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Guilt by Agreement: Because Hitler was a Fungiterian Too!

Post by teodroseIII » 22 Dec 2017, 16:34


Wesley: I can’t wait for Christmas, it’s round two of Turkey overdose for me! My wife just found out about this place called the Old Turks, they make the most amazing deep fried turkey. You should check them out Mikey.

Mikey: Actually, I’m decided to make a change. I’m going to stop eating meat all together and only consume a mushroom based diet going forward. Mushrooms are full of wonderful nutrients; they grow in abundance, help with cholesterol, increase vitality in the bedroom and enhance brain capacity. Oh and get this, they help secret hormones that makes you irresistible to women. I’m becoming a Fungiterian!

Wesley: Do you know who else liked mushrooms?!? Hitler that’s who. Enjoy being a Fungiterian, you are now in league with Nazis! #MikeyIsHitlersSon

This is of course a fictional conversation between Wesley and Mikey. I wrote the above script in order to discuss a particular tactic that too many people are using more and more in order to discredit others. It’s one thing to debate on the merits of an argument, but it’s a whole other thing to disparage ideas based on guilt by associated agreement. Yet this is the new rage going on these days; taking a position in politics and pop culture is to risk getting tarred and feathered because some scoundrel has the same position as you. Forget about it if someone who is reviled agrees with something you wrote even if that person stands in complete opposition to your belief system.

This is, of course, the height of absurdity. Anyone’s idea can be juxtaposition to another person’s position. The originator of an idea or a person who presents a theory has no control over who or what group decide to agree or cosign to his/her concept. I write this in light of the kerfuffle between Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates in which the former took the latter to task for his obfuscation. One of the last rejoinders that Coates made in response to West’s critique was not to address the charges but to dismiss West’s stance by associating him with intolerant right-wing bigots. In fact, Coates’ last tweet before deleting his account was a veiled attempt to disparage West by linking him to an Alt-Right opinion leader named Richard Spencer. Coates then went on to throw the entire kitchen sink as he moonwalked away from Twitter.

“Feminists, White Supremacists, and Leftists All In Agreement” ~ Ta-Nehisi Coates

With that, Coates exited stage neoliberal left without acknowledging the heart of West’s critique about Ta-Nehisi’s brand of journalism and advocacy. In his final act on Twitter, Coates laid the groundwork for others to follow. His apologists fell in line and picked up the guilt by association framework from Coates. West laid out a convincing case as to why Coates is no sojourner. By presenting injustice through an ideological lens and speaking truth to only one equation of power, he is partaking in diversion instead of standing for justice. Comparing Barack Obama to Malcolm X—as Coates does repeatedly—is like comparing Fredrick Douglas to Clarence Thomas. Malcolm X stood up to the system of injustice that is bleeding the masses, Barack Obama was and is the black face that gave cover to it. Coates’ loyalists refuse to address these stubborn facts and instead choose to defame West by...continued...

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