Boubah Barry, a Guinean immigrant and real estate student, saw a striking pair riding on his subway into Manhattan on February 19. He snapped a photo, and posted it to his Instagram page. The post was shared by the Instagram account “subwaycreatures,” and eventually /pol/ News Network attached it to a tweet this week with the message “This is the future that liberals want” as a warning about the danger posed by progressive policies. Naturally, progressives saw nothing alarming about the scene, flooded the site with defiant endorsements of diversity, and shot the meme around the Internet with the same message: This is the future that liberals want, and so there! Then the satirists, adsurdists, and apolitical got into the act—thank god—and we had this kind of thing…
and, my personal favorite, this...
1. The alt-right message of the meme is incomprehensible to the extent it isn’t ugly. What is “This is the future that liberals want” supposed to inply, in reference to that photo? Liberals want drag queens to use public transportation? Liberals want passengers who sit next to each other on subways to have nothing in common and to ignore each other? What does a radical conservative want to say by posting that meme? That we should put people like this in camps? It’s like a weird idiot test. If you say, “Friggin’ right, man–crazy libtards!”, what are you advocating, exactly?
The only rational response is, “I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, or why you think it’s significant.”
2. The progressive interpretation is only slightly better. I hate to point out the obvious, but that photo is the present, and has been for a while. I saw similar couplings when I rode the T in Boston 40 years ago. For the Left, this is mindless virtue-signaling, and as a template for a healthy society, the photo is ominous. If it showed the two diverse individuals happily chatting, that would be a cultural development to be applauded. Does anyone really think that the Muslim woman isn’t nauseated by having to sit near someone her religion would target for death? The guy in drag, meanwhile, is oblivious to the world around him thank to a preference for electronic devices over, say, life. Is that the future that liberals want? A diverse population that is completely self-absorbed and isolated, even when sitting next to each other? The liberal worship of diversity for diversity’s sake has always been bereft of a substantive rational or even an understanding of what is meant by “diversity.” Nations need strong, coherent cultures. Nations without them fail. Worshiping diversity for its own sake is like praising chaos. Inclusion? Great. Equal opportunity? Madison is applauding. Respect for all? Sure. Condemning bigotry and discrimination? Absolutely.
Claiming that a Muslim woman and a cross-dresser sitting together is any better, more desirable or more virtuous than two guys who look like Beach Boys?
3. Funny, I thought liberals were champions of women’s rights. That Muslim woman is in the process of being abused by a biased, anti-female, totalitarian religion and culture. Liberals want more such abused women in the future? As long as they sit stoically next to drag queens, that is? Why?
4. Taking pictures of strangers in public when they can be identified—yup, there’s one argument for the burka—and posting them to the web without their consent is unethical.
Don’t do that.
5. It is a sign of the culture’s canary dying in the mine that Americans are so polarized that the same meme can be widely interpreted as a condemnation and a badge of honor simultaneously.
6. The episode also bolsters the Ethics Alarms position that political memes simplify complex issues into brain-rotting idiocy that impedes productive debate. Like bumper stickers, they are short-cut arguments for those who lack the information, vocabulary and wit to make a valid argument.
Somebody tell my Facebook friends that they embarrass themselves and fall lower in my respect and estimation every time they post one.
7. The parodies, on the other hand, illustrate what’s best about America, and why the national urge to be defiant, irreverent, ironic and eccentric can be our salvation.