cultural appropriation, Heathen, lady imbrium, Pagan, politics, race, stoicism, trump
So Lady Imbrium responded with a massive comment to my IAEA part 7 post. And it is a comment well worth the reading as she raises several points that didn’t get fully explained in the original Part 7. Mostly, because they’re kinda complex issues and Part 7 was already at 5100 words. So I’m going to address them here. And I want to thank her very much for her thoughtful comment. 🙂
From an early paragraph: Actually the highest rates of suicide and mental health issues belong specifically to the military and emergency responders. Most of the people in those professions are white and male. So while yes, most sufferers of these sorts of problems are male, you may want to clarify your point there.
This is all factually true from what I’ve put together. I didn’t go into exactly which groups were committing suicide most, or the majority of the race and sex represented by those professions/groups. Partially because I was waiding through Blanton’s very racist talking points and partially because…I got lazy. I didn’t have the figures handy, the post was going massive, and I felt that a true discussion of the growing suicide epidemic deserved more attention and research. If you want to learn more, there’s a number of very good articles out there and I will hopefully at some point be able to address this issue myself.
I mentioned what I did because Blanton was trying to show that the suicide issue was a racial issue against black people (well poc) when in fact the numbers show “white men” are much more likely to be victims. However, men of all races are much more likely to commit suicide than women of all races and this issue that needs to be addressed rapidly, despite the plethora of uncaring attitudes about the subject. But again, that’s another post I should really write.
Regarding the New Jim Crowism statement and your rebuttal: I’ve read that book and I think they noticed a very real problem and then ran to the wrong goal with it. Our for-profit incarceration system IS a problem. Too many people become repeat offenders, learn nothing but violence inside, and a host of other problems. The system DOES need an overhaul, but not for the reasons that author claims.
Again, valid points. I have not read the book in question, I have seen it and read the cover though. So we’re going to trust the Lady’s description of the book.
Mass incarceration is a problem, and I will admit that as much of a Capitalist that I am, I’m not enthused by the idea of a for-profit prison system. Frankly, it sounds too easy to corrupt and abuse. While I am generally not one for state-run programs, I do think that the prison system, as part of our judicial system, does belong in the hands of the State as part of its law making and enforcement capacity.
And there does need to be some reform of the system. Repeat offenders are a major problem. The fact that you can almost not get a job with a criminal record, I think, is a major contributor of this. Frankly, I think for most crimes doing your time should be enough and you shouldn’t have to disclose past incarcerations. Having to admit to a criminal record should be a thing for repeat offenders, but single time/first time offenders should be given some leeway depending on the crime in question. They paid their debt to society, no reason to keep beating with past sins.
I still hold, however, that despite the problems, the incarceration system and justice system are not “Racist” systems. They are cause and effect systems. Commit a crime, be punished. It doesn’t matter your race. Now, degrees of punishment, yes, there might be something there, certainly women get punished less than men for the same crimes, and some stats show race does play a part too. But that is in sentencing, not in base line punishment.
Why more “Black” people are committing more crimes and thus leading to a higher incarceration rate is something worth actual study and solution. But the criminal justice system is like gravity. It doesn’t care who you are, what goes up, must come down.
I’m not sure how I feel about the Hitler memes making such a prominent appearance here, since I just finished being really uncomfortable from a different direction seeing them pasted all over whatever Count Trumpula has said recently. Right or wrong, justified or not, the fractured nature of our society has reached truly frightening levels.
We laugh, because if we do not laugh, we would cry.
Look, I know the Hitler memes probably were a bit much. But I wasn’t lying when I said Blanton’s argument was text book nazi propaganda and racism. And really, I couldn’t think of a better way to point it out. Was there a better way? Probably. But again, I couldn’t think of it.
Now, I didn’t catch what Count Trumpula was (had to google, is this what people are calling Trump now?) instantly. Have to admit, bit of a funny joke there. That being said Trump is something I have been wanting to write a post about since I heard he said something about Banning Muslims on account of we don’t know who is a terrorist or not. Again, this is a post for another time.
