Just Shut Up Already

I like to think I spend a lot of time writing what I notice here.

I actually spend a lot of time and energy arguing. When I see an attitude or a story someone holds as true that will lead to mob "justice" of any kind I tend to try to refute it.

I should know better by now. I should just shut up already.

I have this story in my head that somehow if I can replace enough bad stories with good ones, that the world will change.

Bad story file:

  • All black people are dangerous criminals
  • All police officers are unaccountable
  • All white people are privileged and inhuman
  • All Muslims have responsibility for the global jihadist movement
  • The global jihadist movement has nothing to do with Islam
  • There is nothing about our system that needs to change
  • Voting for XXX for [insert office here] is going to make anything about the world better

Reality file:

  • Most people don't think they have influence over the system or other people

Good story file:

  • Being human is hard
  • It's easier when we work together
  • Most people don't want bad stuff to happen to you
  • Live and Let Live is something we need to live out loud
  • You can't ask for someone's help or influence them while simultaneously judging them (e.g. Calling them hypocrites or privileged)

The truth is grim. To replace a story in my head, I have to practice again and again living out an alternate story. I have to live it week-after-week until it even registers as a path in my brain and body.

What chance in the world do any of us have to change other people? Other than the occasional wake-up call, it's really up to them.

Well... Wake Up America. Time to search within ourselves and try to understand what we can do about the killing.

A Moment on the Soap Box: Victim Privilege

There was an event in Dallas last night in which a peaceful vigil ended with a sniper gunning down 5 police officers in cold blood. I saw someone refer to this as "the tables have turned".

This is psychologically revealing. Want to talk about privilege? Let's talk about "victim privilege".

Things in extreme often become their opposites. Joe victim, on a long enough timescale, tells story after story about his inhuman oppressors and eventually decides to take action. As a victim, he feels entitled to do harm to his supposed oppressors and other members of their class.

Victim privilege is a part of the psychology that justifies mob violence. And it's a part of the psychology that makes a moral virtue out of gunning down police officers.

Victim privilege is the end result of all identity politics. It is a form of mob entitlement.

And it is self-perpetuating. I am only concerned with what others have to say to the extent that they are rational people. As such, I tend to dismiss anyone who sounds entitled. This particularly includes those speaking out of Victim Privilege. I expect I am not alone in this response.

Our silent dismissal is taken as "ignoring" their plight. And the gap widens.

I'm drawing a new line: "We are in this together to figure out how to raise everyone up to the point where equal rights are respected and protected, especially the right to keep living your life in liberty. We respect all life. We don't care about skin color or labels. And we respect the noble burden of those who choose to put their own lives on the line in the service of creating the most civil society the world has ever seen."

If this isn't what you have to say along with me... Just shut up already.

I don't suppose anyone who doesn't agree will actually do that... So: You can call me a hypocrite. You can throw every kind of label at me you want. You can tell me that I'm Man-splaining or Asian-splaining or whatever. You can catalog all of the times I don't give enough airtime to whatever cause it is you think I need to be beating the drum about.

And I'll do my best to ignore you and pretend you don't exist since that's what you're going to accuse me of anyway.

If this isn't you, sorry for the soap box talk. I'm shutting up now.