This, dear readers, is why the American left is a failure. Here we have a pretty straightforward story. Islamic State militants burned a captured Jordanian pilot alive in a cage. The Islamic State, for those of you who haven’t been keeping score, is that organization that beheads people regardless of age or sex based on the slightest religious or culture difference, an organization that openly promotes this practice. Of course for edgy American leftists, it’s simply not acceptable to express any outrage at this behavior. Time for some whataboutism!
Basically, the article compares the burning of the Jordanian pilot to lynching in America, which often involved the torture of mostly black victims with fire. As the article correctly retells, white Americans reveled in the spectacle of lynchings, actually bringing entire families to the event and selling postcards afterwards. There can be no doubt that American lynching was every bit as horrifying and barbaric as what Islamic State fighters do to their captives. That being said, lynching is generally accepted as having died out in the 1960’s at the latest(as if such a practice could die out fast enough), and was in steep decline as early as the 1930’s. While the United States educational system has fallen far short of the bar when it comes to educating Americans on the institution of lynching and organized violence against black Americans, lynching has long been condemned as an immoral and barbaric practice. Can IS say the same about beheading and burning alive? Oh right, they can’t. In other words, the Islamic State today is like the white lynchers of the 19th and early 20th century.
For fuck’s sake just look at this headline:
Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive. White Americans Did the Same Thing to Thousands of Black People
Note the total lack of reference to the time frame. ISIS burned a pilot about a week ago. “White Americans” engaged in lynchings decades ago. Also there’s a big difference between a movement like the Islamic State and a large, socially constructed group known as “white Americans.” American leftists are fond of sarcastically quipping about objections like “Not all men” or “Not all whites.” Well I’m sorry but this is relevant here. Sweeping generalizations are bad, period. These modern American leftists would howl with outrage if someone had wrote that “Muslims burned a pilot alive,” and they would be right. There’s a big difference between saying “Muslims” and “Islamic State fighters.” The latter is a movement where beheading people and committing atrocities is considered an occupational activity.
While every issue the author brought up is definitely valid and certainly worthy of an article, there is literally no reason to juxtapose these events. It’s just another example of a leftist seeing people outraged about something and deciding how they can be as edgy as possible. It’s like that film nerd who sees a group of friends discussing what they thought was a really great film, and then just has to tell them how terrible the film really is.
Sometimes I want to ask these people what is so terrible about being shocked or outraged at an atrocity like this or the one which occurred last month in Paris. Is Jim Crow going to come back if we express a measure of sympathy for the people who were gunned down in Paris, several of whom were Arab and one of whom was African? Will women lose the right to vote if we condemn the burning of a Jordanian pilot, or even just hold our tongues about it?
The American left has become insanely paranoid that any alignment between its positions and that of the so-called “mainstream” will be tantamount to unconditional surrender to the system. If we admit that the American government is in fact morally superior to the Islamic State, then that must mean it is always morally superior and we can never criticize it again. I strongly suspect that the real reason the Western left engages in this kind of paranoid fantasy is that deep down in knows it has nothing to offer the masses. It has been far too long dominated by academics attempting to justify their existence by creating convoluted post-modern theories, propped up by contrived jargon which they insist makes their fields every bit as empirical and important as biology or chemistry. The US government can make us of its limited moral superiority as capital to get away with less moral actions. The left prefers to preserve its failed institutions and simply wag its finger at the system rather than to take some initiative and truly struggle with it. The idea of struggling for social justice totally trumps actually achieving it.
No matter how unfair it seems, the system will always be more popular and garner support when it condemns things like IS atrocities. When shocking things like this happen, nobody of any racial or ethnic group wants to listen to someone saying, “Oh yeah you know white people did stuff like that over half a century ago.” It’s not that they don’t find that shocking or horrifying, it just simply not the time nor place to bring that up. If anything, it would make more sense to bring up the topic of the burning pilot when you are trying to teach someone about lynching, to connect history to the present. Instead, our plucky leftists see people in shock due to this horrible atrocity and they think, “I’ll show them! They need to know they’re wrong!’ Admitting that people being shocked at the idea of burning someone alive is a clear sign of progress means admitting that society has managed to progress without the wise council of today’s academics and privileged college students. Indeed, the Civil Rights movement did much without knowing about privilege theory, trigger warnings, or the works of Judith Butler. Alas, it was not perfect, however, which is why today’s social justice warriors must set the world straight.
Look, left, if you want to be anything more than a joke in a world that is in fact turning increasingly right wing and in large part due to your own incompetence, here’s a tip- When someone burns a person alive, either express your sympathy and outrage with everyone else, or shut the fuck up. Bring up your agenda when the time is right. The left is supposed to be pro-humanity, and yet lately it seems to be dominated by people who have zero understanding of human contact or psychology. Naturally much of the edgy left likes to respond with “Fuck you, I don’t need anyone to police my language!” Hey no problem. The system polices its language though, and it’s winning. So either learn how to deal with people or don’t cry when your internet-based movement is an utter failure because all you can do is blog about pop culture and what “allies” are actually much worse than the far right.