and continues on for a post of her own, which you should read. On the many and subtle (and not-so-subtle) permutations of "I've got mine, Jack."
in the course of which, she links back to an earlier exchange elsewhere, which is, well, yeah, apt:
...Regarding identity politics — it killed liberalism. Just plain killed it. I saw this with my own eyes. That’s why I hate it. It’s also a deluded way to approach issues; it leads to various “identity” groups competing with each other for attention and privilege, instead of building power coalitions, which is stupid. Liberals have been doing this for years, and its another big reason why righties run everything.
I’ve observed that people who get caught up in identity politics get their egos all wrapped up in their almighty identity issues, and they are insensitive to everybody else’s issues. And I really, really hate that.
Finally, from a Buddhist perspective, race and gender are only temporary conditions. They aren’t who you are.
There’s a great parable in Tibetan Buddhism about heaven and hell. In hell, people sit around a big bowl full of soup, and they have spoons attached to their arms, but they go hungry because the spoons are too long and they can’t bring the bowl of the spoon up to their mouths.
Heaven is exactly the same way, except that in heaven people feed each other.
What the angry ones are telling me is that they don’t trust me to feed them. I understand — really, I do — why they distrust a white person (although, in fact I am not a “white person”), but we have to trust each other, anyway, to help each other, and the trust has to go both ways. That’s how it is.
Comment by maha — September 18, 2006 @ 7:52 am
...maha, what if certain people expect their counterpart to feed them from the bowl until they are full, then turn around and give one or two spoonfuls to the other person and say, “I’m so full I need a nap. And my arm is sore anyway. That’s plenty for you. I think we are done here.” This goes on day after day and the other person is grumbling and angry, the first person says, “If it wasn’t for me you’d be dead. Be grateful I give you your spoonful a day and sometimes I even give you two!” This is more like the “heaven” that POC experience with the Democratic Party and liberals. Unfortunately we realize the Republican “heaven” would gang up on us and beat us with their spoons unless we feed them, while they don’t have to feed us at all, so most of us are smart enough to stick to the Democratic “heaven”.
Two bad choices. Some decide to walk away, yes they know they will die, but why doesn’t our Democratic counterpart see that he will die too, and maybe give us 3 or 4 spoonfuls at least?
It isn’t just the minority constituencies that are giving up on politics and walking away, it’s also labor for instance. I was shocked to read that some 40% of union members vote Republican. That should never happen. But they have bad choices too, neither side cares about labor issues, it’s all corporate welfare, privatization, deregulation, to all of them lately, so instead they walk away and are dazzled by “conservative family values” or some other nonsense. The same might apply to a black woman who attends a conservative church. She knows neither party gives a damn about her identity issues, so she might vote for the Republican who will “protect marriage” instead of the “decadent immoral” Democrat. People usually do have more than one issue, if both parties ignore their top issue they go to the next one, it might mean voting for the other party, or if all their issues are being ignored, they will sit it out.
I guess what I am saying is that giving us a seat at the table is giving us another spoonful, actually listening to us is another spoonful, doing something that actually advances our cause is filling our stomach too.
-by- the way, not that I'm -real- familiar with Tibetan Buddhism, although I am working my way through there's more to dying than death by lama shempen hookham, and The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra by too lazy to dig the book from out of the pile of eight million other partially read and neglected books and look up the author
...I don't think you need to be an Enlightened Being to perceive that this:
race and gender are only temporary conditions. They aren’t who you are.
is, particularly in this context, utter booooolsheeeet.
yeah okay. so's this entire LIFETIME a temporary condition. so's this BODY, so, you know, don't you have anything more -spiritual- to do than focus on -electoral politics?-
personally right now i'm thinking rather more fondly of the various Zen parables where someone whacks someone else with a large stick.