A Black artist looks at the role of White Feminism in neutralizing the Progressive and Socialist Left in America, and its consequences.
“Iconicity can make even the most questionable ideologies look like unparalleled genius straight from the mind of God.”
“Patients are patients because they are out of rapport with their own unconscious… Patients are people who have had too much programming – so much outside programming that they have lost touch with their inner selves.” ― Milton Erikson
“The feminism I relate to, the feminism I draw on, is the feminism of women resisting imperialism, exploitation, war and patriarchy – it is the feminism of Indian women fighting back against rape culture, Palestinian women resisting Israeli occupation, Bengali women demanding basic safety conditions in sweat factories producing clothes for fake fashion feministas – the innumerable women of the Arab uprisings and their ongoing resistance…When I say feminism has been hijacked by white women, I mean white culture continues to dominate the narrative in all fields and renders alternative points of view as quaint contributions permitted to confirm the eternal truth of western supremacy.” ― “Feminism has been hijacked by white middle class women,” Myriam Francois, New Statesman America
Prologue – The Other Eight-Fold Path
White Feminism is a cult.
Webster’s dictionary defines the word cult as follows: “a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous.” Deborah Teasley of Study.com defines it as “a system or group of people who practice excessive devotion to a figure, object or belief system, typically following a charismatic leader… however, cults can be non-religious...” Dr. Cathleen Mann of CultExpert.net charts the principal psychosocial techniques of cult expansion, according to a four-part MIND model: Manipulation, Indoctrination, Negation, and Deception.
White Feminism fits the bill of all three of the above descriptions of cults too well to be ignored. Firstly, regarding its obsession with acquiring power for the most affluent of professional white women uber alles, White Feminism is an extreme version of the overarching belief system inherent to the network of global expressions of feminism. (Global Feminism being those philosophical and economic principles designed to serve the equity, health and post-colonial empowerment needs of the women and children of the world and humanity as a whole, directly or indirectly; particularly vis a vis climate change [e.g. womanism; intersectionality; socialism; Buddhism].) Secondly, White Feminism, while secular in nature, relies on organizational practices and socioeconomic institutions that are not ancillary but antithetical to the aims and premises of Global Feminism; a reliance it camouflages through the quasi-religious “cult of personality” promotion of singular, charismatic female leadership. (Female leadership presented to the greater public in ways that appear transformational, but ultimately serve a patriarchal and capitalist status quo.) Thirdly, the emergence of the MIND method of propagation, re how their exclusionary belief system is promoted, is unavoidable when rigorously analyzed in detail. (A more rigorous and academic analysis these essays are designed to encourage, if not facilitate.) Understanding the real world dynamics of the cult of White Feminism, and predicting its sociopolitical movement accordingly, demands taking the above into consideration.
“White Feminism relies on organizational practices and socioeconomic institutions that are antithetical to the aims and premises of Global Feminism.”
An even deeper understanding of the cult of White Feminism is facilitated by an objective assessment of its eight (8) most destructive components:
- The malignant narcissism at its core (reflecting that of its supposed enemies)
- Its unabashed worship of racial caste, class rigidity and corresponding bourgeois white feminine privilege
- The parasitism inherent to its pre-occupation with African-Americans, vis a vis their collusion with powerful white men
- The will to make all other minorities, the white poor and the working class into disposable consumer goods in equal measure
- The Orwellian use of global feminist language to rationalize the advocacy of geopolitics, domestic policy and economics that are ultimately anti-feminist; in direct expression of
- The unvoiced but tacitly accepted belief that only women of European descent are actually women (and only those of the American petitbourgeoisie are of any importance)
- The unapologetic and ironic use of the DARVO protocol on those who attempt to expose the racist, imperialist and sexist contradictions associated with their history, origin myths, modern ideology and political advocacy, and
- The treatment of a cosmetic, kabuki theatre of socialism as the defining element of liberalism; marketed to the masses through popular culture, selective identity politics, and the American Democratic Party. A kabuki socialism reflecting in its reactionary fraudulence—and through which further empowering—the corporate socialism of the neoliberal .01%.
Only when the cult of White Feminism is considered for what it is, and what its adherents accordingly do, can one appreciate the corroborating psychosocial dynamics of today’s greater culture, to which it contributes and upon which it depends.
‘White Feminism makes all other minorities, the white poor and the working class into disposable consumer goods.”
Among the most important of the psychosocial dynamics of American culture it empowers are its central myths: the race and class propaganda refined during the postbellum Plantation era and the concurrent dawning of the Industrial age. The stories repurposed from America’s ancient racial and sexual melodrama, concretized during Reconstruction to aid in the prevention of radical economic & social transformation, serve as myths undergirding both Christian iconography and modern political narratives. As such, they are central to the white feminist politics of today—as evidenced by the new Matron Saint that is Elizabeth Warren vis a vis the pseudo-satanic figureof Bernie Sanders.
A sociological analysis of a movement by an artist, in an essay, is bound to be incomplete (among other things). Consider, however, that this is where an understanding of White Feminism begins.
An attempt at a further development of my thesis is below. But first, an allegory: Bill Cosby.
Act One – “Cos” Play
“We need to get behind the surface appearances if we are to act coherently in the world. Otherwise, acting in response to misleading surface signals typically produces disastrous outcomes.” ― David Harvey, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism
In 1965, the twenty-eight year old comedian William Henry Cosby, Jr. was hired to be the partner to character actor Robert Culp for the new television series I Spy. His successful appearance on The Tonight Show with a young Johnny Carson two years earlier set the stage for nothing less. He would go on to win three consecutive Emmy awards for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series while on that critically acclaimed show; one of about twenty actors in the entire history of television to achieve such an accomplishment, and the first African-American. Cosby, however, would catapult from these achievements to become one of the most successful entertainers of any genre in American history. His far-reaching influence, by virtue of live performances and seminal recordings, was present in the careers of comedians from Richard Pryor to Sinbad to Jerry Seinfeld and countless others, while his later TV show projects would arguably change the direction of American culture by further diversifying—and through which, revolutionizing—television as a medium. In 1988, Cosby donated twenty million dollars to Spelman College, the prestigious college for young African-American women; the largest donation by a single person to a Historically Black College or University to date. This seemed to be just the beginning of his philanthropy, bringing his outsized influence out of entertainment in general to American culture at large.
On August 20, 2015, three weeks to the fifty-year anniversary of the debut of I Spy, Vanity Fair reported that the number of women who had accused Dr. William H. Cosby, Jr. of sexual assault and/or rape had climbed to fifty and would soon go beyond. America’s all-time favorite TV Dad, the face of Coca-Cola and Jell-O pudding, star of film, and one of the most influential comedians of all time was accused of something beyond the imagination of those considering the transformational brand he had long since become. Fifty women, however, was too many (one would think) for even the most die-hard of fans to ignore. (One should have been enough for everyone to stop and take a beat after saying his name, in acknowledgement of how little we actually knew of his personal life and overall psychology.) To say that the most beloved Dr. Jeckyll of America had a Mr. Hyde shadowing him of any kind, however, was to declare a taboo premise, i.e. the one standing nefariously behind any accusation of sexual impropriety that could be taken seriously. That premise, however absurd making it taboo would seem, was that from which America protected itself with a forcefield of (among other things) patriarchal misogyny; the kind that is often unconscious to the entirety of the population, but particularly (and embarrassingly) inherent to the conservative leanings of the middle and upper middle class across all races, religious orientations and ethnicities, including the African-American. “What were they doing alone with a married man?” became the rhetorical question that (as it does so well) silenced individual women before they could even speak about Cosby and his women accusers. The question became a tool often used by other women, in fact, to virtue signal, establish a pecking order within gynocentric groups, and censure the voice of rape culture trauma within them all, screaming defiantly within themselves. It took more than Andrea Constand to break cultural ice that thick.
