I read articles or blog posts and love to share them with my cub. He is brilliant and has his (professional) hands in many different specialties, including history, law and geopolitics.
What is amazing is how we both come to two totally different conclusions about the same pieces of journalism or commentary despite an overall agreement with many social issues.
I have come to call this The Maze.
My View of the Maze
I look at the articles and posts from far above, hovering in a hot air balloon. I read and then draw conclusions from the whole. I am able to set aside any conflicts within the piece or can integrate the contradictions as part of my take away.
Another aspect that I do is unquestioningly believe the person speaking. Especially if they are within an oppressed group. It is almost as if I bow down to their expressions of dissatisfaction, anger or even hate, and will accept the blame for them because I am White.
I tend to think this comes from the very submissive way I (literally and figuratively) walk through the world: eyes down, moving out of the way of someone walking even if I have the right of way, apologizing for bumping into someone even if it is their fault and on and on. Clearly socialized girl behavior.
I am able to write and speak out against oppression however (my Tumblr and this blog are two examples), but when it comes to my voice versus theirs, I defer and allow theirs to soar over mine.
My cub’s View of the Maze
My cublet, on the other hand, is inside the maze, using a magnifying glass, able to see the veins on the leaves and any added droplets that might be falling from the author’s fingers. He sees the most amazing details that I either missed or overlooked, bringing them to clarity and verbalizing their importance within the context of his knowledge and experience.
He says, “Big red flags flew up.”
I am baffled how he sees these things I missed, but he is right much of the time and I am so thankful I have someone off which to bounce these ideas… someone with his knowledge and education.
The most profound piece of his knowledge that is incredibly foreign to me is when he says:
I want to stop police brutality but that doesn’t mean I have to stop thinking. I take the words of a black person very seriously on this issue, but they can be wrong.
Being oppressed does not bestow perfect clarity or give access to some eternal truth.
PoC disagree with each other (so why can’t we disagree with them, too?).
I still don’t know what to do with that information even though intellectually, I know he is absolutely correct. Can I disagree with a Black person or Person of Color when they speak their Truth? Do I really have to accept, as a whole, every. single. word. they say as The Correct Way to Think?
You can’t see it, but I promise, I am processing these new ideas as fast, but as thoroughly, as I can.
Combined Views of the Maze
What I do know now is that when my cub and I discuss the goings on of the world, I am being introduced to new ways of thinking… and he says he is, too. I find this pretty amazing considering I am 55-years old and have discussed oppression for at least 30 years.
We both think so differently from each other, it is in my getting closer to the maze… and for him to pull back some… that I believe I am able to find a new place of balance (he can speak for himself).
And balance is always a good thing.