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comment by bioemerl
bioemerl  ·  2453 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Unerased: Counting Transgender Lives

lol, 24 homicides per year at max in the USA?

That's beyond insignificant. As many people as that, twice as many, die to murder in the USA alone.

flac  ·  2453 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  

Congratulations! You've shown that you care enough about human life that you started a homicide statistic with "lol"! You definitely seem like you do give your time supplying food to the homeless, or volunteering on a suicide hotline, and don't just use the excuse of "this isn't an issue that directly affects me" to avoid actually helping anybody not related to you by blood.

I'm sorry that not enough trans people are dying to warrant your empathy - let's hope it stays that way.

Tell me, how are you fighting the Opioid epidemic in America? What are some concrete steps I, as a citizen, can take to stop the deaths of 33,000 of my peers? I certainly don't know anyone who is addicted to prescription pills, so by your reasoning I have no reason to care about it - that's just not something which affects me. I do know a young trans woman who was beaten to within an inch of her life in an alley, but hey, my number's smaller than yours, I should care about your thing instead - fuck her statistically insignificant life!

See, here's the thing about proportions: they tend to point to something larger than themselves. If you actually did give your time to helping the homeless, you would find that between 10-20 of those 50 people might be gay or trans (and before you have a chance - I know I linked to a liberal rag and you are going to debate the numbers, I don't particularly have the energy to find better sources) - a number which is disproportionately high. Or if you actually spent your time with opium addicts, you would find that, again, a disproportionately high amount of them are gay or trans. And do I even have to tell you how many gay and trans people would be calling you on that suicide hotline?

I get it, you don't know any trans people, but some of us do. Some of us may even want to start a family with the trans man they've been dating for 5 years - a thing that becomes significantly harder if he's dead. I completely agree that there is a finite amount of energy that we can all channel to causes that we deem to be important - I just hope that you're channeling yours towards something bigger than complaining about people mourning the dead.

EDIT: I'm sorry that this is pretty aggressive, I don't mean it as a personal attack - in all seriousness, I have no doubts that you are a good person, and I get where you are coming from. This is just an issue that hits really close to home.

bioemerl  ·  2452 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My concerns are practicality. Do you seriously think I said what I have because I think trans people don't need help? Do you think I want trans or gay people to be in bad situations?

I agree that helping those who are homeless, and those who abuse opioids also helps those who are gay, trans, minorities, and in all other sorts of negative situations. That's the point. We don't help these groups by giving lip service to how horrible it is that "oh no 50% of trans people die due to murder every year" we do it by helping and building a strong, stable society where all prosper and do well.

And, yes, I don't do shit to help people around me. I don't go out to help the homeless, or fight drug epidemics. My point is not that "Oh, I do so much better", my point was "You can do so much more with your time than this". My point is "I was reading this and it sounded like there was some severe epidemic I needed to care deeply about, and it turned out to be literally 50 people dying".

If we all devoted our resources as a society to fixing the fact that a disproportionate number of trans people die every year, we wouldn't get anywhere. If we instead focus on the issues that aren't founded in identities, races, or cultures, and pushed everyone behind means from which we all benefit and we all cannot deny are important, we all succeed and we all can get behind any issue.

    I do know a young trans woman who

I'm not talking about people in your life. I'm not talking about individuals. I'm talking about a system of 300 million individuals, and of which all are of equal importance.

If you know someone in a bad situation, you can and should do what you can to help them. That's my fucking point. Those 50 trans people the article talks about are so far distant from me, and almost everyone, that it's hard to summon any level of care for any of them. It's a stupid little statistic that gets repeated over and over to make people go "oh wow, they have it tough."

If you are there, if you are seeing it in front of you, then it's a different story, and that trans person is no different from the homeless person you can go out and help. I'm not criticizing the helping of people in bad situations, I'm criticizing these moral-pandering campaigns to care about something that doesn't effect almost anyone in the nation.

Opioid abuse? Homelessness? Those are everywhere. They are universal issues that cut across lines and allow us to share a common enemy which we all benefit from if we defeat. If we want broad information campaigns, we should be informing people how to deal with those situations, and correcting the many, very shitty impressions people have of those who are homeless, abusing drugs, or otherwise.

Focusing people's efforts to something so distant, so irrelevant, takes it away from the issues that do effect their community and their peers. You proposed the question of what I could do to prevent opioid abuse. The answer is that I could probably connect to my family and find, in a very short amount of time, someone who I am personally close to and connected with that could use my help. I can make a small, but significant impact by taking 1 away from the tally. I cannot do that for trans people. I don't know any trans people in a situation where they would be, and I don't have the resources to even begin to help someone in a bad condition. If you do, that's great, but you aren't in the majority.

