3 thoughts on “Brilliant

  1. B., I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. The kind of privilege the author of the post describes was built on lethally violent injustice, and the author himself clearly acknowledges that if the privilege is threatened the privileged will resort to lethal violence to maintain or recover it. How he can quote the truly brilliant Margaret Atwood’s summation and still push out all that mealy mouthed liberal rationalization is beyond me. Perhaps he’s affected by his own privilege.

    Anyway, appealing to the morality of someone who’s quite content to benefit from an immoral system (and is willing to protect the system with violence) is a fool’s errand. It’s begging for crumbs from the master’s table. Either the ‘master’ must be made to see the wisdom of giving up his unearned privilege, or he must be brought down by force. The socialist, communists, and anarchists of the early 20th century understood this, and it was they who brought segments of the laboring classes their brief period of relative comfort in the middle of the century. Those militant activists were sold out by liberal elites and academics, and it’s possible they were so vulnerable because their triumphs weren’t successfully universalized (women and brown people were largely left out of the ‘revolution’). They were crushed by the reactionary forces that have always ruled this country (and others). So now we’re stuck with Oprah-fied liberals and offered this toothless, masochistic ‘win them over with kindness’ spiel as a solution to our rapidly declining, collapsing, and reactionary-radicalizing society. If nothing else, I suppose it will make an amusing footnote to our epitaph.

  2. I hear you, but then what do you make of someone like Bishop Durick? He was one of the Southern ministers who concern-trolled Reverend King so bad that he felt compelled to write his Letter from Birmingham Jail. And Durick was someone who was fairly content to benefit from an immoral system and he was distressed by efforts to dismantle that system.

    But King did appeal directly to his morality and it fucking changed Durick. It worked.

    So, yes, obviously, it wouldn’t work as the only strategy, but it’s a strategy that, in concert with others, does work. Sometimes. If you’re up for it.

    I don’t think there’s any shame in not being. Lord knows I could not sit there and hold the hands of people who refuse to view me as a person to try to make them feel better about doing so.

    But if a person can? More power to them, I say.

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