There's no conflict the internet can't make worse.
The people splitting hairs over dead babies are deranged
Katie and Jesse touched on what one of my most frequent refrains was when I actually discussed progressive politics IRL: the radical islamists don’t want any of you, they barely want to keep most devout Muslim women alive, no one who is progressive, moderate or even conservative has any genuine rationale to support that cause aside from an assumption that when the underdog is brown and not Christian, they must be right.
If you are queer, a woman, educated or at least intellectual, disabled, not Muslim, or a million other things, radical Islam does not want you and you need not support it its terrorism. It is the #1 reason why I left the faith.
Nellie Bowles had a good quip: "Students offended by the phrase ‘master bedroom’ chant ‘glory to the martyrs." (https://www.thefp.com/p/tgif-hot-takes-on-hamas-terrorism)
And, on the rapid adoption of a Hamas terrorist in a paraglider as a symbol for the Democrat Socialists, she said:
"The obvious new symbol for members of the Democratic Socialists of America is a Hamas soldier. I can’t believe I never thought of it myself. Who would respect your pronouns more than a Hamas paraglider? Who would agree with the progressive prosecutor movement more than a Hamas paraglider? Hamas paragliders wait to be called out and called in. When I think of straight allies who support my gay rights and dignity, I obviously think of Hamas paragliders. This Is What A Feminist Looks Like (hint: it’s a Hamas paraglider, dummy!). Strong, rebellious, and arriving with panache to do an ethnic cleansing of the Jews? The Hamas paraglider has it all for the modern American left. "
This is the natural consequence of telling people that an oppressed group is literally unable to cause harm. It’s not just that there’s a binary, but that there’s an attempt to systematically redefine words like racism or sexism to exempt certain groups from being held to account for being bigoted.
Hamas is bad. We should be able to condemn wholeheartedly people who behead babies and rape women before murdering them, without qualifiers, without blaming innocent people for being slaughtered, without chin stroking and umming and ahhing. It's not complicated and we seem to be able to do it when any other country whose government has engaged in questionable foreign policy choices suffers a horrifying terror attack by Islamic militants. Why can't we do it for Israel?
Harvard student groups complain about feeling “unsafe” because of mean Tweets while supporting literal massacre - Jesse, the word you’re looking for is “chutzpah”.
In publishing there have been a number of our junior staffers saying pretty unhinged stuff about this conflict online, and these young folks seem to be entirely oblivious to, or insensitive to, the fact that they have many Jewish colleagues in the office with them, sometimes working *directly* with them. To make matters worse, the posts I see from young self-righteous Leftists are all the usual talking points they vomit all year long, and the ones I see from Jewish colleagues are about BEING SCARED FOR THEIR ACTUAL RELATIVES.
But the folks in publishing won't need to advertise the names of these young employees with a truck of shame, because THEY ARE ADVERTISING THEMSELVES! These are NAMED ACCOUNTS!
I've seen this so much in this industry, there is this entrenched self-righteousness among those who have subscribed to the copypasta politics of the too-online Left, and my coworkers will willy-nilly jukebox this crap, and think it won't land on them later.
I personally think their politics are fetishistic, shallow, and intermittently vile. But here's the thing: even if someone *agreed* with the politics, the fact that they choose to express them in a 100% public manner, and insist that everybody subscribe to their one-sided views of issues, means they *obviously can't advance in an organization where they will need to make even-handed management decisions that satisfy broad swaths of employees.*
Like...who would be dumb enough to promote any of these employees? They have shown they have no restraint and no ability to publicly speak to these issues. They can't lead anything but a group of people who already agree with them, and that is not in the job description of someone hoping to advance in a company that has to publish across the ideological spectrum TO FINANCIALLY SURVIVE.
I'm very interested to see who walks in the doors of this industry over the next ten years, because several people who have walked into them during the previous ten are in the process of flaming out before my eyes. It's like Ionesco's "Rhinoceros" if the whole thing took place in an office.
Cancel culture is going back 10 years to find something “wrong” about someone. Such as using a slur 10 years ago on Facebook. Like the Emu girl.
Quite literally cheering on Hamas and being fired for it, or employers wanting to know who not to hire, is not cancel culture y’all.
