People talk about "cancel culture," when actually what's going on is accountability culture.

When people are predators? Yeah, we tell them to leave, because our communities and movements are meant to be safe spaces.

But accountability isn't about cancelling, it's about healing.
Like, sometimes people in our communities are so hurt by something that's been done that we have to ask the perpetrator to leave, because those who have been hurt can't heal in their presence.

In digital spaces, that can take the form of cancellation.
(And by the way, the "cancel" in "cancel culture" was stolen from Black Twitter, where it started out as an expression of internal accountability)
A lot of the time, though, the fuck ups that cause injury were done accidentally, and it can be as or more healing for impacted people when we see the person who caused the injury take ownership of the fuck up, acknowledge its impact, and do the labor of restoration.
I talk about accountability rather than restorative justice, because I think that when we center the word "restoration" we suggest a centering of the perpetrator's journey back to community rather than the healing of the injured.
Sometimes the injury is just too great and the injurer's very presence in community is enough to prevent healing.

Sometimes the injury is the result of predation, and predators do not have a place in our communities.
I can only speak for myself, but for me the times where I wanted someone who injured me/my community banished have been vanishingly small.

What I *wanted* was restoration-- for my community to take me seriously, for the injurer to take responsibility and help heal the wound.
Like, even now, if the non-crypto (non-Amber) Chapo hosts came to intersectional feminist community/liberatory movement organizers and were like, we fucked up, what do we do, I personally would just be really relieved and say okay good, let's fix this together.
If that ever happened, it would be a lot easier to resolve if we had proactive accountability measures institutionalized within the left.

We don't-- that's something we still need to build-- but there are plenty of us who have the skills and know-how to guide that process.
That's what I find so grating about the whole dirtbag/Jacobin victimhood act.

They fucked up.

They've caused material pain to our community, specifically to marginalized people.

They've enabled fash and fash recruitment.

They tear down good work just to land a hot take.
One thing @jwjnational teaches in its trainings is the 4 i's of accountability processes-- incident, intent, impact, and invention.
Incident is what happened.

It's what happened to cause injury. You start by naming it, and progress by honestly discussing the intent behind it.

Then you move on to the impact-- the injury and/or damage done.

That's the part you center.

Impact matters more than intent.
And once you've done all this, you move on to the final step: invention.

That's the creative process where you examine what redress looks like.

Usually it's a matter of restoration-- the injurer doing the applied work and self-work of aiding the community in healing the injury.
Sometimes it means the injurer walking away, but most of the time that's not what the injured articulates as a want or need.
What reactionaries call "cancel culture" is really just what happens when an injurer refuses to engage in the full accountability process.

If they won't engage in that accountability work, they're refusing to follow the ground rules of liberatory movement and community.
Ground rules like "engage in accountability processes when you injure someone" or "don't make women feel unsafe in this space" aren't about arbitrary governance or domination.
Those ground rules are about the work of making this a space everyone feels safe(r) in, most especially the marginalized people for whom liberatory movement is a matter of life and death.

Insisting folks play by those rules is not about "wokescolding."

It's about inclusivity.
When folks like the Chapo hosts refuse to play by those rules, they don't belong on our playground.

You can't just go around punching other people in the face and refuse to stop even for a second to talk about the problem.

That's not an acceptable way to be in community.
The problem isn't just that they punched someone.

The problem is that they keep doing it, and they think they're above being accountable for it.
This is not about, "follow the rules because rules are rules."

I've taken my share of arrests in my adult life, and I don't regret any of them.

The ground rules we're talking about are "don't punch your fellow leftists in the face for being women/disabled/trans/etc" rules.
And like, I don't think the bulk of us are thinking that the only option with the Chapo shit is a tarring and feathering.

For me at least, the ideal outcome is that they own up to the problem, set an example, and draw a line in the sand for their followers on this behavior.
@VerminSupreme started the work of doing this when I called him out for retweeting fash.

