Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Do Not Bind Up Heavy Labels

Some of the same Catholics who believe that abortion is wrong but feel that "pro-life" is too freighted a term to want to use it without careful qualifiers about what they do and do not want to be seen as aligning with seem to be willing to say that the only reason why someone would be hesitant to identify with the phrase "Black Live Matter" is they're racist.

Maybe I'm just getting middle-aged and tired, or maybe it's that I've actually come to understand how a lot of people bridle at being told that they MUST endorse some particular phrase or else they are support a clear evil, but I don't think it's a good idea to go around telling people "if you don't rally behind the political movement that I think will solve Evil XYZ, then clearly you support Evil XYZ!" It's not actually a very persuasive argument, and if you do manage to persuade someone it may be in the opposite direction, causing them to conclude: "Fine. If all those people say I must endorse Evil XYZ, then I will."

1 comment:

Agnes said...

I don't really see how anyone would embrace the opposite label, but I can imagine how it may drive someone to embrace the opposing idea. In this particular case, I can't imagine anyone would accept "fine, then I'm racist" but I can see "if those who think the same way I think are the racists then clearly they aren't as bad as they are thought to be". Which, of course, leads to what you said - supporting the opposite side.
Also, like you, I deeply disapprove of this dichotomizing, this polarizing of people into "with us" and "against us". People do want to belong to a group but in truth, they belong to many different groups at the same time and it will never work if they try to coalesce them into one big group that's supposed to agree in everything.
Also, the whole labelling issue is deeply wrong. "Black lives matter" vs "All lives matter" shouldn't be set up as contrast: the only reason Black lives matter is the fact that All lives matter - otherwise it would be "only those lives matter whose group is the loudest/the more powerful". And it shouldn't be set up as "you/majority/society disregarded [these] lives so now it's their turn to be in the focus and all others should just remain in the background [or, even worse but possibly implied, endure the riots and other backlash]" - because, again, there will be another backlash coming.