The course articles like these take us on is one of endless worry of a sea of plights to people far away who we cannot effect. We can feel good while we rant about how bad they have it and how good we are for making everyone "think about how bad they have it" while we don't do shit to actually fix anything. These articles make us look at a world where we are one in 300 million, where our lives don't matter and where we are only important if 50% of our sexual/identity/racial group face issues.

That world is shit. That outlook is shit. I will not support or take part in it.

ButterflyEffect  ·  2453 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My "favorite" part of this is that apparently the only statistics that matter are bulk numbers, which, you know, aren't even really "statistics" in the math-y sense.

But we're apparently not playing that game today. This was a really a unproductive comment (from me), but, jesus.

user-inactivated  ·  2453 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Every life lost is a tragedy and justice should not exist solely when it's convenient.

bioemerl  ·  2453 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I just modified my comment a bit.

Yes, every life lost is horrible, but these are 50 people I do not know, in situations all over the country. 50 people is a tiny number among 300 million. Their lives are absolutely important, but I don't care unless I am close to or know them, just like I don't care about the 50 people who die every single day of the year to murder alone. That's about two per hour.

The issues trans people face are bad, sure, but it's no societal plight, and I can't be asked to care about something that is so super tiny compared to the many other issues facing society today. It's 50 people.

Frankly, I said the same thing about the 4 who died in the London bombings. Yeah, people are important and all losses are bad, but the reaction people have to 4 deaths is like going into a crying sobbing fit when you realize the restaurant is out of mayo for your sandwich.

Lives are important, and should be preserved, but we don't live in a world where the resources with which we can use to improve ourselves and save lives and improve lives are unlimited.

I can save 50 lives by going out in my community and feeding the homeless. I can save 50 lives by joining a support line for suicide. If I want to see a sweeping social trend, it needs to be saving thousands of lives, even tens of thousands. Not 50. Cultural pushes like this should be against the ever-rising abuse of opioids, or against repressive practices that lead people to hide away their suicide, or other means, or for healthcare, or for a thousand other BIG issues that effect millions, not hundreds.

How many do I save if I devote my time and effort to changing perceptions on trans people? A fifth of a life? A hundredth? Zero?

All lives are important, but you are one guy in a sea of millions. We matter, but we really aren't very significant in the scheme of things.

    Opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) killed more than 33,000 people in 2015

50 v 33,000

Yeah, those 50 matter, but if they matter just as much as everyone else than they really don't matter.

ButterflyEffect  ·  2453 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Really my issue with your analysis is looking at bulk numbers instead of proportions of the population, which end up being roughly an order of magnitude difference between the proportion of trans population murdered in 2015 (smaller) compared to the proportion of opioid users killed via overdoes in 2015 (larger). Does bridge the gap quite a bit compared to the bulk but, if you're judging your reaction based on number/proportion of people killed, opioids still "win".

bioemerl  ·  2453 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm a member of society, not the transgender community. I do not care if a group is getting murdered a whole lot more than other groups if that group has absolutely no impact on my life or any of the structures I rely on every day.

We can and should promote the social progress that enables trans people to live happy healthy lives. A lot of people are reduced to nothing because of how they are treated, and could be so much more than they could today. A change in the way society looks at them would solve those murders along with promoting and progressing the freedom of all people. I'm not saying trans issues aren't important in general, because the general progression of social views is a hell of a lot bigger than the trans community.

But phrase the issue to me as "oh no, 50 people died and because the trans community is so small it's like they have a huge portion of their group being murdered" I'm not going to care, because it just doesn't matter to me at all. Whoever they are, 50 people are 50 people, and the loss of their lives is not more significant because they are part of a minority group.

ButterflyEffect  ·  2453 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh, so you just have no empathy and don't give a shit about anything that doesn't directly impact you. Okay, exiting this conversation.

bioemerl  ·  2452 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have empathy, but empathy is something that is triggered when you look at someone sad and dying on the streets, not numbers and abstract concepts. Empathy keeps us from murdering one another, it keeps us helping those who are sick, because we feel their pain when we see them.

What you refer to is not empathy, but "social requirement to express empathy based on abstract concept." I will not claim to feel something I don't, and I think all of the people out there who work themselves up with all their "empathy" on things like this are telling a lie, and a dangerous one at that.

Until we understand that people really don't care when you present them with statistics like this, that our empathy is not this thing that persists in our entire world and thoughts, we will never recognize that we can't rely on it to kick in when dealing with the "big picture." We cannot rely on empathy. It can be overridden by as little as fear of standing out from your group, or the orders of authority. It can be turned to hatred and scorn that leads to genocide. We must rely on knowing how we think, how we act, and arranging our society so that it works as well as possible using that fact, rather than denying it exists.

Empathy doesn't back all human action, and it shouldn't. If it did, we'd have gone extinct long ago when we were starving in an ice age and refused to put our own lives over that of the cute animals we'd have to kill for meat.