Dude, where’s my progressivism?! Why I no longer identify as progressive.

For many years I self identified as a proud progressive. I identified as such because I believed in such things as secularism, universal healthcare, affordable education, various other social safety net programs,  gay rights, gender and racial egalitarianism, I was pro-choice, etc. I didn’t always fall directly in line with mainstream progressive views, but I generally did. While my political self-description has changed, my values really haven’t.  Continue reading

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Progressive Shaming: Milo Yiannopoulos, the “self-hating” homosexual.

NOTE (October 12, 2015): I have written a follow-up post on this issue. In the follow up I argue that while self-hatred is probably an overly-inflammatory descriptor, in his discussions regarding homosexuality Milo is sometimes pretty much “asking” to be interpreted as having anti-homosexual inclinations. He is a complicated man – surely be design. A fully out-of-the-closet homosexual who both lauds and criticizes aspects of gay culture and even homosexuality itself – sometimes apparently lauding and criticizing the very same things in different contexts… He’s a complicated man. As a self-described provocateur, I am confident that this is by design.

In the video below I talk about how Joe Rogan, who I often find myself agreeing with, and Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk accused gay conservative Milo Yiannapoulos of being a self-hating homosexual. Why? Because he indicated that he would have preferred to have been born straight. I think this is a completely unfounded appraisal of Milo’s state of mind.

As I discuss in the video, there is no shortage of pragmatic reasons why a gay person could wish to have been straight while not for a moment hating themselves, homosexuality, homosexuals, gay subcultures, etc. Perhaps I should have made a point of saying that Joe Rogan probably did not intend to be engaging in progressive shaming. From what I’ve seen of him, this is not something he would do. But this exchange definitely brought to mind how some hard-line progressives will engage in shaming, uncharitable characterizations of motives, and so forth when a person does something like what Milo did – regardless of the sensibility of their reasons.

And sometimes even non-hard-line progressives – like Rogan – will engage in such behaviors. In part, this could speak to the success of various social justice narratives. This could happen on any number of social issues.

As an example, consider what would happen if one were to cast doubt that women are an oppressed class who require special government treatment in order to bring them up to parity? One could simply give straight forward arguments supporting the contention that women, as a class, are not underprivileged. Despite saying absolutely nothing disparaging about women, they are running the risk of being perceived as a misogynist, and run the risk of being shamed accordingly.

Alternatively, imagine a person who simply thought America – like every other country  not to mention household, business, and social club – should have a right to be aware of and either approve/disapprove of the entrance of whomever steps on the premises. This person is liable to have to fend of accusations of anti-Mexican racist shaming.

To be clear, I have absolutely no problem with the promotion of gender equality, equal rights for homosexuals, and racial egalitarianism. And I’ve said absolutely nothing that implies the contrary. The mere fact that I’m even coming out and pointing this out, one could argue, points to the walking-on-eggshells culture we are now living in. To say anything that contradicts the narratives of mainstream or radical feminism or various “social justice” factions, one immediately must go on the defensive and explain how they’re not a racist/sexist/etc.

There are sexists. There are racists. There are people who hate gay people. There are also wolves. But that doesn’t mean we should go calling wolf every time we see a puppy.