Faith is about making choices.
But not all choices are made in the safety of opinion and the personal chrysalis of our own transformations. Sometimes choices come through the fires of adversity. And sometimes we have to make up our minds because the circumstances suck.
Our world is full of false equivalencies and poor narratives. I don’t expect everyone to see the world as I do or take a situation and come to the same conclusion. That’s ridiculous.
But that isn’t the same thing as granting equality to unequal ideas. And it isn’t an excuse to allow pissants to have the same voice as the wise, or given the imprimatur of credibility.
Racists are friggin’ racists.
White supremacists aren’t looking for equality. Look at the name again.
Like when we say #blacklivesmatter, we don’t say #onlyblacklivesmatter, right? We also don’t say #blacksupremacy. It’s a call for actual equality, not the false equality of today.
Nor is it enough to pretend like equality is zero sum. That raising up the minority will bring the majority down. Though that does sound a lot like Jesus…
And still, just because one has an opinion, doesn’t mean we ever agreed to their being equal.
Poststructural scholars have never argued that, either. What they’ve said is that we can’t know the exclusive way to read something. But we can totally take out the trash.
A reader response essay about Hamlet really being about unicorns? Totally not “just my opinion.” No, that’s friggin’ ridiculous. I’ll give you an F on that lousy excuse for a paper.
White Supremacy isn’t an opinion.
So you bring your lazy, racist junk at me and I can smack that down. It isn’t just your opinion. It isn’t equal to a reasoned analysis. It’s piss poor. Get that garbage out of here.
These things aren’t created equal. The scourge of our time isn’t our postmodern condition, it’s our wimpy excuse for allowing false equivalence to rule the day.
You don’t get to have an equal opinion which pretends climate change isn’t a thing. Of course you can have that as an opinion. And you can argue that we shouldn’t deal with it. But it isn’t equal. It’s proved. The debate is over. Your opinion is virtually worthless in a debate.
It’s even worse when it comes to dealing with racism and white supremacy.
White Supremacy is illegitimate.
White supremacy isn’t a reasonable opinion. Or a just one. When we say every opinion should have its say, we actually do mean “except for this.” We have to draw the line at hate and the justification for genocide.
Damon Young rips into the eruption of white supremacist support for Donald Trump and why he is voting for Hillary Clinton:
I’m voting for her because I do not want to live in an America where the type of people who’d fervently, dogmatically, and unconditionally support Trump — who exist so motivated by and permeated with hate and fear and loathing that they’d stand in formation behind Darth Cheeto — have a reason to be optimistic about their beliefs. I do not want these people to feel good or inspired. I do not want them to receive some type of collective psychic victory. I do not want them to experience any measure of positive reinforcement. No encouragement. No stir. No rousing. No influx of energy. No invigoration. No revitalization. No nothing besides confusion, shame, and, if the confusion and the shame isn’t enough to convince them to at least consider not hating me and people who look like me and people who don’t look like them, death.
The line he draws is a really hard-line. And while I might not share his response to those who cross that line, I understand why he writes it. Why he feels it.
Because letting that opinion be equal actually leads to his death.
These are unequal opinions. And one of them is dangerous.
Some of you might say, well, you’re just doing the same thing! And while many might like the double standard of expecting me or Young to abstain from vitriol, the effect is to give White Supremacists a free pass. It reinforces the false equivalency and maintains fake parameters for the conversations.
Confusing tone for substance would legitimize ignorance and outright lies and raise them to the equal standard of logic, reason, and tradition.
Imagine a grease fire erupts as you cook. But instead of getting the baking soda or the fire extinguisher you call it “one way” to cook, saying “it’s not my responsibility” to deal with it. And anyone who comes to put it out, you call them “the real racists” doing “the same thing.”
And as the fire burns, raging across the stove, to the counters, out the kitchen and through the halls, we watch. Saying…
Let’s hang out in the living room and wonder thoughtfully how to solve our fire problem.
Without putting it out.
Without choosing to create love rather than hate. To work toward equality rather than supremacy. And making God’s kin-dom of this place.
These choices aren’t equal. And any attempt to make it into a reasonable and legitimate choice between two equal participants is unreasonable and false.
Choose love. And put an end to hate.