xenologer: (happy!)
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My dinner party would be Alan Turing, Ellen Degeneres, Michelle Obama, and John Brown.

(This is just an extension of my dream to someday use time travel to give Alan Turing a hug. I'd like to give him a hug and introduce him to Ellen.)
xenologer: (happy!)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

My dinner party would be Alan Turing, Ellen Degeneres, Michelle Obama, and John Brown.

(This is just an extension of my dream to someday use time travel to give Alan Turing a hug. I'd like to give him a hug and introduce him to Ellen.)
xenologer: (happy!)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

My dinner party would be Alan Turing, Ellen Degeneres, Michelle Obama, and John Brown.

(This is just an extension of my dream to someday use time travel to give Alan Turing a hug. I'd like to give him a hug and introduce him to Ellen.)
xenologer: (everybody's aunt)
I am having a hard time finding RP boards that are up to my standards, and not because I am such a fantastic writer that threading with my inferiors feels too much like slumming. I am having a hard time with a lot of the bigotry and bullshit in people's settings and character assortments. It feels weird, too, because I sort of feel like as a nice white (mostly-straight cis)lady it's not really... for me to complain about, I guess? But... uh... what in the fuck. Someone's got to complain about it, and the more someones who are commenting on it, the better. I guess.

It still feels weird. I'm not sure that it should be a great contribution to a conversation to just regurgitate what I've heard and read and learned from LGBT people and POC, but at the same time I suppose more privileged people should be getting up in arms about this shit, so even if it feels weird, I am probably doing a good thing. I hope.

This started as a post in a thread about bigotry in online RP and I thought I would reproduce it here just so that I could complain to more people. A lot of the things I am complaining about don't even directly deal with demographics I'm a part of, which should tell you how bad they can get. For the most part none of these are issues I deal with personally except that living in a world where they are commonplace sort of sucks for everyone. I can't even imagine what it'd be like to be, say, an LGBT woman of color trying to find a place to roleplay online that wasn't full of bullshit. So I am griping about it.

Congrats. You get my complaining. Aren't you so grateful. I will cut this in case you don't want to read it, because there is a lot of it.

Read more... )
xenologer: (objection!)
Okay, I have yet again had "this country was intended to function like X and we need to put it back like that" thrown at me, this time by a Ron Paul supporter but eh. It's too pervasive for me to just point at them and say it's their argument, though I'll get to him when I've picked apart that little highly-polished ball of shit.

Here's my feeling.

I am a lot less reverent of "the way things were intended to be" than I am "how things would need to be so that privileged and currently-marginalized people can have equality of opportunity."

The country we create means a lot more to me than the degree to which it matches someone else's idea of sufficient faithfulness to the ideological orthodoxy of a group of social contract theorists two centuries ago who had no more experience with the kind of culture I want to live in now than anybody else did at the time.

So rather than spending the rest of my life building a political theory around slavish obedience to the ideals of men who owned black people and mostly didn't think women were qualified to vote, I'm going to look at politics and government as a problem-solving exercise, not a test of my loyalty to "the founders."

Some of the same people who'd never argue that we should do whatever the Bible says (or seems to say) because it's a book written by people will nonetheless kill and die to demonstrate their unwillingness to depart from centuries-old ideas about what America should be like. I don't get it.

I don't think "the founders" were necessarily any wiser men than we have today. They had great ideas (though a lot of that was just them having the sense to identify ideas worth copying from other cultures), but they gave us a starting point. The Constitution they wrote is a great place to start, but it's not perfect enough as a place to finish.

That's why I can't join the libertarian party's devotional cult dedicated to "the founders" or their ideals. I am fairly familiar with what they wanted, where they differed with one another, and with whom I'd likely have agreed if I'd been around then.

Fact remains, though, that we're further along in this experiment than they were. We know things now that they didn't then, and if we're more concerned about orthodoxy than which policies will actually create a nation of equal opportunity... then I feel like that's way more of a betrayal of their legacy than anything I'm arguing for.

Read more... )
xenologer: (do not even)
How Not To Be A Doofus When Accused Of Racism (A Guide For White People)
Don’t make it about you. Usually the thing to do is apologize for what you said and move on. Especially if you’re in a meeting or something, resist your desire to turn the meeting into a seminar on How Against Racism You Are. The subject of the conversation is probably not “your many close Black friends, and your sincere longstanding and deep abhorrence of racism.”


On the term "people of colour."
'People of colour' is a collective label for people oppressed by racism. This is how I use it. Insofar as my racial identity has mostly been shaped by racism in a western context, I identify strongly with it. I think it's important to have an empowering self-definition. It allows me to exercise my agency about my own racialisation, by working together with other people of colour to transform our lives and the world around us. If I didn't identify as a person of colour, I'd be subject to a whole lot of disempowering, bureaucratic classifications of who I am, that depoliticise and naturalise the ways that I'm oppressed. I use the term people of colour to politicise and denormalise racism.

