There is an old saying that dates back to Socrates, I think, and it goes something like this: you know you've won the argument the moment your opponents start flashing their genitals at you. Actually, maybe it was Lincoln who said that. Anyway, it's a rather urgent bit of wisdom in our time.
Now, I don't want to reiterate the entire ancient history of the last five and a half days, but I'll give you a little context so that you understand.
It started with the belligerent rantings of a pop singer-rapper named Azealia Banks, who appears in Playboy magazine this month. Banks' last album sold only 15,000 copies or so in its first two weeks -- making her about as musically relevant as a Creed cover band -- so she has instead achieved fame by taking off her clothes and saying inflammatory things about white people. This is the first strategy they teach you in Marketing 101 at rapper school, and it's extraordinarily effective.
In her Playboy interview/stripping session, she spoke proudly of her hatred for white conservative men, white teenage girls, white farmers, white Middle Americans, and anything else created by or associated with white people, presumably including democracy, the automobile, air travel, antibiotics, computers, electricity, photography, and about a 100,000 or so other essential innovations that were born by the bloody hands of whitey.
Shortly after these interview excerpts were published, I wrote a piece to retort Banks and to point out her hypocrisies and prejudices. I intended to call her out for being such a classless, fanatical bigot, and to make the magnanimous gesture of offering to pay for her one-way ticket out of this cesspool of oppression and to a land not plagued by the terrible cancer of white America. You know, an oasis like Nigeria or Pakistan or some other paradise.
My post to her was stern but reasonable, contentious but calm, critical but not crass, and of course quite financially generous.
Her response was, shall we say, not in the same vein.
Late on Friday, Banks took to Twitter to send me and another conservative, Wayne Dupree, a close up photo of her genitals. I suppose this is what passes for dialogue in more progressive circles, but among sentient humans it tends to derail the conversation considerably.
Two days later, she followed up with a lewd Tweet to my wife. When I expressed dismay at this tactic, she proceeded to hurl racial slurs at me and call my wife ugly. All of this was applauded by her legions of young, progressive fans. Some of them followed suit and bombarded me with their own graphic pictures. Several wished death on me, because how else are you supposed to react when someone criticizes your favorite singer?
For the record, this is my wife. Credit: Matt Walsh
I've never been on a safari, so I'd say this is the closest I've come to being gnawed on by a pack of rabid hyenas. It was a depressing and bewildering spectacle, but not unprecedented.
All the while, of course, I was repeatedly informed that I am the sexist, the racist, and the bigot. In fact, according to some, it was sexist for me to criticize her for sending nude photos. She's "comfortable with her body" and I shouldn't "slut shame" her, they insisted.
If only Anthony Weiner had thought of using that line.
I'd say Banks has gotten a free pass for her hatefulness and bigotry, but that wouldn't be completely true. A "pass" insinuates that she did something wrong, but in the minds of many liberals, she behaved heroically. Pass? More like applause and a trophy.
She certainly hasn't been condemned by anyone but a small smattering of conservative pundits. Our culture, generally, has either raised no protest, or come to her defense. As usual.
It needn't even be said (but I will anyway) that the reaction would be slightly different if a white conservative male -- say, a country star or something -- said in an interview that he hated black Americans, then sent an unsolicited picture of his penis to a black female blogger who criticized him, then spewed more racial slurs, then attacked the blogger's family, then swarms of his white male fans descended on her and sexually harassed her and told her to suffocate on her own puke.
This fictional honky would not even make it past the first stage in this process before being metaphorically, or maybe literally, stoned in the middle of the street. If he somehow pushed through the onslaught of national outrage and proceeded to the next several steps, he would go down as probably the evilest scumbag in American history, if not among the most dastardly in the entire existence of the human race. And I'm really not exaggerating.
Conservatives tend to make this dichotomy worse by -- as some have urged me to do here -- ignoring the slobbering liberal bigots and trying to be the "bigger person." But progressives continue to use even the flimsiest of examples to support their narrative of racist white America, and they win. People believe them. Their story sticks, and nobody says a peep or attempts to refute it, because, you know, we're too mature or something.
Well, I guess I'm not that mature and not that "big." The progressive racial and gender narrative is a deranged fiction, and I intend to make that fact known.
I hope you drown in your own vomit. Filth.— ♡all american gay♡ (@PLURICANE) March 22, 2015
The double standard is so bad that it isn't a double standard at all. For progressives -- particularly women, particularly minority women -- there is simply no standard to speak of. As we've seen demonstrated this past week and countless times before, if you have the right ideology (and it helps to have the right gender and skin color), you can say whatever you want. Really, whatever you want. I mean, anything you want, seriously. You are untouchable. You will not be condemned by society. The media will leave you alone. Your bottom line will be unaffected. There will be no boycotts, no resistance, no blow back of any severity or significance.
