First Some Background:
I’ve been long pondering what to do with some posts to our pages by Brothawolf (BW). As some of you might know, BW is a foot soldier of the Race Grievance Industry, a key component of the sick identity politics component of the American Left. Oh, BW’s not sick, but the movement of which he’s a part is. Just as not all German soldiers in World War II were psychotics, while the movement for which they fought was.
BW’s posts fell very much afoul of the dirty language filter we’ve had in place for a long time, so they wouldn’t have made it into the blog without going into moderation anyway. However, after I cleaned out any linguistic crud I could find, they still represent an amazing set of posts.
First, some background: I wrote this very lengthy post: Replying To Brothawolf’s Cheap Shots — and a Major Rethinking of Things (In the Notes Section). In that post, I elucidated some of the things that have long bothered me about the political Left in America. Most importantly, though, it’s their overwhelming temptation constantly to avoid debating with those who disagree, instead choosing to do whatever they can to shut them up. In that same vein, after some spirited back-and-forths, BW banned my friends and me from his blog, more or less confirming what I’d been saying all along.
Needless to say, a “debate” in which one side is forced into silence is no debate at all. Furthermore, this is the timeworn tactic of totalitarians, fascists, communists, dictators and tyrants everywhere and all throughout history. In other words, it’s the tactic of those who fear the speech of people who disagree with them. History is jam-packed with those who stifled free speech because of one thing: they regarded it as a threat to their… power.
This is why I’ve long told BW that he shouldn’t ban my friends and me from his blog: because it’s fascistic. It’s prima facie proof that he’s a proto-fascist, a would-be tyrant, that he’s insecure in his beliefs, that he’s afraid to confront those who approach him with rational disagreements. His fear that he’s… wrong, as all tyrants know deep down.
And that he’s afraid for his… power. In stifling my speech, and that of my friends, he’s offering solid proof that he… has power. If you have no power, then there’s no reason to stifle anyone’s speech. No one can take away your power if, as BW pretends, you have none.
Or, put another way, the one who’s stifling speech is the one who holds the power. The one without power doesn’t fear anyone’s speech. Who, precisely, is stifling free speech in America today? On college campuses? In the media? In newsrooms around the country? In Hollywood? In pop culture? Who shouts down whom in America today?
In all cases, the answer is: The Left.
In all cases.
There are no cases of right-wing students shouting down leftist speakers on college campuses. There are no cases of right-wing producers black-balling leftist actors because of their political views. There are no cases of right-wing journalists or editors quashing the work of leftist reporters. There are no cases of leftist university professors losing their livelihoods because of their political views.
Further to the point: If you have no power, you should be able to prove that convincingly in a rational debate. More succinctly: those without power should jump for joy at the chance for debate! It’s a chance to prove that they have no power! It’s a chance to change the minds of those who they allege are dominating them. Far from banning debate, those without power ought to leap at the chance to meet in rational debate those who supposedly hold power.
Yet, in every instance, those who agree with my points-of-view — Conservatives — are banned from left-wing blogs, universities, pop culture, movies, newspapers, opinion pages, etc. It’s those who agree with my points-of-view who face threats of violence and death. It’s those who share my points-of-view who face the real risks in America today, because of their political leanings.
All while those who share BW’s points-of-view are invited onto all the highest-profile talk shows, are professors in major universities, are mayors and city council men and women in all the big cities in America, are lauded as heroes and pioneers. And become the President.
Except for these last musings on the holders of political power, I’ve said these same things many times to BW.
Now, back to Brothawolf’s replies (to this post)
The posts really represent a long, rambling, protracted jeremiad in four parts. A screed packed with interesting, and some disturbing, elements. It’s simultaneously a series of angry denunciations, a collection of foul-mouthed insults, spittle-flecked rage, CAPS-LOCKED shouting, fists-balled, vein-popping wrath, obvious defensiveness, a wide-ranging contradiction of almost everything he says, and a heartfelt cri-de-coeur.
It’s this last that made me ponder so long about what to do with it all. It all comes in the form of four very, very long replies to the initial post.
At first, I simply started my replies in my usual fashion. As those of you who follow this blog know, I’ll reply to a post paragraph-by-paragraph. I don’t want to allow anyone to say that I didn’t reply completely to what he wrote, or to say that I left out something vitally important.
As I wrote, though, it occurred to me that BW does have the power of sincerity on his side. He does believe what he says. He’s wrong, but he sincerely believes the wrong things he’s saying. That gave me pause, because his posted responses were so… emotional. And so… long.
The posts are even intimate. Throughout their rambling, their shouting, their insulting and sometimes whiny fulminating, it’s obvious that it’s important to BW that I get it, that he convince us of his rightness and his righteousness… and of our own wrongness, cruelty and venality. And not only that we get it, but that we get it. We, here at The Praetorian Writers’ Group. It’s certain, from the effort that he put into these replies, that our opinion means a lot to BW.
The posts’ intensely emotional quality was, I admit, a surprise to me. I know that BW believes what he believes, but how could anyone know that he’d be so upset at the idea that anyone else believes differently? And, in particular, that I believe differently? Furthermore, how could he be so upset that one for whom he professes such disdain and disrespect believes differently? Why, one wonders, would he even care?
But he plainly does, and we here at The Praetorian Writers’ Group never take the feelings of others lightly.
