Listen now (55 mins) | Yascha Mounk and Eboo Patel discuss how religious differences strengthen America’s civic fabric.
In an interview with many good thoughts, this one stands out for me, where Mr. Patel explains his thinking about some Islamophobia teachings his children were exposed to: “Your identity has no content, unless somebody else is prejudiced against it, or opposing it, or discriminating against it.” I read that an hour ago, and can't get it out of my head.
I see that everywhere. It started in the late 70s or so at the beginnings of the fetishization of victims, a savvy political move that was and is particularly hard to argue against. It's now become the whole game, and on both sides. No longer just a strategy to counter the remains of racism and buttress the modern welfare state (understandable in both cases), it's become something no self-respecting Political-American can do without, and has become so internalized as identity that we don't even notice it's victimology redux.
Its perverse consequence is that it applies as well to the original oppressor group of white males, who have been backed into an identity they'd never recognized, and started looking as hard for oppressors as everyone else seemed to be. And of course they ("we," I guess, since I'm one of them) found oppression easily enough as the rhetoric about them became so totalizing and pretty obviously discriminatory.
Mr. Patel is on the right track, trying to shift our focus to the actual content of our tribal identities, which can be -- and so often is -- positive and affirming and civil.
This article after the climate bill this week helps me see things with more hope. Bravo to the author for his work trying to bring together community across differences. His journey through critical theory and anecdotes around changing an overly negative worldview spoke to me.
Eboo delivers a clear, strong criticism of the CRT worldview without overly demonizing it or the people like his younger self who are drawn to it. Now that's Persuasion at its best!
This was a very enlightening and inspiring discussion. I think we have to get past the "oppressor/oppressed" discussion and instead focus on interacting those of other races, faiths and ethnicities as individuals with differing points of view. I am constantly irked by the tendency for many people in this country to lump large groups of people into a category and assume they all have exactly the same opinions and viewpoints. My wife and I had an interesting discussion with a friend yesterday about politics. While we generally vote the same way, this friend had a distinctly different outlook on a subject we disagreed on. Surprise, no fisticuffs or shouting matches occurred, we had a pleasant and interesting conversation on the subject and agreed to disagree.
While watching a historical drama last night, the episode covered a time in English history just after the death of Henry VIII, when tremendous political and religious upheaval occurred there. The episode included the burning at the stake of a Catholic priest. I don't think many people understand the severity of consequences from religious persecution or intolerance.