Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vague thoughts on turning the other cheek

I wrote this whole long post yesterday tracing the Shirley Sherrod imbroglio. And then Blogger ate my post, which is probably just as well. It was convoluted and not terribly clear. But there were two actual points that I wanted to make.

The first was this: when I wrote the post a couple of weeks ago about sexism, there's an implicit assumption that if you are reasonable, other people will be reasonable too. I just wanted to be clear that, if we are doing our best to be reasonable, the chances are only marginally better that those responding to us will be reasonable in return. And that someone else being unreasonable, vindictive, cruel, or spiteful is not a sign that we have done something wrong.

Which brings me to my second point: turning the other cheek. I think the notion of "turning the other cheek" has gotten a peculiar rap for weakness. But turning the other cheek is not saying, "Oh, I'm so sorry, I'll never do that again." It's standing your ground: neither attacking nor retreating. You say your truth and, even when someone slaps you down, you keep saying it. That to me is what is meant by turning the other cheek.

OK, let's see if I can post this this time.

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