The problem with the "abusive bernie bro" narrative

Homepage | Forums | Main Forums | General Discussion | The problem with the "abusive bernie bro" narrative

Viewing 10 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #282114
      The Red Menace
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,080

      Have you ever met that guy who’s really concerned with Muslims? Tell me if you’ve heard this one: “Why don’t Muslims condemn terrorism? Why don’t Muslims condemn violence? Why don’t Muslims condemn homophobia? Why don’t Muslims condemn FGM?” Sometimes he specifies it down, most often to “Why don’t shia…” or “why don’t Palestinians…” or whatever. But the message is the same.”Why don’t Muslims condemn?”

      We’ve all met this guy, he comes in all political circles; right, left, centrist, whatever. I’ve seen him pop up in youtube baking videos and birdwatcher message boards. So what’s his deal? Is he really what he says he is, just a person who’s worried about Islamic extremism and violence? No, dear reader, he is not. His demands for condemnations are not about assuaging his fears; they’re about justifying his hatreds.

      if a Muslim refuses to engage him at all, well, that guy gets to yell and whoop it up about how he has PROOF  now that THEY SUPPORT ISLAMIC EXTREMISM! That Guy is “proven right” and gets to yell about the perfidy and violence of Muslims, and why no one should trust them! If the target does actually engage, and offer condemnation of something, no problem – that guy has a laundry list. he’ll just demand they condemn something else. And then something else. And so on and so on. basically, the target has given That Guy a platform to rant about every crime a Muslim has ever committed anywhere in the world in the last 1300 years. Eventually of course the target will catch on that this is not a good faith engagement and refuses to participate any more, which leads to That Guy once again, whooping it up about he now has PROOF that THEY SUPPORT ISLAMIC EXTREMISM!

      The same pattern follows if a non-muslim tries to run interference. Except in this case, that guy demands that you find definitive, satisfactory-to-him proof of a Muslim somewhere condemning the thing. And if you can’t, WELL OBVIOUSLY THAT’S BECAUSE THEY SUPPORT THAT THING! if you argue that his argument is based on terrible logic, or that groups of people are not responsible for random individuals they hold no control over.. .well you’re just engaging in apologia and making excuses, And lord help you if you rebut with any of the history of violence and crimes against Muslims, that’s WAHTABOUTISM, we’re only allowed to talk about the crimes and perfidy if Muslims in this discussion, sonny-boy!

      That Guy’s goal is simply to harass, gaslight, and harangue Muslims and those who would support them. Not just that, but to do so in a manner that casts him as the voice of reason, the concerned citizen, or even the righteous victim. The point is to make Muslims flee unsafe, uncertain, and threatened, while at the same time turning people against them, all while casting That guy as some sort of thoughtful hero or valiant defender.

       

      And if you saw the title of this thread, you know where this is going. Because That Guy’s behavior, is the same behavior we see from people who push the “bernie bro” narrative. Line for line, it is identical. From the gish-galloping demands for constant condemnations, to the declarations that Sanders supporters are PROVEN assholes when they just refuse to engage at all, to the obsessive search for every possible indiscretion or annoyance a Bernie supporter could ever have made, the the handwaving of abuses perpetrated against Bernie supporters as “whataboutism” or “apologetics,” it is exactly the same.

      Sanders supporters are held collectively responsible for random people we have no control over. we have to stop and take time out of our activities, give time out of our lives, to genuflect and apologize for these random people’s behavior. And then the next random person’s. And the one after that. And if we refuse? Well then clearly we’re part of the problem, and support that behavior, don’t we? Just other abusive bernie bro to add to the pile! No matter what we do, it’s always insufficient… but not because it’s insufficient in reality. It’s because they are abusers looking for victims. They are That Guy, just with a different target in their sights.

      The goal is to disrupt, to harass, to belittle and denigrate and make us doubt, make us self-silence, to make us feel that we are the ones who are wrong. They are gaslighting and harassing us, projecting their toxic, hateful behavior onto us, and then demanding we apologize to them over it. This is the shit abusers do in order to isolate and exert control over their victims – the constant efforts to make us into ogres in the public eye, the demands we give our time and emotional labor away for on-demand “condemnations” of ourselves, the dismissal of our dignity as human beings, and then insisting that all of it is our own fault anyway and if we “acted better” it wouldn’t happen. This is page one of every textbook about psychological abuse.

      Because make no mistake, these people ARE abusers. And unfortunately, much like That Guy, they are constantly trying to win over converts to the idea that abuse is righteous and valid, that abusers are simply the voices of reason, the concerned citizens, and of course, the real victims in the situation. More unfortunately, it’s clear that a great many of them do not reserve their abuse for political opponents; I have seen many of them talk about interacting with tier own children or spouses or just random people in the grocery store, and it sends every alarm bell in my body off like a fire truck.

       

      You are under no obligation to accept the abuse. Don’t bother trying to “refute” their arguments; they don’t care. don’t bother trying to reason with them; they don’t care. don’t bother trying to apologize for or condemn as they demand; they don’t care. All of these are traps, things intended to snare you, trip you up and give them more “justification” for their abuse. Just call them out for what they are doing. Call them out on behalf of others. if the platform has the option, report them for their harassment. hell, just block them from view of nothing else. Especially on twitter there’s this culture on the left that blocking or reporting an abusive fuck is an admission of failure. It’s not. It’s self care. call them on their abuse, and remove them from yourself. Do so for others if you can, as well.

    • #282131
      alcina
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 653

      Truly excellent.  Thank you.

      "I believe man suffers from an appalling ignorance of his own nature." -William Golding, Lord of the Flies

    • #282132
      BostonBob
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 19

      They fight as hard as hell to make sure nothing gets done and that environmental catastrophes destroy humanity. Then they project their own evil onto the only people who are fighting to avoid a dystopian future. There is nothing more abusive than handing our children an unlivable hellhole of a planet.

