Tea With Chris: Due Diligence

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Thursday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: Carl and I are at the EMP Pop Conference this weekend, which means we have very little time for tea, but I did want to recommend Teju Cole’s brilliant essay on “the white savior industrial complex.” Here he goes in on the skewed, insidious effects of quote-unquote civility: “People of color, women, and gays — who now have greater access to the centers of influence that ever before — are under pressure to be well-behaved when talking about their struggles. There is an expectation that we can talk about sins but no one must be identified as a sinner: newspapers love to describe words or deeds as ‘racially charged’ even in those cases when it would be more honest to say ‘racist’; we agree that there is rampant misogyny, but misogynists are nowhere to be found; homophobia is a problem but no one is homophobic. One cumulative effect of this policed language is that when someone dares to point out something as obvious as white privilege, it is seen as unduly provocative. Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse.”

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