If I look up “carrot” in the dictionary, most people will acknowledge I do not know all there is to know about carrots and if I truly want to understand carrots, I should probably pick up a horticultural text book. We know that legal and medical terms are going to be, at best, simplistically represented and know we need to find a lawyer or a doctor if we want to know more. Anyone deciding to base their argument on, say, a philosophical concept or term using the dictionary is going to be laughed at at best, or automatically lose whatever argument they’re trying to make at least.
Yet the minute we move into a social justice framework, the ultimate authority changes. We don’t need lived experience, we don’t need experts who have examined centuries of social disparities and discrimination, we don’t need societal context. We don’t need sociology or history – no, we have THE DICTIONARY! That ultimate tome of oracular insight, the last word on any debate!
It’s patently ridiculous and you can see that by applying it to any other field of knowledge. But the privileged will continually trot out simplistic, twitter-style dictionary definitions as if they are the last word and the ultimate authority. No-one would drag out the dictionary to debate science with a scientist. But they’re more than willing to trot out a dictionary definition of racism over any sociological analysis. A dictionary is not the ultimate authority - they’re a rough guide for you to discover the simple meaning of words you’ve never heard before – not an ultimate definition of what the word means and all its contexts."
- so here for this (via depoetayloco)
(Read the whole essay. I just got my life this Tuesday.)
- Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity (via mama-panther)
- fuckin deep ass top comment on youtube (via thetpr)
Above all, capitalism wastes human life. The U.S. spends billions to warehouse 2 million people—many of them young Black and Latino men—in overcrowded prisons. It provides sub-par education to millions of poor students, sending a message that their lives will amount to nothing.
Are people homeless in America because there’s a shortage of homes? And if that’s the case, is there a shortage of homes because we don’t have the concrete, the wood and the steel to build them?
The truth is that under capitalism, there’s no incentive to build low-cost housing for the homeless—because it isn’t profitable to do so.
The same goes for the more than 800 million people in the world who go hungry. It isn’t profitable to feed them. So food is stockpiled or destroyed rather than distributed to them."
Tavi Gevinson (via feministquotes)