A Great Hand, Reaching Out

Connections have been on my mind lately because I’m losing the ability to talk to people that I don’t agree with.

I want to blame this on the tenor of the times, but I know people have been disagreeing about a great many important things for a long time. What I think is that when we think about the great historical disagreements, the lines and issues are already drawn and the shouting is (hopefully) over. It’s so easy to place ourselves on one side or another without being sucked into the emotional space between. Nowadays, in the noise and the mess, it’s so hard to see those lines (or it isn’t because one side you have racists and on the other side you have people who want to live in peace) and understand the discourse.

Fundamentally, I think it’s a problem of courage. We know that people who think brown, black, queer, Indigenous (etc, etc, etc), the other is lesser and ought to be oppressed is a wrong and bad and evil person. Anyone who wants to oppress others is, by definition, Very Bad. But it takes such a huge amount of courage to overcome the moral inertia and stand up and say “no, don’t do that”, that we muddle the issue so it’s not so clear who or what we are standing up against. That maybe the issue Isn’t All Bad. I should know: I’m one of them. We all are. It’s so easy to look back and say “Look how bad and wicked and naughty those Nazis were,” and with the same breath, ignore that you work with people who, y’know, aren’t against immigration per se, but…

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