If my colleges college republican’s signed a letter affirming Dylan fucking Roof and the fight against “White genocide”, I, as an employer now, would like to know who signed that letter, so I don’t have to hire them by mistake.
That’s not fucking cancel culture. Give me a break Jesse and Katie
Overall a good episode, but I don't know if I agree with the "18-year-olds are stupid and so their statements aren't a big deal" take.
The people running student orgs on campus and responsible for the pro-Hamas statements likely aren't naive freshmen who have been on campus for two months, like in Katie's example. They're seniors, so they're 21+, and in less than a year they're off in the world working. They can vote, they can drink, they have all the rights and privileges of adults. They're adults, and their actions have consequences. They certainly have consequences for all the people who hate Israel and are going to read their statements and think the students share their views.
I've never heard any of these "revolutionaries" chant "death to China" for what they're doing to the Uyghurs.
I've never heard them gloat over the death of Indian Hindu nationalists.
I've never heard them call Myanmar an apartheid state - even during the height of the Rohingya genocide.
I've never heard anyone of them expressing hatred for Serbians or mentioning Srebrenica.
You'd almost be tempted to think they're not fighting for the rights of Muslims but against Jews.
Stephen L. Miller, friend of Katie, and the pod, made this point on his podcast.
A lot of people have been asking why are people so determined to dispute the number of sexual assaults by Hamas, and why are they so determined to falsify whether or not 40 babies were beheaded, even when photos are shown to them.
And he said it’s exactly the same playbook as holocaust denial.
They are trying to sow doubts now, so that in 5 years or so... they can say “ the Jews are conflating the number of people that died in the event. 1200 is way too high a number, maybe 500 die, and they were probably all IDF. If civilians died they were caught in the cross fire.
It’s holocaust denial all over again
You too nice to Harvard students. If they are so proud of their ideology they should be held to account.
I'm a little disappointed in Katie at the end waffling about free speech and should the law student have been fired from the firm. Katie said "I'm not going to say there isn't a line..." but there very much IS a line - and it's a line the employer gets to draw! *Especially* for law firms - this student (based in NY) could very likely be representing Jewish clients - how would you feel if you were that client spending $300/hour on a lawyer that has made these comments? Do you feel they would be working their hardest to represent you?
Also, let's not pretend this person's career is over; they've got a good degree and they'll get a job but it might not be their dream job. The left *loves* to remind the right that freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences; let this be a reminder of that for everyone.
I am pretty ignorant about this issue, so forgive any stupid things I say in this comment, but one cognitive dissonance that I’ll never understand about the far left/critical theory/whatever you want to call it perspective on Israel and Jewish people is how they so easily dismiss the lasting impact of the holocaust. Everything these days is a genocide, we(white Americans) have to continually apologize and make amends for collective acts of violence in the past (often the very remote past, ie colonization of native lands) and yet there are still people living who were in concentration camps and fled to Israel and have somehow become some of the worst white colonizers, according to this worldview? Does generational trauma not apply to this group or something? Their philosophy isn’t even internally consistent
Jesse sounded puzzled about why people on the left would endorse terrorism. As someone once married to a Leninist it's obvious to me. I totally repudiate these views but when I was younger I heard a lot of these views.
Lenin argued that power must be attained by any means necessary. Terror is a key tool. If we define terrorism as murdering civilians in noncombat circumstances, that is merely asymmetrical warfare. This is a belief in the ends justifying the means. The ends, in this case, also happen to be nihilistic, but those supporting the recent massacres are often sure that no other means exist.
This ex of mine was also active in Palestinian activism for a while. He was disdainful of liberals or anyone who thought negotiation and compromise was valid. Like other intellectuals, he saw it all as a power game, and the oppressed must injure the oppressor.
This article on Lenin's strategies might be useful here:
I can't say that I'm too upset about the dude wanting the Harvard students names so he could not hire them in the future. I actually kinda love it, not necessarily in it being followed through on, but at least to nudge these assholes back towards the previously standard moral norm of not supporting terrorist groups attempting a Jewish genocide. I dunno. And college students do think/say some dumb shit, which is why there needs to be individuals, or better yet, a society that will check that dumb shit for them.