Friday, October 15, 2021

Pain and Politics

When one group of people in society feels unheard for so long, in time they form a crusade, and the object of that crusade is the most human of all demands: feel our pain. It is natural to want the world to understand our suffering as something different, something deeper, something special. The cacophony of our political lives stems in no small part from the ceaselessly multiplying number of groups that ask that their suffering be seen as something transcendent and unique. The trouble, of course, is that we’re all suffering, and in fact to suffer is the least special, most ordinary thing any person can do. 

– Freddie de Boer


pootrsox said...

True, as far as it goes. But it does not go far enough.

There's a reason folks jokingingly refer to their own or others' "suffering" as "first world problems."

Some groups really *do* suffer more than others *as a group* regardless of the degrees of suffering within that group. So yes, people of color definitely suffer more indignities, more disadvantages, more direct assaults of various sorts than people of European descent. Yes, women are disproportionately undervalued in almost every situation. Yes, Black males are disproportionately singled out by law enforcement and the justice system. These groups *do* suffer more than cisgender Americans of European descent. (And equivalent examples can no doubt be found in every culture.)

So when these groups say "Black lives matter" or "Equality now" or whatever, they are not wrong... and everyone else's suffering is not relevant to the points these groups are making.

G. Verloren said...


Hear, hear! Well and succinctly said!