Redefining Hate Through Weaponized Confusion,

A Thread I've been thinking about for awhile now.

But wrote because of this meme. Image
The meme above was posted by the Facebook page "Ladies of Another View." A BekNews show that is pretty predictably "anti-woke, anti-Leftist" in its content and perspectives. I, however, got it in my feed as the result of my family sharing it extensively.
Now, like so many memes, the comment might appear, on its face, to be innocuous. After all, who wouldn't want the freedom to question right? We should all be so logical, reasonable, and willing to debate.

But that's not what this meme is about. And they know it.
This meme is about the use of "I'm just asking questions" rhetoric to hide and to pretend that one is not spreading hateful and bigoted ideas under the guise of "confusion."
Now, thing is, the social media thread I had actually intended to write before now was specifically about the ways in which Conservative (US) media and pundits have actively fomented a definition of hate that allows this kind of subterfuge to happen.
In short, that Conservatives tend to define "hate" via direct emotional intent/action. And then use this definition to deny their role in perpetuating harm against marginalized identities.
Which is to say, that their idea of "racism" is specifically KKK/cross-burning racism. Their idea of "sexism" is 60's "barred from the workforce" sexism. "Homophobia" is imprisoning and executing gays.
Their idea of "hate" is purely the hate that overtly names itself. In a way, their idea of "hate" can almost be reduced to "rage with slurs." It's cartoonish. And as such, when it doesn't name itself in that way, the plausible deniability of "just asking questions" sets in.
In fact, this problem is at the heart of what John Oliver even went on to talk about here in his review of Tucker Carlson's method of "questioning" when it comes to white nationals and supremacists.

Basically, my point is, by defining hate solely as "angry, emotional, violence," Conservatives have managed to convince many of their viewers/voters that it is simply not possible for them to "hate" or ever be implicated in racism, sexism, transphobia, or bigotry.
Because as long as they aren't "intending" anything, they can paint all calls to action on systemic inequality as something that is specifically against them.

*They* are being wrongly accused. They are the persecuted party oppressed under the yoke of inequity.

Sound familiar?
Let's also add @ZackFord 's excellent thread on racism and the problem of "intent" to really drive the point home.

And here is where weaponized confusion comes to the forefront. It's a veneer of innocence, a mask of ignorance, that is meant to say, "I'm not bigoted, and if I did a bigotry, I didn't mean it or understand it. Which is therefore not bigotry. I am blameless."
If it is not clear, this is not the same thing as someone who genuinely does not understand and has questions. We all get things wrong, we all struggle with systems that limit our agency, and we all share frustrations when we can't make the changes we desperately hope for.
But weaponized confusion is the performance of ignorance for the sake of presumed innocence by people who very, very, well know the difference. They KNOW what they are saying, but they play at virtue for the comfort of their audience. Image
This then allows them to hide behind specific wording as presented in the meme at the beginning because if you can't interpret what they "mean," you can never target their "intent."

"You can't call me a racist! I was just asking questions!"…
It then effectively makes untruths and hate acceptable by framing them as confusion rather than as personal statements. It shifts the burden of proof to one's "enemy;" rather than openly explaining what it is one actually means.…
It's the bad Devil's Advocate version of hate.

And it's spreading. Image
And if you are wondering how this same conversation is going with my relatives....well.... Image

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More from @Manigarm

8 Apr
Welcome back to #FolkloreThursday! Let's talk about one of my favorites, the Surya Shaligram.

Commonly mistaken for the similarly shaped Sudarshan Shaligram, this popular shila is, however, quite the find. Image
Surya means the Sun in Nepal and in India. Synonyms of Surya in ancient Indian literatures include Aditya, Arka, Bhanu, Savitr, Pushan, Ravi, Martanda, Mitra, and Vivasvan; names which are occasionally imparted onto the Surya Shaligram depending on the religious tradition.
Surya is also the name of the solar deity in Hinduism, particularly in the Saura tradition found in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha. Image
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18 Jan
"Read what's in their heart" is an invitation to self-projection. A weak plea for the American public to imagine themselves as a figure they reject in the hopes that if they imagine themselves in place of that person, they will go along with whatever ...
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A politician, as with any public figure, will be judged on what they say and what they do. On the policies they plan and implement, the speeches they make, and the agendas they serve. Not on some nebulous, pseudo-spiritual, idea about what might be "in their heart."
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25 Dec 20
Christian faith is both global and multicultural. It belongs to no single people or nation. Nor does its imagination, enculturation, or possibilities.

If you are only seeing one version today, that's more about local expressions and ideas than it is about the reality of faith.
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With Nativity from around the world.
Read 17 tweets
20 Nov 20
Since I didn't get around to it on #FolkloreThursday, here's a new Shaligram thread for #FossilFriday!

Let's talk about the Vasudev Shaligram! It's an interesting one.
Vaasudev carries a wide variety of meanings depending on the particular Hindu tradition in question. In Indian epic poetry, Vasudeva is the father of Krishna. He was the brother of Nanda Baba, the chieftain of the cowherder tribe...
...who was a Surasena (an ancient Indian region corresponding to the present-day Braj region in Uttar Pradesh) who also became the foster father of Krishna.
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19 Nov 20
What's missing here is a mention that the "hot pastor" issue also comes directly on the heels of a broader masculinization of Jesus and Christianity in general.

What do I mean? (A Thread)…
Three years ago, Nate Pyle posted this very short piece wherein he used the term "Muscular Christianity." An attempt to recast Jesus as the quintessential "man's man" in order to appeal to diminishing male engagement in Church life.…
This hyper-masculine Christ then aligned with Euro-American (as in, White) ideals of men’s strength and virility, and drew them back in to religion by calling on the age-old framing of women as naturally subservient and men as lords of their households.

Totally jacked lords.
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9 Nov 20
The Terror Memes have begun.

So, I've been casually watching my very Conservative Christian family members (and Trump supporters) react to the election results. Here's how it has played out so far.

(A Thread about social media, religion, and politics)
At first, there was silence. No posts. No responses. Nothing. Just a social media blackout that lasted from roughly November 5th to November 7th. Then, the first memes appeared. This was the one that came through my feed first.
This one soon followed.
Read 24 tweets

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