I’m very tired so this will be short.
Today I had a little internet interaction that although isn’t a big deal in scope, it was a useful reminder to me of what kind of knowledge I have that other people do not. It also was a good reminder that when people get push back on their assholery, there is resistance and deflection, and I am the one to blame.
I live in a bubble. I’m home all the time, and my interactions with strangers is limited to a nod and a smile or a huff of annoyance while strolling past each other in store aisles. I don’t have a job to go to. I don’t have to interact with other people in a long term, or even short term, way. I have seconds of interaction before I return to my home and read Twitter where everyone I follow is smarter than me and already have knowledge of intersectional oppression under them.
When I wander away from my Twitter timeline or go into other social media places, I see very easily how people unwittingly uphold oppressive values. The pedantic grammar nazi is very prevalent in all comment sections, and as an anti-racist linguist with some knowledge under me, I can name the ways that these views uphold white supremacist ideals. I forget that people are quick to dismiss, deflect, victim-blame, gaslight. I need better skills to navigate such situations. When do I keep pushing, when should I stop? I stopped fairly quickly on today’s incident because I knew that anything I had to say would be quickly dismissed. Or I would get myself banned. Meh.
This is just the very beginning. I need to work on my approach. White people are fragile, and I know this, because I am not free of this fragility. I just have more information under my belt and a willingness to understand and be called out. Most people don’t have that, don’t want it, and don’t like it when it happens. Understandable, especially with an unapologetic approach. I need to think of who my audience is and what my ultimate goal is. That would be a good thing to ponder about for a while.