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View Diary: Ageism, Harry Drinkwater, and us (58 comments)

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  •  Kill the "old white man" meme (4+ / 0-)

    This meme has ageism, sexism, and racism all wrapped up in one.  And it happens right here on DailyKos.  And it goes unquestioned.  

    There's nothing wrong with being old.  Nothing wrong with being white (or any other race).  And nothing wrong with being a man.  There's nothing wrong with being any of these things in any combination or permutation.

    What is wrong is being narcissistic, sociopathic, racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-intellectual -- or ageist.  And these things can happen at any age.  

    The next time you're tempted to think of (pick your favorite), say, John McCain as an "old white man," then remember, Noam Chomsky is an old white man too, and think of the debt we progressives owe to him.

    If you're tempted to think that "new is good" then remember, even fascism was a new thing once.  

    •  i agree that the meme is harmful... (3+ / 0-)

      but from a woman's point of view - a 67 yr old woman from the south - our anger is at a certain TYPE of "old white man" - not those who joined us in the fight for women's rights in the 60s - but the men who are sitting on the supreme court, in the state houses, in the gop and tea party.  THEY are the ones who want to force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term by draconian laws, humiliating procedures and medical malpractice.

      these same "old white men" are the ones who are trying to suppress the rights of LGBT and minorities.  they feel threatened that their "power" is being diminished by facing those who they consider inferior.

      it would be helpful to know that the phrase "old white men" defines a very specific subset of human males.  

      as for ALL "old white men" - i know many who will stand arm in arm to defend the rights of those the other group tries to take away.  perhaps, though, it would be more effective to add the names of those men to the phrase whenever possible - perhaps with an asterick and then post the list at the bottom of a comment to remind everyone exactly WHO is the real problem here in our nation.

      just some thoughts here...

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 02:48:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Characteristics vs essence, and colloquial facts (4+ / 0-)

        As a child who lived for 3 years in the south, I handed out food and water to members of the Poor People's Campaign at a rest stop as a part of a Quaker group.  My neighbors, fearing this movement, burned a cross on our lawn.  I understand the colloquial facts and sympathize with the particulars of your experience...completely, and first hand.

        If you ask a child what an "island" is, you will get the answer that an island is a place with girls in grass skirts.  A young child sorts the world by characteristics.  When the child gets older, s/he understands the essence.  An island is a body of land surrounded by water on all sides.  This problem is not just a problem of child development.  It is also a problem of cultural learning and cultural development.  Adults make the same concept and category mistakes in early stages of cultural learning.  

        Characteristically, your enemies come in all colors.  A death penalty for homosexuality in...Africa.  Sexism is alive in...India...in China...in Indonesia.  Here are four billion people who are not white.  In the southern US, I heard the N- word roll off the lips of mothers and fathers equally.  But there is nothing inherently or biologically wrong with being non-white, non-male, non-old.  Of course.

        The essence of your enemy is racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-intellectualism...and ageism.  One who implicitly directs one's anger against a gender, a race, or an age, is implicitly giving the racists, sexists, homophobes, etc., a free pass to continue infecting our discourse with their cancerous bile.  Those people come in all colors, all ages, all sexual orientations, and both genders, much as colloquial observation may bias our sample with local facts.

        You are however right in one important way.  There are cultural groups, self-organized, who try to affirm the superiority of one characteristic over another.  But this is still a distraction.  There are truly white supremacists who are unsurprisingly, overwhelmingly white.  But they are not exclusive in having this particularly virulence.  Exclusivity by characteristic is just a cover for the failure of a group to understand the essence of a problem.  We all share in some form of guilt for this, regardless of who we are.

        We progressives would do ourselves a credit to take these problems, in their intricate details, more seriously.

        •  so very well written - tomorrow, i will read again (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qphilo, catilinus

          and then again.

          you have so many good points made here - they are worthy of time spent pondering them.

          one quick answer is that when we stop looking at characteristics and look, instead, at character we will finally be heading into the right direction.

          tomorrow - i look forward to thinking and responding more - and you should think of making this into a post - it is fitting and well worth greater exposure!

          thank you - it is a good place to end my day.

          good nite and blessed dreams!

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:20:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catilinus, edrie

            Edrie, thank you for the generous response.  I do think I could sharpen this up a bit; perhaps then it might be more apt for an expanded piece.  I see the problem as one that deserves deeper examination and further reflection.  We progressives can only become stronger by the undertaking.  Thank you for taking it into consideration in generous good measure.

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