Thursday, June 26, 2014

Debunking Nice

Disclaimer: Can we all get on board with the idea that no ideas belong to us? This post is heavily influenced by ideas that are not my own. These ideas didn't originate with me.  The ideas in this post come from LGBTQ folks from people of color, from people in my every day life that I talk to, from threads I'm reading online,  from Deaf folks of all dots and stripes of life, and from folks who have been doing social justice work longer than I have been alive. The ideas below have been talked about in more eloquent and nicer ways than I'm going to do so.

Nice is a tool of the oppressor to keep us silent, docile and submissive. Nice keeps the status quo nicely in check, while nicely stomping over the bodies of Deaf folks who are pissed off. 

I am -over- being nice.  OVER it.  

And I am over y'all telling folks that we need to not humiliate/shame interpreters who are working and struggling because "that is not nice."    

You agree with the content/ideas in/behind this, but not the method? 

Oh for fuck's sakes.  

What happened to honesty? To directness?  What about being clear, concise, and getting to the damned point?  How about mutual accountability. Accountability doesn't happened in the hallways, y'all.  It doesn't happen during private conversations without witnesses, y'all.

How about we just let shit get real. You know: Like how Deaf folks do it.  Most of the time? Some of the times?  Okay maybe we won't delve into the slowly dying value that is directness in the Deaf community. But it's a value that serves a damned good purpose and needs to make a revival, stat.

Since when is the individual feelings of ONE person more important than the community they have chosen to serve? A community with collectivist values.  If an interpreter in any of the following scenarios . . .
1. Won't take feedback. Ever. 
2. Continuously breaks Codes of Conduct
3. Sucks. I don't mean "has a bad day" but SUCKS. 
4. Is new and inexperienced and enters shit-storms on a regular basis

All y'all need to tell them. Promptly. On the spot.  In front of folks. Repeatedly. And not nicely .Clearly. So there is no room for doubt. You are doing them a favor.  It is a damned gift. You are not the asshole. You are the person letting them know that they're fucking up.  

This individual versus collective is coming to a head here. It's time to stop worrying about individual people's feelings and worry more about the collective Deaf community you are serving/hurting.  It's time to stop playing nice and start getting real familiar with the big picture. 

The interpreter industry is in shambles.  Interpreters left to their own devices have made a unholy mess of things.  There are so many problems no one knows where or how to start to come up with solutions. Y'all fucked that shit up really good. REALLY good. 

And now you want to be nice?  Dude. Stop it. Get over it. You lost the right to niceness a good, long time ago. 

Because what I think you mean is kindness. Kind and nice are two different beasts. Let's be kind and make shit happen. Lets be kind and loving and turn things around.  Lets be loving, honest, and real with people.  Let's call people out AND call them in at.the.same.time.  Lets challenge while we support.  Lets get over our addiction to being nice and not stating the obvious. Lets move past the facade of social niceties and make room for real, actual growth.  

Because love, real love, isn't about being nice and staying silent in the face of dysfunction, oppression, and fucked-up-ness.  Love demands you take action.  Love demands you speak up. Love requires you to stop being so damned nice.  

No comments:

Post a Comment