Over at Coalition of the Brave, it seems that some of their writers don’t like having their views challenged.
And to top it off, a blogger who I have had severe disagreements with in the past, is the only voice making any sense over there.
You might be asking, ‘what is he going on about?’
Well, I think (maybe it wasn’t me but someone else or a combination of more than one person or incident) I broke the Coalition of the Brave with my evil insistence that the writer back up her assertion that she was using facts…when she wasn’t.
The conversation we had was taken down shortly after, and only comments that agreed with the author were left up.
So unfortunately, I can’t show you what the original conversation was about. It had something to do with Melania Trump and fashion designers refusing her service.
But…I can show you how the site owner is now apologizing because he (again, I think he’s referencing me) had the audacity to say that I had made a valid point. At the time, he admitted that his writer had used an unfortunate word choice. Since then, I guess he’s lost that writer as well as another one.
Let’s get into this new post.
I should have said this ages ago. I’m going to say it now.
This Coalition has recently lost two fantastic contributors because I didn’t stick up for them. Why didn’t I stick up for them, I hear you ask?
Oh, but why did you not stick up for them?
I tell myself it’s because I don’t like confrontation, but that’s bullshit. I did it on the grounds of white male privilege. Not knowingly, but that’s the reason.
Holy crap. Bloody hell. You’re going to apologize for being white and male. That somehow makes your point invalid?
What you originally did (in my case) was fine – you admitted that you thought they were wrong to assert something as fact that wasn’t fact. That has nothing to do with your skin color or gender.
Snap out of the white guilt, mate. Being white and male isn’t something to be ashamed of any more than any other skin color. They are arbitrary attributes, and you didn’t choose to be born white or male. You’re a person and your opinions are just as valid as someone else’s, regardless of their skin color.
It sounds like you’re referencing more than one case, but people shouldn’t need protection from disagreement. A public blog isn’t a safe space and if you’re going to blog about controversial topics, you should expect to be disagreed with.
It’s all well and good offering platitudes and nodding and saying you understand, but unless you’ve walked in another person’s shoes, you can’t claim to truly understand their experiences. I am not black, nor am I a woman – and I’m never going to be either of those. When they came to me with concerns about being harassed and belittled, I should have tried to see things from their perspective.
Trying to see things from anthers perspective is a good thing to do no matter who you happen to be talking to. It’s called empathy and self-reflection. It’s also why we have language. We can talk to one another and explain how our experiences impact us as individuals.
However, being black, white, gay, heterosexual, man, woman etc doesn’t mean your opinion is more valid than someone else’s. Being disagreed with is not the same as being harassed.
And maybe she was harassed. I don’t know what he’s referencing here, but I find it hard to believe that someone that seems as reasonable and mild-mannered as Darth would sit on his hands and do nothing if someone were truly being harassed.
But that’s just my opinion and certainly not a fact.
Whether the people doing the harassing knew what they were doing, I don’t know. It’s entirely possible that, like me, they weren’t consciously doing it, and just couldn’t perceive their actions through a different perspective. Sometimes our privilege blinds us. We are guilty of institutionalised sexism, racism and bigotry, without even realising it.
Nah, mate. You’re basically saying people are guilty of thought crimes. You don’t get to assert that everyone is racist, sexist and bigoted.
That’s not how it works. It might work that way in Regressive Land, where everyone is valued based on how many oppression’s they can claim, but not in reality.
Oh yeah, and if your referencing me in this part, please know I was consciously disagreeing with that author. I knew exactly what I was doing. When people say that something is a fact when it isn’t, I challenge them on it.
Then Pink comes into the picture. And damn if I didn’t find myself cheering.
Hell yes, Pink. I think you’re missing the point though – these people (besides the blog owner, I think, who seems reasonable) don’t want discussion. They want yes men and women to nod and tell them how right they are and how oppressed they must be.
Pink is absolutely right here, but the response he gets is priceless. He’s told that he’s part of the problem because he’s a man.
Check your privilege, Pink! Don’t you know you’re a white male!
Pink is now being problematic. He’s part of the problem.
This is my favorite bit here. This is exactly what I told the site owner previously.
If you want to run a site based on discussion, you have to allow dissenting opinions and in my humble opinion, he should find writers who hold a differing viewpoint from his regular contributors to showcase a different point of view. Otherwise, you’re running an echo-chamber.
Like Pink says here, if you want to ‘change minds’ you need to engage people in discussion. Not create an echo-chamber.
Last but not least, good job on being the voice of reason in this case, Pink.