With all these thoughts and realizations came the understanding that these particular posts might be substantially different from our usual back-and-forths, and it made me think of many things. First: who has time to post such long posts? Possibly someone unemployed?
If I were to do as I usually do, would I be pouring salt into an open wound? That’s something I’d never do intentionally. At the same time, BW’s posts contain a lot of scurrilous and awful things about me and, by extension, about us here at the Praetorian Writers’ Group. After all, BW has interacted with two of us, not just with me. Just because one might be going through a rough time, one doesn’t have the right to be outrageously abusive. And the ones being abused don’t have the obligation to take it in silence.
BW has insisted to me time and time again that I’m a “straight, white male,” because if I weren’t, then the crux of his argument disappears entirely: the idea that it’s straightness, whiteness and maleness that cause me to act and think as I do, and not because… I might actually be right.
Demanding that I admit that I’m a straight, white male — whether I am or not — is abuse. BW does it because it allows him in his own mind to avoid the possibility that I/we… just might be right. It allows him to put me/us back in the box in his mind labeled “Straight, White, Male, therefore Racist, ignorant and…wrong.” and leave me/us comfortably (for him) there.
I’ve always refused to roll over for his racist demands. It is, after all, deeply racist to assume that one knows someone’s skin color based only on reading his thoughts in print.
While insisting indignantly that not all black people think alike — something I never insinuated — BW wants desperately to be able to put white people — especially straight, white males — in a nice, tidy, little box, where, yep, they all think alike. And he wants me in that box, regardless of whether I’m white, straight or male… or not.
Truth be told, I’ve never allowed BW to know what my sexual preference, or race or sex might be. None of these would be relevant to whether or not what I say is true. The truth is that I know many gay, and non-white, and female people who believe nearly exactly as I do, and they’re becoming bolder and bolder in America today. (Thank God! And I do!)
More to the point, though, the truth is the truth is the truth. It matters not a hill of beans who says something; if it’s true, it’s simply true. That’s why I’ve concealed all those irrelevant personal characteristics from my online interlocutors.
It’s instructive to see how those who disagree with me respond to not knowing anything about me. To a man or woman, they’ve always — no exceptions — insisted that I’m a “straight, white male.” Amazing how people who insist that people like them don’t all think alike then turn right around and contend that people who disagree with them… all think alike.
In addition to all this pondering, we have a policy at this blog: we do not censor anyone’s thoughts. If I weren’t to publish BW’s posts — and my responses — it would be censorship such as that which we here always condemn on the part of the Left. At the same time, the posts are long, disjointed, almost stream of consciousness, raw, visceral, LOUD, sometimes uncomfortably so, whiny, strong, painful, and pained screeds.
Viewed out of context, there’s much in them to make the reader wonder whether the writer is unhinged. However, in context, and having dealt with the Left for as long, and as in-depth as I have, I recognize them as the usual fare of the Left, and of the Race Grievance Industry.
All in all, they’re quite well done, if raw and unpolished. One could see a racist Black Lives Matter muckety-muck delivering these words while addressing a rally preventing some Conservative somewhere from speaking.
As always, though, my considerations regarding BW’s posts concern only one thing: What’s the right thing to do?
To censor BW’s posts — meaning not to post them — wouldn’t be right. We’ve never censored anyone in these pages, and we’re all rock-solid free-speech absolutists. Furthermore, Brothawolf posted the messages confident in the knowledge that we would post them on our blog.
However, to post them immediately (after editing out the dirty language and the swears) might expose BW to unnecessary ridicule, because of their intensely emotional nature.
After all this pondering, I’ve made up my mind as to what I’m going to do. First, I’m going to post this introductory post that you’re reading now. Then, shortly thereafter, I’ll post BW’s replies to our original post (reminder: this post) in a new post. I’ll also release them from moderation in the original post from all the way back on July 16 of this year.
All this will take some time — BW’s posts are very long, and will require a lot of writing to be sure that I cover all the ground in them.
Furthermore, I’ve decided not to “go easy” on BW, despite his emotional state of mind, but to try to avoid anything that could be seen as insulting.
I always confine my critiques to the messages themselves anyway, being as polite as possible to the messenger. However, BW takes great affront at my criticisms of his writing and his ideas. This failing belongs to BW, not to us . Suffice it to say, if BW is offended by people criticizing his work, then maybe he shouldn’t put it out there for all the world to see until he’s ready to take some push back.
Until then, though, what he posts is wrong, it’s often vile, it’s sometimes evil (see his endorsement of a friend’s fantasy that all white people would die violent deaths), and it’s racist. It needs push back.
One important note: Another component in my consideration was that BW censors contributors to his blog, banning those who are not in yes, massa agreement with him. That was the major point of my July 16th post in the first place. In that sense, we were in a bit of a bind. To complain about BW’s censorship, then not to post BW’s replies to the post would be at best hypocritical, at worst… wrong. Like all censorship of free speech.
In summary, normally I’d have edited all the bad language from BW’s posts, then I’d simply have released them from moderation. However, I wanted to do the right thing, and I don’t want to hurt BW. These posts gave me the strong impression that BW’s feelings were genuinely hurt by our critiques, despite his constant admonishments that he has nothing but contempt for me, and for us at our think tank.
Yes, I’m reading between the lines, but I think that our thinking here actually is really important to BW, and so I’m going to try to be gentle but firm with him. He may not like us, but I like him, and I have respect for him.