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White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

White teenagers think it's acceptable to "act out" with symbols of hate because they have absorbed the white American value that racial equality is a matter of respectability, not morality. Because white ppl's idea of racial harmony is so divorced from moral values but consists of injunctions for politeness (don't say slurs etc.) their children break these injunctions for simple shock value without caring who they're hurting.

White respectability, moral selfhood, dehumanization 

This is how white people caught in racist actions can say--and believe!--that they are "good people," because to them racism is a matter of politeness, not morality. They can't be bad people for a faux pas, can they? Never mind that what they did are acts of harassment, threats, and terror against POCs & Jewish ppl. White racial respectability politics are premised on erasing the marginalized as human beings whose treatment is a moral concern.

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White respectability, moral selfhood, dehumanization 

@lj_writes I consider teenagers to be little else than budding sociopaths and that's partially NOT their fault due to just simple biology and emotional & mental development at their stage of life BUT there are also societal levels of ignorance that underestimate and ignore how SERIOUSLY deranged and unstable to teenage mind can be. I see and read DAILY about behaviors from teens that are early stages of psychopathy and considered "acceptable"

White respectability, moral selfhood, dehumanization 

@lj_writes Have you ever read those stories about the systematic, PLANNED, slow emotional psychological torture and daily torment that is acted out by groups of teenagers upon some other student (online and off) for the SOLE PURPOSE of trying to get that person to commit suicide ... ? I don't see anyone going to jail for such actions ... it's just called "bullying" ...

Teenage sociopathy 

@TheWebRecluse yeah it's disturbing, and the level of, just, sheer evil is hard to wrap my head around particularly in people who are still so young.

Teenage sociopathy 

@lj_writes Well in the case of teenagers is not evil it's actual mental illness ... though no one, including the psychiatric profession will ever diagnose that in a teen without significant incidents to back it up. Strategic death planning and misery creation I guess isn't enough to claim that even when it results in someones death. As such teens grow into adults ... then you have a whole other problem because their mental illness was never addressed when it should have been.

Teenage sociopathy 

@lj_writes I think you get "evil" when mental illness is ALLOWED to flourish in someone who is both aware of it and intentionally chooses to live a life of covering it up in order to continue to exist in a place where they choose darkness over light. I'm not talking about actual sick people who are struggling to become well or are seeking help and not getting it etc. I'm talking about those who KNOW and DONT CARE and live according to the rules and laws of their broken mind.

Teenage sociopathy 

@lj_writes I've known a few such people in my life ... who choose madness and choose to hurt others and choose to hurt themselves and who even delight in outsmarting psychologists and remaining unmedicated or untreated and walking around free to hurt, torment, abuse, etc other people will no remorse and no ramifications. That is what evil looks like and there are tons of people like that. Smart ones.

Teenage sociopathy; mental illness 

@TheWebRecluse Yup, plenty of mentally ill people choose to use other people as outlets and relief for their symptoms and it's the choice that makes them so toxic, not the illness. My father is abusive and controlling to try to alleviate his anxiety and trauma--he fully admits it--and refuses to get therapy no matter how I beg him, so I know how that works.

Teenage sociopathy; mental illness 

@lj_writes Then you know what evil is and you know it can't do much of anything to change it. It's a terrible thing to be a victim of someone elses evil ...

Teenage sociopathy; mental illness 

@TheWebRecluse I don't think there's anything others can do to change someone who made their choices. Change is theoretically possible, but only if the person chooses to change and commits to it. The best the rest of us can do with someone who is committed to hurting others is protect ourselves. That's my life story, too, having tried to change my dad for 10+ years before I reluctantly realized I needed to minimize contact with him and keep my distance.

illness, abuse 

@lj_writes @TheWebRecluse Personally, I don't blame my parents or their mental health for their ab-s-ve behavior.
I blame the patriarchal system that enabled their behavior and categorizes children as property-like, just like women are "traditionally" expected to become the property of their husbands when they're no longer owned by their father.
There are no "good" or "stable" parents, only "less sh-tty" or "less ab-s-ve" ones, imo.
I'm still avoiding my parents like hell, though.

illness, abuse 

@Cap @lj_writes I'd agree but that's just way too much of a cop out ... "blaming the system" ... the system is broken sure ... but that doesn't remove responsibility from individual adults as far as how to treat their children. People make their own choices ... like racists, abusers, rapists, pedos, and all the others within this system you mention ... which is really just "the world we live in". We're all in this system but we all have choices we can make within it.

illness, abuse 

@TheWebRecluse @lj_writes Whether we blame systemic injustice or "flourishing" mental illness has nothing to do with removing responsibility, imo.

The difference is that mentally ill people are a marginalized group that is subjected to discrimination (sanism) and actually LESS likely to commit violence... while "people with power" explains almost every instance of unjustified violence.

Violence against children, women, poc etc. is often labelled as but isnt really mental illness.

illness, abuse 

@TheWebRecluse @lj_writes I hope my tone is appropriate. I'm not very good a communicating within the character limit 🤐
I absolutely understand any amount of hate and disgust against ab-s-rs. I agree that they're evil -- even though I don't think it has anything to do with their mental illness and much more with their powers and privileges.

illness, abuse 

@Cap @TheWebRecluse Yeah, as I like to say, asshole isn't a mental illness. Marginalization doesn't equal morality, though, and mental illness can be one of the excuses or tools of abusers--though I agree with you they also have to be in a position of power in some other way to be able to leverage their mental illness.

illness, abuse 

@lj_writes @TheWebRecluse I have a bit of a problem with the idea of "weaponizing" one's marginalization: Ab-s-rs don't need to have a an illness to come up with some BS to distract from the ab-s-.

