Monday, April 1, 2013

Where to even start

A reader sent us the following facebook conversation.  It's honestly hard to even start with what's wrong with this.  For privacy, we've covered all names, but B is the only Tibetan in the conversation.

What really gets to me here goes back to one of our age-old points: entitlement.  The writer points out how much they've done for Tibetans as if they expect some sort of reward or immunity from responses to their criticisms of Tibetan communities.  Remember, people, if you're doing this do get something, you're doing it for the wrong reasons.

The C responds.  Mass generalizations about tibetans as "childlike and egotistical" followed "Tibetans are in a negative karmic cycle". Well, that's some victim blaming! The whole comment is victim blaming.

But wait guys. That's not all:

A's comment: Threatened?  Come on. The statement was that there would be backlash. Let's be honest, any time anyone writes something critical there is backlash.  And considering A's comments as this post continues, the backlash of her supposed critiques is probably deserved.  C continues with Tibetans now being "Fascist and authoritarian".

Now B, a Tibetan woman based in the west, comes into the conversation, calling C out on his degrading generalizations about the Tibetan community.  She also seems to be very gently asking A to reconsider her critiques for the same reasons.  I want to note the gentleness, because it reminded me of a comment we got from a Tibetan reader a long time ago. The reader mentioned how lots of Tibetans felt pressured to be overly nice and polite to foreign "supporters" and avoid criticizing them.  I can't speak to B's intention here, so I don't know if that's what's going on, but it definitely reminded me of that comment. B Then is forced to point out another major racist pattern: when one, non-white, person does something, the whole group gets blamed.  B goes on to call C out on his ignorant bullshit and self-purported rationality.

Now A joins on the faux-Buddhist, victim blaming bandwagon.  And yes! My bingo card is filling right up! Quoting important Tibetan figures out of context!  I wonder what Jamyang Norbu would say to being referenced like this...

C's apology is even worse.  Like any good fake apology, we get the "Sorry...but" and then goes on to call B's response a "typical Tibetan ethnocentric hyper-defensive response..." but seems to be absolving himself by saying "it could be argued" (Weasel words, anyone?)  And then, no not all tibetans are bad "but what if half"...really?  And this is coming from someone who lives in Tibetan communities and claims to love Tibetans.  I don't even.... Seriously. I'm having trouble with words.

B, the only Tibetan in the conversation I want to emphasize  again brings up the important point that it's not that Tibetans are bad, it's that one Tibetan did something.

C: Fundamentalist fascistic Tibetans?  Man. I have to wonder what was under that "see more" link.


C, you are the master of the backhanded compliment. Once again, how Tibetans are "far from great thinkers".  Wow.  So they're jerks, lying assholes, fundamentalist fascists, but they're mostly OK even though they are kind of stupid?  Tell me, C, how is it you hold them in such high regard?  That statement just reeks of self importance.

Seriously. I can't even analyze this. I'm done.

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