You have a degree, so what?
You being “woke” ain’t shit.
You getting a master’s degree ain’t shit.
No one cares what your IQ is or how many articles on racism you share either.
Too often, I see liberals who are very aggressive in their stance to the point where they will silence others and take on authoritative positions by bashing on the other side through belittlement, making harsh accusations of the opposing side being “bigoted”, and forming group attacks on one person (which seems more like an accepted form of bullying when it’s from a group of “progressives”). In other words, persecution occurs after making an honest mistake. This is to the point where people feel too scared to ask questions, to learn, and to be wrong. In most liberals’ defense as to why they should be listened to and why they feel entitled to someone’s time and thought, they respond with the many classes they took in studying gender and race, or they will use their liberal arts degree as a badge of authority. Announcing their academic status as a way of deflection, instead of taking the time to listen to the other side, and taking their own advice by educating themselves with an open-mind that they always preach about having.
Change is gradual and not instantaneous as most liberals may think. Who has actually changed their viewpoints after one debate? Public debates are more of a spectacle than anything. It becomes a battle of who “gets owned” and gets the right to brag about it to their friends. These debates are not conducive to growing or learning. Nothing gets done and often times, tactics like attacking the person and dismissing them from the start are the most go-to responses from progressive liberals.
What they lack in strength, they make up for in brains. It’s more insidious and manipulative and for those that are involved in social movements like feminism, LGBT rights, and other marginalized groups could prove to be dangerous to these movements. Not only does it do a disservice to the left, it also hurts our cause. The left is constantly at each other’s throats as they try to police each other and others outside of their circle. Often times, bullying and manipulation happens in the form of attacking someone and “putting them on blast” with others joining in.
But just because someone uses the right academic terms like “intersectionality”, “misogynist”, or “white privilege” doesn’t mean they are incapable of being corrected. It doesn’t matter how many gender studies classes someone took at a liberal arts university and how many non-white friends they have; they are still capable of being prejudice, condescending, selfish, and unsympathetic to people who don’t think like them. By using academic terms in conversing with someone who is outside of these social justice circles, there’s already a rift in the conversation. These terms are stilted and artificial, using them in everyday conversations with people outside of said circle creates an imbalance. It’s the equivalent of someone from an exclusive club talking in slang to a non-member and expecting them to know what they’re talking about. One may counteract and say, “Well, a term like anti-racism is just common sense” which comes off as condescending and even prejudice to those who have learning disabilities. As if to say, “it’s so simple to understand that you must be stupid for not easily getting it the first time”. This attitude is insufferable and reeks of elitism, a complete disregard to those who have a different style of learning or cannot grasp these concepts as easily.
Often times, the more intellectual someone is, the more respected they are and they’re almost seen as attractive and righteous. They’re held in high regard to the point where people on their side fear challenging them. It doesn’t help that the toxic environment that progressive liberals have cultivated make it too stressful and frightening to ask questions in fear of being “put on blast” or treated condescendingly. We have to remember, social awareness does not automatically mean someone is good and righteous, and are incapable of being flawed or toxic.
Tie race, class, geographical location, and gender into it and depending on how it all goes, it can all go south very quickly. Someone who had the funds to go to a prestigious liberal university may look down on someone who didn’t have access to the same education as them, whether it’s because they choose not to go to school or because they lack the funds to do so. Think of a man feeling the instinctive need to educate a woman on what “sexism” actually is, infantilizing her on something she is well-versed in or explaining her own major to her despite the fact she holds a higher degree than him. Or a white woman talking down to a black man and explaining to him what “racism” truly is when being called out. Or if someone from a red state is already dismissed as being a “stupid redneck” by a liberal from Chicago despite the fact that they might be a minority member of the LGBT community.
High intellect is not attached with kindness and understanding. High social awareness does not mean you can’t ever be wrong or you can’t hurt or oppress someone. You’re not incapable of having racist or sexist intentions just because you vote democrat. We must get rid of the narrative that someone who’s liberal, shares articles about racism on Facebook, and publicly supports Black Lives Matters must mean they’re a good person by default or they’re “woke bae”. Liberals vs Conservatives is often translated to Good vs Evil which makes it harder to correct people who believe that because they are democratic and progressive, they are incapable of doing harm to the very people they supposedly stand by. They can be just as bad, if not worse than their Republican counterparts that they decry.
No matter how smart or socially aware someone is does not mean they’re immune to being called out or being terrible in other aspects of their life. Educating other people and being educated should have a balance. By throwing in your academic status as if to say you have more authority over the situation isn’t helpful when you’re trying to educate someone. It’s one thing to prove you have credentials when you’re being talked down to in something that’s your specialty. However, it’s another thing when someone tries to present to you their side in a respectful manner, only to be met with rudeness. Your degree is not a badge of authority.
I want my side to do better. I want them to present themselves better. To resort to bullying, shaming, gaslighting, group attacks, and whatnot proves they’re not here to help. They’re here to stroke their own egos, try to prove how “woke”and how great of an “ally” they are. It doesn’t matter how many Anti-Trump protests someone has been to, how many black friends they have, if their degree lies in social justice, or if they call themselves a feminist. As Stacey Patton had said, “..Calling oneself “deeply progressive” doesn’t mean anything when actions translate to repression and oppression”. Progressive liberals are not immune to oppressing others. Again, by cultivating an environment where no one feels safe to express their views in fear of being mocked and ambushed by someone’s friends and followers, no one is actually getting educated.
I want my side to think outside of themselves for a moment: Think of how having a smug condescending attitude is actually helpful to anyone. Think of how maybe the people who are not grasping certain concepts and points are not from the same walks of life as them, whether they have a learning disability, a different learning style, suffering from depression, they simply don’t understand, or whatever the case maybe — Think carefully of your approach to someone before you go off on them and call them a “stupid bigot” for not understanding you the first time.