CAN WE EVEN CALL IT
An attorney and close associate of Judge Brett Kavanaugh was outed as a secret White Supremacist because of the positioning of her arms during the opening day of congressional hearings for Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.
Seated immediately behind him, Zina Bash, who is on his confirmation prep team, was caught by TV cameras unconsciously resting her right hand on her left forearm with fingers in a pattern some interpreted as a representation of the letters “W” and “P,” standing for “White Power.”
But it apparently grabbed the attention of some folks who are easily triggered by such perceived micro-aggressions. They communicated their umbrage via the Internet — that wondrous vehicle for magnifying social outrage — and the rest is, as they say, history.
This episode follows on the recent controversy stirred when Ron DeSantis, Republican candidate for Governor of Florida, exhorted voters to not “monkey up” the state’s ongoing economic progress by voting for his Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum.
The monkey reference caused an uproar, since Gillum, who’s Black, is seeking to become the first African American governor in Florida history.
DeSantis insisted that the expression “monkey up” has no racial connotation, which I believe to be the case. But given Gillum’s ethnicity, that particular idiom was ill-chosen.
Some have charged that DeSantis intended it as a dog-whistle call to all those redneck bigots he hopes will turn out for him in droves. If that’s in fact what he had in mind, it doesn’t seem a very astute move.
The time I’ve spent in Florida leaves me with the impression that it’s less “Deliverance” territory than it is Brooklyn South. There’s a huge Jewish population, hoards of Millennial hipsters, and flocks of well-off northern “snowbirds.” Not to mention Miami’s massive Cuban presence. None of these groups would seem especially receptive to ethnic insults. So what could have been the point?
Which brings us back to back to Zina Bash and her imputed “White Power” gesture. There are certain ideas that are too stupid to be considered. Yet some people persist in considering them.
If your goal is to get a White Supremacist onto the Supreme Court, would you signal your intent on national television? Wouldn’t you rather want to sneak him through?
Yet, Wall-Street-trader-turned-Feminist-activist Amy Siskind took to Twitter to declare with puncuational overkill…
“What fresh hell is this!!!??? Kavanaugh’s assistant Zina Bash giving the white power sign right behind him during the hearing? This alone should be disqualify[ing]!!!”
Which demonstrates who’s really blowing the dog whistle. What we were witnessing wasn’t so much moral outrage as a cheap shot at Judge Kavanaugh.
The sort of thing Leftists traffic in these days.
Zina’s husband, John Bash, who serves as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, pointed out in his own follow-up tweet that his wife would make a somewhat unconventional White Supremacist…
“Zina is Mexican on her mother’s side and Jewish on her father’s side. She was born in Mexico. Her grandparents were Holocaust survivors. We of course have nothing to do with hate groups, which aim to terrorize and demean other people — never have and never would.”
But then, White Supremacy isn’t what it used to be. As the Daily Beast reported recently, in a tone close to shock, some so-called far-right organizations now include members who would be described as people of color.
For instance, the leader of a group called Patriot Prayer is half-Japanese. There are plenty of other Asians, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, and Blacks in the movement, including Enrique Tarrio, head of the Miami chapter of a group called Proud Boys.
He describes himself as Afro-Cuban. Explaining his reasons for joining the movement, Tarrio told Daily Beast writer Arun Gupta that the Left constantly says to minorities…
“You’re always going to be broke. You’re not going to make it in society because of institutional racism.”
This constant drumbeat of victimization creates an atmosphere of discouragement which leads to drug use and crime, reinforced by the so-called Hip-hop Culture that…
“glorifies that lifestyle … of selling drugs, shooting up.”
Interestingly, we’re seeing the emergence of what’s called “multiracial white supremacy.” Despite the apparent contradiction in its name, this might indicate an unexpectedly positive turn in the growth of the far-right movement. After all, it appears to be inspired not by racial divisiveness, but rather by the traditional appeal of self-reliance and moral restraint.
The Daily Beast reacted to this possibility not with hopefulness, but with a warning that…
“By bringing diversity to what is at heart a white-supremacist movement, people of color give it legitimacy to challenge state power and commit violence against their enemies.”
That’s as may be, but it does raise the question…
If the movement is becoming multicultural, then who are “their enemies”?
Presumably the Left.
As for Zina Bash’s allegedly racist gesture — to me (and I suspect to most people), touching your forefinger to your thumb with the other three fingers extended says, “OK.”
“Make the three-ring sign, and
ask the man for Ballantine.”
I don’t think Zina Bash was trying to say any of these things. I don’t think she was trying to say anything at all.
She just needed a place to lay her arm.
My advice to those who sit around all day venting their rage on social media is to step away from the computer or smart phone, go outside, and actually talk to people. Talk to a variety of folks who’s views range across the spectrum of political opinion.
You’ll find that the things they do and say may not always be well thought out, but they’re rarely intended to be offensive. Set your own pre-conceptions aside, and discern what other people are trying to tell you. Then reflect honestly on their points of view.
You might find something you never expected: sincerity.
This still image from a very old Ballantine Beer TV commercial shows an animated bartender making “the three-ring sign.” One must admit that the figure has rather ambiguous ethnic characteristics. Who knows — maybe he was an early multicultural White Supremacist.
Just for perspective sake, here are two well known personalities gesturing “OK.” Would you call them White Supremacists?