Welcome back, everyone! To start off, I’d like to say that I love an open dialogue. I may be one opinionated bitch, but I am always willing and able to change my opinion should someone present a well thought out and founded counter-argument. So if you are just someone looking to rant at the minutia … get a life. If you want to actually comment or discuss a topic, you can join me on twitter @DannOpinions.
So, I started this rant this morning over coffee. I was looking at the recent news with Trump and Putin and how complacent the US populace has become that they simply sip their lattés and go about their business while the Kremlin fucks their president up the proverbial ass. Oh yeah. You’re outraged. Send that tweet. Comment on that post. Be heard. Because those in power fear nothing more than whining on the internet. Come on! Pathetic! People are so complacent that they actually think posting some lambasting meme on Facebook means they can opt out of civic duty. Voting? Who does that anymore? It’s all corrupt so it’s pointless, right? Well, that message is certainly great for those who don’t want you to vote. Make you think it’s hopeless so you sit like a mindless zombie in front of Netflix and let your fate be decided for you. I do my little rants on my computer, show up to a protest here or there when it fits my schedule or my friends are going, and after, end up on some patio drinking a cocktail. We are the generation with so much to be thankful for and yet are the least thankful.
Rights have never been more prevalent. We have never seen a time in history when there were more individual freedoms, but why is it that we are so collectively disheartened? We have become so desensitized that seeing children in prison camps makes most people do a few posts, then forget all about it. Yes there are the few that have been protesting the Trump administration’s abuses to children and refugees, but those refugees are “others,” so how much can you really care. Enough to put down your latté? Obviously not. Just make a post and go on with your day, righteous in the fact that you’ve been an “activist” – instead, you’ve been a pawn. They want nothing more than for you to be complacent. Any such leader, politician, or CEO revels in the fact that they can be certain that less than 30% of young people will get off their asses to do anything about the policies that are put in place. You think they tremble at your Twitter feed? You think they care that your Aunt Hester joined you in your “movement” by liking your Facebook post? You think that Instagram meme gave them a second thought? Naw. They know you are all too lazy to do anything real, so they just laugh at the posts and get in their jets and do whatever they fucking want. And let’s face it, you are fine with it.
If you weren’t fine with it, you’d actually do something about it. But that would require some sacrifice on your part and no one likes that! That’s not fun. That’s not what life is about! Life is about feeling good and finding your bliss, right? Bullshit. Good luck finding your bliss while they strip you and everyone you love of our hard earned rights, ability to earn, and freedom. But the pumpkin spice latté is coming back soon! So it’s all good.
We can sit here and blame and blame and blame. We can gripe and complain. We can post and bitch and snap and retort. But in the end, we are simply pawns being used up by a system controlled by elites. And guess what, you let them. You almost even like it. They give you just enough so you will leave them to their devices. The minimum wage was put in place to ensure that a person working full time could afford the necessities of life. Now we hear it argued that it’s unfeasible for billion dollar companies who are raking in record profits to pay a living wage. “It will bankrupt us.” Says one. “We will have to downsize.” Says another. They attack unions. They cut hours to ensure that workers don’t get benefits. All this while their shareholders get million dollar payouts. You all know it. I know it. What have you done to change it? Nada. Cause, as I wrote in my last article, you don’t really care.
Now, why don’t you care? Cause it’s always happening to the “other.” It’s a white person’s problem. Or a black person’s problem. Or that only affects the elderly. Or people with kids. Or…or…or. And when it’s directly related to us, we feel helpless and alone, so again, we do nothing. It’s a vital pivoting point for this type of wealth collection to ensure that there is a subordinate, emotionally isolated, and stupid working force. Yes. I said it. Stupid. They want you to be stupid. And they want you to be segregated. There is a war right now on intellectualism. Smart and educated people are ridiculed while the ignorant and stupid are exalted. This is vital so that they can continue to segregate us. Point out our differences. Make us feel unconnected. Eradicate education and critical thinking so that people are more easily manipulated into subgroups that are too small to cause a raucous.
They prey on our differences. And yes, we have them. We are all different and if they want to, they can ensure that we continue to focus on that and not on them. But, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? Not if they can help it. You’ve heard that old expression that we are stronger together? Then why, when we are weak and vulnerable, are we finding every opportunity to segregate? That’s an easy one. Everyone is a little bit bigoted. You are. I am. They are. And it’s part of the human animal to be drawn to people who we perceive to be like ourselves. It’s normal and can provide safety and security. It can also be our undoing.
