Serious Thursday Question: Saving Face
Former OTer, Jamelle Bouie, was on the Slate Culture Podcast yesterday to discuss Selma. The discussion went to what MLK could teach current Social Justice movements. Mr. Bouie said he felt that the best thing groups could learn from MLK was the importance of saving face and how MLK allowed cautious moderates and former dissenters/cynics to join unto the Civil Rights Movement in ways that did not require them to be sheepish or embarrassed by former stances or partial or potential disagreements. He gave an example about a current technique of the #blacklivesmanner campaign. I never seen this in action but according to Mr. Bouie, groups will barge into restaurants during Sunday Brunch time and start saying the names of black people who were killed by the police. Mr. Bouie himself partially questioned the usefulness of this technique by saying he would not know how to react or what he was supposed to do if someone did this while he was eating brunch.
This raises interesting questions: What ever happened to saving face and reasonable people can disagree? When did all politics become about fantasies of total victory?
Image from Wikimedia Commons.
Suppose Lefty Larry describes an incident as being “fucking outrageous” in how unjust and wrong it is and Liberal Laura thinks that said analysis is way too hyperbolic but not completely wrong. Does Liberal Laura become just as much of a problem or monster as someone who would completely disagree with Lefty Larry?