There's No Pride in Anti-Semitism": Framing the 2019 DC Dyke March Ban of the Jewish Pride Flag through Facebook Comments
In this study, I investigate the ways in which Facebook users, through public comments they post on an LGBTQ+ organization’s page, multimodally construct diverse interpretations and meanings of an event. Bringing together Bateson’s (1972) and Goffman’s (1974) interactional understandings of frame with Entman’s (1993) conception of frame as a sense of perceived reality made salient to the self and others, I demonstrate the ways in which interactants use multimodal communicative strategies on Facebook to construct frames of interpretation to problematize an aspect of the 2019 Dyke March in Washington, DC, and ultimately, the organization itself. Days ahead of the 2019 DC Dyke March, organizers banned the Jewish pride flag, claiming that the flag, with the Star of David in the center of a rainbow flag, is reminiscent of the Israeli flag, and is thus a symbol of “violent nationalism” against their queer values of anti-Zionism. This caused a large outcry from both local and national queer (and) Jewish communities, as many claimed the ban was anti-Semitic.A great deal of discourse surrounding the DC Dyke March’s flag ban took place through Facebook posts published by the DC Dyke March and subsequent comments posted by community members. I perform a multimodal discourse analysis of 301 Facebook comments posted in response to two Facebook posts published by the DC Dyke March in June 2019 in which the Dyke March discusses their ban of the Jewish pride flag. I show how Facebook commenters construct three frames to problematize the DC Dyke March and its organizers’ decision, including: (1) the March is anti-Semitic, (2) the March spreads untruths and inaccuracies, and (3) the March is morally inconsistent, with respect to progressive, queer, and Jewish values. I highlight textual references to, and images of and related to the Star of David; rhetorical questions; constructed dialogue; references to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; symbols; and other images, including memes, as multimodal communicative strategies through which interactants construct frames of interpretation online. This study contributes to literature on framing and multimodal computer-mediated discourse by illuminating how frames are constructed through specific linguistic and multimodal strategies online, while also demonstrating how queerness is viewed in the LGBTQ+ community as an ideology which transcends gender and sexuality to encompass other aspects of social identity, such as religion and political orientation.
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