As part of this, a new trend in social justice is to assume that everything that a minority or vulnerable community states is irrefutable. If a gay person says it’s homophobia, then it is. No critical thinking. No evaluations. If you evaluate it or challenge it, you are also deemed homophobic. This goes for any social rights movement, be it gender, sexuality, race, nationality, etc. I am right and anyone who challenges me is against me. Have we forgotten that challenging ideas is what makes those ideas more solidified in truth? No reputable scientist cherry picks facts to suit an argument and then goes around touting that as truth and ignoring all others. Hell, not just ignoring them. Downright accusing them of persecution! Those facts that disagree with my premise are discriminatory facts!
Since I am clearly a liberal and my articles pretty much speak to a liberal mindset, you, my dear reader, probably think you are a well-rounded and enlightened liberal person; you might even use that horrendous new term “woke.” Barf. As if everyone but you is asleep. Their personal experiences have no credibility – it’s only yours that matter. You are right after all. And once we have established which victim wins the competitive victimization challenge, then we know which winner is never to be challenged. They are the biggest victim so they must always be right about their situation. If they say something is green. It is green, even though it’s actually teal. But if you are not one of the winning victims, say it’s teal and you’ll be cast out as a traitor. Hues and shades don’t matter.
The reason this cannot work is that it assumes all situations only have one side or viewpoint. This is, of course, absurd. Racism doesn’t exist in isolation of white people. It’s not a cartoon where white people are a congruous Borg like evil mob plotting world domination. It’s also not a case that bigotry is isolated to the most powerful faction. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have seen so much homophobia that it is hard not to expect it from certain types of straight communities. I have also seen a lot of hate spewed against straight people by my community. As if they were some giant mythical “other” we are allowed to hate with impunity because we are the winners of the victim war. I see gay men who hate women, and lesbians who hate men. I see it in race issues as well. I read countless bigoted comments by POC directed at “whites.” As if we are all the same and all part of one big giant group that communicates together and has some kinda plan. It’s easy to see the white racists, cause we have been pointing them out for generations now. But what about the bigotry and hate that many minorities hold for white people, based on their race alone. What’s that called? Acceptable. The whites have it coming right? My ancestors were shitty so I should grovel for what they did, right? I’m male, so I must be misogynistic or at least suffer from a case of toxic masculinity. Women never do anything sexist towards men, right? They never dehumanize men. It’s only men that do that, right? And since I’m a man, I am expected to wear that and never critique a woman’s viewpoint. She wins the victim war. After all, she’s a woman and I’m a man, so she must be right. It sounds absurd when you write it, but watch it play out in public. It’s everywhere.
Then they find out I’m gay. OH! That changes everything! I have a victim card now. I’m not simply a “white cis male” to be hated, an almost dirty word these days. I mean, I am still a white cis male, and that’s unfortunate in identity politics if you want your opinion to be heard. Obviously then, I’ll have some of that privilege and therefore must be a certain type of douchebag and told repeatedly that I’m less intelligent than women (Tada!), but I’m also gay so I’m given a pass by people because my victim card outweighs my douchebag genetics. But not in the LGBTQ+ community. There, I am a “white cis male gay.” I am riddled with all the same stereotyping that that entails for straight communities. My victim card is removed, and I am now the “man” and the “oppressor.” No one cares that I was spat on, attacked at knifepoint, beaten, and thrown in front of a moving bus for being gay. No one cares that one of my friends, another “white male gay,” was strangled to death in his apartment in a hate crime. Naw. That’s apparently worth nothing in this war of identity politics. I’m still white. I’m still male. I’m still apparently the oppressor. Even in my own subgroup.
Now, to clarify, I’m not saying that gays cannot be racist. They totally can. Just look at Grindr for 5 minutes and you can see countless examples of ruthless racism disguised as “preference.” Our community has become so segregated that we have such small pigeonholes now that restrict all of our ability to work together. We focus so stringently on where we differ that we forget where we are similar. We argue semantics and pronouns and rights to pronouns and everything under the sun until no one is happy, everyone is miserable and the competition to see who wins the victim war is alive at every turn. What do you know about being oppressed? I’m a transsexual lesbian identifying asexual demi-boy of colour in a wheelchair. I am totally more entitled to my rage than you are. You “white cis male gay!” As if my genetics are dirty. As if being who I was born to be makes me unworthy of having or voicing an opinion on topics, even when those opinions may be true or important.
