It's...I'll try to make some comparisons, and see if I can synch up with what I think
la dame en noir is trying to get across. A comparison of empathy and sympathy.
I'm white, cis, straight, and male. Kind of puts me at a disadvantage when trying to stand in the shoes of a lot of disadvantaged populations in the U.S. Fortunately for me, I have family and friends who don't fit that profile.
In college, I had three friends; two were black, one was white. We all carpooled to school together, but not all four of us went on any given day of the week. I was the only one who had classes five days a week, and we used my car to drive. The other three paid for the gas. When my black friends were carpooling, we were pulled over by cops multiple times. When it was my white friend only with me...not even once. I may not be black, but owing to what I experienced second-hand while my friends were with me, I can empathize
with my black friends about being singled out by cops. I could see what was being done, and understood it from a logical perspective, and felt an emotional connection as well.
My grandmother--father's mother--was half Blackfoot, and grew up on a reservation. I'm old enough to have had kids in my neighborhood play cowboys and indians together...but I never wanted to, because of how inherently biased their play was against the native American side. It always made me think of my grandmother, father, and all my other ancestors of native American ethnicity. I'm only 1/8 native American and don't in any way appear to be native American, but...I empathized
with my family members who dealt with those kinds of things personally.
My son is transgender. I get quite protective of him if I catch even a whiff of discriminatory behavior by anyone around him. I'm straight, but I don't need to be a member of the LGBTQ community to empathize
with my son when he is treated like shit by someone because of his gender.
I'm an atheist. I've had some fairly vicious and vitriolic things said to me, but I've learned to deal with it. However, when I see another atheist treated like shit, I don't merely empathize
with them...I sympathize
. I don't just react like a human being who feels a pang of pain seeing another person in pain or abused. I've been in their shoes. I know intimately what it feels like to be treated the way they get treated.
la dame en noir, I can't sympathize with you because I can't be in your shoes. I can't be black. I can't experience the precise emotions and experiences you do because I can't ever be some of the specific things that make you who you are. But I can empathize, because I've been treated like shit by people because I've been different than them. It isn't the same. But it is a taste of it. It's enough to know discrimination when I see it, and enough to make me stand up against it whether it's blacks, native Americans, LGBTQ individuals, or people of different religious beliefs.
But no one here is saying that racism and discrimination is not real. At most what we are arguing is the severity and level of it.
There are people that argue the Holocaust never happened. So what? They got their opinion, and they can keep it so long as they don't harass or hurt anyone.
Lustful Bride, the only way I can try to point out how this isn't the case is that...speech can never be 100% free. There are some things that can't be said, in order to have a functioning society where people can have a reasonable expectation of happiness among other people who don't hold the same viewpoints. We have laws against libel and slander, which shows speech can't be 100% free. Similarly, beliefs can't be 100% free, either. People have the right to their own beliefs, but not the right to their own facts. If someone's beliefs are wrong--meaning they can be proved factually wrong, and they try to push those beliefs, then I think we have the right to suppress them, just like libel and slander are suppressed.
Some beliefs get certain people riled up, and that gets other people killed. Holocaust deniers are a step in the direction of the Holocaust. I'd rather not let anyone pull our civilization towards that ever again by building up a narrative that somehow anything that horrific was impossible to have happened. Likewise, when racists try to stand up for the racist atmosphere of police culture...it just isn't acceptable. Sure, there are good cops in the mix. They should be standing up and calling out the racism inherent in the system then...and some few do. But it still isn't fixing the culture as a whole. And people are continuing to die. I'd probably not be as self-controlled as BLM members have been if I was in the same situation.
I know you're against racism, Lustful Bride, it's just...I have too many friends who are black, and I've listened to them for years
about things like this, and they're right. I don't try to argue with them about things I have no experience with. The things I do understand about...those things bring me very much in line with their sentiment.