Self-critique

Writer Frances Lee wrote a thought-provoking, nuanced piece for Yes! Magazine critiquing some prevalent behavioral trends within leftist activist communities. In a lot of ways, it’s a must read for people who consider themselves on any part of the political left.

There are many great parts, but I appreciated this part considerably:

I am not the first nor the last to point out that these movements for liberation and justice are exhibiting the same oppressive patterns that we are fighting against in larger society. Rather than wallowing in critique or walking away from this work, I choose a third option—that we as a community slow down, acknowledge this pattern and develop an ethics of activism as a response.

People on the left are often mischaracterized as being too inflexible in their attitudes and positions. For the most part, the right-wing rhetoric about so-called “political correctness” is based on this premise. There is a lot more self-reflection going on than some would like to acknowledge, and I cannot underscore how important that is.