Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Culture wars, misc.

This article from the Daily Beast on the recent accusations that Amy Schumer's comedy is too reliant on racial stereotyping makes a salient point about the good, if sometimes misguided, intentions of anti-racist white people, who tend to be the most vocal critics:
Google counts more than 45 publications with stories about Amy Schumer’s “racism,” but of the articles on display, the vast majority appear to be written by white women on the “woman” beat. Most articles provide no commentary whatsoever, and the ones that do oscillate back and forth between wanting to defend Schumer and not wanting to be associated with the not-so-nice words she’s been called. Even the articles that are resolutely critical about Schumer’s treatment of race, like Anne Thériault’s over at The Daily Dot, feel like long paraphrases culled from notes made off of a black activist’s Twitter page, not like personal explanations of their own responses.
As a white person who once wrote on the "woman beat," it's easy -- and expected -- to fall back on poststructuralist narratives that plot people along axes of power. It's also an incredibly lazy way to form an argument. Deviate from it, and your no longer offered the protection from the far left blogosphere. I'm not saying this doesn't go on in the right, because it does, but the left is particularly anxious to eat its own that most leftist sites are becoming parodies of themselves.

Tangentially related -- and I woukd write a longer piece to tie these things together, but I don't have the time this week --  but this article from Federalist (yes I said Federalist!) on the history of the culture wars and where we are now in them was also interesting:
There is significant potential for a new, diverse coalition that responds to this overreach. The religious Right, libertarians, and even the moderate Left are already being drawn together by their refusal to be cowed into conformity by social justice warriors. The comedians who rebel against an audience that calls every joke racist or sexist, the professors who refuse to be cowed by the threat of Title IX lawsuits, the religious believers who fight for their right to practice their beliefs outside the pew represent a coalition that will reject the neo-Puritanism of the Counterculture, rebel against its speech codes and safe spaces, and reassert the right to speak one’s mind in the public square.