I keep seeing this and sentiments similar to it. And I’m absolutely certain there are a large number of people saying things similar to the type of thing that I say who ARE more devoted to order than justice. Who simply want the people with problems to go away rather than to do the hard work of addressing the problem.
This is not what I advocate. This is not what I want. I want change as desperately as anyone. And while I have set of privileges that benefit me immensely and give me extra freedom to have a position whereby it seems like I’m asking evermore of oppressed peoples to set aside certain parts of our rhetoric in the name of efficacy.
I really understand more than I’m accused of misunderstanding. I know its not the job of a victimized person to find the ‘right’ way to ask for help. I know that it is not the job of an oppressed person to be a constant vector for education because that dismisses and exploits their emotional labour on a grand scale.
But I have a terrible terrible tendency to apply all my disciplines in crosswise fashion. I am multi-diciplined. If I believe an idea has value, then I believe it has value in all situations; not just the situations that suit me. If I am committed to the idea of safe spaces for all humans, and I believe that turn about is not fair play: then certain tactics to redistribute power; if they do not step outside the idea of the traditional power system but instead work within the toxic power dynamic, are not effective or desired. I strive to provide a safe space to all humans, especially ones that are perhaps… not asking for help in a traditional way.
For the most part, I am routinely attacked as the “white moderate” in MLK’s quote. Which just opens me up to two streams of hate. I deal with the hatred of ‘the right wing’ for my positions on issues that are perceived as left. I deal with the hatred of people I almost always agree with on every issue except the method through which they are engaging the world… ‘the left wing’. I have, in my time online, been dog piled, derided, and denigrated in discussions and it wasn’t a member of the right wing doing it.
Once, in the beginning of my time online. I was a dog-piler. I prided myself in my vicious war for change. I don’t do this anymore because I realized that this is a self serving thing above all else. I did this to feel big. Not to make change. Because I wasn’t making change, and I was certainly feeling big. This is seductive. I understand this better than anyone.
I am told I don’t understand the stakes. I am told that I don’t understand that people are dying.
No. I really do have a stake in the politics of the world and members of my family have been crucified within the legal system in a variety of ways and I have had the side effects and been dealing with the spin off of living within a system that offers few resources to young men. Specifically, as I watch my younger brother and try to support him to what limited degree I can during a crisis state for which he has no effective support and only very toxic suggestions from friends/family who may not have his best interests in mind…
The idea I don’t have a stake in this because the stigmatized identity I claim; that is easily hidden, that has brought my family a number of horrors living within a soceity that prohibits marijuana… really bothers me. I was actively afraid of being raided and seeing my dog and/or father shot for most of my childhood. My mother had a conversation with me about when families get busted and how the mother often gets forced to testify against the father and this isn’t throwing one partner under the bus, its to prevent us from being surrendered to the foster system.
I fucking understand this a lot better than you think I do and have been extremely tired of my ‘ignorance’ being perpetuated to silence me because my message is uncomfortable.
What is being done is not WORKING. I view President Trump as complete evidence of this and there’s a yelling video that expresses the exhasperation and rage I feel about this but does so in a way that I can’t ideologically agree with sharing on a grand scale because of the aggression displayed.