Becoming an effective radical means that you are willing to take the stand that impacts those directly. You are an affront simply by existing. But if you don't take it personally, you actually stand a chance of getting them to listen. Because you stand in defiance of a given.
If you listen to the rhetoric, you find what they fear, how they perceive, because they project it. Neutral gives you perspective, and to quote a fictional character who sums it up well: "It's nothing personal, it's just good business." Some of the other, more emotional, messages reflect a message that one must persecute, to avoid persecution. And some just suddenly cause light bulbs to go off in the heads of those of us who know how to listen to the message.
And suddenly, listening to the Gilded Class hold diatribe from on high, I heard an unmistakable declaration, a couple days back. The Less Fortunate were accused of "Class Warfare." And suddenly, I Understood. Because that's it, they have tacitly declared Class Warfare on those Not Like Them,. I heard another fictional line echo in my brain "If you're not Blade Runner, you're Little People." You are grease for the skids of our juggernaut, and you are being inconvenient by refusing to recognize that and submit to your proper place.
And then I realized there was another position that started making sense, that of the lower classes who defend these types as "job creators" and become apologists for Big Business, who keeps getting richer as more and more jobs simply vanish. In race relations, these folks used to be known as "Uncle Toms." We need a similar term for those who support the party line of our new Generous Masters.
It's funny, though. People have always asked what my issue is. Maybe it's just that I know when I'm being told I can't play with the boys, or please go to the back of the bus. Or am aware that there is only a hair's breadth between privilege and poverty.
I also know that these fights take place in geologic time, not ideologic time. How long did it take to abolish slavery in the Civilized World? I'm not even talking African slaves, I'm talking about the roots of Rome, and systems of serfdom. We move like that, ten steps forward, nine steps back, ever inching closer to the goal. When you're sliding back those nine steps on the slippery slope, you don't just give up, no, you struggle to keep putting one foot ahead of another.
R&R is over. Time to take up arms and rejoin the battle.