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AlmiraGulch

Spin/Off of Lt. Governor Thread: Help me articulate this, please.

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On more than one occasion, someone I'm very close to, who generally understands the scourge of systemic racism, and the power of her privilege as a white person in this country, has expressed a sentiment that I can't properly rebuke.  Meaning, I don't agree with what she's saying, but I don't know how to properly articulate why I don't agree.  

 

Can you help me?

 

The viewpoint in question is that racism persists because everyone "others" themselves.  She doesn't understand how we can ever move toward unity when minority groups continue to have civic leaders that highlight them as "other."  So, Gay Pride, NAACP, Black Lives Matter, etc.  My explanation usually says something to the effect of when members of marginalized groups are no longer marginalized in society (insert any number of examples here) they will no longer feel the need to raise awareness (simplified, but that's it in general).  Her response usually is a "yes, but if they would stop going on about it and just live their lives, and we could all just be people, they separation would just naturally dissolve."

 

I don't know how to properly communicate the message, but I'm sure many of you do.  Anyone care to jump in?

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Actually a very strong argument can be made that proper amalgamation is the best solution to otherness (I dislike all that phrasing but can't think of a more artful way to explain it ATM).

 

It doesn't mean one cannot note or celebrate the differences, but when you begin establishing subcultural identities built upon variation from the majority rather than common ground *everyone shares* it establishes and in some senses deepens the societal divides.

 

It's not at all a clear cut subject on either side, and other really only becomes 'bad' when a force to group preys upon those differences to establish dominance of superiority. It isn't a given but it's been the norm across history. Separation eventually leads to marginalization, almost without exception.

 

I wish America was an exception to this, but as it stands I don't think that has been achieved in a lasting way for any group that hasn't amalgamated or at least taken the 'otherness' and de-emphasized it from their identity as American. My family were immigrants from an unfavored minority at a bad time and essentially erasing their cultural ties and 'becoming American' to blend into the fabric of the country as it stood was the only solution that worked for them.

 

Those are my thoughts, and they're not much more fleshed out than yours. Sorry if I'm no help explaining that perspective but sometimes thinking about it more deeply can help with understanding the points, valid and not, each side is making.

Edited by Arctic Mama

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And I see what you're saying too - that if there is no cause to fight for or no division left the cause disintegrates naturally, right?

 

But how do you get from point a to point d? What your relative is arguing seems to be that if the minority de-emphasizes their differences it solves things. That might work and it might not. I can think of examples on both sides. There has to be a change in mindset or an argument convincing enough to change the thinking of the bulk of the people to make that happen. Without that change internally the external conflicts won't resolve. But getting there is a slow slog indeed!

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I hear what you're saying.  It's basically what she's saying.  

 

I just don't think that it's possible to do that as long as the oppressors continue to oppress, and I don't think that people should have to give up those identities to "fit in" (my words, paraphrasing my interpretation of some of yours).  That rings to me of "gay people should act less gay" or "Black people should act more White."  I don't believe that's your intent, mind you, but that's how it sounds to me as a general rule, and it feels....gross.

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That's not really what I'm saying, no. But can you answer the other question - how do you change the mindset of the majority to accept a minority that wants to remain separate or 'other'? It's a change of mind or heart, right? How do you do that with animosity or force? I suppose the only options are conquer or teach. I prefer the latter by far, but it's a long, slow slog and and easily disrupted. Revolution is the other option, and that's ugly and brutal. A minority revolting against a majority without garnering understanding and sympathy from the majority doesn't usually work.

 

Maybe one needs both. But getting there is challenging. That doesn't mean it isn't worth all the effort and time to try.

 

Those are my thoughts on the subject. I'm not arguing or leveling accusations, but this isn't at all a clear cut or easy subject and clear thinking, caring people can disagree, including your relative. It's something worth talking about for sure.

Edited by Arctic Mama

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In a vacuum, sure, great. I can't believe I'm actually recommending Newt Gingrich, but he did a live stream interview recently that might be helpful. It was how normal white Americans cannot possibly understand what it's like to be black.

