By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
I am a transwoman of no color. I am an agoraphobic welfare queen. I am a genderqueer millennial who has been diagnosed with virtually every mental illness in the DSM. I am intersectional but my existence is not a box checking exercise, though I have been diagnosed with Obsessive Box Checking Disorder. I used to struggle under the assumption that much of the above made me a target of the white cis male status quo, but at 32 it has come to my attention that my status as a marginalized American has made me bate for the Military Industrial Complex. Somewhere along the line, diversity became a tool for the very same people who benefit most from systemic oppression.
This is the conclusion that I’m forced to make from the CIA’s new “Humans of the CIA” add campaign, a painfully hilarious collection of online videos trafficking Langley as a woke bastion of hip tolerance for Queers, feminists, people of color, and the white hetero crowd who fetishize us. Speaking as part of the target demographic, the whole thing creeped me way the fuck out. I’m a Queer feminist who also happens to be a virulent anti-imperialist. These are the same sick fucks behind MK-Ultra and the Nazi ratlines, and now they want me for as their new recruit. What the hell happened here? When did people like me go from being outcasts to exotic house pets for the mainstream elites?
Queer and anti-racist movements in this country use to be a threat to these people. Our struggle was defined by a radical devotion to autonomy, self-determination, and solidarity with third world victims of the same hideous power structure that oppressed us stateside. Sometime in the last few decades we got lost. We started cutting deals with the man and started making concessions for privileges from the same system we once promised to destroy. I use to think that we just got lazy after winning the Culture War but lately I’ve come to the disturbing conclusion that the Culture Wat won us.
Queer people in particular lost the Culture War when we stopped raging for Queer liberation and settled for LGBTQ tolerance. We embraced inclusion into the very system we sought to destroy by devoting our struggle to statist trinkets of assimilation like gay marriage, military conscription, and prison feeding hate crime legislation. In this sick Shyamalan twist, that system we once sought to destroy destroyed us by making us a domesticated member of their nuclear family; the family faggot who gets scraps from the table just as long as we keep it down and don’t demand a table of our own. Identity politics became a series of hip new accessories for the elites to prove how tolerant they and their precious system are. It was only a very short matter of time before the war machine got in on the craze.
But nothing really changed. Queer kids and people of color are still oppressed. Transwomen still make up a disproportionate percentage of the prison population where we’re routinely raped, violated, and abused by the same people who drive home in Hybrids with rainbow bumper stickers. Black and Brown kids are still shot like dogs in the streets by cops who receive woke racial sensitivity training. And the CIA continues to drone, torture, and destroy the third world while wearing feminist t-shirts and inclusive lanyards. I am sickened to see my people used to legitimize the same system that enslaves us all and I refuse to play good dog to this benevolent master.
Categories: Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy