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Saturday, November 18, 2023

Links - 18th November 2023 (2 - Trans Mania)

Addendum: Google deleted this post for "hate speech", but it was restored on appeal

Sam Cowie on X - "Being called a transphobe doesn’t mean anything. It has no value - unless you give it some. I don’t think trans is real. I think transgenderism as an ideology is flawed, dangerous and a lie. I think you have unwell people who have internal struggles with their body and how they’re treated in the world based on their sex. These people need help and support. I also think there’s a much larger group of fetishistic men who are sexually motivated in their desire to bulldoze women and their spaces. The AGP."
Rejecting Gender Ideology (with typos) on X - "I have come to believe- this but we need to unpack it for people. When we simply say that trans is not real, people claim we are denying their existence. What we are denying is that people can transition and that alterations are a solution to dysphoria. This is really important. Many people don't want to tell "consenting adults" what they can do with their body. But it isn't about that. it's about the impact it has on others to demand that these alterations make them something they are not. And it';s about the medical establishment inappropriately pretending that this is a reasonable or ethical solution to self-image incongruity."
nLighTn | KPSS on X - "Yeah, it's so frustrating. If you drive a Honda up to me and say it's a Ferrari and I say "no, it's a Honda," I'm not denying that your car _exists._"

MCM London Comic Con Cancels 'Harry Potter And The Cursed Child' Stage Play Panel Over "Concerns" From UK LGBT Charity Switchboard - "In the latest instance of what at this point has become an expected occurrence whenever the franchise runs aground of such neoliberal activists, the upcoming MCM Comic Con in London has cancelled a planned Harry Potter and The Cursed Child panel after local LGBT charity Switchboard voiced concerns about its “potential impact on our community, particularly trans individuals”."
Race-swapping isn't enough. You need to be on board with all parts of the liberal agenda
So much for 'white fragility'

'Harry Potter' Author J.K. Rowling Mocks Johns Hopkins University's Definition Of Lesbian As "Non-Man," University Removes Entire LGBTQ Glossary - "For the past three years, Harry Potter author and feminist activist J.K. Rowling warned transgender activists are attempting to erase women"
This won't stop TRAs claiming that trans people are / trans mania is not trying about erasing women

Teacher sent to jail for contempt of court after row over gender neutral pronoun - "A teacher who refused to use gender-neutral pronouns for a transgender student has been sent to Mountjoy prison for contempt of court.  Enoch Burke was arrested yesterday morning for breaching a court order not to teach at his Westmeath school, or be physically present there."
Compelled speech is good
Weird. Liberals told us it was fake news that people would be sent to prison for refusing to use someone's preferred pronouns

Keywords: prison for wrong pronouns

Meme - "When you invert your dick into your colon, but no one believes that you're a real woman:"
"Do you know how much I sacrificed?"

Meme - Males In Disguise @MalesInDisguise: "Male threatens to self-delete if his friends don't find him a woman to date by Christmas"
"Put it this way. I cannot deal with being single. I cannot deal with being single this year on Christmas. If I haven't got a girlfriend by then you will all have to deal with my suicide on Christmas Eve. This is an urgent call to help. I need you to introduce me to as many single female friends you have that I can unconditionally love and be their other half. Otherwise you will be complicit in my suicide as you failed to act to support me and follow my direct instruction for help to keep me from that Christmas Eve suicide."
Normally, the feminists go on about male entitlement
This is just an extension of the usual TRA tactic: if you don't agree to all their demands, you are literally responsible for killing trans people and perpetuating trans genocide

Meme - "When you're having sex with a genderfluid person and halfway through they change their gender to make you gay:
no NO No no wait wait wait wait wait!"

Gender Queer author Maia Kobabe says it's not 'recommended for kids' after Rep. Louisiana lawmaker read explicit passages during Senate hearing - "The author of the graphic novel 'Gender Queer' said it is not 'recommend for kids' after a Louisiana lawmaker read explicit passages out loud during a Senate hearing.   Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, denied that the pro-LGBTQ comic book is meant for kids - despite it being the most challenged book in US schools and libraries for two years in a row.    Senator John Kennedy, 71, read aloud from Gender Queer during the hearing because it is currently allowed in Illinois schools. He was making his point amid the continuing Republican fight to keep inappropriate subject matter out of the reach of young children at public schools and libraries. Kennedy read out loud during the debate: 'I got a new strap-on harness today. I can't wait to put it on you. It will fit my favorite dildo perfectly.   'You're going to look so hot. I can't wait to have your c**k in my mouth. I'm going to give you the b****w**b of your life, then I want you inside of me.'  The Rep. also read from All Boys Aren't Blue, which contains similarly concerning material for children. The hearing Tuesday centered around Illinois' anti-book ban law... 'Let's take two books that have been much discussed,' the Republican senator said, addressing Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias.  He read verbatim from the book All Boys Aren't Blue: 'I put some lube on and got him on his knees, and I began to slide into him from behind. I pulled out of him and kissed him while he masturbated.   'He asked me to turn over while he slipped a condom on himself. This was my a** and I was struggling to imagine someone inside me.   'He got on top and slowly inserted himself into me. It was the worst pain I think I have ever felt in my life. Eventually, I felt a mix of pleasure with the pain.'"
The left are going to be very upset. Now they need to pretend that kids are not being exposed to Gender Queer, even though libraries are recommending it to kids as young as 5. At least with All Boys Aren't Blue they'll just pretend it's not inappropriate

Meme - Chubby Sub Memes Girl: "I'm a trans woman and I've had periods. it's amazing how the human body works. People could learn a lot about the world by actually listening to others rather than just dismissing things because of something they learned many years ago."
The Wolf and Phoenix Shop: "right. So many going off of grade sex education knowledge"
Chubby Sub Memes Girl: ""it's basic biology" like yes, it is. But just like basic math teaches there's advanced courses that go much further in depth. Maybe trust the people that know what they're talking about and never assume someone's gender identity. I'm sorry you had someone go after you like that."
These are the people who accuse "transphobes" or having a simplistic understanding of biology

Meme - "Question to do with a bra
I was just posing infront of the mirror with the bra under a tucked in t-shirt and I had an erection. Does this mean the like 6% of my brain that's male found my body nice or is it just random?"
"Euphoria boners are a real thing, unfortunately."
Autoerotic gynephilia is a transphobic lie

NCAA athlete claims she was scolded by AI over prompt about trans players - "An NCAA athlete has claimed she was scolded by ChatGPT when she asked the bot to shorten her tweet advocating against allowing trans women in women’s sports.  “I was trying to explain [in the tweet] that I’m an NCAA athlete, and that it’s important to champion the voice of female athletes and to stand up against this ideological war that’s going on that’s putting women in danger and taking away the opportunities for scholarships,” Macy Petty, a volleyball player at Lee University, told Fox News Digital this week... the bot responded to the request with a lengthy message reminding her “it’s important to emphasize inclusivity and equality in sports rather than promoting exclusion based on gender.”... The message also offered a revised version of Petty’s words, which the athlete did not share in her post...   In February, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman admitted that ChatGPT had bias issues, but said the company was working on making the platform more “neutral.”"
Too bad nowadays you can have females with a male sex, so saying you want sports segregated by sex (not gender, like everyone 15 years ago would've understood) won't work
To liberals, being neutral means following the liberal line on everything, since "human rights" are non-negotiable (of course, only the rights they like, e.g. not those of the unborn)

Charges Pending Against Transgender Student Following Assault At Oregon Middle School - "Criminal charges are now pending against a trans-identified male student who was filmed brutally attacking a female student at Hazelbrook Middle School in Tualatin, Oregon.  According to independent outlet Reduxx, the Washington County Juvenile Department has confirmed that a petition was filed with the Juvenile Court following the horrific filmed assault of a female student last week.  The viral footage, showing a bralette-clad teen boy attacking a female student without provocation, began circulating on social media yesterday and sparked national outrage... On September 26, as though in anticipation of the assault footage going viral, the Tigard-Tualatin School District held an emergency “Student Safety and Well Being” forum to answer questions concerned parents within the district may have. Along with Principals from several schools attending, the District Superintendent and three police officers were also present.  The meeting included a question and answer period wherein Superintendent Sue Rieke-Smith told parents that the District did not have a “zero tolerance” policy on student misconduct. She added that “zero tolerance” policies for violent behavior were ineffective, and increase the risks for potentially deadly retaliation by students against the schools they felt “excluded” from.  In addition, some of the District school principals revealed that there was a new trend involving students attacking each other for the purposes of filming it and uploading it to social media. While they refused to speak directly to the assault at Hazelbrook, it was heavily implied this may have been the case.  This is not the first time the Tigard-Tualatin School District has had a progressive approach to gender ideology in its schools. Last November, a middle school in Portland sparked outrage for allowing students to skip class to “watch a TV show promoting the medical transitioning of minors.” The TV series, “First Day,” is about a 12-year-old boy who identifies as female.   According to Daily Wire, the school permitted students to skip their last two class periods on a Friday to watch the show for “Transgender Awareness Week.”"
I saw TRAs claiming we didn't even know if it was trans

Former Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Found Guilty Of Crime Following Trans Rape Coverup - "A jury has found the former Superintendent of the Loudoun County Public School District guilty of abusing his power after he fired a teacher cooperating with an investigation into a transgender student who raped a female student in 2021. Following a four-day trial and countless deliberations, Scott Ziegler was convicted of retaliation and is facing up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine...   After prosecutors began investigating Stone Bridge High School for seemingly sweeping the bathroom rape under the rug in 2021, Brooks informed them of an unrelated instance of sexual assault against her that had been mishandled, and was subsequently fired by Ziegler for “cooperating with the special grand jury.” Reportedly, school board member John Beatty testified that Ziegler falsely told the board that Brooks was fired for allegedly “giving private information to a conservative activist, and for giving private information to the grand jury.”...   Although, as independent news outlet Reduxx points out, the boy was “charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio,” Ziegler and the school district sparked outrage for attempting to conceal the incident from the public.  The Loudoun County school board made headlines for brushing the assault under the rug in an effort to ensure a policy allowing students to use whatever washroom they pleased was enshrined.  Months later, the boy, who was supposed to be on house arrest, was arrested at Broad Run High School and was charged with sexual battery and abduction after forcing a female student into a classroom against her will and proceeding to touch her inappropriately.  The boy was later found guilty of all charges and sent to a youth detention center. He has reportedly been placed on the sex offender registry."
The TRAs kept claiming this was fake news

“Non-Binary” Activist Sues Famed Spanish Author For Misgendering Him On Social Media - "A non-binary trans-identified male is suing an award-winning novelist for misgendering him on social media. Lucía Etxebarria, a famed author and outspoken advocate for women’s rights, may be forced to pay out 11,000 Euros (approx. $11,600 USD) to Marcos Ventura Armas."

