LGBT activists like Max Tweedie and Shaneel Lal are obsessed with censorship. It is central to their view of order and safety. You could argue it represents the entirety of their political project.
So, where does that place them on the political spectrum?
In many ways the community spokesperson is the bane of minority communities. Rarely are they elected: most are self-appointed and, considering minority groups are as intellectually diverse as the majority, the claim they reflect any sort of consensus should be taken with a grain of salt.
Indeed, at least one definition of racism and bigotry is a refusal to accept diversity within a group – to assume there is a rigid uniformity to traits and values.
A community spokesperson doesn’t help allay this, because they are quite literally telling people their views are widely representative when we have no way of knowing if they truly are.
Adding to this issue, our media, run by the majority, is the final arbiter of which spokesperson gets elevated and platformed and which does not.
Anjum Rahman, for example, has only 100 voting members on her Muslim Women’s Council out of an entire population of approximately 60,000. And yet Rahman was selected by the media and the government to promote hate speech laws.
If a Muslim spokesperson supportive of free speech had offered their services, they would have simply been ignored. A community spokesperson (who can expect return visits to the podium) needs to reflect what those in power want to be promoted. If they don’t, they just can’t expect airtime. The canny ones learn this and adapt accordingly.
The irony of the gay community is there is no community and has never been one.
The challenge for activists during the ‘85 homosexual law reform was uniting warring factions to create the appearance of solidarity. Once the law passed the bickering and distrust returned. Disagreement rages today over the trans debate and issues like the involvement of Police within PRIDE parades.
This isn’t a happy family.
You would have heard a lot from Auckland PRIDE director Max Tweedie and activist Shaneel Lal over the last few days as they campaigned to stop a feminist activist from entering New Zealand.
Both activists had their pick of media appearances, and both sang from the same song sheet: BAN, BAN, BAN.
Shaneel and Max both claim that the community has never been in more existential danger than it is now and that only oppressive and crushing censorship – that ensures only their messaging could ever be given air – would do.
This puts the pair in stark contrast with the activists of ’85, many of whom wanted the venom of their homophobic opponents broadcast, confident the average Kiwi would be repulsed and would come over to their side.
But there is another reason activists of yesteryear were inclined toward free speech:
Most of them were on the Left.
Tweedie and Lal are not.
The awful truth about the political collapse of class-Leftism is it was replaced with an identitarianism closest in complexion (at the extremities) to far-Right nationalism.
Both Tweedie and Lal view their interests as greater than the liberal system and see the liberal system as an obstacle for their group.
They do not attempt to allay the other side because they are completely unsympathetic to anyone who stands apart from their worldview. Lal’s recent dismissal of a victim of sexual assault (see image below), who was appearing to seek good faith engagement, is an explicit example of this.
A liberal would pursue the safety they claim they seek through persuasion, accepting that some of their discussions will be difficult and uncomfortable.
These activists demand forced compliance. Debate and dialogue, to them, is dangerous. State power must partner with them to silence dissenters, by removing their rights and entrenching inequality. The display of thuggery and the assault on Kelly-Jay Keen Minshull at Albert Park this afternoon (March 25th) wasn’t criticised by Tweedie. He viewed the violence as a win (see image below).
As a Jew and a Leftist, I instantly recognise this to be a Hard-Right mindset. Thankfully I understand the diversity within minority groups, so Tweedie and Lal are unable to shade my view of the wider *community*.
But some will think they are truly representative, and this promises a far greater catastrophe for gay New Zealand than allowing a feminist to speak.