Become Like Us

Y’all, it’s probably terrible form to take a rough draft of something and quote from it like it’s the complete intention of the author, but I read something from the Professor today that I wanted to share with you.

In brief background, the Professor’s work is (or I think it’s on this subject.  I guess we’re about to find out if I’m understanding her when she tells me what she’s working on.) on the necessity not only of marginalized people being able to speak, but also on their ability to be heard.  To be heard, she argues, is to be recognized as being a person.  And so, she’s all about making people into just listeners (“just” in the “justice” sense not in the “only” sense) so that people can be heard.

Okay, so in this part, she’s talking about how there are few people left who still actively work for the exclusion of marginalized people from the public sphere, few actual white supremacists or full-blown women-as-property misogynists or whatever, but many people who still end up excluding marginalized people from the public sphere because they are not just listeners, not into, as she calls it, “epistemic openness.”  Instead, because they aren’t listening to what the marginalized people need, they’re still advocating a mode of social justice along the lines of “just become like us and all your problems will be solved.”

Much of this resistance to change is not active and deliberate, not motivated by desires to continue exclusion or even segregation; or rather, it is done more by habit, or dependence on existing, unexamined ways of thinking, than by the few who actively defend practices of mainstreaming as the only acceptable method of inclusion and who fail to see mainstreaming as an active inattention to the testimonies of the people of color, poor, queer, women, and the like.–The Professor

This idea–of mainstreaming being an active inattention–is something so profound I about want to just tilt my head back and let the idea roll around in my brain for a little while.

Because, isn’t this the way we do it?  We refuse to pay attention to what folks are telling us about their experiences, convinced as we are that we treat everyone the same, completely willfully unaware of how assinine that is.

People don’t want the right to be like me (or you, rather, because, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s good fun to be like me).  They want the right to be respected on their own terms for being themselves.

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Breaking News! Hillary Clinton is a Woman

citunnottim.pngAnd women have vulvas, which are sometimes called cunts and cunt can also mean a woman who’s a bitch but worse! So, if you call Clinton a cunt, it’s funny, see, because she’s a cunt and she has a cunt and you can reduce her to her cunt, because it’s so weird that she has one that it’s worth pointing out, repeatedly.

Get it?

This news brought to you by Republican operatives (and Shakespeare’s Sister).

[Plus, this is neither here nor there, but it pisses me off that I have a reputation for being vulgar among Republicans, and yet I have never created a t-shirt or a 527 Organization designed to mock anyone’s genitals or their bad attitudes.]

Prayer Warriors & Black Magic

Busy day, folks.  Sorry.

I just want to point you to this article about the growing Christianist movement in the military and to this analysis by Jason over at the Wild Hunt, which, I think, is spot on.

It never ceases to amaze me how this strain of Christianity, so bent on believing that anyone who’s not a “good” Christian (and note how this includes everyone from Methodists to Southern Baptists to Catholics, as well as non-Christians) is going to burn in Hell seems more than happy to practice what is clearly a form of black magic.

I mean, I don’t know how what they’re doing with those phone calls can be seen as anything other than spell-casting intending to result in the death of Michael Weinstein.

They certainly can’t believe that those are prayers any sane god would pay any attention to.

Urban Coyote

I just saw a coyote in the back yard!  I was taking the dog out to go to the bathroom when out from the bushes along the train tracks came this big reddish-brown thing that, at first, I thought was the world’s most enormous mutant fox, and I watched it just trot back behind the neighbor’s fence and I called Mack and I was all like holy shit how big do foxes get and he asked me to describe it and he said it sounded like a coyote and I was all but it was kind of reddish but I looked on the internet at some of them are kind of reddish and it was right in my back yard like it owned the joint, just jaunting along like it had some place to be and Mrs. Wigglebottom didn’t even notice it and it was just at the other end of the yard from her.

Whew!

That was really cool.

Hey, NM (and, fine, the rest of you)!

Mark your calendar.  Tuesday, February 19th, 6:30, Fisk library by the stairs.  The premier of the John Work III traveling exhibit.

I don’t know if the Work sons will be there, but, if there’s even a slim chance they are, it’s worth coming out for (but I have a soft-spot in my heart for smart men who tease each other).

I don’t have any other definite details yet, but I’ll be there and the display will be interesting, and if you live in Nashville and you don’t know who the Works are, now’s a good time to bring yourself up to speed.

(Wikipedia has a run-down of John Work’s life and the important roles his family has played in Nashville history, leaving out at least one important contribution made by John Work III’s son Frederick, who was one of two men to desegregate the Vanderbilt Law School.)

(Incomplete disclosure, my friend Bruce has been nominated for a Grammy for the liner notes he wrote to go along with some field recordings Work did.)