Mark Joseph Stern writes at Slate that The LGBTQ Left Has an Anti-Semitism Problem:
The concept of pinkwashing is extraordinarily insulting. It presumes that the Israeli government has no interest in promoting LGBTQ rights except to help mask its oppression of other groups. This presumption is totally unique to Israel. Nobody thought that France was attempting to distract from its terrible mistreatment of Roma immigrants when it legalized same-sex marriage. Nobody thought that South Africa was diverting attention from the painful, enduring remnants of apartheid when it gained marriage equality. Yet many LGBTQ activists freely impute to Israel a malign motive in expanding rights to sexual minorities.
More. This story has legs, and is leading to some interesting self-analysis by the LGBTQ left.
This includes a heartfelt letter to Task Force executive director Rea Carey that was co-signed by numerous (albeit overwhelmingly Jewish) LGBT activists and thought leaders, stating in part:
We also believe that the Task Force as well as all other LGBTQ organizations need to consider and adopt some form of an “active pluralism” policy with respect to these issues. Such a policy, while respecting the free speech rights of individuals and groups, would not allow protesters to effectively censor the speech of other groups, much less threaten the physical well-being and safety of those with whom they do not agree, including Jewish and Israeli LGBTQ groups. Given the concentrated and organized hostility that is so often displayed against Jewish and Israeli LGBTQ groups, and the stark rise in global anti-Semitism, it is even more important that we as a community promote civil and respectful debate.
A nice piece in the Washington Post by liberal Jonathan Capehart comments on video of the anti-Israeli protestors chanting,“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”
Writes Capehart, “Those words are alarming because Palestine can’t get ‘from the river to the sea’ without wiping the Jewish state off the map.” Well, that’s the idea.
At the Huffington Post, Dana Beyer, executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, blogs that:
The Creating Change conference is, like it or not, a business. Their customer base is now college students subsidized by their LGBTQ centers who are immersed in intersectionality, microaggressions and trigger warnings, and other forms of queer theory chic. One friend described it as students suffering from micro-aggressions getting macro-angry.
Beyer also quotes a letter to Carey from Tony Varona, a law professor at American University and former legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, in which he observes:
I’ve also found that the messages from the plenaries and sessions so far have been much more akin to the amorphous, sometimes incoherent “radical chic” anarchy-light demands of the Occupy movement than the much more substantive, productive, tangible resource-building messages of past Creating Changes, and as you might know, I’ve been to a bunch of Creating Changes since I was on staff at HRC (between ’97 and ’02).
I’ve heard much more about the abolition of prisons, police, borders and the state itself — really, the abolition of authority of any kind — at this Creating Change, than I have about grassroots lobbying and GOTV [get out the vote] work. In fact I’ve heard nothing of the latter. I’ve heard much more about who does not belong at Creating Change, who should be silenced, and who should be excluded from or pushed out of the tent, than I’ve heard about the importance of diversity and inclusion. Yet isn’t diversity, unity, inclusion, and conversation what Creating Change has long been about?
Many of the responses point to the problem of political intolerance (yes, “political correctness”) that’s come to dominate life on U.S. campuses of late. Students are indoctrinated into an ideology that justifies mob tactics to silence the expression of views deemed insufficiently progressive (and anyone else’s views are in constant danger of being declared by the mob to be insufficiently progressive).
Here’s hoping this self-examination on the left will lead to positive change.