Florida’s Voice on X - "WATCH: Restaurant in Orlando that's suing Florida over new DeSantis-signed law barring "adult live performances" for children reposted a video where a child is seen being told to put cash down a drag performer's shirt. The business claimed it is not “grooming""
Restaurant sues over 'adult live performances' law, posts video of child putting cash down drag dancer's shirt - "Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando sued the state this week following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ law penalizing businesses who admit children to “adult live performances.”  The business claimed it is not “grooming,” and posted a video of a child putting cash down a drag dancer’s shirt...   The lawsuit said prosthetic breasts are commonly used by men impersonating women as part of the “art.”...   The owners said after DeSantis signed the law, they informed customers children would not be allowed to attend the drag shows.  Immediately 20% of their bookings have cancelled for May 21, the company claimed.   One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Rep. Randy Fine, R-Melbourne Beach posted his reaction on Twitter.  “Stunned that Orlando’s Hamburger Mary’s filed a lawsuit against @GovRonDeSantis saying they would go out of business if they can’t groom children at sex shows. 20% of their business from kids attending what they say is adult entertainment?!?!? Disgusting and good riddance,” Fine said...   The establishment has previously shared multiple images on their Facebook page showing people not wearing pants for “bottomless brunch.”"

ANDY NGO REPORTS: Drag queens perform sexually charged Mother’s Day show in front of children in Washington - "Footage has emerged of children in attendance at an adult-themed drag show in the Seattle area.  On Saturday, the ReMyx’d bar in Arlington, Wash. hosted a drag show titled, “Celebrating Mothers.” The promotional flyers for the event described it as an “all-ages” show featuring $12 bottomless mimosas.   Videos recorded during the May 13 event showed one of the scantily-clad performers, “Columbia Blue” using a pole, wearing stripper heels and gyrating sexually on the floor during several dance routines. Children can be seen sitting next to adults in the venue. So-called “all ages” or “family-friendly” drag shows have become increasingly popular for young families in the last year across the U.S. Some videos of the shows have provoked viral controversies for featuring nudity, simulated sex acts and sex jokes in front of children...   Jaimee Michell, founder of the group Gays Against Groomers, says it is demeaning to suggest that child safeguarding is “anti-LGBTQ.”  “We do not condone children being at these performances, in the same way we wouldn’t condone children being at strip clubs,” Michell says. “Drag has always been adult entertainment.”"

Meme(video)  - "Reasons trans girls are better than "born" Girls *cry* sorry girls
1. *blank*
2. *blank*
3. *blank*
4. *blank*
5. *blank*"

Meme - "Trans Redditor
Shitting in pants
Is this what it feels like to have a period?
Period Shart
This is kind of embarrassing but I thought maybe someone else could relate. This morning I had a bit of a shart. It wasn't like a lot but just enough to make it wet down there. It gave me the feeling of having an unexpected period. It honestly made me feel kind of womanly *love*"

Meme - Aldroid @UnderHerTailss: "she actually looks really great, been my background ever since she posted it"
DreamLeaf @DreamLeaf5: "Omg this crazy TERF mom posted an update after a year and the kid looks even more miserable"
"I didn’t affirm my daughter, I removed her from the contagion. Within months she pulled what I called a “sees and desist” — she saw the truth and left the cult. Over a year later, she’s thriving more than she ever was when involved in gender craze. #YoungGCWomenUnite"
Brette Smith on X - "She turns 16 in less than two weeks. She survived not being affirmed. I’m so happy this gives others hope. We can’t let our children@hold us hostage with threats. Their infantile threats only prove we need to parent them more than ever. They’ll be ok."

Forgotten lives: Trans older adults living with dementia at the intersection of cisgenderism, ableism/cogniticism and ageism - "trans older adults with dementia may forget they transitioned and reidentify with their sex/gender assigned at birth or may experience ‘gender confusion.’... Marshall, Cooper and Rudnick (2015: 112) outline the case of Jamie, a 94 year old trans person living with dementia, described as a ‘patient who is no longer able to express a consistent gender preference due to moderate dementia.’ They write:
[T]he staff noted she was confused as to whether she was male or female, asking, ‘What am I?’ She frequently looked down at her breasts and asked, ‘Where did these come from?’"
Weird. We know that trans people know who they really are and are changing their bodies to fit their true identities, so clearly there's no reason for them to be confused when they have dementia

Thread by @WomenReadWomen on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - " This is an adult man filming his shopping trip in Warrington Golden Square, UK, while performing "sissy tasks," or acting out his fetish on the public. He is dressed like a little girl, is wearing a diaper, and has even recorded interactions he had with shop assistants.  When this video was posted it was captioned with the following:  "Next Mistress told me to drink my bottle of milk and c-m. I knew this was coming and I tried not to think about what I was drinking - I sucked hard to get it over with as quickly as possible."  "Again I could feel the stares of people walking past - nowhere to hide…. my biggest fantasy had come true - I was on show as an ultra sissy baby girl for all to see only a few miles from where I live." In the parking lot, he took off his clothes and revealed the women's underwear and diaper he'd been wearing underneath the pink dress.  Regarding this he wrote: "I loved the feeling of being in a nappy - the feeling of peeing while standing in a crowded area was so erotic - I would love to experience that again - but at the same time it was embarrassing, too."   Image Image Image His real name is unknown, but while taking his sexual fetish into the public he calls himself "Baby Julie." Here he is encouraged to urinate in a diaper in public. In one of his excursions, he said he went to Marks & Spencer and had a sales associate measure him for a bra, then bought women's underwear."
If you oppose this, you're transphobic
Weird how biological women don't do this shit. Clearly transwomen are women

Meme - Gad Saad @GadSaad: "Women are breaking the patriarchal glass ceiling!"
Amber Athey" "The Biden administration announces that Rachel Levine, a biological man, is now the "first-ever female four-star admiral" in the public health corps"
Weird. I thought sex and gender were different, and only ignorant people didn't know that

Libs of TikTok on X - "🚨Many healthcare providers across the country are cutting off parents’ access to their children’s medical information from when they turn 12. They’re giving kids prescription medications “without worrying about how their parents may react.”"

Notes on the Ascendancy of Identity Politics in Literary Writing

From 2017:

Notes on the Ascendancy of Identity Politics in Literary Writing

"Shriver goes on to note the fact—and I suspect that many writers share her worries—that she stays off Facebook and Twitter to make sure that her creative fires are not extinguished, which they surely would be if she were to become part of the “literary community” in its activist mode. Social media, she notes, has become the prime arena where the norms of identity politics are enforced, and where every violation of an aggrieved minority’s sensibilities is rabidly criticized. Not only that, but she would not have been able to write some of her novels, adopting the personae of, among others, Armenians or African Americans, if she were taking part in this culture. As it is, despite her relative distance from social media, she still finds herself overcautious and self-censoring. As an example, Shriver relates a recent incident at Bowdoin College2 where the distribution of miniature sombreros at a tequila party was condemned as an act of ethnic stereotyping, and concludes, “The moral of the sombrero scandals is clear: you’re not supposed to try on other people’s hats.”

After about twenty minutes of listening to what she perceived as an unbearable personal attack, the Sudanese Australian author, television presenter, and multicultural activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied made the dramatic gesture of walking out on Shriver’s lecture...

In Abdel-Magied’s view, Shriver had performed a gratuitous act of verbal violence, insulting all minority cultures by exhibiting the same kind of patronizing colonialist attitude that has led, in Abdel-Magied’s terminology, to genocide. Abdel-Magied turns the crux of Shriver’s argument against her when she observes that Shriver has the arrogance to claim that fiction should be able to “exploit” other cultures if it is to do its rightful job. That is precisely what constitutes, to Abdel-Magied, the most offensive aspect of fiction: that it arrogates to itself the right to imaginatively enter—and thereby “exploit”—any realm of existence...

We have here two diametrically opposed views, and I want to explore how literary culture could have reached the point where these fields of opinion have become so completely marked off from each other. What is striking to me about Abdel-Magied’s response is that she speaks about literature from the standpoint of a social-justice activist—specifically, one beholden to the principles of identity politics—rather than that of a writer, critic, scholar, or even reader. Writing, from Abdel-Magied’s perspective, is purely secondary, a by-product of some higher philosophical or ideological goal...