@peterdaou took responsibility for the same thing when others delivered callouts for the same behavior.

What that says to me is, the fash and their enablers are not a base they want.
People do sometimes gesture towards accountability shallowly and disingenuously to cover their asses, then walk away before the work starts (that's why I say it's about the ongoing process, not a pardon).

But even just that first step counts for so much, and it's so easy.
We all fuck up, all of us.

When someone immediately owns a fash-enabling fuck-up and the fact that it was a fash-enabling fuck-up, that creates room for grace.

It opens up a space for us to find our way to believing that the fuck-up might have been a true accident.
But when the injurer not only refuses to apologize but refuses even to admit to the reality of the injury, it starts to look a whole lot like they not only don't care, but are deliberately working to justify continuation of the behavior.
In the case of nearly all of the Chapo hosts, no serious organizers or movement leaders are accusing them of being fash or even crypto-fash.

(The exception is Amber-- the jury is very much undecided on that one)
What we're saying is that they engage a class reductionist discourse that leaves room for their fanbase to pretend that only class politics matter, that any call-out of racism/misogyny/ableism is shallow "idpol," & ultimately that therefore it's okay to be racist/sexist/ableist.
What we're saying is that they have a history of tolerating and associating with podcasters and other people who are fash or fash-adjacent, that this behavior does not seem to have been apologized for or even fully halted, & that this sends a very strong message to their fanbase.
What we're saying is that by doing these things, they have developed a fanbase that sees no problem with misogynist and otherwise-oppressive mass harassment campaigns against marginalized people.

What we're saying is, we have watched them actively encourage this brigading.
What we're saying is that by touting identity-blindered class reductionist politics & encouraging brigading, they've made it easy for fans to find kinship with the deeply reactionary dirtbag "leftists" that troll-brigade alongside them in even more explicitly racist ways.
What we're saying is that this creates an opportunity for those deeply reactionary "leftist" dirtbags to turn Chapo fans on to their deeply reactionary and fash-adjacent spaces, like stupidpol and Red Scare fandom.
What we're saying is that those dirtbag "leftist" spaces are SO reactionary and misogynist and racist and hostile to the marginalized that they're fertile recruiting fields for actual fash, actual Nazis.

What we're saying is, this is how pipelines work.
We're saying they hurt needed liberatory movement projects (Food not Bombs, most recently) because they want a hot take & fear competition.

That they tacitly encourage brigading harrassment that causes marginalized people real pain.

That they facilitate a left-to-fash pipeline.
The things we're saying about Chapo aren't absurd.

We're naming observable denigration of projects that we see saving lives.

We're naming painful harassment we've personally experienced.

We're naming a pipeline we've seen form to fash spaces that are our expertise.
This isn't us jumping up and down having a temper tantrum & yelling "Nazi Nazi Nazi" at Chapo because we're mad they don't agree with our political lens or because we're jealous that they're the popular kids, now.

These are observable problems well-documented by experts.
Antifascists and intersectional feminists certainly aren't all 100% aligned with the politics of @VerminSupreme.

We certainly don't agree with every word @peterdaou has ever uttered.

But when folks own their fuck-ups and start engaging accountability, we show grace.
The call-out of Chapo and Jacobin for trashing liberatory organizing, enabling oppressive harasment & facilitsting fash pipelining is not just some cover for bashing factions of the left who are not 100% aligned with our politics.
The core folks calling out the destructive behavior of Chapo and Jacobin aren't doing it to be political alignment enforcers.

We aren't even 100% aligned with each other-- just ask the faction of antifascists who call me a cop for reporting Nazi death threats to the police.
Ffs, I'm a Bernie supporter.

I was a delegate for him in 2016.

I donated to his campaign this time around, I'll vote for him in our primary still.

This isn't about taking down leftist electoralism; I'm literally an elected Democratic committeewoman, because I believe in it.
This isn't about taking out ideological opposition.

This is about naming material harm they are doing to marginalized people, including the harm of making "the left" an increasingly unsafe and unwelcoming place for us.

