The last year has been an abrasive, at times eye-opening, tour of how forgiving people are of racism/sexism that they don’t consider blatant. More so I have been rocked that so many people see obvious racism/sexism and forgive it for not being blatant.
I think that if a negative statement regarding a category of people needs defense it has already defined itself as bigotry. If we feel a need to defend that type of statement it is probably wrong in a moral and/or ethical sense. In our foreseeable future it may behoove us all to hold a line that if a person has enough knowledge of a damaging statement/act/law for a prepared defense, they already know it was wrong.
When you consider what you personally defend rephrase in your own words, when faced with other’s defense ask them to rephrase in their own words. If you, or anyone, has trouble rephrasing a statement in personal terms it is most likely weak, dogmatic fluff. In an era of propaganda a front line enemy is giving up your own voice and words. If you express your politics on personal terms you can deflate the power of propaganda.
So, I advocate that part of the defense against totalitarianism and authoritarianism is to be critical of what others, and we, defend. Pragmatically I think that means reclaiming blatant as observable. It is not the extreme of taboo, rather the observable manifestation of discrimination that must be countered, lest we fall prey to evil by banality.
Question the negative, share what you see, use your own words.