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Friday, August 23, 2013

Unfriended on Facebook! Because of Politics! Liberal Smackdown!

At least he didn't call me an ignorant slut. 
"Leo" told me that he was going to unfriend me on Facebook because I am too "right-wing." And I post "right-wing crap" which upsets him.

I was hurt. And my reasons for being hurt will surprise you. This is important not just for me or Leo but for where America is headed, right now.

Oh, I was hurt for the obvious, personal reasons, of course.

I was hurt because like most humans I am a big baby and I want people to like and accept me and I feel sad when they dislike and reject me.

I was hurt because I like reading Leo's posts: fruits of his creativity and announcements about his next artistic productions.

I was hurt because I feel connected to people Leo is connected to and I learn of their comings and goings, their joys and sorrows, like the birth of Leo's new grandson, only through Facebook.

I was hurt because I wish I were not so alone and I am aware that my tendency to work through problems publicly, in dogged debates, alienates people. I am called "opinionated," "obnoxious," "self-righteous," "obsessive," "boring, " and "wrong," "wrong," "WRONG!!!"

Four people have unfriended me on Facebook in the past month or so, all of them self-identified "leftists" or "liberals," all because I am "right-wing."

And I am hurt.

But here's what REALLY hurts me – and here's what matters – these "liberals" identify me as "right-wing."

And it doesn't hurt me for the reason you might think.

Some facts.

I'm a registered Democrat. Both of my parents were registered Democrats. Over ninety percent of the candidates I've voted for have been Democrats. I've worked for the Democratic Party and other liberal causes, going door to door with a clipboard, educating and asking for donations. I've registered voters on street corners. I've staffed phone lines. I've pasted fliers on utility poles. Always for "liberal" causes: the environment, unionization of workers, peace.

I actively support gay rights, broadcasting essays like this and publishing essays like this. I marched, attended countless meetings, and donated money.

I've been actively opposed to every American military intervention in my adult lifetime. I've organized anti-war demonstrations and spoken on street corners and over the radio.

I'm a feminist. I'm pro-choice.

Even when I was living on an adjunct's salary of six thousand dollars a year (really) I donated, and continue to donate money, to Audubon Society, Humane Society, Guidedogs for the Blind, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, National Wildlife, the Nature Conservancy, National Parks … If you stick an animal or a tree on an envelope and send it to me with a request for a donation, chances are I will send you money.

I eat healthy: whole grains, beans, in season, local if possible. I've grown my own food.

It actually never occurred to me in my life to take work with money as the primary goal. I was a nurse's aide, Peace Corps Volunteer, writer, and teacher.

I lived in Africa, speak an African language, and have had African American friends, bosses, and lovers. Ditto Asia. I have had friends, bosses, coworkers, students, and lovers from all the major racial groups and religions.

If had more time and could do more volunteer work, I would work against jail and for restorative justice.

If I won the lottery, I would create my own elementary school in the high-crime, high-minority, post-industrial slum of Paterson, NJ. I have fantasized this school in detail.

This is what my liberal friends are calling right-wing, and saying they must expunge from their lives; this is what my liberal friends find so upsetting they can't bear to encounter it on Facebook.

I think you get my point. I'm about as "right-wing" as Emma Goldman.

So why do my Facebook posts upset Leo so much? Why must he eliminate these posts from his vision?

Here's why.

I'm poor. I live among poor people. I don't read about poverty, I live poverty and witness poverty, and I minister to poverty when I encounter it among students, neighbors and friends.

My aha moment about liberalism and poverty: liberal policies fail the poor. I've lived it. I've seen it.

Years ago, when I thought of myself as a "liberal," or a "leftist," I thought of my liberal friends as comrades, team members, who, like me, wanted to save the world. When I realized that liberal policies were actually hurting, not helping, the poor, I tried to communicate this to my liberal friends. I tried to tell them about policies that might actually help. Jobs, not welfare, for example; reliance on personal responsibility, not a distant white liberal's pity, support for the nuclear family.

