For the most part I think these people genuinely believe they’re doing this for the greater good, and that the end justifies the means when it comes to inserting the odd lie here and there to reinforce their narrative.
But they’re blind to their own bigotry, the fact that their envisioned solutions do nothing but polarize people while they continue to move the goalpost. If you deconstruct their fallacies, you’re ‘part of the problem’, or ‘blind to your own privilege’.
And you know what? I’d be at least somewhat okay with that if I felt it was leading us to a more egalitarian world. But instead people focus on perceived injustices that *are not real*, or aim to unjustly *privilege* a group by giving them handouts or making them immune to criticism. That is not equality. It merely distracts from *actual* social issues that we should be solving, and creates a toxic environment filled with fear and paranoia.
Look, if you want to fight racism, that’s great. I’m all for it. But the only thing focusing on and ‘educating’ people about racial and cultural differences is going to do, is reinforce the idea that these differences are *natural* and *just*.
No culture is perfect. I think it’s fine to look at other cultures through a critical lens. But if you’re going to do it based on the ideas of *your* society, you’d better be prepared to scrutinize those ideas, or have other people do it for you.
Questions of ethics don’t just resolve themselves: we have to discuss them and try to answer them in a principled way. The answers aren’t always going to be what the majority believes is moral. They might even be uncomfortable — sometimes you have to accept a lesser of two evils, like accepting that people can say horrible things and still be within their rights to say those things.
But finding something offensive is *not* by itself a reason to take up arms against it. There is *always* going to be someone who takes offense, regardless of how insignificant or innocuous the subject may be. We simply cannot avoid hurting people’s feelings all the time, and we need to *stop* assuming malicious intent for every perceived misstep.
People may be selfish and some may even be duplicitous, but trying to find a subtext in every statement is a big part of what’s gotten us into this mess. Stop with the labels, stop calling people out or shaming them, *especially* without knowing the context. This is not building a world we want to live in, it’s creating a social nightmare of internalized self-censorship.