Overnight, Bill Cosby went from being a complex, unquestionable hero to a simple pariah. Overnight, he went from being the symbol of African-American unity to that of what is actually the community’s fragile system of balkanized subgroups. Overnight, Cosby damaged the psyche of Black America, killing Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable and all that The Cosby Show character stood for by being convicted of sexual assault along with being confirmed as a serial adulterer. Overnight, however, Cosby embarrassed us all by making it patently obvious that, just like the trajectory of his phenomenal success beginning in the early 60s, none of this could have possibly happened overnight. The tragedy Bill Cosby made of his own life unfolded over generations, on a stage Black America helped build for him.
M is for Myth
Psychoanalytical portraiture of Cosby had been done well before 2015. Ta-Nahesi Coates, writing for The Atlantic in 2008, contextualized Cosby anew by analyzing the ideological underpinnings of his psychology. (This was two years after Robert Huber’s practically Galilean [and dutifully ignored] article for Philadelphia Magazine.) “The rise of the organic black conservative tradition,” Coates wrote, “is a response to America’s retreat from its second attempt at Reconstruction…Black conservatives have been dipping into this well of lost black honor since the turn of the 20th century….” Cracking the Cosby code, however, as Coates knew implicitly, was not going to be done through learning history. Understanding his psychology depended upon developing enough understanding to reveal where history ended and the “M” word began: “…Meanwhile, populist black conservatives like Cosby point to pre-1968 black America as an era when blacks were united in the struggle…What both visions share is a sense that black culture in its present form is bastardized and pathological. What they also share is a foundation in myth [italics mine]… Indeed, a century ago, the black brain trust was pushing the same rhetoric that Cosby is pushing today.” Coates was clear that, “At times, Cosby seems willfully blind to the parallels between his arguments and those made in the presumably glorious past.”
Bill’s willful ignorance to the real dynamics of Black American history and its actual relationship to today’s Black community is a communicable disease, like syphilis; one that people have every right to believe someone, soon after sleeping with conservatism without protection and catching it, would cure with the penicillin of education. Which exacerbates the problem with him. Lest we forget, Dr. Cosby’s primary terminal degree is not honorary. His Doctorate in Education brings any number of expectations for not just the cleansing of his consciousness, but how he would communicate with the public on heretofore exhaustively researched socioeconomic and cultural issues. In other words, as one of the most formally educated comedians in history, Cosby was more capable of distinguishing myth from historical fact than most people. He had an arguably inherent obligation to do just that while spontaneously educating “the masses” outside the academy, much as a minister is expected to facilitate the healing of “sin-sick” souls in spontaneous conversation, even when not preaching in church. Yet, like the children, friends and wives of alcoholic fathers who give Daddy a pass for occasional tantrums and public inebriation, we, instead of holding him accountable, enabled Cosby’s passionate conflation of conservative myth and historical fact for the benefit of a dubious political ideology; one he found as healthy (though it wasn’t) as it was intoxicating (which for him it obviously was). We enabled him doing this on a regular basis, in fact, for decades. Even when it came at the Black community’s expense.
Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report predated both Coates and Huber with a similar analysis of Cosby. Huber paints a pseudo-evangelical picture of him with his 2006 Philadelphia Magazine article, suggesting that he had a measure of laudable concern for the Black poor that just happened to be hiding something regarding himself. Ford, however, had already put the empathy theory into question before Huber even developed it. Reporting for The Black Commentator two years earlier, i.e. soon after Cosby’s “Pound Cake” speech in 2004, Ford was also more critical than Coates would later be when calling Cosby out on his anti-intellectualism; killing the idea that authentic concern for the Black proletariat (or their lumpen-cousins) was the motivator for his style of communication in the process. Predating Coates’ insight about Cosby resting on racial myth instead of facts and evidence, Ford, referring to the speech already en route to becoming infamous that year, was both less kind and more significant. “Not once did it occur to ‘Cos’ that he owed his immediate and larger audience the benefit of a well-prepared presentation. Dr. Cosby saw no need to buttress his rant with a single reliable fact, nor to provide a coherent structure for his argument, so that reasonable people might arrive at some useful conclusions,” Ford wrote. “Instead,” he continued, “[Cosby] played the elderly ‘shock jock,’ frothing and flailing away, spewing a sewer of abuse that, if directed against other ethnic groups, would be considered blood libels.”
Feed Me, Seymour
Cosby’s complicated psychology as analyzed by Coates, Huber and Ford is significant because he was more than a star. Stardom can make a person’s friends, family and home town look good. Superstardom can make the entire machine that produced it look good. Cosby was more than that; Cosby was an icon. Iconicity can make not just people and home towns but even the most questionable ideologies—from Scientology to eugenics—look like unparalleled genius straight from the mind of God. Indeed, it can make anything a person believes seem wholly beautiful, even when those beliefs clearly aren’t. So much so, in fact, that whole socioeconomic institutions and business models can ride the coattails of an icon’s reflexive marketing in ways only the neighborhood friends of the average star made into their entourage can. Despite the dubious benefits Black conservatism granted, Cosby was given a wide berth to advertise and proselytize on its behalf, because he was an icon. He was our icon. And this is arguably where the damage Cosby did to the entire Black community begins. Had he been capable of admitting his sins against women Jimmy Swaggart-style by 2004, opening the door to justice and restitution for them in the process, the Church of the Icon could have been put to use for the healing of the community he damaged—through damaging women—without him. Instead, Cosby did nothing but puncture the imago with the “Pound Cake” speech—and with it, the African-American psyche—more than his conservatism did. In other words, with that one speech (no doubt growing inside him for forty years like “Audrey II” of Little Shop of Horrors), Cosby, with all the irony in the world, served his conservatism to us on a garbage can lid. Bursting with repudiation of the very things he normally used to repudiate the Black lower class, it conveyed a disturbing message: Cosby no longer believed he had to be as erudite, or wise, or honorable, or even as compassionate as white people pretended he was, in order to lambast the Black poor for being, definitively, even less so. He thereby turned “I have sinned against you” into “It didn’t happen, but if it did, mind your business and pull your pants up,” before any of his sins were even exposed.
Cosby opened Pandora’s Box with his “Pound Cake” speech. It just wasn’t the Pandora’s Box he thought it would be. Instead of facilitating a moral revolution amongst the post-Civil Rights Black poor in which he had lost faith since at least the 80s, he built the microscope through which his character and psychology could be studied unlike ever before. He then arrogantly put himself under it; opening the door to having all of his judgement of the licentious, willfully ignorant, expletive-using, Black lower class be perceived as little more than garden variety projection.
Our bargaining with reality on behalf of Cosby’s legacy was, in the end, pointless by the summer of 2015. Black America saw not the complete truth with his “Pound Cake” performance in 2004 (and it was a performance, not a sermon, speech or dissertation), but the irrefutable possibility that Cosby could be a fraud; one hiding all kinds of filth behind Dr. Huxtable, Fat Albert, Jell-O pudding pops, a Coke, and a smile. That which no one in Black or white America had the power or interest in doing to him at that point, i.e. removing the Teflon from his celebrity, he did to himself. We knew then, eleven years before Vanity Fair put the victim count to fifty-plus, that whatever stuck to him afterwards, rightly or wrongly (even before the social critics savaged him), was going to be his fault.
It still took a decade, an angry set from Hannibal Buress and all fifty-plus of those women accusing Bill Cosby of rape, assault, and adulterous sexual impropriety, however, before the majority of Black America stopped to seriously consider that maybe he and Dr. Huxtable are two different people, with only one of them being real.