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That's not really what I'm saying, no. But can you answer the other question - how do you change the mindset of the majority to accept a minority that wants to remain separate or 'other'? It's a change of mind or heart, right? How do you do that with animosity or force? I suppose the only options are conquer or teach. I prefer the latter by far, but it's a long, slow slog and and easily disrupted. Revolution is the other option, and that's ugly and brutal. A minority revolting against a majority without garnering understanding and sympathy from the majority doesn't usually work.

 

Maybe one needs both. But getting there is challenging. That doesn't mean it isn't worth all the effort and time to try.

 

Those are my thoughts on the subject. I'm not arguing or leveling accusations, but this isn't at all a clear cut or easy subject and clear thinking, caring people can disagree, including your relative. It's something worth talking about for sure.

 

No, I don't think that's what you mean, just that it's how that argument in general feels to me.  Hope that makes sense.

 

I think my response to your question, though, is that it isn't that the minority groups (big generalization here) don't want to be seen as less-than.  They want to be able to celebrate their differences and cultures and uniqueness without being oppressed because if it.

 

 For example, we have Oktoberfest to celebrate German heritage.  We have Greek festivals.  We have Irish parades.  Italians proudly profess their Italian-ness (yes, I made up a word), even on t-shirts, but there is no negative connotation, generally speaking, associated with those things.  I realize there used to be, per your first post, but no more.  It's all very mainstream.  So it seems to me that those that are currently suffering from at the hands of the majority are striving to get to the same place that those that carried the burden previously have gotten to.  So...how do we do that?  I have no idea, truthfully, but ignoring the transgressions won't make them go away. It'll just make it more comfortable for the majority. 

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In a vacuum, sure, great. I can't believe I'm actually recommending Newt Gingrich, but he did a live stream interview recently that might be helpful. It was how normal white Americans cannot possibly understand what it's like to be black.

 

NEWT did this? Holy crap.  I must go find this. 

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What has always struck me as peculiar is that many people define their own family culture as "normal" so that anybody doing something different is not normal.

 

Put it in terms of Thanksgiving:  (almost) everyone may have the turkey, but the sides vary.  Is Thanksgiving any less of a holiday if one family has sweet potatoes, another rice while another chooses capon instead of turkey--let alone that poultry averse family that eats prime rib?

 

Yet some people seem to think that if I make the cranberry relish of my childhood (but not theirs) that I am not making the "right" cranberry sauce. I might want to celebrate my grandparent's ethnicity with a dish to honor them.  What is the harm of remembrance? 

 

What is the harm in welcoming all to the table?

 

I love communities that honor and celebrate its residents.  Milwaukee seems to spend summers in a series of ethnic festivals.  Come on--if we all sat down at the table together, we might understand each other a bit more. 

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How does she propose who gets to decide what the standard to which everyone should conform is? Does she want everyone to pretend to be WASPs? What if the standard becomes something she isn't? Is she an egalitarian socialist? (LOLZ. If she's like any of the people spouting that junk on my FB, I'm guessing no...)

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On more than one occasion, someone I'm very close to, who generally understands the scourge of systemic racism, and the power of her privilege as a white person in this country, has expressed a sentiment that I can't properly rebuke.  Meaning, I don't agree with what she's saying, but I don't know how to properly articulate why I don't agree.  

 

Can you help me?

 

The viewpoint in question is that racism persists because everyone "others" themselves.  She doesn't understand how we can ever move toward unity when minority groups continue to have civic leaders that highlight them as "other."  So, Gay Pride, NAACP, Black Lives Matter, etc.  My explanation usually says something to the effect of when members of marginalized groups are no longer marginalized in society (insert any number of examples here) they will no longer feel the need to raise awareness (simplified, but that's it in general).  Her response usually is a "yes, but if they would stop going on about it and just live their lives, and we could all just be people, they separation would just naturally dissolve."

