Here's the thing... and I say this as a recovering sexist and homophobe.
Just because you're a bigot today doens't mean you have to be one tomorrow. You *can* be better. No one is perfect, but you can learn and grow. It's one the best things about being a human being.
The problem with whiteness isn't racism in and of itself. It's that white people *refuse* to learn and change. They still carry the same attitudes from 4 centuries ago.
We see that at play on the fedi everyday.
In whiteness, the *greatest* offense is to recognize and identify bigoted behavior. In that culture, that's the end of the conversation and their fragility takes from and center. The harm bigotry causes takes a back seat to hurt feelings.
In the cultures I come from, that's just a start to understanding and is an opportunity to *do better*.
This context simply does not exist in whiteness. It is dedicated to not changing.
The inflexibility is the same reason it's killing itself.
There are *thousands* of culture in the fedi. No one is going to be perfect on every issue. But being perfect isn't the point. Learning from each other is.
And yeah, that process is sloppy and messy, but growth is a tough process. It's just the nature of becoming a better person.
For many folks on the fedi, there is simply a refusal to learn and acknowledge the humanity of another person.
And that's just whiteness. That's the core of the problem on the fedi and most social networks.
There are a few people I won't engage with not because they are bigots but because they won't address the harm their bigotry has caused.
I don't hold grudges against bigots because we all need space to learn an grow. What makes prompts me to cult people off is harm. And a lot of people want me to 'compromise' while they are actively enabling harm against me and mine.
That's why I block bigots. I don't give a shit about random insults. I care about *harm reduction*.
A lot of folks say they are sorry and all that, but the harm they encourage continues.
And since I have been on PV, any bigot that I have blocked have *never* addressed the campaigns of harm launched against my instance.
All of that just leads me to believe people don't want to change.
As the fedi grows, there is a distinct group of people that simply do not want to change as more and more diversity comes to the fedi.
Which is a microcosm of the societies we exist in.
We *can* change for the better. We can build new bridges between our cultures and experiences that simply did not exist before. And we can do so without having force people to manage the toxicity of our biases to get there.
Only bigots don't want this. Only a person that demand the world to bend to their subjective bias would refuse to learn and grow.
And that's not the direction the fedi is going, no matter how much they bitterly complain.
Our progress is inevitable.
@Are0h Having been perfect on every issue isn't the point, improving yourself and changing because of self reflection is where it's at ✨
Thank you for helping me find some words for the things I'm trying to learn, un-learn and re-learn.
@Are0h societal change is tough, often taking generations and bloodshed. Technology is helping us to do this on the timescale of decades instead which is incredible imo.
potentially unwanted questions
I'm totally with you on that, I've experienced it with other white folks and I have seen in myself at times.
I understand that you haven't explicitly welcomed interaction, so feel free to ignore this if you don't want to engage:
Not to sound contradictory, but do you find similar behaviour in the communities of which you are a part? Perhaps not of the same scale? Is this fragile response to being called out a universal behaviour that is much more prevalent in white culture, or is it particular to white culture, in your experience? And, do you have better methods of calling people out in your cultures (that don't work when speaking to white people about their bigotry)? Because I find it difficult to talk to others about their problematic biases, but I want to do more to be anti-racist, build bridges, and help people overcome their bigotry.
re: potentially unwanted questions
@puffinus_puffinus "I understand that you haven't explicitly welcomed interaction" What is this based on? I would say this is very inaccurate.
It's not really a matter of method, but just temperament. Where I come from, we talk. Yes, folks get upset and lash and all that, but eventually we keep talking. Our disagreement on a particular issue isn't the end of talking about about.
In my experience, this context doesn't exist in white American culture.
re: potentially unwanted questions
@Are0h thanks for your response.
I just meant that in this thread you haven't said something like "replies welcome". Because I don't have the necessary points of reference / cultural understanding and am relatively ignorant, particularly in terms of building bridges between different cultures, I'm trying to be sensitive and account for my lack of experience. I want to learn more but my attempts to understand are sometimes crude because of my lack of references.
re: potentially unwanted questions
@puffinus_puffinus If you're not sure, I would say it is preferable to just ask rather than make a claim that is based on a personal interpretation.
Yeah, I hear you. Being sensitive and respectful is always a good place to start.
Taking the time to listen to and read about cultures you want to learn more about is always a good practice that you will always use.
And at the end of the day, we're all people. Just treat folks how you would like to be treated.
@Are0h Good advice. I do intend to read into cultures more, because I'm sure that will help a lot.
"In whiteness, the *greatest* offense is to recognize and identify bigoted behavior."
So much this.
When I tell someone that, say, their joke is racist, they get seriously pissed. Often close to punching me.
I get the most positive results from "Dude, that's racist AF, you're better than that." But they're still pretty damn pissed.
@Are0h I'll admit, I was very bad growing up. I grew up in a very bad area, and learned a lot of bad things. It's hard to get better, but it can be done.
While it's not the responsibility of folks to help someone learn to be better, I did get help in this area- though I was receptive to it.
I'm not sure I understand this concept of "whiteness" nor follow the generalisation of "white people", perhaps because I'm not a US citizen? And also that English is not my native language?
I mean, what if we risk people provoked by wording like that to have a longer journey towards change?
I'm not white, btw, I'm pale. And I identify as neither. I do acknowledge, however, that the privilege I enjoy, also being cis male besides this genetically passed down pigment deficiency, is unjust.
@omni If you don't understand what I am saying, it's probably a good idea to just ask or even better, use your intelligence to look it up yourself rather than to continue to ramble on out of pure ignorance and defensiveness.
Wow, that was a bit harsh, but it's ok, I can take it.
I'm sorry for not framing it as a proper question. I was hoping for an explanation of a subject you seem more familiar with, or hints as where to best read up on it. But you're right, a quick search for "whiteness" gave me results of "whiteness studies" and as a definition i sociology, I'll catch up. It seem predominantly to be a field in the US (not to say that the issues are in any way exclusive to it).
I ramble to defend no-one.
@omni You didn't ask for an explanation of the subject or hints or where to read up on it.
You asked an abstract question of why don't understand, which I can't answer and another self serving question about my 'wording'.
From that you went on a tangent talking about how you identify, which had nothing to do with anything.
None of which seemed like an invite to a productive exchange.
And it all could have been avoided if you just looked it up?
Do you understand what I'm saying?
Sure, I'm not always good at conversation. I also actually meant that I was sorry for not framing it as a question. Also wanted to say everything in one message, within 500 characters.
The sentence that tripped me off was "It's that white people *refuse* to learn and change", that could've been "some white people". Or perhaps it is correct, but then I still think provoked "whites" will be too upset to agree anytime soon.
I'd been as tripped by similar generalisation of "black" or trans.
@omni Its happens.
*shrug* I don't care who it provokes because the statement is true. If random white people want to assume who it applies to, that's on them. The statement is true whether they agree with it our not.
That is a very ignorant analogy because all of those identities have unique histories and context.
And further, saying 'white' isn't a generalization. It's a specific cultural reference.
Attempting to conflate those identities as the same is just pure ignorance.
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