Personal Responsibility, My Ass
August 27, 2014 4:29 PM Subscribe
A close-ish friend and colleague of mine has started to show his true colors in the past few weeks with inflammatory statements on various social issues. I am disgusted, but I want to turn our conversations into learning opportunities. He's just now starting to realize that his beliefs are problematic and he's open to educating himself, but I don't even know where to start.
posted by chara to Human Relations (21 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Examples of closed-minded statements he's made:
- "Mike Brown (the young man shot in Ferguson) and anyone shot by the police was asking for it. They shouldn't have been agitating the police; I (a white, straight, middle-class, male) will never get shot by the police because I know how to behave. Everyone's responsible for their own actions".
- "Victims of international human trafficking tend to be the lowest of society, they're more likely to make bad decisions that put them in these situations. Everyone's responsible for their own actions. That would never happen to me because I'm resourceful".
- "People on WIC and food stamps are lazy and it's a waste of my tax dollars"
Obviously, we got into heated arguments about this, but he did admit that he didn't know a lot about the topics at hand and humbly and sheepishly ask me to give him more information.
I guess my problem is, how do I help someone realize that their entire worldview is warped, that people have different abilities and experiences and that extrapolating your life experiences onto other people's is problematic. Trust me, I would have walked away in a heartbeat if this person didn't seem open to changing and gaining more insight. I have no idea where to start. I don't want to attack him, I just want to create an open dialogue. And I, in turn, want to learn more about him and why he believes what he believes.