About three weeks ago, I tweeted about a disturbing story out of Chicago, where organizers of an LGBT pride event barred Jewish Stars of David, going so far as asking violators of this appalling policy to leave. Their rationale leaned on the leftist theory of "intersectionality," wherein real or perceived discrimination ("such as racism, sexism and classism") against historically-marginalized classes of people overlap, binding all of the victim groups' fates together. But to some, the Jews apparently don't count, so their presence was deemed to be an 'oppressive' and 'threatening' endorsement of Zionism (never mind that Israel's laws are unique in the region in barring various forms of discrimination against core elements of the 'intersectionality' coalition, like women and gays). This garbage was roundly denounced as barely-disguised anti-Semitism:
Newsweek: Jewish stars of David banned, Jews booted, from a Chicago gay pride march, because 'anti-Zionists' felt "unsafe." pic.twitter.com/06S9iarvCJ— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 25, 2017
The resulting firestorm reflected quite poorly on the event, and therefore on the hard Left. Days later, the reporter who broke the story for the city's LGBT newspaper was mysteriously and abruptly barred from continuing her editorial role at the publication:
The journalist who first reported the ejection of three Jewish women from the Chicago Dyke March has been relieved of her reporting duties. Gretchen Rachel Hammond, an award-winning reporter for the Windy City Times, a Chicago LGBT newspaper, has been moved full-time to the paper’s sales desk as of Monday. Hammond was the first to report that three women were kicked out of the Chicago Dyke March, an LGBT parade on June 24, for carrying rainbow flags emblazoned with Jewish stars. Organizers of the march say the women were ejected because they were carrying flags reminiscent of the Israeli flag at an anti-Zionist event. Jewish groups criticized the decision as anti-Semitic. Hammond confirmed that she is no longer reporting for the paper, but declined to say whether she was moved because of her coverage of the Dyke March. She said the shift is not temporary, and that she is looking for editorial work elsewhere. “Right now I’m in the sales department,” she told JTA Monday. “I’m still a part of the company, and it’s my only source of income. To keep what job I have, I can’t comment on it..." The paper’s publisher, Tracy Baim, confirmed that Hammond had been moved, but would not elaborate.
To many, this looked very much like a retaliatory strike against a reporter for simply doing her job, which happened to draw attention to bigotry and ignorance on the far Left. If true, that would demonstrate that the Windy City Times is more interested in protecting a radical social movement than upholding the tenets of journalism -- or even protecting the values of tolerance and inclusion that liberals profess to hold dear. Via John Sexton, it now appears as though the fired reporter has confirmed that the decision was exactly what it appeared to be. Responding to a tweet from the 'Dyke March' (charmingly reveling in "Zionist/white tears" and basically taking credit for the dismissal), Hammond blasted the "destructive and pointless hatred" that "robbed me of a job:"
You attacked, humiliated and robbed me of a job. No tears. I forgive you. Just hope you learn how destructive and pointless hatred is.— Gretchen R. Hammond (@GretchRHammond) July 17, 2017
The hardcore Left has constructed a hierarchy of victimhood, firmly rooted in destructive identity politics. Step out of line, and even a liberal in good standing can bear the brunt of the intolerant, unforgiving whirlwind. This is a theme Mary Katharine Ham and I explored at some length in our book, End of Discussion, a new edition of which goes to print August 1st (it's a paperback version, and we've added a fresh, post-election chapter). We recently ran across an essay that bolsters our thesis, which focuses on how the Left shuts down debate through moral and social bullying. It's written by a far-left transgender person of color who is hardly a conservative: She mentions her revolt against her former Christian faith and her eagerness to end capitalism. But because she fails to evince sufficient radicalism at every turn, she's been made to feel unsafe in her own movement, and wants out. An excerpt from her post, which is entitled, "excommunicate me from the church of social justice:"
There is an underlying current of fear in my activist communities, and it is separate from the daily fear of police brutality, eviction, discrimination, and street harassment. It is the fear of appearing impure. Social death follows when being labeled a “bad” activist or simply “problematic” enough times. I’ve had countless hushed conversations with friends about this anxiety, and how it has led us to refrain from participation in activist events, conversations, and spaces because we feel inadequately radical...I self-police what I say in activist spaces. I stopped commenting on social media with questions or pushback on leftist opinions for fear of being called out. I am always ready to apologize for anything I do that a community member deems wrong, oppressive, or inappropriate- no questions asked. The amount of energy I spend demonstrating purity in order to stay in the good graces of fast-moving activist community is enormous. Activists are some of the judgiest people I’ve ever met, myself included. There’s so much wrongdoing in the world that we work to expose. And yet, grace and forgiveness are hard to come by in these circles. At times, I have found myself performing activism more than doing activism. I’m exhausted, and I’m not even doing the real work I am committed to do. It is a terrible thing to be afraid of my own community members, and know they’re probably just as afraid of me.
The whole thing is a candid and honest read that offers an unsettling glimpse into an extreme subculture that is highly influential within the Democratic coalition, and whose 'End of Discussion' tactics are especially pernicious. Just ask Gretchen Hammond.