The first day at school is intimidating, terrifying, but the process of finding a place for yourself, as the unfamiliar becomes homely can be magical. I like watching new people find their feet.
It's not really like the first day of school though. I loved the first day of school cos everyone starts off on a blank slate. I was lying to a few people about my name and life because I could. It's more like the first day of school if you transfer, because the cliques are already established, you're a few steps behind. That's why they set up clubs and societies (in depth threads)
everyone is luka
Ego is all about difference. The concept of othering is interesting here. There’s a lot of talk of othering in social justice and woke rhetoric. The irony in it being an accusation is thats a form of othering in itself, like differentiation isn’t a fundamental aspect of creating meaning and how we relate to one other. I think there’s value in realising it’s something that we constantly do in all our interactions
this is what i wanted to talk about in the caveh zahedi thread which was shamefully ignored,
i remember a kathleen hanna interview ages ago where she says how these grubby confessional healing efforts of that whole scene had the unintended consequence of people making zines about how secretly racist they were
sometimes you have to shut up
And two groups of people ask us to uncover this inner racist. Anti-racists ask us to do this as a consciousness raising exercise, so as we can get right down to the roots of this reaction-formation and cut them out, and racists ask us to do this, so we can discover that the liberal attitudes are merely skin deep, that in the core of our being we are tribal.
The former tells us that our inner racist is socially constructed while the latter would have us believe that it is natural and being natural it is futile and self defeating to try and change it.
common view is that it’s constant work and vigilance, concepts like privilege-checking and the interrogation you describe are now quite embedded.
One of the things I was talking about is the way in which this eternal vigilance can backfire, or be perverted, or have unintended consequences. About the drawbacks of setting up this policeman in the head.
And just to stave off any misunderstanding I'm not suggesting that unconscious bias does not exist and I'm not saying we shouldn't try and root it out on a personal and social level. To give an example, a few decades back some female teachers, who identified themselves as feminists, placed cameras in their classrooms and upon analysing the footage found that they had been giving vastly more time and attention to the boys than the girls. That is a significant finding with significant real world consequences.
I think it's a necessary stage. The danger in getting stuck at that stage of development is what the vampire castle essay was kinda about
I've read through this thread a couple times now and decided that baboon2004 has a sort of obsessive fantasy where straight men are attracted to him. It reminds me a bit of women who can't believe that a gay man wouldn't sleep with them. "But I have big tits! Surely you're in denial"@Luka:
I'm tired and I have to go back to work, so I'll be brief and then I'll log back on later.
What, in my view, you avoided: the idea that a lot of straight men are particularly anxious about going to gay clubs, not just because they are in a different space (which, as we both said, people are often in, in a diverse society), and not because they fear being raped (imagine then how women feel 24/7), but because they have anxiety, conscious or not, about their own sexuality. I'm saying this descriptively, not in any moral or other sense. In my view, this is because sexuality is a spectrum and the idea of '100% heterosexual' is pretty laughable - but that's the kind of thing I wanted to discuss, because there is a diversity of views.
I don't ultimately care about the who's right argument, but I do care about this point, and I genuinely do not feel it got discussed.
We really went mad during that pandemic didnt we. I have no idea what this means!The obvious point im making is that all thought, judgement and conceptualisation of situations is based on prior categorisations, instinct, unconscious, system 1 thinking, implicit biases, shortcuts etc etc. We can’t avoid making snap value judgements and risk assessments constantly, we cant not be judgmental, we can just manage how we respond, If we take this position (do we take this position? Any enlightened buddhists here?) its hard to deny that we all have some racial stereotyping and unconscious bias going on at some level, the controversy is around the source. And whether having these thoughts is racist or not is another charged debate that’s heavily skewed by how honest we can be with ourselves and each other.
And there’s obv a spectrum of awareness and intensity with bias, almost like developmental stages in how we understand and respond, which is heavily contingent on past experience, education, exposure to other people, and cultures etc
So in the interests of the discussion about the impossibility of emotional honesty is it worth thinking about how the positions you set up there can be dishonest? The rift that underpins most sociological positions is the old nature v nurture false dichotomy isnt it? Ie that liberal attitudes or impulsive reactions, multiculturalism or ethno-nationalism are part of nature or not.
The self- serving dishonesty or wilful ignorance in the racist group might be in over emphasizing or indulging in these instinctual, reactive thoughts and disavowal of masses of evidence to the contrary, with a lot of confirmation bias. There’s a lot of denial of fear, and fetishisation too. And there’s a huge amount of self-deception and dishonesty in nationalism.
The self-serving dishonesty or wilful ignorance in the anti-racist group sometimes comes in the form of denial of the instinctual and implicit biases at the micro (personal) level, or in claims to have arrived, Maybe the idea that the levels of your prejudice can be fully known or realised or excavated can be dishonest too. But I think a common view is that it’s constant work and vigilance, concepts like privilege-checking and the interrogation you describe are now quite embedded.