Yes, the term suggests that all people who are not white have something in common. For some people, it may be tenuous, but I think what we have in common is an interest in eliminating racism. It represents our best aspirations towards solidarity, coalition, and mutual respect. (...)

I also call bullshit on the "you're oppressing yourself!" criticism of the term 'people of colour'. No, acknowledging power relations doesn't oppress you, oppression oppresses you. So does denial about it and pretending that racism doesn't serialise people in such a way as they have something in common with each other.


How to suppress discussions of racism.
Our goal is to show you a few simple techniques you can use to suppress the discussion of racism. As you read, keep in mind that your goal is not to learn or to educate, to listen or be listened to, to increase your understanding of difficult issues, or to exchange opinions and communicate with other people. Your goal is to make discussions of race so difficult and unrewarding that not only your opponent but any witnesses to your argument will never want to discuss race in public again.

Let's get started!


White people cannot know how it feels to be a person of colour.
Sometimes a white person may declare that she knows how it feels to be a person of colour, because she has spent a lot of time amongst people of colour. Other people of colour may then declare that she does not know how it feels, because she is white. The white person may then think that she is being discriminated against because of the colour of her skin, that those who accuse her of not empathizing are just making assumptions based on stereotypes about white people.
xenologer: (everybody's aunt)
As I discussed in a previous entry, the more I look at the Occupy Movement, the more I think it's powered by white people who are only now realizing that white privilege doesn't buy what it used to. Then they find that not only are they not guaranteed college, jobs after college, and financial stability, but now the cops are spraying and beating them like they're... well... not white! The shock. The indignation.

I can't really be shocked, though. I mean, I know a lot of people are still in denial about what the enforcement of our political and economic system looks like, but people of color in particular have never had that luxury. We can talk all we want about how not all cops are bad, but if the best cops we can hope for are ones that do not actively abuse protesters and merely stand by while other cops do... well... I think we'll see the rest of the 99% catching up with what poor people, homeless people, and people of color have known about police all along.

The Zimbardo Prison Experiment isn't just a freaky footnote in psychology courses. It's real, and some people have been living it this whole time. No wonder they're looking at the Occupy Movement (both those watching at home who are shocked that the police are being scary, and those in denial who insist that the police are just misunderstood) and shaking their heads at all the privileged people just now getting a taste.

The challenge is going to be remembering these lessons when middle-class white people have gotten what they need and poor people, people of color, LGBT people, etc. have not (because I firmly believe they will be the last). The challenge is going to be remembering what it was like to have to fear police repression once things go back to how they were and it's just happening to Those Other People again.

On a more personal note, Indianapolis has a second occupation movement going on, and I want to be around just because it is apparently not usual for conversations about privilege to be had. I want to be there for it, but I think before I can do that that I need some kind of taste of what I could be building. I want to go to a space where solidarity is a Thing. I want to talk to people who believe that compassion can be a way of life. I want to participate in a decent group founded on a consensus model.

If I want those things, though, I guess there's nowhere I can really go for them. I don't know if I'm qualified to help build them, but I guess I have to. Do I have the energy? Do I have the expertise? Can I do that?

Maybe there's an occupation near me that I could visit to help out a little before I go back to try and build something decent on the crumbled nasty wreckage of Indy's first attempt. I could use some inspiration. It's hard to let my local organizers give me that, because the more I think about it the more unsure I am that they would understand what inspires me at all.
xenologer: (do not even)
On the new message board for the new Indy Occupation (IndyOWS), a thread was started with the following prompt:
Post only what you want to share, like where you're from, what brought you to IndyOWS, what would you most like to see accomplished by the Occupy Movement...

This is OUR forum, let's start sharing!


This is what I posted. It's not perfect, but I thought I'd preserve it here for posterity, if only to look back on it in a few years and cringe. I sort of hope I do. The fact that I look back on stuff I've written only two years ago and think, "Oh fuck I didn't know anything," is a good thing. It means that I must have learned something during that time.

Anyway. There's a conversation that I haven't really seen happening in my local Occupy movement, and I think it's largely because while we have some truly amazing and badass people of color helping out... it's a lot of white people. The best of these white people probably just don't feel like they're qualified to talk about racism and what kind of damage it really does, and they're right. But the alternative? Not talking about it at all?

I don't know. It just doesn't feel right.

So I figured I would at least try. I'm sure I'll screw it up and I'm sure I really don't know much when it comes down to it, but I just can't see how I'm helping anybody by sitting and being quiet and hoping that a person of color will come along and say it all perfectly.

I wrote it while I wrote this entry, so you'll see some stuff repeated as I refine my thoughts and put on my big girl pants to try something that I know going in I probably won't be very good at.