Interestingly, as American culture as a whole seems to be moving toward a softer multiculturalism, wherein identities can be fluid and need not deem themselves quite so separatist, literary culture, like the academy in which it resides, seems to be moving toward a harder multiculturalism, wherein the claims of identity assume the first order of priority. In the process, literary writers have felt themselves increasingly pressured to take public stands on such vexing issues as affirmative action, undocumented immigration, and various forms of exceptionalism, not to mention increasingly sharp categorizations of sexuality. The designation “people of color,” for example, has dramatically hardened in the literary realm, even as public opinion as a whole takes a softer view on race and gender, such as with the growing acceptance of gay marriage...

Identities harden as much by acts of omission as commission. A signal feature of the work of the writer Jhumpa Lahiri is the plea that it makes for assimilation— we’re like you, we’re doctors, engineers, academics, and other professionals, we pose no threat to American values—yet this plea writes poor South Asian immigrants out of the equation altogether. Whereas Lahiri has legions of followers in the academy, more complex writers such as Don Lee or Ha Jin, both of whom posit a more fluid concept of ethnic identity, have fewer adherents. In his novel Nanjing Requiem (2011), for example, Ha Jin resisted the temptation to depict the Japanese invaders of China as monsters and the Chinese resisters as angelic; this is problematic from the point of view of identity politics, because it rejects hard categorization between the oppressed and the oppressors. Nanjing Requiem has many flawed characters, even those who are on the victimized side, a common phenomenon in any turmoil or war. In the same vein, throughout his body of work, Don Lee, like his fellow Korean American writer Chang-rae Lee, has resisted hardened identities. In an interview about his most recent novel, The Collective, he told me:

Has there been a form of literary affirmative action for ethnic writers, and, if so, has it ultimately hurt more than helped us? Has there been a backlash to multiculturalism? Have we been ghettoized as writers of color, and has that been the book industry’s fault, or our own? Are white writers, when appropriating other races or cultures, treated differently? Is that kind of appropriation ethical? If we stopped writing about race and made our characters non-race-specific, would it lessen attention to our work? Has the subject of race been a crutch, lending an artificial urgency and weight to our books? Without it, would many of us be exposed as not very good writers?4

Perhaps we can deduce from these examples at least a tripartite division among writers in regard to their fealty to identity politics: those without a readership beyond the academy tend to present the most hardened identities; those with a foot in the academy, yet with a broad readership, are somewhere in the middle; and those not affiliated with the academy and strictly reliant on general readers take the most fluid stance toward identity. In the latter group we may find writers whose core motivation is to throw into doubt the very idea of identity. Salman Rushdie (though he teaches at Emory, he was already a global writer before he ever taught a class) has made it his lifelong mission to explore the notion of hybridity or mongrelization, which doesn’t sit well with contemporary American identity politics. Likewise, the Turkish Nobelist Orhan Pamuk (though he now teaches at Columbia and lives in New York half the year) has thrown into radical doubt the very distinction between Eastern and Western that we have been taught to regard as a hard historical accretion going back centuries. In novels like The White Castle (1991), My Name Is Red (2001), and Snow (2004), Pamuk asks whether these polarities are figments of retrospective imagination. Certainly, Pamuk and Rushdie belong to the academy only as a secondary occupation; they do not have to teach to earn a living. Yet might it be for that very reason that they have the liberty to transcend identity politics?

In short, the more literary writing becomes institutionalized, the more radically incomprehensible it appears to people outside the academy. This explains the predictable lineup of the forces on either side whenever a controversy erupts over something that someone has said in the literary world that violates the hard codes of identity, with the bemused public making a mockery of the oversensitive literati’s aggrieved stance and the literary people in the politically correct camp either dismissing the public as nativists or accusing them of being ignorant of the continuing debilitating inheritance of legal and cultural inequality...

Philosophy professor William B. Irvine, in his book A Slap in the Face (Oxford University Press, 2013), offers, as one possible response to insults or hurt, the Stoic attitude:

If we overcome our craving for social status—if we stop playing what I shall call the social hierarchy game—we will find ourselves inhabiting a different world, socially speaking, than we formerly did. In particular, when someone insults us, it won’t ruin our day the way it used to. Instead, we will calmly assess the event. We will realize that the insulter, because he values fame, is playing the social hierarchy game—he wants, that is, to maintain or improve his position on the social hierarchy. Furthermore, he assumes that we are playing this game as well; nearly everyone,
after all, plays it. His insult, we will conclude, is a move in that game: he is trying to improve his standing on the social hierarchy, improve it at our expense. Since we no longer play the social hierarchy game, though, our “losing” this encounter won’t matter to us. (p. 192)

... Could it be that identity politics in the literary world is just a con game, a practical joke that’s being played upon marginalized subgroups, a higher form of insult because it is ultimately based on a patronizing or cynical view of the inherent character flaws of the various sub-identities?...

The question of self-esteem is at the heart of what the entire anti-PC industry has been about since the instigation of the first phase of the culture wars almost thirty years ago...

Identity politics in literature, to the extent that it curtails freedom, can be seen as a yearning for predictability—almost an industrialized form of reproduction, though couched in a postmodern literary infrastructure. Literature should be efficient in the sense that it should not be wasteful or unpredictable. It should handle insults and hurts (“microaggressions,” in the current argot) in a manner that protects the reputation of the one who is attacked. Any challenge to identity raises fundamental questions about the source of that identity, whether it is earned or unearned, genuine or phony, and creates ambiguities in terms of reception and audience that the infrastructure of writing has been seeking predictable means to handle. The ideal seems to be to minimize the time occupied by purely literary endeavor, utilizing excess personal energy for the establishment of one’s literary brand. In the Marxist framework, the surplus value created by the efforts of labor is appropriated by capital. In the postcapitalist literary environment, such surplus value accrues to the institutions of writing, meaning the various orthodoxies, particularly identity politics, that give it legitimacy. Letting writers appropriate surplus value for themselves in the form of time or other resources enabling freedom from economic entanglement is the last thing the institutions of writing wish to permit...

Identity politics purports to seek social justice for the marginalized. But do the marginalized really have the resources to speak for themselves? Or are we really doing the opposite of what the founders of progressive education had in mind, by requiring authors, teachers, educators, and anyone else in the public sphere to take on the performative or self-narrating functions that literature used to perform, and therefore making passive, or sidelining, the very subjects of benevolent improvement, the “marginalized groups” that everyone in identity politics talks about, keeping them from taking on an active citizenship role? In other words, has literature been replaced by continuous verbal performance, an oral delivery of repetitive identity to which the writing itself is subjugated as almost an afterthought?

Could it be that performing the rhetoric of identity politics is yet another form of high-stakes testing and standardization? Though the rhetoric of identity politics doesn’t manifest itself as a test in the formal sense, it does measure the ability to function in a certain kind of marketplace—a neoliberal marketplace with clearly defined norms of behavior. This points to the enigma of why it might be important for neoliberal capitalism to indulge the rhetoric of identity politics so vociferously, even as its actual practices (gentrification, for example) lead to the devastation of the cultural spaces of minorities, through any of a number of imperialist practices that force cultures to conform to efficiency in an overtly capitalist manner or be made the target of surveillance and even imprisonment. Of course, the sphere of literary production does not intersect, for the most part, with those capitalist practices that cause so much ruin and devastation to cultural wholeness; rather, it restricts itself (mostly) to internal psychological probing or self-policing.

Is it possible that, in lieu of actual capital being earned by victimized groups, a substitute form of cultural capital—i.e., identity—is being offered? Competition, performance, and achievement—all neoliberal ideals whose final confirmation occurs in the marketplace—are measured against the ideals of identity politics, rather than any substantive knowledge content; one is, in essence, in competition with oneself, or rather one’s history as one’s physical embodiment in a specific time and place, the goal being to present oneself as solid and logistically viable.

Ravi Kumar, in Education and the Reproduction of Capital: Neoliberal Knowledge and Counterstrategies (Palgrave, 2012), connects neoliberalism’s principle of bringing all human practices into the ambit of the market to the transformation of education around the world into a tradeable commodity focused on marketable skills. We need only update this by considering political correctness as the only legitimate marketplace neoliberals are willing to grant for ideas. The goal of knowledge reproduction then becomes to construct a range of formalities wherein political correctness may be executed in practice. Individuals can trade on the solidification of their identity and thereby maximize their capitalistic value.

Neoliberalism is known to lead to extreme inequality in the economic sphere; perhaps neoliberal cultural practice, of which multiculturalism is the prime engine, leads to similar inequality among and between groups, in a never-ending game of identity one-upmanship.

Neoliberal inequality functions by dividing workers according to various identity categories, which prevent those workers as a whole from demanding universal rights and privileges, as used to be the case before the rise of identity politics. The parallel manifestation in the literary realm would be the demand for each aggrieved group to claim the greatest disadvantage for itself, because such recognition leads to academic and literary legitimacy, the flow of funds and the establishment of academic departments, and the chance to take the group’s case public, an option that brings with it its own form of lucrative rewards. Of course, in such a race for most-aggrieved status, there is no winner, and the competition never ends; the struggle only breeds infinite loops of self-involvement, providing the weave and texture of writing.