 

I don't know how to properly communicate the message, but I'm sure many of you do.  Anyone care to jump in?

 

It's a similar dynamic with any kind of oppression or abuse: to be neutral is to support the oppressor. If she has any experience with any other kind of oppression, she may be able to better get it. If a couple divorces and she is alleging that it's because he's been emotionally abusive and their friends stay "neutral," they are essentially supporting the status quo. And the status quo is that which the oppressor has created. So if friends insist on inviting both to the same parties because they don't want to "choose sides" guess who will come and who will be left out. 

 

When she says, "we could all just be people" with others "just living their lives" she means that she thinks their lives would be no different than hers if they would just stop "othering" themselves. Many people have a hard time believing that their experience is not what everyone else experiences. 

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The viewpoint in question is that racism persists because everyone "others" themselves.  She doesn't understand how we can ever move toward unity when minority groups continue to have civic leaders that highlight them as "other."  So, Gay Pride, NAACP, Black Lives Matter, etc.  My explanation usually says something to the effect of when members of marginalized groups are no longer marginalized in society (insert any number of examples here) they will no longer feel the need to raise awareness (simplified, but that's it in general).  Her response usually is a "yes, but if they would stop going on about it and just live their lives, and we could all just be people, they separation would just naturally dissolve."

 

The argument is flawed because it starts out with a flawed premise in two ways (probably more than two, but two that stick out right away). First, that celebrations of uniqueness = "othering" = marginalizing. A group can have it's own unique culture, and take joy in that, without being marginalized. That's how we celebrate our difference. I am not African American, but I can appreciate a festival that celebrates their culture. They are not (generally) German, but there's a HUGE black presence at our city's Octoberfest every year, particularly in the tents that learn traditional dances. Being "other" in the sense of celebrating what makes each group's culture unique is not a bad thing. Being marginalized, as in not receiving equal treatment or opportunities, is an entirely different beast.

 

The second flawed premise is that people can marginalize themselves. BLM, LGBTQ, etc, aren't choosing to be marginalized. They are being "othered" by a majority which is not used to them and has instinctively separated them because they ARE different. They would not, by being silent about their differences, cease to be "othered". They've been silent for... well, all of history up until the recent past. The fact that they weren't loud about being marginalized then does NOT mean it wasn't happening. It was worse then! They tried silence (or rather, they were oppressed into silence) and it failed. The idea that they are only othered because they are TALKING about being othered is seeing it backward. (I feel like I'm saying the word "othered" so often that it's losing all meaning, lol.)

 

Does that help?

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It's easy, coming from the majority, to feel like identity politics are divisive.  Because, as someone said on the locked thread, when you're in the majority, you don't have to march.  When you're in the majority, the culture at large "fits."  

 

 

On some aspects of identity (race, sexual orientation) I am personally "with" the majority; on another (religion) I am part of a minority, so I straddle both sides of this line.  I wrote out a long rambling response, but I think a clearer one might be: On the one hand, people who are gay or black or Muslim or Jewish (etc) have "other-ness" thrust upon us whether we like it or not.  The lived experience is *different* from that of the majority in ways that are not evident to the majority.  Some of those differences threaten lives.  Others limit opportunities, erode livelihoods and corrode self and relationships.  

 

On the other hand, those same identity elements are who we are.  A million years ago, a black friend of mine, who'd just been cheerily informed by a third friend that "I don't even notice that you're black; to me you're just a person!" answered something to the effect of, then you really don't know me at all.  Because not an hour goes by, when I don't feel black.  You don't see that, you're not seeing me.

 

I feel the same way about my religion.  I have no interest in denying it, or its importance to me, or how it affects my lived experience to "pass"; or make the the majority feel more comfortable.  (And I in this current society have the option: others with other kinds of differences --like Jews in prior eras in other societies-- do not... which comes back around to Otherness Thrust Upon Us.)

 

 

 

MLK's famous line about his dream that his children be judged on the content of their character spoke of an ideal we emphatically have not yet reached.  

