Step 1) recognize the ways you have been actively trying to harm other people for who and what they are, or complicit in same
Step 2) stop
Step 3) apologize sincerely for having done so
Conversation only starts after that.
Nothing in conversation is uglier than overlooking dehumanization for the sake of comfort.
The tacit agreement for comfort allows the abuse.
Which is why those who desire comfortable abuse miss it so badly.
This may be the purest distillation of enablement culture—which treats structural oppression as a total abstract discussion between two philosophically opposed but unoppressed parties, while totally erasing the real victims from the equation—I’ve ever seen.
The saying isn’t “First they came for the asylum-seekers, and I said nothing, because it’s complicated.”
Here’s the thing:
People who believe harmful abusive things *should* change their minds.
But people only ever change their own minds.
That change is THEIR work and THEIR responsibility. Not yours or mine. Certainly not their chosen victims‘.
The best we can do is give others a context that helps them change their mind.
A polite, “agree to disagree” conversation doesn’t create that context.
A mind isn’t changed from a place of comfort, but discomfort.
What an abusive person wants is this: reconciliation without reparation.
License to continue the abuse, along with forgiveness by proxy allowing them to pay no price for it.
A polite, “agree to disagree” conversation gives them exactly that.
It strands and ignores people harmed and oppressed by structural abuse.
Expecting abused people to forgive their abuser while still suffering the conditions of their abuse is itself abuse.
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