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    • TinaCamera3 months ago

      To be really candid here, I experienced a lot of emotions reading this article lol. .

      Toxic polarisation is truly tearing the world apart, irrespective of what country you’re from. I live in Australia and the divide resembles America with older and younger generations being wedged further apart because of our disparate belief systems. This article helped for me to reflect on the notion that many of us who might be ‘social justice warriors’ speaking in to a lot of truth, but can exacerbate divide..

      On the other hand, part of me felt like, hey this is another example of ‘white fragility’ where people who are aware of social implications of systemic injustice have to accommodate their language because of the sensitivity of the very people that contribute to these constructs. And reflecting on that thought while reading the article and reading what I just wrote, I’m like wow I’m being pretty high brow, and exuding the very behaviour that this article is trying to address.

      Another part of me thought, well, this older era will fade away - but how sad, the thought that hey let’s not do the work to have constructive conversations with the people we love because it’s too much effort. And they pass away without ever really feeling heard by their younger family members. We have pretty high expectations for people who were brought up in a completely different era, which isn’t really fair.

      I thought the article did a fantastic job at highlighting the fact that yes, there are some instances where the effort clearly isn’t worth it - conversations that will never be constructive - we know who those people are. Nonetheless, it ignored the fact that inherent racism is often the crux of the divide. There are far right extremists out there who want things to go back to ‘a simpler time’ - like the 50s where ethnic minorities weren’t seen or heard. And this was the fear Reagan and Trump played on that blames individuals and not systems for a persons disadvantaged place in society. There are deep seated racial and misogynistic instances where meeting halfway isn’t an option.

      At the end of the day, everyone has the right to engage in the conversations they choose and to decipher what is or isn’t worth it. It’s hard as a millennial. I feel your pain. But we can have better conversations with people by being selective with our language - everyone’s feelings matter - but my takeaway is that there are hard lines we have to draw, to yes, hear people’s opinions and fears. But racial, sexist, and homophobic bigotry needs to be shut down.

      Okay ramble finished.

      • jeff
        Top reader this weekScout
        3 months ago

        Another part of me thought, well, this older era will fade away - but how sad, the thought that hey let’s not do the work to have constructive conversations with the people we love because it’s too much effort. And they pass away without ever really feeling heard by their younger family members. We have pretty high expectations for people who were brought up in a completely different era, which isn’t really fair.

        I love this take. It really highlights the value of making the effort and having those difficult conversations, or at least the regret one might feel after losing the opportunity to do so. Also it's not like a switch will ever flip one day and all the people we disagree with will be gone. It's a continuum as long as we're alive so we might as well try to get along with as many people as possible while we're here.

        But racial, sexist, and homophobic bigotry needs to be shut down.

        I think this is where it gets tricky. At the very least I think context is super important. Trying to imagine where a sort of non-negotiable "hard line" could be drawn made me think of Daryl Davis. I highly recommend this article from a few years back and would be super curious to get your thoughts on it: The Audacity of Talking About Race With the Ku Klux Klan.

    • jeff
      Top reader this weekScout
      3 months ago

      Hot take: The very idea of trying to unite "the left" to mobilize against "the right" is part of the problem. It doesn't matter how polite your choice of language is. If you're seeing everything though a binary lens then you're contributing to polarization.

      First, lets drop the militaristic terms like "mobilize" and "ranks." We need to end the culture war, not create a Geneva Convention for it.

      Second, I think intra-group polarization, as it's described in this article, is actually a good thing and exactly what we need. The enemy (be it "the left" or "the right") doesn't seem nearly as scary when you realize there isn't some monolithic force comprising half the population out to get you. Left vs. Right politics is a false dichotomy. I don't think we're going to get anywhere until we can move past that idea.