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Friday, October 13, 2017


This is no way to live:

Understand, even though I am using callouts as a prime example, I am not against them. Several times, I have been called out for ways I have carelessly exhibited ableism, transmisogyny, fatphobia, and xenophobia. I am able to rebound quickly when responding with openness to those situations. I am against a culture that encourages callouts conducted irresponsibly, ones that abandon the person being called out and ones done out of a desire to experience power by humiliating another community member.


Thomas said...

"We have seen poor and working class white Americans denounce people of color and diversity efforts because, sadly, they perceive them as threats to their historically established power and access. Rather than base cultural identities solely on power, could we tap into what we all have in common: our humanity, no matter how trampled it is?"

I think the "ethnographic analysis" is wrong here. We have seen poor and working class white Americans denounce diversity efforts [not people of color] because, [not altogether wrongly], they perceive them as threats to [precisely] their [human dignity. What social justice activists (in pursuit of "diversity efforts") call "white males" really do have something to fear if they don't, in addition to their race- and gender-based so-called "privilege", benefit from] historically established, [class-based] power and access.

Cultural identities are in fact based on power, which is why identity movements are so often explicitly about "empowerment". Lee is right to point out that social justice activism does not tap into our common humanity, but that's a feature not a bug. It's precisely how identity politics works. Just ask Richard Spencer. It's telling that members of the social justice left are now repeating, as a kind of mantra, "You can't make me hate you. You can't make me hate you." But not as a charm against their enemies. They are addressing this to their allies!

Tony Tost said it best in Invisible Bride:

'My song has alternated between the song of a dog tied to a post and the song of linear subordination. I'm working on a new song. It goes: "I won't hurt you, I won't hurt you, I won't hurt you."'

Perhaps we will learn to sing it one day.

Anonymous said...

Disagree, criticize, argue, dissent, etc. are fine and so is denunciation when it isn't petty reporting.

"Calling out" means denounce in Reeducation camp or sorority-type style, punish, humiliate, etc. It's not all right.