London Calling: An American SJW Lays Down the Law

Last month in London, Uruguayan-born Melania Geymonat and her American girlfriend Chris (last name unknown) were riding home on a bus after a date when they were physically attacked by four teenagers yelling homophobic and misogynist slurs.  A photo of the two beaten and bloodied women quickly went global, though details about the actual attackers have been strangely devoid in subsequent media coverage.  More on that later.

Their picture was used by politicians and media to call attention to the persistence of physical violence against the LBGT crowd.  Having been raised in Judeo-Christian society grounded in Western legal jurisprudence, we consider any physical attack on any innocent person a repulsive act, one worthy of public condemnation and harsh consequence.  We hold this view regardless of the victims’ status with regards to gender, race, sexual preference, or any other check box.  We feel that all decent people would agree, and that most people are decent people.  In this instance, the British legal and political operandi have concurred.  Police made five swift arrests, and political leaders across the spectrum voiced their disgust at the attack and the need to better protect its citizens from hate crimes. 

In response, Chris penned an op-ed to the Guardian, which one might assume would convey comfort and gratitude at the near-universal support for her and Melania.  Not so.  Instead, she attacks the media for reducing her to “cheap clickbait.”  She attacks law enforcement for their efficiency, which she claims was racially biased.  She attacks conservative leaders and newspapers who spoke out in her defense as racist, sexist, and xenophobic.  She then attacks… you guessed it... capitalism!  

Well, I suppose that’s one way to squander the authentic goodwill of millions of strangers.

The op-ed is a sloppy, meandering mess of resentment, racism, virtue-signaling, victim blaming, outright deception, and socioeconomic illiteracy.  In her evidence-free harangue, Chris nonchalantly divides the world into victims (“people of colour, indigenous people, transgender people, disabled people, queer people, poor people, women and migrants”) and oppressors (the ever-omnipresent Mephistopheles of human wickedness, the Straight White Male). In Chris’s world, there is no nuance.  People of colour cannot be homophobic, queer people cannot be racist, poor people cannot be malevolent, and straight white males cannot be virtuous.  Read it at your own peril here [link corrcted],  with the full understanding that you’ll lose ten minutes of your life and walk away more puzzled than when you sat down. 

Chris opens by demanding to know if we are outraged “about all homophobia,” rather than just this specific attack.  Her inquiry begs two questions.  The first deals with her definition of “homophobia,” which, if her op-ed is any reflection thereof, probably includes any opinion that doesn’t exactly coincide with her own.  Is the hate-driven beating of two lesbian women an act of homophobia?  Absolutely.  Is the polite refusal of a soft-spoken baker to take part in a ceremony which runs counter to his sincere religious beliefs an act of homophobia?  Absolutely not, no more than would his refusal to service a bigamist marriage be evidence of hatred and fear against Mormons.

Second, the news is saturated daily with acts of injustice which, taken individually, outrage almost all of us.  But each one of us needs to process and prioritize these outrages, and we can only do so for so long.  Anyone perpetually outraged by every outrage finds little room for genuine happiness. (does Michael Eric Dyson seem happy to you?)  And of the outrages over which we do empathize, we nonetheless need to rank them.  We can’t be equally outraged at every outrage. There are desperate Venezuelan parents digging through garbage bins to feed their children.  People in China and North Korea are languishing in gulags.  Churches and synagogues are being bombed.  Women in the Islamic world are blinded and disfigured in acid attacks because they dared show their face in public.  There is still chattel slavery in parts of North Africa and the Middle East, and the global sex slave trade shows no signs of abating.  Chris must surely understand that, if by nothing other than virtue of severity, some outrages light up the midway high striker more than others.  

Even if one were to scrutinize only crimes against gays, the specter of state executions by stoning take precedent on the outrage spectrum over the anomalous beating of a gay couple.  In the white ciheteropatriarchal capitalist hell of London, such an attack is truly outrageous.  In Hyderabad, such an attack is getting off lucky.

And if one were to scrutinize only crimes against women, a three-hour road trip from Chris’s London residence brings you to Rotherham.  From 1998 to 2013 there, roughly 1400 underage girls were raped, sexually abused, and otherwise assaulted by organized rings, reports of which were systematically ignored and covered up by local authorities.

