As one who is promoting education and civility, let me explain where I'm coming from. I'm older than most people here. I've been an activist for a long time, and I've learned from some of the most awesome social activists and community-change engineers around. I understand protest. I participate in protest. I promote change.
You want change, right?
I want change, too. I'm sick of clueless idiots making mindless comments. I was the only kid with my skin color in my classes at grade school for a few years. I was the only one not given a partner to dance with at the May Day presentation. My sister got stabbed in the arm with a fork in the lunch line because of her hair. As an adult, I'm living in a place where people look like me, and now I'm getting funny looks for wanting to send my kid to the public school "where all the Mexicans are". And after I patiently discuss it, I get respect, and sometimes people even realize that my son will get something their kids won't. So I stick with what works.
How do we get change? By screaming at somebody and being just as offensive as we find them? I've never seen that work. But maybe you have, so it works for you. I've only seen people who get yelled at yell back and leaving muttering about how they were right all along. And that sucks.
So, sorry. It's not simply a matter of trying to show respect for the clueless person. It's a matter of goals. If my goal is to change thinking, I'm going to do it in the most effective way. Telling somebody they're an idiot and asking them to go away until they figure it out may cure a symptom, but it doesn't cure the ailment. And if that's your goal, and you don't feel fixing things is your job, that's fine. Stick to your guns.
Okay, this isn't a 100% accurate comparison, but it stirs thought... If somebody was acting stupid and smashed my foot and it hurts like he**, I can turn around and yell, "Hey, stupid sh*t, stop acting like an idiot. You crushed my toe, you freak!" or I can say, loudly and firmly, "Excuse me! You may not know it, but you just really hurt me. Can you please pay attention to what you're doing so you don't do it to somebody else?" Playing the scenes out in my mind, I see two very different responses.
|I don't think it is the responsibility of the marginalized peoples to "save" the oppressive from their own ignorance.
I hear you. I understand that it's a pain in the
to try to educate people and often an exercise in frustration. But they're not able to educate themselves, since they obviously don't know they need it. In my mind, you can point out their errors, but that doesn't motivate them to take the actions needed to gather info and effect change. I like to make it easy for them. Is it my job? No. And sometimes I don't have the energy. But when I think I can help a situation, I try.
So, I've rambled on and on and I guess the big questions remain...
How can we fix what's broken?
And whose responsibility is it?