Thursday, October 5, 2017

White Liberalism Is Slowly Being Crushed By Type II Propaganda By ARTHUR GORDIAN

The recent spat between Jonathan Chait and Te-Nehsi Coates illustrates an interesting way that the Cathedral manages to control the narrative on issues through its stranglehold of the media. This issue serves as an illustration of another form of propaganda which permeates American culture, Type II or the false dichotomy. The actual dispute is rather droll, but a very brief summary is necessary.
Coates wrote an essay attacking the white liberals who place blame for Trump’s election on socioeconomic issues and the Democrats’ abandonment of the working class in favor of kulturkampf issues and urban upper-middle class priorities. He accused white liberals of attempting to dodge the blame for Trump by pawning responsibility onto the working class, so they can avoid the fact that Trump was elected on a platform of support for his white constituency.  Policies which Trump passed to benefit his constituents would also benefit white liberals, thus implicating them in a system which oppresses minorities and enshrines white supremacy. For that reason, white liberal journalists who wrote on socioeconomic and class-consciousness angles surrounding the Trump administration are participants in white supremacy because they benefit from Trump but attempt to disguise that fact, according to Coates.
Jonathan Chait responded in New York Magazine by referring to the Left’s “discourse of panic” surrounding Trump and the way that the term “white supremacist” had been so enlarged in the last year to include anyone who fails to show sufficient zeal for the Democratic Party’s agenda.  The result of this discourse, he argued, is that all opposition is lumped in with white supremacy and is therefore subject to violence and denial of political rights. He questioned if this principle will ultimately lead to all contrary opinions becoming invitations to physical attack.
In response to Chait’s article, Del Valle argued that Chait is giving cover to white supremacists on the Left, which she defines as any person advocating for “policies that harm people of color” and includes “polite white liberals who definitely don’t agree with neo-Nazis but will defend their right to chant ‘blood and soil’ on public property.” For Del Valle, Chait’s argument is an expression of his white supremacy and an attempt to dodge its consequences, part of the “two level” theory of white supremacy. This theory is outlined in Ian Hanley Lopez’s Dog Whistle Politics, in which overt white supremacy by Republicans is used to benefit covert white supremacists like liberal Democrats who maintain plausible deniability in order to profit from non-white constituencies. The debate continued on Twitter, including Jeet Heer and Damon Linker, with Chait himself getting into the mix.
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