Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Adam Johnson's misappointed "self-victimization"

Adam Johnson wrote a barely-coherent but required length smearing of Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins;  he posits the argument that these liberals are not understood and appreciated by left-wingers because of some flaw they hold in their opinions. He titled it:

Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins just don’t get it: The real reason(s) progressives can’t stand them

 The pair still can't understand why their self-victimization shtick plays so poorly on the left. We have some idea

                          Bill Maher                     Richard Dawkins                    

Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins are left wing / liberal people that speak out on many issues and you can guess that they come down where you would expect; but they operate on the assumption that people are thinking, acting, individuals that are part of the community and should operate like other free and responsible people. This leads to a rift between what should be equally-liberal people that Adam Johnson calls "progressives" - who tend to allow people to compensate for history.

Adam Johnson wrote:

 Bill Maher and his good friend, Richard Dawkins, sat down on his show Real Time Friday night for the fifth time in almost eight seasons. Their discussion, per usual, was an agreeable, tedious mix of self-victimization and indignation about why so many on the left – specifically the Twitter left – think their obsession with “radical Islam” makes them bigots.
 Secondly, this position is dripping with libertarian false equivalency. The “I criticize all religions equally” is the close cousin to “I criticize all races equally” — a principle that sounds cute in theory but wilfully ignores the burden of history and imperialism.

This is where Adam runs off the track.  The whole notion of "the burden of history and imperialism" as the reason why some groups of people need to be given allowance for their actions that justifies un-liberal treatment.  There may be reasons why some people are repressed and unfairly treated, but they are still individuals with rights and responsibilities as good people doing good.

This allowance for exceptional treatment is in itself unfair. This is not free and fair; it is biased fairness.  WE can't keep treating people as if they are still slaves or victims. They MUST be accountable for their actions.

And this "the burden of history and imperialism" excuse is exactly the way apologists ignore accountability and distract reaction when groups should take responsibility and change.

Let me give you two examples that Bill Maher would treat equally. They also demonstrate the same slanted liberalism;

On the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy, the NRA responded:
Wayne La Pierre, President of the NRA:
LAPIERRE: Like most Americans, we were shocked by what happened. Like all Americans, we’ve been discussing all of the various options that are available to protect our children, and at this point we would like to share our thinking with you.
The truth is, that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can every possibly comprehend them. They walk among us every single day, and does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school, he’s already identified at this very moment?  
Rather than face -- rather than face their own moral failings the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws, and fill the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action, and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.

  Key Tactics:
  • We condemn the attack, we are not associated with the attack.   
  • Crazy people are not the same as gun owners.
  • Gun owners victimized by collective reference to gun-using killers.
  • The media is to blame for not properly representing the issues.
Here is how Bill Maher takes on the NRA, which get applauded:

On the Charlie Hebdo massacre: Reza Aslan an Islamic apologist.

Reza Aslan blames Charlie Hebdo massacre on France’s “inability to tolerate multiculturalism”

ASLAN: Well, first of all, let's be clear that every single organization, major organization, Muslim organization throughout the world and in the United States, every prominent individual, be it political or religious leaders, everyone has condemned, not just this attack, but every attack that occurs in the name of Islam. Anyone who keeps saying that we need to hear the moderate voice of Islam, why aren't Muslims denouncing these violent attacks, doesn't own Google. But that said, I do think that we do need to do a better job of providing a counter-narrative. What really I think puts an obstacle in the way is opinions like Ayaan [Hirsi Ali]'s and so many others in the political and the media mainstream who continue to say that 1.7 billion people are responsible for the actions of these extremists. That doesn't help the fight against radicalism. The answer to Islamic violence is Islamic peace. The answer to Islamic bigotry is Islamic pluralism, and so that's why I put the onus on the Muslim community, but I also recognize that that work is being done, that the voice of condemnation is deafening and if you don't hear it you're not listening.

Key Tactics:
  • We condemn the attack, we are not associated with the attack.   
  • Extremist Muslims are not the same as Muslims.
  • Muslims victimized by collective reference to gun-using Muslims.
  • The media is to blame for not properly representing the issues. 

Here is how Bill Maher takes on radical Islam and Charlie Hebdo:

It is not #BillMaher and #RichardDawkins that are in denial about self-victimization; it is the left wing deniers that people use the same tactics they shun from the NRA to avoid responsibility for changing the conditions within which members are able to act. Groups are responsible for normative behaviour in the group.  If suicide bomber Hindus started killing masses, you can be sure Bill Maher would not shy away from objecting.

The whole notion of "self-victimization" is the problem that avoids looking at the real problem that the gun culture and the Muslim culture embrace ideas and practices that are dangerous to outsiders and society has a reason and a right to be concerned about both. Equally.

Self-victimization is a tactic to gain enlightened self-interest: stopping people from changing a group by exposing the problems.

Progressives need to look in the mirror and ask themselves; do they believe people are free to act for good? Do they need to be held accountable for their actions?  If you can't demand this of Muslims, then don't demand it of the NRA.