Serby wrote:I always find it weird when a person of an opressed minority fails to see behind the far-righr ideologies (black peope being homophobic, gays racist etc.), but people just want someone else to be a black sheep I think.
I used to wonder about this (and I still do every day tbh), but I do think social categorization is just a human trait. You can't see everyone as an individual. It would also make multiple social identification procesess impossible.
So social demarcation is inevitable, that's why social/ethnic/gender/... boundaries are the real subjects to be discussed. Differences can be defined in a myriad ways. I myself believe that we can strive for a world where these mechanism can be all defined in more positive/progressive ways but they can't be demolished. But a common mistake I do believe progressive groups make is that they reify boundaries and lack self-critical thought when they do so. From an individual way point of view I'm not afraid to admit that I made (implicit and explicit) racist remarks, that I reified gender boundaries, etc. It starts with continuous self-awareness (on a all levels). Key to all of this is education in my opinion.
So approaching it from the boundary-making perspective It's not that hard to understand why oppressed groups are more harsh towards each other sometimes rather than 'combining their experiences' towards the (powerful) majority. (for example) An ethnic minority uses a lot of subtle mechanisms for trying to be the best ethnic minority of all ethnic minorities (for example a non-religious ethnic group will use this trait to potray their ethnic identity to be more alinged with the (European) National (read: white) European identity than Muslim identities). This is just one of the numerous ways boundary making happens. We see the same processes among people of lower social classes or even among members of the lgbtq community (think about ways (some) gay people define themselves are being better than more fenimine men, being better than transgenders, being better than bisexuals because they actually can make a choice, being better than pedofiles (which can also viewed as a pure sexual minority in a scientific sense),... The way I see it it's like when oppressed groups have been fighting (mostly for decades) to get a respected societal postion they also try everything in their power to keep that position (also the road to that postion comes with a lot of discrimination of other groups). At some point they become part of the norm and values they have been attacking (nowadays these values can be defined as 'neutrality,' 'liberal', 'equality (not equity)',....). When that happens history tends to be forgotten. You could argue that the values/norms of a society actually change a little bit to include them (because it became inevitable not to do so) but the mechanism that exclude/include are still pretty much in tact. I mean who really wants to trade their power in favour of others when they have a real 'free' choice?
To really aspire change the fight needs to continue even when you are fully embraced/aligned with the norms/values of a society. That's the toughtest part cause you run the risk of losing all the power you collected. To use a metaphor it's basically cutting your own skin.
I think those are different views to look at the paradox you mentioned. In that way I can understand why it happens (also because I do it myself through a myriad of actions). I do try to fight this fight through my work and other activities, but as one person without any institutional political power you can only focus on a little fraction of one domain. It's a 'Sisyphus labour' tbh, but I don't mind.