So earlier this week I happened across a headline: DAVID DUKE ENDORSES ILHAN OMAR, or words to that effect.
Now, for those unaware, David Duke is a rather well-known figure due to his previous infamy in association with the KKK.
The statement that he’s ‘endorsing’ somebody is supposed to carry with it automagic connotations that whomever it is that’s been ‘lucky’ enough to attract his attention is some sort of White Supremacist and/or ‘acceptable face for white supremacy’. (This is directly the implication that has been carried with his ‘endorsement’ on pretty much every previous occasion it has been foisted upon somebody; to the point that I’m rather seriously wondering if Duke knows the likely effect his words have, and is in the pay and/or thrall of some anti-progressive forces out there to deliberately try and tank candidacies of rivals and opponents)
Ilhan Omar, meanwhile, is part of a rather rare minority – non-white female Muslims elected to the US Congress.
Now, while it is possible to see how Duke’s .. particular tastes in politics might have lead him to the idea that Omar’s skeptical stance on AIPAC is a Good Thing (which is not to say that it isn’t) –
we’re currently living in a future wherein FORMER KKK GRAND WIZARD ENDORSES OBVIOUSLY MUSLIM SOMALI WOMAN FOR CONGRESS is a serious article of news. Rather than something The Onion might pitch on an off-day.
And, again to be sure, there’s been quite a bit of back-and-forth within ‘white supremacy’ [to use a term incredibly broadly] circles over Israel. Some have taken, not without cause nor purpose, to holding up Israel as a shining example of an ‘achievable’ “ethno-state”; or as an outpost of American hegemony, and which has been historically unafraid to “control” its minority populations with everything from involuntary sterilization through to active expulsions and targeted killings. So I guess you can see the appeal.
Others have gone down the exactly opposite path, whether for the reasons of opposing “The Jews”, or for wanting American foreign and domestic policy priorities to be about America first rather than propping up such a state, or out of an interesting desire to have the ‘nationhood’ aspirations of many groups respected – and therefore logically reasoning that the exceptionalist-exclusionary default stance of modern Israel’s situation within he region, and its contentious web of alliances with rather unsavoury tendencies within the region, renders it “problematic” at best.
But I digress.
The argument implicit to an array of the media attacking Omar for her being supported by Duke, is quite clear.
Namely, that as with Tulsi Gabbard earlier this year, that somehow the most prominent ‘women of colour’ from ‘minority religions’ in American politics today … are “acceptable faces of white supremacy”.
Think about that for a minute.
Take all the time that you need.
While not at all denying that there are some active (and stupid) tendencies of ‘White Supremacy”, “White Ethno-Nationalism” [as if “white” is an ethnic group] active within American politics today (and, of course, the rather recent trope of “White-Enough Nationalism”) – it has become plainly apparent, especially of late, that the habitual deployment of the ‘scare tactics’ of association with such reprehensible retrograde figures and tendencies is nothing more than a callously calculated effort to de-legitimate the insurgent wave of anti-Establishment and actually left-wing efforts presently coming into view.
These aspersions should, therefore, be seen as exactly what they are. And disregarded with (no pun intended) extreme prejudice as a result.
To do anything else, is to buy into the absurdishly supreme irony of attempting to de-legitimate and silence alternative voices, many of which come from these non-white, non-male, and non-religious-majority (which, yes, also includes secularists and atheists) perspectives … simply because some white American in a relatively privileged position in the media or political establishments has told you to do so, and on grounds of the alleged furtherance of “white supremacy” if you do not comply.
It don’t get much more subtly, insidiously “white supremacist” than that.