 

Even when, God willing, justice is achieved, we still will have differences.  A just society does not require that minorities deny the expression of their identities / language / music / religious practices / etc. for the comfort or convenience of the majority.  A just society does not insist that identity differences are erased or submerged or invisible or unacknowledged.

 

 

Today's "color-blind" doctrine has warped into something very close to color-denial.  The implications of the insistence that "differences shouldn't matter, we're all just people" is that all we have to do about injustice against minority groups is... nothing.  There's no problem, except these d@mn identity politic people complaining about problems.  If they'd just put a lid on it, we'd go back to being great again.

 

From what you wrote about your friend, it does not sound as if s/he means to convey this message -- on the contrary, it sounds as though s/he wants to play a constructive role but is trying to unravel the difference between identity politics and justice.  The colorblind drumbeat beats pretty loud in some circles.

 

This is a worthwhile exploration of the issue; you might take a look and maybe pass it along. 

 

 

 

 

(Sigh.  This one got almost equally long!  Sorry.)

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How does she propose who gets to decide what the standard to which everyone should conform is? Does she want everyone to pretend to be WASPs? What if the standard becomes something she isn't? Is she an egalitarian socialist? (LOLZ. If she's like any of the people spouting that junk on my FB, I'm guessing no...)

 

She isn't proposing anything.  She has an opinion, but presented with logical explanations and evidence she is not opposed to changing it.  That's why I'm asking.

 

I think she's more of the "why can't everyone just be who they are and stop separating themselves so vocally" mindset.  That's my interpretation, not what she has said.  I don't know why, but I simply cannot find the right words to explain to her "Because it doesn't work that way."  That's why I'm here.  Smart people and all.  

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It's a similar dynamic with any kind of oppression or abuse: to be neutral is to support the oppressor. If she has any experience with any other kind of oppression, she may be able to better get it. If a couple divorces and she is alleging that it's because he's been emotionally abusive and their friends stay "neutral," they are essentially supporting the status quo. And the status quo is that which the oppressor has created. So if friends insist on inviting both to the same parties because they don't want to "choose sides" guess who will come and who will be left out. 

 

When she says, "we could all just be people" with others "just living their lives" she means that she thinks their lives would be no different than hers if they would just stop "othering" themselves. Many people have a hard time believing that their experience is not what everyone else experiences. 

 

This.  Yes.  Thank  you.

 

For the record, she does understand completely that her experience is not that of others.  She just seems to think that it could be the same if people just lived that way and stopped separating themselves.  What she's failing to see is that people aren't separating themselves, they're being separated because of the way they are being treated by people in power.  And she GETS that people are being abused by the powerful, but can't seem to make the natural extension to the last part (that people are oppressed and separated because of the powerful, not that they separate themselves and so oppression and separation is the result).  

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The argument is flawed because it starts out with a flawed premise in two ways (probably more than two, but two that stick out right away). First, that celebrations of uniqueness = "othering" = marginalizing. A group can have it's own unique culture, and take joy in that, without being marginalized. That's how we celebrate our difference. I am not African American, but I can appreciate a festival that celebrates their culture. They are not (generally) German, but there's a HUGE black presence at our city's Octoberfest every year, particularly in the tents that learn traditional dances. Being "other" in the sense of celebrating what makes each group's culture unique is not a bad thing. Being marginalized, as in not receiving equal treatment or opportunities, is an entirely different beast.

 

The second flawed premise is that people can marginalize themselves. BLM, LGBTQ, etc, aren't choosing to be marginalized. They are being "othered" by a majority which is not used to them and has instinctively separated them because they ARE different. They would not, by being silent about their differences, cease to be "othered". They've been silent for... well, all of history up until the recent past. The fact that they weren't loud about being marginalized then does NOT mean it wasn't happening. It was worse then! They tried silence (or rather, they were oppressed into silence) and it failed. The idea that they are only othered because they are TALKING about being othered is seeing it backward. (I feel like I'm saying the word "othered" so often that it's losing all meaning, lol.)

