On Resistance

This article by Damon Young stuck with me.

Our country, which was never as just and moral and righteous as we claimed ourselves to be, can no longer even feign that those concepts have any sort of singular and practical application here. And the only takeaway from the week-and-a-half-long reign of Darth Cheeto and his band of nihilistic chickenhawks—the only useful and pragmatic takeaway, rather—is that this is on y’all. And by “y’all” I mean “white people.”

After a certain time the “how can this [electing Darth Cheeto] happen? to us??” rings false. People of color said it rang false from the beginning. People of color have always known this country is racist. This country was founded on “We the People” and “We” was very specifically land-owning (rich) white men, some of whom held slaves. That paradox defined and continues to define our society.

Perhaps white writers can weather criticism better than white nonwriters, because we know we are, at our core, defensive. It’s natural. And we’re used to overcoming that defensiveness. It’s part of the critiquing process. Someone criticizes a piece of writing and we say, “No! You’re wrong! Or you don’t understand!” at first. Then after some reflection, we often come to realize the other person is right. So let’s use that skill, of keeping that defensiveness on the inside until we fully consider the other person’s viewpoint, to make us better allies.

In writing news: I have taken some new criticism to heart. I’ve written a new possible (very brief) outline. I am afraid to look at it again. Books are hard, y’all. Resistance is hard. But if writers know anything, they know persistence. Be persistent, my friends.

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5 responses to “On Resistance

  1. There is no doubt in my mind that the right cultivated and then capitalized on the not-so-well-hidden racist streak in the population. But as true as that is, I think it is only half of the explanation, and the other half is just as disturbing.

    I suspect that business and industry and many in the “moneyed-class” (as Orwell used the term) couldn’t care less about a candidate’s racist agenda. That is not important to them (since they are insulated from its effects), so it doesn’t sway their voting ethics at all. Rather, they eagerly voted on a candidate who will release the brakes on their economic interest. He has already begun reducing regulations that “hamper” industry. (Some use the word “regulations”; others prefer the term “protections”.) Without concern from the environment, or workers’ rights, or conflicts of interest, the captains of industry can explode in ways they were “hampered” from before. More profits for them. They will tolerate just about anything in a president (and congress and judiciary) if they will get more profits.

    That’s how I see it anyway.

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