whatsarobot You’re essentially giving Rudie an ultimatum here, and being intentionally confrontational. In your experience, has this approach ever led to anyone taking you up on your offer to educate them?
That’s quite an interesting question and something I do think about. I think about it from the opposite direction, though.
It’s not a method I am employing in order to maximize the chance of it being persuasive. I think at some point I have given up at being persuasive, because, I think, very few people are ever actually persuaded to try to become less racist or more racist out of one conversation. I think people make that decision somewhere deep within while intaking lots of evidence being presented to them in the world around them. One does not turn on FOX and in one day become racist, one does not see one BLM protest and decide to become antiracist, but being inundated with a protracted stream of events informed by race (and that’s a lot because of how obsessed with race our society is) and shaped by ideologically motivated propaganda from either side will eventually form someone’s worldview wrt race, and a person’s worldview is what really pushes them to adopt a purposeful attitude of racism or antiracism. On top of that, it’s also the case that racism or antiracism, once embedded into one’s worldview and taken on as an ideological aim, can end up altering one’s worldview even further. A racist worldview becomes twisted and warped further by racism, an antiracist worldview becomes clearer and more objective by testing the assumptions of the world around you against what you learn when learning about antiracist practices. This might sound biased towards my own worldview, and it is, but without shame, really, because so much of modern society depends on the denial of the history of racism, so, really, you kind of need to be antiracist to have a shot at viewing the world objectively.
So, my confrontation style is predicated on the idea that someone is either racist or antiracist already and that I won’t be able to do much about that. So, it’s not to much that I’m trying to deliver an ultimatum, so much that I am attempting to get someone to speak more so that I can narrow down where they’re really aligned. As Maya Angelou said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” The tricky thing there is that most people are skilled at avoiding showing you who they are without some encouragement, or ideally, social pressure. So most of what I try to do first is get people to show who they are, and how I respond to that varies a lot. Only thing worth saying to a committed racist is to fuck off and die for instance.