The Return of Myth Understanding – Paradigm (Bull) Shift
These rape kits—which included DNA and other potential crime-solving clues collected from victims of alleged assaults—were sitting in the warehouse, gathering dust, some of them for years. While a few had been investigated, most had never been submitted for testing. After they were discovered, prosecutors launched more than 1,000 investigations based on the evidence kits, identifying 817 serial rapists who had attacked multiple victims. (A report on why the rape kits had gone untested found the police were “cutting corners” and failing to follow protocol.) As of December 2017, 127 suspects associated with the cases from the warehouse had been convicted.
―"Mariska Hargitay’s New Documentary Is an Unflinching Look at America's Untested Rape Kits,” Torey Van Oot, Glamour Magazine
“Experts say the statistics on sexual assaults by police are almost nonexistent. ‘There are no comprehensive statistics available on problems with police integrity,’ the report says, and no government entity collects data on police who are arrested….It adds, "Police sexual misconduct and cases of police sexual violence are often referred to as hidden offenses, and studies on police sexual misconduct are usually based on small samples or derived from officer surveys that are threatened by a reluctance to reveal these cases.’" ― “US police officers charged with more than 400 rapes over 9 years, research says,” WVLT News, Knoxville
When things began to blow up for real, a popular theory served the Black community as a final defense mechanism against both the possibility of Cosby’s guilt and its horrific implications: he was preparing to buy NBC and turn it into the BET with class that White America has feared since the dawn of television, and he could not be stopped from doing so without scandal. He was therefore brought down via conspiracy, i.e. via tales designed to completely destroy his reputation through the spectre of victimized white women. Never mind that the Bill Cosby who did make his desires public to do this very thing was the one of the early 90s, when NBC (then owned by General Electric) was a different species compared to what it became in the 2000s and 2010s. (Think NBC before Friends; before the rise of Seinfeld; before Frasier; before Will & Grace; before Sunday Night Football.) Never mind that when the Cosby-tries-to-buy-NBC story of the 90s reemerged as conspiracy theory in the early 2010s, the comedic lion in winter showed neither the interest nor ability to either finance personally or put a team together to buy what was the reborn Goliath network of a changing TV landscape; that which was a frail and limping Daniel (again) when The Cosby Show was two years’ done in the ‘93/’94 season (when Cosby was at the height of his powers). NBC in the 21st century is now owned by Universal, itself a subsidiary of Comcast: the multinational corporation whose Board, if they had any interest, could have sold the network to the Chinese for ten times what any team led by 20th century power brokers in America could have ever raised to buy it in the best of circumstances. To this day, not even that (God willing) has any hope of happening. No, the imagined white fear of a Citizen Cosby was a salve to get the average Black man through the day, given how many of us were still hurting from the “post-racial” bullshit serving as camouflage for the racial panic of the Obama age.
“The comedic lion in winter showed neither the interest nor ability to buy the network.”
“Both the phony 911 call and the alleged kidnapping story follow, experts say, the stereotypical notion of black men as criminals and the ingrained racism that has existed in American society for generations. Although some may find it shocking that people are still resorting to these tropes, experts say that a culture of relative impunity has allowed it.”
― “'Because they can get away with it': Why African Americans are blamed for crimes they didn't commit: Experts,”
Christina Carrega, ABC News
The problem surrounding Cosby, of course, came not with the NBC conspiracy theory or the post-racial delusion of the Obama era but the return of the myth that never dies. Like the corrupt use of the bell curve, the white-woman-as-eternal-victim-of-Black-male-sexual-aggression myth is forever useful, ready to justify a preexisting plan to further enslave, contain, sexually exploit, or otherwise destroy Black men in their totality whenever white people find it convenient. As such, the myth was and still is a ubiquitous propaganda tool of the white supremacist patriarchy that is the soul of America going back to the 17th century; keeping meritocracy from being anything more than a useful cosmetic for the American kleptocracy’s savage and parasitical nature. The rumbling was clear by 2008, when a Black man was en route to being elected POTUS: the myth was back with a vengeance. Ask why Cosby was “framed;” ask why Kanye was somehow jeopardizing his career by offending the delicate sensibilities of Taylor Swift; ask why Obama had to go HAM on Hillary in early ’08, only to turn on a dime and tread lightly around Sarah Palin months later if there was any hope of getting to the White House in ’09 (not to mention pick up the Southern Belle-protector Protector that is Biden as his running mate, to further ensure America of his domestication)…the obvious weaponization of the myth to neutralize Black men, especially the most exceptional, made it excruciating for most of the Black community to talk about, in or out of our homes, for centuries. Therein, of course, lay the problem: the myth was everywhere, polluting the air and toxifying everything, but in rare instances, on the road to neutralizing a Black man, it would reveal him.
Cosby was one of those that the myth seems to have further revealed, not obscured. He was still, however, a titan of our community. We protect our titans, because purely by virtue of proving with their success that white supremacy is an oxymoron, they are always a target. As such, we were prepared to use the analysis of the victimized white woman myth defensively, not just to protect Bill, but to protect us; to protect the community from having to acknowledge questionable aspects of his personality that routinely leaked from the golden chalice of his iconicity. For example, like whenever the elephant in the room of how much of his career was built on him being the anti-Dick Gregory rose like high tide. Or whenever he treated Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock or the up and coming comedians of Def Comedy Jam with disdain for refusing to emulate him. Or whenever we noticed the paucity of poor or lower middle class friends amongst the Huxtable family on The Cosby Show, despite the fictional Black family living in 80s and 90s Brooklyn. Or when Black female comedians, writers, and actresses remained conspicuously silent about their interactions with him, his support of their artistry, or his public dissociation from the rise and fall of their careers. Or whenever he lambasted the very existence of Hip-Hopwithout a hint of irony, vis a vis the similar lambasting by white people in the early 20th century of his beloved Jazz. We were prepared to sacralize conspiracy theories and play race cards in polemic support of him when it became clear to investors in the 90s that “the Cos” had great ideas and his heart was in the right place, but while he had what it took to save NBC with superior content, he wasn’t the guy to run it. White people have been using their favorite myth and other conspiracy theories to destroy our men (and women) for centuries; why shouldn’t we use them, i.e. declare them to be either useful truths and not lies or useful lies and not the truth, to make our community into a shield for our heroes whenever we need to? Yes, the Black community was ready to expose the story of sexual allegations against Cosby as another weaponization of the victimized white woman myth making a herpes-like return to one of the Black community’s titans. Especially at the time when he (in our imagination) was becoming omnipotent. Even after he humiliated us, and himself, with the “Pound Cake” speech—a quintessential example of racist, bourgeoisie miseducation (on the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education, no less) if there ever was one. We were angry at him. No, we were pissed at him, even many of us who agreed with him. But we were still ready, come what may, to protect him, by protecting his legacy.
“We were prepared to use the analysis of the victimized white woman myth defensively, not just to protect Bill, but to protect us.”
The Black community (and not just the Black community) was ready to stand by Cosby to the end, at the obvious expense of women everywhere, until the number count of his alleged victims forced a paradigm shift that made it altogether impossible. We knew, after the “Pound Cake” speech, that the real Cosby was the kind of guy who could have a double life, with a more malevolent one hiding behind the one made for public consumption. We had no interest, however, in conjecturing what that could mean. That speech forced us to accept the possibility that he was doing the Cosby we knew all these years, not being him; that the Cosby we know was just another character (like Alexander Scott, Fat Albert, or Heathcliff Huxtable) that he was portraying for the art and profit of it, and the power of doing so with unprecedented success had gone to his head. We didn’t want to know if that roleplay could be used to cover up actual evil. We knew that the man behind those characters could cheat on his wife (hey, Camille forgave him, so mind your business), but even then we felt he was too rich and famous to ever have to drug or force himself on any woman. It takes a small leap of pop psychology to say, if the above analysis holds up, that the real Cosby, who we don’t really know, could have committed criminal acts that we blinded ourselves to; the kind that, after many years of evading punishment, he unconsciously wanted to get caught for doing. There was, however, no proof of this farfetched and offensive theory, and we didn’t want to see any. We knew all of this before the “Pound Cake” speech. We could just ignore it, easily, until the speech was given. We could still ignore all of it with difficulty for a decade afterward, knowing full well that if the other shoe were to drop, turning a blind eye to it would be beyond us. And then the other shoe dropped. Hard.
