Friday, September 01, 2017

Does Clarkisha Identify White Supremacy With the Shooter or the Manufacturer?

theroot |  My interest in tackling this all started with this post Jessica Chastain retweeted, which talked about the so-called alt-left “being a problem.” My annoyance at yet another visible white celebrity acting all fake deep about a concept she or he clearly doesn’t have the juice or credentials to discuss (i.e., anti-fascists are in no way the same as actual Nazis, and to portray them as such is sympathizing with fascists) aside, I was once again bombarded with the fake word “alt-left.”

I’m not sure how the word even came to be (but I’m pretty sure the New York Times had something to do with it, since they’ve been back on their bullshit for the last couple of weeks with these terrible hot takes), but the irony of it popping up right as anti-fascist groups (antifa) have become more visible recently, and are putting themselves on the line to defend people from white supremacists, does not escape me.

Confused? You shouldn’t be. And here’s why:

1. White media branding antifa (and other resistance groups) “the alt left” changes the conversation.

In the case of “alt-left,” there’s a lot to unpack in it. As it stands, white media named it such to stand as the opposite of “alt-right.” It’s supposed to exist as a dichotomy. Two extremes that exist in this world. One apparently cannot exist without the other. One’s ying and one’s yang. Destined to fight each other until the end of all time ...

... except that’s bullshit, insidiously brilliant bullshit. You know why? Because “alt-right” itself originally emerged as a baby-soft, Johnson & Johnson-approved synonym for white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Add that to Mother Jones’ and the Los Angeles Times’ humanizing these assholes by pointing out how “dapper” they are and how they are just like us, and it obviously gave way to the vast resurgence of white supremacists ... just by a different name in order to make them more palatable.

Interestingly enough, however, that actually didn’t work for long. “Alt-right”—as a term, that is—is something black people and other people of color were privy to from jump street, which made anyone using the term “alt-right” seriously look like an insufferable limp goat.

So. It wasn’t too long before “alt-right” meant something negative again (as it should). Which is why calling antifa its antithesis, “alt-left,” is notable. Without the racially critical lens that white supremacy tries to avoid, “alt-right” can be reduced to meaning that one is way too conservative, to the point that it is impolite and problematic. And because white people have shown historically that they are bad with definitions (coincidence? unlikely), most would opt to assume that “alt-left” simply means being way too liberal.

And that’s how antifa goes from fighting Nazis to having to waste time and precious energy distinguishing themselves from them. It’s a similar case with Black Lives Matter and black resistance groups, too. They get lumped in with the Ku Klux Klan, even though that logically makes no sense. These are false equivalencies, of course, but that’s the point. These erroneous comparisons exist for the sole purpose of derailment from taking the fight to white supremacy. Distraction. And also?