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    Medium | Sarah A. Downey | 6/29/20 | 39 min
    13 reads10 comments
    7.1
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    • Sophie1 month ago

      Wow, what an awful thought piece. It appears to me that the author is upset that as society becomes more progressive she has to acknowledge her own privilege and take responsibility for her actions and words, so would rather blame “political correctness” and suggest that marginalised and oppressed groups are too easily offended.

      Words that someone used ten years ago, that didn’t mean anything loaded at the time, are now being declared “offensive”

      Hint: these words were always offensive, you just weren’t listening to the groups that they were offending.

      Or Nazi Germany, which everyone seems to forget happened slowly and creepingly among normal citizens who turned on each other over the supposed moral high ground. Why people think this can’t happen in the US, I don’t know. But it’s happening, and I see it. Socialism kills people.

      I can’t believe I’m having to say this, but Nazism is not socialism 🤦‍♀️ I actually think the author is well aware of this fact but is deliberately spreading this misinformation to try and discredit the American political left. Absolutely disgusting.

      Justice for George Floyd is a paramount goal for US society. I understood the protests. But despite his killer getting fired and arrested, the protests became more violent, more destructive, and more divisive.

      The author clearly does not understand the protests if she thinks they were protesting the murder of one innocent black man. It is so much bigger than that. This is about historic, institutional racism that the author seems blissfully unaware of. If it doesn’t affect you it doesn’t exist, right? 🤦‍♀️

      BLM may have started as a movement to get justice for George Floyd’s killers

      A quick google search tells me BLM was founded in 2013. I wonder how much effort the author has put into researching her other claims?

      There are many more points I disagree with - but honestly it’s not worth my time 🤷‍♀️ If you’re angry and upset that your thoughtless behaviour and choice of words is finally getting called what it is: racist, maybe take a couple of minutes to imagine what it’s like to actually experience racism.

      • joanne1 month ago

        Right on Sophia, This was hard for me to read maybe because I’m a member of “ the mob” . You’re reply resonated with me. I believe in taking responsibility for my words and actions and to speak and listen to others with basic kindness and empathy. I do not participate in much social media but when I do it’s honest and uplifting. I create it like that. Thanks for balancing out Sarah’s views.? Thanks Sarah, that was insightful.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        Hey Sophie!

        I had a completely different reading. I mostly loved this one. Incidentally, I know Sarah, the author, the real human being. (A few years ago, I snuck into an info session at the VC firm where she works. We chatted and have since traded some emails. I actually really want her on the Readup cap table.)

        I am a huge fan of using science fiction as a means of exploring our current reality. That's one reason why this piece lit me up. Although there were a few things I wish I didn't have to read/see. Like this:

        Intersectionality is a form of identity politics in which the value of your opinion depends on how many victim groups you belong to.

        To me, that is the opposite of intersectionality.

        To me, intersectionality means that if you have ever been hated, for no reason at all, you know what it's like -- even if it's just a little bit -- and so you can use those experiences to have increased empathy for other humans who have been hated for no reason. To me, intersectionality is a fact, not an opinion. In conversations about oppression (being marginalized) my queer experience gives me an angle with black people and women that a straight white man doesn't have. That doesn't mean that any one opinion is better than any other opinion. It's just a channel of information and understanding between a subset of people. And these allegiances and connections (aka intersectionality) can help us to build bridges across boundaries that divide us and help weave us all in a big ole web of love, lol.)

        I'm guessing that Sarah knows that (1) Nazism isn't socialism (2) the protests represent a lot more than just the death of George Floyd, and (3) BLM started long before this most recent uprising. But, again: I have met her in person and I know that she is smart and thoughtful. Regardless, I think it's really interesting (and curious) that from your reading of her piece you thought she was really uninformed.

        Thanks for sharing!

        1. Update (7/6/2020):

          Quick clarification on my comment "I mostly loved this one." --

          I agreed with ~50% of it. I disagreed with ~30%. And I really enjoyed reading 100% of it, because I love being in the brains of other people, especially when they're in super-honest mode. That's the way forward.

        • jeff
          Reading streakScribe
          1 month ago

          To me, intersectionality means that if you have ever been hated, for no reason at all, you know what it's like -- even if it's just a little bit -- and so you can use those experiences to have increased empathy for other humans who have been hated for no reason.

          I think you've got it kind of backwards. Intersectionality is at its core the concept of a sort of multiplicative effect of belonging to multiple marginalized groups. It started as a critique of how the feminist movement was de facto "white feminism" that excluded black women. I love your sentiment and agree with it but it's not intersectionality. The whole point of intersectionality is that as a member of only a single marginalized group you don't have that shared perspective with people who are members of multiple marginalized groups.