Read more... )
xenologer: (human monsters)
Someone I was FB friends with posted this:

SO SOME STUPID MOTHER FUCKERS THINK THAT THEY ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE ONES ON THE FRONT LINE THAT THEY BREAK OFF FROM THOSE OF US ON THE FRONT LINE TO MAKE THEIR OWN "OCCUPY"....HOW MUCH SOLIDARITY IS THERE IN THAT....YOU TALK SHIT THEN RUN THE FUCK AWAY....YOU FUCKING COWARDS....WHEN THE TEARGAS AND RUBBER BULLETS BEGIN TO FLY....YOU BITCH ASS MOTHER FUCKERS WILL BE "OCCUPYING" YOU FUCKING COMPUTERS


I answered, "I know why I stopped attending, but I strongly doubt you're interested in hearing why."

He replied, "would love to ashley" and "so you dont know as much about me as you think"

I posted the following status on my own wall.

I am immediately unfriending all of the cockbags who think that distancing myself from the dangerously unstable and, yes, violent people who've latched onto the Indianapolis occupation makes me a bad activist. Newsflash: Women and people of color are always asked to put up with danger from their fellow activists "for the cause," and that is what you are asking. If you don't value my safety, you don't get my help.


Before I unfriended that person in accordance with my statement, I saw that he had liked the status. The guy who called us "fucking cowards."

Fuck you. You are an entire bag of dicks.

I would really like to try and help the new occupation group be founded on some different attitudes, but that's just a hope. I am not certain of my success. I mean, I can start the conversation, but if the only people I have to talk to are guys like this? I don't know.

Fucking stupid.

In the interests of being productive, does anybody have good links to offer so that I can provide reading material to some of my fellow occupiers? I have a friend who has been hooking me up, but if you've read something especially good that you want a bunch of white liberal activists to be reading, I've got some that I'd like to pass them on to.
xenologer: (objection!)
My dad posted this article on Facebook, and I ended up sort of wall-of-texting at him. In the interests of not having to type this again in case I need it, I'm saving it here.

I'm not terribly fond of people using some highly-fictionalized privilege-friendly white-coddling version of Dr. King's work as a stick to hit people with who dare bring up race like there might still be racism and like maybe we still have work to do and white people still need to check ourselves.

In The De-Christianizing of Dr. King, Peter Heck complains that there were no direct references to Christ or God on the monument or in the selected quotes.

My first thought was yeah, well, they somehow managed not to explicitly mention race or racism, either. If they won't let him be a hero to Christian social justice activists, at least they're not letting him be a hero to black people either. (And yes, I find both of these two things inexcusable, though hardly inexplicable.)

The sterilization of Dr. King's positions and work is really interesting, if sort of maddening. To hear the way he's discussed now, he was a nonconfrontational and nonthreatening friendly black Santa who didn't challenge anybody's ideas of justice, racial equality, or what kind of social justice battles Christians could be considered OBLIGATED by their religion to fight (but which many of them just try not to think about). He asked politely and quietly for equality and eventually it was handed to him because he was nice enough to say please and then sit down and wait for white people to be comfortable with his ideas.

I mean, by all serious accounts I've read (by which I mean to exclude the children's books they have people read in grade-school American history courses), King was considered a dangerous radical. Sure, you had X running around being even more of a scary angry black man, but it's not like people saw King during his time the way memorials like this seem to be trying to get him viewed in hindsight.

Everybody LIKES Dr. King because at this point in our culture you sort of have to like him as a symbol of... of well, whatever we're calling the best American ideals and behavior at any given time. What not everybody would like is being faced with someone like him today. When King died, wasn't his approval rating only like 30%?

Then again, I have basically the same view on Jesus. Americans are sort of all required to at least have some vague bland fondness for him as a symbol of kindness and generosity, but it's a lot easier to feel that way about him when he died way too long ago to turn over anybody's tables or assail anyone in the face with a whip.

As long as Jesus is this amiable white guy telling us we're God's favorites and not telling us that means we should change how we do things or think about our fellow humans a certain way, Jesus is great and we're all allowed to sign on with a loose version of his ideas. As long as Dr. King is this amiable black guy telling us we can all get along and not telling white people that it requires we change how we do things and think about our fellow humans (both black and Asian) a certain way, King is great and we're all allowed to sign on with a loose version of his ideas.

I think maybe it's because he said a lot of inflammatory things that are actually still basically true. It'd be a lot easier to honor the real work he did and the real reasons he did it and the real people he was working for if we didn't still have his opposition hanging around acting like mentioning racism is a dirty trick conversation ender. (For example, this article condemns people who call out racism today as though they were somehow BETRAYING King's legacy rather than continuing it.)

I don't think the people who put up this monument would enjoy or appreciate the Dr. King who really existed and was such a controversial figure in his time.

