Boomer the skateboarding cat

Boomer is the new companion of Didga, an awesome Aussie cat that can skateboard and follow all kinds of commands. Boomer, a Bengal, has learned how to not just ride a skateboard, but to propel it. Here he is:

Here’s a video of Boomer, adorable at 11 weeks old.  By the way, “Didga” is a shortening of “didgeridoo”, and you can guess what Aussie instrument “Boomer” stands for.

Sexual abuse coverup by Anglican Church includes the former Archbishop of Canterbury

Religious coverups of sexual abuse of children aren’t limited to the Roman Catholic Church. As the Guardian (Andrew Brown!) reported Friday, the Church of England engaged in this kind of coverup in the 1990s, and it extended all the way up to a former Archbishop of Canterbury.

The abuser was Peter Ball (born 1932),and he was a sexual predator while both Bishop of Lewes and Bishop of Gloucester—a period of 15 years. The story is familiar: exploitation of boys who were impressed with Ball’s position and apparent empathy. A few things he did (from the Guardian):

At Lewes:

[Ball] had connections with numerous public schools, and at least one of them offered counselling for boys who were suffering from homesickness. Those who were especially spiritually favoured would be invited to shower with him, pray with him naked, massage his legs for phlebitis (he wore nothing under his habit) and occasionally be beaten by him. One of his victims was the chaplain of a neighbouring bishop, but this was not what brought him down.

What caused a “problem” was that one of Ball’s victims tried to commit suicide three times, succeeding on the last attempt. Ball’s fellow bishops knew about much of this, but kept silent. That led ultimately to complaints and Ball’s arrest, but only after he’d been moved to a position as Bishop of Gloucester. More of his misdeeds:

Both Ball and the evangelical QC John Smyth would get their victims to admit to masturbation and then beat them – though Ball made one of his roll around naked in the snow first. But the outward absurdity, and the elaborate justifications for the violence, can only have increased the humiliation and the sense of powerlessness of the victims. The spiritual abuser is in a unique position to manipulate the emotions of the victims, and to promote their own self-hatred.

It’s hard to imagine that a human can be so sadistic and horrible, but easier to imagine how his position of power, and the availability of trusting boys, gave him room to abuse.

Altogether there were many victims, but in 2015 Ball was charged only with misconduct in public office and indecent assault on one man and one boy. After a reported secret deal involving the Church, Ball was sentenced in October, 2015 to only 32 months in prison. He was released this February after having served only half his sentence. A year and a half in jail for a decade and a half of sexual abuse! Even to a determinist like me that sounds like a lenient sentence, since the man drove a child to suicide and several of his victims have claimed lifelong harm. It’s not much of a deterrent, and was there any attempt at reformation?

In the Guardian article, Brown links to an independent report commissioned by the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. You can find that report here, and though I’ve not read all of it, it’s sickening in both the details of the abuse Ball inflicted and the many Church officials who tried to cover it up. One of these was a former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, who resigned any connection with the Church after the report came out (he was “honorary assistant bishop of Oxford”). As the report states, Carey (now a Lord), was complicit in the Ball affair on several ways:

Lord Carey was significantly involved in:

  • The events leading to Ball’s resignation;
  • The way in which the Church treated Neil Todd in 1992/93;
  • The failure to ensure that complaints about Ball’s conduct were adequately followed up or passed to police;
  • The failure to take action under the Measure after Ball’s resignation;
  • The decision not to include Ball’s name on the List;
  • The provision of funds to assist Ball;

Wikipedia characterizes the report further:

An independent review in 2017 found that the Church hierarchy, notably former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, colluded in concealing abuse by Peter Ball over a 20 year period. Carey had seven letters from individuals and relatives after Ball was cautioned by police in 1992 but passed only one (of least concern) on to the police. Carey did not put Peter Ball on the ‘Lambeth List’ of clergy whose suitability for the ministry is questioned. Concealing abuse was given higher priority than helping victims. The review claims, “The church appears to have been most interested in protecting itself.” The report stated further, “progress [towards dealing satisfactorily with claims of abuse in the Church of England] has been slow and continuing, faster improvement is still required”. Current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said the C of E, “colluded and concealed” instead of trying to help, “those brave enough to come forward”. Welby has asked Carey to step down from his role assisting the Bishop of Oxford. Rowan Williams was also criticised.

