Posts tagged ‘white privilege’

Where We Go Wrong: Terrorism, Religion, Racism, and Rights

AKA: Where DON’T We Go Wrong?

Watching the back and forth reactions to both the bombing of the NAACP headquarters in Colorado Springs and the shootings at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris on social media is enough to give me whiplash.

Navigating the intertwining issues of race and religion isn’t something at which us humans are very good. Add in jargon like “terrorism” and “rights” and suddenly we have added complex emotions to some already emotional issues. Entire books have been and will be written on these issues*. And ultimately, we all need to take more time to have long discussions and studying of these concepts and how we use them. There is power in words.

Yes, you have the right to free speech, and the right to draw images of a Muslim prophet Mohammad that many people believe ought not be depicted. But yes, it does make you an asshole if you choose to exercise this right.

No, (Muslim dudes in Paris) you do not have the right to kill people for being assholes. No, (Obama and U.S. military) you do not have the right to use drone strikes to kill people for being in proximity to where you think assholes might be located. None of this is acceptable behavior.

It is difficult at this point to distinguish the chicken from the egg in the world of international terrorism. The place to start, it would seem, is in accepting accountability for one’s own nation’s actions, and working to end disrespectful and terrorist activity one’s for which one’s country is responsible. The finger pointing is a fun game for sure, but unless you support endless war and civilian casualties and mondo finger cramps, we have to calm down*** and stop.

Simply because we have the right does NOT mean that doing or saying the thing is as good idea. And it also doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences. The consequences for saying something racist or disrespectful obviously shouldn’t be getting your offices shot up. When someone says something that isn’t respectful, they should understand that any negative responses are not about curtailing their ‘right’ to say something mean, but rather are the fair market reactions. (more…)

Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you have to share it

Life stuff I’ve learned –

So something I was thinking about this morning, not for the first time, but it is a good thought I think, so I wanted to share – (holy run on sentence batman) – you don’t have to share your opinion just because you have one. I have been working on this for some time and I am so much better its ridiculous.

I think this is especially important for folks with more privileges.  To not dominate, you gotta shut up and learn from others. Or leave room for them to speak up. And acknowledge that you aren’t always right, and that in tons of situations being right isn’t even important.

Folks with different experiences than you have different world views and different understandings, and those are simply incredibly valuable and yet undervalued.

A friend recently confirmed that they noticed I wasn’t speaking up about stuff they thought i would have an opinion on in a group setting recently. Its not that I don’t have an opinion, but rather that I’ve learned to not need to influence all decisions. I’ve learned to appreciate and enjoy the ride of group decisions. I’ve realized that its really nice to truly collaborate and experience things outside of my comfort zone or what I “know”.

These are just my thoughts. I wonder if other folks agree or understand what I’m trying to articulate here.

I mean this shit is obvious.  But knowing and KNOWING are two very different things.  I see a lot of people saying shit they will regret because they feel the need to express their opinion.  I’ve done it. I think one of the lessons here is to slow your roll.

Be a self thinking individual, but do your research before coming to your own conclusions.  And listening to opinions that make you uncomfortable or nervous can be part of this research. I’m not saying toe a party line of any sort, but understand you and me and everyone have been indoctrinated to a party line of this society. Our thoughts are not entirely our own.

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