idea about how humans behave?
B. How does the analogy work? Lumping Bernie Sanders together with white supremacists is like lumping communists and blacks together how? Because the KKK didn't succeed? False. Because the False Equivalence didn't recruit people to the KKK cause? False.

I'm honestly confused what these (allegedly) false equivalences have in common.

Sandwichman said...

"isn't at the heart of your view a notion that change happens by talking people out of their views?"


"I'm honestly confused what these (allegedly) false equivalences have in common."

Two things: 1. they are both false equivances and 2. they are both stupid.

Thornton Hall said...

Well that's as useful as economic modeling, I guess.

Sandwichman said...

Useful, useless -- same difference.