Alicorn (alicorn24) wrote,
Alicorn
alicorn24

Me And The Abstracted Persona of the Anti-Ism Community At Large

Me: *learns about implicit biases* I'm concerned my brain may be doing EVIL THINGS without consulting me! I don't want my brain to do EVIL THINGS. I must learn to prevent it from doing this!

The Abstracted Persona of the Anti-Ism Community At Large (TAPAICAL): Hey, over here! We've known about this for ages! We're full of good info and interesting stories and new perspectives!

Me: Oh, great! I'm really concerned about my brain doing EVIL THINGS. What do I do?

TAPAICAL: We can't just TELL YOU. It's your own responsibility to research these things yourself. Demanding that oppressed groups use their experiences as educational tools for you is a MANIFESTATION OF PRIVILEGE.

Me: Oh... uh... well, I'm kind of here reading you as research, and...

TAPAICAL: I guess we can drop a few hints. First, you can't use some words, unless they apply to YOU PERSONALLY NOT A FRIEND OR RELATIVE OR ROMANTIC INTEREST and you are using them in a reclamatory sense.

Me: Uh... okay... what words?

TAPAICAL: I'll tell you some of them... I'm not going to put them ALL IN ONE PLACE, though, because this IS your OWN RESPONSIBILITY. Oh, and you don't get to claim not to notice visible minority status because that's just pretending the problem doesn't exist.

Me: Okay. So I notice it and then...?

TAPAICAL: Then you say something massively evil like the evil privileged person you are and we yell at you and -

Me: Wait what? I don't want you to yell at me! I don't mean to be evil! Can't you tell me how to not say evil things in the first place? I'm trying to -

TAPAICAL: IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU! MY WORD YOU SELF-CENTERED WRETCHED CREATURE WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU PEOPLE ARE TOTALLY DYING AND BEING ABUSED AND PREVENTED FROM LIVING THEIR LIVES OVER THIS SUBJECT MATTER THAT YOU JUST HAVE TO READ IS ALL AND WE'LL YELL AT YOU IF WE FEEL LIKE IT.

Me: B-but you aren't going to be infallible...

TAPAICAL: Of course we're not infallible.

Me: Oh, good, for a second there it sounded like I'm not even supposed to defend myse-

TAPAICAL: YOU CAN'T DEFEND YOURSELF, SELF-CENTERED SEETHING MASS OF PRIVILEGE, IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.

Me: I don't understand.

TAPAICAL: Sucks to be you! Not our problem! It's your responsibility to educate yourself!

Me: What, a priori from first principles? I don't have a social circle equipped to help me with -

TAPAICAL: WELL THEN THAT'S JUST YOU HAVING A PRIVILEGED SOCIAL CIRCLE THEN ISN'T IT, EVIL ONE?

Me: ?!

TAPAICAL: Yep. You need different friends. The ones you have now aren't good enough. They say evil things. They think evil things. They might DO EVIL THINGS. Not everybody you know shares the minimum level of commitment and intense, focused, long-term interest in being absolutely non-evil that we require to approve of them and that makes YOU an EVIL PERSON for wanting to be their friend. You should call them out on their evil! If you don't you are a BAD ALLY.

Me: But I don't even know what to do myself yet, let alone how to tell anyone else what to do, and besides, they'd stop being my friends -

TAPAICAL: If your friends won't quietly and submissively tolerate being yelled at repeatedly whenever they act the exact way they were raised and socialized and generally expected to act for their entire lives, and if they don't instantaneously change their behavior when they ARE so yelled at, they are BAD FRIENDS you should get rid of and replace with GOOD FRIENDS. Oh, and your new, GOOD FRIENDS should include LOTS of assorted minorities!

Me: But I live in an area where -

TAPAICAL: MOVE!

Me: ?!?!

TAPAICAL: Yup. If you REALLY CARE about BEING NONEVIL, you have to question the demographic makeup of your residence and, if it isn't stirred up to a high froth of intersectionality and integration, pack your bags and go someplace that is and make friends in every shade of brown! Living in a lily-white area and letting that give you a lily-white social network is just YOU BEING COMPLACENTLY PRIVILEGED AND EVIL.

Me: You want me to deliberately seek people out to be friends with on the basis of being -

TAPAICAL: NO THAT WOULD BE EVIL.

Me: ...

TAPAICAL: You see, if you don't just naturally happen to move in a social circle of the approved demographic makeup, you have to fix that, but NOT by adding people to it on the grounds that they would improve your circle's demographics, only on the grounds that they are, as WHOLE PEOPLE who ARE NOT THEIR DEMOGRAPHICS, excellent people you can get a lot out of hanging out with.

Me: I dig the "not because they're X" thing but how -

TAPAICAL: I TOLD YOU MOVE!

Me: I can't!

TAPAICAL: Well you don't really care then do you?

