On allies: Or, "Who the [bleep] is Amy Siskind?"

On allies: Or, "Who the [bleep] is Amy Siskind?"

I didn't know Amy Siskind from Adam until the Trump regime was installed over this fair land.

Then she started to make a name for herself in the resistance. She details his corruption with efficiency and verve.

However, as we all do, she has a history. And her history isn't very good. You can read the sordid details in this thread:

That's some in-depth research. It seems Ms. Siskind wasn't a "life-long Democrat", as she claims. Or she had some odd notions of what "Democrat" means. In my book, it certainly doesn't mean slagging a Democratic president, or caping for known moron Sarah Palin.

Now, our latter days have brought about many conversions. People from the other side are realizing just what shit we're in. I'm thinking of Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt. They've acknowledged their errors, and are atoning for them. 

But Siskind, when confronted with this... went on the attack. She tried to act as if bringing up her history wasn't just a smear on her as a person, but an attack on a "leader of the resistance". 

Yes.  A PUMA who spent eight years attacking Barack Obama and only became "woke" after Hillary Clinton had the election stolen from her is now a "leader of the resistance".

And her main line of attack was on Friend of LL Imani Gandy, aka @angryblacklady. She claimed that Imani was a Putinist plant sowing discord in the resistance.

I'm now going to use language I don't often use when I write a piece for this blog. 

Ahem.

SHUT THE FUCK UP.

I've been following Imani for nearly all the time I've been on Twitter. If there's anyone whose bona fides need never be questioned, it's hers. And for that reason, she attracts attacks from Johnny-come-latelies who seek to earn their bones in "I'm a True Scotsman" competitions. 

(Google "Imani Gandy and foreclosures" to see what I mean.)

One of the few people on Twitter for whom I will go on the mat is Imani. And instead of engendering self-reflection, she gets stuff like this:

That's right. The poor, privileged wypipo find it so hard to be allies when their history, which they've never acknowledged, is thrown in their faces.

I went to a seminar last Friday on just this topic: How to be an ally, how to model equity in your leadership. And Siskind and her acolytes are doing the opposite of everything they should be doing.

People—mostly people of color—have been doing this work for decades. Not out of some altruistic motive, but because their very lives depend on it. It's not a choice for them. Either they fight, or they die. People like Siskind were able to carp at Obama as he pulled this country out of the ditch because no matter what, they'd be fine.

The seminar was conducted by Anne Phibbs, Ph.D., director of Strategic Diversity Initiatives. She identifies three types of allies: allies of self-interest, allies of altruism, and allies of social justice..

What Siskind is is an ally of self-interest. Her world was blown up by Trump's victory. She now cares about the issues of social justice because they affect her directly. Until that point, she was quite happy to entertain thoughts of Sarah Palin as President. 

I have formulated on my own two types of allies: allies of convenience, and allies of conviction. Allies of convenience can be used to further your own agenda. But you should never make the make the mistake of trusting them. Once your common objectives are achieved, you will go back to being adversaries. 

Allies of conviction, like allies of social justice, are the ones who move that fabled Overton Window. They do what they do because it's right, not because it benefits them personally. These are the people who will not hijack a movement to which they've just arrived, but sit and listen and learn from those who have been doing the work for years. 

What we have now in the resistance is a plethora of allies of convenience who abhor Trump for various self-interested reasons, not because they abhor the existential problem he poses. And they can be relied on as far as that. But to think that they can now be entrusted with leadership in a multi-cultural, multi-gendered resistance is laughable. They suddenly woke up and think that they have all the knowledge required to lead this movement. That kind of attitude is inimical to any true progress.

So, yes, we should accept help from whence it comes. But always keep in mind the distinction between allies of convenience and conviction. The former will eventually stab you in the back. We have to be prepared for that, and to counter it.



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