Speaking Up

As I've tried to explain before, institutionalized patriarchy and institutionalized white supremacy provide men like Drumpf with a considerable deal of privilege (there's that word again).

On the surface, using "Drumpf" follows the same logic, albeit against the person granted power by those institutions, rather than against those persons marginalized by them. When you refer to a trans person by their deadname, you are deciding to refuse them the fullness of their personhood and their ability to self-identify. Since the deck is stacked in your favor to begin with, the institution agrees with your choice and they're marginalized even further.

On the flip side, referring to a liar, megalomaniac, and terrorist by the name they've chosen to leave behind (for a word that means "in a class above all others", no less) is a similar attempt to pull the same wind out of their own sails. Since the institution favors them in this matter, however, it has little effect: at its worst, this negative feedback loop normalizes the effects of the institution at large, providing equitability of discourse in the general.

James calls out this exact imbalance in chapter 2, verse 6 of his letter: "But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?" (ESV, context: esv.to/jas2:6) The word here is "katadunasteuo", which Strong defines as "to exercise harsh control over one, to use one's power against one, or to oppress one". What power (even "riches") we as cis, white men yield today!

While this is more of my own heart than I typically share over social media, silence is no longer an option. Too many of our marginalized brothers and sisters are being threatened, attacked, and even killed here and abroad because those given privilege by institutions refuse to speak up on their behalf. It's often hard to speak out, but society at large is on our side and will hear us out just as it ignores those beneath its feet.

Whether you agree with me or my methods (or my faith), I implore you to at least meditate on and consider how you and I might "correct oppression" (Is 1:17 ESV, esv.to/is1:17) and bring a little more shalom to this world.

God bless you.

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