Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Other by another name

On the cultstud-l mailing list, Victor Kulkosky astutely asks:

"Shouldn't cultural studies and progressives in general be on guard against crude stereotyping and sweeping statements that begin with statements such as 'The entire right-wing movement is clearly ...'?

If we really believe in acknowledging the other, ALL others, as 'another I with equal rights and responsibilities,' (Bakhtin) then we would do better to avoid simplifying those we consider in the oppossing camp or camps. Otherwise, we are doing just what we accuse the 'other' side of doing: demonizing the 'enemy.' Instead of the liberal, elitist, nihilistically relativist, fetus-eating Sodomite Devil, we substitute the trailer-trash, Bible-thumping, cousin-marrying, homophobic, etc. Devil of the right. If we're going to stoop to this level, then why is one side more privileged than the other? ...

I may sound like a broken record, but I'd like to see CS better witness (to borrow from Kelly Oliver) those who strive to live their religious beliefs and who can become allies, even though they don't use the CS vocabulary. Religion isn't the enemy, nor even the Other. The enemy, or maybe opponent is a better word, is/are those who would use religion to bring out the worst in people, rather than the best..."

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