Monday, June 04, 2007

The Overeager Critique

This is just something I've been thinking about. There's no punchline or anything, just some thoughts:

I've been accused of being "offended for" other people, in the past. Apparently there are number of ways to be guilty of this crime. One involves A* being bothered when B says something offensive about C, who is not in attendance or has not expressed offense. I don't think there's anything wrong with this, in theory. It depends on the situation.

I know what it's like try so hard to be open-minded and fair that one comes across as a bit over-eager or a suck-up... or a traitor. Some Black folks appear this way when they're talking about how white folks are being unfairly judged. I wouldn't be surprised if I've given this impression, in the past. My only defense is that intentions were always pure and I genuinely felt whatever I expressed, at the time.

I realize it can be tough to tell if a person's heart is in the right place or if he or she is full of self-loathing and therefore quick to take "their" side over "ours." I've thought this about folks, myself, sometimes.

Ultimately, I guess we need folks who are willing to take a critical look at themselves or "their people" and share their findings. I also think we need to make sure there's balance between amount of benefit-of-the-doubt that we offer "them" and that we reserve for "us."

* - A, B, and C may be individuals or groups.


Justin Kownacki said...

Interesting post. It also falls under the concept of "party line" thinking -- are you always required to be loyal to a specific dogma simply because that's "where you came from"?

By that rationale, I should be voting exclusively Democrat, even when I think the individuals up for election are hacks. Not doing so would be "traitorous" to the greater good of the party, no?

Of course, this also explains why my father and grandfather cheer so loudly for any Polish-American competitor in any sport. Regardless of what the athlete is actually like as a person, first and foremost, he / she is Polish, and therefore deserves unquestioned support... Sounds like faulty logic...

West said...

Welcome, Justin. Thanks for sharing the Polish-American perspective.

By the way, your picture really adds to your commentary. :-)

Angie said...

"Some Black folks appear this way when they're talking about how white folks are being unfairly judged." Who are these Black folks? I don't think I ever met one of them. : )