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comment by War
War  ·  1808 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Free speech is exhausting

From an academic and intellectual standpoint I get it. I understand the danger of censoring people, but the emotional side of myself is very exhausted having to wave off pretty constant attacks and jokes about my culture, race, my access to education. My favorite is speaking on behalf of the entire spanish community in almost every instance that it is brought up. My favorite insult is that "Well, you're not the spanish I'm referring to because you are educated and employed". I honestly am not directing any of this anger towards you because you have a legitimate argument, but there is a part of me that is unbelievably exhausted.

Cumol  ·  1808 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    you're not the spanish I'm referring to because you are educated and employed

From my perspective it sounds like: "you are not a real arab. You are open-minded, atheist, educated and only half arabic"

So I don't qualify as someone who represents the arabic minority in Israel, so I get treated like an ashkenazi jew. At some point it goes so far that people start making racist jokes about arabs while forgetting that I am in the room because "I don't count".

_refugee_  ·  1808 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's hard. It sucks, right? You don't want to become "that angry person." "That angry person to whom everything is about race (gender)(religion)." You don't want to drive people away from you, you don't want to seem like an angry person, you don't want to be an angry person.

But the alternative is that you allow things which should not be allowed to stand, stand.

I understand your exhaustion. I'm sorry. It sucks. But it's either be exhausted, and speak up (and even then, over time, you will learn you have to pick and choose) - or become an accomplice via witness.

War  ·  1808 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm just really emotional about this right now. I think its painful coming to the realization that this is what will come to define my life. Fighting endlessly day and night against stuff like this with literally no end in sight. Thank you for you words though. Really it means so much.

rinx  ·  1808 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I definitely feel like that sometimes. When I sink too deep into that though I try to be more positive. Did you read the "crazy eyes" Ama? It was really eye opening for me. She talks about racism, feminism, pretty much all the trigger words for an internet shit show. But she was so nice, positive, and friendly people were more open to her message. Looking at the good not only makes me less miserable but it helps me have real discussions with people.

kleinbl00  ·  1806 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    “Well, when I was nine years old Star Trek came on. I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.”

- Whoopi Goldberg

We haven't come nearly far enough. We still have an impossibly long ways to go. I'm sorry that a fundamental tenet of your social life is having to roll your eyes and remind people that it's not cool to slag minorities for being minorities. I agree: it sucks that you have to fight the constant battle of reminding the less enlightened that you are fully 100% human, as is everyone else whose ethnographic makeup deviates from straight white protestant male.

But I take it as a real sign of progress that you feel comfortable picking those fights. I think we're making great leaps forward in creating a world where you have the confidence to raise these issues. I think the fact that you're comfortable sharing your discomfort and calling people on their bullshit illustrates that the world is a more egalitarian place for you than it was for your parents.

I grew up with Polack jokes. They were just a thing. They were perfectly okay. They were allowed to let fly because "Polack" was this incomprehensible, alien abstraction we'd never meet. The adults knew that "Polack" meant "spic" but us kids didn't. That the white folx were making ethnic jokes secretly about a culture that had been around 200 years longer than the United States didn't matter a whit; they were Masters of the Universe and if they wanted to tell a joke based on a nondenominational negative stereotype that the dog whistle listeners knew was about their coworkers, they could do it. It was the '80s.

When I got to college the racism was less subtle. There was a girl in my dorm. Think she was Catalan Spanish, not any sort of Latin American. Some other girls in the dorm decided to buy a bunch of cans of beans and leave them by her door. Someone had to explain the insult to me - I'd never heard of a "beaner" because fuckin' A, growing up in New Mexico everyone ate beans and what sort of idiotic racist insult plays on the stereotype of what someone eats? But these girls had apparently never encountered a minority before and as a sign of solidarity, they decided to (wrongly) hit her with an insult to demonstrate how white she wasn't. It was the '90s. If that shit happened today it'd be national news.

I realize it's a rough kind of progress, and I'm not trying to tell you not to be offended, mad, tired and exhausted from it. But I will point out that 20 years ago, you would have felt better sublimating your frustration than expressing it. At this rate, 20 years from now it'll be a better environment for your kids, just like your environment is a little bit better than your parents.

user-inactivated  ·  1806 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The adults knew that "Polack" meant "spic" but us kids didn't

I thought it meant "polish." Wikipedia does too.

kleinbl00  ·  1806 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It does. But in New Mexico, only the unenlightened make jokes about hispanics. The clever white people used to make jokes about "Polacks" (even the ones whose names end in "'ski") because the unspoken assumption is you're making a joke about hispanics.

user-inactivated  ·  1806 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Huh. Dogwhistles are strange.

monevo  ·  1807 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The thing is, you dont, you're not the ambassador of latin america, you get to speak for yourself (barely) and thats it. be an asshole for a while or get better friends or none at all. its not as bad as it seems.

(also, wtf? theres education in puerto rico. do they think its some sort of third world country?)