Ani DiFranco has “stepped in it.” As Huffington Post reports,
The year isn’t closing out smoothly for Ani DiFranco. Not only did the feminist icon incite significant public outcry for spearheading a songwriting retreat on a former slave plantation, the apology she issued this morning isn’t going over well.
DiFranco has cancelled the retreat, and said she did not learn about the location’s history until after it had been arranged. Writing in her literally anti-capitalist way she explained.
later, when i found out it was to be held at a resort on a former plantation, I thought to myself, “whoa”, but i did not imagine or understand that the setting of a plantation would trigger such collective outrage or result in so much high velocity bitterness. i imagined instead that the setting would become a participant in the event. this was doubtless to be a gathering of progressive and engaged people, so i imagined a dialogue would emerge organically over the four days about the issue of where we were. i have heard the feedback that it is not my place to go to former plantations and initiate such a dialogue.
I guess this just shows I’m the carrier of pale-privilege, but this seems entirely reasonable to me. When Roger Waters did a special concert at the ruins of the Berlin Wall, no one suggested he was pro-communist or insensitive to the feelings of the East Germans who had live under tyranny. They saw it as a triumph. So why wouldn’t a retreat by liberal feminists of all races (multi-cultralism!) at the home that was once controlled by slave-owners not be seen as a sign of the good guys winning. The South is dead and dominated by “progressive and engaged people.” They should be happy.
But it seems that no one wants to be happy. We are never allowed to claim the good guys won and move on. People actually accused DiFranco of “racism” for selecting a location that she only liked because it was near her home in New Orleans.
What is the alternative? To burn over all areas where evil once happened, even after that evil is defeated, and make them into wastelands where no one Is allowed to go?
Supposedly, DiFranco has insulted black feminists. But why do today’s African American women or men have any special connection to injustices that happened over a century and a half ago? They don’t remember the suffering. It didn’t happen to them. It has nothing to do with them. If they feel outraged it is because they learned about it in history and decided to imagine that it somehow happened to them in some way.
Why make silly accusations against a fellow liberal. I agree with Mediaite’s Noah Rothman:
One gets the impression that DiFranco cannot possibly atone for her sin in the eyes of those who initially took offense, not because the sin is so great, but because the perpetually aggrieved are starving for a victory. Theirs is a movement that has lost a significant amount of credibility in 2013.
Their latest target, A&E’s Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, appears to be suffering no consequence for his offense to the sensibilities of the righteously wronged. Where just five years ago, the perpetually offended might have forced the network to jettison the whole show with the mere threat of a advertiser boycott, today there is no sting to the threats. They are simply ignored.
Well, this cannot stand. So the grievance industry attacks one of their own, precisely because it is a battle that can be easily won.
Yet I don’t see DiFranco caving yet. I doubt she will ever admit it, but she may have asked herself, “What would Phil Robertson do.” It will be interesting to see what the Racial Grievance Industry does next to try to recover their mojo.