I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole and anything involving leftists playing complicated games with language usually qualifies. So I just wanted to highlight a brief excerpt from James Kirchik’s larger piece on Sarah Schulman’s descent into insanity.
First some context; Sarah Schulman is a gay rights activist who recently came to attention for accusing Israel of pinkwashing by not stoning gay men to death the way that her beloved Muslim countries do.
In April, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at the City University of New York hosted a conference on “Homonationalism and Pinkwashing.”
“Homonationalism,” according to a description on the conference website, is the apparently noxious new phenomenon that “occurs when sub-sectors of specific gay communities achieve legal parity with heterosexuals and then embrace racial and religious supremacy ideologies”—including being proud of Israel’s record of respecting and upholding the rights of gay citizens and visitors. “Pinkwashing,” meanwhile, describes a “deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life.”
So in essence Homonationalism is what happens when gay people are patriotic, instead of subversive. The article focuses on Schulman’s rejection of a number of papers on gay rights that didn’t deal with her criteria, which she described as following;
Our conference is a gathering of scholars and activists who are working on the increasingly pressing phenomena of nationalistic apparatus using the idea of “gay rights” to enforce racial supremacy, usually against Muslims.
Muslims are not a race. But let’s unpack what Sarah Schulman is really getting at. The conflict between Muslim and Western societies is over modernity.
Homonationalism and Pinkwashing is a condemnation of gay men and women in modern societies choosing to emphasize their civil rights over the alternative repression inflicted on them in shining beacons of civilizations in Gaza and the West Bank.
Schulman really cuts it down to a choice between gay rights and Muslim power. And faced with that choice, she chooses Muslim power.
It’s not surprising, but it is telling. The left always has its agendas and priorities. Those priorities have little to do with the rights of any groups which is exploited for the larger agenda.
The pinkwashing isn’t on Israel’s part. It’s on Sarah Schulman’s part who exploits gay rights only as a vehicle for Islamic supremacism, which is paradoxical as the two are incompatible, but insists that gay rights take a back seat to Islam.
You submitted a proposal to the conference that is contrary to the content of the conference. We will be talking about how a nationalistic apparatus uses “gay rights” to enforce racial dominance, globally.
So Schulman is thinking of this not just in Israeli terms, but in global terms. Can you be a gay activist who is, in practice, opposed to gay rights? Apparently you can be.