Cosby complicated everything by making it clear that in rare instances, the white woman as eternal victim myth can point to truth; in cases exceptional enough to prove the rule, the melodrama can reveal reality. Cosby complicated everything, however, and damaged us all, with our help. The reality of our cultural collusion with him being what might have damaged us the most.
Act Two – The Warren Commission
“It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house. But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street–and the mortgage won’t even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner….And for families who get tangled up with truly dangerous financial products, the result can be wiped-out savings, lost homes, higher costs for car insurance, denial of jobs, troubled marriages, bleak retirements, and broken lives.” ― “Unsafe at Any Rate,” Elizabeth Warren, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
The differences between any two celebrities in real life are legion. However, a comparison of Dr. William H. Cosby, Ed.D. Univ. of Massachusetts and Elizabeth Warren (D), Senator of Massachusetts points to the inconvenient truth that their similarities might have something to teach us; particularly when considering the similarities of their supporters. FOX journalist John Stossel, when he was on ABC’s 20/20, once asked a controversial question on the program he co-hosted: who did more for the world, the famous Catholic nun (now Saint) Mother Theresa, or the junk bond king and convicted criminal Michael Milken? The very idea of mentioning the two in the same sentence in any way but to establish a dichotomy offended the sensibilities of everyone—which was his intent. Stossel was putting our sensibilities on trial. What emanates from such a comparison—before any facts, inconvenient or otherwise, are even considered—is the hypnotic power of magical thinking: how much a desire to be ennobled by the superlative attributes of icon A (via virtue signaling in their regard) and cleansed from our culpability with the sin of icon B (via condemnation of the sinner) can cloud our perception of reality. The case he made for Michael Milken doing more for the world in turn was disturbing, but it demanded that people objectively reassess the actual impact of the famous, beyond subjective opinions of them.
The questions that come to mind now barely need to be asked. First, of Cosby and Warren, who, directly or indirectly, mistakenly or otherwise, did the greater cultural damage to America? Secondly, why exactly does that question offend you?
There are those offended by the above questions because they, ironically, believe Cosby did no damage to anyone. “How many times we gonna go through this and pretend what white people want us to pretend?” they want to know. Though fifty-plus women accused Cosby of sexual crimes, leading to his arrest and conviction, there were (and still are) people in the Black community (mostly men) who question his guilt and refuse to accept it. (Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, would probably draw a bell curve and call this subculture “the laggards.”) However, as is to be expected, there are plenty of others who would have found fault with comparing Liz Warren to the Cosby of before the sexual assault scandal broke, let alone the one after. Like those convinced that the ghetto drug dealer is far more criminal than the suburban banker who launders the cartel’s money, they hide their latent racism behind the theatre of having no tolerance whatsoever for an intellectual exercise that could trivialize rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment. (This while conveniently ignoring the paucity of white feminists demanding that Thomas Jefferson statues be removed from public areas and American history books be rewritten, according to the truth of Sally Hemmings.) Even if we were to compare the Cosby of 1988, when few knew his alter-ego, to the Warren of the same time.
An interesting thing nonetheless happened toward the end of Liz’s campaign: fifty (50) ex-staffers from the 2020 POTUS campaign of Elizabeth Warren proudly chose to endorse Bernie Sanders for President almost immediately after she withdrew from the race. That happened. There still were (and are), however, hordes of Warren supporters who would die before reevaluating their POV on Bernie Sanders in spite of this, just like the Cosby supporters who unceasingly proclaim his innocence despite his admitted affairs, rape/harassment accusers and subsequent conviction. Hatred, contempt and fear of Bernie and his supporters, in fact, seemed to reach a boiling point amongst many Liz supporters in March of 2020; virtually the same time the endorsement exodus of staffers from her campaign to his was happening.
“There are those who believe Cosby did no damage to anyone.”
Both the laggard groups of Cosby and Warren supporters have the same revealing disposition at their core, vis a vis their supposed defining ideologies. They need to betray their stated beliefs in their entirety, in order to show fealty to the tribal leader—and they do so routinely, without a hint of cognitive dissonance. Within the heart of the Cosby-is-innocent contingent seems to be an unconscious doubting of the very innate civility of Black men they advocate; expressed through an undistinguished hostility toward women. Beyond their inability to call him a serial rapist, even possibly, this is made obvious in two ways. For one, they assume, against both evidence and logic, that literally all of Cosby’s accusers were lying for profit; something that is irrational on multiple levels. Two, ignoring the litany of rich, famous and powerful Black men in multiple professions who have neither been accused of similar crimes nor believe in getting women high on drugs to substitute for consensual foreplay (as Cosby admitted to doing in the 70s)—and ignoring them in order to establish Bill’s personal life as the acceptable moral baseline at that—is even more irrational. Put another way, they ostensibly stand for the Mr. Hyde Cosby by burning the Dr. Jeckyll Cosby and all it represents in effigy, as if that needs to be done to defend him. The same dynamic amongst a cross-section of Bernie-hating Liz supporters is equally obvious. They forgive Warren so thoroughly for any sins committed during her campaign and in her professional life previously that they reference the patriarchy to angrily explain away the very concept of them, let alone their proven existence and impact. Even when these sins, in aggregate, paint the picture of a neoliberal cake hiding under progressive icing as her defining ideology. In so doing, Bernie-hating Liz supporters display what comes across as an equally unbridled and irrational hostility, expressed on Senator Warren’s behalf, against the very progressivism they pretend to be advocating.
"White liberals, despite believing we are saying and doing the right things, have resisted the systemic changes our cities have needed for decades...Nowhere is this dynamic of preserving white comfort at the expense of others more visible than in policing… white liberal people in blue cities implicitly ask police officers to politely stand guard in predominantly white parts of town…and to aggressively patrol the parts of town where people of color live — where the consequences of bad policing are fear, violent abuse, mass incarceration and, far too often, death." — “As Mayor of Minneapolis, I Saw How White Liberals Block Change,” Betsy Hodges, New York Times
The fifty Liz staffers who endorsed Bernie, however, were not all: six Liz campaign staffers in Nevada, all Women of Color, resigned well before she withdrew from the race. As detailed by Alex Thompson of Politico, one Nevada staffer in particular said, “We all were routinely silenced and not given a meaningful chance on the campaign. Complaints, comments, advice, and grievances were met with an earnest shake of the head and progressive buzzwords but not much else.” Together, “The women said the issues within the campaign hurt the larger effort to marshal votes, particularly in the state's large Latino communities. Spanish-language literature didn’t arrive until late in the fall despite repeated requests from many staffers. There were too few Spanish-speaking organizers, the former staffers said, despite asking the campaign to hire more. They felt it was a constant battle to set up events in Spanish.” Few white women supporters of Warren, however, seemed to see any of this as a serious moral, existential or political problem needing to be addressed. This sadly albeit predictably reflected the office politics that Women of Color have been dealing with vis a vis white women for generations, as innumerable Women of Color can attest.
Bernie wins Nevada handily, through People of Color and Unions coming out strong for him. Liz has Women of Color staffers quit her campaign over being patronized and tokenized into invisibility. Liz, accordingly, loses Nevada as big as Bernie won it, given the antithetical problem with minority inclusion her campaign seemed to have. Much of the white women supporters of Warren, nonetheless, were angry at Bernie over this, not Liz or themselves. This is another passive/aggressive way of not just dismissing logic in general but dismissing the independent minds and volition of the very communities of color they needed to empower, with the kind of racist toxicity that can only be explained by DARVO and rationalized through privilege.
