Sunday, October 23, 2011

Moral Posturing, Part I

As will be the case with a great many of my posts, sleep is going to have to take the back seat for my rage. Take a look at this photo from the tumblr of one Alexis Marie, self-described poet/actress/black woman/writer/human. Her protest sign reads:

"13% of the population (Black people) have always known how fucked up the system is, 86% just learned this… together we are the 99%"

For the type of SWPLs who comprise the OWS crowds, as with any other facet of their lives, the name of the game is moral posturing. As a running definition, we'll call moral posturing the device by which one liberal asserts a kind of passive-aggressive superiority over another. Since it is potentially racist, sexist, or some other -ist to assert superiority by tangible means, moral posturing is the primary dominance tool in most political discussion.

For whites, the moral superiority ceiling stops at holding all the right opinions. This is not the case for our protester, pictured above. Being both black and a woman, she holds something whites can never have: tangible moral authority. Where whites can improve their moral stature by taking on positions of vehement anti-racism, she's its victim.

So even though she's at a protest which demands economic equality, there's still the nagging desire to let everyone know that she's more equal. Never mind the hundreds of millions of dollars spent annually on affirmative action programs--forget about the whole 'black' president thing--until black people have no crime or poverty, some form of institutionalized racism is still at work.

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