I’m not a fan of Trump. I can’t say I ever have been. And yes, I am aware of the irony of someone like me not liking Trump because he’s a bombastic asshole (yes, I know I probably come across that way too sometimes), but the Roman in me prefers a more measured response. Probably why I like Carson, even though he says similar things. He at least is polite and calm about it. (And no, I’m not a Republican, and I haven’t decided who I’m voting for yet).
Do I think Trump has a point…maybe. Do I think he’s right to say these things…hard to say. It is a discussion we need to have, especually given recent events…yes. Even if I completely disagreed with his point and thought him the most horrible person, I would still insist we have this discussion. Because Censorship solves nothing.
I do think, however, that a lot of the Trump is worse than Hitler stuff needs to stop though. As Lady says, our society is fracturing to frightening levels. We now treat people for their ideologies the way we used to treat them for their race. And this is wrong.
Your commentary about the road going both ways and if one group can’t use the tech of another then same for everyone (super short paraphrase powers, I have them) is an interesting one. Some technology was freely given and some was stolen. Some is sold willingly, some not so much. Some transfer happened so long ago that I’m not sure how to classify it. Should we give the wheelbarrow back to China? Should we give astronomy and higher math back to the Greeks or to the Arabs since both developed their own systems, which we now use in a clever mishmash? Where would you draw the line?
I actually wouldn’t draw the line. That was my attempt to show how stupid the CA position of “my stuff, not for you” was. At this point, I don’t think there even could be any “Giving it back” type thing because the skyscraper of technology has progressed so far that removing the foundations back to their original owners really wouldn’t change anything.
Because technologies are mostly concepts given physical form. Once the concept arrives, you can’t get rid of it. It’s like Plato’s pure forms. The Idea of a Perfect Thing now resides, but people will create their own versions of it. Even if every Euro-Pagan stopped using things like “dream catchers” the idea is now in our psyche and we would create something like that, even if it looked completely different.
Which, I actually might like to see.
I’m always confused by the vanishing act that such groups as migrant workers and native tribes seem to pull when conversations about oppressed groups come up. It looks eerily like the vehement denial of the ‘all lives matter’ movement. Oppressed groups really only mean black people, apparently. It’s odd to me that only some blind spots are allowed, especially since there’s good reason to think that the one group who really should be complaining about their treatment at the hands of over-zealous (to put it politely…) law enforcement are members of Native tribes, not black people.
This, really, deserves it’s own post as well. Because the issue ends up being insanely complicated.
So, first thing you have to realize is that where this line of argument comes from (social justice), there is a dichotomy of “Privilege” and “oppression.” The better your life, the more privileged you are, the worse your life, the more oppressed you are.
White isn’t just a “race” anymore, though you’d be forgiven for thinking. “Whiteness” is about privilege and power, racism is hatred + privilege/power. So White people can be racist because they have both hatred and privilege, but Black people cannot be racist because they have “hatred – privilege/power.”
So Europeans and Jews (despite longstanding antagonisms between these two groups) are “White.” This, despite long histories of European peoples being oppressed and the whole history of the Jews post-Judea. Because these people have better living conditions (on average) they are “privileged.”
A good example of how this works is the Martin/Zimmerman incident. Martin was black. Zimmerman is Hispanic, but because of his lighter skin and more economically secured life, he became “white.” At least as far as the media and the black community was concerned. It’s a growing trend with Hispanic and Asian peoples. The fact that Hispanics are passing the “first generation” mark and moving from the “criminal immigrant” stage to the “accepted citizen” stage of their immigration (look it up, that’s actually how it’s been for every immigration group, Irish, Italian, etc), means that they’re leaving behind the black community (which sadly remains on the border line). Marco Rubio is a Hispanic born of immigrants who is now running for President of the USA, with fairly decent numbers last time I checked the flooded republican field. (I think he was about what, 3rd place, last time I checked?)
This is why when you hear this stuff, it always runs back to “Black” people. Because Native Americans tend to just stay where they are, Hispanics want to rise up in society (not whine about their oppression), and Asians are too busy living better lives than even most Whites.
