this afternoon I read this piece by Markham Heid which I think has some real relevance here:
I fired this off to one of my favorite writers, MarleyK, with the same invitation: I wonder if we simply switched Covid/Climate change denial to racism, how much of Heid's article would absolutely track?
My guess? Being a long time student of psychology, my bet is that it will track very closely. How we choose to identify, and how we allow our beliefs and our brotherhoods (choice of words intentional) to define us, then we are more likely to lean into that rather than muster the courage to question our shit, whatever our shit may be. Rational arguments don't cut it. Identification of this order, this level of denial is damned near psychotic.
While I most certainly don't have the conceit to suggest what or how to write about race, I do think that some of what Heid has to say is meaningful. In a world of identification politics, we have all seen people wholly incapable of backing off their very public support of the Orange Cretin. They really are willing to die in the proverbial ditch to be right about a choice, something they feel identifies them, no matter how stupid or wrong. Evangelicals are about the best example going.
The addiction to being right (and you to be wrong) is the twin addiction to needing to feel superior. Those ugly compulsions are the drivers behind so much of what we see. For me as a White person to do the real work, I have to face off with both of those, which require a level of grace and humility that most folks don't reach in a lifetime. Some do. And they take on the Big Work. They are few, but important. That said, this is gonna take a long time. For what it's worth.