Hey! Hey! Glaucus! Profile picture
Aug 17, 2018 20 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
No one really cares what I think about Amy Siskind, but I wanted to write about her behavior and the behavior of her fans anyway. This touches on what being an ally to Black people and other people of color should mean. 1/
If you haven't followed along, Amy Siskind, who writes a lot about #Resistance (ugh, if you aren't #antifa that seems like a self-glorifying term) and creeping authoritarianism, and who wrote The List and is on TV and stuff, has been rightly dragged this week. 2/
I believe it started when she wrote a dumb tweet last weekend about how there weren't Nazis rallying in America prior to Trump becoming president. People, particularly Black people and other POC, rightly called bullshit on that ahistoricism. 3/
TBH, I thought those readings were uncharitable at first. I thought it was clear that she meant "rallies explicitly by Nazis in DC and other big cities without shame" or something like that. That's what Siskind later said she meant. 4/
BUT, I was wrong, and should have listened to the people of color raising the BULLSHIT flag. Bc it turns out that Siskind has a history of being a Rightist, and people started posting Youtube links of her appearances on Fox, and her support for Sarah Palin. 5/
The way Siskind talks about the "damage" being done to the Democratic party by President Obama makes it clear that she's a racist. She's a careful racist, she never comes right out and says it. But Siskind supported Palin (yes, that one) for president in 2012. 6/
Other tweets and appearances show her supporting Bannon and his racism and sexism. Taken as a whole, the available record shows her to be a callous racist opportunist at best, and a true believer in populist know-nothing racist Rightism at worst. 7/
So it turns out that Black women, who were showing the receipts at this point, were absolutely correct to read her "no Nazis before Trump" tweet in the way they did. [Still learning: TRUST BLACK WOMEN] Siskind's tweet revealed her thinking. It wasn't read uncharitably. 8/
So, people change, right? Siskind is now a major #resistance figure. She's now carrying the torch for righteousness and goodness by helping to undercut Trump's steady march toward authoritarianism. Well, it turns out that no, no she isn't. 9/
Because when called out, Siskind didn't retract her earlier positions. She didn't apologize. She didn't even ignore it all. Instead she attacked the Black women who were pointing to the facts. She tried to get them banned from Twitter. She called them Russian agents. 10/
Siskind fans flooded the mentions of Black women supporting Siskind, telling the BW they were trash, calling them traitors to America bc they didn't support Siskind no questions asked. I even saw someone call a BW anti-Semitic, I guess bc Siskind is Jewish. 11/
Ok. That's the history, what's my point? Specifically, it was horrifying to watch BW be demeaned by someone whose history is clear, plain, and on view for everyone to see. Siskind + her followers tried every trick to gaslight these women about what anyone with eyes cld see. 12/
She tried to say that Bannon (co-founder of Breitbart) wasn't so bad in 2011. Like I said, she called BW Russian agents and tried to get them banned. Her supporters attacked BW in Siskind's defense. She has still not apologized. 13/
IOW, Siskind, who is seeking to disavow her past hanging around with racists, fomented a racist campaign to silence and shame Black women for simply pointing to Siskind's own words and positions. Her #resistance fans went right along with it. 14/
I've got some takeaways for my White cis het male ass. The least big deal one: 1) the enemy of your enemy IS NOT always your friend. 2) Listen to and trust Black women. If you can't see what they see, wait 15 minutes, bc you will soon. 15/
Now for the biggies: 3) Blacks and other POC are always at risk interacting with and acting with Whites in even marginally activist spaces. One inconvenient truth, and Whites will line up to try to tear down and destroy people of color, and specifically BW. 16/
4) the thing where White women are blind to White privilege, specifically with respect to feminism, is real af. I knew this intellectually, but seeing this bullshit this week, oof, it's so clear that the White women stanning for Siskind think they are all kinds of righteous 17/
Finally, 5) don't call yourself an "ally" or even a fellow traveller if you jump up to defend Whites pulled up by Black women and other POC. Colleagues can disagree, but the tenor and content of the disagreement is often much more revealing than the fact that it exists. 18/
Because, really, @Amy_Siskind ? Vote for Palin over Obama? Going on Fox to deride Obama? Kudos tweets to Bannon? Trying to get BW banned and calling them Russian agents? No apologies for any of it, just gaslighting? You sound more like Trump than not, tbh. 19/end
Thanks for reading my long thread of banal takeaways.

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