It seems fiction is still the best way to deliver some of these ideas. May it start discussion (or disagreement as it were). Here we go!
The clown looked around him, frantic.
His red nose was leaking, but the crowds of chanting students wouldn’t leave him be. He had tried to climb a tree, but his giant rubber boots were ill-suited for clinging to the bark.
He ran on.
Before long, his poor running attire (giant pants) caught up with him. Masses of people in sweatshirts swarmed out of the darkness, some waving torch apps on their iPhones. You know the ones that mimic real fiery brands. Anyway…
They caught the clown. And pummelled him. Bloodied his nose even more.
And as he lay with red stains messing up his makeup, he uttered these simple words, in a broken squeak.
“I will not recant. I did not do it. And I will not hate sweatshirts.”
Incensed or encouraged by his peace-loving hippiness, the sweat-shirted youth beat him to a pulp, and left him lying in a feebly moving multi-coloured mess, while disturbing doubts of group politics danced in their heads.
Not having much experience with group politics (by being at the wrong end of it), I still think it’s tempting, but dangerous to judge people by groups. As pragmatic as it might be sometimes, eg. during war, to apply preliminary assumptions to groups of people, imagine someone assuming something about your character simply because of a group characteristic you have.
‘All clowns are killer’ for example.
Of course once one group starts it, I imagine we would all turn defensive and – partly to protect ourselves – seek strength in numbers, with people we feel closer to.
But then this idea just keeps running. You are X because you’re from that group. You are Y because you’re from my group. Not because of what you individually think, said or did.
End the clown wars … it’s easier said than done.
One suggestion is to remind ourselves any group politics is just a temporary practical arrangement, with the ultimate aim being a system where we are judged fairly as individuals.
What you did, or what I said.
That seems to me the best situation for justice.