          • bill
            Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
            1 month ago

            Lol. Whoa. Double backwards. But yeah, this actually really helps me to understand Sarah’s perspective re: intersectionality. It’s a word that we’re clearly using in two different ways. Linguistically, both make sense. Politically, I have no clue. Because, yeah, everyone uses these words the way that they want them to work. (Including me, obviously.)

            It started as a critique of how the feminist movement was de facto "white feminism" that excluded black women.

            My take is that women have been a part of black liberation from the very beginning, but as I type those words I already understand the counter-argument.

            Marginalized groups are stronger when they work together. In the fight for liberation, a black man and a white woman can and should fight together. And they’re stronger with a black woman between them, for the exact reason you describe:

            The whole point of intersectionality is that as a member of only a single marginalized group you don't have that shared perspective with people who are members of multiple marginalized groups.

            We need more people speaking truth online and it will put a lot of this stuff to rest. That’s the one thing that I think is a bit sloppy about Sarah’s overall argument; she’s talking about a lot of things as global problems when they’re actually just Twitter problems.

            • Darko1 month ago

              Hi Bill! Reading through everyone's comments is indeed helping me parse through Sarah's article. I couldn't have said it better: speaking while in super-honest mode is the way forward. And for that, I believe Sarah's article is incredibly valuable in large part simply as a role model for future discussion.

              Along those lines, I think that delving into one micro-issue, even if it's Twitter dynamics/patterns, can be really enlightening and indicative of global problems. I think Sarah's one example about the Equality Team investigating a professor's past Twitter likes is an example of how already the Twitter problems have crept into real life. I can think of others. As a BBIIGGG (lol) proponent of the "slippery slope" theory, I do believe that even Twitter problems can beget global problems like Equality Teams and who knows what other types of social regulation.

    • jeff
      Reading streakScribe
      1 month ago

      I'm not really sure where to start with this. I read it last night and just skimmed it again looking for some sort of hook to engage with but ended up at the bottom with a blank comment box. I agree with almost everything the author is getting at but there's something about the tone that I find a little off-putting. I also feel like there are a lot of different really important issues that get brought up that should each probably be essays of their own. I think the author does a disservice by grouping them all together and creating what I think amounts to a straw man of "The Left" and then railing against it.

      Cancel culture is real but you can't take individual Tweets from random Twitter nut bars who are participating in a pile on attack and use that as evidence of the aspirations of an entire segment of the political spectrum. I don't like that "The Left" has become a sort of catch-all code word that gets thrown around in certain circles on the internet (circles that I frequent!). I think it's an over-simplification and is alienating for people who aren't up to speed or don't buy in to what it's supposed to mean.

      I'm as pro-First Amendment as the author but I think it's a mistake to let that fervor push you into an "us vs. them" mentality. The author laments the lack of nuance in discussion of complex issues, but I feel like this article itself could have used a bit more of it. There's nothing inherently wrong with venting at a nebulous mob whose wrath you've unjustly suffered, but we're going to have to be more specific in order to change people's minds. Hopefully that's next on the agenda once the initial rush of the red pill wears off.

      • Darko1 month ago

        I feel similarly. It felt just shy of being worthy to share to a couple friends who I think need to hear the core message of the article. For me it does in fact articulate some of my thoughts, but in a tone that is off-putting, and with not quite enough nuance to warrant my sharing of it.

    • jamie1 month ago

      My Bible......finally! Now I can breath....being labeled a racist or homophobic in soul crushing, especially when it is soooo not who I am....but when it comes from people who know me it is extremely hurtful.....being silent about EVERY Issue doesn’t mean that we have endorsed or condemned anything! The phrase “silence is violence “ is so in your face “judg-ie”. Many people are silent because they are working! Possibly not opining because we are still processing! As a dyed in the wool liberal I feel gutted by the voices saying I am not doing enough...there is definitely a mob, and my greatest fear is that their tactics and actions are more damaging to our cause than helpful..... ok as I have said before, I will continue to fight the good fight....... not the mobs marching rules...... and YES, I know what the good fight is.

      1. Update (7/6/2020):

        BTW I cannot support Sarah Downey on any social media because I am not on any platforms but I am definitely going to send a check to Innercity Weightlifting ICW.
        God bless Sarah (from an agnostic) Peace ✌️ out!

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      1 month ago

      Here’s what the mob should remember (or learn, if these concepts are new). When you really take the time to learn about issues, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. No one is entitled to anything. Just because someone has something doesn’t mean you deserve it. No one has the right not to be offended. Your desire to feel “safe” and untroubled in all settings and all environments is not paramount. If you’re upset by facts or scientific principles or other realities, you need to deal with that yourself. Find a way to be strong, because very little in life that wasn’t achieved via suffering is worthwhile. Read books — whole books — sometimes, not just headlines. Don’t be complicit or go along with something that you know to be false because it’s easier.