If any discernible privilege is given to any demographic group in this country, this is it. If you are progressive, and especially a woman, and especially a minority woman, you can lash out in whatever manner you like, launching whatever attacks you like, against whatever group you like, provided the victims aren't homosexuals or liberal black people. That's the deal. That's America, and everyone knows it.
Privilege? Azealia Banks has the privilege. Lena Dunham has privilege. Your average gender studies major has privilege. They have the privilege of Perpetual Victimhood, a status that affords infinite entitlements and endless excuses.
In the midst of dealing with the savage hordes this weekend, I was informed over and over and over again that Banks cannot be sexist or racist, no matter how often she specifically details her very passionate distaste for white men. Being, I'm reminded, a member of not one but two "oppressed" groups, it is literally impossible for her to be a bigot.
Her feelings aren't bigotries because, they tell me, she has no power. Never mind that she's a presumably well-off celebrity. Blacks and women have no power. Never mind that a black guy is the most powerful man on Earth. Blacks and women have no power. Oprah herself has no power, apparently. Even if they have power, they don't have power. It's just the way it is, whether it is this way or not.
[sharequote align="center"]A racist is a racist is a racist, a sexist is a sexist is a sexist. Simple.[/sharequote]
This is the slimy genius of modern liberalism. It packs a lie on top of a lie, and forces you to inadvertently accept one premise by arguing against the other. I can try to point out that America is not "institutionally racist" -- and if our institutions were designed to oppress black people and women, they're clearly doing a really bad job of it -- but by having this debate, I'm giving off the impression that the definitions of "racism" and "sexism" somehow hinge on this question. They don't.
Racism is hatred of another race. Sexism is devaluing someone based on their sex. Those are the definitions. If you engage in those things, you are those things. Black, white, male, female, it doesn't matter. No excuse. No mitigation. A racist is a racist is a racist, a sexist is a sexist is a sexist. Simple.
The rational person reading this might find the whole discussion pretty tiresome, but sadly, these are not fringe notions I'm trying to dispel. This is mainstream thought. They teach this crap in college. Banks can say and do what she wants, not out of some incidental hypocrisy, but as a matter of principle for progressives. They whine about "privilege," but they have just claimed the most profound privilege of all. They have invented a moral get out of jail free card, and they get to play it as many times as they want.
It's important to underscore, however, that it's only liberal women and minorities who wield this incredible privilege. Non-liberals in those groups have the least leeway out of everyone, and can be attacked more viciously than anyone. Just look at what happens to black conservatives and female Republicans. Ask Ben Carson or Sarah Palin. Ask my wife, who was gleefully heckled and bullied by an army of petulant trolls just for asking a a pop singer to stop Tweeting crotch shots to her husband (a reasonable request, in my opinion).
And the privilege for liberal women extends beyond mere words. If a man sends unwanted pictures of his privates to women, he's a creep, a deviant, and possibly a sexual harasser. If he runs around like a drunken fool, having sex with anything that moves, he's a pig, a chauvinist, and probably a sex criminal. These labels are never attached to the other gender. Never. Slut Walks and Vagina Monologues and pop music and college propaganda have brainwashed society into believing that women who do these things are liberated and confident. In fact, a woman's sexual behavior is so above reproach, that if an inebriated female has sex with an inebriated male, the male is the rapist and the female the victim.
That's not to say that women cannot be criticized for their lifestyle choices. What I'm saying is that they can't be criticized for progressive, sexually aggressive lifestyle choices. Now, should they decide to, for instance, get married, have several children by the same man, and stay home to raise the kids, suddenly their decisions can be harshly analyzed.
Female privilege is profound, but specific.
It's also an extreme hazard.
In my spat with Ms. Banks, I was very aware of that fact that I was working within the strictest of confines. As she attacked my family, sexually harassed us, and hurled invective, I knew that if I answered with even a fraction of the vulgarity and racial hostility, I would end up the villain. That's the game. Berate me until I respond in kind, then magically I become the bad guy. The contrasting principles are irritating, but maybe more of a handicap for the people on the privileged side of it.
Liberals, particularly liberal women, are operating in a void without any standards of basic decency. They know society will allow them to say or do whatever, so there is a much greater temptation to descend into downright barbarism. It's a constricting sort of liberty, because once you plunge those depths, it's difficult to make it back to the surface where adults have grown up discussions and everyone keeps their pants on.
So these last few days have taught me what I already know: that the rules don't apply to liberals, and even less to liberal women, and even less to liberal minority women. They indeed have the unmitigated privilege to speak with hate and act without self-control, but maybe, in the end, that's not much of a privilege at all.
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