pants_of_doom: (Default)
Last year I had a couple of what I thought were fairly mild political arguments with someone I had been friends with since high school. I thought they were mild because of our history together, and because one of them was about violent response to nazis.

In the final argument after which he unfriended me, he had complained about me dissing on Jill Stein and then flipped his shit when I said that protest votes in this situation were a mark of his privilege as a cis straight man. He did not want to address this and instead chose to end our friendship.

The argument that I found the more disturbing and upsetting was on his wall, a few weeks or months prior to that. He posted about nazi entitlement to free speech and how folks on the left beating up nazis for showing their faces in public made us "just as bad" as them, and would not be convinced otherwise.

I was shocked by this because of our history, and because I thought that, like the rest of our shared social circle, he would have an understanding that nazi speech is incitement, it is literally dangerous to many of us, and that even if he were not the target, pretty much everyone else would be.

Everyone in our mutual friend group from high school, minus him and perhaps one other person.

And this is what I see from many people who are on the liberal left: a knee-jerk desire to let nazis enjoy free speech, and to avoid violence. An idea that we can all coexist, and that all violence is the same. This is a viewpoint born and shaped in privilege, the view of someone who is not a target for existing, who does not fear for their life when minding their own business.

The liberal response to antifa is dangerous. Any response that looks at nazis and blames everyone who threw a punch is dangerous. I can't emphasize this enough: nazi speech is incitement. It is always a threat. It is always a direct call to action. Acting against this is always, always self-defense.

Standing up to protect someone who has less capacity to fight back is laudable, and not something that we should talk shit about or treat as a crime.

Self-defense is no offense.

For those of you who don't understand why this is so important and what the distinction is, or who need to learn how to talk to other people about it, here is an article and a video that will explain better than I can. The video in particular is excellent and engaging - I won't normally watch a 20 minute video, but it's so good I'm going to follow her channel and see what else she does.

I have already lost a friend over this, someone I shared a history of activism with, long nights walking around the city, old jokes that no one else would understand anymore. I hope he is safe, and that he wises up without having something terrible happen to him.

Sometimes the people in your life won't listen, but there's no reason to be ignorant yourself. Please learn stuff, and especially now it's vital to understand the bounds of free speech.
pants_of_doom: (Default)
the right to not be screamed at in public for looking gay
the right to not be threatened with rape by strangers for looking gay
the right to not have my sexual orientation used as an insult
the right to know my doctor will provide me with care and actually have information about concerns relevant to me
the right to keep my job
the right to be housed
the right to have my friends be comfortable with me
the right to not have to constantly explain myself, including how I have sex and what my Kinsey score is
the right to be believed about my orientation and identity, without other people telling me they know "what it really is"
the right not to have to assess every situation in terms of whether I'm safe to be myself or if this is the time I'm going to get hurt or killed
the right to ask out people I am interested in without weighing whether revealing my interest will get me ostracized or hurt
the right to have straight-privileged people not treat me like my sexuality is a fetish activity for them
the right to be less controversial in a tv show or movie than genocide
pants_of_doom: (Default)
I deleted my LJ a little bit ago, a time measured in hours. I hadn't been expecting to do that, but here we are.

Even if the political reasons weren't a major issue (and they are), lj is no longer using https, which means your data can be compromised by pretty much whoever feels like it. I've imported everything over here. I'd been thinking about doing this for a while, but the relocation of the servers to Moscow was the last straw.

Also this journal is full of gay propaganda (I exist, fuck off if you don't like that) and I make a comic critical of the relationship between Cheat-O Benito and Hella Vlad.

September 2017

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