Sunday, June 14, 2020

America is Black and Blue

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
Let's talk about Julie Kavner for a minute.
     No, I didn't append the wrong lede to the wrong headline. There's a method to my madness.
   Now, on social media, I sometimes make friends with and am followed by celebrities. On Facebook, for instance, I'm friends with Carl Reiner and Tommy Chong, to name just two. I was also at one point, friended by Valerie Perrine until it became obvious all she was interested in was in accumulating eyeballs in her pathetic attempts to revive her sagging career.
    I've also been blocked on Twitter by the likes of James Woods, John Cusack (although I don't know for the life of me why he'd do that since we're politically aligned), Joel Osteen, Curt Schilling, Steve Palmer, Jerome Corsi, Chuck Todd and many others too numerous to remember. Well, as far as Facebook goes, you can add Julie Kavner. Yes, the voice of Marge Simpson. The sweet, perennially man-less kid sister on Rhoda.
     It all started late last night during my too-frequent Facebook somnambulism that sucks up all my data. I put up a post then saw something by Kavner, someone from whom I'd hardly ever heard (which isn't surprising to Facebook veterans who know all too well that no matter how many friends you have, you only seem to hear from the same two dozen or so people).
     She wanted to know if anyone had any thoughts on Seattle and the "desecration" of our national monuments. Yes, she used the word "desecration."
     Now, on the offchance that I see something on social media by a celebrity, literally 99 times out of 100, I'll keep scrolling down. I don't chase celebrities and don't understand why others do, especially as they literally look down their nose at those of us who aren't rich and famous, and that's when they deign to notice your physical existence. But I felt that Kavner's use of the word "desecration" was in its own way a desecration of the history that we're writing today with every George Floyd protest.
     I began by telling her that the word "desecration" was a hand grenade of a word when she was plainly referring to the removal or proposed removal of confederate statues dedicated to failed traitors and slave auction blocks. I thought it was a strange word for her to use since she's a New York native and that it was therefore an odd tack to take for the last person one would expect to show any sympathy for the confederates.
     I said that the removal of monuments is not an attempt to rewrite or erase history but rather an attempt to put it in its proper context. For decades, cities all over the country, especially in the South, have had an uneasy relationship with confederate statues, cenotaphs and other monuments knowing fully good and well that those men bitterly fought four solid years for the right to own other human beings.
     Furthermore, I said, this was why the Floyd protests feel different this time around. We're seeing a widening of the ripple effect to the point where even Christopher Columbus isn't immune as we're ripping up his statues, as well, for the part he played in decimating and infecting the Native American population. I continued by saying this is the natural consequence of unanswered injustices, that the violence you see in these protests is mainly being dished out by cops and that, since Kavner seemed to conflate the two, it's not an act of violence to rip up statues and monuments, especially when they're done through executive orders and legislative means.
     As far as Seattle went, I thought it was a good idea for the protesters to establish the six block CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonymous Zone) because it showed the world and the nation how peaceful demonstrations can be when you subtract cops from the equation. I thought I'd stated a pretty good case, that I didn't resort to ad hominems or yell and screech in all caps. Then about an hour later, I made the mistake of logging back on.

The Straw That Broke the Limousine's Back
Right wing elites never tire of sneering about Hollywood liberal elites without realizing how much common ground the two factions share. And Kavner's reaction to my first post and especially the second shows that we can't count on limousine liberals to give us a fair hearing on account of their elitism being outraged when they're contradicted.
     Facebook lightning struck twice and I saw another post by Kavner, this one newer than the last. Essentially, she was whining that she'd been attacked or something and that she just wished the violence would end. I heard the dog whistle and, as you can expect if you know the first thing about me, I couldn't help but respond, especially when I saw the endless and invariable stream of sycophancy on the part of Kavner's followers, all writing iterations of, "You're right, Julie!"
     I agreed that I, too, would wish for the violence to end even as I sensed Kavner was laying the blame for it squarely on the shoulders of the protesters because it's simply much easier for privileged Hollywood elites and most white people to believe. Black people loot, they riot, so why should this be any different? we like to say amongst ourselves.
     However, I said, if America teaches us anything (and this is a point I've made once or twice in these pages), it's that fighting for and winning rights is only half the battle, that the other half is keeping those rights. No matter how inalienable and necessary those rights may seem to those who battled for and won them, the right wing will ceaselessly wage a multi-generational war to remove those rights from us even though expanding those rights to others in no way subtracts those rights from those who seek to take them away.
     And look where we are now, I challenged Kavner- We're now fighting to retain or get back the same rights our parents, grandparents and great grandparents fought to secure for us. In the 18th century, we had to fight to get our independence from the British. The following century, we had to fight to end slavery and reunify the nation. A century ago, women took to the streets to fight to get the right to vote, And nearly a century after the 15th Amendment was passed, a century after the Civil War, African Americans were still fighting for the right to vote without onerous restrictions, resulting in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
     Yet we're still fighting these battles that our ancestors fought and died to secure for future generations like ours. Now we have to march and protest in the streets to demand the end of police violence against African Americans and to hold those cops accountable. It's a ripple effect unseen in this or perhaps any generation. This is our generation saying, "Enough is enough." And history does not provide us with a template for how meaningful change was ever effected without the willingness to fight for a worthy cause.
     I concluded by saying I stood by my words and that, unlike the dittoheads populating her comment thread, I would not abandon my principles or the truth and facts as I saw and spoke them just because she's a fucking celebrity. A couple of hours later, I went back on Facebook and noted I had one fewer friend. Sure enough, Kavner had blocked me.
     So this is what we're reduced to, Hollywood elitists blocking the rabble the second someone like me threatens to nudge against their white privileged comfort zone. And as long as such attitudes persist from the majority demographic, this nation will always be black and blue and will sport a bruise that will never fade.


At June 15, 2020 at 1:26 PM, Anonymous Comrade Rutherford said...

With Liberals like Kavener, who needs Republicans?

At June 15, 2020 at 7:36 PM, Anonymous CC said...

Funny, Kavner's Wikipedia page has this to say about her personal life:

"Kavner leads a private, 'nearly reclusive' life, 'discreet and guarded beyond the usual reticent star routine'."

That reclusive life apparently doesn't extend to online social media.

You seemed to have confronted her with reasonable remarks. If she can't handle that, then she should stay offline.

At June 15, 2020 at 7:47 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

These limousine liberals don't like being contradicted or corrected by those from the unwashed rabble. I distinctly remember reading in 2012 when George Clooney was at an event and someone criticized Barack Obama to his face. Clooney just got up and walked out, which is precisely the same reaction you'd expect of a Trump or Bush supporter. The mindset and tactics are really all the same.


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