Thursday, January 27, 2022

Of Maus and Men, or America is Inclusive or it is Bullshit

 

The best slogan regarding feminism I ever came across was from Flavia Dzodan: My Feminism will be Intersectional or it will be Bullshit. I am here for anyone who is against the kyriarchy or who finds the kyriarchy is against them. This is my politics as well, and my aspiration for my country. I want America to be a refuge. My America is Inclusive or it is Bullshit. And that means the stories of everyone are welcome here. We don't exclude them or ban them. We can accept their truth, even if the story is lived experiences we can't or haven't all shared. 

I don't understand people who can look at a graphic novel like "Maus" and count swear words and look for prurient content and miss literally everything else about it. How one could fail to see the qualitative education that transcends the basic reading/vocabulary skillset. I don't understand why anyone might view that rendering the Holocaust isn't necessary for people living in the 21st century. I don't understand why we shudder to teach our own history regarding slavery and the Civil War. I think the same onus exists for both things--we need to be honest about the perpetrators and the victims of history. 

And it will be uncomfortable for everyone, because bad things are bad and sad things are sad. But what it doesn't need to be is about guilt. You can feel bad for what others experience, but you only feel guilt for what you have played a part in. And to be white and not even try and defend whiteness is a kind of freedom. I don't have white guilt, I have awareness. I feel free to acknowledge it and how it means that the trauma of the 21st century is something I only know 2nd hand. 

5 comments:

The Sophist said...

Thank you for this. I feel more and more ... deracinated (maybe?) from America. The America I see in the media, the America I see in the Red States, the America I see coming for us with both barrels, is not an America I recognize, nor one I want to be part of.

It's a profoundly depressing time.

Ten Bears said...

Try to take it off my shelf ...

eddie blake said...

hey, they're fascists. that book makes them look bad. it's a no-brainer.

dervy scram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vixen Strangely said...

I go back and forth on this--are the folks banning this book just on some dumb banning bandwagon and too dumb to get that this is a personal work of a child of survivors demonstrating the generational trauma of a heinous historical episode, or are they purposefully understanding that hearing the lived experiences of marginalized people leads to empathy and a desire to do better and they consciously choose to deny it--and I keep falling on, I don't care, you fascist fucks ban books and don't even try to understand where marginalized people are coming from. If it is conscious, fuck them in the entirety. If it is unconscious, no wonder the talking heads are deriding the concept of "woke"--how they must love the sleepwalkers! What a blessing it is to have people wandering on the edges of hate and distrust, disinformation and demonic assumptions about "The Other". Possessed of such mental monstrosities, how easy to tease them to atrocities?

But for the intentionally unwoke, the deliberately unwoke--how can the sleepers be awakened? What makes them care and see our shared humanity? What tells the paid shills they should not try and ostracize the POV of the other--that they are human and not some convenience to be used for clicks at the expense of their lives? How can the deliberately inhuman who have steeled their hearts against understanding be made to understand?

If all I have in my life is my words (and I tell you, it's my one thing I think among all my stupid frailties I have leaned on--I write, therefore I am) I want to know what to say to reverse this horrifying trend. And my speech is beggared by the words of people of no forebrain at all, just glibly hating and justifying their hate, as if there was no God judging them, when they have a church, and I have a conscience. The poets once justified the ways of God to man, no, you bastards, justify your God to me.

Putting Their Money Where Their Mouths Are?

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