It’s Wednesday – On not being nice

It’s Wednesday! Let’s hear from someone new!

Image description: a 3 panel comic. In the first panel, two figures stand. One in green holds a gun and says, “Alright… no more Mr. Nice Guy…” The figure in blue looks frightened. In the second panel, the figure in green turns and shoots the gun. BANG appears above the figure. In the third panel, the figure in blue runs to an older man on his knees, who has been shot and dropped a tray of cookies. The figure in blue says, “Mr. Nice Guy!!”

I want to share an excellent article on The Establishment by Alex Lu called I’m Not Going to be Nice About Ableism. Alex talks about the experience of going through college and grad school as a person who is deaf, and how the criticism that activists must be kind and patient in order to effect change is both BS and dangerous. Feel free to apply these ideas to activists of all stripes. Here’s a preview, but click through to read the entire thing:

The phrase [change hearts and minds] has become associated with a very narrow rhetorical strategy that demands that people sit down with those most hateful and violent toward them, and patiently explain their humanity, taking great pains to neuter their language surrounding any concepts that may provoke defensiveness, like “privilege” or “racism.” Moreover, it contends that making minorities look sympathetic to the majority is the only worthy goal: Outcomes like building community, showing solidarity, or disrupting harmful institutional actions are ignored.


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