 

Does that help?

 

This is what I've been trying to say, and failing. Thanks for this.  

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It's easy, coming from the majority, to feel like identity politics are divisive.  Because, as someone said on the locked thread, when you're in the majority, you don't have to march.  When you're in the majority, the culture at large "fits."  

 

 

On some aspects of identity (race, sexual orientation) I am personally "with" the majority; on another (religion) I am part of a minority, so I straddle both sides of this line.  I wrote out a long rambling response, but I think a clearer one might be: On the one hand, people who are gay or black or Muslim or Jewish (etc) have "other-ness" thrust upon us whether we like it or not.  The lived experience is *different* from that of the majority in ways that are not evident to the majority.  Some of those differences threaten lives.  Others limit opportunities, erode livelihoods and corrode self and relationships.  

 

On the other hand, those same identity elements are who we are.  A million years ago, a black friend of mine, who'd just been cheerily informed by a third friend that "I don't even notice that you're black; to me you're just a person!" answered something to the effect of, then you really don't know me at all.  Because not an hour goes by, when I don't feel black.  You don't see that, you're not seeing me.

 

I feel the same way about my religion.  I have no interest in denying it, or its importance to me, or how it affects my lived experience to "pass"; or make the the majority feel more comfortable.  (And I in this current society have the option: others with other kinds of differences --like Jews in prior eras in other societies-- do not... which comes back around to Otherness Thrust Upon Us.)

 

 

 

MLK's famous line about his dream that his children be judged on the content of their character spoke of an ideal we emphatically have not yet reached.

 

Even when, God willing, justice is achieved, we still will have differences.  A just society does not require that minorities deny the expression of their identities / language / music / religious practices / etc. for the comfort or convenience of the majority.  A just society does not insist that identity differences are erased or submerged or invisible or unacknowledged.

 

 

Today's "color-blind" doctrine has warped into something very close to color-denial.  The implications of the insistence that "differences shouldn't matter, we're all just people" is that all we have to do about injustice against minority groups is... nothing.  There's no problem, except these [email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script> identity politic people complaining about problems.  If they'd just put a lid on it, we'd go back to being great again.

 

From what you wrote about your friend, it does not sound as if s/he means to convey this message -- on the contrary, it sounds as though s/he wants to play a constructive role but is trying to unravel the difference between identity politics and justice.  The colorblind drumbeat beats pretty loud in some circles.

 

This is a worthwhile exploration of the issue; you might take a look and maybe pass it along. 

 

 

 

 

(Sigh.  This one got almost equally long!  Sorry.)

 

Amazing.  Yes.  

 

As for the bolded, you're spot on.  She actually has said on many occasions that she just doesn't see color.  That has never sat well with me but I couldn't figure out why.  You hit the nail on the head.  She certainly does not judge others based on it, and truly strives base opinions on content of character.  But the color blindness thing, to me, takes away part of a person's identity. This post, and others, may help her understand that.  Thank you.

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On more than one occasion, someone I'm very close to, who generally understands the scourge of systemic racism, and the power of her privilege as a white person in this country, has expressed a sentiment that I can't properly rebuke.  Meaning, I don't agree with what she's saying, but I don't know how to properly articulate why I don't agree.  

 

Can you help me?

 

The viewpoint in question is that racism persists because everyone "others" themselves.  She doesn't understand how we can ever move toward unity when minority groups continue to have civic leaders that highlight them as "other."  So, Gay Pride, NAACP, Black Lives Matter, etc.  My explanation usually says something to the effect of when members of marginalized groups are no longer marginalized in society (insert any number of examples here) they will no longer feel the need to raise awareness (simplified, but that's it in general).  Her response usually is a "yes, but if they would stop going on about it and just live their lives, and we could all just be people, they separation would just naturally dissolve."

 

I don't know how to properly communicate the message, but I'm sure many of you do.  Anyone care to jump in?

 

I'd bring up the civil rights movement. Change didn't happen without a lot of angst. Just let things be didn't work, and won't work now. 

