Over at idieyoudie, Matt Pathogen discusses why fighting oppression in our scenes is important, especially to those of use who've seen the changes.
“We as a group might pride ourselves on being radically inclusive, of
welcoming the weirdos, the freaks, the outcasts and the ostracized, but
there’s a side of that coin which often goes ignored: with that kind of
radical inclusiveness, you’ve also left the doors open to people who
will prey upon those weirdos, freaks, outcasts and ostracized folks
you’re happy to let in. By sticking your head in the sand and assuming
that the egalitarian state of the industrial scene will continue to
exist without any care and handling on any of our parts, you blind
yourself to the encroachment of the racism, sexism, classism, and any
other ism that mainstream culture has to offer, rendering yourself
unprepared to deal with this onslaught until it’s already on your
doorstep, calling your gay friends faggots and your female friends dumb
Click here to read the full article.
What's great about this quote is that it applies to every radical circle and counterculture scene I have ever been part of. We as those who wish to make room for the downtrodden, often leave ourselves wide open to those who will exploit our kindness. Pseudo-radicals, poser macho frat boys in black, and so on. These people are the grade school bullies of adulthood and putting on steampunk goggles or a black bandanna and hoodie and spouting radical language does not change the fact that their actions and cruelty often mimic the dominant culture we want to see an end to. Remember to look through people, not just at what they put on the outside. Listen to your gut, and your heart, not just your eyes.
Looks like Pathogen and I started in similar places. I remember the same shows, the same changes. I have been very pleased at how much public outcry against oppression in our scenes seems to be growing the the blogosphere. And Pathogen here was one of the firsts to talk about it. Props.