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It’s Time to Plot Against the Proud Boys!

16 Apr Posted by in Jewelle Gomez | 1 comment
It’s Time to Plot Against the Proud Boys!

We have one thing that they don’t: pure joy. It’s time to be plotting. It’s time to be relentless. It’s time to fire up our love. And this time it’s got to be tough love.

Beware the Proud Boys, Aryan Nation, Alt-Right, Holocaust Questioners and all the White Guys who feel disenfranchised

For the first few minutes of listening to a show about a group called ‘Proud Boys’ on KALW, my local public radio station, I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of organization they were talking about.  I don’t think that was an accident. This is a facelift for all the isms that makes it appealing to the young. Early on it felt like I was listening to a group of frat boys talk about their right to hold a beer bash.

“The West is Best” sounds fine until it’s clear “West ” is code for white. I guess we’re doing our movement job right because the white guys are realizing that their reign of terror is over. One organizer of an Aryan nation gathering commented that a main aspect of the event was the spaghetti dinner…so naturally that meant women had to be included.

So now they feel that white men are slighted and left out and being replaced by people of color and women. One speaker, Jason Kessler, who was also an organizer in the Charlottesville violent debacle (that left one young woman dead) referred to it as ‘genocide by replacement.’  And excused the chant of “Jews will not replace us,” as a kind of self-defense.

The appropriation of civil rights language to re-empower white men and to ‘make America great again’ is chilling

One member of Proud Boys said he thought most women would be just as happy to stay home.  So we’re looking at a reinvention of the right wing to make it palatable to the young who have no sense of the history of terrorism against people of color and women that brought us to today.

All these white boys were raised by white women who thought they were doing their best. But ignorance of history made their best not good enough. And now they have a president who’s just an old (notice I didn’t say grown up) version of them—self-indulgent and ignorant of their own privilege—both historical and contemporaneous.

Now I feel a rant coming on! I wish I had something constructive to say about what we do to remedy this dangerous phase. Maybe we’ll feel better if we believe it’s a phase, like others we’ve traveled through before—when white men tried real genocide against Native Americans or when they believed in owning other human beings, or when they thought brown people were good enough to pick our fruit but not valuable enough to be citizens (still true) or when they didn’t believe women were fully human (oops that’s still true too). Proud Boys (and BTW they’re not boys they’re men) or neo-Nazis they are the same old patriarchy trying to make their BS the norm again. They think it’s their turn…again.

The world and politics turn in cycles—that old two steps forward, one step back thing. So maybe if we who believe in the absolute urgency of progressive change think like con artists we can try to play this as a long game. That is, we need to know we’ll meet many twists and turns and that we’ll need to introduce some twists ourselves. Our engagement with this shameful, disastrous movement must be long term and relentless. The bad guys think they have a god (there are several) on their side; but we have each other. Progressives can be as determined, devious, blunt, full of rage, productive, destructive; capable of plotting and enduring. We have one thing that they don’t: pure joy. That is, their joy is not pure because comes from oppressing others. Our joy comes our love of others.

Time to be plotting. Time to be relentless. Time to fire up our love. And this time it’s got to be tough love. Then we sick the Dora Melaje on them!

Jewelle Gomez is a writer and activist and the author of the double Lambda Award-winning novel, THE GILDA STORIES from City Lights, now with the new 25th Anniversary edition. Find out more about Jewelle Gomez HERE.





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