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My response to this is generally social-science based. When children of the majority culture are raised to ignore the differences that they see with their own eyes (color, gender identity, speech patterns, etc) it's dishonest. Being blind does not, in fact, make differences go away. Colorblindness demands that people treat those differences as NOT WORTH SEEING when we know that they shape people's lives (from health and lending to diet and faith). Color blindness encourages folks to be blind to the social patterns and practices of exclusion and discrimination and makes it easier for the majority to ignore the need to address the forces and impacts of marginalization. Besides that, why in heaven's name would someone aspire to be blind to all the wonderful diversity in this world?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/culturally-speaking/201112/colorblind-ideology-is-form-racism

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On more than one occasion, someone I'm very close to, who generally understands the scourge of systemic racism, and the power of her privilege as a white person in this country, has expressed a sentiment that I can't properly rebuke.  Meaning, I don't agree with what she's saying, but I don't know how to properly articulate why I don't agree.  

 

Can you help me?

 

The viewpoint in question is that racism persists because everyone "others" themselves.  She doesn't understand how we can ever move toward unity when minority groups continue to have civic leaders that highlight them as "other."  So, Gay Pride, NAACP, Black Lives Matter, etc.  My explanation usually says something to the effect of when members of marginalized groups are no longer marginalized in society (insert any number of examples here) they will no longer feel the need to raise awareness (simplified, but that's it in general).  Her response usually is a "yes, but if they would stop going on about it and just live their lives, and we could all just be people, they separation would just naturally dissolve."

 

I don't know how to properly communicate the message, but I'm sure many of you do.  Anyone care to jump in?

Maybe she is right. She has a good point. But I have no clue. I would have to think on this and mull it over. 

 

But..maybe it is in the presentation.  I was walking out of Target the other day and the alarm went off when a black man was walking out. The employee who was standing there asked to see in his bag and his receipt. I have seen this happen before and had it happen and was simply sent back to deactivate something or whatever. Didn't matter. But this day, the guy went off and made a huge scene claiming he was being targeted for his race. These poor employees, mostly quite young and likely did not make much, did not seem to know what to do with this. I left so I do not know how it ended.

 

On the police killings, it has happened to white people and black, all races. So why when a black person kills a white person, or a black officer shoots a white person, does it not hit the news and protests and violence do not break out?

 

I always measure something with..if you swap the race, or the gender, or whatever, is it ok to say or do? If it is not, then the original thing was wrong to say or do. Is everyone being treated equal? 

 

A few weeks ago, an article from the news went floating around. A teen boy was raped by two female teachers. The men who were posting and their responses were horrible. They said "if he didn't like it, I could take his place!" ha ha ha ha...NO..not ok! If a teen girl were raped by two adult men, no one would say that. 

 

Really, I am just saying, I think the emphasis is not on equality. It is on one gender, one race, one religion, and a lack of desire for anyone to get along. Everyone is an individual and rape is always wrong, regardless of which way the gender went, murder is always wrong, theft, assault is always wrong..no matter which race/religion/gender/etc did it. Our media is extremely lop sided and likes to reach out to the lowest denominator and get the biggest shock value and reaction. Journalists also do not wish to die or attacked to make their articles. So, the articles tell one side, and safe side for the journalist and the side that will get the most sensationalized reaction. 

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I always measure something with..if you swap the race, or the gender, or whatever, is it ok to say or do? If it is not, then the original thing was wrong to say or do. Is everyone being treated equal?

 

But for this to work the playing field has to be even, and it is far from that.