I don’t really understand the microaggression argument either. I’ve heard same applied to situations within the feminist movement (I think that’s actually where it came from, but I could be wrong) to describe the often unconscious things that men do that make women feel somehow less important. I think what they were hunting for was a way to describe the institutionalized disregard for women’s opinions that appeared in often unconscious gestures. In that context the word ‘almost’ makes sense, but it falls short anywhere else. Better to actually say what you mean than rely on attempts to build up yet another scary buzzword.
I believe the term Microaggressoin in fact comes from something called “critical race theory” and then got adopted by feminism. Given how interconnected feminism and race theory are, however, it is an easy mistake to make.
And yes, initially I think the idea was to describe the small “systemic” racisms (and sexisms), but eventually it just got to the point where it means anything rude, uncomfortable, or that said woman or PoC just doesn’t like (like manspreading, or too many white people in a room). But that’s why it relies on a “scary buzzword,” because if they openly said things like “too many white people in the room make me unhappy,” then they would properly get denounced as racists.
While I understood the Stoic argument behind ‘I’m not responsible for you being offended, you are’ one must admit that Stoicism is NOT a common philosophy in our culture and is unfamiliar reasoning to most. As far as most others are concerned, you said the hurtful thing therefor you are responsible.
Sadly, this is true, and I think we as a civilization could do with a bit more Stoicism. I think we could also do with a bit less Slave Morality too, which is where a lot of this Social Justice, anti-Cultural Appropriation, and racist talk comes from. If we as people could gain control over our emotions, then we’d all be a lot happier.
As it stands though, people give too much emotional power to others. I think this is where a lot of this “systemic” racism idea comes from too. “This person was mean to me, I feel bad, so they’re evil for making me feel this way.” It’s not that they system is “keeping down the black man” as much as it is the black man wants to blame something for why he feels down. Because it is easier to hate the world around you than to face all the hard work you have to do just for a chance to succeed. If there is indeed a racist system, then it is the one where you hand over your power to other people, and allow them to dictate your feelings in this world.
So I want to thank Lady Imbrium again for her wonderful comment and I hope this clears up a few things that perhaps were not so. As I said, a few of these issues deserve their own posts and I will see what I can do about writing them.
Virginia Carper said:
Me – again.
About Mental health issues and race. Since I have been a mental illness advocate for many years, I will comment on what I have observed. (see Mad Pride for what I mean for the mental illness.) There is a cultural stigma against mental illness, and anything to do with mentally ill people. Even after a major incident such as a local Senator (VA) son attacking his father nearly killing him. (Father had to kill son to save his own life.) People talk about having more access for the mentally ill to get help if they need it, but in the VA Commonwealth budget, nada, Even though Craig Deeds is a very popular Senator and is horribly scarred from the knife attack.
Now, few people are more privileged than Sen. Deeds and his son. However, even he could *not* get a bed at a hospital for his increasingly agitated son. And his son has a record of violent outbursts, that he was trying to get help for. So, it is not just POC who have issues, we all do.
Now, there is a racial component to mental illness. Black families and Asian families tend to keep it within the family. They rarely seek help or assistance outside of their culture group. Locally, the Koreans tend to send their family members back to Korea for support. Even more affluent families tend not to got outside their community for help. By community – their pastors, elders, relatives.
I have no idea what Blanton means by privilege as far mental illness is concerned. Now, if we are talking privileges – try able/disable. disable-visible/disable- invisible. disable-physical/disable-mental. Of course, there will always be a group that is considered normative, and everyone else gets measured towards that norm. However, the norm does change.
What I have done as an advocate at my work and community is try to make people aware of neglecting the rest of us. Most people respond good-heartedly, and try to work with what they have. But there will always be an “Other” that is scary to us, and must be pushed away. After all, we are primates, and as primates we segregate ourselves in groups. And outsiders at one time were killed or driven away.
Personally, I believe that we all have issues where we are the other, some more than others. As far as privileges are concerned, I have problems with that beyond simple courtesy, civility, and manners.
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I appreciate your thorough and thoughtful response. 🙂