In her op-ed, Chris thrice refers to both herself and Melania as “white,” alleging that, “The press coverage, and timely law enforcement response, was not coincidental to our complexions.”  So Melania is “white,” huh?  I bet on the college applications she isn’t.  Why is Chris trying to pass off Melania, a clearly darker-skinned Latina, as “white”?  She is either prepping her for a senate run as Elizabeth Warren’s alter ego, or she is twisting herself another pretzel to feed a dogmatic ideological worldview.  In Chris’s narrative, the “capitalist, white supremacist, patriarchal system” only protects its own.  It makes no sense that it would serve a brown Uruguayan immigrant.   To the fanatic, it’s less uncomfortable to ignore reality than to open your mind.  Hence, Melania is now “white.”   

These are the circles Chris tries to square to insulate her biases.  Mind you, she offers precisely zero evidence to back her accusation that the police and media performed their duties through racialist partiality.  That’s due largely to her Guardian interviewers refusing to hold her to account (and its absence of a “Comments” section, which is telling).  But her willingness to exploit her own girlfriend as a racial prop for political expediency speaks more to her own zealotry than to any alleged racism of her cliched strawmen. 

This doesn’t mean the justice system is unbiased.  Most of the underage female victims of the aforementioned Rotherham rape rings were white.  The rapists were almost all Pakistani Muslim men.  There were certain, ah, “cultural” considerations factored into the decisions of officials to conceal the abuse.  The systemic rape of 1400 girls is apparently a small sacrifice to make before the Golden Calf of Diversity, especially when you’re not the one being gang raped.  But this doesn’t jibe with Chris’s insistence that Western society consciously bases its police investigations and political decisions upon the perpetuation of white supremacy.  Letting Pakistani Muslim men rape white children seems like a counterproductive method by which to do so.  Nevertheless, the unofficial sanction of these crimes by an elected government is indeed evidence of “privilege”.  Would Chris feel confident to lecture these victims about with whom she feels the privilege resides?

Lastly, let’s discuss the five arrested perpetrators.  Chris refers to them as “idiots.”  Not homophobes.  Not misogynists.  Just “idiots”, for whom she explains she reserves no anger. (but you and I are hateful bigots, got it?)  Because of the authorities’ inexplicable refusal to release any details about them, we can only speculate.  The one clue we have to their identity, other than their age, is that Melania claimed that three of the attackers had British accents.  Normally, this wouldn’t be much of a clue.  The attack occurred in Britain, so why wouldn’t they have British accents?  Unless, of course, their British accents were an extricating factor. 

So, if the attackers stood out for their British accents, can we deduce that, at first glance, they might come across as people who might not have British accents?  And if so, to whom does this narrow down our suspect pool?  A few Kentucky teens from Covington High School donning MAGA hats? Nigerian brothers from Chicago looking for gay people to lynch?  Surely Chris wouldn’t vilify entire groups of people unless they were at least represented in the personas of her attackers? 

One would think a socialist rag like the Guardian would have an acute interest in exposing both the perpetrators and the motives behind such hate crimes, especially if they fit Chris’s theory with regards to their supposed systemic foundations.  One of the attackers is a legal adult, so there is no legal reason his identity cannot be publicized.  One wonders if there aren’t other reasons.  Political reasons.  Maybe the attackers’ identities don’t fit a certain narrative. 

At this point, we can give Chris an empathic benefit of the doubt.  She is probably still discombobulated from the attack, is laboring to put her life back together, and is trying to make logical sense of the absurdity of what happened.  She could be having a Liam Neeson moment after his friend was raped, justified in her anger but lashing out irrationally at an entire group of innocent people based on the actions of a pathological few.  Or, she could be making a calculated political maneuver, attempting to exploit her personal tragedy to libel those whom she considers her enemies.   If it’s the latter, Chris should re-examine her own prejudices enough to acknowledge that hatred is a human condition, both experienced by and exercised by every human subgroup, including gay progressives in London.  She should admit that another human condition is tolerance, one shown to her in spades by those she despises, many of whom would have unflinchingly come to her aid that horrific night on the bus.      

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