Panelists: Sabrina Salvati, Norman Finkelstein
Moderator: Jyotishman Mudiar
Description: Recently on her podcast, Sabrina reacted to comments Norman made, which in her view minimized the relative differences in the lives and experiences of blacks and whites in the United States today. In that podcast, Sabrina expressed strong disagreement and mentioned an interest in talking directly with Norman about these issues. Today we bring them together as part of Plebity’s Conference.
Norman Finkelstein is a longtime author and scholar. His academic career has spanned many decades since his PhD from Princeton University in 1987. He has written numerous books, among them The Holocaust Industry, which generated significant controversy. Norman has written and spoken extensively on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Norman is a lifelong scholar and activist of the left. His latest book, I Will Burn That Bridge When I Get to It, is a critique of current day identity politics and can be purchased here:
Sabrina Salvati is the host of Sabby Sab's podcast and the co-host of Revolutionary Blackout Network. She is an activist and former educator. Sabrina writes on her substack https://sabbysabs.substack.com/ and provides leftist commentary and interviews on her youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/sabbysabs.
Jyotishman Mudiar is a co-founder of the YouTube podcast India & Global Left (IGL).
One of the hallmarks of today’s woke left is to conflate speech with violence. Fearful of the ‘harm’ that might be experienced from hearing certain words, the woke left has become widely confused about the issue of free speech in general and between speech and literal, physical violence.
In New Zealand this week, Posie Parker was assaulted as she tried to speak–a mob surrounded her and forced her off the stage and ultimately out of the country. The group that prevented her from speaking has taken to social media to declare a great victory.
The most influential queer theorist is Judith Butler an American philosopher who draws heavily upon Foucault and Derrida. Butler’s chief contribution to queer Theory was to question the links between sex – the biological categories of male and female – gender- the behaviours and traits commonly associated with one sex or the other – and sexuality – the nature of sexual desire. Butler claims gender is wholly socially constructed, and developed her most well-known concept: gender performativity. She claims gender roles are taught and learned unwittingly through socialisation – as sets of actions, behaviours, manners, and expectations and people perform these roles accordingly.
If you want to fan the flames of fascism, keep doing things like this, Penn State students!
Several days ago Penn State, a top-ranked U.S. research university, known for its football team and its programs in engineering, business, and marketing, began trending on social media for something entirely different.
The event was to feature Gavin McInnes, cofounder of the right-wing organization Proudboys and comedian, provocateur Alex Stein. Student opinion was very strongly against allowing these individuals to speak, and violent protests developed.
Queer theory sees the concepts of sex – male and female – and gender – masculine and feminine- as oppressive. The main objective of queer theory is to subvert these concepts and to break them down. Rejecting the possibility of there being a knowable objective reality, queer theory asserts that language creates the categories, enforces them, and scripts people into them. The boundaries are arbitrary and oppressive according to queer theory. These boundaries can be blurred into apparent absurdity and thus erased.