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Community Solidarity And Personal Responsibility

THIS! I want to plaster this everywhere. Seriously, I want to hug Jack Halberstam for this writing: http://bullybloggers.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/you-are-triggering-me-the-neo-liberal-rhetoric-of-harm-danger-and-trauma/

“Indeed, it is becoming difficult to speak, to perform, to offer up work nowadays without someone, somewhere claiming to feel hurt, or re-traumatized by a cultural event, a painting, a play, a speech, a casual use of slang, a characterization, a caricature and so on whether or not the “damaging” speech/characterization occurs within a complex aesthetic work.”

He talks about the oversimplification of the term “trauma” and how this has resulted in a new perspective of pain and it’s experience when he says,

“claims about being triggered work off literalist notions of emotional pain and cast traumatic events as barely buried hurt that can easily resurface in relation to any kind of representation or association that resembles or even merely represents the theme of the original painful experience…Where once we saw traumatic recall as a set of enigmatic symptoms moving through the body, now people reduce the resurfacing of a painful memory to the catch all term of “trigger,” imagining that emotional pain is somehow similar to a pulled muscle –as something that hurts whenever it is deployed, and as an injury that requires protection.”

The division among the communities has driven a wedge between us rather than solidify us as a whole. As he puts it, “groups that share common cause, utopian dreams and a joined mission find fault with each other instead of tearing down the banks and the bankers, the politicians and the parliaments, the university presidents and the CEOs.”

He goes on to say,

“I want to call for a time of accountability and specificity: not all LGBT youth are suicidal, not all LGBT people are subject to violence and bullying, and indeed class and race remain much more vital factors in accounting for vulnerability to violence, police brutality, social baiting and reduced access to education and career opportunities. Let’s call an end to the finger snapping moralism, let’s question contemporary desires for immediately consumable messages of progress, development and access; let’s all take a hard long look at the privileges that often prop up public performances of grief and outrage; let’s acknowledge that being queer no longer automatically means being brutalized and let’s argue for much more situated claims to marginalization, trauma and violence.”

As he puts it,“”Let’s recognize these internal wars for the distraction they have become.” I’m tired of the “butt hurt” police and lack of personal responsibility and accountability for our own feelings. I am frustrated and sad that many in our community have recreated lines of division that so many of us have worked to erase. Separatism, hatred, and isolation exists where inclusion, solidarity, and community could reside. Why must we alienate ourselves? Why must we insist that “I” is separate from “we”? Don’t people realize that “We” is greater than our small communities?

We are a global community – each of us facing common enemies, and sharing common goals and dreams. Let us focus on the similarities, not our differences.