“But the truth is many people are comfortable with a sugarcoated feminism that unites people by choosing to ignore our differences. Many people are more comfortable with performative allyship….What is most insulting to women of color, queer, and trans women is that whenever this homogenization of feminism occurs, instead of prioritizing their voices and advice about why prematurely lumping us all together is not only disingenuous but constitutes erasure, white women respond reactively and label us as hateful and divisive dampeners of their joy in feeling a sense of solidarity, however manufactured…” — “The White Feminism of the Women’s March is Still on My Mind,” Jessica Xiao, Medium
Campaign problems regarding race such as the aforementioned in no way made Liz unique, of course. Amy Klobuchar’s one percent average with Black voters was going to crater her overall numbers on Super Tuesday. Her record as both Senator and County Attorney,which said that the Black community would be anything but safe if she were to assume even more power, was inevitably going to lead to her downfall. Pete Buttigieg seemingly showed at every turn that he thought he could be elected POTUS without the Black vote. Corey Booker, Deval Patrick, and Kamala Harris, all three of African descent with one being Black and female, pursued the Black vote but seemed no more likely to get it for a host of other reasons. And Biden’s problematic history has been exhaustively researched and displayed. Meanwhile, Marcus Ferrell, National Black Outreach Director, said about Bernie, “[He] simply didn’t do what was needed to take his energy, popularity, and email list to boost his Black support during the 2016 election and leading up to 2020. This is not an indictment [of] what he stands for, but rather the political will to implement necessary tactics to earn Black trust.” Which, for all intents and purposes, is the point: nearly sixty staffers of Warren’s campaign in various states made it clear that Empress Elizabeth was not wearing any more clothes than her competitors on highly substantive issues re the country’s minorities, as exemplified in part by the racial dynamics inherent to her campaign. Support for Warren over everyone else, therefore, couldn’t be logically based on the delusion that she had none of these race issues compared to the men (and women) left in the race, or that they had no implications. Principled support of Warren, indeed, would have to be based on the two things that matter most: 1) ideological integrity, i.e. what the country really needs explained in terms of a belief system most honestly upheld throughout their career in comparison to the others (expressed via specific policy advocacy), and 2) greater electability vis a vis two or more candidates representing that selfsame ideology and level of integrity. (“Electability,” also, doesn’t mean establishment support, media propagandizing or 1% financing, but the combination of message, campaign infrastructure, diverse donor base, appeal to a diversity of demographics, etc. being superior to ideological competitors and political opponents.) Otherwise people are stuck with a) party affiliation and loyalty, b) brand name recognition and c) race and gender tribalism when choosing the candidate; easily programmable impulses that never serve the majority’s self-interest when they are the basis of political decision making.
“Empress Elizabeth was not wearing any more clothes than her competitors on highly substantive issues re the country’s minorities.”
“POTUS Candidate Senator Kamala] Harris said that her $1 billion investment would cover about 225,000 rape kits that remain untested. According to End the Backlog, an advocacy group that assists crime victims, it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 to test a rape kit….The California senator said she would implement the program within her first term as president if she is elected in 2020.” — "Kamala Harris Wants To Spend $1 Billion Clearing America's 225,000 Untested Rape Kits,” Alexandra Hutzler, Newsweek
The decisions of Warren’s staff, who wrestled with the above matters and others on her behalf daily, arguably matter more than the opinions of most people. They are based not in mainstream media manipulation or emotional subjectivity but actual facts, in the air and on the ground. They therefore form a reliable control group to reference for fact-based decision making. And immediately upon the cessation of Warren’s 2020 run for POTUS, roughly one out of five of the 300+ employee staff of her campaign—instead of running to work for Biden, that of a third party candidate, the Trump monstrosity, or leaving politics completely—went to work (via endorsement) for Bernie: the post-Obama Hope They Could Believe In. In other words, one out of five people who actually worked for the Warren campaign said directly, with their words and actions that, all things considered, Bernie is the right choice for America. One out of a hundred people, as outliers of a group, is a rounding error. One out of five isn’t. The Liz to Bernie exodus of 20% of Senator Warren’s staff made it clear to most progressives that anyone seeing America’s need for the advocacy and implementation of progressive policy should consider a return to “the Bern” immediately. Almost one out of five Liz campaign staffers already had.
As the Sanders progressive machine continued rising while Warren’s electability precipitously declined, however, a cross-section of her supporters—dismissing the concerns, knowledge, experience and overall existence of this portion of Team Liz—became more convinced of the existential wrongness of the presumed misogynist Bernie, not less; defying the very moral logic and courageous processing of inconvenient truths that Warren represented with aplomb throughout much of her academic and political career. When one out of five people experience something and as a result believe in something, that experience and subsequent belief must be reexamined if antithetical ones are to be advocated in good faith. Unless, of course, good faith was never a concern.
“The Harris campaign’s inability to fund itself raises important questions about the future of political campaigns in the United States. Could the Harris campaign have been saved by a last-minute large-dollar donation?...The short answer is ‘maybe’… As we get closer to the 2020 election, Harris’s drop from the race opens doors for other female and feminist candidates vying for support from her funders. At the same time, her drop represents a frustrating continuation of elections past.”
— “Could Feminist Funding have Saved the Kamala Harris Campaign?” Maggie May, Philanthropy Women
Which brings us back (from the logical) to the psychological: the innate hostility to progressivism inherent to some of Liz’s most passionate supporters under the surface. If a man or woman decides, after the opposite sex person they adore declines their marriage proposal, to take a same sex lover, there’s a good chance they weren’t actually heterosexual to begin with. (Which might have something to do with why the marriage proposal was declined in the first place.) One answer for why the vast majority of urban white female supporters of the progressive Elizabeth Warren didn’t follow the lead of a significant percentage of her staff to Bernie’s big tent, swinging to the neoliberal Biden instead, may be that neither their psychology nor actual politics allowed for a progressive choice, given they weren’t actually progressives. Lest we forget, Biden’s campaign was on life support before South Carolina; the monster of his electability had become cryptozoological, right up there with Bigfoot, Nessie and the Chupacabra. His politics, also, have been conservative Republican masquerading as liberal Democrat for half a century. There was, accordingly, neither a pragmatic nor ideological argument for supporting Biden to a real progressive in February of 2020, and the smell of a DNC Establishment couppermeating Super Tuesday before it even arrived only served to make Bernie the moral and logical decision before the COVID-19 era even began, let alone weeks after. Bernie, however, the last progressive standing in April, didn’t reflect the Liz-supporting urban white women of the middle and upper-middle class. He isn’t a Baby-boomer or older Gen-X (he’s among the youngest of the Noam Chomsky “Silent” Generation). He isn’t (the right kind of) white. He isn’t a woman. Perhaps most importantly, he was never winking at the DNC neoliberal establishment while screaming Teddy Roosevelt-ian obscenities re breaking trusts and dissolving monopolies to his base. Senator Sanders continued, and continues, to be a consistent and existential threat to the DNC and its Wall St./corporate donor base. Something the demographic in question, in reality, had little interest in supporting.
“As the social safety net is shredded, new data show that billionaires and corporations are refusing to pay hundreds of billions of dollars of owed taxes every single year. It really puts all the hand-wringing about “looting” into perspective.” — "The 1 Percent Are Cheating Us Out of a Quarter-Trillion Dollars in Taxes Every Year,” David Sirota, Jacobin
“Economic exploitation creates the conditions for sexual exploitation to flourish, and the comics industry as it currently exists cannot address the one without tackling the other. Sexual harassment, in all its various forms, is not simply a social problem; it is theft—of a victim’s time, dignity, of their ability to create work in peace and pursue financial or social opportunities….Harassers don’t simply prey on those made vulnerable by precarity: they actively make the spaces and institutions they inhabit more precarious, and keep workers disorganized and afraid to the company’s financial benefit….Sexual harassment is a labor rights issue….” — “Inside the Comic Book Industry’s Sexual Misconduct Crisis—and the Ugly, Exploitative History That Got It Here,” Asher Elbein, The Daily Beast (Emphasis mine)
“Sexual harassment, in all its various forms, is not simply a social problem; it is theft.”
