Melissa Click, the University of Missouri professor who tried to physically remove journalists from a black “safe space” on the public university’s campus, has been charged with misdemeanor assault.
The professor has been excoriated in the mainstream media for her appalling behavior, particularly her call for “muscle” to forcibly remove journalists from the safe space, but the assault charge is the first time she has faced anything other than criticism. The university did not fire Click after her November 9, 2015 confrontation with the journalists.
Although we have mentioned Click’s SJW antics in posts condemning so-called safe spaces, StickyDrama would normally not report on Click because she is not an Internet personality, or rather she was not prior to the November 9 incident. But she has since been transmogrified into countless SJW memes, and she embodies the worst of SJW sentiment.
The concept of a safe space was seemingly benign: To give traditionally oppressed or marginalized groups a place–whether a physical or online location–to express their anger and frustration without fear of so-called privilege explaining. However, the concept has been corrupted; safe spaces have become Orwellian zones of fascism where public land is appropriated and contrary viewpoints are not tolerated, sometimes at the threat of physical violence.
Even though the maximum punishment Click faces is a paltry fine and a few days in jail, hopefully her prosecution will send the message to SJWs that feelings do not trump civil rights.
Feminist vlogger Kat Blaque kicked off the new year on Everyday Feminism with the contention it is impossible for black people to be racist. StickyDrama must disagree: Everyone can be a little bit racist sometimes–even blacks. We reached out to the influential social justice warrior for comment.
First, a little backstory: As a black trans woman, Kat Blaque is a self-proclaimed “intersectionality salad” who has become an authority on matters of race and gender. “What the hell is intersectionality,” you ask? Intersectionality is a school of feminist thought that views the interplays of domination-oppression and privilege-disadvantage in a multidimensional analysis of identity; individual identities exist at the “intersection” of lines of race, gender, class, etc. Intersectional feminists don’t tell us to check our privilege; they tell us to check all our privileges.
Black feminist Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality to describe the situation of black women who faced more discrimination in the workplace than white women and black men. Its meaning has since expanded as it encroached upon and ultimately consumed “kyriarchy,” feminism’s former vogue word. How did kyriarchy lose her feminist crown to intersectionality? Vogue words come and go, but kyriarchy had several disadvantages vis-à-vis intersectionality: Kyriarchy refers to an abstract system of domination and oppression that is difficult to visualize, whereas intersectionality emphasizes concrete individuals.
But most damning of all, kyriarchy was coined by a white Christian woman, which was deeply problematic to Third Wave feminists. In a victim culture gone mad, any idea expressed by a white person is more problematic than the same idea expressed by a black person.
Anyway, Blaque espouses many, many, many SJW views, but perhaps none is more controversial than her recent doozy that black people are incapable of racism. She explained her reasoning by making a distinction between racism and prejudice:
First and foremost, I think that we need to make a distinction between racism and prejudice, right? Because I think that a lot of us – especially if we grew up in the 90s – have this view of racism where it’s always this prejudice that you have based on skin tone…. But that’s not racism. Racism is so much more than that. Racism is a system. Black people can absolutely be prejudiced. But they have not held the power in this country to actually systemically oppress a white person…. [Reverse racism is] not a thing. It’s not real. There’s no system that’s built up against white people to say, “Well, because you’re white, you can’t have access to this, this, and this, and this.”
In other words, Blaque defines racism as systemic oppression based on race rather than as isolated instances of racial hatred or prejudice, a view of racism that has been termed the “prejudice plus power” formulation. No matter how much hatred a black person may feel toward whites, no matter what awful thing a black person may do to a white person, no black person’s thoughts or deeds can constitute racism, according to the “prejudice plus power” view, because black people lack the power to take away the civil or human rights of others in society. This rationale undergirds the “Reverse Racism Isn’t Real” campaign; however, not everyone agrees with this ontological chicanery:
Far be it from StickyDrama to whitesplain, but Blaque’s argument suffers from one fatal flaw: the failure to cite any authority for the “prejudice plus power” formula. Our criticism is different than insisting that the only correct definition of racism is the one found in the Oxford English Dictionary, which was written by a bunch of evil white men. But Blaque’s failure to cite any authority whatsoever for such a controversial statement is intellectually unacceptable. Even if Blaque has an aversion to the writings of straight white cisgender men, plenty of less problematic scholars have published works propounding the “prejudice plus power” formula.
