love it when privileged folks screech “HOW ABOUT WE JUST BE NICE TO EVERYONE???”
as if we haven’t tried “nice”
as if we haven’t spent our entire lives bowing our heads, stepping out of the way, biting our tongues
as if we haven’t laughed at jokes that bit at us like sharp…
I find it really difficult to navigate the way in which both lovers and haters of non-violence tend to conflate wanting peace with non-violent resistance.
I am profoundly pro-peace. I try my hardest to operate from a place of harm-reduction (It used to be “first, do no harm”, but I found the assumption that avoiding harm is always a possibility to be problematic.) I may joke about killing all men or cis people or whatever, but in fact my heart of hearts rebels against it.
But… I know that power is not reasonable. Those who profit from inequality do not willingly give it up en masse. It takes pain — and the fear of more pain — to force change.
To take the specific example of that last post: while it is important to recognize that Nelson Mandela shifted from armed resistance to negotiation with those in power, it is equally important to understand the extent to which that violence (of which he was only a part) created the conditions in which negotiation was even an option.
If we begin to call all struggle peaceful when it is ‘resolved’ by non-violent means, than any successful resistance short of a coup is non-violent. Not all successful violent resistance looks like a neat pseudo-military formation. In fact, a complete lack of social peace is an extremely powerful way of gaining massive concessions from power. But the fact that those concessions are drawn up on paper, sitting around tables does not make the violence’s role less critical.
TL;DR: Movements often have lots of (moving) parts. It’s dangerous to assume you can pick out only the parts you like, and still get the results you see.
ALSO today in group someone was referring to another patient using a male pronoun, and the grumpiest and most curmudgeonly old man in the group barked out “THEY” and stopped the whole group then mumbled “they use they pronouns” and I had hearts in my eyes
omg old man please come do this for me all the time
Stonewall was colored folks, poor folks, transsexuals, femmes, butches… a little bit of everybody. But the narrative that gets sold to people is that it was all these “A-Gay” white normative people. That’s not who riots. Sorry.