Alison Weir and the white lives, white lies matter movement

I wrote this a year ago as a facebook rant, and forgot about it, until it showed up as a “memory”, the way facebook compiles all your posts from this date in the history of your facebook feed. It starts off: My next article might just be called “Alison Weir and the white lives, white lies matter movement”  But in rereading this, I realized this IS that next article, and it needs to be said. #nomorewhitetears #whitefragility #thevaultedpurityofwhitechristianwomanhood.  I decided, in posting this today, not to edit, and to retain the informality and uncrafted rustic of the original post.

It’s just so amazing. she and her supporters are accusing two organizations who attempted to quietly and discretely simply NOT WORK WITH HER, of McCarthyism. One of her supporters, doing his own cause no justice, someone who identifies as a survivor of the USS Liberty, wrote about the “charges” against Weir, as if she had been arrested and strangled in police custody.

The organizations that decided not to associate with her have been accused of publicly attacking Weir, and simultaneously of launching a whisper campaign against her, of having no case, but of creating a “secret dossier” against her. Of not having investigated or dialogued with Weir but also of “interrogating” her by sending her a letter with a series of questions. She is actually complaining about having been subjected to an INTERROGATION!!!!

She relies on the jingoistic language of “American interests” “America’s good name” “America’s founding principles, and she and her supporters insist that this is the rhetoric necessary to appeal to “middle” Amerika. But which Amerika is that? Can we honestly say we don’t know who she really means by “middle” Amerika, that she isn’t relying on white default so that she doesn’t even have to say what she really means, with her videos of picket fences and waving flags as somehow the battle cry of Palestine solidarity?

I would have thought among anti-racist activists that that would be obvious- that U.S. empire, the most brutal killing machine in the history of the world was so transparently white supremacist. But one pacifist activist accused me of “borderline violence” for suggesting that U.S. empire, and an “Amerikan interests” “Amerika first” politic, including CIA operatives (or former CIA operatives) was “based in white supremacist assertions and ideology.”

Her supporters post her picture as their profile pic and lament the time wasted that could be spent “supporting the Palestinians,” by those who are having this discussion, as if it hadn’t been Alison who had made the whole decision public and her fans who hadn’t circulated and published a petition all about Alison, in her “defense”.

What is the airing of legitimate differences, strategies and world views, is being characterized by Weir and her supporters as a witch hunt, and that Weir is being silenced and even attacked, though all of the official decisions have been made with quiet deliberation, consideration and without adhoms, insults or character assassination.

She was not kicked out of her union or removed from her job. Her publisher hasn’t decided not to publish the book, She’s simply being disagreed with. There’s no blacklisting. She can remain in her paid position at two organizations, where she makes her living off of her brand of solidarity and has for the better part of 2 decades, she still has her book, her book deal, her book tour, her constituency.

I want to write about the virtue of white christian womanhood and white tears and white fragility that has protected Alison Weir against the kind of cyber abuse the rest of us endure on a daily basis, that I have endured for simply entering this conversation and has allowed her and her fans to promote her as an innocent, a victim, her inherent goodness somehow footnoted and legitimized by her blond hair and blue eyes.

She and her fans are outraged by “the divisiveness” and the “attacks” against her, but somehow said nothing about the verbal abuse hurled by Gilad Atzmon against any anti-zionist Jew who identifies as Jewish, characterizing all Jewish identity as tribalism (Weir has publicly defended Atzmon begging the question, why would she want to work with Jewish Voice for Peace, anyway, if “tribal Jews” are just zionist gatekeepers?). Where was the outrage when Veterans Today, Atzmon and (Greta) Berlin make horrible and racist comments about “supposed” Palestinian activists? Where was the outrage when activists were really blacklisted and kept out of our unions and removed from union jobs for raising the issue of Palestinian human rights within the larger dialogue on human rights? Were these (actual) attacks not also divisive?

I want to write about white savior syndrome, and the great white hope and how Weir has branded it and polished it and taken it on the road, using the Palestinian struggle as the vehicle for her own self promotion and the promotion of a rather reactionary politic so totally removed from any legitimate solidarity movement and against “the better judgement” of a broad base of Palestinian activists and scholars.

She has named her organization “If Americans Knew” and yet she describes her current situation which is based on what are ideological and organizational differences, with terminology that usually is used to describe some of the daily crimes of white supremacist systems against marginalized people where a routine traffic stop can result in someone being extra judicially killed by police and killed, every day, in every city in Amerika. Do her Amerikans know that? do they care? Is that even the same country?

Link to the original facebook rant: https://www.facebook.com/emmarosenthal/posts/10205629754278108

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This entry was posted in Guilt by Dis-association: The Landscape of Amerikan* Exceptionalism in the Guise of Palestine Solidarity by emmarosenthal. Bookmark the permalink.

About emmarosenthal

Emma Rosenthal is an artist, writer, educator, reiki practitioner, farmer and human rights activist, living in Southern California, whose work combines art, activism, education and grassroots mobilization. As a person with a disability she is confined, not by her disability but by the narrow and marginalizing attitudes and structures of the society at large. She is the founder and co-director of The WE Empowerment Center and Café Intifada, and she lives and works at Dragonflyhill Urban Farm. As an educator her emphasis has been in the areas of bilingual and multicultural education. Her experience as a grassroots organizer, political essayist and speaker has been life long and has included many progressive causes. Her work seeks to combine art, activism, education and grassroots mobilization. Her poetry and prose is impassioned, sensual, political, life affirming and powerful. In her writing she explores the use of art and literary expression to elicit an ethos more compelling than dogma and ideological discourse, providing new paradigms for community, communion, connection and human transformation. She has been a featured poet and speaker throughout Southern California at a variety of venues and programs including; The Arab-American Festival, Highways Performance Space, The Autry Museum, Barnes and Nobel, Poetic License, Borders/Pasadena, Beyond Baroque, Freedom Fries Follies (a fundraiser for The Center for the Study of Political Graphics), KPFK, Arts in Action, Chafey College, UC Irvine and Hyperpoets. Her work has appeared in several publications including Lilith Magazine, The Pasadena Star News, The San Gabriel Tribune, The San Gabriel Valley Quarterly, LoudMouth Magazine (CSLA), Coloring Book; An Eclectic Anthology of Multicultural Writers (Rattlecat Press 2003), Muse Apprentice Guild and the Anthology, Shifting Sands, Jewish-American Women Speak Out Against the Occupation, Spring 2010. Her work has shown in several galleries in the Southern California area, including the Galleries at Whittier College, and Pasadena City College, as well as Beans and Leaves Coffeehouse in Covina, CA.

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