Wrote this in response to a friendslocked discussion on how some persecuted minorities are so easy to turn around and denounce/not stick up for others, on the general culture of fearing people different from you that goes on around these general parts. And then I went and read it again, and I think it's worth sticking up on its own and expanding a bit.

As much as it pains me, I think that things like this go on because they're a safe thing to be scared of. There's an illusion of something controllable in being scared of how your neighbours run their emotional lives, instead of the war that will impoverish you, or the disease that'll bankrupt your children with hospital bills, the way one's society has changed when one wasn't looking, and the sick little spiraling feeling that you are absolutely, utterly not in control of your fate or the world or just about anything here.

Those other people, of course, the ones doing that thing you don't understand? They never worry about any of this. So you can yell at your neighbours, and denounce them, and even if you can't force them to stop you can force them to be ashamed or hurt or in hiding, and that is a mechanism of control. That is something you can hold onto to make yourself somehow relevant in the world. You're taking a stand. You...exist again.

Dunno. I have, as usual, no answers easy, hard, good, or bad. But I get more and more convinced the older I grow that they wouldn't have touted compassion, acceptance, just plain listening to other people as virtues if they weren't damn hard things to do sometimes and the alternatives all too easy.

November 2016

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