I’ve lost 30+ followers in the last couple days, I’m ready to go for broke.
I really want to write about why this trend of “sj bloggers” and the hive mind it’s created on tumblr irks me so much. I am going to write this post, and then I am going to try my best to wipe my hands of it, and go on talking about all things godless.
If at any point during this post you thing to yourself “god, this girl is a fucking moron” i would like to direct you to the unfollow button. If you are not willing to respect my thoughts on these issues, please see yourself out.
I’m going to be completely honest with you guys. I am a white girl, who comes from a place with a lot of privilege. My family came over to America from Armenia in the early 1900’s. When they got here they had absolutely nothing, all of their belongings were taken from them, but they managed to turn their lives around. They brought themselves up from nothing, and ended up being very successful. Their white skin is no doubt a factor in all that they were able to achieve. I am very proud of what my family members were able to accomplish in their lives, despite all the hardships they went through to get there, but that doesn’t mean that I’m insensitive to the fact that this isn’t an achievable reality for everyone.
No one understands better than people like me what it is to come from a place of privilege. I am still, to this day, trying to unlearn prejudices I was raised to believe about society. Thats the truth. I don’t try to make excuses for it. But I am veryaware of it. I keep an open mind. I actively try to educate myself. I learn from my mistakes and I move on. I am a better person than I was 3 years ago, and in 3 years I will be a better person than I am now.
There is a hivemind on tumblr that people who belong in the majority can’t understand what minorities go through, therefor, shouldn’t have an opinion or be willing to speak on the issue.
While I agree that people in the majority will never be able to fully understand what it’s like to be a minority, or what these people go through, that does not take away their capability to be empathetic, to educate themselves, and to speak out in support of those who need it.
The way to fix all of the ism’s and phobias in our society is not to yell and scream. You are never going to achieve equality by calling people names, making personal attacks, making baseless assumptions about another persons character, pointing fingers, or telling the person you are speaking with the world would be better off without them.
You just can’t advocate for equality that way. It’s not ever going to work.
If you really want to address the problem of prejudices in society, you have to educate people. (note: I’m not talking about the best way to address prejudices in government and organizations, only the general thought of the population. Because really, that is the first step.) You are NEVER going to get people to be willing to be open minded about your cause by making them feel attacked. That is basic human nature. You are not going to show someone how to be a better person by yelling and prompting a defensive reaction. If you want to show someone how to be a better person, you have to be a better person. You have to show them what it’s like to be empathetic. You have to show them why it’s important to care, and then show them what caring looks like.
As much as the hivemind on tumblr would like you to think that the best think a majority person can do for minorities is to sit down and shut up, but I am here to tell you that is untrue, and absolutely unrealistic. The minorities NEED the majority to understand. They NEED the majority to speak up and advocate for equality. The system is never going to change if the majority of the system thinks it’s fucking great. That is reality. And no matter how much that fucking sucks, we all need to learn how to make the best of it, and advocate for change.
Dialogue is probably the best way to combat the prejudices in our society, short of diversity education (which, should include dialogue anyways). Minorities and majorities need to sit down and talk. And it cannot be a one-sided conversation. We need to listen to each other. We need to bounce ideas off of each other. We need to learn and grow as a population together.
Because at the end of the day there is no “minority” or “majority.” It doesn’t matter who is white or black, gay or straight, trans or cis, or anything inbetween, or anything else.
Except it does. It does matter. You can use an assigned public bathroom with relative safety. I risk getting assaulted and/or arrested no matter which one I use. That’s just one way in which it matters who’s cis and who’s trans.
At the beginning of the day. At the end of the day. Any time in between. It matters who’s Black. It matters who is disabled. There are absolutely “majorities” and they absolutely have privilege which absolutely has life-changing and even life-ending impact on “minorities”.
If you really understood what it means to come from a place of privilege, you wouldn’t need to be told this. You ended your post with a lot of feel-good pretty words… words that make you feel good, I mean… that don’t actually mean anything and don’t actually help anything.
Considering that your blog is mostly dedicated to atheism, I’m kind of surprised, because you clearly take a lot of things on faith and believe in a lot of things just because it makes the world more pleasant for you personally to believe in them. Even when they make no sense. Even when they directly contradict observable reality.
What you call the “SJ hive mind” is actually a lot of individual people independently going through similar experiences. They all have varying degrees of niceness and patience with ignorant, entitled people and willingness to spend their time educating. But sooner or later they all run into somebody for whom their level of willing isn’t enough, or who doesn’t actually care to be educated but will use any perceived “meanness” as an excuse.
And they get trashed. They get thrashed. And sooner or later they thrash back. Some later, some sooner… but hey, if you’re not the one getting dumped on, you don’t get to decide how long someone needs to take it for before it’s appropriate to respond. Or if they want to let their guard down to be dumped on in the first place, the next seventy-six times.
But then the people who dumped on them and a bunch of other people waiting in the wings for an excuse jump on them for fighting back. Because privilege protects its own. Because the privileged don’t like to see people getting out of their place. Even this post of yours fits into that system… you see a “hivemind” of people who are being mean to people for no productive (i.e., good) reason rather than a bunch of individuals pushed to their personal breaking points.
I’m not saying you aren’t being sincere. I’m saying your sincerity is based on things you’ve been brought up in and have internalized that end up perpetuating the situation.
Later on you said:
said it before, and I’m going to say it again : you are taking that way out of context.
No one is saying “We’re all just humans, live with it”
We’re saying that no one deserves to have privilege. We’re ALL humans. We deserve to be treated equally. We’re all worthy of good things.
I have no idea why anyone would have a problem that. Sincerely. I have no idea what part of “we should all be equals” makes you so angry.
A man named Stokely Carmichael (I think you’d learn a lot just from Googling the name, so I’m not going to link to anything in particular) said that every civil rights law passed in the U.S. is for the benefit of white people. He knew he was a human being, he didn’t need a law to tell himself that. He knew he was entitled to access to public services and accommodations, he didn’t need a law to tell him so.
You want to tell somebody that we’re all equal and nobody deserves to be privileged over people? Go tell people that don’t think this. Go tell people who are “majorities”. Go tell people who are privileged. Instead you’ve chosen to address yourself to what you see as an “SJ hive mind”, and you’re not only saying it like it’s some great revelation to them that they’re equal, you’re telling them (literally, straight-up literally) that the practical inequalities they face don’t matter at the end of the day.
How could that not be insulting?
And after you’ve condescendingly informed the “hive mind” that what it needs to do is have a two way conversation so everyone can understand each other, you wash your hands of it. Yeah. Apparently everybody needs to have a conversation but you? You’ve got everything figured out. Your viewpoint needs to be accepted, not understood or interrogated.
Imagine somebody comes up to you and says, “Hey, stop your atheism blogging. Atheist or theist, it doesn’t matter! We have freedom of religion in this country, so we’re all equal. I see you reblogging the same things as other atheists, what’s with the hive mind? You need to sit down with theists and talk to them in order that you can understand them if you’re going to change minds. Oh, but don’t bother responding to me. I’ve said my piece, take it as it is, I wash my hands of this. This is just the way it is.”
Would your mind be blown? Would you be overwhelmed with gratitude?
Spare me talk about how I’m taking you out of context. What you really mean is that people aren’t factoring in your intent, aren’t giving you bonus points for meaning well. Listen, if meaning well means that no one can point out the problem with what you’re saying, I hope you never pick apart an evangelist’s spiel. Because they mean well, too.