The logical conclusion of the critique of cultural appropriation is that writers cannot possibly outbid themsleves in the grievance stakes, because charges of privilege must and will be raised against them, not least by the hyperconscious writers themselves, as in the case of the Bangladeshi American poet Tarfia Faizullah. Her first book, Seam (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), is an account of her travels to Bangladesh, the home of her parents and grandparents, to research the fate of Bangladeshi women raped by Pakistani soldiers during the 1971 war. In an interview published in 2014 on The Paris Review’s website, Faizullah notes that it was in 2006, when she was twenty-six, that she first heard “about such a wide-scale atrocity in Bangladesh. I became fascinated by it, and started researching and writing the first of the interview poems, just from imagination.” Very quickly,  however, she realized “that there was only so far my imagination could go, and only so much I could do from the States. So I applied for a Fulbright because it seemed—you used the word urgent, and it seemed very urgent for me to go to Bangladesh and record the voices of these women, and spend time in the country in which these atrocities occurred.… I was starting to reckon with what it means to be a South Asian Muslim woman from West Texas, and how sometimes it was very easy to identify as one thing or another.”5

Immediately, it will be obvious that insurmountable problems of authenticity arise when we buy into the identity politics discourse—authenticity as defined by the identitiarians themselves, as an existential condition. The question that inevitably arises is whether Faizullah, her Bangladeshi heritage notwithstanding, is herself engaging in an act of cultural appropriation—not of ethnic identity, but of class. We might call Seam a book rooted in the logic of microaggressions, even though it is about some of the biggest violations that can be committed against the human body. There is no sense of politics, history, or context in Seam, and this may well be because the discourse must be limited to the body. Could it be that the birongana Faizullah interviews have a more ingrained sense of historic tragedy than Faizullah can permit in her book? In which case, doesn’t Faizullah’s selfconciousness about her privilege come across as a barrier to imagination to which she is resigned? She cannot really put herself in the position of the raped women, nor does she intend to. Moreover, she cannot legitimately present the experiences of these women from their point of view; the central consciousness must be hers alone. All this follows from the logic of identity politics.

Faizullah’s case is an interesting example of a writer caught in the tripwires of a cultural discourse that disables her from tackling history even as, throughout her book, history all but begs to be tackled. There is historical tragedy, and then there is personal tragedy of the kind propelled by identity politics. One can imagine writing about Bangladesh’s history, geography, culture, religion, or everyday life in any of a number of modes—romantic, surrealist, utopian, nihilistic, misanthropic, even social-realist—that deviate from the resentful tone of identity politics. But should a writer of Bengali—or Filipina or Vietnamese or Nigerian or Colombian or Mexican—heritage step outside identity politics, or the posture of post-ideological self-analysis that neoliberalism prefers, how would the writer find acceptance within the grievance discourse?

Of course, any writer publishing with a prestigious press is by definition privileged, because how else would they have obtained the cultural capital required to get where they are? But they are compelled to resort to mythical identities (of families buffeted by exile and tyranny, of histories of racism, or, more recently, microaggressions) rather than speak from their actual position of privilege.

It is difficult to imagine American writers in the academy operating along the Orhan Pamuk–Salman Rushdie–J. M. Coetzee global cosmopolitan axis, since to do so would be to make a frank admission of privilege—a no-no for identity politics even though (or perhaps because) it often results in the liberation of imagination from established tropes. Faizullah’s work, by contrast, illustrates the practice of writing from what we might call imagined direct experience. Though the experience Faizullah narrates is presented as authentic, it is actually communal. The claim is that, because one’s own family or race or religion experienced a grievance, one shares in that grievance.

Note that the communal experience, the basis for such writing, requires bounded identity: were a Bengali writer, for instance, to start writing about Jewish lesbians or undocumented Mexicans, she might well be accused of robbing those oppressed classes of their own claims to prestige. (I use the term “prestige” advisedly, and in full cognizance of the convulsions that identitarians face when a plain white woman like Rachel Dolezal decides that appropriating black identity, and fighting on behalf of social justice for black Americans, no less, is her only route to privilege.6)

Is identity politics in schooling just another form of test preparation for the workplace, a standardization that cannot name itself? Has literature, in turn, succumbed to this ideology as writers continually assess themselves, hold themselves accountable, and fail themselves when they do not meet the standardized output of identity-politics norms? Has literature become a perpetual self-enforcement mechanism designed to root out unwanted (or inefficient) behaviors that may interfere with the ideal of self-sufficient communities beholden to separate cultures—all, however, pursuing the universal goal of capitalist improvement?

Can a literary writer have a group consciousness? Because that is what the current debate is ultimately about. When literature commits itself to multiculturalism, it is excluding all frames of reference outside of group consciousness.

As we discuss the current manifestation of the literary debate, we cannot get away from the crucial transformation that has occurred in the past three decades in American schools on all levels. I mean the rise of neoliberal schooling, one manifestation of which is high-stakes testing, which Hursh goes on to talk about and which takes us back to vocationalism versus humanism. I have been pursuing the possibility that identity politics is integrally connected to neoliberal education, which promotes standardized testing and accountability, instills values of personal entrepreneurship (“branding,” in today’s parlance), and seeks to convert public education into a private system as much as possible and by any means necessary.

Let me present a capsule summary of why multiculturalism in the academy, and literature in particular, so deeply offends conservatives. The scholars in question are Gary A. Tobin, Aryeh Kaufmann Weinberg, and Jenna Ferer, and their book is The UnCivil University: Intolerance on College Campuses (Lexington, 2009). They write: “Multiculturalism centers more on sensitivity than sensibility, rights as opposed to responsibility or justice, and language control rather than learning. Multiculturalism is the antithesis of real diversity, and of enlightening interchange and cross-fertilization from many cultures.”...

As with other conservative scholars of their era, their distaste for multiculturalism in the academy—and by extension in literary writing—grew over time as they perceived that what had started off as an innocent “celebration of difference” (p. 46) was turning into a hardcore political agenda derived from hierarchies of grievance and victimization.

Though these happen to be conservatives talking, I would hold that their argument is yet another iteration of the cosmopolitan liberal position. What they fear is precisely what cosmopolitan liberals fear: a stifling, language-suppressing bureaucratic machine that accomplishes precisely the opposite of diversity by inflicting a deadening uniformity of thought, making people afraid to say anything that might violate the rules of political correctness and hesitant to ask challenging but necessary questions—questions such as the French writer Michel Houellebecq has so irreverently posed about received notions of the hierarchies of culture throughout his controversial career, thereby enhancing, not diminishing, humanist values.

From a left perspective, the concern is that identity politics is a buy-in option granted by neoliberal capitalism, allowing an entry point to marginalized groups, letting people of color step into the munificence of neoliberalism as long as they check their radical economic demands at the door—that is, if they even remember anything about class issues. These used to saturate the fiction and poetry of earlier generations of African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Jewish American writers such as Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, Margaret Walker, John Okada, Raymond Barrio, Américo Paredes, Nathanael West, Bernard Malamud, and Allen Ginsberg. In other words, the diversity on offer is strictly delimited: it exists only within the cultural realm, rather than in the realm of class privilege.

The multiculturalists would respond that culture has to be rethought if class privilege is to be broken down, and that literature and art are the prime vehicles through which to accomplish this goal. Their argument would be that once you cease to stereotype a marginalized group as inferior, then economic doors will open up for that group. The purpose of writing thus becomes the propagation of a view of the minority in question that takes issue with simplistic media renderings, the implication being that the road will in this way be cleared for that group to participate fully in American economic life.

The hard question for supporters of the multiculturalist view in literature is whether this is in fact true. Does access to economic opportunity really follow from non-stereotypical literary or artistic depictions of minority groups? Is it possible that valuing culture over class makes class mobility less likely, freezing categories and conditions and preventing social fluidity? There would seem to be evidence for this perverse outcome having in fact occurred, but here the question is about how much responsibility literary writers want to take upon themselves. Is their job to promote cultural diversity? Is it to break down class? Or is it neither?

I find it interesting that Shriver, who has come in for so much criticism, is a novelist who often deals with economic issues. (One of her novels, So Much for That, is about the perils of our healthcare system.) If one looks at the literary writers who suffer the most ostracization these days, they tend to be those who think more about class than culture. We may say that they wish to step outside neoliberalism, rather than accept its main philosophical premises. The “corporate university” has undertaken a certain agenda of cultural uplift that it finds compatible with unchecked capitalist expansion, and the avidity with which humanities departments have succumbed to the invitation is, for some writers, deeply troublesome...

In Transforming the Ivory Tower: Challenging Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in the Academy, edited by Brett C. Stockdill and Mary Yu Camico (University of Hawaii Press, 2012), various contributors, strategically positioned in the American academy, hold to the viewpoint that before true diversity can be achieved, the hidden biases of “power and difference” must be exposed; false consciousness, as interpreted by identitarians, must, in other words, be rooted out. Scholar after scholar testifies to feeling left out, regardless of their accomplishments in academia, because of their minority status.

I find here a contradiction that is noticeable in almost all identity-politics discussion today: those who conceive of their entire academic or literary motivation as telling the story of their marginalization subsequently resent it when the academic and literary communities treat them as exemplars of that marginalization. At what point does self-declared marginalization, if it leverages identity as a personalized brand, turn into prestige? Before the current trend, feminism used to rebel against “essentialism,” but now the emphasis seems to be on constructing essentialist identities, recruiting literature and art as tools in the process. Choice itself is taken to be a sign of privilege, even the choice of participating, because the white male heteronormative person has the freedom to decide. Minority writers have no choice but to tell their stories, whereas white writers not only engage in privilege but commit aggressive acts of cultural appropriation when they exercise the choice to tell stories other than their own. The white writer attuned to identity politics may as well embrace existential silence...