Abuse survivor, Graham Sawyer, said the C of E treated him and others with contempt. Sawyer said, “The church continues to use highly aggressive legal firms to bully, frighten and discredit victims … In my own case, I continue to endure cruel and sadistic treatment by the very highest levels of the church”. Sawyer wants the police to investigate Carey’s part in the Ball case.

One can’t exculpate religion here, for it gave Ball the power and cachet to abuse young men, and also the access to them. It further provided a powerful and respected institution, to which secular authorities deferred, that could help cover up Ball’s abuse.

Kudos to Justin Welby for commissioning the independent report. I wonder if Lord Carey, though, will suffer any repercussions beyond resigning as a titular official.

The predator: former Bishop Peter Ball, who often dressed as a monk

George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury

h/t: Paul

Is just quoting Beyoncé a form of cultural appropriation?

You know the answer to the question above. According to Black Lives Matter, it’s a strong “YES!”, although nobody would have batted an eyelash about this five years ago. What happened in March is that Niki Ashton, a New Democratic Party member of the Canadian Parliament, emitted a tweet announcing that she was going to liberalize the NDP. Here it is (it’s since been deleted):


I’m not a huge fan of Beyoncé, but I do like the song from which this phrase came, “Irreplaceable“. Here it is to explain and to pep up your morning; it’s about a woman sending away her cheating man, noting that “I could have another you in a minute.”

The relevant lyrics:

To the left, to the left
Everything you own in the box to the left
In the closet that’s my stuff
Yes, if I bought it, please don’t touch
And keep talking that mess that’s fine
But could you walk and talk at the same time
And, it’s my name that’s on that jag
So come move your bags, let me call you a cab

Now a lot of people, including even me, recognize that song phrase. And I saw nothing wrong with using it as a campaign slogan. After all, lyrics are lifted all the time in various causes. Think of Dylan’s “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind”, or Hillary Clinton’s use of Tammy Wynette’s song “Stand by your man”. I’m sure you can think of many more.

The problem for some is that Beyoncé is black, or rather, half black and half Creole. And a white politician can’t just go around quoting songs from a black woman: that’s “cultural appropriation”, tantamount to racism. Never mind that Beyoncé’s song is not specifically about the black experience, as it refers to anyone who dumps a cheating partner; the Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter called Ashton out and demanded that she delete her tweet and stop saying “To the Left”. Canada’s National Post story about this tempest in a plate of poutine shows their tw**t:

Since when does the video above, showing a rich woman with a mansion and a Jaguar kicking out her man, represent “black culture”? But Ashton, a feminist concerned with social justice, capitulated and groveled.

The Post goes on to blacksplain why Ashton failed the ideological purity test:

Some experts in race, music and culture say Ashton’s post exemplifies a theme in politics: leaders use black songs and culture to make themselves seem cool while not actually doing much for the black community.

“Politicians don’t have the same kind of clout they once did … and they have to go to pop culture to be relevant,” said Mark Campbell, senior research associate at the Ryerson University Faculty of Communication and Design’s forum for cultural strategies. “The piece around appropriation is really about flexing a certain kind of white power and privilege and co-opting the social capital” of performers like Beyoncé, he said.

. . . “The difficulty for some black community members might (be that) … for some politicians, their only engagement (with black culture) is in music and food or entertainment,” said Dalton Higgins, a publicist and author of six books about race, culture and music. He called Ashton’s effort an “awkward” reference that didn’t really reflect the spirit of the song, which is about a break-up. It reminded Higgins of Toronto Coun. Norm Kelly’s Twitter feed, which is full of references to Drake and other rappers.

Well, you know, if someone used Beyoncé’s lyrics for financial gain, or regularly appropriated the lyrics of black musicians for their own gain without giving due credit, I would see that as a problem. But that’s not the case here. We have a phrase about a breakup—an event not unique to black people—used in a clever way for political purposes. And it was a one-off.  What happened was that Vancouver Black Lives Matter simply bullied Ashton, and she gave in. Perhaps she was conscious of getting black votes, or, more likely, the BLM movement played on her sense of racial justice in a way that made her ashamed.