This battle of identity politics is raging in every corner right now. With the internet came niche groups. Not only are we all gays and lesbians and trans people. We are now a million sub-sets within that. I literally just discovered new sub-categories this week. And if someone (not part of our subset) voices criticism about our subset, regardless of it’s validity, it is seen as a threat and straight up persecution. I’ve heard about this occurring in communities of POC as well. Like when one of my friends was told that she’s not black enough to truly understand the plight of darker POC. Or another friend of mine who was told he’s “white washed” himself and become subservient to white culture because he listens to Taylor Swift. Or …blah blah blah. Anything to split ourselves into smaller and smaller groups.
This isn’t to say that every point someone makes is invalid. Or that bigotry doesn’t exist. Actually, I would say the opposite. We are all bigots. ALL OF US. White. Black. Latino. Straight. Gay. Trans. You name it. The definition of bigotry is: “intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.” I’d say that pretty much sums up every human I’ve ever met. And there are plenty of times when being bigoted towards something is the right and justifiable standpoint. I am bigoted towards racists, and sexists, and people who dehumanize others for their own gain. I feel justified in that bigotry. I think I am right. But so do all those other bigots. We all think we are right.
Then why are some forms of bigotry acceptable and others unacceptable? For liberals, it really comes down to how many victim points you have. The more victim points you carry, the more your bigotry is considered justified and acceptable. It’s only ever trumped by someone with more victim points. My friend Carol has more victim points than her husband because she is female. So her hating on men is justified. But they are both white. So she has less victim points than say a black man, regardless of the fact that he’s male. So he is justified in his rage against that “rich white lady.” But he has less than his sister because she is female and black. I have a lot of victim points for being gay. But I’m white. So not as many as my black gay friends. And they don’t have as many as our black lesbian friends. They don’t have as many as our interracial transsexual friends. Etc. If it were a pyramid, white cis straight men are at the top. So, it’s perfectly acceptable to ridicule, denigrate, and harass them because they have it coming right? I’d say no. That’s not the type of person I want to be. I don’t want to simply assume someone is one way because of their genetics. I don’t want them to do that to me, so I refuse to do that to them.
We have a word now for the missteps of any group when they are either unintentional or minor. We call them microaggressions. I remember once saying that my generation of the LGBTQ+ movement was too busy dealing with aggressions to even know what a micro-aggression was. I’m sure the same could be said for any older member of a vulnerable community. When I was in high school, gays couldn’t marry, could be evicted for being gay, couldn’t adopt, could be fired without cause, etc, etc. We were second-class citizens, and not in a gaseous way like now, but finite. We were legally less than other people. “Gay Panic” was a justifiable legal excuse for murder (Tada!) That’s still the case for trans people in many respects. So to be told that my whiteness trumps my experience as a gay person is ironic, especially when it comes from the mouth of some arrogant 20 year old who is too young to know what real aggressions feel like. That’s not to say micro-aggressions don’t exist or don’t need to be corrected. But they certainly should be held in perspective. No one looks for intent anymore.
Intent is in the soul of the person. Do they mean to be bigoted, to persecute, or act aggressively or is it unintentional? Like so many white people I know, they are always being SO CAREFUL around POC so as to ensure that no one calls them racist. See, I’m a nice white! That must be annoying as fuck. But it’s certainly better than the alternative. And since we are still dealing with racism, and probably will be for the rest of my life and yours, let’s take wins where we can get them! It’s the same as when I have so many straight people who act weird around me. They want to be a certain way to ensure that I know they don’t have a problem with me being gay. Honestly, I don’t care. I’ve been fired for being gay. Lost friends…literally murdered. I had an attempt made on my life. You being overly nice to me at a party and saying slightly ignorant things all with an intent of being accepting is hardly gonna ruffle me. It is a wee bit annoying, but I’ll take it any day over what I had to deal with when I was younger. It means people are aware of their privilege and are actively trying to ease the gap. That’s to be applauded and not ridiculed. I don’t need to point out their failures. Is that how one parents a child. They pissed in the potty every day but had an accident at night, so they must be punished. You pissed the bed! You pissed the bed! SHAME ON YOU! I think every parenting book would agree that that will only give your kid a fucking potty complex. Instead, what do we do? We promote the good behavior and redirect the bad toward a better outcome. We say: “Oh that’s just an accident. Everyone has them. Let’s get cleaned up. Maybe we shouldn’t have a drink before bed tonight. That might help.” Right?! But as adults, we assume everyone knows everything about every other person and therefore understands it, all while ridiculing the actual education needed to correct the issues in the first place. Why do you think it is that most intellectuals are liberals? Because they are educated in the issues and are not driven by dogma. Somewhere along the line we stopped teaching others and started punishing them.
