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Decency=/=Respectability Politics

Objectivity
Posts: 1,073
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3/16/2016 8:18:17 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
I have read posts on this forum where people believe that when someone offers a valid critique of BLM, feminism, or some social justice group, that they are trying to renew the idea of "respectability politics" and force social justice groups to adopt it. I posit that there is a difference between so called respectability politics, which forces social justice groups to fit inside a framework that they believe is flawed or unjust, and common decency. One poster on here even went so far as to compare those that would say that pernicious practices such as blocking traffic, taking over the rally of a white ally (Bernie Sanders), are wrong and counterproductive to Booker T. Washington's advocacy.

Here is why that is flat out wrong: Social justice advocates seem to want to both have their cake and eat it too, they want their movements to become part of the mainstream political dialogue and to have influence over government, but they don't want to have to play by the same rules that other mainstream advocacy groups do. The central thesis of this post is this: You cannot have both. The best group to compare to the current social justice movement (at least in their tactics) is the counter culture movement of the 60's, the hippies, the draft card burners, the people who were a part of what is known as the Youth International Party (Yippies), the people who nominated a pig as their presidential candidate. These people used tactics that are somewhat similar to the current social justice movements, namely BLM, but unlike BLM, they knew very well that this would exclude them from mainstream politics, and rightfully so. They didn't expect their leaders to be interviewed weekly by CNN, they didn't expect their leaders to testify before congress. There is a place for movements that use unorthodox tactics to spread their message, and that is on the streets, with picket signs, and there is a reason why that is the best place for them, because no rational person should desire our formal political institutions to be inseparable from grassroots and counterculture groups... That would make our country look like a joke, and rightfully so, congressmen and women shouldn't be having dialogues with people who spread their message by disturbing civil society, that runs contrary to the duty of our government, which is to, in part, maintain civil society. Both formal political movements and counterculture movements have their place in our nation, but they should not be intermixed. If you want to spread your message by blocking traffic and shutting down malls, that is fine, but don't expect to be given the same participation in the formal political process as a group like the NAACP, and there lies the problem with BLM, with feminists, etc.

Thoughts?
Quadrunner
Posts: 1,142
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3/22/2016 5:28:12 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/16/2016 8:18:17 PM, Objectivity wrote:
I have read posts on this forum where people believe that when someone offers a valid critique of BLM, feminism, or some social justice group, that they are trying to renew the idea of "respectability politics" and force social justice groups to adopt it. I posit that there is a difference between so called respectability politics, which forces social justice groups to fit inside a framework that they believe is flawed or unjust, and common decency. One poster on here even went so far as to compare those that would say that pernicious practices such as blocking traffic, taking over the rally of a white ally (Bernie Sanders), are wrong and counterproductive to Booker T. Washington's advocacy.

Here is why that is flat out wrong: Social justice advocates seem to want to both have their cake and eat it too, they want their movements to become part of the mainstream political dialogue and to have influence over government, but they don't want to have to play by the same rules that other mainstream advocacy groups do. The central thesis of this post is this: You cannot have both. The best group to compare to the current social justice movement (at least in their tactics) is the counter culture movement of the 60's, the hippies, the draft card burners, the people who were a part of what is known as the Youth International Party (Yippies), the people who nominated a pig as their presidential candidate. These people used tactics that are somewhat similar to the current social justice movements, namely BLM, but unlike BLM, they knew very well that this would exclude them from mainstream politics, and rightfully so. They didn't expect their leaders to be interviewed weekly by CNN, they didn't expect their leaders to testify before congress. There is a place for movements that use unorthodox tactics to spread their message, and that is on the streets, with picket signs, and there is a reason why that is the best place for them, because no rational person should desire our formal political institutions to be inseparable from grassroots and counterculture groups... That would make our country look like a joke, and rightfully so, congressmen and women shouldn't be having dialogues with people who spread their message by disturbing civil society, that runs contrary to the duty of our government, which is to, in part, maintain civil society. Both formal political movements and counterculture movements have their place in our nation, but they should not be intermixed. If you want to spread your message by blocking traffic and shutting down malls, that is fine, but don't expect to be given the same participation in the formal political process as a group like the NAACP, and there lies the problem with BLM, with feminists, etc.

Thoughts?

I personally don't believe Black Lives Matter, matters. That said, I have no issue with any group attempting to dabble in politics. Did you know there are genuine anarchists in America? They have a right to run for office just like anyone else does, even if their purpose is to eliminate the ideas of government itself. That's the nature of a democratic society. If the majority of people back the ideals of a particular group, that group can be involved, or run for office.

I personally hold distaste for Bernie Sander's support of the group, as I think he was just trying to pander to black people in the loudest way possible.

Running by the rules is irrelevant if you can win in our society. I fully endorse people maintaining political respectability and decency, and I believe groups like Black Lives Matter are a detriment and a drain to our political system, but I accept that I may or may not be in the minority on the subject. I have nothing but bad things to say about them though. I think groups like that should just have a beer, think about everything they've accomplished, and stop fighting for nothing.

Their big issues

Police Killings - Hogwash. I plan on making a forum on this. The group biased statistics without accounting for higher black violent crime rates. You'll never see terms like "most unjustified killings" around the word "black" because unarmed white people are just as likely to be killed, or more likely per violent violation. The fact that we saw more black people killed on the news when their killings were dwarfed by another population appalls me. That's sick. I mean, its an issue, but such a sacred thing as life being lost and they were focusing us on the color of the persons skin, when the color didn't matter to begin with. I hate them for that, and I think their actions show racist tendency because of it. My goodness who care's if they're black or white?

Racial Profiling - Actually I'm glad they're on this. Are they helping?

Racism - They got that President of a University to Resign, because he was unable to curb racism in the school. Progress isn't expected for years anyway, and it was not shown that he was a racist himself.

Removed the Confederate Flag - Stupid waste of time. Its not the flag of Racism, or at least it wasn't until they said it was.

Stopped a school from investing in prisons? - An excellent political message, but the prisons are still there, and the school is still doing its same old thing, a few bucks shy.

So I'd have to agree with you, that I don't want this group involved in politics. Its like they have no values beyond "black lives matter". They don't seem to be about progress, just noise and disruption, leaving the people who matter to actually accomplish lasting improvement.
Wisdom is found where the wise seek it.