Normal People, Normal Politics
Emma Caterine

Thank you for writing this.

It seems to me that more effective analysis about how societies primarily structured by oppression are so robust and resilient is much needed. Your noting that “…the reason it’s such an effective tool for these harms is because it appropriated what is usually a genuine sentiment of love and collective survival.” offers an illustration of how/why such resilience exists.

From what I can comprehend, most people (there are exceptions, obviously) aren’t disposed to harm others yet they (we) routinely participate in (and thereby uphold) deeply harmful practices and doings. I suspect, in part, that’s because those doings seem “normal” to us and that’s often because they appropriate genuine/core aspects of living beings and then subvert them to harmful ends.

Chela Sandoval wrote some about these sorts of practices in her book “Methodology of the Oppressed”. Her book isn’t an easy read (at least it dang sure isn’t for me), but her struggle with notions like “…Barthes’s account attempts to answer the question of how “innocent, well-intentioned citizens” can end up enacting the racism of a domineering class.” is both enlightening and stimulating.

Dr. Sandoval remarks in her book that it’s interesting that so few are familiar with these efforts. It just might be that relegating serious analysis of the hijacking of “normal” to obscurity is part of the robustness of societies structured by oppression.

Again, thanks for writing this post.

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