Facing bigotry among progressives

In my last post I wrote about how we need to confront the Trump campaign and Trump supporters with the fact that the Trump campaign was based upon racism.

Similar to this, progressives must also be willing to face the bigotry that unfortunately is widespread on the left. Unlike what many on the left seem to think, bigotry is not just something that exist among right-winged people, but often roars its ugly head among progressives as well.

One such an example can be found at this Daily Kos diary from November 11, 2016

What I told a client

It is a first time diary entry, in which the author writes about the election of Trump. It was quite popular, and got 677 votes (a fairly high number of votes, especially for a first-time contribution). This entry contained the following paragraph

They think our country is being overrun by Muslims or will be, and they want to avoid a situation like in Europe.  That’s a legitimate concern, since non-Europeans are indeed pouring into Europe and refusing to assimilate.  I have traveled and lived in Europe and have seen it with my own eyes. It threatens to destroy the fabric of society there. But we don’t have that problem:  One reason is that we control immigration.  We let in the best and brightest, and a tiny trickle of refugees, and that’s about it.  In Europe, by contrast, uneducated people from countries that never advanced beyond the 13th century can just take the train or drive and sneak in.  Also, non-Europeans flood into Europe from former French, etc. colonies such as Tunisia – a problem we don’t have.  Immigrant Muslims here in the States are assimilating far more than in Europe, in part because we don’t relegate Muslims to ghettos; we welcome them into our neighborhoods.  We have two first-generation Muslim families on our street. The wife in one of them wears a headscarf, but otherwise they’re not much different than anyone else. Our kids play together.  We get together socially.

This paragraph could have been written by any right-winged xenophobe in Europe, yet this was apparently completely acceptable to the 677 people who voted for the diary.

We need to get rid of this sort of bigotry among progressives before we have any chance of winning over the racism and bigotry we face on the right.

For the record – people from outside the EU can’t just travel to the EU if they feel like it, which anyone who has ever traveled to Europe would know. And it should be obviously that the whole concept that there are countries that hasn’t advanced beyond the 13th century is deeply racist.




  1. EigenSprocketUK says

    No-one puts the minorities into ghettos. The white folk just move away instead. Same result.

  2. says

    Well, they also frequently take measures to ensure that minorities can’t move to the places they live. A good book on the subject of how this happened in the US is James W. Loewen’s Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism

  3. agender says

    I am not so sure. It could also be something from a person who fears all religions, and wants to be left in peace.
    I cannot find out for sure whether s/he describes the attitudes of Drumpf-voters, or tends to share them.
    (Of course the 13th-century remark is as stupid as common, not even experts in history do really know how common people felt back in the middle ages; there are only a handful of sources about the elites and their fights with the vatican hierarchy, and their working together in crusades and eradication of believers in something not exactly so hierarchical.)

  4. says

    Agender, you are a pretty good illustration of the problem.

    Here we have someone pushing the right-winged narrative about Muslims overrunning Europe, and making the outright racist claim that many Muslims comes from 13th-century societies, yet you are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Don’t do that! Stand up against racism, wherever it is found!

  5. agender says

    So you, Kristjan, are sure that the agency option is all there is, that the intention to write the whole text (and perhaps for the people to decide about publishing it, too?) is to repeat to define “Muslim” as in “being born to Muslim parents” and to deny whoever makes it to Europe the right to self-determination?
    When I read Geert Wilders (and some years ago i managed to get 2 of the late Pim Fortuyn´s books) I can easily detect that none of what they wrote will be helpful for girls at risk to FGM, young gays, even if they have made it to Europe, and women who face domestic violence – regardless of which religion sanctioned their marriage; and audio and video of somebody talking about religion and/or refugees give me more info about the person´s intention. Usually the ones decrying Islam are exactly the ones who will push Christianity on us all.
    A text like the one on the Daily Kos does not give me this info. Maybe I am not good in detecting dog whistles?

    Or do you mean that to MENTION this little planet´s overpopulation automatically means hating the victims, and not hate against the laws and bureaucracy enforcing it?