i have to apologize to all of you for letting my anger get the better of me. And i apologize to NPK, NLinStPaul, and kj for the hurtful things I said to them. And I apologize to myself, because lashing out hurts me. And, with all respect, I’m not asking that we all be friends nor do I think this heals all wounds. I just don’t think there is any reason to inflict any more blows.
Life is personal. Work is personal. Blogging is personal. And, imo, this I’m going to quote Night Owl here, because I think he nailed it… where it can all go wrong for me…
Its a consequence of … approach (4.00 / 2)
… (the) whole approach in this thread has been to focus almost exclusively on the terms I use, rather than the context in which they are made.
So instead of actually discussing the idea I am trying to articulate, … moral advantage (is sought) by harping on my terminology. Basically, the ‘OMG! I can’t believe he said that!’ approach.
Then, after … becoming frustrated because I refuse to apologize for the (admittedly colorful) words I use, … others start questioning my motives and intentions, and when that doesn’t work … just start making stuff up that I didn’t say and downrating my comments.
Meanwhile, if you would merely try to engage the substance of my argument rather than tut-tutting the way I say it, we might all come to some better understanding without all the fireworks.?
I think it is my responsibility to win over the ignorant, if that’s what I think of them. Those who hate me because I’m a Jew are free to do so. They aren’t going to change their minds because I tell them their hatred is immoral or unethical or just plain wrong. There’s some twisted way they justify their hatred.
And it’s up to me to find a way to untwist what I think is twisted rationale. Further, I think we have to come up with incentives, whatever they may be, in this quest to diffuse hatred of others.
Because I’m pretty sure those who promote, in their hideous and quiet and acceptable ways, hatred of blacks, jews, muslims, hispanics, gays et al understand how to incentivize hatred. Like our health care crisis is really the fault of all the mexican immigrants who don’t pay into the system. Or the chinese and indians are stealing our jobs… or the black criminals in jail get more rights than law-abiding citizens… gay marriage will undermine heterosexual marriage and families and must be the reason for high divorce rate… you know the drill and how it’s done…
It’s easy to paint the pictures that way. People understand it that way. It’s more difficult to paint this picture: the rise in CEO pay up what 38% since 9/11… exxon mobil profits… outsourcing our tax dollars to private corporations… how do we paint that picture into someone’s living room and everyday life? because these things are the root cause of middle class problems. not someone in india answering your computer question.
And one other thing I’m pretty damned sure of. Banning the word NIGGER is not going to change any of this.
Finding some way of making our picture clearer and showing how, by keeping our black brothers and sisters from voting in Florida in November 1999 actually fucked us all…………….. for example.
It isn’t controlling people’s words. IMO. It is doing the hard work of convincing people that what is in their best interest… stopping global corporate control of our countries and governments… can be attained by insuring and maintaining civil and human rights for all as a mainstay of that strategy.
So while George Bush talks about God and freedom and stopping evil and never using the word nigger, we have seen our country torture innocent people, invade a country for its resources, and create an economy with record home foreclosures, job loss, and people who have to choose now between heating their home and eating or paying their mortgage or buying medicine.
all done by people shouting about how great democracy is and how we are a nation of faith. murdering people in broad daylight in Iraq and talking about murdering more people by attacking Iran…
and with the consensus of the Democrats, most of whom placate us by agreeing we should ban words like “nigger.”
the real smart creeps have found more and better ways to promote their agenda of divisiveness and hatred… it’s the same strategy they used for their “healthy forests” and “clean skies” and “no child left behind” campaigns” and those fucking horrid e-mails that get sent around like this one
people might see through this or at least question it more if they saw “those spics” in these e-mails. but this is more clever and far more dangerous, imo. it uses all acceptable words to lie in a bigger and more horrible way.
we can’t stop these e-mails. but we can work to give people a bigger frame-of-reference. some way of critically thinking that doesn’t immediately fall for clean skies, healthy forests, and no child left behind.
because now the refrain is: WE have 30 years of oil in the arctic. well, who the hell is WE? 30 years of oil based on what kind of usage? selling SUVs? making more plastics???? who is the we benefitting from devastating this habitat?
getting people to think about this bullshit claim (we have 30 years of oil) critically is no different, imo, than finding some way of unlocking our ability to think critically about why we “hate” others… and to look at who benefits from promoting such views…
and one last thing. if we ban one word, where does it stop? who are the gatekeepers? who gets to define the thresholds? do i allow books to be banned and can religious zealots fight legitimately to ban evolution because it is heresy?