Me: *sob*

TAPAICAL: Aren't you lucky you have the privilege of learning this stuff by being yelled at in a situation where you can leave any time you want for the low, low price of being an EVIL PERSON, instead of having it make implicit sense because of your experiences?

Me: Is the right answer "yes"?

TAPAICAL: You're learning!

Me: Yay!

TAPAICAL: DID I JUST CATCH YOU BEING PLEASED WITH YOURSELF?

Me: I... can't... do that?

TAPAICAL: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Me: But why?

TAPAICAL: This is basic 101 stuff! You don't get one bit of credit for doing it even if you get it all perfect (which you won't because you are inherently evil) because this ain't graded on a curve and merely doing more than 90% of the population in your approximate shoes just means that we will yell at you SLIGHTLY LESS (while you sit there and take it and know you deserve every last decibel for being EVIL).

Me: Don't you think it might be wise just from a practical standpoint to be more encouraging to people making an effort -

TAPAICAL: HELL NO. NO COOKIES FOR YOU, PRIVILEGED CRAPSACK.

Me: Hey, that was a mean thing to say!

TAPAICAL: Oh, look, was that a tone argument? That was a tone argument. Wow, you suck so bad that I NEED TO YELL AT YOU MORE NOW. You don't get to criticize us on our tone because we know from experience that using a nice tone doesn't get any better results!

Me: Well, by that logic, I shouldn't try to not be evil, since you're going to yell at me no matter what.

TAPAICAL: But you want to be non-evil for its own sake, not for reduced yelling, DON'T YOU?

Me: I do, and I think that maybe you could also not want to be mean for -

TAPAICAL: YOU TRYIN' TO TEACH ME SOMETHING?

Me: Is that bad?

TAPAICAL: Hell yes! You are ignorant and evil and so swaddled in privilege it's a wonder you know how to brush your own teeth! That means we can't learn anything from you about our specialty topics because we have valuable first-person experiences that you can never understand. Ever. They are forever out of your reach. You will always be an ignorant outsider to most of our discussions because you can't touch these intrinsic, special parts of our identities. And because of that, you must take at face-value everything that we say about how to deal with us and people like us, and then sit there and take it when the general guidelines we propose don't work on someone else (because we're not all the same yanno) and they yell at you (as is their right because you didn't treat them appropriately!), OR YOU CAN BE EVIL.

Me: But other sources with the same identificatory credentials have different guidelines -

TAPAICAL: Ignore them, they drank the kool-aid of the dominant paradigm and they no longer count as valid sources on their own identities.

Me: WTF?

TAPAICAL: Yeah, see, some people are wrong about how to interpret their own intrinsic, special identities - we'll point them out as we go. You should be really suspicious of anyone who tells you that you aren't evil. Because you are. So evil. You can only be less evil by following all of the many contradictory instructions we provide. One thing we can all agree on, though, is that you shouldn't touch a black person's hair.

Me: But I touch my white best friend's hair all the time when we hang out. If I had a black friend, wouldn't it be kind of racist not to touch her hair, or at least ask if maybe I could braid it, just because you -

TAPAICAL: Nope. Don't touch the hair. Don't think about touching the hair. Don't have opinions about the hair.

Me: Okay...

TAPAICAL: Goooooood. But, I mean, no cookies or anything, so, not goooooood, but, less evil than you could have beeeeeeeen. Don't get too pleased with yourself over there.

Me: I'm not pleased.

TAPAICAL: I'm glad to hear that! Moving on, don't you dare feel sorry for the disabled, or admit out loud that you're glad to be able-bodied and of sound mind, and if I catch even a whiff of your much-loved abortion rights anywhere near a predictably disabled fetus I will yell at you SO HARD, because being unready to have a baby only counts as a reason to have an abortion if the mother is unready to have ANY BABY AT ALL, not if she's only unready for SOME INDIVIDUAL POSSIBLE BABIES THAT SHE MIGHT BE ABLE TO SEE COMING AHEAD OF TIME. It's certainly never appropriate to object to creating a person just because they're guaranteed to die an untimely agonizing death because some people with the same disease are alive RIGHT NOW and they might HEAR YOU. But this doesn't mean that you should approve of anything that causes people to die in agony promptly - subtle difference! If you mess with this one I get to call you "IN FAVOR OF EUGENICS", and you don't want that, do you?

Me: Bwuh?

TAPAICAL: Thaaaat's what I like to see. Oh, and failing to have multiple contradictory accessibility provisions in every building and on every website in the world is like unto racial segregation, the repeal of which requires no remodeling or breakage of the laws of logic. Feel bad for not knowing how to format your websites with CSS instead of plain HTML now.

Me: ...

TAPAICAL: Innocent curiosity about marginalized bodies is hurtful and evil and none of your business and how dare you want to know anything that requires another person to help you know it when it's your own responsibility to educate yourself?!

Me: ACKPTHARGHAIEESPLUGLARGEEKOOF
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