Saturday, March 27, 2010

Brilliant: Derailing for Dummies

Why, why, why didn't I ever find this when I was swimming in a sea of privileged, smug yet disarmingly bitter expatriates in South Korea?

This is brilliant.  Now, I won't ruin it by giving you too much information.  Plus, it's 12:25am on a Saturday morning, that is, Friday night.  I'm busy.  I'm working.  However, as is many in the USA right now, I'm still a bit too pressed for funds to be out and about wasting my money.

It's pretty funny when it happens to me because the person doing the derailing usually sees me as yet another race card playing whiner.  I say that because never do these conversations come up with long-time friends who know me and my background well.  They know that 1) I'm very much more on the pull yourself up by your bootstraps and forge ahead sort of person and 2) I'm more middle of the road to conservative than not on a few issues.  It's social issues where I'm a card carrying liberal.  Also, my experience speaks to someone who forges ahead in spite of statistics and norms.  If I wasn't, I wouldn't have done half of the stuff I've managed to do so far.  I'd be too busy whining about how the world was racist.  It IS racist in many respects, but I'm going to go on about my business in spite of the dummies out there.

Speaking of dummies...

The name of the site: Derailing for Dummies.

The topic: a guide for privileged people to derail and marginalize the experiences and observations of minorities. (Yes, it's sarcasm.)

It's great!

Here is the intro, but click over for more.
You know how it is. You’re enjoying yourself, kicking back and relaxing at the pub or maybe at the library; or maybe you’re in class or just casually surfing the internet, indulging in a little conversation. The topic of the conversation is about a pertinent contemporary issue, probably something to do with a group of people who fall outside your realm of experience and identity. They’re also probably fairly heavily discriminated against - or so they claim.

The thing is, you’re having a good time, sharing your knowledge about these people and their issues. This knowledge is incontrovertible - it’s been backed up in media representation, books, research and lots and lots of historical events, also your own unassailable sense of being right.

Yet all of a sudden something happens to put a dampener on your sharing of your enviable intellect and incomparable capacity to fully perceive and understand All Things. It’s someone who belongs to the group of people you’re discussing and they’re Not Very Happy with you. Apparently, they claim, you’ve got it all wrong and they’re offended about that. They might be a person of colour, or a queer person. Maybe they’re a woman, or a person with disability. They could even be a trans person or a sex worker. The point is they’re trying to tell you they know better than you about their issues and you know that’s just plain wrong. How could you be wrong?

Don’t worry though! There IS something you can do to nip this potentially awkward and embarrassing situation in the bud. By simply derailing the conversation, dismissing their opinion as false and ridiculing their experience you can be sure that they continue to be marginalised and unheard and you can continue to look like the expert you know you really are, deep down inside!


Just follow this step-by-step guide to Conversing with Marginalised People™ and in no time at all you will have a fool-proof method of derailing every challenging conversation you may get into, thus reaping the full benefits of every privilege that you have.

The best part is, you don't even have to be a white, heterosexual, cisgendered, cissexual, upper-class male to enjoy the full benefits of derailing conversation! Nope, you can utilise the lesser-recognised tactic of Horizontal Hostility to make sure that, despite being a member of a Marginalised Group™ yourself, you can exercise a privilege another Marginalised Group™ doesn't have in order not to heed their experience!

Read on, and learn, and remember… you don’t have to use these in any particular order! In fact, mixing them up can really keep those Marginalised People™ on their toes! After all, they are pretty much used to hearing this stuff, so you don’t want to get too predictable or they’ll get lazy!
(yep, you know it...code not fixed. There is no "more" to the "read more" link.)

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