Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Check Your Privilege

American liberals have a guilt complex about the genocide of the Native American nations- as well they might.  Also about slavery. They can't undo the past so they try to make amends by putting the descendants of the people their ancestors exploited and dispossessed on an ideological pedestal. When one of these persons enters a debate they are elaborately deferred to- even if they are talking embittered shite- and it's bad form to interrupt or question.  Thereby arises a weird hierarchy of dispossession- a game of "my ancestors had it tougher than your ancestors so shut up!" (which reminds me of Monty Python's three Yorkshiremen.)  In many such debates no member of the oppressed minority is present so a white liberal has to ventriloquize for them- spouting a jargon dreamed up in the universities-  and everyone else in the room is expected to fall silent and cover their heads with theoretical ashes. This deep respect for the disinherited doesn't, of course, extend to securing social justice for them- because that would involve the elite actually letting go of some of the privilege they feel so burdened by.

Hey, guys, how about honouring some of the treaties you broke?

Anyway, this is an American trauma and I don't want to intrude upon private grief. By all means carry on with this talking cure carried out in public if it makes you feel better about the unrightable wrongs in your nation's past, only don't go laying your guilt trip on the rest of us- because that really is cultural imperialism. We have our own guilts- but we'll handle them in our own way, thank you very much.

Above all, child of the most powerful, murderous and exploitative nation on earth, please don't tell me to "check my privilege" because that really gets my goat.
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