But she shouldn’t have been. I doubt that I would have capitulated, since I see absolutely nothing wrong with using the phrase, nor do I see it as “cultural appropriation,” which is a pejorative term that is widely used but rarely comes from genuine bigotry. This is no more cultural appropriation than was Hillary Clinton’s “stand by your man” phrase (emphasizing that, as an independent woman, she wasn’t going to follow it) appropriation of the culture of poor whites in the American South.

This kind of accusation will keep being made, but we should keep calling it out rather than capitulating. In general, “cultural appropriation” is a good thing, and I can’t think of any culture that hasn’t borrowed from others. As they say, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” And I admit that sometimes appropriation is not particularly savory. But it’s not unsavory just because you’re “borrowing up”, as BLM implies. They’d presumably have no problem with blacks or Hispanics borrowing from “white culture”, whatever that is. What makes the world more interesting, and better, is each group using what if finds appealing from other groups. Tomatoes and chili peppers both originated in the New World, yet one of my favorite dishes is something you find all over north India, butter chicken, or murgh makhani, made with both ingredients. Is that cultural appropriation? Even if it is, is it okay because the Indians “borrowed up”? (And don’t forget how Italians also culturally appropriated tomatoes from the indigenous peoples of Central America.)

Sop this sucker up with a pile of fresh, warm chappatis.

Would you have withdrawn a tweet like Ashton’s if you were called out?

h/t: Charleen

Readers’ (and writer’s) wildlife photos: Ducks ‘n’ stuff

Although I have a fair number of wildlife photos from various readers, I can always use more, so please think of this site if you have good wildlife photos. I’m showing some of my ducks today, so I thought I’d post Stephen Barnard’s latest photos, which also include a brood of ducks he’s following. First, some other pictures, with his captions indented:

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum). One of a pair feeding in a Russian Olive tree. I can’t tell what it’s holding in its beak. (Males and females look similar.)

Yellow-headed Blackbirds (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus):

And his ducks:

I’m pretty sure this is a Gadwall (Anas strepera) hen with eleven ducklings. It’s difficult to tell female Gadwalls in summer plumage from Mallards, but the opinion of my local birder group is Gadwall.

Of course I asked for pictures of the brood as it got older, and worried about attrition, as Stephen thought, with good reason, that some would succumb. But I got this photo yesterday with the title “Still eleven gadwall ducklings.” Yay!

And this morning: “Still at eleven”.  Huzzah!

My own brood of four mallard ducklings (plus Mom; all Anas platyrhynchos) is doing well; the four have lost all their down, are starting to flap their wings, and yesterday I heard one of them quack for the first time (they’d been making peeps). It won’t be long till they abandon me. In the meantime, they’ve learned a new behavior to forage off the shallow cement floor: bottoms up! While in this position, they paddle backwards with their feet to remain inverted:


Finally, we had a visitor to the pond about two weeks ago. It’s a small pond, so imagine my surprise when I saw this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) there, probably stopping on its way north. This is a zoomed iPhone photo, so it’s lousy:

Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning! We’re into another week, for it’s Monday, June 26, 2017: National Chocolate Pudding Day. I haven’t had any of that stuff for years. but i do like it. It’s also Ratcatcher’s Day in Hamelin, and you know what’s reputed to have happened there.

PCC(E) is tired today, having slept poorly due to a tummy ache (now gone) and Life in General, so don’t expect substantive postings today. On this day in 1483, Richard III became king of England. He was killed in battle two years later at the age of only 32, and, as documented on this site, his remains were discovered in 2012 under a Leicester car park and verified by physical examination and DNA tests; (see here and here). On July 26, 1917, the American Expeditionary Forces (the Yanks, or “doughboys) landed in France to fight the Germans; their first combat experience was to come four months later. And here’s a boxing match that I actually remember happening, though I can’t be sure I saw it on t.v.: on this day in 1959, Swedish boxer Ingemar Johansson became the world heavyweight champion, defeating American Floyd Patterson by a technical knockout in round three; the fight was held at Yankee Stadium. On this day in 1963, John F. Kennedy gave his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in support of West Germany after the Berlin Wall had been built. As someone who speaks a bit of Deutsch, I find his German pronunciation not so great, lacking any gutterals fir “ich”, which came out as “ish”. Nevertheless, the speech was a great one, as you can see from even this short excerpt (the whole 10-minute speech is here):

