A place for new ideas to settle.

07 June 2013

A thought experiment

Consider the following scenario:
Someone who identifies as a member of Group A winds up in the "wrong part of town." Before they can get to friendlier territory, a band of members of Group B surround the person, calling them A-slurs and brandishing weapons. When the person tries to escape, the Bs chase them down and beat them to within an inch of their life. As the person lies bleeding in the street, the Bs walk off, laughing, only to yell back, "That's what happens when we catch a fucking A in our neighborhood!"
Now run over possible real-world identities to fit into A and B. Maybe A is white and the Bs are black. Maybe it's the other way around. Maybe A is a woman and the Bs are men. Maybe A is LGBT and the Bs are gay- or trans-bashing religious hardliners. Maybe A is Jewish and the Bs are skinheads. Maybe there are other, more implausible possibilities (women beating up a man, e.g.).

The point, though, is this: If you consider any choice of A and B to be less severe than others, you're part of the problem.

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