What would it take to make Sarah Kendzior admit this is not true?

Sarah Kendzior is a liar. But this is old news, with the Jacobinghazi affair perhaps the most high-profile example thus far. I toyed with a piece going through a history of her unhinged deception, but instead I think it’d be more interesting to keep things simple.

So here is a fun question: what would it take to make Sarah Kendzior admit that what she said in this tweet is not correct?

In this tweet, Kendzior claims Megan Erickson, editor at Jacobin magazine, advocated that Kendzior be raped. This did not happen. Nobody besides Sarah Kendzior thinks this happened on account of the fact that it didn’t happen. Even with Kendzior, I can’t be sure if this comment is an intentional lie or genuine but delusional. Her behavior on this topic is right on that edge where it’s cogent enough to think she may be in touch with reality, but deranged enough that you wonder if she’s mentally well.

In addition to not being true, this is a rather vicious smear to put on someone. It seems then, at the very minimum, Kendzior should be expected to recant this lie. But what would it take for that to happen? Would her sycophants have to turn on her? Would she refuse until the very end even after all the social capital she calls upon in these lunatic episodes dries up? I am genuinely curious.

Here’s another question: what would it take for Kendzior to admit this isn’t true either?

If you wonder why Kendzior suddenly stops tweeting when certain people get on her case, it’s because she goes to the DM to continue her usual silliness. In this case, she’s said people have told her Doug Williams — a black fellow in Alabama it should be pointed out only because that matters in this world — wants to hurt her. Is this true? I suspect it isn’t true because Williams has denied it, there is no evidence of it, it’d be crazy if he did do it and he doesn’t strike me as crazy, oh and because Kendzior is a liar, as we know.

What would it take to get Kendzior to recant this, do you think? My hopes are somewhat buoyed by the fact that there is a strong case to make, as Sarah Slamen did, that a white woman filling up people’s DMs saying a black man wants to hurt her when he doesn’t is pretty racist. Something about lynching and false accusations regarding black men’s behavior towards white women. It’s in the history books. I haven’t the time to explain it here. Anyways, surely this is the sort of lie that is seriously unconscionable, so much so that some of the people unconcerned about the lie pertaining to Megan Erickson could be moved. But maybe not. The social capital and wagon-circling go deep and it’s quite possible nothing could ever jar it open.

In these latest Kendzior episodes, I have been interested to see what exactly her defenders have to say about them. It’s not often that you have someone making vicious, over-the-top accusations about others that the public record of events show to be demonstrably false. Normally, there is enough grey area that people can carve out some theory as to how she’s not lying, but not in this case. So what do they say?

I expected that the people arguing that what she is doing is not heinous would just insist that everything she says is true and then dissemble when people point out it isn’t. That’s a common and easy strategy. But, interestingly, that’s not what has happened.

In the Jacobinghazi episode of the Sarah Kendzior Show, many of her supporters (most prominently @davidgraeber and @caulkthewagon) ultimately came around to the position that, although she’s clearly lying, the spewing of lies is driven by the trauma she is currently experiencing. The argument was that Jacobin running a post that links to her public tweet about bros sending rape threats was so traumatic an experience that she just could not control herself. Like a Vietnam Veteran who starts shooting people when he hears a car backfire, being linked in that Jacobin piece caused her to start shooting lies.

I thought this was a clever theory when I read it, even if a bit implausible given her track record of lying about others, which does not always correspond with any claimed trauma event. But given the fact that she has continued to say, now months later, that Erickson is advocating that she be raped, it would seem the “trauma-responding” theory of why she says lies about others doesn’t really hold up. I went back to see how @davidgraeber and @caulkthewagon were handling this apparent blow to the trauma-responding theory and I found this.

Graeber, I guess to his credit, has backed off his trauma-responding arguments. Kendzior is no longer under attack by links and phantom threats, so it’s fair game to wonder why she continues to lie.

@caulkthewagon, it seems, is holding steady to the trauma-responding defense even as the lies keep coming months later, when there is no conceivable trauma-related excuse for it. Shrug.

  • Phil Perspective

    Megan Erickson/Jacobin, Sarah Kendzior, Matt Bruenig are all pretty much on the same page politically.

    That is 100% false. Progressives don’t work at Freedom House.