IRL Terrible things: a reading rec

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IRL Terrible things: a reading rec

Postby Adelene » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:38 am

siderea wrote:I expect to be discussing the forthcoming regime change quite a bit in this space. In doing so, I will be assuming some things which have (I have found in the past) provoked strong reactions that I (or anyone) even entertain such possibilities seriously: that things like a wholesale slide into a totalitarian state, concentration camps, death camps, disappearances, "witch hunts", etc in the US are now realistic possibilities.

I come from a certain ethnic cultural background which many of you, gentle readers, do not share. It informs so much of how I see the world and how I think – indeed, it is part of why I seem to so many to think so differently – and has some crucial differences with the mainstream culture of the US.

My whole conscious life – from before I went to kindergarten – I have been aware that the deepest cultural difference between my ethnic culture and the larger US culture is that in my culture taking seriously the possibility these things could happen here – talking about them, planning for them, making life decisions on the basis that they are possible – is a sort of due diligence of adulthood that all responsible people do, while in the larger culture, to even raise such topics, much less to make plans based on them, is vulgar, rude, a violation of a norm, scornful, a sort of spiritual disloyalty. Doing so was mocked, labeled as ridiculous.


I learned young – I think most of my people do – not to talk about these things with people in the mainstream culture, not unless we're in the local majority. Several times in adulthood, I've realized I have been in a group of people where a majority were of my ethnicity, and we wandered (at least once due to my instigation) into this topic. Those in the conversation who were not of my people were so, so shocked. Shocked that anyone would talk like this, shocked that "normal", "regular" (liberal) people like we appeared to be could be talking like "paranoiacs" or "preppers" or "survivalists", shocked to hear such ideas ventilated openly, shocked to find out this is something we make plans for and have even taken actions based on.

Privilege is such a double-edged sword. One of the problems of privilege is how it indulges ignorance and foolishness. Your privilege can whisper sweet, reassuring lies in your ears, that it will protect you from bad things, that it will keep you safe, those things can only happen to other people. And it's so tempting to believe, not just because it's more pleasant than the alternative, but because you have evidence that it is true: your privilege does manage to protect you from many things. That's part of what it's good for. But, as a great swath of America is suddenly shocked to have to contemplate, privilege, like most deals with the Devil, has a gotcha. Privilege means that when your neighbor has an inflatable life raft you have a sturdy rowboat; when the flood comes, it will definitely be nicer to have the rowboat than the raft, but neither will keep either of your homes from being washed downstream with all you had in them.

Privilege in the US has taught a great many citizens that it is okay, good even, to whistle past graveyards. It has encouraged the ensconced to engage in magical thinking. If we just never say it, it will never happen.

I am watching the US Left – that greater part of it which is not people of my culture – wake up to the reality in which we have always lived, and realize that you have no idea how to deal.


In any event, here, in this space – meaning – the unthinkable is thinkable, and the unmentionable is mentionable. I'm taking my vast cultural ITYS and slapping it across the face of anybody who expects me to defer to their presumed privilege of being entitled not to hear others confront these possibilities.

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