The Maze

I read articles or blog posts and love to share them with my cub. He is brilliant and has his (professional) hands in many different specialties, including history, law and geopolitics.

What is amazing is how we both come to two totally different conclusions about the same pieces of journalism or commentary despite an overall agreement with many social issues.

I have come to call this The Maze.

My View of the Maze

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I look at the articles and posts from far above, hovering in a hot air balloon. I read and then draw conclusions from the whole. I am able to set aside any conflicts within the piece or can integrate the contradictions as part of my take away.

Another aspect that I do is unquestioningly believe the person speaking. Especially if they are within an oppressed group. It is almost as if I bow down to their expressions of dissatisfaction, anger or even hate, and will accept the blame for them because I am White.

I tend to think this comes from the very submissive way I (literally and figuratively) walk through the world: eyes down, moving out of the way of someone walking even if I have the right of way, apologizing for bumping into someone even if it is their fault and on and on. Clearly socialized girl behavior.

I am able to write and speak out against oppression however (my Tumblr and this blog are two examples), but when it comes to my voice versus theirs, I defer and allow theirs to soar over mine.

My cub’s View of the Maze

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My cublet, on the other hand, is inside the maze, using a magnifying glass, able to see the veins on the leaves and any added droplets that might be falling from the author’s fingers. He sees the most amazing details that I either missed or overlooked, bringing them to clarity and verbalizing their importance within the context of his knowledge and experience.

He says, “Big red flags flew up.”

I am baffled how he sees these things I missed, but he is right much of the time and I am so thankful I have someone off which to bounce these ideas… someone with his knowledge and education.

The most profound piece of his knowledge that is incredibly foreign to me is when he says:

I want to stop police brutality but that doesn’t mean I have to stop thinking. I take the words of a black person very seriously on this issue, but they can be wrong.

Being oppressed does not bestow perfect clarity or give access to some eternal truth. 

PoC disagree with each other (so why can’t we disagree with them, too?).

I still don’t know what to do with that information even though intellectually, I know he is absolutely correct. Can I disagree with a Black person or Person of Color when they speak their Truth? Do I really have to accept, as a whole, every. single. word. they say as The Correct Way to Think?

You can’t see it, but I promise, I am processing these new ideas as fast, but as thoroughly, as I can.

Combined Views of the Maze

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What I do know now is that when my cub and I discuss the goings on of the world, I am being introduced to new ways of thinking… and he says he is, too. I find this pretty amazing considering I am 55-years old and have discussed oppression for at least 30 years.

We both think so differently from each other, it is in my getting closer to the maze… and for him to pull back some… that I believe I am able to find a new place of balance (he can speak for himself).

And balance is always a good thing.

 

Bipolar Diary: Utter Disbelief

I confessed to my cublet that I have had thoughts of killing myself as the election cycle unfolded, but I didn’t think I was there tonight despite everything.

And then my Tumblr Feed is rife with people desperate enough to not live a Hitlerian existence for 4 years.

help

Here is a Tumblr Page that can help if you are considering dying tonight.

PLEASE DO NOT!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

A long list of ways to calm yourself (self-soothe) and of people you can cling to when you fall into that place.

We are all going to have to regroup and find a way to continue, but we can do it together.

Again, you are not alone.

kbteewb

Figure It Out for Yourself: On Not Asking Marginalized People to Educate You

From my Tumblr feed:

Privileged people who say they want marginalized people to educate them don’t really want to be educated. In my experience, people who want to be educated will seek out the information they want, without putting the onus on you.

When privileged people say they want to be educated, what they really want is for you to say no, so they can complain that if you really wanted change, you’d change them. I guarantee that even if you say yes, they will completely disregard everything you say and act like its your fault for somehow failing to change a mind that wasn’t ever going to change. (sic)

My Response

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I actually struggle with this.

My first issue is not everybody has access to the Internet/Google. Not everybody can read, has enough reading comprehension to understand the arguments or cannot read English at all. Some people simply do not learn well through reading, but are more aurel instead. These are not my issue, but I haven’t seen them addressed, so keep talking about them.

My own issue is who do I listen to? How do I know the arguments/pieces on the Net are giving the right information? I am reading and reading, trying to tease the “right” attitudes/ideas from writers, but it is very confusing. I do understand this can happen in real life, but I would much prefer to hear from those I know how I can be an active supporter (avoiding the word ally for the moment) without offending.

I also believe that learning from articles when this is SUCH a personal issue is almost like playing the Telephone Game, learning second-hand. I am well-schooled… learned from books my entire life… am not Not NOT shrugging off my own responsibility to educate myself. But as I grew older, I saw that much of what I learned through books was total bullshit lies. How do I know what I am reading isn’t that all over again?

(more below the horrifyingly, ever-growing, long list of names of blacks killed by police)

blacklivesmatter

Talking one-on-one is an augment to my learning style. It feels belittling when I am told I shouldn’t ask any POC anything about being helpful in the #BLM Movement. Latinx & LGBTQIA communities don’t seem as resistant to being asked questions of how to unpack White Cis-Able-bodied-etc. Privilege. I am a disabled, mentally ill Latinx  Sex Worker & a femme Dyke, and I’m working hard on this White Privilege I carry. I remain open to respectful questions from anywhere and anyone. It confuses me how others are not like me. (Privilege glaring; I see it.)

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Rachel Bostick

I am also quite uncomfortable hearing this:

When privileged people say they want to be educated, what they really want is for you to say no, so they can complain that if you really wanted change, you’d change them. I guarantee that even if you say yes, they will completely disregard everything you say and act like its your fault for somehow failing to change a mind that wasn’t ever going to change. (sic)

That is SO not me or many (most?) whites in my world. Maybe qualifier of “many/most privileged people”?

I acknowledge this is a forever process, but I am working on it. Daily. Want to offer my skills where they could be used… writing seems to be the place right now.

I really am trying.

samedistance