Ever since “intersectionality” gained momentum as a cudgel there has been a growing sense that the biggest proponents and advocates of the theory are beginning to “eat their own.” I’ve observed this in the Woman’s March Movement where the “leaders” have turned on each other in acrimony: whether because of supposedly anti-semitic views or the march being “too white.” Of course, it’s not just the Woman’s March that has intersectionality problems, it has also embroiled Black Lives Matter (Canada) where the BLM activists blocked the annual pride parade. This is not an exhaustive list, but simply a sprinkling to show the inherently contradictory nature and machinations required to hold together a coalition of people who at root have very different ideas, prejudices, goals and tactics: for instance, what does a black female transgender lesbian really have in common with a Jewish intellectual feminist? Probably not a whole lot, which brings me to the point of the preceding paragraph. Psychologically speaking, if one were to attempt to hold these very contradictory thoughts in one’s sense of self, one would most likely become neurotic or perhaps split and become schizoid. However, there is one way to psychologically avoid this: transfer your angst onto an “Other.”
This, I believe, is where intersectionality is at today: in order to hold their “coalitions” together there needs to be an agreed upon Other and this Other is the white male in North America and probably much of Western Europe. This psychological need for an idealogical enemy is no different than what government propagandists and the military uses to gather support and permission to prosecute a war. The Germans weren’t Germans or people, they were “Krauts,” the Vietnamese were “Slopes,” etc. One can see the use of this war-time type propaganda in the language of the various intersectional groups: white people are “allies” to BLM, though clearly subordinate, men are “allies” of feminist movements, but again, subordinate, etc. Whatever the context in which it arises, the Other becomes the scapegoat (see here and here for examples of what scapegoating was like in ancient times) and though innocent, the scapegoat is ritually forced to take on the burdens of a people, community or state, then excommunicated and driven out.
Which brings me to the recent controversy with the Covington Catholic High School boys and Nathan Phillips. I will not delve into the breathless and fact free “reporting” on the original, highly edited, 2 minute clip that went viral purporting to show the high school boys mobbing and seething violence. We all know that didn’t happen when one views the several hours of video available. What we do know from watching the long version is that: 1) the Black Hebrew Israelites shouted racial and violent slurs at both the Native Americans and the high schoolers for over an hour trying to provoke a response that didn’t happen, 2) Nathan Phillips is the person who decided to push his way into the middle of the high schoolers and bang his drum inches away from the boys’ faces, 3) the viral version was clearly agitprop designed to Other white males and provide a scapegoat. This is just the latest example of agitprop being used to scapegoat white males as a universal scourge by various intersectional movements. Here are some more examples of scapegoating hoaxes and agitprop:
Cross burning and graffiti at a black, lesbian, wheelchair bound, cancer victim’s home.
Hate crime on a bus in Albany.
Again, the above is not an exhaustive list (just search for ‘hate hoaxes’ on any search engine and there are thousands of stories) but almost without exception, the hoaxer is a perceived intersectional “victim” while the accused is a white male. Which brings me back to the point of this post: with the factional infighting now occurring within these intersectional groups, there is a need to project the infighting onto an Other: to rally the troops around the flag so to speak. If that anger with each other can be sublimated by doing so, it serves to distract from the inherent contradictions between different intersections within the group.
This latest agitprop video put out by Nathan Phillips’ group of protesters is just the latest attempt to confirm the white male as Other. The “Great Hope” I referred to in the title of this blog is that one day that evil Other will manifest as the evil white male actually guilty of what he’s been accused of. In the meantime, it would appear that agitprop on social media is just a loud amplifier of confirmation bias.