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View Diary: Race & Gender Studies: Expertise Counts (129 comments)

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  •  Well that told us! (4+ / 0-)

    Sometimes it does us good to be told. Your Diary is a healthy dose of reality and I'm pretty sure that you were not intending to shut down discussion.

    There is a real problem when discussing emotive subjects, whatever their flavour. Generally, but not always, we are on the same side. While some may have a great deal of expertise and knowledge, others are struggling to understand and this medium has limitations.

    Listening is a skill we can all develop, and I think that much of the angst arises from those who, for whatever reason, cannot hear well.

    For example ..... I cannot know (I certainly do not know) what White Priviledge feels like to non-white people. All I know is what my life feels like to me. So there are some things I, and we, simply have to take on trust.

    When Black Americans are less than sympathetic to some of the struggles of the working poor, and reflect this by suggesting that "Now you know what we feel like" .... Police violence being one facet, then I get it.

    You don't have to be an expert to get that. You just have to listen to your Brothers and Sisters who have been telling you for years.

    If we start by accepting, rather than denying the experiences of others then we put ourselves in a vastly better position to truly understand. From there we can make a difference.

    I am no expert in matters of Race and Racial Awareness but I will comment. Sometimes I will be wrong and then all I ask is that you tell me that I am wrong and I promise to listen.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 07:18:22 AM PST

    •  I'm a huge fan of productive discussion (4+ / 0-)

      And I think you get my point:  discussion is usually most productive if both sides come to the table with something substantive to offer.

      I'm not speaking against experience -- a whole lot of my own academic work rests on examining and taking seriously the experiences of other people. I admire people who speak out of their own experience and, even when I don't agree with them, I respect them.  What I'm taking issue with here are the folks who actually have very limited experience, but who want to make sweeping generalizations about subjects they've not bothered to research (either academically or personally) that have implications for the real lives of the oppressed peoples whose opinions (amateur and expert) they have not bothered to survey.

      Part of being a good listener is seeking out the voices one should hear, rather than waiting for them to come to you. This is especially important for people in privileged classes, because if we're not active in this regard, there are a lot of important opinions we're just not going to hear.

      "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

      by hepshiba on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 08:10:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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