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Old 12-31-2009, 01:56 AM
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Ravenesque Ravenesque is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I agree with what you are saying here, but I don't think the way to meet in the middle is to bash people over the head with how I am marginalized. I also need to make a trek from where I am to meet people where they are at. How do I do that? By living my life without apology or trying to fit in.... living my life in honesty, openness and staying calm and understanding that others are not where I am... keeping my frustration and anger over other peoples agenda in check.

Interesting. I simply disagree with making the entire trek. It is something marginalized and oppressed peoples have always had to do.

Meeting in the middle is not an unreasonable request and I fail to understand how asking that the privileged step outside their privilege is bashing them.

I often see such an assertion by those used to privilege who are frightened or threatened by the concept of others having the rights and privileges they have. They are even more threatened that they may have to contribute in some way or give up their privilege in order for equality to occur. I am also unsure what you are responding to in your statement about frustration and anger over other people's agendas.

Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I have made some amazing friends who consider themselves mainstream and who I consider them so also. The feed back I have had over the years has been that they are grateful to me for "inviting" them to talk about stuff they don't understand. Making the space for them to ask me hard questions... I have not judged them for their difference and have not seen them as across an ocean of stuff that they just don't get. Instead I've been inviting and accepting of what they don't know and have asked if they are interested in knowing. Assuming they want to know really. sometimes I have been blind sided with "fuck off" but often times I have been seen as novel and interesting. Someone to ask questions of and someone who will answer any question... just by being me and willing to put myself in situations where I step out of my own comfort in order to make a difference. I think being "inviting" while not giving up what is important to us is more appropriate than saying, "that's not acceptable"
The best dialogues I have engaged in and witnessed, which in turn resulted in the greatest strides towards equality being made, have been with individuals of privileged backgrounds and individuals of marginalized backgrounds meeting in the middle. Both being open and willing to cross borders engaging, teaching and learning from each other. Again, making the entire trek is unacceptable. How is it justifiable to say "you constantly make the trek to bridge the gap to my side. Keep on doing it because I'm not getting off of my silk pillow."

I find that mentality abhorrent and rife with privilege entitlement. There needs to be effort on the parts of all involved.

Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Actually, I find many people in activist communities to be more closed off to discussion than those in mainstream society... sad, but true for me. I used to identify as an activist for years. I don't openly identify anymore although I still think my heart is there. I don't because I don't want to be thought of as someone so radical that I am unapproachable. Which is often how mainstream people see activists. Quite often activists are so damned angry they miss the real opportunities to make change in the world. Anger is blinding it seems.
That is quite interesting again. There are quite a few thinly veiled judgments within your post but I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

Anger is a legitimate emotion. I have seen it often highlighted as an excuse of the privileged to shut down and not engage in dialogue or bringing change usually because of a sense of guilt. Often the complaint is one of being attacked. Just to avoid dealing with the underlying issue or with the reality that they have been placed at a point of privilege and will have to act as well as anyone else to lift the oppression that has been caused by that.

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Last edited by Ravenesque; 12-31-2009 at 02:05 AM.
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