The very existence of Bernie, therefore, prevented the parasitism inherent to the performative culture of reactionary fraudulenceendemic to Liz’s base from looking good, in every conceivable way—particularly where women’s issues were concerned. (Climate change being, irrefutably, a big one.) Whether or not Liz was slumming with Progressives-in-the-Hood and virtue signaling before running for POTUS (and predictably settling on the moderate establishment candidate afterwards), a chunk of her supporters obviously were. They, at best, were just hoping the moderate establishment candidate would be her. Focusing on logic, courage, policy debate, and progressive integrity in appeals to the populace, clearly, were only going to empower Bernie’s campaign, not end it. As such, they needed to be jettisoned from the discourse and exchanged for feelings and beliefs; feelings and beliefs that, by their very subjective nature, complimented those who acknowledged them the more anxiously they were expressed, and removed culpability from everyone concerned. (Culpability, that is, re collusion with corporatists–which is, for the most part, the actual origin of underlying anxiety for most people.) For that propaganda bait and switch to work, the inadvertent exposer of the truth that was Senator Sanders had to be made into a scapegoat. There was no other way. Bernie couldn’t be the new FDR and an enemy of the people simultaneously; he therefore had to be sold as a demon spirit of the white feminist church that needed to be exorcised. In other words, before people stopped giggling with anti-Semitic condescension over his Brooklyn Jewish mannerisms and got used to applying critical thinking to the American economy and political system (according to what he was facilitating), Senator Sanders needed to be publicly shamed and neutralized.
Liz may not have been interested in going there (at first), but some of her supporters had a plan for that.
Act Three – What They Think in a Deeper Voice
“The treachery of Warren towards Sanders is most likely from some back room deal with Biden… Anyway, it’s not unlikely that Warren will get a challenger for her senate seat due to this Judas move.” — "Hijacking the Struggles of Others, Elizabeth Warren Style,” Kathleen Wallace, Counterpunch
Like Cosby, Senator Warren, in order to serve the hidden agenda, punctured her progressive iconicity with (what occurred to millions as) the strategic mendacity of her neoliberal alter-ego during the 2020 campaign: she gave her own “Pound Cake” speech. (The predictable process of this being that which made her more useful to fake progressives, not less; i.e. those who ironically abandoned her to support the more Right-leaning liberals of the establishment soon after she did this.) She punctured her progressive iconicity so mortally, in fact, that Warren not only lost her own state in the primaries to the unapologetically (neo)liberal establishment led by Biden, but dozens of her staff left by throwing their hands up and endorsing the unapologetically progressive Bernie as soon as she was done. Also, while every misogynist trope under the sun was seemingly brought out to shame anyone who would dare expect Liz to immediately return to her progressive principles and endorse Bernie in March, it never occurred at all, in her time or anyone else’s. She came out for Biden instead. As was predicted by many on the Left (who were [you guessed it] dutifully ignored), politics trumped principle completely by May; to the point where the authenticity of Warren’s progressive ideology in its entirety had to be questioned, even by her most idealistic fans. As Hadas Thier of Jacobin wrote, “Warren is certainly a breath of fresh air…but she falls short of calling for systemic transformation. She is, in her words, a ‘capitalist to her bones’ and a believer in the ultimate good of the markets. Many of her proposals leave the door open to further compromise down the line…[a]nd her campaign has consciously cultivated her reputation as a more palatable liberal alternative to Bernie, one that even Brookings Institution fellows can swallow…Rather than policies or plans alone, [Bernie] is calling on social movements to overturn the entire state of affairs. For all her progressive policy ideas, Elizabeth Warren isn’t.”
“While he was in the Air Force, Kelley was convicted of assaulting his wife and fracturing the skull of his 18-month-old stepson. The Air Force court-martialed him and confined him for a year, but failed to report his conviction to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System…He reportedly had been sending threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who attended the church where he committed mass murder…’The majority of mass shootings are connected to domestic violence or family violence in some way,’ Sarah Tofte, research director at Everytown for Gun Safety, told us...Tofte’s team…found that from 2009 to 2016, in more than half of mass shootings, the shooters killed intimate partners or other family members.” ― “Mass Shootings and Domestic Violence,” Amy Goodman and Dennis Moynihan, Democracy Now
“Former candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., carved out one of the most ambitious paths in the gun policy debate ahead of 2020…Booker's policy, announced in May, would have required all gun owners to acquire a license through the federal government….Warren, who was born and raised in Oklahoma and has said that she values the rights of ‘law-abiding citizens’ to own guns, was one of the last front-runner candidates to unveil a gun policy, despite her efforts to be out in front of a host of other 2020 issues by dominating the arena of plans.” ― “Here's where the 2020 Democrats stand on gun control,” Cheyenne Haslett and Samantha Sergi, ABC News.com
Too many progressives have been left wondering if, with Senator Warren, the liberal machine set them up to support the white feminist version of Heathcliff Huxtable…until she could be exposed as an actress when she was no longer useful. Too many liberals, each supporting Biden with the cognitive dissonance of a thousand schizophrenics, couldn’t care less about this if they tried. (All of which is pure comedy to the average Trump supporter.) Liberals have planted a time bomb in their own agenda accordingly.
“The white feminist version of Heathcliff Huxtable.”
“It’s not just [the National Organization of Women]. Veteran feminist organizations, led by white women with roots in the second wave, have not made room for women of color, especially black women, according to interviews with 20 former staffers from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) and NOW. Former employees say staffers of color are concentrated in lower level positions, with white leadership shaping organizational priorities that feel largely irrelevant to women who are not white, straight, cisgender, highly educated and upper-middle class. Employees of color were often made to feel like ‘tokens,’ many said, rolled out to show diversity but derided and dismissed within the confines of the office.” -- "‘How many women of color have to cry?’: Top feminist organizations are plagued by racism, 20 former staffers say,” Caroline Kitchener, The Lily
Too progressive to be liberal, and too liberal to be progressive, Warren’s sins of commission and sins of omission played an integral part in her campaign’s demise. (There’s nothing brilliant or controversial in saying she played a principal role in her own failure, because on multiple levels that is true for literally every leader that has ever pursued and failed to achieve a political office for which they campaigned or later held, privilege or no privilege.) Her sins were still, nonetheless, not enough to make a cross-section of her white female supporters consider that Bernie was the way to go in the first place. Even with accusations against Biden that remind us of the early ones against Cosby. Especially with her comparatively short-lived candidacy doing little more in the end than slowing the momentum of Bernie’s expanding base—forcing all the truer and bluer progressives to wonder, once again, if that was the point after all. The only thing that mattered to the Usual Suspects of urban white women, however, was that Warren was like them. Like one would expect from the Hillary 2.0 she was in part branded to be, as a certain kind of rich, privileged, racially appropriate, C.V.-brandishing woman running for the highest office in the land, she deserved both the nomination and the presidency on moral grounds, period.
