Intersectionality

This thread at Sailer’s has produced some insights, among which is the following comment:

The definition of chutzpah is someone who kills his parents and then pleads for mercy because he is an orphan.

What do you call it when white people import millions of blacks in chains from Africa and then complain that America has too much diversity? On the eve of the Civil War, the population of South Carolina was 58% black. Was that too much salt in the soup and if so, who dumped all that salt in there? America lost its moral standing to exist as a whitopia a long time ago and like virginity, you can’t get it back.

An excellent point. Unlike the more recently arrived Italians, Greeks, and Irish, black Africans were here in America from her very beginning. Part of the founding stock. Only a few hundred thousand blacks were ever imported into America, of course, but that number quickly grew into a “native” African American population. Surely this population has as much a claim on the nation as the relatives of Thomas Jefferson? Isn’t it our national duty to continue working until there is parity between them and White America, whatever HBD issues may stand in the way?

~~~

I don’t bring this up as a challenge so much as an opportunity to discuss the totalizing Intersectional Left—not to be confused with the totalitarian Left. Let me explain:

In my most self-critical moments, I find myself agreeing (to an extent) with the critiques of white privilege and black oppression in America. Blacks contributed hard labor to a segment of this country and yet the country was never set up for their benefit. Obviously not! They were slaves. Even if their numbers were large in the south, across America as a whole, they never constituted more than 10-12% of the population. A minority population cannot expect a society to embody its interests and culture. However, at the very least, it can expect to gain some financial reward through its contribution to the larger society. Economically speaking, then, there is a legitimate Black American Grievance because across 200+ years of social contributions (in the form of menial labor), they never saw a financial reward in return.

Now, I would argue, as would most of you, that White America has long since paid that debt in the form of 300,000+ Union war dead, multiple Constitutional amendments, billions spent on civil rights legislation and enforcement, billions more spent on welfare programs. But insofar as these haven’t worked, and insofar as the nation will never accept HBD, I can at times admit that, when talking about Black America, the critical race theorists and social justice warriors have a point and we may as well join hands to try and lift up our black American brothers . . . after all, and as I said, they were here from the beginning, as much a part of America as the Daughters of the American Revolution. There is a certain loyalty that we should admit and act upon.

All this is to say that I can stomach and, for the sake of argument, even agree with certain Leftist points about race and class in the context of Black America. If I imagine that every Leftist/SJW argument were made in the context of Black America—designed to analyze only the plight of black Americans—then I find myself at peace, even in agreement, because I see no reason why we shouldn’t take blacks on as a continuing project, for their betterment, and for ours. They were our slave population, we freed them, now let’s continue the work of integrating them.

~~~

The problem of course is that contemporary Leftist arguments are not made only in the context of Black America. The problem is that the Left’s goals are not only to ameliorate the plight of black Americans. The problem is that Leftism is totalizing. It is not about the plight of a specific former slave population but about the imagined plight of everyone who is not a white, heterosexual, cisgendered male. Today, the Left has taken the discourse of oppression (which, again, has a legitimacy and a power when used in the context of Black America) and applied it willy-nilly to every recently arrived immigrant group, to every sexual identity group, to every human without a penis, to everyone who is not a white, heterosexual, cisgendered male . . . that is to say, the Left has applied the discourse of oppression to well nigh 90% of the planet’s population.

This intersectional move would be legitimate if, indeed, 90% of the planet’s population were oppressed by the other 10%, that is, by the white, heterosexual, cisgendered males. If white males met in synod every month to discuss how to rape, to kill, to thieve, and to generally repress the masses, then by all means, applying the discourse of oppression to everyone who is not a white male would make a lot of sense.

If you don’t buy this conspiracy theory, however, then one can only wonder at the underlying motives behind intersectionality. One can only wonder why the Left wants to apply a very specific discourse about a very specific former slave population to Hondurans who just came to America last week. One can only wonder why the Left wants to apply discourse about a former slave population to men who like to dress up in women’s clothes.

Why does the Left totalize its critique in this way?

Power and influence, of course.

To an extent, the discourse of oppression—the Left critique in the context of Black America—has worked for Black America. They got their freedom; they got their civil rights; they get their welfare programs, their EEO law, their constant outpouring of affection from guilty whites. It is no surprise, then, that other groups have decided to latch onto this discourse, to appropriate this critique, in the hopes that they, too, can get some of that power and influence . . . and state money.

~~~

If I think blacks have a right to all the welfare and affirmative action in the world, but I don’t think recently arrived Hondurans have the same right . . . . I am not a Leftist.

If I think blacks have a right to all the welfare and affirmative action in the world, but I don’t think homosexuals or transgendered people have the same right . . . I am not a Leftist.

If I think blacks have a right to all the welfare and affirmative action in the world, but I don’t think women have that same right . . . I am not a Leftist.

In short, if I am not intersectional, I am not a Leftist. Certain economically-minded liberals have lately learned this out the hard way.

~~~

Intersectionality, I think, will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. The contemporary “Left” is a coalition of utopians who think the entire planet can (and should! and has a right to!) live in post-scarcity luxury and middle-class harmony. But underneath this utopian surface are the divisions and fissures we should expect in a human collective. Intersectionality highlights these divisions. It exacerbates the differences. It forces people to declare their true motives and loyalties. Blacks or women, who’s it gonna be? Women or trannies, who’s it gonna be? Trannies or Muslims, who’s it gonna be? Muslims or Hindus, who’s it gonna be?

