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The disconnect of privilege

Showcased in thousands of comments (yes, more than 5,000) on the Ani DiFranco FB page with her pseudo-apology. I'm pulling a prime example and posting my response here. 

 Dxxxx Mxxxx: Your post clearly and brilliantly demonstrates exactly where the disconnect lies. I see it so often, the all or nothing mentality, allowing no room for humans (music idols or not) to be ... well, human.

You wrote: " Ani, you are one of the most conscious human beings I can think of when it comes to issues of oppression, be they related to gender, religion, race, sexual orientation or otherwise. I am convinced that to your very marrow, you are a champion for humanity, for equality, for compassion, and peace. The criticism is unwarranted."

All of the above is true except the last sentence. And that's the thing - one can be all of those things, but when one screws up criticism is absolutely warranted. How else do we learn, expand our awareness, and check our privilege in areas we'd never seen it before if no one tells us where we failed? Ani can be a social justice warrior through her music and still make a huge mistake. What was done in the past is a general good basis for predicting future behaviour and when you freely hold yourself to that standard people will you call you out when dropping below that standard. That is not a bad thing, it is a very good thing. No privilege would ever be checked if everyone stayed silent.

The part that stirred this higher rather than soothing it was the tone and words of the pseudo-apology in the original post after 2 weeks of silence. We can't know what would have been said to her if she'd either responded quickly or used the words people associate with an apology: "I'm sorry". But we sure know now what happens when she doesn't.

On a related note, Ani has responded to the criticisms thrown at her for her nopology in a way that may begin the healing process. May It Be So.


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