On this day in 2000, The Human Genome Project announced its completion of a “rough draft” DNA sequence; perhaps many of you will remember that. And on this day in 2013 and 2015, there were two landmarks for gay rights. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, by a  5–4 vote in the case of United States v. Windsor, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (prohibiting same-sex marriages for federal purposes) was unconstitutional because it violated the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. And exactly two years later the Court ruled, by the same margin, that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment (the “equal protection” Amendment) to the United States Constitution.

Notables born on this day include Pearl S. Buck (1892), Peter Lorre (1904), and Derek Jeter (1974). Those who died on this day include conquistador Francisco Pizarro (1541), Malcolm Lowry (1957), Roy Campanella (1993), Strom Thurmond (2003) and Nora Ephron (2012). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is frustrated; as Malgorzata explained, “Hili cannot fly which she regards as an injustice and an invisible ceiling hampering her in her pursuit of her freedom.”

A: Are you looking at birds?
Hili: Yes, but I’m restricted by a glass ceiling.
In Polish:
Ja: Patrzysz na ptaszki?
Hili: Tak, ale ogranicza mnie szklany sufit.

From Winnipeg we have a photo of Gus in the setting sun:

Reader John sent a cartoon depicting a cat “snooze alarm” (Grania said it wouldn’t work):

And a picture of Hili drinking from a Hili mug I made on which you can see a picture of Hili drinking from another mug on which there’s a picture of Hili as a kitten. This is the famous “triple Hili” picture which I will put on another mug some day, possibly then achieving, with another photo, the Quadruple Hili Mug:

 

RIP Isabella

Reader Eric has just lost his beloved cat Isabella, and requested that I honor her memory by posting her story and photo on this site. I am glad to oblige:
I’m a long-time reader (and occasional poster) of WEIT.  I have some sad news and request to make. Today, my Ex and I had to put our longtime friend and companion to sleep, her cat Isabella. Izzy lived 17 1/2 years in five locations in three states, catching many mice despite being mostly an indoor cat.  She was a bit persnickety around any adults but me and my ex, but was loving and loyal to us and gentle and kind to the kids despite many pulled tails and other indignities. Attached is a (blurry, bad) picture of her.  If you would be so good as to post it, I would be greatly honored. I have had the pleasure of living with six different cats during my life. All had their weird and wonderful personalities, but I will always remember Izzy for her habit of “standing watch” over my kid starting when he was about 3 months old. She was constantly just a few feet away from wherever he was and, when he learned to walk, she would follow him two steps behind, just where he couldn’t see her, a mama cat with a human baby.  We will miss you, Iz!
I send my condolences, as I expect any reader would who has shared their life with a cat. Here’s Iz:

SAMSUNG

“Old Man Fibber”: GOP Healthcare

Political parody is a dicey proposition; often it’s not funny and falls flat on its face. But this parody of “Old Man River” by satirist Roy Zimmerman, which makes fun of Mitch McConnell and TrumpCare, is pretty damn good:

h/t: Lesley

Bret Weinstein talks with Gad Saad

This hourlong conversation between Gad Saad and Bret Weinstein, apostate professor of evolutionary biology at The Evergreen State College, is worth a listen. Weinstein shows himself to be thoughtful and articulate, and deals with many of questions that have arisen among this website’s readers. One in particular is whether the requested “absence” of whites from campus on the “Day of Absence” was voluntary (as Weinstein’s detractors maintain) or coerced, though not overtly. Weinstein gives the answer starting at 6:47. Weinstein also has a few choice words—critical ones—for the administration, students, and most of the faculty of his College, and argues that what happened at his school is a harbinger of things to come, and so we should pay attention to it.

And it looks as if he won’t be there in the future, though he’s not explicit about that. I hope some other school snaps up him and his wife Heather, also a whole-organism biologist.

