The future is queer and multicultural. The liberal left must stand stand with its allies in the Muslim community, Black Lives Matter and the feminist movement to ensure this progressive revolution.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Discredited, bad ideas were supposed to disappear into the ash heap of history never to darken our doorways again. The progressive, colourful, open minded, feminist, gender bending path we seemed to be on appeared to be a seamless journey; but as we know, things rarely run smoothly. Struggles we thought we had already fought and won and were now behind us now have to be all over fought again.
The movements that brought us Brexit and Trump were the last anguished cry of a dying white male patriarchal system rebelling against the increasingly brown, trans and queer modern world. A petulant regressive, retrograde rejection of inclusivity and tolerance. It was – and let’s be honest – a coup of an angry mostly male and pale minority terrified about losing their influence in a fast changing environment that saw gay marriage legalised and emergence and acceptance of a previously suppressed trans community very quickly in the last few years.
The alternative vision presented by the newly resurgent far right is a mean spirited one that advocates a close minded, divisive agenda that celebrates whiteness and toxic masculinity, where conformity and uniformity prevail rather than a colourful hotchpotch of different peoples and cultures living and learning together that we were just beginning to see cemented as the default position. Borders and identity are back in vogue when we thought they had been successfully removed from the conversation for good. Yes, we were complacent to let this happen, probably naive in believing these ideas were far enough contained in the lunatic fringe that they no longer held currency and lost the right to a hearing. Now we will have to pick ourselves up from these devastating setbacks that are a white supremacist, misogynist assault on basic human decency and fight back just as our forebears fought the Blackshirts in Cable Street, Franco in Spain and Hitler in Europe.
The battles today will be fought on the streets, on the internet, in the classrooms and in popular culture. Every refugee let in will be defeat for the forces that brought us Brexit and Trump , every immigrant a victory for us. If we’re doing something that gets the newly emboldened far right’s back up then we’re probably winning. Protest and petition everyday. Fight against the agenda of the far right and continue to push our liberal, compassionate agenda without fail. Stand by and up for your Muslim friends and neighbours – they need you more than ever. If they want a new mosque or community centre built, don’t just be on their side in spirit you make sure that thing is built. It is a triumph for our inclusive and tolerant values and a defeat for those of hate and division.
We won’t truly end this resurgence of hateful rhetoric and ideas though unless we able to stop them getting a platform to air them in the first place. Hate speech isn’t free speech and those spreading hate have to expect pushback. Vulnerable people deserve to protected from hate speech because sometimes words and ideas are violence. Violence must be met with violence which is why those spreading hatred are confronted by our valiant allies in the anti fascist movement. The reason there is now a President Trump and why we’re leaving the European Union is because our media was far too tolerant of hate speech and unjustly willing to give it a fair hearing. What I hope we now understand is that some ideas are so destructive and damaging that they don’t deserve a hearing and actively have to be suppressed for the greater good.
The resistance to the Trump and Brexit era of hate will require an alliance of ordinary activists on the street and in the private sector on whose platforms this new fascist movement spread its hateful message and recruited followers to their vile agenda. Ordinary people must act as a bulwark to stop this agenda in the real world while we must petition and campaign for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others to stop them being heard online as well. The future can’t be allowed to belong the flag waving racist who voted for Brexit or the red hat wearing misogynist who voted for Trump. Everything they represent needs to decisively crushed and erased just like the Nazis and in it’s place let’s a build a feminist, Islamic, queer world where everyone is accepted regardless of who they are.
Rorschach AKA Mr Cloud ©