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[personal profile] becala
I shared this on Facebook, but probably nobody read it because it's long. A good read even if you belong to a marginalized population, because we do this to each other and to people from other groups, too.

link>> Derailing for Dummies

EXCERPT FROM THE INTRO:You know how it is. You’re enjoying yourself, kicking back and relaxing at the pub or maybe at the library; or maybe you’re in class or just casually surfing the internet, indulging in a little conversation. The topic of the conversation is about a pertinent contemporary issue, probably something to do with a group of people who fall outside your realm of experience and identity. They’re also probably fairly heavily discriminated against - or so they claim.
The thing is, you’re having a good time, sharing your knowledge about these people and their issues. This knowledge is incontrovertible - it’s been backed up in media representation, books, research and lots and lots of historical events, also your own unassailable sense of being right.

Yet all of a sudden something happens to put a dampener on your sharing of your enviable intellect and incomparable capacity to fully perceive and understand All Things. It’s someone who belongs to the group of people you’re discussing and they’re Not Very Happy with you. Apparently, they claim, you’ve got it all wrong and they’re offended about that. They might be a person of colour, or a queer person. Maybe they’re a woman, or a person with disability. They could even be a trans person or a sex worker. The point is they’re trying to tell you they know better than you about their issues and you know that’s just plain wrong. How could you be wrong?

Don’t worry though! There IS something you can do to nip this potentially awkward and embarrassing situation in the bud. By simply derailing the conversation, dismissing their opinion as false and ridiculing their experience you can be sure that they continue to be marginalised and unheard and you can continue to look like the expert you know you really are, deep down inside!

And now a request... anyone got any good links along these lines? I'd especially like a well-written Sensitivity 101, something concise that won't fall into the tl;dr category if I share it on Facebook. I know, pipe dreams. But it could exist.

Date: 2011-02-08 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Three paragraphs is hardly too long.

I can't help you out with any sensitivity 101 stuff. All my multicultural books from grad school are still somewhere at my parents' house. :/

Date: 2011-02-08 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, no, if you follow the link you will see that those 3 paragraphs are just the intro. The guide itself is incredibly long, *I* didn't even finish it.
Edited Date: 2011-02-08 06:38 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-02-08 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Edited the entry to make it clear that that was just a summary from the link, not the whole article.

Date: 2011-02-08 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ohh, I missed the link first time around. Sorry!

That's a pretty clever site. I had to LOL at the last link "Oh, I was playing Devil's Advocate all along!" I've run into TONS of those online, about a myriad of subjects.

Date: 2011-02-08 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Depending on the style you're viewing it in, it definitely was not obvious it was a link. Mybad.

Yep, many of tactics are definitely not unique to minority-related discussions. :)

I'm not sure my dream "sensitivity 101" exists. It's not like it's something you can really sum up that way. But it'd be nice to compile a top five of common-but-overlooked RaceFails with explanation of why it is a Totally Insensitive Thing To Say.

Date: 2011-02-08 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What (if anything) do you think about Tim Wise?


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