Of Racisim, Progressiveisim and Being a Word Smith

So the Progressive community is still in an uproar about a @caitoz article suggesting “alignment” with Alt Right people.

I need to preface a bit here: This is, by the very structure of our society and it’s official media, an incredibly hard conversation to have. Please know that my intention here is not to attack anyone, but to unpack things as best I can. I see some legit issues Caitlin raised which do need to be addressed, AND I ALSO see why many folks are legitimately triggered by her choice of words & examples.

In one sense I’m defending some of the ideas in her article, in another sense I’m attacking it (not her, but rather the phrasing and examples which she chose so poorly). I’ll start with the criticism.

1) She chose her words and examples without standing in the shoes of the POC she was talking to (by way of not pondering how the choice of those particular words and their implied meanings would impact those folks). This is a particularly tough thing for ANY white to do because of our privilege, and because of 50 years of MSM Gas light Newspeak which is specifically designed to encourage that disconnect.

2) Cernovich is one of the worst possible choices as an example of who to “align with” (just as “alignment with” is the wrong phrase) for any number of reasons; which could easily be a whole other series of articles in itself. That said, there are lots of folks I’ve had IRL & Twitter conversations, with who listen to his ilk, yet will see truth if it’s carefully unpacked for them in terms of Us vs. Oligarchy.

3) To put it simply the owners of MSM do not ever want Citizens talking IRL Issues across MSM created & imposed “lines” of Party/Political Belief/Race/Wealth/Privilege; because if we do start seeing each other as humans, fighting the same issues under different names, instead of seeing only their imposed “the other,” their Hog Troughs all get kicked over. Here’s Your Owners

4) Caitlins’ hard fail in word choice here wasn’t intentional IMO. Rather it’s the MSM & cultural gas lighting performing as designed to blind Us, across their false boundaries of race & wealth & Party, to the fact that we’re fighting the same damned problems under different and intentionally divisive names; with different and intentionally divisive ASSIGNED-BY-MSM “causes” for those problems. My proof of claim is as simple as looking hard & very cynically at the differences in the words chosen by all of MSM in talking about Sandra Bland vs the words chosen by the ENTIRETY of the same MSM to talk about Dylan Roof. Please hold this core idea in mind as you read what follows, because I’m about to unpack some serious shit here. This discussion is one we’re not ever “supposed” to have according to our owners. Do you doubt me? That message is pervasive in MSM Newspeak, right down to the difference in verbiage used in advertising at POC vs the words & their nearly subliminal implied meanings of the verbiage used in ads aimed at whites. The fact is that racism is real AND it’s ALSO that it’s a tool used by oligarchs to keep us all so pissed at each other that we can’t band together & bury them with their bribed to treason Congresscritters in Tar & Feathers.

So… on to the unpacking

Her choice of the words “align with” also implies approval of. Hard miss here. This choice of words triggered several POC Progressives, and legitimately too IMO. I’ll note I got nailed with this level of missing implied meanings & the cultural differences in those words during a separate conversation with a black lady whom I deeply respect.

She commented on something and I said ICYMI (yea… OOPS!) with a link to an article supporting & expanding on her claim. She came back bent until I explained myself fully.

What happened here is Cultural Language Differences and differences in our implied meanings of the same words depending upon our IRL experiences caused a misunderstanding.

To me, with my cultural biases, “ICYMI” means “You might find this interesting if you’ve not seen it.” To her, with her culturally different implied meaning, it said “Nope, you missed this & here’s why you’re wrong.” What saved us is that we respect each other and didn’t immediately jump to flinging insults over what was a misunderstood usage. These are pervasive throughout our “common language” and those sorts of differences in implied meanings of our “common words.” I’ll note that neither of our usages of “ICYMI” is wrong. They’re simply different at such a basic, cultural, implied meanings, level that we, each, can’t even see the differences implied in the words we use unless we’re specifically looking for it. This same, cultural, confusion fed the disconnect and outrage which gave us a weeks long back and forth of Ad Hominem and division on the @caitoz article. That damaged our progressive community. A lot.

At this juncture let me say that the outrage by POC at the idea of “alignment” with fascists is, in my opinion, entirely legit AND we still need to talk TO each other rather than AT each other in order to be able to find our common intersections to stand at together.

Here’s Teodrose on that subject

Teodrose Fikre: We Are Not Black

I need to mention some History in the ’60s civil rights movement by noting that there was a group called Pig Watch which DID unite with poor whites to train and arm folks with the purpose of providing a hard limit on #ThugzWitBadgz beating people. I met some few of those (intentionally un-named here) whites decades later in a Recovery Program. Their stories, while fascinating, aren’t mine to share, except to note that they said they’d started out as “mild” racists (yea… ??) and through the Intersections of fighting the War and abuse of Citizens, came to deeply respect the blacks they’d met at those intersections. One guy in particular made the point of looking back at his beliefs prior to that association with Pig Watch & The Panthers with a feeling of shame for blindly disrespecting folks he came to love later.

Here’s some History on that movement which worked SO in stopping cops from beating war protesters that the oligarchy had its leaders murdered, and their #2s imprisoned for decades.


This bit of perspective is what I hope to bring into this conversation.

To paraphrase Caitlin in her 1st article on this subject of talking to folks across the political spectrum:

Take care of You 1st, and if you’re able to talk issues to folks who seem to be “the other” at first glance, you might be surprised to find some common ground, and perhaps even a mutual respect.

If we’re able to keep those discussions to issues and listen to what others think the causes of those issues are, while expressing our beliefs about the causes of those issues… we might just be surprised at the results.

Whatever your choice here, I love you all, and am DEEPLY grateful for all of you. Thanks for teaching & thanks for listening!

Cue The Revolution Bump

1 thought on “Of Racisim, Progressiveisim and Being a Word Smith

  1. david nist

    hey man. Reading thru your t/timeline, found the aug30 i’m out post. Hope you and yours are all well. Let’s catch up sometime soon! — Doesn’t have to be Twitter. YOu’ve got my number, and I’ve got Buddypress, etc for chat if yo’d rather that. lemme know!


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