Moments of Permanence - It can happen!

About It can happen!

Previous Entry It can happen! Mar. 24th, 2017 @ 05:20 pm Next Entry
I had an interesting discussion today. I was talking to a person who loves and respects me, and the subject of the Federal Government wanting to make changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act came up.

And this person was of the view that it totally needed changing, and among the examples of ridiculous things they brought up was an incident where many people were offended by a political cartoon that depicted indigenous Australian fathers as absent/uncaring/terrible.

A discussion ensued. I argued that that was offensive; I reviewed the notion of punching down and its applicability to satire, and pointed out that while there are real problems with child neglect in some parts of the indigenous community, a) they know that and don't need some white guy to tell them, b) reinforcing negative stereotypes to the broader white community isn't helping, and c) most importantly, it's inappropriate for a white Australian cartoonist to treat that subject cavalierly, considering the incredible damage done to indigenous families by having two to three generations of stolen children rupturing the bonds of family and community, even apart from the effects of all the other racist structural damage of the last two hundred years.

The conversation concluded with: "... Okay. Yes. Good point."

I was... surprised.
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From:[personal profile] fred_mouse
Date: March 24th, 2017 11:29 am (UTC)
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They are all good points, and I'm glad that your friend was able to put aside their own reactions for long enough to listen and understand.
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From:[personal profile] sami
Date: March 26th, 2017 05:28 am (UTC)
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I was also happy, it's just not how such discussions normally go. I think there may be an illustrative lesson there somewhere, though, about the value of keeping the subject under discussion entirely separate from any judgement of the attitude of the person you're discussing it with. As this individual is also someone I love and respect, I didn't at any point touch on any kind of how can you think that outrage, which sometimes I might, and shouldn't.

Obviously there are many more reasons why the cartoon was horrible, actually, but I'm quite pleased with myself for hitting some solid highlights without notes or preparation.
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From:[personal profile] fred_mouse
Date: March 26th, 2017 10:51 am (UTC)
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Absolutely agree on the keeping the discussion separate from judging the other person(s) in the discussion.
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From:[personal profile] sqbr
Date: March 25th, 2017 02:24 am (UTC)
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Nice work :)
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