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My response to this is generally social-science based. When children of the majority culture are raised to ignore the differences that they see with their own eyes (color, gender identity, speech patterns, etc) it's dishonest. Being blind does not, in fact, make differences go away. Colorblindness demands that people treat those differences as NOT WORTH SEEING when we know that they shape people's lives (from health and lending to diet and faith). Color blindness encourages folks to be blind to the social patterns and practices of exclusion and discrimination and makes it easier for the majority to ignore the need to address the forces and impacts of marginalization. Besides that, why in heaven's name would someone aspire to be blind to all the wonderful diversity in this world?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/culturally-speaking/201112/colorblind-ideology-is-form-racism

 

 

I don't know that I agree with this. I grew up in a multicultural family. I had no trouble at all living anywhere, until I came to the bible belt. People were different races and religions and whatever else, but it was never a concern to me. Now, in the south, it seems to be a big issue. Races do not mix much. Religions do not even mix. I did not even know what religion my various friends were growing up until I went back and looked via FB in recent years. On occasion something might have come up. But it was just interesting. Different. But not of concern. You might now a particular old family recipe came from this background or that. There is nothing dishonest to being no more concerned with whether someone is gay vs hetero then it is to be no more concerned if someone has blue vs green eyes. But in the south, you would think the entire fabric of mankind road on someone's religion, sex life, and whatever else. 

 

No..I think it is a dishonest to be colorblind or anything else. You cannot tell a persons culture or intelligence or political affiliation or anything else based on their skin color or any other superficial attribute.

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I don't know that I agree with this. I grew up in a multicultural family. I had no trouble at all living anywhere, until I came to the bible belt. People were different races and religions and whatever else, but it was never a concern to me. Now, in the south, it seems to be a big issue. Races do not mix much. Religions do not even mix. I did not even know what religion my various friends were growing up until I went back and looked via FB in recent years. On occasion something might have come up. But it was just interesting. Different. But not of concern. You might now a particular old family recipe came from this background or that. There is nothing dishonest to being no more concerned with whether someone is gay vs hetero then it is to be no more concerned if someone has blue vs green eyes. But in the south, you would think the entire fabric of mankind road on someone's religion, sex life, and whatever else. 

 

No..I think it is a dishonest to be colorblind or anything else. You cannot tell a persons culture or intelligence or political affiliation or anything else based on their skin color or any other superficial attribute.

 

I'm glad you had a wonderful experience with colorblindness. I did not experience it that way as an adult in the PNW. I felt like folks didn't really know me at all, just on a superficial level because they couldn't handle the whole me. Embracing differences provides such a richer, deeper understanding of life. Pretending they don't exist (and asking others to play along with willful blindness) feels dishonest to me. Differences exist. Period. We can't wish them away. I don't see them as a bad thing. Choosing to ignore them makes it seem like you do. You're free to disagree, I just think it's worth noting that those who study the topic for a living say colorblindness is not the best way to seek harmony. It makes things very comfortable and harmonious for the majority, not so much for everyone else. Feel free to Google and read more though.

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It usually takes some feisty voices to say, "I may be different from you and the majority, but that doesn't make me bad or wrong."

 

Look at homeschooling. The "pioneers" of homeschooling had to fight battles we largely don't fight; first to have homeschooling recognized as a legal right, and secondly in a social way. The early homeschoolers did not have the benefit of clear-cut laws, co-ops, internet forums, and Rainbow Resources. ;) We might struggle with a MIL here or there or a nosy neighbor who can't figure out what we do all day, but presumably most of us have not had to go to court to prove what we were doing wasn't insane or illegal.

 

Early homeschoolers did not have the luxury of just going about life as "regular people," because the "regular people" took exception to their differentness. It is the same readon a gay couple couldn't just live their lives as if they were "regular people." By definition, they were not doing what was expected and so questions arise: who is the actual Next of Kin, for example, if the gay partner is in the hospital? Is this Landlord refusing to rent to them because they are a gay couple allowed to do that? And so on. Minorities can't just "go on as regular people" because what they do/are may not be "regular," i.e., the majority. So they form special groups because there is more power in numbers. There's a better chance of having things change and improve for that segment of society.

 

Transgender people had used bathrooms all over the country before NC made a stink about who could use what bathroom. They were just trying to live their lives as regular people...until some uppity folks wanted to define the parameters of just which sort of people you have to be in order to pee in a bathroom.

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