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So...

I’m a behaviorist, and I don’t advertise it to people I don’t give a shit about.

I’m a good behaviorist, but seriously, what I saw today doesn’t require good.

There’s a reason we talk about passive-aggressive behavior as *aggressive*. It’s actually pure meanness.
The ur-example I’ve got is Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, both book and movie. All that sugary sweetness masks a lot of cruelty and dysfunction. It’s “I don’t wanna talk about it” while behaving as if someone has pissed in your corn flakes EVERY DAY.
It’s sneering while saying nice things. It’s insisting you’re **FINE** when you’re seething. It’s gaslighting, at the interpersonal and consistent level, and it teaches children that they cannot trust ANYTHING that a person says, or does, or both.
It breaks a child’s ability to interpret their own feelings, and to read the behavioral signals of emotion in others.

And one of the problems with passive-aggression is that people raised with it are attracted to others raised with it, so it becomes endemic in family lines.
Now, just as there’s a streak of cultural narcissism in Mormondom, there’s a similar streak of cultural passive-aggression in white Southern culture. And yes, passive-aggression is in the same axis as the other personality disorders, though it’s not yet as well defined.
It shows up in narcissism, anti-social behavior, histrionic, borderline & depressive disordered behavior, which is why passive-aggressive is not its own personality disorder.

Note that it shows up all over Cluster B.

BECAUSE MAKING PEOPLE DOUBT THEIR FEELINGS IS DEEPLY TOXIC.
So... it’s not hard to see if you’re looking for it, and given how the XBIL behaved... let’s say I was prepared to see it.

Because my XBIL lied to my sister for two years about an affair. He kept trying to say it was just a friendship, but friends don’t hide that way.
His mother is a Piece of Work. She’s got all that “everything’s fine” and she’s cruel. And they’re all oblivious, because they’ve got the entire presentation of the godly, happy Fundy Christian family to preserve. They’re a supersaturated solution: introduce doubt? They’ll break.
But...

Across the road from them, there’s a guy with a freshly painted, well maintained sign that literally rants about the fact that he will murder anyone who knocks on his door. “I will shoot you graveyard dead” is an actual quote. Apparently, he’s been there for decades.
The XBIL’s fam’s response to this is, “he’s crazy, welcome to the South.”
No.
I grew up with Bundyites. I know cray, I know SovCits. No.

That’s a mental health crisis and a danger to everyone who has the misfortune to break down on that state highway.
That’s a guy who is telling you out loud that he’s deeply engaged in homicidal ideation and has a richly sadistic fantasy life, and no, it’s not a warning. It’s a hope. A desire.

He *wants* someone to knock on his door so he can shoot them full of holes & watch them die.
So, as an example of the kind of toxicity that they’re willing to tolerate... yeah. Here we are. I described it in 3 tweets.

It’s all deeply wrong shit, but better to just live with deeply wrong than actually examine it, think about it, work the problem. That’s a form of evil.
So it’s kind of obvious why little things like ignoring the reality of what someone is feeling, and denying the rights to feelings, would just be brushed off.

But this is toxic, and it’s so common it’s a cultural trope. (Mormondom has it, too. That’s why I’m pointing it out.)
Pretending everything is fine when it’s not is a form of covert, interpersonal aggression, because the pretense means you don’t respect other people enough to trust them with honesty.

(Yep: I don’t respect the XBIL’s fam enough to be honest with them. I also don’t care.)
I’m not even gonna stab at the history that drives this. The resentment of thinking they should be rich is probably older than the Civil War. Georgia was the penal & debtor’s colony, before the Revolution ended THAT, so the early RICH settlers were mostly not the 2nd-7th...
... sons of aristocrats, like further north. The current resentment passed through the last 150 years of oral history (and is WHY it’s dying in the children of this generation, because they’re outside of the perpetuation sphere) but it’s been hard-pressed into this gen of adults.
A point about the XBIL & his siblings: they’re the (undereducated) product of (racist) segregation “Christian” academies. There’s no way their parents didn’t know that’s exactly what they were doing.
Covert white supremacy? Pretends everything is fine, denies reality.
Am I a judgy bitch on this?

You bet your knickers. I have no patience left for racism in any form. And yeah, I look down hard on people who say “it’s the way they were raised” or “it’s what they’re taught.”

Fuck no. They can use the goddam cable box? They can think past hate.
They like it, and like the power, and believe they’ll be treated just as badly as they’ve treated others, else they’d have stopped. Because, yes, there is racism elsewhere, and yes, sometimes it’s as vitriolic.

But just because it’s open doesn’t make it kinder.
It’s the difference between a voiced fuck you and grudging toleration.

And trying to excuse it is complying with it. Trying to pretend it happens *like this* elsewhere? It’s a lot of self-deception, but it’s also abdicating responsibility.
It’s saying “nothing can be done, so why bother?”

If one pretends Northerners & Westerners are just as racist (just differently), then there’s no reason to shun one’s *local* racists. Because they’re just better at hiding it.

It’s perpetuating a culture of passive-aggression.
See, the thing is: behaviorally, grudging toleration is in fact a little better than open disdain. It’s the first step and better behavior is the goal. It’s important to care less about what people think and more about what they say and do.
I’m not saying grudging toleration is the final form. It’s not even acceptable. But it’s a step away from outright hostility and hate. And that’s behavioral progress.

Excusing those who refuse to take any steps is enabling them, just as passive-aggressive family dynamics enable.
All of the threads I’ve written this week were written because my XBIL’s actions led directly to my niece’s death.
She had an 11 yo mutual crush (3 years ago) on a black kid. That’s when my XBIL insisted they build on the whites only prepper woods.
Thus why she was in that ATV.
There aren’t many ATVs inside the city limits where they can’t be used. It’s thousands of times safer to cross a street with lights, or even just a stop sign, than paths through the woods.

That’s the POINT of civilization: outsourcing safety to foresight & thinking shit through.
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