Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Progressive Stack

During Occupy Wall Street, and one of the reasons it eventually fizzled out, to determine who would get priority to speak a technique known as the Progressive Stack was used. This was to give "underprivileged" voices a greater voice. In order, the progressive stack is:

1. Race
2. Heteronormativity
3. Gender
4. Sexuality
5. Ability
6. Class

Missing from this list is religion, and there is no listing of which races are prioritized over others. Unofficially different races are ranked differently based on how dark the race is, so an African American ranks higher on the stack than a Hispanic - George Zimmerman was considered to be white because the person he shot was Trayvon Martin. Heternormativity refers to gender expression, as opposed to gender or sexual orientation.

This is highly correlated to the Social Justice Warrior belief in privilege, a modern political equivalent of original sin. A person is born with privilege and never able to expunge it, the only way to account for it is to admit and apologize for it, and spend the rest of one life atoning for it. There is no proof that the person did anything wrong, other than being born, but still the person is considered to be saddled with a lifetime of guilt.

Assuming a black man and a black woman both wish to speak, they both get first place due to race. Then going down the stack eventually the third determinant is reached where the black woman speaks first. There is no indication if any stack rankings are cumulative - would a transgender female rank higher or lower than a straight black male? Or could it be considered a point system where one might have several lower categories that place a final higher rank?

The problem is, as much as this was done for progressive purposes it is ultimately divisive. Every person is judged not on individual merit but on innate characteristics of the person. People are not judged as people, but are judged entirely by their demographic. This is what ultimately drove many white men away from Occupy, to the detriment of the safety of those remaining at the Occupy locations.

This also contributes to why Hillary Clinton eventually lost the 2016 election. Her campaign was focused on appealing to demographics, various groups based on innate characteristics. She forgot to campaign to everyone, believing wrongly that she could hold the Obama coalition together by focusing on many of its component parts. In a way, the election of Donald Trump could be considered a revolt against identity politics.

Given the concept of privilege, the progressive original sin, rejection of identity politics IS racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. That is why, even though Donald Trump was the first person elected president to be in favor of Gay Marriage while entering office, there is a lot of rhetoric about how he is against the very ideas he is in favor of. Not being a bigot is the new form of bigotry because that is a denial of privilege.

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