Per Bastemhet

Purification 3

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For an explanation of this series, read the introduction here.

Hail Beaky-one, coming from Khmun (Hermopolis), I do not harbor enemies.

This purification is directed toward Djehuti, one of whose epithets is “Beaky-one.”

Coming from the perspective of someone who tries to be more aware of ableism, cissexism, racism, sexism, classism, etc., this can be a pretty meaningful purification.  There are a lot of times when friends and loved ones have said things that betray an insensitivity to these topics, and I more often than not call them out on it.  There are times, though, when I am really tired, because even though I try my best to explain how some of the things they say can be *-ist, and it sounds like they get it, they up and do it again later on.  I sometimes wonder whether they even care at all, or if this is a reflection of how much they value my friendship if they continue to say hurtful things that obviously upset me.  I also have to keep in mind that the only reason I know about these things is because I went and looked for the information.  The way that USA society is, from childhood onwards people are conditioned to believe that we live in a tolerant, just society when this is very much not true.  Many people are not aware of the blinders they have on (this is the meaning of ignorance), but some are not willing to or just can’t take the time or effort to learn about how they can contribute to society to make it a more just one.

There are also times when it can be unsafe to call people out on these things.  There can be situations where it’s an infringement of hospitality to correct people in their own home.  It can be unsafe to say something against those who have made it clear they are bigoted and not afraid of using violence to maintain their power.  It can be extremely difficult to put yourself in a position that is against accepted norms of society, and feel alone when even the people you love and who love you think there’s something wrong with you, or that you’re too “politically correct.”

I see it as a responsibility to speak up about these things, so that little by little, I can contribute to this more just society.  By not speaking up, I harbor the enemies of oppressed peoples.  By not alerting people that “gypsy” is a racial slur and to please not use it, I am harboring the enemies of the Roma people.  By not saying “fag” is a slur and please don’t use it, I harbor the enemies of queer people.  By not saying “Please don’t use the word ‘tranny’ as this is highly offensive,” I harbor the enemies of transexual people.  The list goes on.  And this is just the most easily identifiable form of oppression.  It doesn’t always have to be necessarily overt. These types of injustices are the hardest for people to understand, and also end up being one of the hardest truths for them to accept.

With this purification, I will try to keep in mind the ways that I fight social injustices and oppression.  I will push myself to try and always speak up when others don’t, and also speak up when they do, in solidarity.  But I will also think well of myself for the little things that I do, and not be harsh on myself and say “It’s not enough.”  I understand that I’m only one person in a world full of billions, and even though I don’t have as much power as a politician or a rich person, the fact that I’m doing something is a good thing.  By constantly checking my own privileges at the door, and apologizing instead of engaging in apologetics, I can live in Ma’at, and feed my ka with Ma’at.

Written by Bastemhet

July 28, 2010 at 7:28 pm

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