Having walked to hundreds of religious services over the course of two years and having spent the last five years attending law school, I have come to realize that dogma is one of the most dangerous and ubiquitous ideological tools employed by people within society. For society to function as a unit, the vast majority of its members must be willing to use their brains to analyze enough of the right kinds of data to make informed decisions, especially within their communities and electoral systems. Critical thought is necessary when analyzing these types of data, which is why dogma is so dangerous. A dogma is the kind of idea which those who hold to be true are unwilling to seriously consider any alternatives.
While the most dangerous forms of dogma are found in the religious and political realms, dogma can always creep in where ever people are unwilling to critically think about any specific subject. Even in groups that seem to be above such intellectual laziness, dogma abounds. While most dogmata can be clearly identified within our primary social groupings, plenty of dogmata go unnoticed as a result of of them coming from our subconscious behaviors. The dogmata of popularity, though tough to pin down compared to those of politics or religion, are present nonetheless.
The primary dogma of popularity, “ALWAYS strive to BE popular”, feeds all of the other dogmata associated with the acquiring of that elusive social capital. This can manifest in various ways, as everyone has different standards for what it means to be popular and among whom, but strive we so often do. While there is nothing wrong with desiring to make friends, far too often people are willing to jeopardize the social capital of others if it means increasing their own. This is especially true when that “other” is not a part of the popular group.
The idea that someone perceived to be a victim is to be fully trusted while the individual perceived as the offender must be distrusted is a common dogma related to this dogma of popularity. Again, our standards differ on when and why someone should be perceived as a victim or an offender, which makes it similarly difficult to track the way these dogmata manifest. Other difficulties with this dogma are that hardly anyone is ever likely to have all of the facts straight and very few people are actively trying to harm others in the first place. This means that most “victimizations” are unintentional. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of reckless people out there or that people are always imagining harms, but just because someone has a negative reaction to another person’s behavior, doesn’t mean there was malicious intent. Unfortunately these popularity dogmata often go unchecked by those who are able to recognize them, usually because even these folks simply don’t want to risk taking a hit to their own social capital.
Coming to law school, especially in the NW during this technological renaissance we’re in, I thought I would find plenty of fellow legal minds courageous enough to be dedicated to advancing social justice. Sadly, it seems I was mistaken. Lovely platitudes about the subject are found all over campus at Willamette University and in the language of its students, but debt and desire seem to have driven even this student body toward self-centered attitudes and intellectual apathy. I was even falsely accused of staring at school employee Evann Zuckerman AFTER she clearly UNfriended me instead over our interaction online. The school administrators took her word without even examining the evidence and slanderously reinforced her false claims by banning me from the school cafe and attempting to drag me through a separate disciplinary hearing over separate, innocuous reasons. I currently have an investigation open with the Office of Civil Rights against Willamette University for the reverse discrimination they have perpetrated against me by refusing to properly investigate these claims.
Here’s how the few friends from the Willamette National Lawyers Guild Student Chapter who even bothered to speak up recently reacted when I broached the subject:
shared The Political Insider‘s photo.
I have no words.
Kyheim Shallah There’s this thing called “Cause and Effect”… See Americans like to play slow or crazy about the reasons why we are so hated around the world. Oppression from the Caucasian has been felt by many races, not just blacks. I don’t see how this is “racist” when it’s pointing out the obvious. Now it was suppose to be a little tongue n cheek because who is actually persecuting white folks?
Marcus Gipson When the focus is on differences, negativity and division prevail. Division ultimately leads to extremism and hate.
The fact is, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat.” (Yes, I actually knew that lady, she lived down the street from me in OKC) No time for that; especially when people like Donald are in the mix.
Cheers to you my friend, and best of luck on this last week.
I vouch (and invite all others to vouch):
Erik Kulick Doubly so when we’re *cis male* white folk…
Erik Kulick Oh, but if a white, straight, cis male tells a joke about ANYONE else, THEN it’s time to privilege check? I asked you and the rest of my law school pals In the Portland Nlg student chapter to put some thought into my run-in w/ the reverse discrimination that resulted from Evann Zuckerman’s slanderous abuse of the school disciplinary system, and all I got was apathy and ‘tude from y’all. Then to top it all off, a bunch of kids from the undergrad side of campus who had been invited in by Jonathan to help him talk shit kept harassing me until a fellow admin who prefers popular opinion over due process ironically kicked me out of the group affiliated w/ the National Lawyers Guild. WTF, man.
Erik Kulick All the way in where? The subject of discussion I invited y’all to broach in the Portland Nlg group? Or distracting meme land? Am I typing English when I try to communicate with folks on FB? I swear I get far more virtual blank stares than I ever thought humanly possible on the Internet.
