Breitbart has run articles such as: "Birth control
makes women unattractive and crazy."
The author of which, whom Bannon hired, was also
banned from Twitter
comparing Leslie Jones to “an ape,” calling her “barely literate,” and retweeting fake screenshots implying Jones was retaliating with
expletives and homophobic slurs (linked to the article above. Do not wish to link to such language directly here on ATS.)
As well as articles referring to transgender people as
will argue that the actual content is what matters, and that the shocking language is merely intended to be attention grabbing, and should not matter
anyway since they perceive caring how things are phrased as mere political correctness with no moral or logical impetus to be adhered to, I do think
we need to talk about this.
While I can respect that opinion while disagreeing with it (as I view at least some modicum of political correctness merely as reasoned efforts at
civility) ... many in the LGBTQ community, who are already at heightened risk for
and have been historically
marginalized to say the least, find the mainstreaming and acceptance of this kind of rhetoric not only offensive (which I know many believe is
unimportant in and of itself,) but threatening to their wellbeing or even their very lives. This fear is very real and, for them, a product of a
lifetime of first hand experiences.
Granted, since some believe gender identity to be a fantasy or disorder anyway, they likewise believe catering to trans people or LGBTQ people of any
stripe, is unwarranted or even harmful. I would just say that at a bare minimum, I hope we can all agree that all people - regardless of who they are
or what you think about them - should be treated with dignity, compassion, and humane conduct; that if you know something serves no purpose other than
to intentionally offend or hurt, perhaps you very seriously consider a different choice of words; and that there is a potential risk in using false
equivalency to morally sugarcoat extreme language, thus normalizing it.
Many on the left, especially minorities and their social allies, see in this fusion of far right politics overseas with a more moderate face, with
which Bannon has sought to ally himself in order to bring Breitbart or a similar media effort into Europe, parallels to how the Trump campaign has
operated here at home.
While - in their opinion - merely half-heartedly
denouncing these elements of their political base. For instance, by
denouncing David Duke and the KKK while saying he always had
despite the fact that several times previously he
claimed he “didn’t know anything about” him
and that he would not denounce someone he didn’t know anything about. This, despite later
blaming it on a faulty microphone, irrespective of the fact that he heard them clearly enough to call Duke by name when saying he knew nothing about
him... and failing to denounce him... but I digress. (And, again, I know - CNN. But... this did
happen; I watched both instances unfold back
when this was happening.)
The point is, they fear Trump has tacitly benefited from these elements during his campaign, and would thus be willing to give them at least a
marginal voice in his platform, whether publicly or privately. They fear that while the fringe elements among both Le Pen and Trump’s supporters may
rightly be called a small minority for the moment, there is enough tacit overlooking of or even unspoken support for those elements in both examples
(many in America voted for Trump not because of those elements, but in spite of them, showing a willingness to overlook them in their eyes,) that we
could be witnessing the passively permitted rise of those once far more ostracized views into the mainstream. And with Bannon’s appointment to the
Trump cabinet, their tacit normalization and legitimization.
This is truly scary for a lot of people. I know many do not respect that or think it should matter, but that too in and of itself is frightening. This
apparent resurgence in the attitude that no one should care what anyone else feels or thinks, because how people feel is ultimately irrelevant in
realpolitik. (This despite the historically and repeatedly established fact that ideology and “feelings” do
translate directly into policy
and the human decision making process, on both sides of the political spectrum, whether we like it or not.) We have seen an erosion in the ability -
by both sides, frankly - to feel a real sense of fellowship and mutual upholding of one another’s rights. The attitude that, as MLK admonished,
“Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” That the protection of your rights - even if it means you do things with them I disagree
with - is the protection of my own rights.
That is the main fear. That we are not witnessing just the piping up of a formerly closeted and now emboldened group of fringe aberrations, but
instead a rising tide of acceptance or ambivalence toward their views, rather than their unequivocal denunciation.
There’s not a bold, forceful,
we absolutely and positively reject all racist elements, however fringe, of our base, and will do nothing to advance those views or
agendas in this administration.” Instead it’s more like, “Meh, look. That’s not what we’re about, okay? Yes it’s there, but that’s not
us, so who cares?” Well, a lot of people do care. And they are terrified by what they see as an increasingly casual acceptance of such views in
America and elsewhere; an attitude that nobody cares what this might portend going forward.
While Trump’s views are not necessarily those of Bannon, and Bannon’s are not necessarily those of parts of his audience, when seeing that this is
an issue in the eyes of many American voters on the left, rather than a forceful denunciation and abandonment of those parts of his base, he merely
told them to “stop it” and that it makes him sad, and then he appointed someone he had to know would further disturb those voters, to a special
position in the White House. Many fear he may simply not care how this looks to them or, far more ominously, may simply not care if some of these
views become accepted or seep into policy in the future.
edit on 11/15/2016 by AceWombat04 because: Typos, link correction, formatting.