Ignoring the persisting dynamics

The Open Letter by itself wasn’t enough, Alana Lentin also had to put out a “press release” about it, as if it were important. It’s more of the same shite but put into the third person to make it sound newsy and official and impersonal, the way Bill Donohue does with his absurd press releases.

(London, February 22) – Peter Tatchell’s actions in bullying and inciting a media furor against a student who criticized him in a private e-mail reflect a disturbing intolerance toward dissenting views, said 116 human rights activists and scholars in an open letter published today. The media coverage of the concocted controversy also feeds a national moral panic over inflated claims of “no-platforming” – a panic that actually contributes to silencing marginal voices.

See how that works? It sounds like journalism, but it isn’t, it’s just more bullshit from Alana Lentin, along with some of her friends who said things for her to quote.

‘Each generation has a moral panic about the one that follows it,’ said Sarah Brown, UK campaigner for LGBT equality and one of the 116 signatories. ‘Older activists and journalists are bullying a young person in the press, without a right of reply, over opinions expressed in private, all in the name of “free speech”. It seems some folks are short of both moral fibre and a sense of irony — but I’m pretty sure it’s not the young people.’

Not in private though, according to Peter Tatchell – he says she was showing them to other people.

‘If you think you are an ally, take criticism,’ said Roz Kaveney, writer, critic, and poet, and longtime advocate for transgender rights. ‘Allies who don’t take criticism get in the way at best. And allies who can’t take criticism display an arrogant sense of superiority.’

No matter how empty, stupid and malevolent the “criticism” is? Nope, not going to do that.

‘This incident points to a growing tendency to minimise the effects of discrimination on marginalised groups,’ added Alana Lentin, Associate Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis at Western Sydney University in Australia. ‘Among liberals, for example, “postracial” celebrations of the end of racism are increasingly common, ignoring the persisting dynamics of white supremacy.’

You know what another growing tendency is? The one to minimise the effects of discrimination on women, ignoring the persisting dynamics of patriarchal dominance. I wonder why Alana Lentin didn’t mention that one.

I don’t really wonder. That was sarcasm. I think she didn’t because she’s part of it because it’s central to current trans politics: ignore the marginalization of women so that trans women can freely demonize and shun women and feminists.


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