Friday, July 16, 2010

Getting Over it, etc.

Part I:

B's childhood was not the easiest. Both her mother and father were Not the best of parents. She is biracial. After her parents had messed things up, she moved in with her paternal grandparents who did their best raising her.

After high school she got pregnant. She's a single mother now with a teenage daughter. For much of the first part of her daughter's upbringing, they lived with her mother, who oft times took care of her granddaughter. More recently she moved away with her daughter. She moved near where she had lived with her grandparents as a teenager.

B never seems to get various things related to being a caring parent (or a thoughtful, responsible adult). Particularly difficult for her is recognizing the (commonly viewed) reality that her daughter's (emotional and related) needs should come first.

Perhaps Not surprisingly, when her grandmother recently moved from the general area they both lived in, she had No Time to help with the packing and similar. Other family members flew in to help out, but the only time she came over was to pick up some things her grandmother gave her.

Part II. Being Responsible and "Our Oppressions":

One could argue that B's behavior is at least understandable, given her childhood. Her parents said bad examples for her. As she nears age 40, she's seemingly never learned various important lessons of life.

At the same time, the excuses B makes get old very quickly!

It isn't always easy to separate the adult "victims" and those who are good people in some ways, yet help keep the S--t happening. As an upper-middle class, White Man I'm well aware of how despite my anti-racist beliefs, I've done things that certainly didn't help, while having done relatively little to help end racism. It seems rather lame to say that I didn't do more because of my immaturity over the years.

As a man, I am proud that I worked significantly in men's anti-rape organizing mostly from 1983-1987. I was very aware of sexism and did do some good work for a period in my life. Perhaps I could have done much more!

It seems most common for many of us that we remain within our safety zones regarding race, gender, class, sexual orientation and much more in our lives. A few men do remarkable work regarding sexism. A few White People do good work regarding racism. A few Heterosexual People do good work regarding gay, lesbian, or transgender issues. Others do good work helping others in "normal" ways such as working in soup kitchens, helping build houses with Habitat for Humanity and similar.

In general though it seems like people who are hurting and hurt need to lead the battles against oppressions that are incredibly real to them. A "minority" person (rather than a "non-minority person") is most commonly the one motivated to fight the battles they see in part because they are "minority". In general we others do "a little good" participating in fundraisers for good causes and similar.

It is difficult to see how serious change will occur when those lacking the power must fight the apathy of the rest of us as well as the forces in opposition.


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