What I find remarkable is that there is no way to distinguish between microand macroaggressions in this book...

In Meg Luxton and Mary Jane Mossman’s Reconsidering Knowledge: Feminism and the Academy (Fernwood, 2012), M. Jacqui Alexander and Chandra Talpade Mohanty write, in a chapter called “Cartographies of Knowledge and Power: Transnational Feminism as Radical Praxis”: “Ultimately, these [cartographic] rules promote a spatial segregation that constructs the ‘community’ as a hyper-racialized homogenous space; and it is usually not just any community but one that has been subject to forced dispossession” (p. 47).

Translation, in plain English: the university granted us recognition, and now we feel boxed in.

In an essay by Ailish Hopper8 on poets trying to exorcise white privilege, the only conclusion one can draw, after reading Hopper’s analysis of white poets ranging from Martha Collins to Tony Hoagland, is that purging privilege, or even dealing honestly with race, is impossible for white poets. This is typical of the kind of discourse one encounters these days toward the fear of cultural appropriation...

Many on the left denied then, and continue to do so, that political correctness on the left even exists; they depict it as a fantasy of the right, which permits it to mount an assault on advances made by marginalized groups...

In Stalinist Russia, Mao’s China, and the American New Left, the term “politically correct” was not used disapprovingly. On the contrary, to call someone “politically correct” was to offer praise. When Paul Berman edited his important book Debating P.C.: The Controversy Over Political Correctness on College Campuses (Dell, 1992), all the questions we see at the forefront of literary debate today emerged into public consciousness. One reason why the controversy in the teaching and writing of literature keeps recurring, according to Berman, is that after the revolution of consciousness of 1968, greater credence was given to language as a primary determining structure than ever before: “We imagine that language is our tool, but it is we who are the tool and language is the master. Therefore we should stop deluding ourselves with foolish humanist ideas about the autonomy of the individual and the hope of making sense of the world.” (p. 8) The relative worth of the traditional canon was of particular importance at that early stage in the fight, as were the emergence of speech codes and the development of the idea of hate speech. If the privileged-white-male perspective in literature could be replaced with the perspective of marginalized peoples, then would we not get a truer picture of reality? Then as now, semantics were a huge part of what political correctness meant—again, going back to the Maoist idea of toeing the correct line, falling in with doctrinal fealty...

In the ensuing quarter-century, the academy has been transformed, so that its core agenda seems to be the conveyance of politically correct attitudes rather than hardcore immersion in knowledge that can be psychologically or politically disturbing. In the same manner, both the study of and the writing of literature have been transformed, as this activity has been incorporated into the semantic struggles brought on by the clash of doctrines. A quarter-century ago, those advocating restrictions on campus speech had to resort to the concept of “fighting words,” the standard for the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence. Today, with the contest having moved to the more nebulous territory of literature and away from actual direct speech addressed to individuals and posing a possible physical threat, we don’t hear so much about “fighting words.”...

In the first phase of the culture wars, it was definitely liberals who were advocating conformity to the prescribed vocabulary, in a reversal of historical patterns, while conservatives stood up for free speech.

Signing off with thanks to all who have participated in our discussions of fiction writing today. I want to leave you with this thought: I think we are facing a new era of censorship, in the name of political correctness. There are forces at work in the book world that want to control fiction writing in terms of who “has a right” to write about what. Some even advocate the out and out censorship of older works using words we now deem wholly unacceptable. Some are critical of novels involving rape. Some argue that white novelists have no right to write about people of color; and Christians should not write novels involving Jews or topics involving Jews. I think all this is dangerous. I think we have to stand up for the freedom of fiction writers to write what they want to write, no matter how offensive it might be to some one else. We must stand up for fiction as a place where transgressive behavior and ideas can be explored. We must stand up for freedom in the arts. I think we have to be willing to stand up for the despised. It is always a matter of personal choice whether one buys or reads a book. No one can make you do it. But internet campaigns to destroy authors accused of inappropriate subject matter or attitudes are dangerous to us all. That’s my take on it. Ignore what you find offensive. Or talk about it in a substantive way. But don’t set out to censor it, or destroy the career of the offending author.

—Anne Rice, Facebook post, August 2015

Those who perform hate speech commit, obviously, hate crimes. A criminal has no standing in the public sphere. Literary discourse today has turned into a prime arena in which correct speech is codified and disseminated, hence the condemnation of freewheeling cultural appropriation and the fear of committing microaggressions. These are said to occur when “stereotypical” language is used to characterize people outside the range of the immediate experience of the author. A microaggressor is also a criminal, although perhaps on a lower level than one who commits a hate crime. If this sounds very much like policing activity, it is, and it follows naturally from the brief excursus we have taken into the Stalinist and Maoist origins of the terminology.

Anyone in the literary realm today is obliged to perform minute and continuous analyses—not only in their reading of others’ works, but in their own writing—of what might constitute innuendo or slur, stereotyping or hate speech. This extends to comments by authors or students of writing, whether they take place in person or online. The publisher of my first book canceled a contract10 with the author Elizabeth Ellen after she launched a public defense of Tao Lin,11 the bad boy of “alt-lit” who had gotten in trouble for using correspondence with his ex-girlfriend in a novel exposing his own shortcomings, including abuse.12 The literary community wished to see him punished not just for the act of appropriation—i.e., taking the words of his girlfriend for his book—but retroactively for any abuse he might have committed toward his girlfriend. In a more ludicrous vein, New Yorker humorist Calvin Trillin, who got his start writing about civil rights in the 1960s, got burned for his poem “Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?”13 which made fun of the white bourgeoisie’s inability to keep up with culinary exoticism. Trillin was charged with exploiting the worst tropes of the “yellow peril,” and poetry editor Paul Muldoon was taken to task for not donating precious space in the magazine to a deserving minority writer. Trillin obviously meant the poem as satire, but the logic of cultural appropriation overrules anything other than a flat earnestness when it comes to whites writing about engagement with any aspect of a different culture.

But is there a valid notion of hate speech, and should writers be concerned with it? In Hate Speech: The History of an American Controversy (University of Nebraska Press, 1994), Samuel Walker elucidates the anti-pornography activist Catharine MacKinnon’s argument that “pornography constitute[s] a form of sex discrimination,” as well as her “discontent with an approach that … [gives] the First Amendment automatic priority” (p. 142). Liberal scholars such as Cass Sunstein have gone on to weaken the First Amendment’s priority by putting more emphasis on the need for individuals to restrain themselves from speech that might be construed as uncivil. As Walker explains, Sunstein holds that “many forms of speech [are] subject to criminal penalties: bribery, fraud, libel, pornography, and more recently certain kinds of sexual harassment. If these forms of speech [have] no social value and [are] not entitled to First Amendment protection, why [can’t] racist speech be prohibited as well?” (p. 143).

When an ideology prioritizes the community over the individual, we call that communitarianism. Both politics and literature have been moving in a communitarian direction for quite some time...

The modern manifestation of hate speech took hold on American campuses in the 1980s and ’90s, resulting in various kinds of speech codes, an idea that has since proliferated. The belief is that hate speech creates a “hostile working environment,” and students operating in an environment where hate speech prevails are deprived of equal opportunity for education. The distinction between this new emphasis on the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal opportunity and the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech is an important one.

The issue that is relevant for our discussion is that writers operating in a university environment so sensitive to hate speech, amid a steady erosion of First Amendment rights, have presumably transposed this paradigm to writing. Writers, if they work in a university, live and breathe in a legalistic environment, whether they like it or not. It must affect their work, their very consciousness, in substantial ways. Possibly without even realizing it, they guard against creating a hostile reading environment even as they write and publish their work.

The debate about political correctness in literature is marked by an enormous amount of guilt—white guilt, to be specific—about privilege. This is the cul-de-sac in which every discussion of the subject dead-ends. Could it be that this obsession with guilt owes to the inability of progressives to do much about economic injustice in the wake of the renewed capitalist thrust of the past forty years? As writers embark on “resistance” against the authoritarian personality of Trump’s adherents, we find ourselves asking whether that personality afflicts those on the left as much as those on the right. If literature has been recruited, because of its presence in the liberal academy, as a primary means of molding social attitudes, then it follows that any deviation from political correctness will be judged intolerable. Are we forced to be “fair” and “caring” and “open” according to the definitions imposed by liberal writers?

There is no question that literary discourse today is marked by increasingly subtle inquiries into subterranean prejudice (hence the concept of microaggressions) that occupy so much intellectual space as to allow macroaggressions—economic violence, illegal war and torture, or violence against immigrants—to be ignored without much guilt. For one thing, macroaggressions do not lend themselves to linguistic correction, whereas microaggressions do. In the imminent age of escalated macroaggressions to which the recent neofascist reconstitution of the political arena will give rise, true to form, we are bound to witness an even greater focus on microaggressions.

