Last month, the Chicago Dyke March decided that they didn’t want to have a handful of Jewish women who were carrying rainbow flags with the Star of David on them in their march. Apparently, the organizers decided that aside from being a march for LGBT rights, they also would take on the rights of Palestinians, and police violence, and capitalism, and a few other causes to boot.
I’m not sure what exactly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has to do with police violence or LGBT issues in America, but apparently it does and therefore deserves to be part of a queer march. I guess the idea of “diluting the message” was never fully explained to them, and so now, they’ve lost the narrative. Oh sure, you could argue that it’s got something to do with social justice, but as I said, you kind of dilute the message.
What’s so bothersome about all of this, is not so much that they’ve taken up a political cause as complex as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and injected it into queer spaces, it’s that they’re really, really bad at it, and causing conflict within the LGBT community. At this point, they’ve given up any pretense of their biases and politics, and have come straight out and expressed what could only be seen as an anti-Semitic viewpoint. Sure, you could say that they’re just being anti-Zionist, but when they start using terms popularized by a literal Klansman, you kind of lose that narrative.
Last week, they celebrated the removal of the reporter from the Windy City Times who broke the story from reporting duties, and when people responded negatively, they replied with the phrase “Zio tears replenish my electrolites.” So, to start off, they’re celebrating an award winning trans reporter being pulled from reporting duties because she made them look bad. Then double downed with a term that is recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Semitic term, and when called out for that, deleted them all and said, “Sorry, we didn’t know!”
I got a solid bet that they would be the types of people who wouldn’t let someone off the hook so easy if someone used the term “tranny” without knowing many trans folk find it offensive. That’s just a hunch though.
It seems that the Chicago Dyke March organizers might have lost touch with what they were supposed to be doing, especially when one considers that they decided that people being angry at them online and disagreeing with them warranted a “Self-Care Retreat”. Now I’m fine with taking a break, unplugging from the web, and spending some me time, but it’s how they decided to go about it. They started a crowd fund for it. No seriously. They felt that they needed to have their time at the day spa, or their trip to some crystal healing chakra aligning retreat in New Mexico or something should be funded by the masses. Which, when you consider their socialist leanings, probably makes some sense. Still, the idea that they needed to take a break and get away from throwing Jewish people out of their parade on other people’s dime is a little galling. I have a personal rule that’s tended to serve me well: Never trust an “activist” who’s in it for a paycheck.
Now, I don’t begrudge anyone’s politics. You wanna side with the Palestinians over Israel, go for it. You wanna smash the fascists, go ahead. Burning down Wall Street your thing, knock yourself out. But really, keep queer people out of it. Using LGBT issues as a meat shield to push your own version of how the world should be is pretty damn disgusting. I don’t care that it’s “mostly” about LGBT people, or descended from LGBT roots, get it the hell out of here. Especially if you’re going to pick the good and the bad way to be LGBT. Lemme tell you something folks, whatever gets your naughty bits all a-tingle probably doesn’t have an opinion about immigration policy, market capitalism, or Middle Eastern politics. So when you go to begin to dictate the right way to be LGBT and who gets to claim credit on who’s “truly” fighting for LGBT rights based on method, you’re not talking about queer politics anymore, you’re talking about your own damn politics.
When you start doing that, and then cry foul when you’re called out on it using your LGBT status as a shield, you’re claiming that your queerness is better than others. Congratulations folks, you’ve just reinvented discrimination in your own image! Ain’t it awesome? The Chicago Dyke March organizers have decided that you cannot be both proudly gay and want to fight for those rights AND be pro-Israel, or pro-capitalism, or because you don’t have a burning visceral hatred for cisgender, heterosexual folks, especially white men. Yeah, I went there. I get the idea of calling out white privilege, it certainly exists. I get calling out cisgender and heterosexual privilege and systemic discrimination. Yet, there’s a point where you’re just well…being a hateful bigot about it. And that’s where the CDM folks are at. You can’t hand wave away the fact you were using anti-Semitic phrases. You can’t pretend you didn’t know that the phrases and statements you were making weren’t hateful and hostile. And you can’t act like you’re the wounded party when you’re the ones who started it.
All throughout this whole situation, it’s the women who were ejected whose story has remained consistent. The CDM organizers defense has shifted, deflected, and obfuscated every single time they went to explain their actions, when a new fact was revealed, and when they were called out. They’ve even lashed out against folks who weren’t on their side and didn’t immediately kowtow to their side. I mean, who celebrates a reporter getting in trouble or suffering for just doing their job? Oh, maybe Greg Gianforte who punched a Guardian reporter, or maybe Donald Trump. But wait? Aren’t they hateful, profiteering, narcissists who want to dictate by fiat their beliefs and foster a hypocritical authoritarian world shaped in their image while wrapping themselves in patriotism? Hmm, maybe it’s just a coincidence. Or maybe the Chicago Dyke March organizers are just hateful, profiteering narcissists who want to use LGBT issues to push their politics and shield it from criticism.