A Puerto Rican reporter, Cassandra Fairbanks, is smeared as a “white supremacist” for making the OK hand sign. Half-Iranian feminist Laci Green and her half-Puerto Rican boyfriend, YouTuber Chris Ray Gun, are outed as alt-right neo-nazis. Far left progressive Jewish professor, Brett Weinstein, at Evergreen College is branded a white supremacist for speaking up against segregation. It seems that the trend in hurling the weaponized word “white supremacist” at anyone with an opposing viewpoint is becoming both more popular and more prevalent.
The week before the vicious racially motivated stabbing in Portland by Jeremy Christian, the Portland Mercury had published an article decrying a taco truck run by two white women as not only cultural appropriation but a case of “culinary white supremacy.” Is it any wonder that some scoffed the next week when they claimed a passionate supporter of Jewish presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was a white supremacist? Portland Mercury eventually removed and apologized for their “factually inaccurate” article.
“A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR (5/31/17) Dear readers: Due to new information that has recently come to light, we have taken down our blog post, ‘This Week in Appropriation: Kooks Burritos and Willamette Week.’ It was not factually supported, and we regret the original publication of this story.—eds.”
This act of hyperbole is counterproductive at best. It’s like considering leers or cat-calls equivalent to rape, in essence, it demeans the gravity of the initial and more serious offense. Ironically, the trend in attempting to demonize certain groups or persons by claiming alliances that don’t exist could lead not only to a loss of credibility.
In the case of feminist Laci Green and former Bernie Sanders supporter turned Trump fan, Cassandra Fairbanks, just questioning certain practices of the “Social Justice Warrior” culture immediately resulted in ostracism, threats, and harassment from former friends and allies within the movement.
As Laci points out in a tweet, the exaggeration and hyperbole are fuel to the fire for SJW detractors. June 3 Laci tweeted: “broad accusations of being a nazi/white supremacist/etc toward ppl w diff opinions (even problematic) undermines the srsns of these issues.”
broad accusations of being a nazi/white supremacist/etc toward ppl w diff opinions (even problematic) undermines the srsns of these issues
— Laci Green (@gogreen18) June 3, 2017
Cassandra Fairbanks is currently suing for libel and defamation after a former New York Times reporter and current senior reporter at Fusion’s tweet smearing her as a white supremacist went viral and resulted in a widely shared article in the UK’s Independent.
As the division between the increasingly polarized right and left grows and cases of extremism and accompanying violence increase, it is more apparent than ever that care should be taken when dealing with such sensitive subjects.
[Featured Image by EQRoy/Shutterstock]