The literary realm is arguably the prime arena today in an unceasing process of reeducation, paralleling what was happening in the Maoist Cultural Revolution. Writing is being reconceptualized as the safest of all spaces, because it takes place in language and can therefore be construed as corresponding directly with the rapidly spreading demand for physical “safe spaces” (all the safer for “trigger warnings” to assure that involuntary “trauma” will not ensue among fragile students). If classroom discussions of sexual assault, even in law schools on Ivy League campuses, must be prefaced by trigger warnings or exempt those susceptible to retraumatization,14 then how can literary works continue being published without such warnings? How can literature claim exemption from being a safe space? Indeed, this is not a fantasy, as students at numerous liberal-arts colleges have begun demanding that trigger warnings be affixed to classic works of literature, such as The Great Gatsby (domestic abuse) and Mrs. Dalloway (suicide).15 The generation that seeks protection from triggering words or concepts does so in the name of social justice, of emancipating us from the burdens of racial and sexual prejudice, and has decided that freedom of speech gets in the way of this goal...

We might view the entire politically correct movement on the left as a therapeutic regime. The kind of reeducation that I am talking about, manifesting in literary discourse, seeks to replace tragic moral choices (those found in classic literature) with a new psychological “normality” (a safe space of the mind, if you will, where nothing traumatic is ever triggered). Because literature is the arena for irresolvable moral dilemmas, creating doubt and anxiety, under the current regime it is literature that faces the greatest pressure to reform... One is either a victim or a victimizer; there is no third option. This is the idea that wants to take over literature.

In Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Toward a Secular Theocracy (University of Missouri Press, 2002), Paul Edward Gottfried does a terrific job of outlining the religious underpinnings of various forms of social control in the managerialtherapeutic state, methods designed to move students toward greater acceptance of diversity, immigration, and lifestyle choices. This is control that comes packaged as empowerment via linguistic effects. Although Gottfried wasn’t as concerned about bullying when he wrote his tract, we may note the absolute primacy that this concept has assumed in the discourse surrounding literature, and this may perhaps be traced back to the experience of economic bullying against actual subject populations. Can and should insensitive or bullying statements be criminalized? That is one question that Gottfried poses, and I would suggest that perhaps the constant anxiety about bullies appropriating illegitimate power in the literary world gives literature the fuel to keep going, as a permanent sense of crisis (since there will always be bullies and those who stereotype or commit hate speech) elevates it into a superior—and ethical—vocation. “Bullying” has become almost the overarching term in the discourse of grievance, so, for instance, Shriver was as much of a bully in attacking the fragile sensibilities of those in her Brisbane audience as Tao Lin was for not being sensitive to the abuse he inflicted on his former girlfriend. Bullies must be called out, and if a literary citizen fails to perform this indispensable duty, he can justifiably be excluded from the community.

Books like Tammy Bruce’s The New Thought Police: Inside the Left’s Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds (Three Rivers Press, 2001) present multiculturalism as a danger because it rests on moral relativism, but is it possible that multiculturalism actually rests on a black-and-white view of the victims and the victimizers (so that, for example, it is very difficult for it to come to terms with the idea of white victims of capitalism), and that it’s anything but morally relativistic?

(a) What would it mean today for a literary writer to operate outside of identity—that is, to refuse to adopt a particular identity from which the literary work may be said to have stemmed? Is that theoretical choice even possible anymore? What if I, as an author, want to change my identity from time to time? Am I allowed to do that? If not, why not? Is my identity bestowed on me, or is it mine to select? If identity is frozen, and if literary writing stems directly from identity, does this
explain why niche writing tends to become a permanent condition for writers today, rather than movement into and out of the initial form?

(b) Is it possible that only literature that is desensitized to any programmatic political goals is good? What happens in the process of sensitization? How should we think of Woolf, Forster, Faulkner, Bowles, Nabokov, Plath, Naipaul, Updike, or any other writer, attuned to the weight of history, we care to name? Is writing that lasts so deeply rooted in stereotyping that a sense of non-crisis is the motivating force, an aura of eternal tragedy, rather than the fuel of momentary bullying from which so much present writing seems to proceed? Must literature be hurtful to be powerful? Risk elimination, by definition, leads to conventional aesthetics, does it not?...

(d) Diversity has become almost the driving principle of the university today. Is it also the driving principle of literature? Just as the university may quite possibly have overlooked intellectual or class diversity for the sake of cultural diversity, is literature engaging in the same fallacy? Should literature be interested in reinforcing or breaking down identities? Though the academy likes to think of itself as postmodern, identity politics is very tribalistic, to the extent that it focuses on an elemental physical reality and takes it as given, unchangeable, permanent.

(e) Do those who have been teaching in humanities departments for a while think that there is more or less diversity of intellectual ideas than when they first started teaching? Likewise, is there more or less homogeneity among critical approaches? Has the canon been truly broadened? If so, for better or for worse? And which criteria decide what gets included? If there can be no objective standards by which to decide on a traditional work’s canonicity, then does the lack of standards apply to new additions to the canon as well? Are the aims of education the same as or different than they were before the expansion of the canon into new territory?

(f) It will be noted that the body has become the central point of contention in literary and political discussion on the liberal side. This necessarily follows from the nature of identity politics, i.e., that it is the condition of the body, via race or gender or sexual orientation, that becomes the arena for the application of rights or duties and the taking away of unearned privilege (i.e., white male heteronormative supremacy). If literature is also forced to give the body this priority, then what happens to everything that is not the body? Is literature—is writing—broader or narrower than it was before the shift of emphasis to the body? Has the scope of reading—and thereby writing—widened or narrowed in the experience of teachers?

(g) Whatever our definition of hate speech, can this concept be applied to literature? Social reality is not innocent, to grant a point to the advocates of political correctness; but has political correctness injected new elements of social corruption or unreality into literature? And if so, what are these elements? Just as conservatives voiced uncritical support of such ideas as the sanctity of the Western canon or the verity of “free market” capitalism, are the avatars of identity politics now advocating uncritical support of their own interpretations of privilege and bias? Is the revolutionary power granted to language by those on the academic left misplaced? Does this explain why there is so much sensitivity toward detecting hate speech?...

The whole point of literature is unpredictability; but the movement we are now seeing seeks to purge it of unpredictability and reduce it to the status of an arm of the managerial liberal state in bringing both subject populations (minorities) and the white population (the privileged majority) into conformity with a linguistic order that pays verbal respect to human rights, a process rigorously enforced with rewards and punishments. This explains the violent reactions against the smallest deviations from orthodoxy or the smallest manifestations of privilege. Disability—or inherited disadvantage, whether historical or biological—becomes the way forward in such a society, the best means of putting forth one’s claim for cultural, and perhaps economic, recognition. Advancing such claims is an extension, in twenty-first-century America, of Michel Foucault’s powerful idea of subject populations setting the terms of their own governance, a notion that has come in for mockery from the right.

One notices the widespread phenomenon of what are by any definition privileged white males in the literary world relentlessly performing Stalinist or Maoist self-criticism (each occasion of public outrage against a politically incorrect error providing them with the opportunity to do so) and then bending over backwards to castigate their own irredeemable white privilege in order to prove their allegiance to disadvantaged groups. In so doing, are these men taking the easiest route available to them to cultural advancement, such as in the example I earlier offered of a white scholar lamenting his inability to see things from the other side’s point of view, a default that for him was an existential given?

I would suggest also the possibility that it was the death of official socialism—i.e., the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989—that brought about the upsurge of political correctness in the literary, artistic, and academic worlds. Deprived of the possibility, announced in such tracts as Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man (1992), that there is any alternative available to us other than the capitalization and marketization of all human functions, we created, perhaps, a socialism of the linguistic sphere, i.e., a political correctness that equalized everybody on the same scale of moral judgment. Deep down, many in the humanities may want to be socialists, but they cannot, given our political and economic arrangements, and so they turn to identity politics as the only available alternative to socialism. Marxists are always searching for “false consciousness,” the deep implantation of harmful structures of thought that prevent the realization of class utopia; likewise, the new literary czars pursue false consciousness through the putative exposure of submerged racism, classism, sexism, etc., as they manifest in language...

On the website The Public Autonomy Project, one finds an excellent breakdown of competing vocabularies.16 The old lexicon (that of the New Left of the 1960s), which is out the door now, spoke of “oppression, exploitation, alliances, consciousness-raising, solidarity, the people, and liberation.” The new lexicon speaks of “privilege, classism, being an ally, calling out, positionality, folks, and safe spaces.”

Is it any wonder that even those who consider themselves ideologically aligned have such a difficult time communicating? To those in the literary world who follow the old terminology, the new terminology seems incomprehensible, and vice versa.

The term “positionality,” in particular, may be the one most antithetical to literature. It means that you can only think authentically from your own position, which, as identity politics becomes more established in writing, becomes more precisely defined for each writer. If one tunes in to current literary discourse (which is often intended to be overheard in its “private” mode), one hears scathing criticism of white writers daring to think that they can write about minority cultures. The animus against cultural appropriation flows, above all, from the worry about positionality. When the white midwestern poet Michael Derrick Hudson adopted the persona of a Chinese writer, Yi-Fen Chou, to get his poem published in the Best American Poetry anthology, the most interesting reaction was not that of the culprit but of his assailants, who seemed to confirm the prejudice that a Chinese author’s sensibility was sacrosanct, following the assumptions of positionality.  The anthology editor, Sherman Alexie, explained17 that he had to go forward anyway once Hudson revealed the truth because the poem was good enough to stand on its own, but Alexie’s self-defense involved a disburbing assumption about Chinese American authors that wasn’t deemed worthy of notice at all: “When I first read it, I’d briefly wondered about the life story of a Chinese American poet who would be compelled to write a poem with such overt and affectionate European classical and Christian imagery.” In an earlier time, this would have been considered the prototypical racial slur. For his part, Hudson observed that he had greater success submitting under the Chinese pseudonym than under his own name—a claim that unleashed, in turn, an avalanche of counter-claims by minority writers about their lower acceptance rates. For Hudson, deploying imagined marginalized identity offered a leg up in the prestige stakes. The enforcers felt empowered to denigrate both Hudson and Alexie, because for them positionality was synonymous with ethnic identity. But if they were honest enough to recognize class privilege—what we might call cultural capital, in the case of minority writers like Faizullah (and other young poets, such as Ocean Vuong and Solmaz Sharif, who “bear witness” to atrocities) and certainly Rankine—then they would know that this definition of positionality leaves out the majority of one’s actual positions...