Honestly, though? I don't think the guy who wrote this article would, either, and I don't think he'd get on with Jesus any better. Just a lot of dangerous radicals bringing class warfare and race relations into everything and bothering all the comfortable privileged people who just want to live their lives pretending that nobody else's problems have anything to do with them.

I mean, what King would have to say to Peter Heck, who wrote in this very article:

While King dreamed of the day when ours was a colorblind society, the left seems intent on bringing color into every political discussion. In just the last two years, liberals have used race to condemn conservatives for their opposition to high unemployment, increased debt, stimulus spending, climate change policies, the occupy Wall Street protests, and for the mere observation that food stamp usage has skyrocketed under President Obama.


Sounds like somebody still doesn't want race discussed at all, and isn't even open to CONSIDERING whether racism might need to at least be an explanation on the table. What would King have thought of that?

Despite new laws, little has changed...The Negro is still the poorest American -- walled in by color and poverty. The law pronounces him equal -- abstractly -- but his conditions of life are still far from equal. -- Negroes Are Not Moving Too Fast, 1964


Heck is right that King's work is being sterilized of much of its substance to make him a less threatening and challenging figure, but I'd find Heck's criticism a lot more compelling if he were not doing the exact same thing. Just as he derides the planners of this monument for recasting King as the kind of guy who didn't work from Christ's teachings, Heck recasts King as the kind of guy who didn't want to have conversations about race and racism (that are uncomfortable, but mainly only for white people).

Heck has himself remade King in his own image, and while he's not the only one doing it, it puts him in a damn poor position to gripe at anybody else.
xenologer: (everybody's aunt)
So it turns out when you deport your exploited refugee workforce, you don't have a conveniently-exploitable workforce anymore. OHNOES.

Georgia's new crackdown on illegal immigration has been law since July 1. Farmers say it's scaring away both documented and undocumented workers. And now other sectors are beginning to feel the pinch. Some businesses say without these workers, they can't get the job done.

John Barbour's company, Bold Spring Nursery, is one of those businesses. Barbour grows 200 varieties of shade trees on his 1,100-acre farm in Pulaski County, south of Macon.

It's painstaking work. Employees manually prune specimens for high-end landscapes. Barbour's trees dot the Augusta National golf course and the Washington Monument.

Driving on his farm, Barbour says he's lost five workers since May.

"We had three Latinos quit, and move out of Georgia, and say they no longer felt safe in Georgia," Barbour said, while driving around his farm last month. "They didn't walk up to me and say, 'Hey I'm here illegally and I have to get going,' but now it's probably safe to assume that was the situation."

He continues, "You could look at that and say, 'Mission accomplished, right?' That's what we are trying to do, is get rid of illegal immigrants, but..."

"Now you have to fill those jobs."

"That's right," he said.

In an attempt to replace them, Barbour hired two Americans. Tending to trees in the hot sun, they couldn't handle the same hours as he and his migrant workers.

"They lasted seven weeks," which was longer than usual, he said. "The problem was, during those seven weeks, we averaged 47 hours a week working, and they averaged 27 hours a week."


Link courtesy of elf.

I keep reminding myself that this is going to affect a lot of people who are not personally to blame for the fact that a large part of our economy is built on near-slavery and that I shouldn't be happy that they're going to suffer the economic consequences of the voting habits of Georgia racists (or at least those willing to pander to Georgia's racists). Living in Indiana, though, I am just all out of sympathy. I have heard too many people complain about how we got all these gottdamn illiguls stealin jobs and tax dollers an' we oughta just kick 'em all out.

But god fucking forbid they have to pay an extra dollar for fruit. Their racism and their reasoning are seriously not getting along here, and it's like a shit-ton of people didn't see this coming. Little known history fact: building an economy on the exploitation of people who are too desperate or scared to demand better is bad, and for more reasons than "slavery is mean."

Overall I'm just fucking pissed that we still have to contend with the "but if we end slavery, the prices of shit will go up because we'll have to treat workers like people" argument in twenty goddamn eleven.

Amusingly, just this morning I was remembering a conversation I had with Glenn Welch (the guy who writes the Things Mr. Welch is not Allowed to do in an RPG lists) about this years ago. He's one of those "ragh unlimited capitalism will solve all things because the free market is magic" guys, but he was simultaneously arguing that undocumented migrants are terrible JUST TERRIBLE because they're willing to work for less and in shitty conditions and as a result no self-respecting American can compete with them.

When I pointed out that it's ridiculous to argue that people who fail to compete in a capitalist market deserve what they get and also to argue that white American workers should be sheltered from the consequences of their failure to compete with migrant workers, he changed his tune and started talking about how awful the companies are who hire these workers to exploit them and how really we have to deport them all for their own good because illegal immigration is just so tragic. That didn't stop him from going all "THEY'RE STEALIN UR JOBS BY WINNING AT CAPITALISM OH WOE IS WHITE" on later occasions. This is typical of every conversation I have had with the kind of people whose votes are responsible for laws like Georgia's, and the one we got in Indiana more recently.

