On being frustrated with skeptics’ lack of empathy for outgroups


I love Juniper Shoemaker’s writings. I don’t read her blog at My Fair Scientist nearly as often as I want, given that she’s a very sporadic blogger, but when she blogs, she blogs hard. Juniper, you’ll remember, is in a relationship with DuWayne Brayton, foul-mouthed firebrand of the blogosphere, and she was involved in Jodi’s proposal. She’s also deep into a biochemistry degree, coming from an English background (ENGLISH MAJORS RULE! *ahem*), and she’s doing amazingly well — but seems to be feeling lousy about it for some reason.

No one understands that I tend to fixate on examples of racism against black/brown people only because most of the stereotyping I’m personally subjected to has to do with my being half-black. My need to express my anger over racism against blacks isn’t some sort of hypocritical sanction of bigotry against numerous other groups of people, including gays and lesbians and whites. Nor is it a “liberal” call for the government to violate people’s right to free speech. It’s me giving voice to my experience. It’s the product of a great deal of repressed fury over the years. It’s my painful disappointment in the predominantly white skeptics’ and atheists’ cliques who disingenuously use examples of blacks denigrating gays and lesbians to excuse their own unexamined prejudices against and caricatures of blacks. It’s my exhaustion over constantly having to encounter the defensive, reflexive, burningly self-righteous resistance to sympathizing with a perspective such as mine. I’m surrounded by an abject lack of introspection. I’m sick, sick, sick and damn tired of feeling invisible. Who wants to feel invisible? Who wants to feel worthless?

Certainly not me. And I certainly never intend to make anyone feel worthless, no matter how much invective I might spit at their beliefs. It makes me quite mad on her behalf that she’s been mistreated the way she has, but it heartens me that she can vent as well as she has. You rock, Juniper. Don’t forget that.

Also, Stephanie linked her first. Credit where credit’s due, for being pointed to Juniper’s new blog post. :)

Comments

  1. Juniper Shoemaker says

    Hey, thanks, Jason. I deeply appreciate it.

    English majors do rule! For one, I’m still chuckling over your description of DuWayne.

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