The power rush of violence has nothing to do with any inner distress. That's a lie to make abled people feel better about themselves.

Abled rich white cishet men are much more likely to get away with BS excuses and have much easier access to potential v-ct-ms than any other group.

illness, abuse 

@lj_writes @TheWebRecluse I'm not saying individual ab-s-rs don't make any (real or percieved) marginalization part of their narrative, though. These parts are just completely interchangeable and are equally likely to be (loosely) based on some truth or to be some fictitious BS. It's a story and the best thing you could do with it is completely ignore it.

illness, abuse 

@Cap @TheWebRecluse I completely agree that mental illness does not by itself cause people to be abusive. I dispute that mental illness has *nothing* to do with abuse, however. Mental illness is one of many circumstances that people can respond to in a wrongful way by turning to abusive beliefs. It doesn't help to "ignore" my father's mental illness when he does in fact use it against me.

illness, abuse 

@Cap @TheWebRecluse I'm not dealing with a hypothetical abuser who is using some other excuse, I'm dealing with *him*, specifically, and he *is* mentally ill. Ignoring parts of his reality does nothing to help me.

Mental illness does not make people evil, but it doesn't make people good, either. Some people with mental illness deliberately hurt people, just as some abled people do. People with mental illness are *people* like any other, not a sanctified class of good people.

illness, abuse 

@lj_writes @TheWebRecluse I'm sorry how this came off. I didn't mean you shouldn't worry about what he's doing to you. Ignoring him will not make him go away or anything.
I understand that not letting his BS into your head isn't really an option when you are still forced to interact with your ab-s-r. "the best thing" is rarely an option in survival situations.
I'm just saying that distressed people are worse at covering up but the behavior was probably already there.

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White respectability, moral selfhood, dehumanization 

@lj_writes see the obvious evidence of this today, orange man who wants to imprison and exile as many brown people as possible, and tells brown citizens to "go back where you came from," nonetheless upset at people calling him racist.

Like the prisons and the slurs didn't make him upset, being called impolite made him upset...

White respectability, moral selfhood, dehumanization 

@wilbr yeah that was terrifying that he can disrespect even elected officials. And the No-Harvard Kyles and other white people who are ostracized for being too overtly racist are outcasts (for now--they'll make full comebacks lol) not because they were too racist but because they were too gauche about it.

White respectability, moral selfhood, dehumanization 

@lj_writes truly a failure of our society to provide a moral education, not just a manners education

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes maybe that respect can be integrated into morality ?

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@v0idifier Respectability isn't the same thing as respect, though. Respectability is about appearances, not true respect. Nothing will change for the better unless people internalize the need to respect other people who have been othered and marginalized, and not just keep up appearances.

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes thanks for putting this so simply. I run into far more casual racism than I should like when gaming, and having these words will help.

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@trurl I'm glad it helped! I run into a lot of racism in my fandom hobby, too, and years of fans insisting that it wasn't racism unless someone said a slur, added to the news of kids being horrible, kind of helped crystalize that for me.

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes just generational flavors of racism. Some want space for "the good ones" and not being like "white trash" racists.

They're still racist, and they're ok with their kids being racist. The teens see that, and these ones are too authoritarian and too weak to truly question and rebel against what their parents have taught them its just a remix. This happens generation after generation. The point IS to hurt.

re: White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes Seconding this take without qualifications, because I was that white teenager that acted out for the shock value. That impulse led me to some *very* ideologically-malignant places, and it's going to take the rest of my life to unlearn a lot of what got seared into my brain back then.

re: White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@LexYeen I'm so glad you got out! 😯 It's such a self-perpetuating system and I have sympathy for kids that were miseducated into advocating for an inhumane system, if not the adults who had chances to turn away and chose to double down instead.

re: White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes @LexYeen juuust gonna second Lex's experiences. If it weren't for the patience and love and kindness of other queer women in helping me i'd still be closeted and in some very dark places.

re: White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@Pyretta Jesus, I can't imagine that would have been a good place for a queer woman. I'm so glad you're out (in more ways than one!). Stories lik yours and @LexYeen's give me hope.

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes
I've seen this online much more frequently than I would have liked. "Trolls" delight in offending people, acting on how FUNNY it is that other people react, like sprinkling salt on a slug. They don't give a shit about other people suffering.

At least I'm glad that more schools are starting to take bullying seriously.

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes The problem with morality is that it implies a performative aspect to it, which in turn implies a need to remain, as you rightly put it, 'respectable' and save face.

The truth of the matter is, if you introduced the categorical imperative to these people, their heads would explode, as would doing the right thing without anyone being around to see it.

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@TruculentSheep yup that was part of my thought process too, that this is a part of the complete moral bankruptcy engendered by white supremacist capitalism, where nothing and no one matters and everything is permitted for material gain, social climbing, and the maintenance of group privilege.

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes Don't forget all that lovely cognitive dissonance and complacency.

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@TruculentSheep Yeah, those are essential to dull people's moral centers and keep them perpetuating the system of white supremacist capitalism.

re: White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes chaperoning some high school kids for an internship, this is right on the money

re: White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@Breakfast my condolences 😢

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@lj_writes by "act out" do you mean "be nazis"?

White kids' racism is a symptom of white racial respectability politics 

@restioson I'm talking about things like painting swastikas in public spaces and using racist/antisemitic slurs. Some do become actual dedicated Nazis, of course, but far more think it's just harmless fun to terrorize and harass minorities. The two work hand in glove, of course, with the "nice white people" giving cover to Nazis.

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