A little bit about debating and privilege. It would be great to have the privilege to debate on everything as an academic and an ideal world exercise, but it is important to recognise that doing so, validates violence as a trickle down effect into the present day lives of many. Most debates I have seen in present day facebook are mostly by demographics who are not directly affected by the consequences of their so called academic enquiry. For example, a whole thread on abortion laws, where after the first five arguments, the women have disappeared. A whole thread on the Strumia comments, when (sometimes straight) white males (or people from a privileged background) argue about how no-platforming is not an option, and it continues, so on and so forth. If you have not faced a certain issue, it makes sense to learn from demographics who actually do face it rather than debating with/about them to satisfy one’s emotional satisfaction for a debate. In the search for an ideal world, we must be careful not to build an “ideal world” upon the broken skeletons of those demographics who do not fit into your neat pursuit of logic. Rather, inclusive logic is that which takes into account how things are in reality. In all of our realities.
Can we, as humans, refrain from turning debate into a colonialism of someone else’s humanity and an invalidation of their self. Can we stop treating silence as assent? Or powerlessness? But rather recognise our own ability of eloquence as privilege?
This is in solidarity with something I saw on facebook written by someone called Sarah Maddux :
“When you debate a person about something that affects them more than it affects you, remember that it will take a much greater emotional toll on them than on you. For you it may feel like an academic exercise. For them, it feels like revealing their pain only to have you dismiss their experience and sometimes their humanity.
The fact that you might remain more calm under these circumstances is a consequence of your privilege, not increased objectivity on your part. Stay humble.”
Leave a Reply