So this was published about the Patricia Arquette situation:

Part of the push-back at Arquette was an off-shoot of anger at the Oscar nominations being “too white,” giving complainants a more specific target to shoot at, and that drew in women of color feminists who have been engaged with white feminists in a cold war for years that will never end.

No really.  That was actually published. But let’s keep going…:

Of particular note was the recent ugliness between Nicole Sandler and Elon James White, after Sandler defended Arquette, only to be accused of being complicit in the “erasure of WoC within the larger feminist movement.”

This is false. But who needs facts?

Complaining that other defenders of Arquette were saying that the big picture was being lost due to what I think of as nitpicking cultural pointillism, White wrote:

“The happiness they had over Arquette’s very high-profile callout against wage discrimination made it much harder for them to hear those who found the backstage commentary concerning LGBTQ and PoC problematic. “We’re on the same team,” I was told. “We shouldn’t be eating our own,” they exclaimed. The idea that intersectional erasure of Women of Color and LGBTQ women was a byproduct of Arquette’s comments wasn’t just a problem, but another example of a continuous problem within feminism was lost.”

The problem, of course, is that circular firing squads are counter-productive and to assert such an obvious point is to somehow retreat into “white privilege” and therefore not worthy of consideration.

And that is bullshit (He wrote, knowing full well he will be accused of “male white privilege” and told to “check it”).

Change comes when we all pull together and, yes, change comes way too slowly in this big stupid lumbering dumbass country of ours. But it comes even more slowly when it becomes mired in petty squabbles over terminology or “that person said it wrong; here is what I would have said.”

And that is why we can’t have nice things.

Oh, so this is why we can’t have nice things? Asking for intersectionality? Critiquing problematic commentary and attempting to create teachable moments is why we can’t have nice things? Also, my critique is labeled as complaining, but what does this article qualify as? This is just speaking truth, huh? And re-read this particular nugget:

The problem, of course, is that circular firing squads are counter-productive and to assert such an obvious point is to somehow retreat into “white privilege” and therefore not worthy of consideration.

And that is bullshit (He wrote, knowing full well he will be accused of “male white privilege” and told to “check it”).

See, if he speaks from his position of white male privilege and if called on his white male privilege this particular line shall inoculate him from these accusations because “See, I told you they’d say that.” Did Mr. Boggs just copy the Jonathan Chait handbook?

Besides, his completely inaccurate depiction of the issues between me and Ms. Sandler, this post is laughable in its logic. You can’t just call something bullshit and it becomes magically so. Boggs completely misses the point that most people wouldn’t have commented at all if Arquette had not called out people of color and gay folks separately from “women” and asked them to step up and help like “women” had helped them.  Arquette, apparently shouldn’t be critiqued about what she said even when she responds to the conversation of her white privilege with:

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 1.11.07 PM

Oh yeah. Let’s say nothing and let her ride. She’s not problematic at all. She doesn’t have white privilege because she grew up poor! Because that’s how white privilege works? Oh wait. It’s not. Why wouldn’t we want to critique someone with as large a platform that she has so that when she speaks publicly she doesn’t perpetuate bullshit? How is it a circular firing squad when folks are angry at yet another example of the erasure of WoC which isn’t simply a single misstep within feminism but a very well-established problem going back decades?

Shutting up isn’t how the progressive space should work. A lot of the critiques levied against Arquette were ratcheted up due to the blind progressive defense of her statements. Why is it that marginalized groups are supposed to be quiet when the progressive space are problematic toward them? If republicans did/said similar things then it would be completely okay for us to be mad. But this is problematic infighting?

Perhaps we really aren’t on the same side.

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About The Author

Elon James White is a writer, satirist radio host and founder and CEO of This Week in Blackness. White has been featured on MSNBC, CNN, Huffington Post, Slate, RH Reality Check, Al Jazeera, Buzzfeed and more. White hosts the award winning & critically acclaimed TWiB! Prime on TWIB.FM Monday - Thursday at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT.

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