In today’s news, Elon Musk (a flagrant asshole) is defending Dilbert creator Scott Adams (also a flagrant asshole). Adams made some overtly racist remarks, as a result of which his once-popular comic strip is being dropped by a lot of newspapers. Apparently Musk thinks Adams is being discriminated against in the media for being white. This is ludicrous, but it’s not surprising if you consider the source.

Here’s the problem I’m having, though. I’m helping out with the launch of the North American Unitarian Association. The NAUA is slated to provide an alternative for liberals within the Unitarian-Universalist denomination. There’s clearly a need for this, because the main organization, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has been taken over by zealots. The UUA is actively attacking anybody within the UU denomination who disagrees with them or raises questions about their tactics. The UUA has become secretive and anti-democratic.

And why are they doing this? Because they’re trying (ineptly and heavy-handedly) to combat racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination. An admirable goal! The problem is not with their goal, it’s with their methods. Their idea is to “center” the voices of people of color and the voices of other marginalized groups, while correspondingly “de-centering” the voices of white heterosexual men. The logic of this is very dubious, but they’re passionate about it — to the point where they feel logic doesn’t matter. Logic, they’re convinced, is something white men use to discriminate against marginalized groups, so it must be bad. They really do believe this tripe.

When I look at the faces in the NAUA meetings on Zoom, what I see is a bunch of old white guys. Okay, there are two or three women (one of whom happens to be a trans woman), but everybody is very white. So when I look down the road a month or two, to a time when the NAUA has a website and an official presence, what I predict is that the UUA crowd will automatically leap to the conclusion that the NAUA is allied with Scott Adams and Elon Musk. It will seem to them, in defiance of all logic, that we’re in the same torch-carrying crowd with overt racists.

This seems to be the way UUA people think. Either you agree with them 100%, or you’re the enemy. The difficulty is, there are real enemies, people like Adams and Musk, to say nothing of certain Republicans in Washington and around the country — but by and large, UUA loyalists are not going to be able to tell the difference. In their playbook, anybody who doesn’t sign on to the UUA agenda is a white supremacist.

As much as I hate to say it, this kind of bullshit gives Musk and Adams a smidgen of credibility. Not that that matters. They’re still assholes. I’m just saying….

Racism is still very much part of the mainstream culture in the United States, in some flagrant ways and some subtle ways. Only idiots would pretend otherwise. But the methods the UUA crowd have chosen to combat racism and other forms of discrimination are cruel, sneaky, and unfair — and also doomed to be ineffective.

My mother used to like to quote a caption from a New Yorker cartoon that was published eighty or ninety years ago, probably when she was a teenager. A man, a woman, and a young girl are seated at the dinner table, The girl says, “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” That pretty much sums up my view of the UUA. But what are you gonna do?

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2 Responses to White-Out

  1. Terry Cox says:

    Actually Jim, I don’t think Elon ever mentioned Scott Adams name.

    • midiguru says:

      The news report I read was not very specific. It didn’t quote Elon’s entire tweet(s). But it’s abundantly clear where his sympathies lie.

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