The leading weapon that the advocates of identity politics deploy is that of “call-out,” especially through social media. For those attuned to the old regime, calling out writers who offend is ad hoc bullying; for those who grew up in the new regime, call-out is a necessary duty in the social-justice cause...

It doesn’t appear that writing is allowed anymore to adopt a posture free from the acknowledgement of positionality. In other words, a fiction writer or poet cannot write from a stance that does not first, and as a matter of determinative priority, place the author in the framework of identity politics, broken down according to all the corporeal elements (place of birth, color, sexuality, physical ability, age, body shape and size, location, etc.), and that the writing must then flow from the acknowledgment of the body in its various grounded manifestations. All writing is, or ought to be, writing about one’s body, ideally intersectional to the extent that it recognizes various body overlaps. If one writes as though positionality does not matter, then the resulting work suffers from false consciousness, it is irredeemable, it goes against the web of interests that unify all those who are victimized by privilege.

So the ideal of literature has become the articulation of intersectionality. Intersectionality is a form of constrained first-person narrative, or, at best, limited third-person; it is not an omniscient Bakhtinian dialogical utopia updated for the twenty-first century, where different voices find equal play in the burgeoning text. In defiance of conventional fictional strategy, the intersectionalist novelist must write from a defined position within the fixed range of possibilities. One is not simply an author in the abstract, one cannot write anonymously, so to speak (note that “Elena Ferrante” had to be denied the privilege of writing behind a screen); one must write as an articulator of “objective” intersectionalities, building an inside and outside world, an authenticity (of the self) and an incomprehensibility (of the other), and let the narrative play out within those dimensions alone. It is a radically new way of conceiving how and why one writes and publishes...

One danger to worry about is how easily we can move from the granting of authenticity to particular points of view to the bestowal of empirical certainty. One notes that in claims of victimization in current literary discourse—whether in the form of personal violations, such as sexual harassment or worse, or violations of dignity in writing itself, or the stereotyping of women or gays or minorities—the current position is to grant absolute empirical validity to the claimant and to attack anyone who seeks objective or legalistic verification. It is very strange that we are asserting that everyone’s knowledge must necessarily be restricted to a minute degree (one’s own immediate experience), and yet this knowledge can overrule big-picture thinking of any sort. Only the fact—the incident in question, the event that occasioned the violation—can be treated as objective truth, and nothing outside it...

It can be argued that the teacher of literature or writing has became a close facsimile of the university administrator whose job is to minimize offensiveness to specifically designated minority groups.

To go back to my earlier point about insults and cruelty, literary writing today seeks to bypass the possibility of resilience among victim groups. Failing literary productivity or originality, one can always search for verbal or behavioral offenses, no matter how trivial or unintended, and embark on intervention to correct the behavior of the offender through a protocol of penance, self-criticism, and submission of a performance plan. Thus, the literary writer will never fail to be busy, because there are too many unnoticed offenses going around.

Another arena of great activity is that of punishment, and this is seen most clearly in the realm of sexual harassment, where behavior is sharply codified and enforced. Fiction, poetry, and memoir must now reflect this interventionist activity; the writer, typically established in academia, must serve as an adjunct to the university’s paramount mission of preventing offense. The problem with rooting out unconscious prejudices—false consciousness—is that, inevitably, the search becomes vindictive, and there’s no end to how far it can go. Eventually, everyone becomes suspect, especially the ones at the forefront of the proselytizing mission. This explains why, in recent literary controversies, those whom one would have thought to be upholders of liberal righteousness par excellence have often ended up being the targets of purges.

If prejudice is unconscious, moreover, then somebody must take it upon themselves to engage in some deep psychological probing. University administrators must be vigilant about this, as must writers, whose duty it becomes to examine psychological wounds and injuries, the sufferers putting forth their stories, which cannot be questioned from a political-economy perspective, let alone an ethical or philosophical one. The task of readers then becomes to examine their own hidden prejudices to see whether they are unconscious victimizers.

It should be clear now why cultural appropriation absolutely messes up this paradigm and is utterly unconscionable within this framework. A trial cannot go on if the criminal takes the stand instead of the victim and starts speaking in the victim’s voice. The trial’s objectivity, in that case, will be compromised.

Self-esteem becomes the only valid currency, so that any group’s gains are seen to come at the cost of another’s. This explains the tremendous competition for recognition and the proliferation of niche identities: such recognition represents a quick way of gaining currency and protecting it from other groups.18 ...

A valid point raised by such scholars as Charles Derber, in Morality Wars: How Empires, the Born-Again, and the Politically Correct Do Evil in the Name of Good (Paradigm, 2008), is that liberal political correctness emanates from a vacuum of political power, because as a powerless person you are free to be as culturally radical as you wish. But the more interesting question is whether this is a permanent choice—in other words, whether it is safer, or even more desirable, to handle PC radicalism, as opposed to making demands in the economic sphere. If there is a sense of palpable delight in the frequent outrages that erupt in literary discourse, perhaps the exuberant joy in wanting to expose and punish the transgressors has its explanation here."

Weird. I thought literature was supposed to be about empathy. And the slippery slope was supposed to be a fallacy ("genocide"?)

Links - 18th November 2023 (1 - Pro-Crime Policies: Josh Kruger/Ryan Carson)

Laura Barrón-López on X - "NEWS: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) was carjacked at gunpoint tonight outside his apartment building in DC, multiple sources confirm to me. And Cuellar is safe they say"
Wilfred Reilly on X - "I'm not going to laugh of gloat about this, but literally about six prominent leftists have been robbed-on-up this week, due basically to urban crime policies they supported. Thoughts?"

Two Murders—and the Cost of Luxury Beliefs - "Recently, two high-profile supporters of “justice reform” were murdered.   At 4 a.m. on Monday, Ryan Carson, a 32-year-old social justice and climate change activist, was walking with his girlfriend in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, when he was stabbed to death by a stranger. Only a few hours earlier in Philadelphia, activist and journalist Josh Kruger was shot and killed in his home.   And two Democratic lawmakers who voted to “redirect funding to community-based policing reforms” have been recent victims of violent crime.  On Monday night, blocks away from the Capitol in Washington, D.C., Congressman Henry Cuellar was carjacked by three armed men. (The lawmaker survived the incident unscathed.) In February, Angie Craig was attacked in an elevator at her apartment building in Capitol Hill. A homeless man demanded she allow him into her home to use the restroom, then he punched her and grabbed her around the neck. She escaped after throwing hot coffee on him.  Of course, these people did not deserve harm because of their support for soft-on-crime policies. But I’ve long argued that many people who hold “luxury beliefs”—ideas and opinions that confer status on the upper class, while often inflicting costs on the lower classes—are oblivious to the consequences of their views. Support for defunding the police is a classic example.   Luxury beliefs can stem from malice, good intentions, or outright naivete.  But the individuals who hold those beliefs, the people who wield the most influence in policy and culture, are often sheltered when their preferences are implemented... poor people are far more likely to be victims of violent crime... Expressing a luxury belief is a manifestation of cultural capital, a signal of one’s fortunate economic circumstances. And we are living with the consequences of the elite’s luxury beliefs when it comes to public safety and criminal justice. Indeed, the massive spike in violent crime across the U.S. is a reminder of the power of elite opinion. A study from 2014 found that strong support for a policy among the middle class has virtually no effect on whether that policy will be adopted. In contrast, strong support among Americans in the top income decile—those who earn at least $173,000 a year—doubles the probability that a policy will be adopted. Who was most likely to champion the fashionable “defund the police” cause in 2020 and 2021?  A nationwide survey from YouGov found that Americans in the highest income category were by far the most supportive of defunding the police. Among Democratic voters, white Democrats were more likely to support reducing police funding than black or Hispanic Democrats... French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu argued that “distance from necessity” signals high social class. Similarly, in his book Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, Paul Fussell points out that the presence of physical danger is a marker of low social class... The vast majority of educated people have never been in a real fight or experienced serious physical injury. On occasion, I’ve wondered if this is why many of them believe words are “violence.” They have never known serious physical pain. I recently spoke with an editor at a prestigious magazine who explained how shocked he was to learn from Tara Westover’s memoir Educated how frequently people who work in junkyards experience cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns. Physical pain—even bodily soreness—was just not a reality in this person’s world. I had a professor in college who liked to say that common sense is like air: the higher you go, the thinner it gets. Sadly, it will probably take more high-profile deaths and attacks for people to wake up"
Late capitalism!