This is just part I of the video, and I haven’t found part II.  Like many of you, my patience for long discussion videos is limited. This one is an exception, and I recommend it.

The anti-science views of third-wave feminists

Because of its connections with postmodernism, third-wave feminism has sometimes shown a disturbing trend of doing down science. That, of course, is because postmodernism rejects objective truth, valuing feelings and “lived experience” over science, which it sees as not only un-objective, but as a tool and embodiment of the patriarchy. This attitude was, of course, mocked by Sokal in his famous Social Text hoax paper, and you can find plenty of examples in his books. One will stand for all: feminist philosopher of science Sondra Harding characterized Newton’s Principia Mathematica as a “rape manual”. I could give more, but why bother? You can find them on your own.

Of course not all third-wave feminists reject the objectivity of science, or the notion that there are real truths about the cosmos that can be found via science. But there are enough of them to disturb me, as I see this attitude as even worse than creationism. Creationists, after all, reject just one scientific theory—evolution—while accepting nearly all other findings of science. But those who claim that the scientific enterprise is useless at finding truth cast aspersions on all of science. I wonder if people like Ellen Granfield, who have that attitude, use cellphones, get immunizations, or take antibiotics.

Last November, Granfield wrote a piece at Everyday Feminism called “This history reveals that science isn’t nearly as objective as you think.” The “history” is simply the history of science, rewritten by Granfield and others of her ilk to cast aspersions on science because—horrors!—its conclusions sometimes change! That means, to them, that science is neither reliable nor objective. So, here are the three ways Granfield takes down science (quotes are indented, bold is her emphasis):

1.) Science isn’t objective. 

Modern, mainstream science finds itself deeply embedded in a supposedly objective, quantifiable worldview – one that is at best faulty, and at worst, is a form of scientism which denies new findings.

The Nobel Prize physicist Brian Josephson calls it “pathological disbelief” – a rebuffing of facts when the facts don’t fit the prescribed program of the science community writ large.

In a lecture given at a Nobel Laureates’ meeting in 2004, Josephson rallied against “science by consensus …anything goes among the physics community – cosmic wormholes, time travel, just so long as it keeps its distance from anything mystical or New Age-ish.”

He points to the theory of continental drift – proposed by Alfred Wegener in 1912 – which was long maligned and ridiculed. It has, of course, long since been accepted, but more than twenty years after his death.

Josephson points to this story as a stark reminder that the course of human history is not governed by objective truth of any kind, especially in the history of science; the truth is always shifting.

I wonder if Josephson takes advantage of the findings of science. If he really believes what he says—and I doubt he meant it the way Granfield does—then he shouldn’t be going to doctors or using GPS devices. The canard that because some conclusions change, science is a futile endeavor, ignores the fact that some findings of science haven’t changed (last time I looked, benzene still had six carbon and six hydrogen atoms, and DNA remained a double helix), and that it’s the very nature of science that its conclusions are provisional rather than set in stone for all time.

2.) Evolution is bunk. Granfield, it seems, agrees with the creationists, and that’s not an exaggeration:

One of the most obvious examples of scientism today is the theory of evolution, which is still upheld as the dominant explanation of how life generates itself. The problem is that biologists still can’t answer the most basic of questions involved, including the origin of life itself, sexual reproduction, or how species originate.

Mainstream science – despite declaring again and again that this theory explains these functions – in truth merely describes biological phenomena involved in ecosystem diversity.

The political fight over curriculum between religious Fundamentalists and neo-Darwinists has pushed any meaningful discussion of this topic off the table, as mainstream science remains stubbornly fearful of giving up ground if they admit that there are serious controversies raging around the theory of evolution as the catch-all explanation for our current existence.

It leaves no room for the possibility of Intelligent Design Theory, which posits “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause.” IDT is often made synonymous with creationism – neo-Darwinists argue that it’s just Creationism in disguise – but there are many scientists and philosophers alike that believe IDT is just as compelling a theory as evolution for “the way things are.”