Pissed. Baffled. Also pissed.
xenologer: (objection!)
There's something I understand better now than I used to back when I was self-identifying as a theist. I, too, was really upset that atheists were so prejudiced and bigoted and just pigeonholed any religious people they knew and assumed that if you aren't an atheist, you're an enemy. Or something.

I understand marginalization and privilege a little better now, though. Only some of it is from beginning to identify as an atheist. A lot of it's stuff I've heard from LGBT people and people of color and feminists and just... y'know, people who have experience with this stuff. Here's what I've learned about generalizing about the members (or affiliates) of organizations that hate me (or you, or someone else, or whoever).

It's hard sometimes, when someone walks up wearing the badge and uniform of one's oppressors, to assume that they don't want to be associated with the other people wearing it. It's hard for me (for example) to see someone who self-identifies as Catholic and not see an ally of the homophobia, misogyny, and just general callousness that characterizes that organization. They may not personally hate women or gays or child rape victims, but they're comfortable affiliating with an organization that plainly does, and I have to wonder at that rate whether they're true allies.

Sadly, that type of Christianity is still setting the tone in a lot of the country. While I'm supportive of the efforts of other Christians to clean up their image, I no longer feel like I should suffer at the hands of the Christian cultural system and simultaneously do their PR for them. When more Christians are like Quakers, I'll talk about them like more of them are Quakers.

I get that it's got to suck having people running around acting a fool who are using teachings from the same book as you are to do some terrible things to innocent people. It always sucks to feel like someone else has enough control over your reputation to screw with it by being bigots and just generally showing their whole ass to the world.

That's the thing, though, about continuing to wear the badge and uniform of a group that--for a lot of people--has done them nothing but personal and very tangible harm. Depending on how badly they've been hurt and for how long and how much hope they have left, they might just assume that you're an ally to the people who hurt them. They're not assuming this because they're bigoted, or bullies, or intolerant. They're assuming it because they're tired of giving chances to people who put on that uniform and then getting kicked in the face for it. So... they stop taking the risk.

I'm not quite there yet, but I've seen people get there, and it's hard for me to begrudge them. It's not hate. It's hurt, and it's weariness, and they're right. They should never have had to always be the one giving out chance after chance after chance to people who didn't take it. It's hard exhausting work, and the people I know who've given up on trying to find common ground with Christians? That's why.

So this is why I've stopped saying, "Not all straight/cis/white/etc. people are like that! Please only talk about your painful experiences in a way that protects my feelings!" and it's why I think it'd be great if Christians did, too.

edit: Originally posted at http://xenologer.dreamwidth.org/350821.html, where there is excellent discussion happening.
xenologer: (objection!)
There's something I understand better now than I used to back when I was self-identifying as a theist. I, too, was really upset that atheists were so prejudiced and bigoted and just pigeonholed any religious people they knew and assumed that if you aren't an atheist, you're an enemy. Or something.

I understand marginalization and privilege a little better now, though. Only some of it is from beginning to identify as an atheist. A lot of it's stuff I've heard from LGBT people and people of color and feminists and just... y'know, people who have experience with this stuff. Here's what I've learned about generalizing about the members (or affiliates) of organizations that hate me (or you, or someone else, or whoever).

It's hard sometimes, when someone walks up wearing the badge and uniform of one's oppressors, to assume that they don't want to be associated with the other people wearing it. It's hard for me (for example) to see someone who self-identifies as Catholic and not see an ally of the homophobia, misogyny, and just general callousness that characterizes that organization. They may not personally hate women or gays or child rape victims, but they're comfortable affiliating with an organization that plainly does, and I have to wonder at that rate whether they're true allies.

Sadly, that type of Christianity is still setting the tone in a lot of the country. While I'm supportive of the efforts of other Christians to clean up their image, I no longer feel like I should suffer at the hands of the Christian cultural system and simultaneously do their PR for them. When more Christians are like Quakers, I'll talk about them like more of them are Quakers.

I get that it's got to suck having people running around acting a fool who are using teachings from the same book as you are to do some terrible things to innocent people. It always sucks to feel like someone else has enough control over your reputation to screw with it by being bigots and just generally showing their whole ass to the world.

That's the thing, though, about continuing to wear the badge and uniform of a group that--for a lot of people--has done them nothing but personal and very tangible harm. Depending on how badly they've been hurt and for how long and how much hope they have left, they might just assume that you're an ally to the people who hurt them. They're not assuming this because they're bigoted, or bullies, or intolerant. They're assuming it because they're tired of giving chances to people who put on that uniform and then getting kicked in the face for it. So... they stop taking the risk.

