Dave, I don't question your heart or your circle of friends, but you spend an awful lot of time railing against SJWs. If you say you aren't angry, I still think you are attached to them facing the problems in their lives differently and advocating for other people in ways that are different than you think they should. That's my perspective, but it comes from observing you and talking to you about this topic over several years. Those are observations. They aren't accusations. You are welcome to demonstrate to me how my observations are off-base, but you haven't really done that so far.

Complaining about how other people handle the discrimination and marginalization they experience (which you have not experienced) is making rules for them. You are essentially telling them to be quiet unless they can work with and process that pain in the way that you deem acceptable. I call it as I see it, and that's how I see it.

That doesn't mean that I'm infallible but I also have 18 years of professional training and experience in listening to people talk and cutting through to the root of what is really taking place. It’s something I’m pretty good at and that people routinely pay me to do. I'm just pointing out what I see - not out of malice or judgment, but quite the opposite, in fact, because I like you and you are my friend. I'm trying to better understand where you are coming from and pointing out the holes in my understanding.

You've repeatedly referred to people as hateful and angry for simply trying to get some acknowledgment and redress for the wrongs that have been done to them and that are still being done. That's not exactly a neutral position. Individual action has little impact when those who are being harmed have so much less societal power. What was the black guy who was shot for the crime of jogging not that long ago supposed to do? What was our black friend who was an Assistant Attorney General who has hassled for being in his own neighborhood supposed to do? I've told you that story probably three times and you've never commented on it. How does an educated, successful, professional black man who has done everything right to fit into society cope with being racially profiled and hassled for no good reason other than the color of his skin? If you can't explain that to me, then I don't understand what you are proposing.

You can't fix societal dynamics with individual actions, particularly when the victims have less clout to start with (even if they are AAGs). You have to address the mindset that allows those individual actions to be perpetrated and considered not such a big deal. Is that a lecture? No, it's me putting forth my perspective, just as you've put forth yours. Why am I not allowed to do that without having poor motives attributed to me?

Would you ask an altar boy why he didn't address the problem of the pedophile priest who raped him directly? I don't think so, because he doesn't have the social power to be heard and believed, even with his parents on his side helping. It's only when you get 20 altar boys with the same story who are demanding better that maybe things can start to shift a little, but even then, not always. Sometimes they just send the priest to another city and sweep it under the rug. This is the same thing that's been done for years with bad cops, and sexually harassing bosses, and people who won't even interview those with "ethnic" sounding names as well as all kinds of other situations where those with more social power prey on or marginalize those with less. Expecting the altar boy to fix it by himself is blaming the victim. Expecting those who have been marginalized and discriminated against to fix the wrongs against them is just as unrealistic. Unless you can explain to me how exactly this theory of yours would actually work, I'm going to keep challenging it.

Would it be out of line to suggest that there is an issue in the Catholic church with priests sexually abusing children (and nuns, and others) just because not every single priest does that? I don't think so. It's a demographic that has a lot of power and has in a certain amount of cases which are not rare, abused that power and they have in many ways been supported by their communities in doing that - both by church officials who protect them and by congregants who don't want to believe they could have done anything wrong.

It's kind of the same thing in the broader society, with those with less power being at the mercy of those with more, and being both protected and excused for doing so by the society as a whole. Yes, that's starting to change, but clearly not enough or, a black guy wouldn't get shot in the back for the crime of jogging "in the wrong neighborhood" even though it was his neighborhood. People wouldn't be calling the cops on black people who are minding their own business but just don't seem to be where some people think they should be, etc., etc., etc, ad nauseum.

And if continuing this discussion is creating too much friction, we can call it a day, but I have asked you questions in good faith, and I have made observations in good faith as well. That doesn't mean I'm right and you're wrong, and I'm not trying to attack you or vilify you, but if you can't support your perspective with anything that holds up to scrutiny, that isn't really about me. I'm always willing to listen to and consider another perspective, but unless you give the details, I don't really have anything to work with. And that doesn't make me rude, or pedantic, or whatever else for saying so.

Written by

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store