This, the third installment of my interview with leftist par excellence, Dr. Leon Marlensky, was supposed to be my last. It took an unexpected turn, though. The fourth installment will be the conclusion of the interview.
JK: So,Leon, you think that racial minorities and women in America are just as culpable as white men for promoting what you call “white supremacy?”
LM: I declare them just as guilty as those white men of today who benefit from White Supremacy as well as those of yesteryear who enslaved people of African descent and slaughtered the indigenous peoples of what we today call America. I declare them just as guilty as those white men who forced segregation upon women and people of African descent—
JK: Whoa. Excuse me. I know what you mean when you refer to the segregation of blacks—
LM: Correction: people of African descent. In earlier times, whites relied upon their whips, guns, and knives to corral so-called “blacks” into slave ships and then plantations. Today, whites continue to corral folks of African descent, except now they have traded in the physical weaponry for the ideological weaponry of abstract, homogenizing categories like “black.” And whites have turned from the slave ships and plantations to the ‘hoods, all offices of government, Hollywood, academia, professional sports and every and any other area of our society where they can ease their own racist fears by keeping a close eye on the objects of those fears.
JK: Well– -uh, wait. You have said a couple of things that I would like for you to elaborate upon. The race thing we can talk about in just a minute. As for women—
LM: Jack, there are no “races.” The concept of race is an exclusive term devised by whites to justify their oppressive designs over the rest of the world. It is an instrument of Eurocentric power.
JK: Ok, ok. Moving right along. What did you mean by “the segregation” of women?
LM: Uh, Earth to Jack: have you not noticed that nearly fifty years after the “whites” and “colored” signs came down we still have “men” and “women” signs hanging over restrooms all across this country? Haven’t you noticed that there remains gender segregation in virtually every department store in America? There is a clothing section for men and a clothing section for women; shoes for men, and shoes for women, sports leagues for men, and those for women, etc. Hell, even parenting is segregated along gender lines! Only a woman can be a mother, and only a man can be a father.
Have you ever considered any of this?
JK: No, I can’t say that I have. But let’s leave this behind. I want to return to something you said a moment ago. If today’s black—uh, if those people of African descent who are today politicians, academics, businessmen—
LM: Ah hem.
JK: Uh, businesspersons?
LM: Well, that’s not as inappropriate as businessmen, for it isn’t only men who are in business. But if you think about it, even “businesspersons” is less than acceptable, for—
JK: Leeeeon, please, I just want to spit out this one question for you!
LM: I’m sorry, Jack. We can get right to it after I make this point. Just as our everyday language is contaminated with racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and Christocentric bigotry, so too is it ridden with specieism. Your last remark confirms this.
JK: Once more, Leon, I’m not following you.
LM: “Businesspersons” may be gender-neutral, but it is not species-neutral. However, there have been and remain both non-human animals as well as plants that have been involved in business ventures of various sorts. And yet “businesspersons” glosses over this fact. Non-human animals and plants appear in television shows, commercials, films, and so forth.
Not only do we marginalize non-human animals and plants via the word “businessperson.” But the unrelenting anthropomorphism of our Disney culture insists upon imposing human traits upon them in popular art.
I would prefer that we drop “businesspersons” as well as “businessmen” and, instead, opt for the word “businessbeings.”
The fourth and FINAL part of my interview with Leon Marlensky will be published soon.