Round Up the Usual Suspects (Apotheosis)
“This isn’t to say that white women’s passion for issues such as domestic violence, rape culture, and the wage gap isn’t real, but their insistence on ignoring the racism faced by nonwhite women, and how their dismissal of our unique intersections leave us and our communities vulnerable, cannot be ignored…White women have proven that when they garner enough power, they not only do nothing to protect their nonwhite ‘sisters,’ they wield that power to harm us and our children in the name of all of us.” ― "Linda Fairstein will always feel justified because there’s no accountability for the violence of White Feminism,” E. Museaux, Black Youth Project
The differences between the Bill Cosby innocence laggards and the Liz Warren purity laggards, therefore, are irrelevant where they exist at all. (The theatrical tribalism of identity politics fails to hide this.) With one notable exception: the male laggards in the Black community, standing against logic and evidence for Bill’s innocence, are—like most grumpy old uncles and young conspiracy theorists—barely heard when they speak at family gatherings, let alone in the greater world. The white women laggards who stood for the imaginary purity of Liz Warren against the fantasized toxicity of Bernie Sanders, however, are so influential that they have the ear of those who can buy elections and set national, economic and foreign policy against the will of the people—the majority of whom consist of women without their race or class privileges. (This while, as can never go unmentioned, they give themselves over to that selfsame financial aristocracy for weaponization against the rabble, whenever the rich feel it necessary to take aim.) That kind of power, given how power corrupts, makes the members of this Liz-deifying demographic embrace magical thinking without apology; in ways making them even less inclined to objectively reassess the beliefs which drive them, or the all too convenient takes on reality that fuel those beliefs. A cult is what a cult does.
What a cult did, in this case, grew more unavoidable with each passing day that Spring hath sprung into this long, hot Summer. With the tragedy of the 2016 Democratic primaries and Hillary’s subsequent defeat in the POTUS election returning as farce in the three-ring circus of the past year (a farce being jammed down the DNC memory hole while the Republicans plunge us further into fascism), July, 4th Independence Day 2020 is already on the books as representing a frantically deluded and hopelessly divided country. A deluded and divided country, with citizens who have never been less proud of their culture and political system since at least 9/11 (of 2001), if not since the riots of the 60s. Organic national divisions; the paleolithic and corrosive violence of institutionalized racism; a defiant rape culture (quintessentially exemplified with “Hydrocarbon Man’s” continued rape of the Earth), and the tribalism of identity politics serve to distract and destabilize an already anxiety-ridden population into misdirected and demoralized pseudo-individuals. Each one of us demanding our titular identity’s rightful place under a neoliberal/consumerist umbrella that cannot protect any of us from the rain much longer. One can only imagine a country being similarly deluded, divided, and deflated, as Hoover treated the Great Depression as a simple market correction in 1932, before FDR ran for POTUS and properly changed the direction of the entire nation—saving it in the process. The potential FDR of the early 21st century, however, ran into a cultural firewall. A firewall preventing authentic change agents from acquiring power. A firewall made by the corporate and finance overlords of America; resenting both Presidents Roosevelt so profoundly—to this day—that they altered the shape of the culture into an everlasting propaganda war; one to be waged against anyone who would mimic these Presidents in the future, for any reason. They knew how to gum up the works of progressive ascension accordingly, and continue to do so. The center of our economy may not hold, but the firewall, goddammit, will.
The supposedly progressive feminist white women of America, who angrily supported Elizabeth Warren against Bernie Sanders, were an integral part of that firewall. As such, they managed to be instrumental in crippling the transformational influence of progressivism on the 2020 POTUS election in its entirety, along with the campaigns of both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. (Only the mortal wounding of the economy by COVID-19, and the riots instigated by the police state murders of George Lloyd and Breonna Taylor—vis a vis Trump’s spectacular sociopathic incompetence—forcibly returned progressive policies to the conversations of America’s political and media elites. It won’t last.) The white feminist Liz supporters, in other words, were instrumental in derailing the progressive agenda in one of the most pivotal election years of the country’s history. They were such, in fact, right when America’s political, physical, and socioeconomic infrastructure has never needed a progressive transformation more (via a radical redistribution of wealth downward), to insure the democracy’s survival.
Credo in Unum Principessa (Finale)
“Mainstream white feminists consistently make the fatal mistake of presuming that their motivations are stimulating to every woman. Self-reverential, non-intersectional feminism doesn’t speak to most women of color, but here’s the real rub, at least when it comes to progressive politics: It doesn’t speak to most white women, either. Think about the women at Trump rallies who not only were not offended by Trump’s claims of pussy grabbing, but donned t-shirts offering their pussies up for the cause…. It is long past time that we dismantle ‘white feminism’ with its focus on posturing instead of equality for all women.” ― "The Failure of White Feminism,” Tamara Winfrey Harris, BitchMedia
The derailing of progressivism in 2020, however, is not the tragedy of tragedies. August is already telling us that the fight between the two halves of the corporate duopoly will continue in 2024—when it will only get more vicious and destructive as the economy further declines—regardless of whether Trump or Biden wins in November. (The only sensible options for America to have a future of any kind, i.e. progressive leaders and democratic socialist policy options, will be back on the table four torturous years from now. What the country will look like then [particularly our judicial system] is anybody’s guess.) The Mother of All Tragedies is that white feminists derailed a progressive agenda too resolutely and too predictably this year for even the naïve to consider it a coincidence. They did it this year, and they will do it again, and again, and again, if their agenda remains unexamined, like calendar-work—to those (obviously) even threatening to lean in a progressive direction. They will do it every election year, according to the secularly religious and politically reactionary nature of their organizational design. An organizational design and hidden ideology; structured to subversively mimic Christianity, but serving wholly antithetical agendas to the transcendent socialism of the Christ. Senator Elizabeth Warren, accordingly, regardless of how new Mother Mary-ish (or new Hillary-ish) she was treated, or what kind of blameless victim she was later called, was scripted, by the financial aristocracy and its establishment apparatchiks in the DNC, to trip up Bernie Sanders. As such, Warren was indentured into being the new American Judas. Super Tuesday, therefore, was White Feminism’s Good Friday.
Worthy is the lamb that was slain, white feminists seem to be saying to frightened progressives and People of Color: those voters for whom their disbelief, re White Feminism’s betrayal, is only overshadowed by their panic when involuntarily contemplating its long term consequences. Worthy is the lamb that was slain, for the good of Rome. Meanwhile, as both Liz and Bernie’s dreams of being POTUS in 2020 die (as Biden continues his own long stumble into infamy), Trump continues to fiddle while the Republic burns.
It isn’t the presumed accuracy of an explanation for Liz Warren’s rise and fall like the above that would otherwise enrage the white feminists (and their sycophants) who are offended by it. It’s the irrefutable legitimacy of it as a postulate.
See in te World What You Carry in the Heart (Recap)
“Feminist ideas that once formed part of a radical worldview are increasingly expressed in individualist terms…What lies behind this shift is a sea-change in the character of capitalism. The state-managed capitalism of the postwar era has given way to a new form of capitalism – ‘disorganised,’ globalising, neoliberal. Second-wave feminism emerged as a critique of the first but has become the handmaiden of the second.” ― “How women became the architects of neoliberalism,” Nancy Fraser, Dawn.com
All tragedies are written and produced by unseen people in hidden groups, for the benefit of a compliant to the point of colluding audience. Both Bill Cosby and Elizabeth Warren made Faustian bargains with unseen forces (both within their psyches and within the American financial aristocracy), in order to play a role instead of themselves. In so doing, while one is almost guaranteed to rise again like a phoenix in later political cycles (for better or worse), both opened themselves up, by virtue of the fatal flaws of their unaddressed contradictions, to becoming the national tragedies they currently are. Cosby, the husband and still grieving father who (Dave Chappellenotwithstanding) is perhaps the most talented successor to Mark Twain in American history, may have (yes, may have) raped and sexually assaulted scores of women, while breaking the hearts of the Black poor and tripping up the rise of a generation of Black musicians, comedians and entertainers. Warren, however—the proud mother, brilliant Harvard professor, firebrand Senator, and Bloomberg-castrating candidate for POTUS who created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—may have been part of a conspiracy to prevent the only American politician who would actually address culture-killing inequality and civilization-killing climate change in the few years we have left from being elected president. An objective assessment of which of the two may have been worse for the world’s women in the long run would lead to irrefutable conclusions (if 2024 will be the unthinkable nightmare 2020 seems to be leading us toward), and go a long way toward establishing the most disquieting taxonomy for the world’s feminisms that you can imagine.