This is about them punching us in the face repeatedly.
The reason we feel such white hot rage about the Chapo hosts isn't some "oh they don't share our politics so they must be Nazis" thing.

It isn't even primary about the fact that getting punched in the face hurts.
We're incensed because it would be SO EASY just to say, "shit, we didn't realize that was the impact we were having."

So easy to say, "we own that fuck-up, now we're ready to quit it and sit down and invent a path to healing."

So easy to catch the reconciliation bus.
What's stopping them?

There are some pretty obvious motives:


A fear of losing their edginess.

The thought of losing the opponent-silencing power of their racist, misogynist, ableist troll brigades.

Most of all, the prospect of losing subscribers, and therefore money.
In other words, they're choosing grift and notoriety over doing the right thing.

They're choosing money and ego over halting the material and ongoing harm they are doing to marginalized people and liberatory movement work.

It's a cruel, greedy, and conscious choice.
It's not even like they're just passively maintaining the grift and ignoring the critique.

They're taunting us about our own pain, telling us we're bringing it on ourself, gaslighting us about its reality, denigrating the hard, materially lifesaving work that we do & have done.
What the dirtbag "left" have done is create a "socialism" that's little more than a clothing brand.

That "socialism" isn't even about economic equity.

It's a "you get a car! You get a car!" promise to a bunch of privileged white dudes who already fucking have cars.
The "socialist" politics of the Chapo fanbase isn't socialism.

It amounts to a four year whine about white male victimhood, a whine protected by a chorus of other whiners who silence marginalized people by using brigading harassment tactics to weaponize our own pain against us.
Now, the dirtbag trolls are stuck at home and restless and adrift now that their candidate is out of the race.

They get off on causing pain to the oppressed and especially pain to women, but this time around their would-be target is Biden, a privileged, straight white man.
There's no misogynist fun be had with the Biden campaign, at least until he picks a running mate.

In the absence of a ready-made 2020 presidential race target, their anger has no ready outlet.

So, they're turning it on marginalized people within the left, particularly women.
Chapo got its start by monetizing the process of whitewashing misogyny directed at HRC in 2016.

I feel nothing but wrath towards HRC-- she's a warmonger and a sexual misconduct apologist-- but the HRC-based trolling Chapo's fanbase perfected just used that as cover.
HRC *is* an embodiment of the death-politics of war and capitalism, and at least within the left, that gave the Chapo crew a whole lot of plausible deniability when it came to questions about their motivation.
They really started to show their faces when it came to Elizabeth Warren.

Trolls who didn't give a shit about native resistance appropriated indigenous critiques of her.

The "liar" shit about her and Bernie differently remembering a conversation about sexism.
It's not like there weren't solid reasons to critique Warren, and plenty of actual folks doing actual work for Bernie and/or who had track records supporting indigenous organizing did, and rightly.

But that wasn't what was going on with the Chapo trolls.

They let the mask slip.
Now, with Warren's candidacy an increasingly distant memory, the dirtbags are coming for marginalized people on the left in general & women in particular for having the audacity to name the oppressive behavior & misogyny for what it is, for demanding the Chapo hosts take action.
It is a swarm of bees that is now relentlessly and unceasingly attacking us, and it is difficult and painful.

It's beyond infuriating to see people who have spent four years lazily profiting off our movement and our hard organizing work egging on the swarm for profit.
It's basically a late-stage Salem witchhunt at this point.

The entire Chapo grift is set up around offering up new women as targets for their fans and trolls to call a liberal witch and burn at stake.
Chapo got away with their witch trial grift for so long because for a long time, the targets they picked to call witches were generally reprehensible to us for valid reasons.

There were very good, non-misogynistic reasons to come for the candidacies of HRC and Kamala Harris.
But Warren?

It's true that she's not deep left or singing The Internationale, but real talk: Bernie wasn't either.

Bernie was to her left, sure.

