The Emotional Safety Argument, Among Other Things

We all cling to a certain belief system while looking down on others and denouncing them as false, or accuse their beholders of being opinionated, when in fact there is nothing neutral or objective about being swayed by a credo, whether be it rationally appealing or appalling. 

I got into an argument lately that made me be firm concerning my stance regarding intranational causes. And I understand that I cannot evade such topics by dismissing them as merely not national, and I do understand that living in a hyper-connected world entails engagement with world events, and consequently standing for the rights of the oppressed, but I also reckon that engaging in such discussion is at best futile and at worst injurious as long as I’m on this land. 

My initial feeling is that a form of escapism from the shackles of misery, individual and institutional depravity. And it is also hypocritical. Very much so.

Though I remained calm in my verbal exchange about the unfounded hysteria over Black Lives Matter, the other person took it as a venomous attack against them, or rather against her very being, and even accused me of being a racist (which I’m not), though if that was actually said to me or not remains tacit in the accusation itself.

When I gave my opinion about The blacks in the U.S, I was immediately told that because I don’t live there, and because I am no black I don’t have the right to talk about it, that because I am not subject to a form of discrimination prominent in the writings of BLM advocates that my arguments are invalid, but such an argument doesn’t include why such a matter transgressed all the chaos my country is going through and why it’s trending, and why people are sympathizing with it, and why were we talking about it in the first place! 

In my country, the Sahara people (which are predominantly black) are my favorite, particularly because they’re likeable and also because of their generosity, yet the very same person criticized them on the grounds of choosing “the other” over them (because she is  more or less one of them) does that make it a case in point against blacks? does that mirror her prejudice? 

On the other hand, does her argument over the blacks in the US make it invalid because she too does not live there and only expose herself, intellectually, to one side of the equation? 

Just because they experienced a sort of sensory overload of fleeting images, built on one another in a coherent way, mentally and cinematographically of the institutional discrimination and of selected news we are deemed to get across on social media, on cover stories for horrific crimes, makes her embrace it wholeheartedly and sensitive to the issue, that I HAVE TO sympathize with their cause?

False judgement and subscription to widely circulated opinions yield emotional safety, yet I have to not only defend my antithesis, but also synthesize the whole web of complex structure from a sociological point of view, as I see it against the backdrop of my personal, local, and regional reality. 

My “why the hell would I care?” argument my seem trivial at first, but it’s well grounded. I just don’t support this politics of debasement of national issues, and I vehemently believe that they don’t actually give a damn about our issues. This double bin that partially paralyzes me infuriates me and outrages me knowing how easily their “emotions” are triggered and how their basic arguments are formulated. Like a prescribed sleeping pill, the emotional safety argument calms, pulls one towards the safe zone and promises an immediate effect.

First of all, I think we should not latch onto discussions about skin and ethnicity for the time being, but if we are compelled, I would like to bring the regional and the economical card and elucidate how blacks are way privileged than me personally. My complaints and the complaints of my compatriots are airbrushed by the very same people who defend the rights of foreigners, as if accusing you of your racism all the while while shoving their humanity and moral principles down your throat, when in fact it’s a matter of prioritizing the local over the regional, the regional over the continental and so forth.

And why should we demonize those who think from their armchair? Why is privilege a crime? Isn’t that what the less empowered and the oppressed are seeking? Why can’t I enjoy it if the fathers of our revolution and our martyrs have signed the death contract to ensure that we live a bright life? (though in reality, this is far from being the case, but I am just saying!)

With that being said, I would like to extend my indifference to these matters knowing that in my national territory crimes are being committed on the human, on the animal, and on the soil. 

And I always like to go back to the crux of the matter, the individual responsibility, and how we are not passive agents, and the Black Lives Matter embodies this spirit. It is people who choose their destiny. If someone is a drug addict, it is because they chose to be so, and the examples can be multiplied endlessly. 

If I may put my two cents in, we should not be only Marxists but also Hegelians, and we should learn to filter through bs, acknowledge that it’s neither black or white, the grey area which gives vantage point is still there waiting to be explored.

We should refine our critical skills to eschew being caught in the web of infinite regression and the first cause, let us acknowledge our individual responsibility and start from where we exist, on a tempospatial level.

And at last, I would like to clean my house before I criticize the other’s house.

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