Brooklyn activist Ryan Thoresen Carson would feel SORRY for violent teenager who stabbed him to death and think of him as 'victim of a broken system', say friends - "Friends of murdered Brooklyn activist Ryan Thoresen Carson say he'd feel sorry for the teenage criminal who stabbed him to death, and would want his killing to be used to further advance left-wing policies in NYC... 'I know he would have wanted people to use his death as a means to talk about structural wrongs in the city.   'I'm absolutely positive that he would immediately see that this was a person who was suffering from a lack of resources in our community, who probably needs better mental health support, possibly housing, possibly drug support, drug treatment.   'What he would want to avenge his death is for us to fix how broken this city is,' New York State Assembly member Emily Gallagher told The Gothamist.  Carson worked for the New York Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit where his work focused on environmental causes like reusable bottles.   He spearheaded other liberal causes, like creating supervised drug injection sites across the city.   Morales, according to now locked-down social media profiles, was an avid BLM activist who, among other remarks, used the cop-hating acronym ACAB in some posts. Carson wasn't as forthright in his criticism of law enforcement but he shared the same concern for police brutality.

Girlfriend of Brooklyn activist had trouble picking out murder suspect in lineup, could hurt case: experts - "The girlfriend of slain New York City activist Ryan Carson was unable to pick her boyfriend’s suspected killer from a photo lineup... Carson’s partner, who was with him the night he was fatally stabbed this month, was not able to pick suspect Brian Dowling, 18, from a photo array and instead picked a different person... wo witnesses positively identified Dowling as Carson’s killer from a photo lineup and said he was the person seen stabbing the activist in a video of the senseless attack, prosecutors did note... “the stabbing is caught on video and the defendant’s face is fairly clear.”... Carson and his girlfriend were heading home from a wedding on Long Island when the stabbing happened, police said."

REVEALED: Murdered leftist activist Ryan Carson has history of celebrating death, violence towards conservatives - "The Antifa activist who was stabbed to death in Brooklyn on Monday, 32-year-old Ryan Carson, has a history of celebrating death and violence.  Carson, who was a prominent far-left activist and poet in New York City, was remembered by friends and Democrat lawmakers for his acts of "kindness," but unearthed posts on social media reveal that Carson celebrated the death of conservatives, advocated for violence against police, violently threatened elected officials, and dedicated his life to abolishing law enforcement. Carson threatened an elected official in a post on X under the username @ArtSchoolJock and wrote: "Hi! Political organizer here! It's not bullying to hold elected officials accountable. That being said, I would love to shove this little f-cking nerd in the locker where he belongs." While responding to an article written by the New York Post that announced the death of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who died after a battle with cancer, Carson quoted the post on X and wrote "lmao hell yeah." In another controversial post on X, Carson celebrated a police precinct being damaged by rioters in response to the death of George Floyd by writing, "This is really good." Carson's death received nationwide attention not only because he was a prominent activist, but also because of how his girlfriend, Claudia V. Morales, responded to his death. Morales, an Antifa-affiliated anti-police activist, was with Carson during the fatal stabbing and allegedly refused to give the suspect description to police because the assailant was black... police worked overtime to find the suspect despite Carson's history of hatred towards the police, in which he referred to officers as "subhuman."... Additional unearthed posts revealed by Ngo include Carson mocking a journalist who expressed criticism of the "defund the police" movement, and his former support of police departments suffering from staffing crisis's which led to units being disbanded... Carson "attended a violent BLM-Antifa riot in 2020, and made observations on how his comrades could better riot. When Antifa were described as 'pussies,' he responded he would be able to 'whoop your lil baby ass.'"
Tweet mirror of him celebrating Limbaugh's death

Meme - Death Cab for Cohen @ArtSchoolJock: "Hi! Political organizer here! It's not bullying to hold elected officials accountable. That being said, I would love to shove this little fucking nerd in the locker where he belongs."
Meme - Karen Scullin FOX9 @kscullinfox9: "The 3rd precinct is being destroyed"
Death Cab for Cohen @ArtSchoolJock: "This is really good"
Meme - NYC Scanner @NYScanner: "BREAKING: The entire #NYPD anti-crime unit (plainclothes officers) is being eliminated."
Glenn Turner @glenntu: "NYC will be only criminals eventually. Why would anyone else live there"
Death Cab for Cohen @ArtSchoolJock: "I mean you already don't live here so not exactly sure what your point is Imao"
Meme - Zack Beauchamp @zackbeauchamp: "I'm sorry, but "abolish the police" seems like a poorly-thought out idea that's gotten popular with shocking speed"
Death Cab for Cohen @ArtSchoolJock: "Read a book bro"
Meme - Death Cab for Cohen @ArtSchoolJock: "Look I know I'm beating my own dead horse here, but from seeing comrades throw things back at cops tonight, leftists absolutely need to get into sports. If for no other reason so they can throw something with out hitting their comrades."
Meme - Commissioner Shea @NYPDShea: "To the Members of the NYPD: What you've endured these last couple of days and nights much of 2020, so far-was unprecedented. In no small way, I want you to know that I'm extremely proud of the way you've comported yourselves in the face of such persistent danger..."
Death Cab for Cohen @ArtSchoolJock: "Your cops are subhuman"

Meme - Eric Levitz: "The far right gloating over the murder of a progressive young man on his way home from a wedding is among the most morally abominable things I've ever seen on this website."
Catturd @catturd2: "When anyone dies on the right, like Rush Limbaugh - 90% of the Left will dance on their graves. Spare me the fake outrage."
Eric Levitz: "Rush Limbaugh...what else is there to say? When I I was kid, he taught me it was okay to be full of hate"
Not to mention how the left gloated about Herman Cain and other "anti-vaxxers" dying of covid, or Ashli Babbitt, even if we ignore the irony of Carson's celebrating death and violence
Addendum: The left rejoiced when Joe Rogan and Donald Trump got covid too, so

Meme - Aetius @AetiusRF: Joker: "Ma'am it's the police. Your son is dead. His ACAB girlfriend saw the whole thing and refuses to provide a description of his killer because that would be racist"

Meme - Aristophanes @Aristos_Revenge: "Imao.. the girlfriend of the guy that got shied by a street scholar in NYC yesterday Eat your own dogfood lefties"
joe momma @JoeWaltonArt: "Imagine having your loved one stabbed and then getting completely roasted for it on the internet. Lmao they kinda deserve it."
Aristophanes @Aristos_Revenge: "I mean all cops are bastards apparently amirite? Both of them reaped what they've sown, they got their just rewards for all that hard work *girlfriend wearing ACAB crop top*"

Meme - Heist @mapeslover69: "Hello Ryan. I'd like to play a game. Down the block from you is a drug addicted, irate black man with a steak knife. You have 30 seconds to choose whether to reason with him or be racist and cross the street. Choose carefully Ryan. Making the wrong assumption will cost you."

Meme- Andy Ngo @MrAndyNgo: "Breaking: Leftist journalist and activist Josh Kruger @JoshKrugerPHL has been tragically shot dead at his Philadelphia home. Kruger has long downplayed gun violence in his city and publicly chastised others who spoke about it."
"Local journalist Josh Kruger fatally shot inside Point Breeze home"
Josh Kruger: "Some idiot just said you're more likely to get shot and killed than die of COVID in Philly to make some insensitive rhetorical point for "his side." Folks, four times as many Philadelphians have died of COVID than gun shots this year. I understand math is hard but do better."
Josh @JoshKrugerPHL: "Look, it's that lawless land of liberals in Philly where shootings are...dropping to levels not seen in years. Bro speak for your block mine isn't ruined,' the city isn't "ruined," and just because Larry Krasner keeps winning in landslides doesn't mean Philly is a heap of cinders and ashes no matter how much people say. Like the rest of the country we are dealing with upticks in crime."
Josh Kruger @JoshKrugerPHL: "Look, it's that lawless land of liberals in Philly where shootings are...dropping to levels not seen in years."

Meme - Collin Rugg @CollinRugg: "JUST IN: Liberal journalist Josh Kruger was shot and killed early this morning in Philadelphia after an intruder entered his home and started shooting.  Just two days ago, Kruger responded to a tweet from Scott Adams, mocking him for his prediction that "there's a good chance you will be dead" if Biden is elected.  "The Dilbert dude is like Nostradamus. Look at this prediction from 2020. Wow. Eerie."  At the moment, no arrests have been made.  Two weeks before his death, Kruger posted on Facebook that someone had showed up to his house, searching for their boyfriend.  “A man I’ve never met once in my entire life.” The person referred to themselves as “Lady Diabla, the She-Devil of the Streets.”  Kruger says they even threatened him.  Wow."
Josh Kruger @JoshKrugerPHL: "The Dilbert dude is like Nostradamus. Look at this prediction from 2020. Wow. Eerie."
Scott Adams @ScottAdamsSays: "If Biden is elected, there's a good chance you will be dead within the year."

Family of Josh Kruger's alleged killer says the 19-year-old and the journalist shared sex and drugs - "The family of Robert Davis, 19, who is accused of killing local journalist Josh Kruger, said that Davis was just 15 when he and Kruger began a years-long relationship involving drugs — and that Davis told them Kruger was threatening to post sexually explicit videos of him online before, police say, Davis shot Kruger."
A mirror of a tweet about this

Meme - Josh Kruger @JoshKrugerPHL: "The centuries old smear that gay men are pedophiles is getting new life thanks to coordination between far right news sites and far right message boards. This egregious defamation is part of a strategy to target LGBTQ people with violence."
Greg Price @greg_price11: "BREAKING: Josh Kruger, the left-wing Philly journalist who was murdered in his home last week by 19-year-old Robert Davis, had been in a sexually relationship with him starting when Davis was 15 and had threatened to post sexually explicit photos of him online, per the family."

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