User:Woozle/Zinnia Jones

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Unfinished update: This page has not yet been revised to reflect the discovery of the 2016-10-18 Tweetstorm.

Background

This page is for ongoing analysis of claims that Zinnia Jones is a fascist or an anti-Semite or some such thing. I'm aware that there are a lot of right-wingers and trolls who like to dishonestly paint her in the worst possible light, so I'd always dismissed these claims – until someone credible to me started making similar claims, at which point I felt compelled to investigate (August 2017).

Just so you know where I'm coming from: I became aware of ZJ via Pharyngula, shortly before she had even realized she was trans (maybe 5 years ago?). I don't follow her on Twitter; I do follow her on YouTube, but I had to actually check to be sure because I rarely watch her videos; I mainly use them as reference arguments in case the same subject comes up elsewhere.

That said, I do know she has been attacked personally over and over again, usually (but not always) by people of a right-wing or at least authoritarian bent, and I have found her defenses to be well-reasoned and ethically sound.

For the record, my August 21 take on the situation is here. As of August 25, the existence of the supposed offensive Tweetstorm has become much more dubious, as almost nothing seems to reference it (with the exception of one very vague comment in 2017: "I promise you I'm not exaggerating, she had a weeks-long meltdown about how good drones were").

Fisking

2010

Yep, that was kind of oblivious. When Jewish people are persecuted, it is generally through racial accusations rather than their beliefs; persecutors do not give their targets the choice to opt out.

That said, I don't think it was intentionally offensive or a dog-whistle. I would have liked to see the follow-up on that – but apparently this wasn't a comment people were truly incensed about; there were no replies, not even in the 2017 thread where it was brought up again.

2016

September 4

October

What people got upset about, apparently, was ZJ comparing Trump to God using the Old Testament word "Yahweh" to refer to God.

A few people took this as anti-Semitic, for reasons that remain unclear; ZJ clarified that she hadn't intended to target the Jewish faith, but rather all monotheism ("Christianity's deity, Islam's, LDS Church's, etc.") and then apologized for her poor choice of phrasing.

It should be noted that she also implicated Jesus Christ ("Yeshu of Nazareth") in her comparison, so how is this singling out Jewish people? The accusation seems dishonest, given this.

Meanwhile the same people are trying to tell ZJ that criticizing Yahweh "isn't your place" (implicit argument: you may not criticize a religion unless you are a member of that religion – although this is never explained straight out). ZJ rightly declines to be bound by the unspoken rules of a religion she does not follow.

All in all, this reads like fundamentalists taking umbrage at seeing their faith in any way impugned, and using accusations of anti-semitism as a soldier argument to attempt to shut that criticism down.

The only legit argument I see buried in all of this (and it's pretty deeply buried, so she can hardly be faulted for missing it) is that someone who has experienced anti-Semitism is likely to be a better judge of what comes across as anti-Semitic than someone who has never experienced that particular form of bigotry.

What I do not see is any legit arguments that ZJ is actually anti-Semitic, much less that she was putting out some sort of dog whistle as a covert invitation for an anti-Semitic pile-on.

2017

June 9

Unless there's a lot more offensive stuff that ZJ said, this apology seems to me more than adequate; I'm not sure I'd have been so patient; it feels to me like she was doing the intellectual heavy-lifting of distilling the valid arguments from the personal attacks that were leveled against her.