I'm not quite there yet, but I've seen people get there, and it's hard for me to begrudge them. It's not hate. It's hurt, and it's weariness, and they're right. They should never have had to always be the one giving out chance after chance after chance to people who didn't take it. It's hard exhausting work, and the people I know who've given up on trying to find common ground with Christians? That's why.

So this is why I've stopped saying, "Not all straight/cis/white/etc. people are like that! Please only talk about your painful experiences in a way that protects my feelings!" and it's why I think it'd be great if Christians did, too.

edit: Originally posted at http://xenologer.dreamwidth.org/350821.html, where there is excellent discussion happening.
xenologer: (objection!)
There's something I understand better now than I used to back when I was self-identifying as a theist. I, too, was really upset that atheists were so prejudiced and bigoted and just pigeonholed any religious people they knew and assumed that if you aren't an atheist, you're an enemy. Or something.

I understand marginalization and privilege a little better now, though. Only some of it is from beginning to identify as an atheist. A lot of it's stuff I've heard from LGBT people and people of color and feminists and just... y'know, people who have experience with this stuff. Here's what I've learned about generalizing about the members (or affiliates) of organizations that hate me (or you, or someone else, or whoever).

It's hard sometimes, when someone walks up wearing the badge and uniform of one's oppressors, to assume that they don't want to be associated with the other people wearing it. It's hard for me (for example) to see someone who self-identifies as Catholic and not see an ally of the homophobia, misogyny, and just general callousness that characterizes that organization. They may not personally hate women or gays or child rape victims, but they're comfortable affiliating with an organization that plainly does, and I have to wonder at that rate whether they're true allies.

Sadly, that type of Christianity is still setting the tone in a lot of the country. While I'm supportive of the efforts of other Christians to clean up their image, I no longer feel like I should suffer at the hands of the Christian cultural system and simultaneously do their PR for them. When more Christians are like Quakers, I'll talk about them like more of them are Quakers.

I get that it's got to suck having people running around acting a fool who are using teachings from the same book as you are to do some terrible things to innocent people. It always sucks to feel like someone else has enough control over your reputation to screw with it by being bigots and just generally showing their whole ass to the world.

That's the thing, though, about continuing to wear the badge and uniform of a group that--for a lot of people--has done them nothing but personal and very tangible harm. Depending on how badly they've been hurt and for how long and how much hope they have left, they might just assume that you're an ally to the people who hurt them. They're not assuming this because they're bigoted, or bullies, or intolerant. They're assuming it because they're tired of giving chances to people who put on that uniform and then getting kicked in the face for it. So... they stop taking the risk.

I'm not quite there yet, but I've seen people get there, and it's hard for me to begrudge them. It's not hate. It's hurt, and it's weariness, and they're right. They should never have had to always be the one giving out chance after chance after chance to people who didn't take it. It's hard exhausting work, and the people I know who've given up on trying to find common ground with Christians? That's why.

So this is why I've stopped saying, "Not all straight/cis/white/etc. people are like that! Please only talk about your painful experiences in a way that protects my feelings!" and it's why I think it'd be great if Christians did, too.

edit: Originally posted at http://xenologer.dreamwidth.org/350821.html, where there is excellent discussion happening.
xenologer: (objection!)
There's something I understand better now than I used to back when I was self-identifying as a theist. I, too, was really upset that atheists were so prejudiced and bigoted and just pigeonholed any religious people they knew and assumed that if you aren't an atheist, you're an enemy. Or something.

I understand marginalization and privilege a little better now, though. Only some of it is from beginning to identify as an atheist. A lot of it's stuff I've heard from LGBT people and people of color and feminists and just... y'know, people who have experience with this stuff. Here's what I've learned about generalizing about the members (or affiliates) of organizations that hate me (or you, or someone else, or whoever).

It's hard sometimes, when someone walks up wearing the badge and uniform of one's oppressors, to assume that they don't want to be associated with the other people wearing it. It's hard for me (for example) to see someone who self-identifies as Catholic and not see an ally of the homophobia, misogyny, and just general callousness that characterizes that organization. They may not personally hate women or gays or child rape victims, but they're comfortable affiliating with an organization that plainly does, and I have to wonder at that rate whether they're true allies.

Sadly, that type of Christianity is still setting the tone in a lot of the country. While I'm supportive of the efforts of other Christians to clean up their image, I no longer feel like I should suffer at the hands of the Christian cultural system and simultaneously do their PR for them. When more Christians are like Quakers, I'll talk about them like more of them are Quakers.

I get that it's got to suck having people running around acting a fool who are using teachings from the same book as you are to do some terrible things to innocent people. It always sucks to feel like someone else has enough control over your reputation to screw with it by being bigots and just generally showing their whole ass to the world.

That's the thing, though, about continuing to wear the badge and uniform of a group that--for a lot of people--has done them nothing but personal and very tangible harm. Depending on how badly they've been hurt and for how long and how much hope they have left, they might just assume that you're an ally to the people who hurt them. They're not assuming this because they're bigoted, or bullies, or intolerant. They're assuming it because they're tired of giving chances to people who put on that uniform and then getting kicked in the face for it. So... they stop taking the risk.