I can tell you, I am fucking tired of teaching people. I really am. I’ve been an LGBTQQIP2SAA activist since it was just LGBT. I’m exhausted. I scream into my pillow sometimes when I’ve had to deal with some outdated and homophobic crap, again. Which I do, almost every day of my life. Neighbours even leave pamphlets in my mailbox telling me about god and what a “real” family is like. I have learned that I cannot hold my husband’s hand in public, nor kiss him ever outside the village. I can’t be romantic with him in my own backyard because the apartment building opposite my house is full of elderly people who have no issue telling me what’s wrong with me and ridiculing us. We go separately through customs so as not to anger any possible homophobic border guards. We cannot travel to more than 72 different countries for fear for our lives. We don’t dance at weddings because people stare and/or make the “you guys are so cute” comments that drive me bonkers. It’s totally degrading. I’m scared to sign petitions to be on a list of “gays” somewhere. I am shamed by healthcare workers and treated as infectious regardless of my health status. I’m slut shamed. Churches picket our parties. People fight for the legal right to discriminate against me and refuse me service because of who I am. They even claim their hate for us is protected by their right to religion freedom. I am scared to walk down the street at night alone. I am scared of cops. I have watched people wipe things down after I have touched them regardless of the fact that my personal hygiene far exceeds theirs. I get called faggot walking down the street every few weeks. I cannot donate blood, and even though I’ve been monogamously married for almost a decade. I’ve been spat on numerous times, and so much more, but I’m white right? What do I know about discrimination.
Bigotry made a reality is occurring everyday. It is really hard not to let it get to you. It’s hard not to let it change you. It’s hard not to lump everyone who looks the same or identifies the same in together. It’s especially hard when other members of the liberal community basically make it socially acceptable for one group to be outraged at another group without any care or understanding of what it’s like to be them. I hear women all the time comment about men, as if they have the slightest fucking clue what it’s like to be a man. Sorry women, you don’t have a clue. But guess what? I don’t have a fucking clue what it’s like to be you either! All we can ever truly know is ourselves. Our experiences. Our life story. Then project that onto others like us, and assume that they are therefore like us or will agree with us or even remotely think like us. All women don’t agree. All men don’t, either. All POC don’t agree. All LGBTQ+ people don’t agree. We are not all the same. But it seems like all we do is focus on where we are different. We have lost the capacity for empathy. We have lost our ability to commune and understand people of different backgrounds because we are too busy looking at our differences. We are self-segregating, and it’s exactly what our detractors want.
You probably clicked on this article because you either like my writing or you wanted to see what asshole was calling you a bigot. Because of course, that’s not part of your identity politics to refer to yourself as a bigot. But you are. You are intolerant of someone. I know I certainly am. Someone tells me they are Republican, and I instantly think they are stupid. I’m just being honest. I’m also not right. When we claim to be tolerant but are equally intolerant (of course only to those we deem as deserving of intolerance) we are not better. I’m by no means advocating for people to be doormats to ignorance. On the contrary. I want you to be empathetic to why someone has come to a certain conclusion. And if you ever expect to change them, you have to first understand them. Educate yourself. It’s the only way. Advocate for education in others. Promote it as positive. Don’t generalize ANYONE! Don’t assume that they are a certain way because they are challenging your beliefs. Accept the challenge and solidify your arguments. Stop looking for differences in others and reasons to separate. Start finding common ground. Start building bridges. Start by accepting that everyone is flawed and full of their own biases and no one has a right to be more righteous than another. We are all in this together, and I guarantee you that no one does anything on purpose that they think isn’t in their best interests or for a cause they don’t believe in. They may have misplaced priorities. They may be racists and sexists and fundamentalists. They might also be all those things and still hold one hell of a powerful victim card. But standing screaming at a kid never got them to pee in the potty. That is all.
I don’t know who to give credit for this, so I’ll just put this here: