Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Crabs in a Bucket

From Happy Bodies:
I feel betrayed by these activists who work on issues I care about, because they don’t seem to care about me. Activism must come from community. How can I be part of a community of activists that fights for aids awareness, when I don’t feel like my body is respected? I don’t want to be part of a green movement that thinks the environment is greater than gender equality. I won’t join a movement for same-sex marriage, if they can’t understand that sexual objectification contributes to a culture of sexual violence, and that all these issues are intertwined.

Boy, do I relate to that. I was just instructed to ignore a whitewash of anti-Semitism in Venezeula (except for the 2009 synagogue attack, virtually none of these events are even mentioned. But don't worry! Chavez says he opposes anti-Semitism! So it's alright then!) because the article, even though the person sending it to me admitted it was distorted, provided an important "counterbalance" to the "corporate media's" hostility to Hugo Chavez. This didn't sting quite as much as it might have, because I'm actually only interested in one of those campaigns (anti-Semitism concerns me; hostility to Latin American autocrats, less so), but I was still rather stunned that somebody would think it's legitimate to erase anti-Semitic hostility because it was critical to some putatively superior struggle.

If someone genuinely feels that protecting Hugo Chavez (or opposing capitalism, or indicting the corporate media, or attacking imperialism, or really, anything) is so important that it's okay to erase and marginalize Jews and Jewish experiences in Venezuela, fine, tell me that. But don't expect me to view you as an ally. Don't even expect me to view you as particularly progressive. You're not.

1 comment:

Ivan Ludmer said...

I particularly liked the part of the whitewash that scrubbed the "Christ-killer" comment. My eyes are bleeding a little, but I'm pretty sure the article actually said it was okay because Chavez was also condemning other groups as having too great a concentration of wealth. Because of that, it doesn't matter that he (a) discussed Jews, and (b) called them Christ-killers. Mmmm.. logic.