Monday, May 5, 2014

Strange Fruit of Identity Politics

Strange Fruit of Identity Politics is another fine post from Elizabeth Stoker. I especially liked this: "When we say that data doesn’t count and only individual experiences should have any gravitas in a conversation, we say we do not want to know the overall nature of experiences, but rather the highly idiosyncratic and individual nature of a single experience. Coincidentally this has the exact same effect as a person without any experience of a situation forwarding their (un-grounded) sense of it: that is, it stamps out the reality of the many and general in favor of the singular and anecdotal. The idea of data (and of keeping the argument grounded in what can be known by all participants) is to build workable roads between the general tendency of an experience and all hearers, whether they’ve had it or not; the insistence upon a single idiosyncratic experience is the de-facto destruction of those roads, and the halting of all argument. So this is why arguing about anything remotely social justice related on the internet is often fruitless and weird and zeroes down in many cases to name-calling and demands to shut up."