Perhaps Blaque eschews any citation because the “prejudice plus power” formula has been always been a minority view within academia, and unheard of in common usage. Sociology scholars use the “prejudice plus power” formula to describe institutional racism, not to replace the lexical definition of racism as any racial prejudice. Not even other SJWs share Blaque’s narrow definition of racism. For example, Randi Harper, the problematically white creator of the GamerGate Block Bot, adopts the Anti-Defamation League’s definition of racism, which is the same one found in the OED.
Another possibility is that the denial of one’s own potential for racism is begging the question. In other words, Third Wave feminists tend to have an obsession with labels; perhaps they’re unconsciously distancing themselves from a pejorative label, even if the shoe fits. StickyDrama has seen this sort of cognitive dissonance before, up close and personal: the man who insists that he is straight, but for one reason or another has consensual sex with other men.
For StickyDrama, voluntarily participating in gay sex makes you at least a little bit gay and exhibiting racial prejudice makes you at least a little bit racist. Moreover, the very notion that one particular race is incapable of racism strikes us as a little bit racist inasmuch as it attributes a form of moral superiority to that race. For this very reason, sociology scholar Pooja Sawrikar–who, by the way, is also an intersectionality salad–cautioned against using the reductionist “prejudice plus power” definition to the exclusion of all others. Sawrikiar states her point so brilliantly, we have to block quote her:
A definition of racism that gives disproportionate weight to power over prejudice is based on a logical flaw. It begins with the equation ‘Racism = Prejudice + Power’, but uses the historic and current inequity in social power in favour of whites to replace power with this nominal racial group; that is, ‘Power = whites’. In this way, it falsely deduces from these two premises that ‘Racism = Prejudice + whites’, or in the words of Lewis (1995), that ‘only white people can be racist’.
The statement or belief that ‘only White people can be racist’ (Lewis 1995) is itself a negative or prejudicial stereotype. While this statement or belief does not assert that every white person is racist, it does assert that only white people have the capacity to be racist because only white people have power. This is prejudicial, because it reflects a negative generalisation about a racial group (Devine 1989). (Indeed, the term prejudice is derived from the Latin prae judicium, meaning ‘pre-judgement’).
Lewis (1995) asserts that ‘there’s no such thing as reverse racism because there’s no such thing as a simple reversal of the power relationships between Whites and Blacks’. While it may be difficult to overturn entrenched discrepancies in social power in the future, given the current and historic inequity in the distribution of social power, it is untrue that racial groups other than white have no social power with which to hold whites accountable for their racism. Thus, the prejudicial assertion that only white people can be racist is an example of how people from minority ethnic groups can misuse the social power their racial group does have, albeit currently lower than their white counterparts, and demonstrate reverse racism. In this way, it repeats the very mistake it is trying to rectify – devaluing ‘the other’. It justifies the use of racism to overcome racism, thereby perpetuating its occurrence.
Yes, gentle readers, Kat Blaque is a little bit racist. And that’s OK! Because we’re all a little bit racist sometimes.
But even if we were to agree that racial prejudice alone does not constitute racism, StickyDrama can conceive of several scenarios in which blacks have the power to oppress others, depending on how we choose to define power in a given context. (Again, a citation to a specific authority would have allowed us to consider the precise meaning of “power” in Blaque’s contention.) In prison, where blacks have strength in numbers, black inmates are known to target white inmates for sexual violence. Men arguably have more power than women, and male black panther Eldridge Cleaver infamously described his raping white women as an “insurrectionary act” that “delighted” him. And, lest we forget this glorious moment, sometimes rich and powerful blacks oppress other blacks:
StickyDrama reached out to Blaque for comment, sending her a summary of the above. To our great surprise and delight, she replied:
All I will say is that if racism were as simple as someone not liking me or calling me a nigger then that would be pretty easy for me to dismiss…. Black people do not have the socio political power to oppress white people…. Saying that this is “circular reasoning” doesn’t really have any truth to it. Racism is so much more than people just not liking each other…. [I]f your focus in this conversation is your desperate need to state that black people can [hate] white people, then you’re missing the point…. I find white men are seeking to win this “argument” while [I’m] simply parroting history. And isn’t that a great example of how little these things impact white people. That they describe [my] discussion [of] racism in game terms like “race card” and want to win the “debate” and not just recognize that racial inequality exists and has a history.
