December 17, 2016

The Obligation to be Reasonable

"...the demand to be reasonable is a disingenuous demand. Black folks have been reasoning with white people forever. Racism is unreasonable, and that means reason has limited currency in the fight against it. Black folks understand, just like white folks do, that reason should be wielded as a tactic, not adhered to as a rule." I think the final statement in this article from 2.5 years ago sums up where we are in our conversation about diversity in America today. I could not disagree with it more, as I believe that being reasonable is one of the fundamentals of society and is almost as important an aspect of our social contract as the rejection of violence. If everyone in America decided today that being reasonable is just an option, to be used when it is beneficial to our own goals, we would collapse -- and that is not an exaggeration. (Really, just imagine people behaving absolutely unreasonably in almost every situation and what living in a world like that would be.) I want to be enlightened about the challenges and injustices endured by people in different life situations and adjust my own behavior accordingly. But, if your approach is insulting, condemnatory, dismissive, hysterical... i.e. unreasonable, I will tune you out and you will have defeated your purpose.

It’s not about you, white liberals: Why attacks on radical people of color are so misguided
With anti-racism politics flaring up on the left, too many are making it personal -- when it's really about policy
Brittney Cooper - Salon