We live in a shame culture. One example is the victim-blaming in both rape and police violence. Another example is the response of publicly shaming not only rapists and “killer cops,” but any & all “racists,” “bigots,” and “apologists.”
To change our systemic problems, we all have to take responsibility, which is not the same thing as taking blame. Taking responsibility is taking action to fix the problem. Fixing blame — whether you fix it on yourself or on someone else — avoids fixing the problem.
To create a society of equal dignity for all, treat everyone with equal dignity. That includes the people who aren’t treating others with equal dignity. They have been taught that you have to earn the right to human dignity by being of economic benefit to society, along with emulating the speech, dress and manners of the dominant economic class. Sometimes the counter-message to that sounds like “You have to earn the right of human dignity by emulating me in my superior social awareness and anti-racism.” I think a better message is, “Nobody has to earn the right of human dignity.”
Let’s all learn — and teach — shame resilience.
Write On! ~Anitra