Progressive Division around the Pride Flag
In my recent piece about the growing absurdity of the Pride Flag, I failed to discuss fully the co-opting of various groups’ symbols, e.g., Pride Flag, Black History Month, the inclusion of women in Father’s Day, etc. as a platform for certain (typically) wealthy, white folks to signal to progressive friends their inclusiveness and enlightened state. I wonder how much of this current trend to incorporate disparate, progressive elements into the Pride Flag comes from the same impulse to elevate oneself, regardless of whether the group being heralded at the moment approves of the alterations or not.
An example of this self-congratulatory virtue-signaling is one you might recognize in a college or corporate setting. A progressive, married white woman will take offense on behalf of various minority groups who themselves are not in the least bothered by some policy or statement. Seeing herself as a secular Joan of Arc, this woman stunningly and bravely takes a stand for those she thinks are put-upon and unable to speak up for themselves. Obviously patronizing (matronizing?) and almost always unasked for, this modern village crier’s calls for radical change are performative and degrading to social interaction in a group.
In the classroom, the causticity of the woke crier results in stifled discussion. No other student wishes to offer a comment for fear that the progressive female will fling accusations of privilege, racism, and Western-centric bias at him or her. Who can blame the other students for shutting up in the face of this speech officer? Even worse, the lack of other voices allows the virtue-signaler free reign to continue her virtue-signaling unmolested by another viewpoint. Having had more than a couple of classes with such individuals, I can assure you there is nothing worse than on the first day realizing what the next ten weeks will consist of.
The temptation is to think of the activist Left as monolithically adversarial to conservative viewpoints, but it simply is not. Like all human movements, it is composed of individuals with competing impulses and interests. Feminists are split over transgenderism, ethnic-minority groups over religious and political points, and LGBTQ individuals over the inclusion of racial demarcation in the Pride flag. We on the right should be aware of these various divisions and, when prudent, speak in support of those that hew most closely to our own. We do ourselves no favors by assuming outside groups have nothing in common with our way of thinking. And I think we can all agree that yapping virtue-signalers should be asked to shush.