“An open letter to privileged people who play devil’s advocate”. If you see that this is on a site called “feministing.com” and immediately close it, then, unfortunately, you are one of the people that this is written for. Not sure how to fix this here, but it’s a good article, please read it? :-/
This is particularly salient after the Mike Brown and Eric Garner cases. Some people’s reaction to this might be something along these lines:
“A cop killed an innocent black guy. That doesn’t happen in the world that I know. A bunch of people are angry about it. That’s kind of unfortunate and annoying - I have enough problems in my life without having to confront some new police racism thing - and now they’re rioting too? argh. Anyway, I kind of have to dismiss this, because I don’t have time to actually process it, and I can’t really believe it’s real. But people are angry about it, so I’ve got to couch it in a well-thought-out logical argument. Let’s see, I can pick out particular of Mike Brown’s case where it’s ambivalent whether he might have attacked Darren Wilson or something. Garner… uh, yeah, that was bad, but just an isolated bad cop.”
On the other hand, some people’s reaction to Brown and Garner might be something like “Raaaaaaaaaaarrgghh!”
In our society, the super-logical argument is privileged. The “raaargh” argument is dismissed as “emotional”, “simple”, etc. But sometimes we need the “raaargh” response. If you’re arguing something “just because you want to get to the bottom of it”, or you find yourself trying to pick holes in stories that a lot of your friends are arguing and you’re not even sure why you’re doing it anymore, maybe stop it. In being calm and logical, you are already adding a voice to the argument, and it’s usually the voice of things not changing.
(appropriate analogy: think about why we shouldn’t “teach the controversy” about evolution/god in science classes. “but what if–” no. this does not deserve kids' time.)
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