"When did opinions become inviolate?"

(h/t Womanist Musings)

From infamous (in a good way) blogger Sparky:

I can’t get along with bigots. I can’t, I won’t.

I won’t play nice when someone espouses bigotry. No matter how politely they word their bigotry – their bigotry alone makes them unacceptably rude and due a verbal beat down.

I won’t grit my teeth and just “let it go.” Our society is partly the bigoted thing it is because of so many people letting bigotry passed unchallenged. And don’t tell me “it’s not worth it,” because we’re talking about the ongoing fight to prevent bigotry being acceptable. It’s worth it. It’s necessary. And I’ll decide what’s worth my time and energy, thank you.

Don’t ask me to “agree to disagree,” people disagreeing on whether or not I’m due human rights or human respect isn’t something I agree with, nor is it something I’m going to let lie.

Don’t tell me it’s their opinion. Since when are opinions so damn precious? When did opinions become inviolate? Just because it’s an opinion doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be challenged or shouldn’t be argued against. My aunt’s of the opinion that throwing out her own body weight in scraps on her garden will only attract birds. The rats in the area are of the opinion that if the fool’s going to provide a free buffet every day then they might as well stay. Beloved is of the opinion that, despite years upon years of turning a bright lobster pink, this will be the year he’ll tan a nice, golden brown. There’s no reason an opinion can’t be complete drivel – in fact, I’d say that’s the norm.

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Don’t ask me to meet someone “half way”. Where’s the half way on treating someone as fully human? Treating them as a little human? Almost human? Giving them some respect? You can have these rights but not those? You can have those rights but I’m still going to raise a generation to hate you, despise you and drive you to suicide? Where is the middle ground here I’m supposed to accept?

Don’t say we both have valid points. Or if you are going to say that, don’t run when I ask you to explain what points the bigots have that you think are “valid.” And yes, I will ask you and I’ll argue with you too.

Don’t tell me the many many good qualities a bigot has and expect me to be friends with them. Don’t ask me to just “not bring it up” or “avoid the topic.” Don’t ask me to censor my life to make them – and you – more comfortable.

...

Don’t ask me to ignore bigotry because you want to focus on X and Y – you don’t set my priorities and why should X and Y require bigotry? Why should they be built on a foundation of injustice? What is so important about X and Y that they mean justice for marginalised people can be ignored? That’s not to say these causes aren’t important – but that doesn’t mean justice can be just set aside.

...

You want a quiet life, I get that – but the cost of that quiet life is us shutting up and taking it. Or smiling and saying thank you as we’re abused. You want to keep everything nice and peaceful – but it’s not peaceful for us. You’re so invested in peace and quiet that you’ve lost sight of right and wrong and a polite, soft-spoken bigot is still a bigot. Oppressive people who smile nicely, say please and thank you and use coasters are still oppressive people.

Comments

  1. Couldn't have put it better myself! Just found out 2 close white girlfriends seem to think whites cam experience racism. I tried to explain calmly and patiently why someone calling them names isnt the same damn thing, gave them historical context, basic info they should know as they are older than me. They still insisted whites experience racism. Guess who aren't my pals anymore? They only got the nice version cos were friends at a barbecue

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  2. I sooooooo needed to read this. It's like God just gave me the answer on dealing with some real life peeps and whether or not to cut them loose.

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  3. Excellent! I can't imagine how many people I've run into who are more interested in feeling better than what's right and wrong.

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  4. Sparky's articles are always a breath of fresh air. You read them and you just want to say "Thank you" over and over again.

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  5. Yeah, my humanity is not up for debate.

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  6. This is a wonderful piece. Amazing job!

    It always bothers me when people try to say things like "can't their be some discussion about this?" or "let's compromise" on issues of human rights. The thing about discussion and compromise is that you can't have either if one side is blatantly in the wrong.

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  7. When people argue that gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married, I get extremely angry to the point where I might actually punch the person. From my point of view it's who are you to deny anyone happiness and the same rights heterosexuals get just because they're well heterosexuals. When people argue that it'll ruin the sanctity of marriage, that 'marriage' is a religious thing, to it being against the constitution (Don't know where the fuck they came up with that one...yes I've personally heard someone say that). I basically argue them into the ground because I can't just let it go.

    And I completely agree with you

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