Friday, April 02, 2021

Solving Oppression

Some start from the approach that prejudice and oppression can only be solved by a billion individual acts, others from the idea that a limited number of imposed approaches which apply universally is the only way that works. Given those foundational differences in approach, it is easy to see why we have a hard time agreeing on what should be done.


RichardJohnson said...

the approach that prejudice and oppression can only be solved..... from the idea that a limited number of imposed approaches which apply universally is the only way that works

Back in the day, southern opponents of desegregation said something to the effect that "you can't legislate morality." That is, forcing segs to let blacks patronize their stores and restaurants or attend their schools would not change segs' dislike of blacks. In one sense, the segs were correct. There is still racial animosity among us. However, in the last 6 decades, southern whites' standards for treatment of blacks have changed considerably. The Klan's power and popularity has changed from considerable to hardly anything at all. In that sense, yes, you CAN legislate morality. But note that this didn't come about so much from enforcement of law but by changing public opinion.

What make me and others uncomfortable is that there is no end to the "limited number of approaches which apply universally."

Several decades ago, there was little or no hue and cry for transsexuals, such as allowing them to use female public restrooms or be members of female athletic teams. Or the Heinz 57 variety of pronouns one is supposed to use in addressing someone.

With the progs, with the wokes, there is no end- NO LIMIT- to the proposed changes they want to impose on society. There will always be something. After trans vocabulary, rest assured they'll think of something else. Give them an inch, they'll take a mile.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Thurgood Marshall believed that civil rights protests were unnecessarily dangerous to black people and divisive to the country, when the real battles and progress were all through the courts and blacks were consistently winning rights there. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not that much of an improvement over 1958, but people felt very strongly about it because of the sacrifices made protesting for it, so it is viewed as a rapturous pivotal event now. You can't impose huge changes on a South that 90% believes in segregation, you have to get down to 60% or less, and when you then flip things by law, a lot of the ambivalent folks in the middle will switch, and social pressure suddenly works in the other direction. Protests are valuable when they show not just how many people are angry - that does nothing - but how many people are willing to apply social pressure in the other direction.

It is true that perhaps legislation never happens and no one dares go to court without the show of force (either physical or implied voting) of protests. We can't go back and replay it, but I think that likely has some truth. But I think the value of protests was and is greatly overestimated. They do some signalling.