Read her full, unedited response here.
Blaque still refused to cite any authority for her “prejudice plus power” viewpoint, but StickyDrama is more troubled by Blaque’s apparent distaste for dialogue. In addition to her response, Blaque wrote about our exchange on her personal blog: “To be honest, I rolled my eyes at it. I just find these sort of comments/questions to be a waste of time and energy.” Ouch! White cisgender male tears streamed down StickyDrama’s cheeks.
JK. To be honest, we rolled our eyes at our email too. StickyDrama would never dream of asking Blaque to educate us, because that’s not her job. We would have been perfectly happy simply to write that her post was a bunch of hooey, period. But we nevertheless asked for her comment because that’s what journalists are supposed to do–and bloggers are journalists. No matter how confident we are of our ability to anticipate another side’s perspective, presenting only one side of an issue is a journalistic failure.
Maybe Kat Blaque does not consider herself a journalist, even though she has reported in the Huffington Post. Maybe she prefers to think of herself as an advocate, pure and simple. Even if that were the case, her advocacy would do better to include other points of view, if only so she could rebut them.
“I really enjoy having conversations with people who disagree with me,” Blaque wrote last year, perhaps with her fingers crossed. “I find having conversations with people who just agree with me all the time to actually be quite boring. But oftentimes, if I’ve banned you from my platform, it’s not because I’m afraid of facing you. It’s that you’ve posted some really disrespectful shit that just doesn’t really belong on my page.”
StickyDrama has no doubt that Blaque had good reason to ban folks, but we suspect that her bit about enjoying conversations is dishonest. Blaque and her clique of like-minded feminists make no secret that their platform is not a place for debate; without expressly using the term, Everyday Feminism is clearly a so-called safe space where “dominant identities” are unwelcome and “dismissing the experiences of marginalized people” is not allowed. Asking the wrong questions, no matter how politely phrased, will result in a ban just as fast as will making violent threats or vulgar slurs.
Blaque makes the point that these policies do not violate free speech or impose censorship because they are not enforced by the government. Technically she is correct; however, her policies certainly lean in that dystopian direction. More alarming, such policies have a tendency to infect the minds of college students, who are rapidly becoming Orwellian fascists. When one side of a debate is so sure of its moral superiority that it will use intimidation to silence contrary views, no one is safe.
So now here we are, Kat Blaque floating on angel’s clouds in one corner, StickyDrama sinking down the stinking abyss of evil in another. Neither one of us changed our position, and we probably never will, no matter how eloquent and well-researched an argument is made. But that’s fine–StickyDrama never sought to “win this ‘argument'” with Blaque in the sense of convincing her that we were right and she was wrong. We engaged her because adversarial situations force both sides to consider and, more importantly, rebut opposing views, i.e. fleshing out their position in ways that do not occur in comfortable intellectual isolation. StickyDrama enjoyed our unsafe exchange with Kat Blaque, and we hope that she did too.
The pursuit of social justice has been corrupted. At some point, the righteous battle for the civil rights, fueled by legitimate grievances, was hijacked by social justice warriors with fascist agendas. But 2015 was the year that saw the SJW narrative crescendo and collapse on all fronts.
Rape Culture: The Witch Trials Of Third Wave Feminism
It is unfortunate that feminism has become a dirty word, given its noble origins. We should speak of feminism in three “waves” to separate the good from the bad: the First Wave can be considered the suffragettes who fought for the right to vote during the early 1900s; the Second Wave, which is concerned with equal pay and reproductive rights, arose during the 1960s and still exists today; the Third Wave reared its ugly head in the 1990s, and that’s when all the trouble started. When conservatives complain of man-hating feminazis, they usually mean the Third Wave feminists.
