Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins

Keith Moore <> Thu, 06 October 2022 17:23 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
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On 10/6/22 12:17, Bless, Roland (TM) wrote:

> Really?
> For example, here:
> He is ridiculing and humiliating groups by stating that "Where identity
> groups can compound their power with the intersection of their venn
> diagram of group identity. A trans black activist would have more
> "authenticity", more ability to shout down Dave Chappelle than a white
> trans activist and both of them would have more power than some cis
> white male trying to shout down Dave Chappelle."..."The goal is to be in
> as many identity groups as possible. They highlight their group identity
> intersection because it _increases_ their place on the hierarchy!"
I don't interpret Dan's writing that way.   I think he's citing an 
credible problem with some models of privilege and/or intersectionality, 
particularly when there's an expectation of some sort of compensation 
for perceived lack of privilege.   I don't think he's ridiculing or 
humiliating groups, I think he's lampooning the models and arguing that 
they're intractable.

But I think I see why people misunderstand messages like this. Anytime 
you discuss a hot button issue and don't perfectly recite the "correct" 
response (or sometimes, even if you do), there's a good chance that some 
people will have strong emotional reactions that prevent them from 
really understanding the message you're trying to convey.   I think it's 
extremely unfortunate because these topics are vitally important and 
deserve to be explored, but it's also foolish to fail to observe that 
pattern of behavior. If a speaker knows that people are likely to have 
knee-jerk reactions to something they say, they can either try to avoid 
triggering those reactions or they can plow straight ahead and risk 
causing them anyway.  It's their choice, and maybe not an easy one, but 
I think I know which one is at least slightly more likely to be useful.

Of course, humor, including even ridicule, _can be_ a way of diffusing 
such adverse reactions.   But it requires a lot of skill to be 
effective, and not everyone can pull it off.   It's very risky.

> Embracing diversity and inclusion of group members is obviously about
> participation and respect and not about increasing their power over
> others and people do not/cannot change their identities or orientations
> in order to to that.

Of course, but I don't think anything that you quoted contradicts that.