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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

On Forgiveness and Redemption (Storify)

[Update:  since a number of people are reaching my blog via this page, please see this addendum post, which includes an apology and other things related to this post.]

You'll need to click the "read more" because the darn Storify is so long that it floods my main page.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this,man.I had no idea about your own personal growth and arc.

  2. Having to write this again as your system seems to have eaten my comment. Someone told me about your post and I thought I'd come and see what you had to say. Now that I've seen it, I can't just go away without responding to what you've said here.

    First of all, I have not seen anywhere that Laura Mixon-Gould advocates for ostracization. Laura has not, none of the victims have, none of those speaking up in support of the victims and targets have. Elizabeth Bear's post is very clear on this, in case you want to revisit it again, it's here:

    In all these things, the message has been clear. This is what's happened and this is what's going on. The report is there as a warning for people to make their own choice as to whether they engage and how far they are willing to trust because people are vulnerable and some of us already carry a trauma from history.

    Now, I ask you: Can you blame me if I choose not to interact with this person who made it very very clear that her intent was to destroy me? Yes, forgiveness is possible and change is always possible, but it is my choice whether I choose to take people back into my life or not. I reserve that right and it's not up to people like you to dictate to me or to those in this community who have been hurt what we should do. Many of us are still dealing with the trauma of those encounters. If you cannot understand that, then it's very clear to me that you are simply speaking from your throne of privilege and judging us when you have never been on the receiving end of the pain that has been dealt out.

    Wounds can't heal if you keep scratching at them. Your experience doesn't give you any right to pass judgment. Not on Laura who took up this task when nobody would, not on those who have offered support to us when the community turned a blind eye, and not on any of those who were duped, deceived and made to feel less than human.

    That you chose to post this even after vulnerable women of color have spoken up in namespace is something that I find almost unforgivable. That you dared to post this after these women put themselves at risk--I've had to edit myself because it just makes me so angry how white folks like you feel it's your task to preach at us and erase and erase and ignore the voices of us who have been harmed.

    Of course, there is always room for forgiveness and of course there is always the possibility of change, but it is for those who have been hurt the most to decide the terms and conditions under which that will done.

    1. Rochita:

      First, thank you for the comment. I wanted to let you know that I am not ignoring you or your concerns, but I am also not going to comment tonight for two reasons:

      1) A lot of what you have said and what some others have said to me needs some careful thought, and it would be better for me to take some time to digest and fully comprehend the disagreements.

      2) I have been battling a chest cold since Tues/Wed of last week and thought I had started to kick it this morning. Unfortunately, it has decided to kick back, which means I'm currently medicated on some stuff that makes me a tad loopy. In case that might affect how I respond, I'd like to refrain from doing so until I am both not cranky from being ill or loopy from being drugged.

      I hope that is OK. I intend to respond soon, just with the proper mindset so I do not jump when I should pause.


  3. I appreciate that you have acknowledged this and that you are taking the time to think through all that has been said. I believe I've made my position very clear. I do not wish any harm on RH. I will however continue to stand for those who have been harmed.

    Do take care of yourself.

  4. A quick thought based on the arguments presented here:

    -There's a difference between someone who wields a worldview that is potentially (and perhaps inevitably, at least occasionally) harmful to others, and someone who ACTIVELY seeks out to harm others with their worldview, stances, beliefs, etc. As Bear pointed out in her own writing on this topic, Bee was a frequent and very very active offender, there's even records of her retreating only to surge forth at a later date with a different target. That's a very different thing than what you were (or think you were) in your younger years. I'm sure you said and did harmful things in the past, but I'm also sure it wasn't your raison d'etre to exist and interact with others. You probably never developed a routine of active, targeted attacks against multiple flesh and blood human beings.

    Forgiveness and second chances are important for people to change, yes, and in this era of "SJW's" being a pejorative it's important for all of us to recognize the lines and not cross over into harming our own positions, causes, and well being in relation to other groups of people just because we get angry - we shouldn't make enemies just to have them eternally.

    But that said, it's also important to live happy productive lives in the interim. Some people do not deserve second chances with other certain people after the aggressor has crossed certain lines. "Second chances", fine and dandy. "Second chances in all things regardless of the details", no way. The almost literal devil is in the details in this case.