Viewing the Third Wave in the most favorable light, one would say that it is concerned with ending patriarchal attitudes in society. Put it in more judgmental terms, the Third Wave is obsessed with a female victim/male oppressor dichotomy where women are always innocent victims and men are always vile assailants. The Third Wave believes that society facilitates rape by excusing or rationalizing men’s behavior–so-called rape culture, a nebulous term that has been criticized as unhelpful by the rape survivor group RAINN.
In order to combat rape culture, the Third Wave thinking goes, alleged rape victims should never be questioned. How to conduct an investigation without questioning the victim? Feminists like Zerlina Maxwell argued that, since proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a difficult standard to meet and too many rapists escape punishment, an accusation of rape should be enough. The presumption of innocence and due process should be discarded, according to these feminists, because the harm a man suffers by a false accusation (which they claim almost never happens) pales in comparison to the harm a woman suffers when her rape claim is doubted.
Unfortunately the federal government lapped up the Third Wave’s narrative–in universities for now, and one shudders to think that this insanity will invade our courts. In its infamous “dear colleague” letter, the federal Office of Civil Rights implemented the lowered standard of proof and the abrogation of due process that militant advocates like Maxwell have clamored for. At university, an accusation can ruin a male student’s academic career, such as in the Emma Sulkowicz “Mattress Rape” case at Columbia.
Thankfully the Third Wave narrative unravelled when Rolling Stone published Sabrina Ruben Erdely’s “A Rape On Campus,” which was exposed as one of the greatest hoaxes in the history of journalism. Immediately after the story’s publication, dozens of fraternity members at the University of Virginia received death threats and suffered property damage when the world believed that they had orchestrated gang-rapes as an initiation ritual.
Most journalists could not see past their own biases–frat boy rapists, of course!–and praised Erdely for her reporting. But the Washington Post bravely challenged the politically correct policy of never questioning a rape victim, and in doing so they exposed the Erdely’s “A Rape On Campus” as a work of SJW fiction. Even feminists took Erdely to task for setting rape activism back 30 years by making skepticism politically acceptable.
The Cotton Ceiling: Trans Doublethink
It ain’t easy being trans. Boys Don’t Cry depicted a brutal account of the rejection and violence faced by trans men and women. But their victimization does not justify the Orwellian thought control being paraded around as tolerance.
It began with insidiously reasonable requests relating to language. Deliberately referring to a trans person by his or her original gender became “misgendering,” which is hateful transphobia. So far, so good: It seems fair that everyone should be able to choose one’s own name and identity. (Except when you invent words that don’t remotely resemble English.)
But courtesy veered into historical revision: Referring to a trans person’s original sex was verboten even when discussing someone’s pre-transition life. For example, we must say that Caitlyn Jenner won an Olympic medal, that she was an athlete, even though all the record books say that Bruce Jenner won an Olympic medal and that he was an athlete. It’s not an entirely unreasonable request, even if it values sensitivity over accuracy.
The next battlefield was over the bathroom, particularly in schools. While it is foolish to think that transsexuals have any prurient interest in using this or that bathroom, it is likewise foolish to expect everyone to be OK with this. (At StickyDrama’s dorm in the University of California at Berkeley, all bathrooms were unisex, which worked out fine after an initial discomfort.) By using the language of victimization, the trans advocates won the ear of the federal government, which has forced school districts to allow trans students use whatever bathroom they please. Here we see how the mantra “trans women are real women, trans men are real men” is used to justify a sort of sexual de-segregation.
But the new trans agenda has caused even the most liberal and progressive non-trans groups to rethink how far they will allow such nonsense: the so-called Cotton Ceiling.
The Cotton Ceiling was coined by trans activist and porn star Drew DeVeaux. It refers to the tendency of lesbians to exhibit supposed transphobia by refusing to have sex with trans women. If a lesbian refuses to have sex with a trans woman—in other words, a person who was born male, including a trans woman who still has a penis—she is transphobic, bigoted, hateful, even if the lesbian is otherwise supportive of trans advocacy.