I'm not quite there yet, but I've seen people get there, and it's hard for me to begrudge them. It's not hate. It's hurt, and it's weariness, and they're right. They should never have had to always be the one giving out chance after chance after chance to people who didn't take it. It's hard exhausting work, and the people I know who've given up on trying to find common ground with Christians? That's why.

So this is why I've stopped saying, "Not all straight/cis/white/etc. people are like that! Please only talk about your painful experiences in a way that protects my feelings!" and it's why I think it'd be great if Christians did, too.
xenologer: (human monsters)
Obligatory mention of the attacks in Oslo.

Obviously the groups he was a member of and who were his (apparent) ideological guiding posts are appalled, you guys, just aghast and amazed that someone went out and did what they all seem to want done.

Sound familiar to you? Sounds familiar to me. Remember, kids. Every politically-motivated right-wing white murderer is an isolated case and not a real terrorist representative of any kind of trend and remember that people on the left are just as likely to gun down strangers. Right? So let's ignore the right-wingers and get back to being scared of brown Muslims.

More links!

Anders Behring Breivik was deranged, but also a serious conservative political thinker! Didn't complain enough about Jews in his manifesto, though, so Richard Spencer is going to fill in some gaps by linking to Kevin MacDonald. Can't make this shit up, guys.

The Political Ideas of Anders Behring Breivik

Okay, so. I resolved not to post anything about Amy Winehouse (because the Norway incident is obviously kind of a big deal), but this blog entry sort of made me curl up in a ball, so I judged it worthy of passing on. It's only partly about her. It's about the people like her that we can't see because there's no money in dragging them out to die in front of the world. Read it.

Yes, I’m an addict too: Why I’m no different from Amy Winehouse (H/T stoneself)

Unrelated, and in (sort of) better spirits: Scarleteen is one of the best things on the internet. I think if my hometown had had sex ed that looked more like this website, I would have seen a lot less rape and unplanned pregnancy among my peers through junior high and high school.

How You Guys -- that's right, you GUYS -- Can Prevent Rape.

It’s obviously hard for guys to really look at this stuff, but it’s also hard for women to know that rape is nearly always a crime done by men (as well as to live in a world where it’s something we are afraid of). We love the men in our lives dearly, very much want to be able to trust men, and we think of men, as a group, as our brothers. Suffice it to say, it’s also really tough for us to have to know that our actual brothers, our fathers, our boyfriends, our male friends, might be or have been rapists: it’s a terrible betrayal. So, while we women can’t personally understand, in some ways, how it’s got to feel for guys to be suspect with rape, or to know that it’s a crime almost exclusively perpetuated by a group to which you belong, in plenty of ways, we feel your pain, because men belong to at least one of our groups too: to the all-people group.

That's all I've got for now.
xenologer: (human monsters)
Obligatory mention of the attacks in Oslo.

Obviously the groups he was a member of and who were his (apparent) ideological guiding posts are appalled, you guys, just aghast and amazed that someone went out and did what they all seem to want done.

Sound familiar to you? Sounds familiar to me. Remember, kids. Every politically-motivated right-wing white murderer is an isolated case and not a real terrorist representative of any kind of trend and remember that people on the left are just as likely to gun down strangers. Right? So let's ignore the right-wingers and get back to being scared of brown Muslims.

More links!

Anders Behring Breivik was deranged, but also a serious conservative political thinker! Didn't complain enough about Jews in his manifesto, though, so Richard Spencer is going to fill in some gaps by linking to Kevin MacDonald. Can't make this shit up, guys.

The Political Ideas of Anders Behring Breivik

Okay, so. I resolved not to post anything about Amy Winehouse (because the Norway incident is obviously kind of a big deal), but this blog entry sort of made me curl up in a ball, so I judged it worthy of passing on. It's only partly about her. It's about the people like her that we can't see because there's no money in dragging them out to die in front of the world. Read it.

Yes, I’m an addict too: Why I’m no different from Amy Winehouse (H/T stoneself)

Unrelated, and in (sort of) better spirits: Scarleteen is one of the best things on the internet. I think if my hometown had had sex ed that looked more like this website, I would have seen a lot less rape and unplanned pregnancy among my peers through junior high and high school.

How You Guys -- that's right, you GUYS -- Can Prevent Rape.

It’s obviously hard for guys to really look at this stuff, but it’s also hard for women to know that rape is nearly always a crime done by men (as well as to live in a world where it’s something we are afraid of). We love the men in our lives dearly, very much want to be able to trust men, and we think of men, as a group, as our brothers. Suffice it to say, it’s also really tough for us to have to know that our actual brothers, our fathers, our boyfriends, our male friends, might be or have been rapists: it’s a terrible betrayal. So, while we women can’t personally understand, in some ways, how it’s got to feel for guys to be suspect with rape, or to know that it’s a crime almost exclusively perpetuated by a group to which you belong, in plenty of ways, we feel your pain, because men belong to at least one of our groups too: to the all-people group.

