I believe that we are increasingly a culture that cannot cope with difference in proximity. Like must associate with like; every voice in a room must shout in unison; camps and cliques are a matter of the utmost moral imperative somehow.
To say that “I don’t agree” triggers not discussion but instead the script of the activist: aggression, negation, shame, exclusion, distancing.
We take the sign of maturity not to be the mutual agreement to differ, but the mutual agreement to separate and limit contact due to differences.
The activist ethic has taught us that to see difference without aggressively attacking it is to “accept” and to “tolerate” and even to “endorse” that which is different from us, and that all of society is a zero-sum game in which the survival of that which is different from ourselves implies our own destruction.
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And sadly, it often makes me want to check out, to disengage myself. Because there is no longer any room for discourse or discussion or the simple appreciation of diversity. To try to engage in those things is to be perceived as oppressing, invalidating, dismissing, –splaining, and other forms of what are accepted to be immoral behaviors.
This is all obvious stuff, and it’s been said before. But sometimes you want to say things again, just to bemoan the status quo.