Put another way, intersectionality foregrounds the absurdity of the Leftist utopian project itself. For that reason, I celebrate it and welcome it, and would like some more of it, please. Once the factions have devoured one another, maybe we Americans can get back to the business of trying to help out the poor urban blacks as best we can . . .

Intersectionality

Intersectionality

10 responses

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  5. survivingbabel

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: intersectionality is astrology for people who fancy themselves too smart to believe in astrology.

    March 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm

  6. Blacks were well on their way to pulling themselves out of poverty when LBJ and his Great Society gutted their families and pushed them back in. Then our draconian drug laws ensured that a huge chunk of black males wound up in prison (and thus, virtually unemployable at many middle class jobs.) Oh, and low skill, crap jobs? They go to the increasing numbers of immigrants, legal and illegal that the government has allowed to flood past our borders.

    Black America doesn’t need the US Government to help it. What it needs is for the US Government to stop ACTIVELY HARMING it….

    March 16, 2015 at 3:37 am

  7. Reblogged this on Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar and commented:
    Crucially, this wouldn’t apply to Britain, multicultural hub of the world. The slaves stayed in the Colonies for the most part and continue to benefit from Empire infrastructure and claim.

    March 19, 2015 at 6:18 pm

  8. Toddy Cat

    And of course, the descendants of Black slaves are far, far, better off in the U.S. than they would have been back home, in Africa. “Discourses of Oppression” my ass! When is Black America going to repay the debt it owes to White America for bringing them here in the first place? And yeah, the Left has sabotaged every attempt Blacks have made to help themselves, and used them as a battering ram to destroy traditional America. Blacks are nuts to think that the Left cares about them. Like the white proletariat that preceded them, they will be cast aside as soon as they have served their purpose. You can see the beginnings of this process already…

    March 25, 2015 at 4:55 pm

  9. viking

    again Id have to say im also a bit sympathetic to the american black slave ancestor, but again id have to say i disagree with you and again take you a step back. in your premises and point out the black slave was already a slave in a world that had legitimized slavery ad infinitim that slavery was ended by white men that very few white men had slaves in america that non whites also had slaves in america that white men were slaves even before black men in america and elsewhere and hundreds of other reasons why destroying our country through the civil war and ensuing civil rights destroying legislation to say nothing of the trillions not billions and annually that this theory costs.was more than repayment by orders of magnitude.
    But like your more recent post you seem to miss that there is indeed a inherent logic in the lefts intersectionality as you call it. oh sure a case can easily be made even within the overton that Hispanics affirmative action is unreasonable also women’s. but the better argument is all affirmative action is unjust why should all americans pay for what only a few benefited from. that was actually legal, let alone several generation later the great grandchild of one or another form of white slavery paying for the reparations of a recent black immigrant who never descended from slavery. lawsuits should be provable in courts of law.the war was not fought only to keep slavery and the vast majority of whites owed nothing to the free slave he was owed a country free of savages roaming freely.is the outlier black a human tragedy certainly who it be unjust to send him back to africa probably but i dont care because he cant guarantee his progeny and he poses a problem for the continuance of my civilization. so i would do my best to see he is repatriated with his wealth and status as best i could but thats all.
    leftists arguments are always totalizing

    If I think blacks have a right to all the welfare and affirmative action in the world, but I don’t think recently arrived Hondurans have the same right . . . . I am not a Leftist.
    Sure you are Hondurans [slave issue aside] are as much victims of white people as blacks generally if its wrong to perpetuate legal slavery its wrong to have colonized legally if all disparate impacts to all blacks or browns are accorded to the practices and held against all future white people then your great grandchildren owe them too.

    If I think blacks have a right to all the welfare and affirmative action in the world, but I don’t think homosexuals or transgendered people have the same right . . . I am not a Leftist.

    sure you are if any group that the white culture injured has the right make claims hundreds of years later certainly groups injured decades later do.

    If I think blacks have a right to all the welfare and affirmative action in the world, but I don’t think women have that same right . . . I am not a Leftist.

    your logic escapes me of course the logic of the left always escapes me but i can say perhaps your a republican and in a few years you will see the wisdom of some of these reparations you don’t yet see

    In short, if I am not intersectional, I am not a Leftist. Certain economically-minded liberals have lately learned this out the hard way. .
    What I would say is if you buy in to black reparations you will buy into anything eventually. shall every country figure out who were the serfs peasants slaves etc and have them give themselves reparations.where would it end which is why truly actionable cases have statutes of limitations.The blacks got way way way way more than they were owed by our own standards an official apology and a ticket home would do by typical human HBD standards they should have been wiped out as a bio threat

    April 12, 2015 at 4:20 pm

  10. The Left is a Mos Eisley Hive of scum and villainy. They are a collection of losers held together with false promises of free shit. Free shit is the bait Commies use to get the suckers in the railcars, and then the slavery begins. All this talk about slavery and White guilt is bullshit all of it. White people ended slavery. It was run by blacks, Muslims and Jews. Now that the White man has left Africa slavery has come back with a vengeance, run by the same corrupt blacks with Muslims and Jews doing the buying and selling. All those dumb black shitheads got was hunger, poverty, disease and slavery with the end of colonialism. But that OK with them. They’d rather starve under Zuma or Mugabe then eat from a White man’s table. Ship this crap back to Africa. We need them like we need more losers.

    November 9, 2015 at 8:48 pm

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