    • #282133
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 16,363

      @deadpool , I’m going to bother you again with another Daily Radical rec, for no matter what happens in the primaries and afterwards, every member of JPR who dares to express their opinions will be subjected to the sort of gaslighting abuse that Red Menace has described above. This is damned good advice.

      I know that from my own personal experiences with both That Guy screaming at a Muslim woman in a head scarf on the street to online discussions and phone calls with friends and acquaintances who believe the mean Bernie Bros narrative. I’ve asked the latter if they’ve ever seen backers of any other candidates attacking Bernie supporters, including such high-ranking people in the campaign as Nina Turner.

      They don’t care at best and say the Bernie supporters started it and therefore deserve it at worst. All one can do is to cut them off, or, in the case of That Guy on the street, confront him with numbers of people who don’t approve of that kind of abuse. That can work in downtown Cleveland, anyway. It also helps to be six feet tall and able to look really pissed in an instant.

      They never expect that from a white guy, for some reason.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #282137
      NV Wino
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 5,693

      Simply put: don’t engage. If you don’t add fuel to the fire, it dies out.

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

    • #282143
      Mr. Mickeys Mom
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 4,138

      Sanders supporters are held collectively responsible for random people we have no control over. we have to stop and take time out of our activities, give time out of our lives, to genuflect and apologize for these random people’s behavior…

      The corporate media are truly gaslighting and harassing, performing a role against an informed electorate, forgetting that we are the ones working and looking for answers, not the ones to be featured in the post Super-Tuesday race MSNBC interviews now that seem to be the focus, conducted by high earning corporate news individuals… They now turn the focus on us… They ask Elizabeth Warren how she feels about “us” when we conclude that backstabbing is equivalent to those pointing out who is being a snake on the political platform… Who is recognizing the promise of fairness when it comes to corporately funded candidates and human rights of clean air, water, elections and every calling it out when those promises prove false with evidence of back-stabbing.

      EXCELLENT OP, and please send it to the Daily Radical, @deadpool.

      Hell, no... I'm not giving up...

    • #282201
      Cold Mountain Trail
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 9,474

      “The goal is to disrupt, to harass, to belittle and denigrate and make us doubt, make us self-silence, to make us feel that we are the ones who are wrong. They are gaslighting and harassing us, projecting their toxic, hateful behavior onto us, and then demanding we apologize to them over it. This is the shit abusers do in order to isolate and exert control over their victims – the constant efforts to make us into ogres in the public eye, the demands we give our time and emotional labor away for on-demand “condemnations” of ourselves, the dismissal of our dignity as human beings, and then insisting that all of it is our own fault anyway and if we “acted better” it wouldn’t happen. This is page one of every textbook about psychological abuse.

      Because make no mistake, these people ARE abusers.”

    • #282311
      99th Monkey
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 204

      I have been agonizing about this very question, and even posted my own OP on it yesterday .. here:

      "Bernie Bros": Is this a real thing? .. or is it Rat-fucking perfected into an art-form?

      I just needed to be reminded about how gaslighting actually works.  thanks again.   :fistbump:

       

    • #282657
      Deadpool
      Keymaster
      • Total Posts: 4,020
    • #288414
      rokarw
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1

      After voting for Bernie in the Texas primary I went on Twitter and said I want Bernie to stay in the race, but that I will vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is because the bigger problem is Drumpf. I received over 30 replies calling me names that I don’t even use, and I cuss a lot, especially the last three years. I realize that 30 persons is a minuscule percentage of fellow Bernie supporters, but if those kinds of statements are sent to people who are undecided about who to support or who voted for Warren or Klobuchar or any other candidate in the primary, they are going to see us as representative of people they don’t want to be associated with.

      As Jedi master Obi-wan Kenobl said, ” Only the Sith deal in absolutes.”

    • #288856
      The Red Menace
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,080

      Let me ask you something.

      Do you understand that Sanders’ competition, Joe Biden, has literally centered his campaign around crushing young people? Telling us our lives and existence and concerns do not matter in the least? he has declared he has no empathy for us, that we need to “give him a break.” He’s mocked us, he’s waved away our dire straits, and has campaigned on the assurance to older Democrats that he will not give us any consideration. That his campaign is one of spite and revenge from their generation against ours for being “uppity” and “presumptuous”?

      Do you understand that his senate career is one of opposing advances in civil rights, whether they be for black people, GLBT poeple, or women?

      Do you understand that what’s left of his career in the senate after those efforts is a string of him voting for handouts and tax breaks for insurance companies and every other business that assigns its “headquarters” to an absentee PO box in delaware? That Joe Biden has made that state a mainland Cayman islands for credit card companies?

      And that he still found time to jump at every chance he got – even as Vice President – to murder Arabs en masse.

      I have to guess that if you’re on JPR, you probably DO udnerstand that stuff.

       

      Now imagine how “I don’t care vote for him anyway” sounds to the ears of other people who share that understanding. Who maybe are part of the VERY MANY categories of humanity that Joe Biden has unequivocally stated DO NOT MATTER TO HIM AT ALL.

       

      do you think thirty people telling you to go sniff dog farts on twitter is really an unreasonable response to your declaration that they should go injure themselves so badly, just to assuage your partisan pride? because intentional or not.. .that’s what you did.

      • #288861
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 16,363

        @twilightsporkle You have every right to be furious. Even this old boomer is furious for my stepkids and their shattered dreams. How much longer can they, and you, be expected to put up with this system that spits in your face?

        Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.–Mao

        That’s where things could be headed.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

Viewing 10 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.