But we're talking a few feet to the left, not a distance of miles.
Here's the thing about witch trials: they start with community's most disliked and work their way in.
Often, it starts with women close to or possessing economic and/or cultural privilege:

The woman who beats her maid.

The wife of the butcher that always puts his finger on the scale.

The daughter of the arrogant church pastor.
But by privilege's very nature, the highly privileged are few and far between.

There aren't that many butchers' wives, or that many women rolling around in Goldman Sachs speaker fees.
That's why witchhunts feed the fire with the disliked marginalized, too.

The girl who has seizures.

The lady with the congenital deformity.

The Black woman.

The gay man.

The Jew.
There was good reason to dislike Hillary as a candidate, and economic privilege was a big part of it.

But there's a reason the dirtbags will make rape snipes, but aren't and never will go after the similarly privileged Biden with the same dehumanizing ferocity they did HRC.
Kamala *is* a cop.

Pete *is* an arrogant shit.

Both their candidacies were antithetical to left values.

But also... Tom Steyer is a coal billionaire?

Klobuchar literally abuses her subordinates?
Like, the one Chapo episode I ever managed to finish was them crowing about Klobochar curb-stomping Pete in a debate.

They played audio of one of the hosts literally finding her at a coffee shop and thanking her in person.
Was it ironic? Sure.

But they'd made a clear choice about who the witches were in an extremely WASP race.

Those choices were the Jew, the black woman, and the gay man.

They could articulate a plausible reason for each choice, but the pattern is clear, especially in hindsight.
Witchhunters start by going after the people society resents and the people society has (or desires to) reject.

They start by going after the rich assholes and the marginalized, first.
When they run out of mansion-dwellers and rejects, though, they have to either end the hunt or start going for the folks more integral to their community.
For privileged leftists and left-leaning progressives, it was relatively easy to give some benefit of the doubt to the dirtbags when they were going after HRC, Kamala, Pete, and Bloomberg on Twitter.

These were people who were definitively opposed our values.
What we should have paid more attention to was *which* of our opposition they decided to target.

It wasn't hard to see the misogynoir of many of the dirtbag "leftist" attacks on Kamala.

In retrospect, it's not hard to discern the ugly homophobic undertones of their Pete-hate.
They *were* our enemies, though, ideologically speaking.

So we tolerated more than we should have.

We let ourselves believe the pattern was ideological, not identity-based.

We let our own privilege blinders keep us from seeing what we should have.
The witchhunt ran out of incredibly rich asshole women in 2016.

Once Kamala and Pete and Bloomberg were out, they were out of ideological enemies from marginalized identities, too.

But witchhunting women and the marginalized was still so, so profitable.
If the dirtbag left's target choices were actually about electoral strategy, they would have set their sights on Biden after Warren dropped out.

They would have softpedaled the Liz hate, would have wooed Warren voters instead of taunting them misogynistically.
Warren isn't an asshole, isn't a wealth-hoarder.

Her policies had more in common with Bernie than not.

When the dirtbags came for Warren, they weren't coming for the scale-thumbing butcher's wife or the child with epilepsy.

They were coming for a well-liked schoolteacher.
The mask was off, the cat was out of the bag.

At that point, there was no denying that the dirtbaggers' game wasn't about electing Bernie, wasn't about electoralism at all.
The dirtbags told on themselves.

They admitted through their actions that their "left" had no purpose beyond oppressive trolling, existed for express purpose of giving reactionary white men a cover for tormenting marginalized people, most especially women.
By the time marginalized folks in liberatory movement started naming this, yelling out that the emperor had no clothes, the dirtbaggers didn't even care about the pretense of electorialism anymore.

They set out to call us hysterics, label us as mentally ill.
Now they're going after women who are actual established, respected organizers and leaders on the left, women like me with long histories of effective labor organizing, economic justice work, community organizing, and electoral engagement.
They have two tricks: calling us liberal, and calling us crazy.

