One common claim that comes up in discussions of social justice issues is the following, predominantly uttered by a member of the majority group:
I am against all kinds of discrimination. In fact, I am never hesitant to call others on their own prejudiced behaviours!
What usually follows is the word ‘but’, and then some explanation of how ze is the real victim of discrimination because people keep telling hir to check hir privilege, often with accusations of being bigoted* or something of that nature. The reasoning, I imagine, goes something like this:
I believe myself to be opposed to discrimination
I behave in a way that is consistent with someone who is opposed to discrimination
Therefore your accusations of my prejudice are misplaced
I can certainly appreciate how much it sucks to have someone call you a bigot when all you’re trying to do is express reasonable skepticism about something. This is especially true when you are a passionate defender of the very people making the accusation. From an outsider’s perspective, it can certainly seem as though the name-calling is completely offside – they should recognize that you are an ally and you are doing your best.
Maybe the following expansion of the above syllogism can help flesh out why this attitude is problematic and will lead you into more trouble: [Read more…]