some words aganst negativity

in respectful response to Dru:

though i do not disagree with the statements “all white people are racist”, “…the same belief about men and sexism, heterosexual people and heterosexism, etc”, i must express some objections.

i believe there is hope. i believe there has been progress. and i understand that Dru’s statements reflect an absolute, a feeling that if we are not something, we cannot understand what it is like, and are therefore among the opressor’s numbers.

i think this line of thinking is overwhelmingly negative, and therefore not conducive to healing and growth. i think if we are trying, and always willing to admit our mistakes along that path, we can be exempt from the namecalling: racist. sexist. etc. i think calling ourselves names in the name of progress is more hurtful than it needs to be.

i think if we are trying, and willing to admit wrongs, we can be exempted from the labels and free ourselves to move on to the ideal, in which no one is marginalized. admittedly, this is an ideal that is too extreme to ever be pure and true. however. i’m willing to say, intentions and actions toward change, are good things, and should be celebrated. without the negativism of accusations of -isms.

but then again i’m in quite the fuzzy warm mood this evening.

i say we give ourselves credit for the effort, continue on the path, and refrain from calling ourselves -ist, unless we’ve committed some egregious violation of our ideals. it doesn’t mean we become complacent and think the struggle’s over, oh no. but it might help make the journey more joyful.

just a thought.

21 thoughts on “some words aganst negativity

  1. kd, dammit, will you quit being so brilliant that I want to track back to you? People are just gonna come read you instead.

    Oh. Wait. They already do. But maybe that’s the way things should be. 🙂

    with love,
    your biggest simian fan

  2. It’s not that, kd. It’s just that, well, if you know where the minefield is, why walk right into it? You’re gonna have things just blow up in your face, you know? You’ve been stressing so much and have so much changing around you that it just worries me.

    ‘Cause I’m like that.

  3. Here’s the deal… if you never risk putting your opinions “out there” just because they may be “minefields” (I’ve gone crazy with quoting… HELP ME!!) then, what everyone’s doing is just getting along on a kind of dishonest level, don’t you think? I’d rather know where people stand so I can say I’m getting along with that person because… or… I don’t really care for that person because…
    (Now I’m abusing the ellipses… STOP ME!!).

    Honestly? There are a lot of people whose opinions I don’t agree with that I still get along with. It’s really up to the individual how differing opinions effect a relationship. Just because you differ on opinions doesn’t mean either one of you is bad, worthless or beyond likeable. How about we all just stop taking each other so seriously and take blogging for what it’s worth? Don’t like something that’s said… move on; feel inspired? Say so!

    And, Faith… I’m not at all surprised that we might agree on something now and then. 😉

  4. While there may be hope, Dru’s point is well taken. As long as people keep coming up with labels to distinguish one set of people from another, there will be those who feel slighted by the categorization and there will be others who will be oppressed by members of another category.

    It’s human nature. I don’t expect to see any significant improvement in the behaviour of humans until there is a new category (non-humans) that causes humans to unite.

    This is not necessarily a “good” thing, as it will only perpetuate this whole mess to yet another level.

    I’m going to stop now, before someone thinks I’m a wacko.

  5. by saying that privilege exists, I am not saying there is no hope. I am say, however, that it is my belief that the only hope comes from accepting that everyone has ingrained (usually from the time we are preverbal) biases. Accepting that, embracing that, recognizing it…and unlearning it.

    Obviously, I don’t feel this is negative at all. It’s no more negative to me than learning to walk or talk. The only difference is that most humans experience a natural urge to learn to walk and talk. To me, it is far more negative to deny that any amount of unlearning needs to happen. And it is ultimately negative to say that progress has been made, and we should be happy about that and not dwell on the “negative.” I don’t see the progress, kd. I work with people every day who are destitute. Most of them are intelligent, kind, funny…and out of work, or working for extremely low wages. Almost none of them are white, even though our program is available to everyone. The overwhelming majority of white people I see are white women. This does not seem like progress to me. It’s kind of like saying “well, the building is unlivable, but at least it hasn’t burned to the ground.” To me, that kind of “positivity” is very negative. I am priviliged to have the choice to ride the bus or drive. How many white people do you think I see riding the bus on a daily basis? Again, almost none.

    It’s not intended to be an insult from my end when I point out that we all share ingrained -isms(as I have attempted to explain over and over and over again) and it is not intended as “bashing.”

    It just is. It just bloody well is.

  6. This is just an observation…take it as you will. Do you realize that this is the first time you have ever ever linked me? I have countless posts about loving life and being joyful and feeling absolute bliss, and yet this is the post and idea you choose to link to. And then you wrap it all up in the guise of positivity. I find that kind of ironic, too.

  7. If you don’t see the progress, Dru, perhaps it’s because your perspective is skewed by the environment you work in and are surrounded by on a daily basis. It’s easy to take a small sample and assume that it is indeed a factual representation of the greater overall picture. When I worked at EMS, third shift for 13 years, I thought the world was full of nothing but violent, drunk, abusing, worthless people. When I got away from it and saw the world as it really is, I realized I thought that way about the world because that’s all I saw of it for 12 hours a day.

  8. Thanks, Tess…and you can probably see that the ability to view things as being progressive is dependent upon privilege. For those who do not have the privilege to see above their current condition, the idea of progress is nonexistent.

    This is why I, as a person of privilege, do not feel comfortable dictating or deciding whether things have progressed.

  9. I’m getting really tired of folks lumping us all into the same barrel, and I’m getting pretty tired of this discussion. Through fault of your own, kd. I am what I am, and not one of these people, who assumes all white people are racist simply because they are, knows me well enough to know what the hell I’m about.

  10. The ability to see beyond one’s immediate world is not a privilege, but a skill that is learned and earned, and clearly one that you, Dru, do not possess. If you call all white people racist, men sexist, etc., you clearly look from only your own little corner. I would term that ignorance.

    (Tess, how the hell did we wind up on the same side of a discussion?)

  11. and (this is not a copout) my world shifted last night, and i have things i have to do or resolve or fix or something, as soon as my head stops hurting.

    so, i can’t … um. you know. deal with this. i’m sorry if i got people bitching at each other again. that was bad.

  12. Hope you’re okay, kd. You’ve got me worried now, but you know I’m here if you need me. 🙂 And for the record, I’m not mad at anyone, just tired. Love you, my friend!

  13. That’s very respectable, Tess, but there’s a difference between “there may be minefields” and “this particular field is completely coated in mines and the only way NOT to have it blow up in your face is to walk away.”

    The latter is kinda where I am.

  14. What’s wrong with having it blow up in your face? I guess I don’t shy away from conflict like so many others do (no ONE inparticular – I’m speaking generally). Conflict is a part of life, and if everyone shyed away from stating their opinions because they might be bothersome to a faction then we’d still be living in the stone age.

    No one should be silenced because the expression of thought may prove uncomfortable. Conflict can be an amazing tool for finding out more about yourself and those around you. It’s often a great cleaning tool…

  15. Don’t get me wrong, Tess, I don’t have a problem with conflict. I suppose I draw the line at what I consider “pointless conflict.” I’ve been around this merry-go-round before, and really, that’s all it is, a merry-go-round. It doesn’t go anywhere except around, and after a while, you don’t see anything new.

    I’ve seen everything on this particular merry-go-round.

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