“Ecosystem diversity”? In the passage above she’s espousing a Postmodernism of the Gaps argument: because we don’t yet understand things like how life began, or why organisms have sex, then evolution is crap. Well, there was a time when we didn’t have any idea how creatures changed over time, and why—the time before Darwin. Does Granfield really reject neo-Darwinism? If she does, her fellow feminists should run like hell away from her. She is, it seems, a creationist of sorts, since she approves of Intelligent Design, and doesn’t understand that it really is a form of creationism: a supernatural being directing evolution.

Nor does Granfield know anythging about “how species originate”. If she did, she’d realize that we understand plenty, and that the writer of this website wrote a big book showing what we know about it.

3.) Woo is better. I won’t summarize Granfield’s fulminating approbation for the Gaia Hypothesis, the consciousness of all matter, or the advantage of cardiac thinking, but here are a very few quotes:

The field of science is ripe with compelling counternarratives to evolution that we’re choosing to ignore, from the symbiosis between microbes and minerals that together formed earth’s diversity as shown by Robert Hazen, to Tyler Volk’s understanding of bacteria using metapatterns to generate themselves into ever more complex life, to species diversity that stabilize living ecosystems.

There’s also Lewis Thomas‘ theory that humanity could be a complex form of microbial life the planet produced in order to seed itself into the solar system.

and

As nature writer Stephen Buhner eloquently illustrates in his book The Secret Teachings of Plants, it’s now believed that when we stop thinking and start feeling with the heart, our physiological functioning becomes more balanced and calm; neuronal discharge in the brain comes into phase with the heart and lungs in a process called heart coherence.

More than half our heart cells are neural, the heart’s nervous system wired to the brain’s amygdala, thalamus, hippocampus, and cortex. The heart has its own memory and is the primary organ of sense; the brain is secondary and responsive.

We feel the world first, but when we believe – and are told, again and again – that the brain is the center of our being, our perception of our humanity and the world becomes stymied.

Oy! What is she talking about?

and

Perhaps the most egregious of all aspects of scientism is the denial of intelligence in the natural world – by everyone from evolutionary biologists to theoretical physicists—as fundamental to the universe. Many aspects of mainstream, modern science are heated battles over such an acknowledgement.

Shivers of despair course through mainstream science in its dogged quest to disprove design in the universe: Jeremy Narby’s argument that all life is sentient in Intelligence in Nature; Stephen Buhner’s Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm; the concept of an innate intelligence behind the enigma of the carbon atom and the conditions for life Paul Davies explored in The Goldilocks Enigma; the argument that if the Big Bang had been precisely any more or less powerful, atoms could never have formed; Lynn Margulis and symbiogenesis; James Lovelock and the Gaia Hypothesis. . . .

. . . The dominant belief that science itself is predicated on a denial of intelligence in the universe and the superior power of quantifiable observation is fallacious; historians are being forced to admit this as evidence comes to light that the greatest minds science has known – from Copernicus to Newton – believed in and based their work on intelligent design.

Enough. Lunchtime is almost here and I don’t want my stomach upset. Just let me finish by giving the final sentence of Granfield’s travesty—a call to reject scientific authority and find the truth in your own way, presumably through thinking with your heart rather than your brain. All those scientists, well, they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about:

It [getting insights about nature] means finding the truth on your own, not waiting for others to tell you what is right or wrong, because there is no such thing as objectivity, especially in science.

That attitude is not only stupid but dangerous. Shame on Everyday Feminism for pushing such pablum.

Anti-Semitism of the day: Chicago lesbians ban “Jewish pride” flag from their Dyke March

I am deeply ashamed of Chicago’s gay community today.

From both the left-wing Israel paper Haaretz and the Windy City Media Group, we get a disturbing report: at yesterday’s “Dyke March” in Chicago, a parade celebrating lesbian and LGBT pride and achievements, Jewish lesbians carrying the “Jewish pride” flag were asked to leave.  Why? Because the flag “triggered” some of the participants, and apparently because some participants considered the march implicitly “anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian”. Here, from Pink News, is what the Jewish Pride flag looks like. It’s basically the Gay Pride flag with a star of David on it, a symbol of Judaism. Note that it is not the Israeli flag. (These pictures are from the annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv; photos by Jack Guez):


What went down? Let the Jewish lesbians speak, as reported in Windy City Media:

. . . .asked to leave by Collective members of the Dyke march were three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).