Erik Kulick Why do you say I have a martyr complex? I was wronged, and I pointed it out, but that doesn’t make me a martyr. I invited y’all to discuss the situation. How does that equate to pointing fingers? All you have done since posting “interesting” on the thread of mine in the comment above is make accusations like the last one after seeing your friends do so.
Why do you bother to reply if you don’t want to get into the actual details of what happened? Is this how you’d reply to a letter from an opposing attorney, much less a friend?
I say again, WTF, man?
Erik Kulick I guess the caption for this meme you posted is correct; you have no words, at least, like most folks, when it comes to getting into subjects that butt up against your social circle too uncomfortably.
Unfortunately, the only folks who ever do have words are the angry trolls, so folks like me will always be discriminated against.
It’s no wonder racism and all the other minority-centered phobias still exist today. If only educated folks could figure out the meaning of that “I have dream” speech…
Erik Kulick So, because I haven’t been killed, I’m in no place to talk? I WAS assaulted by LDS leaders and police for being someone that they despise, which is no different in principle than any of those poor folks who have experienced the extreme.
Have you experienced something like this, or are you the one in no place to talk?
I again invite you to put some actual thought into what happened to me during ANY of these times that folks have abused me through manipulating the system.
Erik Kulick No, that’s just an excuse. Had someone else popped up on your wall w/ evidence of some injustice that had befallen them at the hands of someone you weren’t already acquainted with, you would probably jump on the injustice bandwagon. You just happen to have relationships with some of the people becoming involved with this fiasco, so you dig your heels in and growl even more at me.
Move on? My life is supposed to BE Willamette! I payed a goddamn mortgage to develop a reputation which nearly an entire school seems hellbent on destroying or ambivalent about defending. What am I doing, Tarron? I’ve tried to engage with the people at school who I *thought* were passionate about social justice, but instead I continually run into people more concerned with their own reputations than anything else. Oh well, what did I expect coming to a school preparing folks for a field designed to feed or destroy those precious images of ours?
Tarron Anderson Apparently you don’t know how I treat pretentious people who only comment when their narrative is affected. I have given you more responses than you deserve. I talk about inequality and systemic racism but also talk about accountability. Especially personal accountability. The world is fucked up and the there are many boogie men and women out there. As individuals we have to be introspective of our relationship with society. You feel wronged and young people felt creeped out. Regardless whether right or wrong something you did set off alarms. As a white male with privilege you may find it difficult to comprehend how your society turned on you. Here is my thought, who gives a fuck? There are populations who will never be afforded the opportunity you have squandered because you refuse to wear a suit or don’t understand how you creeped out undergrads. So a bit of advice that someone once gave me. Get over your fucking self. With that, good luck, graduate, and move on. Focus on your kids and the rest of your life.
Erik Kulick I don’t only comment on things when only my narrative is affected, but even if I had, what the fuck does it have to do with a person coming on to your wall and talking about a subject you invited conversation on by posting a dumb ass racist meme in the first place? It’s kind of like when Juliana Posted that politically charged image in the school group she created, criticizing the university no less, and then ironically had the nerve to start criticizing me for political comments after she and her friends got a good round of shit talking in about the university.
It was this thread, which I posted via comment above, which set off the school paper/bistro employee to allege that I had stared at her AFTER she friended me and she and all her friends were gawking at me!
Thanks to society’s propensity to always trust purported victims so long as they’re non-white cis males, she convinced all her long time coworkers that I had stared at her. Even though such a behavior should always be seen as a non-offense on its own, it still bothered enough of them for them to rally behind her. For what? How could any of them have suffered, even if there had been staring going on? I will gladly take accountability for anything I’ve done or not done in my life. I’m just waiting for you or someone else to let me in on what that is in this case.
Is it because I’m white that you assume I’m privileged per se? Just because I haven’t experienced society turning on me for my race or gender, doesn’t mean I haven’t had society treat me like shit for significant periods of my lifetime for different, still unnecessary reasons. Just because there are people with less opportunity than me, doesn’t make me privileged either. I have been as poor or poorer than the majority of Americans that I meet for much of my life, so again, I’m not sure where this default privilege you see hanging off me is coming from.
So that’s what this comes down to? You think I haven’t achieved success yet because I don’t like wearing male suit styles? I have worn proper dresses to interviews and legal functions of all sorts, including court, because that IS how I identify. Whether or not my gender matches precisely the type of people your or Jonathan think deserve to wear it is irrelevant.
Tarron Anderson My reputation is built on my actions and reactions to positive/negative feedback and criticism, as well as how I respond to each. Please do not come at me with your shit anymore I have more important battles to fight than to affirm your privilege being revoked.
Erik Kulick Sorry Kenneth Boyd, I just had better shit to do for a bit there than humor this unwarranted bigotry. IF only y’all had the courage to actually address the details, instead of filling your wall with platitudes and ad hominem attacks at people who thought you were their friend enough to share with you, then maybe all of our time would be better spent.