Fear not, I am not going to make you do long division in your head. They stopped teaching kids how to do that a long time ago. This is a different kind of division.
When my son started school, very early 1990s, they still learned ‘times tables’. One five is five, two fives are ten, and so on. The difference I noted was that they only went up to the ten times table, whereas I had to learn eleven and twelve. Well, I was there pre-decimalisation so we had to learn Imperial units. Twelve was a big thing back then. Twelve inches in a foot, twelve pennies in a shilling.
So I taught him the easy way to multiply by eleven. I didn’t push him for twelve, he won’t need it and twelve is a bastard of a table. Eleven though, is so easy to do if you know the trick.
But I digress. This isn’t about numbers and yet in a way it is. It’s about the divisions being applied to the world now. Divisions you never knew existed. All imaginary, all in your head.
We have just seen the spectacle of Black Pound Day. Spend your money with businesses owned by black people to boost their custom. Nobody, at all, seems to have noticed that this is in support of a movement that wants to abolish capitalism. They want all private businesses destroyed.
Some black business owners noticed. Some decried the silliness of anticapitalists demanding support for private businesses, and some simply responded with ‘we do not want charity, we want to succeed because our business is a good one producing stuff people want’. They see the attempt at division and patronising pet treatment and they do not want it. Good for them.
In the end, since Scotland is still in Alcatraz mode and getting worse (Wee Nippy now wants to enforce quarantine on visitors from England, so if you were hoping to help out Scottish tourism you will spend two weeks locked in a hotel room and then go home), I didn’t spend anything in any business that day. They are almost all closed. Local black-owned businesses are thin on the ground, most people of recent African descent don’t like it this far north. Heck, most British people don’t like it this far north. It’s not at all unusual to put the heating on on Midsummer’s Day. If it hits 20 C it’s a heatwave. If you’re used to tropical temperatures this is like an inverse Hell for you. In winter it’s the ninth circle.
Black Lives Matter has begun to fragment. There was a march in support of Black Trans Lives Matter and I have to say, it was well attended. Mostly by white people, at least 90%, but well attended nonetheless.
The Mayors of London and New York both issued statements in support of Gay Pride, and both had the same message. They lauded the black trans men who started the gay pride movement.
Yes. Read that again. That is what they said. I have seen pictures of Peter Tatchell, the biggest name in Stonewall and he looks pretty pasty to me. I have never seen him express any desire to change sex either. He is happy as he is.
Now, being not-gay and not-trans and on the Pantone scale, probably the total opposite of ‘black’, you would be forgiven for expecting me to give no shits at all. None of this should matter to me.
Yet, I am a smoker and have experienced the ‘unpersoning’ first hand. I am also a white straight old male and am villified for that too. The old rhyme ‘First they came for the…’ well, I am the one they came for first. So I can see it when it comes for others.
Straight white males are called ‘transphobic’ if they won’t date ‘girls’ with dicks. That’s been around a long time. I’m not single so I have an easy ‘out’ there. Even if I was single, if the thing dangling between your legs looks a lot like what dangles between mine, we really don’t have a good starting point for a relationship here.
Does that make me a ‘transphobe’? In this modern daft world, yes it does. I can be friends with gay men and trans women but I have no interest in sleeping with either. Not that they’d want to if they saw me anyway, but we are talking about principle here.
The BBC published an article claiming gay men are transphobic if they refuse to sleep with ‘trans men’ (women who decide they are men). They have deleted it now so I can’t link it. You have to be a fast watcher these days.
Coupled with the mayoral rewriting of gay history as black trans history, it seems gay white men can now join the smokers, drinkers and straight white men on the wrong side of the ‘deleted’ line. Welcome, brothers. I wonder who they’ll send over the line next?
Divide and conquer, that’s the old saying. And it has worked, many times.
It does not work when the attackers divide themselves and unite the defenders.