According to one of those individuals—A Wider Bridge Midwest Manager Laurel Grauer—she and her friends were approached a number of times in the park because they were holding the flag.

“It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag,” she told Windy City Times.

She added that she lost count of the number of people who harassed her.

One Dyke March collective member asked by Windy City Times for a response, said the women were told to leave because the flags “made people feel unsafe,” that the march was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian.”

“They were telling me to leave because my flag was a trigger to people that they found offensive,” Grauer said. “Prior to this [march] I had never been harassed or asked to leave and I had always carried the flag with me.”

Another of those individuals asked to leave was an Iranian Jew Eleanor Shoshany-Anderson.

“I was here as a proud Jew in all of my identities,” Shoshany-Anderson asserted. “The Dyke March is supposed to be intersectional. I don’t know why my identity is excluded from that. I fell that, as a Jew, I am not welcome here.”

As of time of midnight Saturday, Windy City Times received no official statement from Dyke March organizers. However, social media posts in support of their decision claimed that a rainbow flag with a Star of David is a form of pink washing (a theory postulated by a City University of New York professor which claims that Israeli support of LGBTQ communities is designed to detract attention from civil and human rights abuses of Palestinian people.)

What a crock! Can you actually believe those people who found a gay pride flag with a Star of David “triggering” or, worse, “made them feel unsafe”? That’s crap, of course: the reason the flagbearers were asked to leave is because Israel is demonized as an “apartheid state” by many on the Ctrl-Left. But that’s just a cover for the anti-Semitism implicit (and explicit) in “anti-Zionism”. Further, the flagbearers weren’t Israeli, but Americans and Iranians!

Sadly, I read this as anti-Semitism on the part of the gay and lesbian community. The flag was a Gay Pride flag with a Star of David, not an Israeli flag, though you could, I suppose, say that it was a “pinkwashed” Israeli flag. But the bearers said it symbolized their Judaism and their lesbian pride, not a jingoistic pride in Israel.

The Star of David has always been a universal symbol if Judaism, used by Jews on their Torah covers, menorahs, and worn around their necks well before 1948 —and, on armbands and patches, was used to mark people as Jews under the Nazis. Putting it on a Gay Pride flag should raise no alarums—unless you’re anti-Semitic.

Further, the attitude that Israel has no right to exist, as espoused by leaders of the BDS movement and those who call themselves anti-Zionists, is also anti-Semitic. The singling out of Israel as the most demonic and oppressive of states, to the extent that even a Jewish Pride flag can be “triggering” since it’s seen as “pro-Zionist” and “anti-Palestinian— is also anti-Semitic, as there are nations in the same region that are not only more oppressive, but where homosexuality is a capital offense! But apparently to the Left those countries get a pass, for they’re inhabited by people of color. Try being a gay in Iran or Afghanistan or Palestine, or waving a “Jewish pride” flag in Kabul or Baghdad! You’d probably wind up dead.

The “pinkwashing” canard is equally ridiculous: Israelis really do favor and have gay rights, and many Muslim countries don’t. To excuse that, gays and Leftists claim that Israel’s gay-friendliness is a ruse concocted by the government to falsely show its liberalism and hide its “apartheid” policies. That’s a risible conspiracy theory. The more parsimonious explanation, and one supported by the data, is that Israelis really do have a liberal stance on gays.

What this shows is that the gay community, at least in Chicago, has bought fully into identity politics, to the extent that those who are Jewish must hide their identity lest they “trigger” others. And, without any evidence, the lesbians asked to were automatically assumed to accept (and endorse) the policies of the Israeli government. Even flaunting the Star of David is enough to trigger someone, though I suppose it was perfectly okay to wave the flags of Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan, all of which all bear Islamic symbols. I wonder how an “Iranian Pride” flag would have fared?

And so we learn that there is anti-Semitism in Chicago’s gay community, that being gay ranks higher than being Jewish on the “oppressed” hierarchy, and that gays can be just as intolerant as Saudi Muslims when it comes to Jews.

I’m in full sympathy with gay people’s struggle for their rights and for societal acceptance, but I condemn in the strongest possible terms this expression of—yes, let’s call it what it is—anti-Semitism.

h/t: Orli