The Myth of Politeness

Every LGBT activist, hell every activist has heard it the second they’ve said something deemed to be too incendiary, too combative, or just plain too novel for allies within the majority they’re railing against.  It’s bad form to call disgraced former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich a bigot, even though that’s exactly what he is.  And it’s impolite to compare the Boy Scouts of America’s policy on gay scout leaders to Donald Sterling’s thoughts on black men at Los Angeles Clippers games.

“Did you have to say it like that?”  “Did you have to you those words?”  Doesn’t it help to be polite, to be patient?”

More accurately the statement should be worded thusly: “please express your outrage over having been treated like shit in a way that I, the majority, am comfortable with.”

No.  Fuck you.

It takes a special kind of white, cis-, hetero-, male privilege to tell someone that after years of systemic oppression at the hands of an unsympathetic and cruel majority that they can’t even be mad about it.  That they need to be more polite.  That they’re calling for change too fast.  That they just need to wait and that the majority will suddenly figure it the fuck out?


Polite discourse doesn’t net the most progress, it simply allows the dominant majority to feel more comfortable with a variety of things; namely them being shitty allies and no real progress being made.  Do you know what does move things forward?

Fucking rioting.  You should be glad we do that with words now.

Ever hear of Watts and Stonewall and the Zoot Suit riots and the LA riots?  Sure, polite discourse might makes things the most comfortable for straight, white, cis-males, but how about we actually tailor the comforts our progress to the victims for once?  Do you know what would make things the most comfortable for the victims?  Things changing right, fucking, now.  Idiots within the majority should stop bitching about the nature of the message coming from oppressed groups and start being more sympathetic to where and what that message is coming from and, novel concept, maybe lend their voices to it.




About Alex

I am awesome.

One comment

  1. Kip

    I couldn’t agree more.

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