A black musician friend told me a funny story the other day. Among his sins he regularly attends black comedy nights here in London. On these nights the comedians are black and the audience predominantly so. But the other night a big white young woman settled in the front row. It didn’t take long before one of the female stand up artists picked on her.
“What are you doing here, on a black comedy night?”
“I am black,” the big white woman answered.
“surely you are not, you are very white.”
“but I am Jewish,” the woman replied
“so you are a white Jew.”
“But I have a big bum” the woman insisted.
The black comedian clearly didn’t approve of ‘kosher essentialism,’ she turned her back to the audience and pointed at her own petite and toned buttocks. She then faced the Jewish lady and angrily shouted at her.
“You are not black, you are just a white Jewish woman with a fat arse.”
We are entitled to laugh, I guess, because this short punch line mocks the Jewish progressive solidarity onanism – a deceitful political spiel that is set to convey an image of empathy and leads nowhere.
It seems that within the context of ID politics, one is welcome to pick an identity regardless of any authentic considerations. The Jewish woman decided to identify as black. Yet, in spite of her ‘fat arse’ she won’t be stopped by the Metropolitan police four times a day. She won’t be detained or harassed because she fits into a specific category within the police’s racial profiling book. The Jewish woman is somehow privileged.
The spectacular British TV comedy Little Britain’s Daffyd Thomas (The Only Gay In The Village) exposes the authenticity hole at the centre of contemporary ID politics. Daffyd Thomas is a gay wannabe. He is, in reality, a mere collection of symptoms, he basically craves someone else’s identity while being detached from any true and real notion of selfhood. In fact, he has never been in bed with a man.
The issue of ID politics becomes even more complicated when ‘whiteness’ is questioned. What is it that whiteness means really: Is it r a racial identity? Is it an identity at all? Is it a cognitive or a mental state? Or is it just a list of privileges?
The following animation video is troubling to say the least. Yet it is very important and observant. It is obviously produced by a white rights campaigner: a person who probably identifies politically as white and believes that white people are under-privileged within the contemporary Anglo-American society.
The animation focuses on the tyrannical racial obsession that is prevalent in New Left thinking. Sadly, the story that it depicts is Orwellian. In the short animation, Political Correctness is maintained by a lethal robot that sentences to death everyone who doesn’t fit into the kosher binary algorithm. As we know, to be tagged as a ‘white-supremacist’ or a ‘fascist’ is almost as easy as being tagged as an ‘antisemite’ or a ‘holocaust denier.’
Yet all those newly emerging tags are empty signifiers. They mean nothing, but they fill the Talmudic need to herem (Hebrew) – excommunicate, boycott, censor and silence.
It is not a coincidence that the animated scene is taking place in a State University (Gulag State University) – a university that opens its gate to the poor and the underclass. “GSU was the only school in this part of the country that would accept me,” says Johnny, the deprived narrator, as he enters the university building. In the animation the PC regime exists to regulate the behaviour of the unruly white working class. The robot is engaged in the practice of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Once again – in the name of ‘working class politics’ a vile tyranny is formed in order to oppress the poor.
The decision to let the robot become the thought police executioner reflects the tragic reality in which PC ideology and practice are removed from the human experience and the sprit of freedom. The PC enthusiast doesn’t think for itself, it doesn’t make judgments, it instead implement the thoughts and ideology set by ‘our nation’s finest intellectuals and greatest anti racist minds.’ The robot is basically a subservient Sabboth Goy.
Instead of genuine universal solidarity and empathy driven by ethical judgment and the spirit of human brotherhood, we are witnessing the emergence of a shallow imposturous ID political apparatus. The Jewish woman is black because of her extended buttocks. Daffy Thomas is the only gay in the village because he desperately craves a slot in society. And Johnny is ‘racist’ simply by being white and poor.
It is hardly a surprise that ID politics has had a limited positive impact on society. Instead of supporting tolerance and brotherhood it has matured into a totalitarian force despised by all people rich and poor, white and black, witty and shallow.
Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist and writer.
Atzmon’s album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year, he has been called “surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz.” His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a “devoted political artist.” He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history have led to allegations of antisemitism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists. A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as “one of London’s finest saxophonists” stated: “It is Atzmon’s blunt anti-Zionism rather than his music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read.”