In order to remain sane, and speak with sense, it is necessary to speak in generalities. We attach traits and meanings to each of these generalities, for better or worse. Our minds, our accumulated perceptions, do produce them. “Exceptions prove rules.”
Everyone knows you are allowed to talk about white people. I don’t know if James Cone’s works on black liberation theology were a catalyst or a symptom, but anyone who cannot speak with the same clarity of purpose and meaning as Cone cannot expect to be taken for a man. There is so much squirrely prevarication that a white seminarian at Union might apologize to squirrels for the adjective.
“But that’s racist!” The view that only good things can be thought and said about blacks, browns, women, queers, or whomever is ridiculous. It is ridiculous to be able to say something good about a group but nothing bad about a group. If you can say something good about them, they have a character. Whatever has a character has some bad qualities. Unless, that is, these underrepresented minorities are actually wholly good and way better than the whiteys.
I don’t even like answering the racist charge because then you think all I am doing is worrying about race, that this defense of generalities is really a defense of racism. Or if not racism, then running down this or that hitherto marginalized group is the perverted desire of my truly virtuous heart. Have no fear. I am not a jingoist, or I aspire to something better in any event. My concern is firmly related to trusting my own judgment and encouraging others to trust theirs. Everyone feels the burden of being oh-so conventional, of saying what we do not think. We even think what we do not think! Well thank Dolos for pseudonyms and the doxxers who make their users loved by the many.
Emerson should be our guide in these matters of honesty. “I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is for itself and not a spectacle.” Without apology, we are going to trust ourselves and set things right. We will set the beings in order! If you think we are wrong, and happen to care, please correct us without delay.
— Phocaean Dionysius