Thursday, August 27, 2009

More on the Left and Tribalism

Re-reading some old Feministe posts exemplifying what I'm talking about ( and or anything that Renee at Womanist Musings/Feministe writes about the Whiteness boogeyman) I haven't reconsidered my position exactly, but been reminded why it's so incredibly important to cure the left of this structuralist obsession that undermines the real ideological battles that are out there and worth fighting. In the first of these two links, the connection between a law-and-order edifice that both polices for rape and participates in immigrant deportations is a conflation of two different issues for the sake of "intersectionality" that is more condescending than any attempt by people of "privilege" (fuck it, I'm just going to start referring to limosine liberals) to help marginalized communities.

Immigrant deportation is 100% deifferent from policing for rape. Illegal immigrants have broken the law. It might be an unjust law (I don't think it is; nations have borders. That's how it works.) but the police are doing their job, and not terrorizing these people wantonly. The advantage of the law-and-order system is that it's pretty much predictable. There are structural problems, and there are individual racists, but the structural problems don't run as deep as the Left often accuses... the structural problems are principally a failure to do internal policing for individual racists. But trying to extend concern for all disadvantaged people to the point where you want to stop policing because the police might enforce unjust laws is tryign to take peoples' entire lives into your hands as you try to make the world a better place.

And maybe that's where part of this disjuncture is... I don't want to make peoples' lives better. I want to make the world a better place. I have enough respect for the disadvantaged people of the world (let's set aside people with invisible disabilities for a moment, it's a big, separate issue) to expect them to know the rough outlines of the system in which they operate, and maneuver accordingly. The solution is not to do excruciating twists to try and protect every individual; the solution is to create a predictable system and administer it fairly. Wanting to reduce police involvement in potential sex crimes because you're worried that they'll deport the neighbors is, you know, retarded. We don't want the entire country to be like the chassidim in boro park and rely on vigilante groups for protection. They have a name for that-- the mafia. The same groups that murder and extort in the course of getting illegal immigrants to the U.S. in the first place.

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