From the archives: on privilege, justice, and asking nicely

If you refuse to acknowledge an inequality that diminishes my personhood, it is not my job to preserve your positive self-image. If you are working to maintain a status quo that denies my full and foundational human dignity or threatens my well being, I shouldn’t be expected to care about winning you over, or to try and lessen your feelings of disorientation when I defend myself. I should only be expected to care that you immediately stop diminishing my personhood, denying my dignity, or threatening my well being, regardless of whether or not you’ve been won over or convinced of my full humanity. If we’re all at the party, and we’re standing side by side, perhaps we can have a mutually open-minded and sympathetic conversation. But, if you’ve got your foot on my neck, you can’t reasonably expect me to care if my throwing you off upsets your balance.
— From "Please, sir -- could I have some more equality?" (in medias res, November 2012)