Racism is not in your intent. Your intent is immaterial in how racist your actions are. This isn’t about you BEING a racist. It’s about you DOING A THING that is racist. Your intent doesn’t change it. Your ignorance of its meaning doesn’t change it. It’s got nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with the meaning of your action in the context of sociocultural history.
“There are two schools of thought: that knowledge is power and that ignorance is bliss. If you think the former, then sociology will serve you well. If you think the latter you might want to discontinue the journey. It is better that you do not proceed past this point…
…There are comforts in delusions, in thinking that the world is at it should be. It is so much easier to believe that the unemployed are out of work because they are lazy, that the homeless live outside because they prefer fresh air, that prisons are full of bad people because there are no bad circumstances. It is much more troubling to think that the system itself is at fault, that structural inequalities are embedded within it, that some people do so well only because others do so very badly…
…To have illusions punctured can be unsettling and sociology does this. Our ‘first wisdom’ is that things are not necessarily as they appear. It exposes connections and relationships; it renders visible the links between past and present, rich and poor. Sociology illuminates what the privileged and powerful prefer to hide, but it may also show us things that will challenge our ontological security. So, before we proceed any further, some words of caution: Warning: Sociology will corrupt your taken-for-granted world. You will never take anything at face value again.
If you lack inquisitiveness, avoid shock and never seek to be challenged, if you really take no pleasure in discovery and have no desire to see the world afresh; if you want to believe things can only be how your teacher or preacher said they are; if you never say ‘I doubt it’, sociology is best avoided.”
This is a little piece from the Introduction chapter of my Sociology book.
I think I’ve finally found the subject I want to major in :)
Bolded the parts that I love. I don’t think I’ve ever read a better description of sociology.
People don’t get heard as much as they’d like. It was a great realization for me as a writer that people really want to be listened to. They are surprised that someone is interested, really interested. And you have to really want to hear somebody. A big part of it is tapping people’s natural desire to be listened to, especially since they know they’ll never have to deal with you again. It’s the same principle that underlies therapy, confession, conversations with strangers on airplanes: it’s a kind of duty-free intimacy that people really crave. If you can provide it without tricking people — because it’s not duty-free; it gets published — you can tap into that incredible appetite. It’s more appealing to talk with someone you’ll never know. It’s almost like talking out loud to yourself. And there is no limit to how unnoticed people feel by the media. It’s just the nature of what is considered newsworthy. If a person is living a life that is not newsworthy, it’s appealing to have someone say, “I want to hear your story.” Most people say, “Really, really? You really want to hear?” And people have amazing stories.
Before we can “do something” for the poor, there are some things we need to stop doing to them.
have likely never felt the flood of relief that there is a WORD FOR WHAT YOU ARE after spending years wondering if you were broken, what was wrong with you, feeling ridiculously isolated and having other people complain about things you can’t change about yourself. If there’s a word for it, that makes it a real thing.
Knowing that I am real, that I am not alone, has done so much more for me than this idea that homogenizing everyone by refusing to recognize our differences is supposed to. I felt invisible and/or mocked for most of my life by people who thought we should all just be “people.” Why in the world would anyone think that could be a good thing for me now?
“Why does everyone need a label, GAWD!?” is code for “I haven’t given myself and who I am much thought, and the fact that you have, and have had to, upsets me. So stop it and be more like me, dammit!”
this to the point of tears
And knowing how other people handle similar issues to yours helps immensely.
All this, especially that last post. People argue that all labels do is divide us, but sometimes division can be really helpful. If I can put people into little groups by different experiences they’ve gone through, it makes it easier to find people who have gone through some of the things I have and talk to them about something they understand on the same level that I do. That keeps me from feeling isolated and does more to integrate me into the people around me and society as a whole than just pretending that the differences between me and other people have absolutely no effect on my life.
Furthermore, when people use the, “why do we need labels? We’re all just people.” argument, they’re creating a false dichotomy that does us no favors. It promotes this idea that we can’t have both division and unity. Yes, we are all people, but we are all different people as well. Acknowledging that fact doesn’t have to mean that we are people of different value or worth. It just means we’re different, and we’re talking about those differences in a clear and organized manner. Just because I label myself doesn’t mean I can’t feel a sense of fellowship, empathy, and love towards people who don’t fit under those labels. And if that’s something others can’t do, ignoring the labels isn’t going to help.
Now, I’m not saying everybody does have to label themselves. There are some people who ARE different, who have felt broken or isolated, and have come to the conclusion that labels are just not for them, and that’s perfectly fine. There are plenty of valid reasons not to want to label yourself. But just because that works for some people doesn’t mean it works for everyone.
yes, particularly to the bolded
Reblogging for added commentary!
But whenever we find ourselves describing someone’s ability in terms of societal measures of success—prizes, wealth, fancy titles—rather than in terms of what they are capable of doing, we ought to worry that we are deceiving ourselves. Put another way, the cynic’s question, if you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? is misguided not only for the obvious reason that at least some smart people care about rewards other than material wealth, but also because talent is talent, and success is success, and the latter does not always reflect the former.
::facepalm at the world:: Hey, hey everyone. Guess what? Just because someone has the means to fight back does not mean taunting and harassing them isn’t bullying. I have had training in multiple forms of martial arts since I was six years old. I was put in Young Marines the day I turned eight. My father was very careful to make sure that all of his children could hold their own in a fight. I am more than capable of defending myself. That doesn’t mean someone shoving me into a wall would be justified in their actions.
Yeah, I could probably take them. I could fight back. I could act like an idiot who thinks antagonising the bullies is a good idea. That doesn’t matter. They still should have never done it to begin with. “Pick on someone your own size” is an outdated concept that should have been completely done away with by now.
#stupid james potter fans #snape knowing sectumsempra is not a reason for the marauders to lure him to a werewolf #or hang him up by his feet and threaten to show off his balls to everyone around #it just makes the entire thing even worse because it implies they knew he wouldn’t fight back
Free speech as a legal concept only guarantees you the right to speak. It doesn’t guarantee you the right to be heard, it doesn’t guarantee you the right to be agreed with, it certainly doesn’t guarantee you the right for your speech to not be challenged by someone else’s speech, and most importantly of all, it doesn’t mean you can’t suffer consequences if and when your free speech is used to cause harm to someone. Which is exactly what sexual harassment, racial slurs, and verbal bigotry are. That’s not censorship. That’s fairness.