That's all I've got for now.
xenologer: (human monsters)
Obligatory mention of the attacks in Oslo.

Obviously the groups he was a member of and who were his (apparent) ideological guiding posts are appalled, you guys, just aghast and amazed that someone went out and did what they all seem to want done.

Sound familiar to you? Sounds familiar to me. Remember, kids. Every politically-motivated right-wing white murderer is an isolated case and not a real terrorist representative of any kind of trend and remember that people on the left are just as likely to gun down strangers. Right? So let's ignore the right-wingers and get back to being scared of brown Muslims.

More links!

Anders Behring Breivik was deranged, but also a serious conservative political thinker! Didn't complain enough about Jews in his manifesto, though, so Richard Spencer is going to fill in some gaps by linking to Kevin MacDonald. Can't make this shit up, guys.

The Political Ideas of Anders Behring Breivik

Okay, so. I resolved not to post anything about Amy Winehouse (because the Norway incident is obviously kind of a big deal), but this blog entry sort of made me curl up in a ball, so I judged it worthy of passing on. It's only partly about her. It's about the people like her that we can't see because there's no money in dragging them out to die in front of the world. Read it.

Yes, I’m an addict too: Why I’m no different from Amy Winehouse (H/T stoneself)

Unrelated, and in (sort of) better spirits: Scarleteen is one of the best things on the internet. I think if my hometown had had sex ed that looked more like this website, I would have seen a lot less rape and unplanned pregnancy among my peers through junior high and high school.

How You Guys -- that's right, you GUYS -- Can Prevent Rape.

It’s obviously hard for guys to really look at this stuff, but it’s also hard for women to know that rape is nearly always a crime done by men (as well as to live in a world where it’s something we are afraid of). We love the men in our lives dearly, very much want to be able to trust men, and we think of men, as a group, as our brothers. Suffice it to say, it’s also really tough for us to have to know that our actual brothers, our fathers, our boyfriends, our male friends, might be or have been rapists: it’s a terrible betrayal. So, while we women can’t personally understand, in some ways, how it’s got to feel for guys to be suspect with rape, or to know that it’s a crime almost exclusively perpetuated by a group to which you belong, in plenty of ways, we feel your pain, because men belong to at least one of our groups too: to the all-people group.

That's all I've got for now.
xenologer: (human monsters)
Obligatory mention of the attacks in Oslo.

Obviously the groups he was a member of and who were his (apparent) ideological guiding posts are appalled, you guys, just aghast and amazed that someone went out and did what they all seem to want done.

Sound familiar to you? Sounds familiar to me. Remember, kids. Every politically-motivated right-wing white murderer is an isolated case and not a real terrorist representative of any kind of trend and remember that people on the left are just as likely to gun down strangers. Right? So let's ignore the right-wingers and get back to being scared of brown Muslims.

More links!

Anders Behring Breivik was deranged, but also a serious conservative political thinker! Didn't complain enough about Jews in his manifesto, though, so Richard Spencer is going to fill in some gaps by linking to Kevin MacDonald. Can't make this shit up, guys.

The Political Ideas of Anders Behring Breivik

Okay, so. I resolved not to post anything about Amy Winehouse (because the Norway incident is obviously kind of a big deal), but this blog entry sort of made me curl up in a ball, so I judged it worthy of passing on. It's only partly about her. It's about the people like her that we can't see because there's no money in dragging them out to die in front of the world. Read it.

Yes, I’m an addict too: Why I’m no different from Amy Winehouse (H/T stoneself)

Unrelated, and in (sort of) better spirits: Scarleteen is one of the best things on the internet. I think if my hometown had had sex ed that looked more like this website, I would have seen a lot less rape and unplanned pregnancy among my peers through junior high and high school.

How You Guys -- that's right, you GUYS -- Can Prevent Rape.

It’s obviously hard for guys to really look at this stuff, but it’s also hard for women to know that rape is nearly always a crime done by men (as well as to live in a world where it’s something we are afraid of). We love the men in our lives dearly, very much want to be able to trust men, and we think of men, as a group, as our brothers. Suffice it to say, it’s also really tough for us to have to know that our actual brothers, our fathers, our boyfriends, our male friends, might be or have been rapists: it’s a terrible betrayal. So, while we women can’t personally understand, in some ways, how it’s got to feel for guys to be suspect with rape, or to know that it’s a crime almost exclusively perpetuated by a group to which you belong, in plenty of ways, we feel your pain, because men belong to at least one of our groups too: to the all-people group.

That's all I've got for now.

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