re: Reactgate Recap VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

I hate the thought that just because a hate group does one thing, that thing immediately becomes a symbol of hate. That and the fact that the "Okay hand gesture" has the "white power" symbol is a troll by 4Chan, and most idiots fell for it (including the supremacists, who are so stupid they don't know their own shit).

White Supremacist: *Breathes*
BREATHING IS NOW A HATE SYMBOL!

 

There are so many ways to communicate things. It's not going to hurt us to stop using the OK hand gesture. Stopping the usage will prevent harm, however, and that should be worth it.

 

What's stopping them (the trolls) from continuing to add new symbols to the list though? If it's effective, then they're just going to keep doing it.

I guess we’ll just have to see. In the meantime, it costs $0 to help people feel safe by not using a symbol.

I really disagree with this approach. I don't think you help people feel safe by giving power to those who are trying to oppose them. Just because they want something to be a symbol of hate, doesn't mean society has to follow suit. The best thing we can do is to continue using it in everyday life as a giant middle finger towards their hateful ideology.

The best thing we can do is listen to the people who are hurting. They're telling us exactly what they need.

I agree that we should listen to people and empathize with their situation. But just as it's not their fault bad people exist, it's not my fault either. I don't have to give up my freedom to use everyday language just because someone bad is trying to take it over.

I get the point you're making, that's it seems like there's zero harm in changing how we speak, but I disagree with that conclusion. There is harm to it, in that it gives power to their (the WN people) voices. It makes their actions effective. We're not talking about banning a widely known and long-time used negative symbol or word. We're talking about an everyday symbol that just very recently been tried to be taken over (as a trolling attempt nonetheless).

So yes, we listen to those hurt, but we also don't give up our everyday language the second these people try to co-opt it. That's losing the battle before it's even begun.

It’s just an OK symbol. Your life won’t suffer for ending usage of it. Others lives will be better though. But I can’t teach you to be compassionate for other people so this is my last comment to you.

But now my life will suffer if I use 👌at conference or in a tweet.

But really, this is what worries me: You assume I'm not being compassionate towards others simply because I disagree with the approach. And from that, it is logical to end the conversation. It's one thing to agree to disagree, but to accuse someone of lacking compassion is entirely different. Now I'm a bad person who you probably shouldn't associate with anymore. And if I'm a bad person, I probably shouldn't be allowed in the industry, or at least to give talks at conferences. It's not that far of a stretch. All because I believe that it's not in the best interest of anyone to give up our language to white supremacists.

Urrrgh there are plenty of times in life where what someone is asking for can provide temporary relief but long term suffering.

Please just think things through a little more.

Of course becoming less fragile is the best way to be, if you need temporary protection that should be offered, but to be protected for life hurts the individual and the communities they touch.

You don’t get to police how oppressed people feel.

I think we miss the point if we limit discussion to the co-opting of the OK sign by white nationalists; though I can believe that there are many (especially outside the US) who genuinely don't know the significance it has gained. It's a tough call whether to resist this or just avoid its use.

Kevin you said:

I believe that it's not in the best interest of anyone to give up our language

On this I don't agree. Our language has been formed by - and perpetuates - historical biases. It is absolutely in our interest to remove those biases wherever possible. It's perhaps not realistic to simply erase all problematic language; but when someone tells you that the language you use is harmful to them, that's not something that should simply be dismissed.

However I do think that focusing on the OK symbol trivialises the issue here. The point is that someone who tried to draw attention to the effects of a long history of bias in our culture was the victim of exactly what she described.

Aaron - it's simplistic to accuse Tatiana Mac of having a tantrum for leaving the industry if you haven't been subjected to that level of abuse and haven't suffered the effects of Western society's inherent racism your entire life. Maybe you have? I haven't; but I still think it's far more appropriate to condemn the people who trolled her.

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