My liberal friends would not listen. They refused even to question their accepted ideas. Many of them had never been poor, had never lived among the poor, and were sure to lock their doors and roll up their windows on the odd chance that they drove me home. Discussing strategy that contradicted their own, even if it came from a real, live person was not acceptable. They denounced me. I lost their friendship.

My aha moment about liberalism and skin color. Liberals judge people by the color of their skin, not the content of their character.

I've told this story many times. My first semester at Indiana University, Bloomington, a professor for whom I worked did some very bad things to me because, against her express orders, I took off four workdays to attend my father's funeral.

After she hurt me, a lot, I was asked to testify against the professor. I testified for the next five months, to high mucky mucks on campus, including Deborah Freund, who, I was told, was the second in command of the university.

During this period of harassment / testifying, my inner ear burst. I spent the next several years intermittently paralyzed and unable to stop vomiting. I lost the ability to work, I lost my life savings, I lived on food bank donations, and I traveled throughout three states seeking treatment. Doctors performed three experimental surgeries, finally curing me, but rendering me deaf in one ear. I lost years of my life and was knocked out of any professional track.

The professor whose actions precipitated the ruination of my life was a "psychopath," I was told. "She almost killed one of her employees." I was told. Why wasn't she stopped before she could get to me? One campus official after another said to me, "She's black and female and we were afraid of being called racist and sexist. We want you to testify against her because you have nothing to lose."

One of my liberal friends told me that it was good that this professor had done this to me, because, after all, I was white and she was black and whites had to suffer to expiate the sins whites had committed against blacks. My friend didn't factor into her analysis that I was a child of immigrants who had left their own slavery as serfs in Eastern Europe, only to come to America to be second class coal miners and cleaning women.

My aha moment about liberal hate. I don't like it that liberals have designated heterosexual, Christian, white, American men for hate, demonization and ridicule. Liberals all too often use "white man" the way other racists use the n word. Delbert "Shorty" Belton, Christopher Simson and Christopher Lane are just some of the white men in the news this summer who appear to have been beaten or killed for no other crime than being white men.

My aha moment about liberalism and religion. The Democratic Party I grew up in was friendly to Catholicism. There was no disconnect, in my working class town, between being a church-goer and being a left-winger.

Now liberals openly express a crazed hostility to and contempt for religion, especially Christianity, that can only be described as maniacal bigotry. Their hatred for people of faith defies all rationality.

Except, of course, when it comes to Islam.

9-11 was a moment of truth for many former liberals.

Many liberals were astounded, after 9-11, when their fellow liberals said "America deserved it" and "Islam is a religion of peace. Not like Christianity. The Crusades, doncha know. Osama bin Laden is not a Muslim, he's an American operative. Blowback!"

Here's my stance on Islam: most of Islam is none of my business. I don't care if people abstain from pork and alcohol, make pilgrimage to Mecca, and pray five times a day. I care about two features of Islam, because they affect me and universal human rights: jihad and gender apartheid.

This is what I think America should do about Islam:

1.) Energy independence, including conservation and green energy.

2.) Stop military intervention in Muslim countries, unless those countries attack us. Oppose any future exercises like Obama's intervention in Libya, Bush's intervention in Iraq, and Clinton's intervention in the former Yugoslavia. Reinstate the draft, to increase involvement when American presidents unconstitutionally start wars and send some mother's son off to die.

3.) Educate young people about jihad and gender apartheid. Educate students about what the Crusades were really all about. That is not happening now.

4.) Allow frank public discourse about jihad and gender apartheid. That is not happening now.

5.) Oppose any hostility to Muslims as people. Muslims are just like us.

Leo, can you please tell me how my proposals, above, are "right-wing"? And what would you do differently?


  1. Bravo Danusha. Well said.
    Joe Carey (don't know why it posted as anonymous..)

  2. "I think you get my point. I'm about as "right-wing" as Emma Goldman."


  3. Well written Danusha !