White Feminism, given its fairly obvious stance on all of this, is therefore as much an oxymoron as white supremacy. Context doth make cowards of us all.
Epilogue – An Interpretation of Dreams
"The notorious 1998 New York Times op-ed by Gloria Steinem must surely stand as one of the most regretted public actions of her life. It slut-shamed, victim-blamed, and age-shamed; it urged compassion for and gratitude to the man the women accused. Moreover (never write an op-ed in a hurry; you’ll accidentally say what you really believe), it characterized contemporary feminism as a weaponized auxiliary of the Democratic Party." -- "Bill Clinton: a Reckoning,” Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic
A cold logic speaks to us from history: a centrist, “loyal opposition” political party can always serve as the propaganda whorehouse for a fascist dictatorship, and through which continue business as usual. Moderates did so under the Nazi regime (for a hot minute); and through the traditionalist conservatism inherent to both the regimes of Italy under Mussolini, and South Africa under Apartheid. Centrism, however (of which there is actually nothing “moderate”), has neither purpose nor reason to exist under either a progressive or a democratic socialist-led nation. (The unapologetically fascist Right is always a more honest opposing force wherever the authentic Left is in power.) POTUS Trump, even a reelected, completely unshackled and uncontrollably insane POTUS Trump, is therefore much less of an existential threat to the DNC Establishment than a POTUS Sanders would ever have been, regardless of the consequencesto our democracy. Even a POTUS Sanders fighting against the rabid opposition of a majority GOP Senate on the edge of extinction. As such, the battle for DNC Neoliberal Establishment survival—against progress, democracy, a New New Deal, the next Great Depression and overall irrelevance—began, in 2015, as most wars do: with the purifying of their own ranks. In other words, the DNC, in order to stick to a more covert mission than they let on, first declared war on both its superior strategists and its moral conscience by declaring war on Bernie. This so as to contain, neutralize and, considering the inevitability of their massive failure, preemptively scapegoat the Progressive Left.
A voice speaking to me in dreams, from the griots throughout time, has a very clear message: Elizabeth Warren, in ways ironically more similar to Sarah Palin in 2008 than Hillary Clinton in 2016, was chosen to represent a cult constituency and not the Democratic establishment when she finally decided to run for president. The cult was given a specific job (kill Bernie), and its members used Liz to do it. Christian iconography notwithstanding, however, Senator Warren, accordingly—much like Palin—was at best the Desdemona of a script from which her character was never designed to come out alive. The central figure of the DNC/Iago drama was Bernie: the pseudo-Othello of the pseudo-Moors, whose progressive agenda was considered more important to stop than saving the world itself. Given the presumed need to protect the politics of neoliberalism at all costs, if you can use a “Shirley Temple” progressive like Liz to get rid of the “straight, no chaser” Bernie, you do so immediately. As the DNC did.
“The central figure of the DNC/Iago drama was Bernie: the pseudo-Othello of the pseudo-Moors.”
The semiotics of American racial melodrama—with its mythologically victimized white women and “Big Black Bucks” of Reconstruction—were the key working parts of the secret propaganda weapon white feminists employed to stop a progressive revolution; this time in the 21st century. Indeed, the not-quite-white-enough/Jewish Senator Bernard Sanders, originally from Brooklyn, and his “Bernie Bros” supporters, just stood in for the mythologized Black members of Congress during 19th century’s Reconstruction: those that inflamed the sexualized rage of postbellum white men (i.e. the rich white men of yesterday and today), by making them fear what would have been a post-American, post-white supremacist century in the 20th. The ever-recyclable myth, trotted out whenever the cult (or its handlers) feel it necessary, was used in this new century as it has always been used: to destroy the bridge connecting our capitalist dystopia to the socialist Promised Land. (This bridge being the one which might weaken patriarchal white supremacy enough to clear the way for an actual American democracy, if we were to cross it.) Bernie Bros; Bernie Bros; “[Big Black Buck] Bernie Bros…” Keep saying it, Pavlov; before you know it, they’ll salivate on command with pre-verbal visions of rapey, oversexed Negroes, and guard the plantation with their lives.
The plan will work in five…
Only this time, the cult of White Feminism has fully devolved into the death cult which lay dormant in its collective unconscious. This time, it helped stop a progressive revolution in the most collectively suicidal fashion the modern world will probably ever see.
The work to save America from itself is done. We failed. As we walk—some delusionally, others mournfully—toward the final empire-ending catastrophe that will be the implosion of our democratic system with Trump vs. Biden 2020 in November, the work to rebuild a new United States in embryo has already started without us. This, while the old America, screaming expletives at gravestones King Lear-style (“Who is it that can tell me who I am?!?”), continues to crumble and fall into the sea. The Reganite daughters of the Conservative Right and the Gonerilian daughters of the Liberal Center keep the lies of Lear’s empire alive, but both do so by Manipulation, Indoctrination, Negation, and Deception on grand sociological scales; leading the entire nation away from ethics, morality, logic, and even self-interest.
“Examining racial segregation from the 1920s to the 1970s, Mothers of Massive Resistance explores the grassroots workers who maintained the system of racial segregation and Jim Crow. For decades in rural communities, in university towns, and in New South cities, white women performed myriad duties that upheld white over black: censoring textbooks, denying marriage certificates, deciding on the racial identity of their neighbors, celebrating school choice, canvassing communities for votes, and lobbying elected officials….Without these mundane, everyday acts, white supremacist politics could not have shaped local, regional, and national politics the way it did or lasted as long as it has.” ― Mothers of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy,Amazon.com
Webster’s dictionary defines the word cult as follows: “a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous.” Deborah Teasley of Study.com defines it as “a system or group of people who practice excessive devotion to a figure, object or belief system, typically following a charismatic leader.” The gravitational pull of the reptilian brain, further enabled by the reptiles controlling the global economy, is trying to make cults out of everything today, from our institutions of higher learning to the sacred connections to the Transcendent which we hold dear. Cults, however, like their leaders embodying them in synecdoche (e.g. the satanic evangelicals directly responsible for the Trump presidency), are stories unto themselves. And like a certain kind of story, they have a beginning and middle that, however glorious to their followers, are always upstaged by the ignominy of their end. The savage character of America, long since at war against the noble idea of America, is now the central story of America. And that certain kind of story—echoed by those of the cults popping up everywhere like tumors, lesions, maggots and warts—is unquestionably a three-act tragedy. Now, is the time of monsters.
The post mortem of America—that upon which building a new United States depends—has much more to it than an examination of the cult of White Feminism. Indeed, the critical analysis of the cult of White Feminism is not a place at which the Grand Autopsy of our world could ever end. Consider, however, that this is where it begins.
White Feminism is a cult.
Earl Hazell, native New Yorker, Basso Cantante opera singer, jazz composer/arranger, and writer, is the Executive & Artistic Director of Jazzoperetry (“Jazz-OP-ruh-tree”), Inc., the innovative production company combining jazz, opera and spoken word poetry in performance. He has worked with, among others, Max Roach, Zuben Mehta, Jon Hendricks, James Levine, Jessye Norman, Abbey Lincoln, Kurt Masur, Billy Taylor, Jimmy Heath, Karen Slack, Donald Byrd, Eric Owens, Frederica von Stade, Kevin Short, Morris Robinson and the New York Philharmonic, as well as numerous opera houses globally including San Francisco Opera, the Semperoper of Dresden, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Teatro dell’ Opera of Rome.
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