Trans advocates attempted to shame lesbians who refused to have sex with trans women. To the lesbians who were uncomfortable with a trans woman’s penis, the trans advocates reply that “sex is more than genitals” and that refusing to try sex with a trans person simply because of the genitals is, you guessed it, transphobic. Trans women are real women, they say, and any distinction of biological sex versus gender identification is invalid. Anyone who dares to deny that 2 + 2 = 5 is transphobic.
Enough, screamed the lesbians. We support your civil rights, just please don’t shove your lady sticks in our faces. Outraged trans advocates termed this group of lesbians TERFs: Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists.
What trans advocates are really advocating is the abrogation of the right to freedom of association–in this case, an intimate association. Lesbians prefer to associate with natural-born women, which runs counter to the trans position that “trans women are women”; i.e. no difference exists between a trans woman and a biological female. Therein lies the Orwellian doublethink: trans women’s bodies are different than biologically female bodies, regardless of politically correct exigencies.
Cultural Appropriation and Safe Spaces: Politically Correct Fascism
If trans advocacy attacks the freedom of association, cultural appropriation attacks the freedom of expression.
Cultural appropriation began with the condemnation of blackface and Native American themes in fashion. Then, it was somehow decided that white women should not braid their hair. It has developed into a labyrinth of guidelines and prohibitions on how to look and what to wear, especially on Halloween.
The problem is, parodies–even racially insensitive parodies–are sacrosanct in American jurisprudence. And nothing enrages advocates more than suggesting that they should just deal with it: Instead of a dialogue–“listen to minorities,” the SJW says–obedience is really the goal, and anything less than full immediate compliance is met with a shouting match.
“But we’re exercising our right to free speech by voicing our discontent,” say the SJWs. No: Free speech encourages a debate, but it does not tolerate the silencing of contrary views, whether by physical force or shouting. SJWs do not want a dialogue, which by definition is a back-and-forth; SJWs want to be the only voice in the room. Even if that room is on a university campus.
From that sentiment arose “safe spaces.” In a safe space, only one voice is permitted. Any opposing view is supposedly unsafe; however, unsafe is merely doublespeak for offensive. Again, by exploiting the language of victimization (“this speech makes me feel unsafe” rather than “this speech offends me”) SJWs attempt to deprive the holders of contrary views of their most fundamental civil liberties.
This fascist mentality was actually gaining traction in universities across the nation–until Melissa Click. When the university professor used the threat of physical violence to intimidate a journalist from entering a safe space, even the most liberal news media organizations were appalled.
Social Justice Isn’t Justice–It’s Extortion
Radical feminists, trans advocates, race baiters: The Internet united these relatively small, marginalized groups that had been scattered around the globe into hordes of formidable influence. By coordinating their efforts, these hordes forged victimization into a weapon against the descendants of their traditional oppressors. These beneficiaries of imperialism felt guilty for the sins of their ancestors, and the hordes accordingly exploited the language of victimization to gain political power. This tactic was termed social justice.
Social justice can be distinguished from traditional justice. Traditional justice values above all factual truth and fairness to the individual, and it aims to achieve equal opportunity in society by protecting civil rights. Traditional justice is not so much concerned with crimes that took place hundreds of years ago and their effects on society today.
By contrast, social justice aims to create equal results in society by remedying past wrongs. Factual support is ideal but not necessary; in social justice, the agenda or narrative trumps all, even the truth. And while SJWs would argue that social justice is also concerned with fairness, their brand of fairness values groups over individuals–fairness that is viewed through a generational lens.
In social justice, innocent individuals inherit the collective guilt of their ancestors, and in one form or another must pay accordingly. The SJWs’ demands could conceivably be justified if they were a form of compensation for actual wrongdoings. But when predicated on ideologies that ignore or outright deny any inconvenient fact, their demands amount to nothing more than a confidence game. Thankfully, 2015 was the year in which mainstream society realized that the SJW platform is un-American and no less dangerous to our way of life than an invasion by China.