It's just patently absurd to call us liberal given our resumes and reputations.

We're farther left than they are, and we've put in the work to prove our dedication.
The Chapo hosts deliberately set their misogynistic, ableist reactionary troll base on us hoping they could indirectly destroy us with accusations of hysteria and mental illness.

One of them came to my timeline to leave breadcrumbs for them.

That's how the brigading started.
They're cowards who know that if they call us crazy or question our credentials, they'll be held accountable for it.

So they had their troll army do it for them for a month.
That hasn't worked, so now they're trying to undermine our credentials by trying to discredit community organizing and liberatory movement itself.

They know that our organizing is agile, that because our communities are in crisis, many of us are doing the work of mutual aid.
They almost certainly understand that this sort of mutual aid has long been regarded by capitalist society as "women's work," as invisible labor that doesn't matter.

They almost certainly know that this is especially true of food-related mutual aid.
So, they're leveraging the "(women's) work outside the workplace doesn't count" hot take frame they developed mocking the idea of non-wage emotional labor, and combining it with their whole electoralism-is-all bit to try and demean the traditionally feminised work of mutual aid.
But it's utter bullshit.

"Food not Bombs doesn't build power" is a nonsense take.

The issue campaigns and mutual aid projects that we do as community organizers translate into deeper & deeper trusting relationship networks *with* our communities.

That's what power looks like.
Those relationship networks rest with us as a community, not organizational entities.

Food not Bombs may not do electoral work, but folks within FnB can absolutely choose to apply the trust they've built with their neighbors to an electoral project.
I honestly can't imagine that the Chapo hosts are so obtuse as to believe that there's a difference between the kinds of people who organize mutual aid in their neighborhoods & the people who are able to organize to win elections.

The power is in the relationships, not the org.
Jacobin and Chapo podcasts aren't coming after a liberatory project that organizes communities around making food available to everyone over a strategy disagreement.

This is them being scared shitless because liberatory movement is done tolerating their oppressive bullshit.
They are so sociopathically obsessed with maintaining their profit stream & avoiding accountability that they will discourage people from supporting a project that is dedicated to getting food to a rapidly-expanding population of people made food-insecure BY A FUCKING PANDEMIC.
FnB folks are risking their lives battling hunger in their communities right now.

Meanwhile, these fucking podcast losers are sitting around shitting on that work & trying to undermine it because marginalized people who do mutual aid are criticizing them on the internet.
Accountability is a process, but the first steps are so easy.

It would be so easy to say, gosh, we made a mistake, we didn't realize we were training our fanbase to hunt women on the internet for fucking sport.
But they can't and they won't, because the witchhunt is the entire basis of their fucking grift.

They sell white dudes permission to brigade-harass women and other marginalized folks into silence.

To slap uppity women (& trans & disabled & POC people &...) back into submission.
Chapo and Jacobin sell witchhunting licenses to shitty, reactionary white dudes.

Whatever the hosts' and editors' intentions were when they started out, they're in retail now.

That's why they refuse accountability.

The hunt of the marginalized is what lines their pockets.
Their profits are driven by their willingness to enable the mass troll-brigading of marginalized people, the unending harassment of women.

If Chapo and Jacobin stop selling witchhunting licenses, they'll stop making money.
Unfortunately for the dirtbag grifters, the witchhunting license industry is only profitable so long as people believe that the women burned at stake are actually witches.

More and more of us are calling bullshit, and more and more people are seeing the grift for what it is.
The Food not Bombs attacks are more than anything a sign that these con artists are flailing as they try to keep the con afloat, and failing spectacularly.

It's a desperate act by grifters who are realizing that the grift is unravelling, and fast.
Whatever claims Chapo and Jacobin have made about wanting a just world, this Food not Bombs gambit once & for all shows them for who they really are:

Greedy, unempathetic fame chasers who failed upwards on Bernie's coattails and will fuck over literally the hungry to stay there.
You can follow @gwensnyderPHL.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: