RESOLVED: QUITTING THE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE INTERNET IN 2014
I will make this post short and sweet. Earlier this week on Facebook, and a little bit on Twitter, I shared my thoughts about what unity should look like. After giving much thought, I have come to the conclusion that I value honesty above unity, and that without openness, we cannot have unity. I side with my friend Matt that this quest for unity does involve truth, and that that charity should also be given to both our “allies” and our enemies. What has been bothering me for some time the past few years since I have been “outed” as a progressive social justice blogger, is that some writers go out of their way to make calls for unity, and then the very next day they go on to do divisive things they condemn.
Whether it’s subtweets or disappearing blog posts (cached: social faux pas and being our brother’s keeper), questioning others’ faith based on angry things that they write online seems to be a calling card for what I refer to as “The Passive Aggressive Internets,” not to be confused to the Progressive Christian Internets. People who write on social justice are looked at as “the angry” and “not being relational enough.” All persons from marginalized perspectives have to do is be nice to everyone, and eventually, everything will be like apple pie. I never read this or hear this from conservatives evangelicals. Never, well except when it comes to me bringing up race, but for the most part, this all happens in post-evangelical and emergent conversations. I appreciate the conservative side because no one is worried about tone, and its mostly about argument. As I wrote on Tumblr the other day about The Tone Argument,
“What I have come to notice about people who use tone arguments is that A) they do not have anything constructive to add to conversations about oppression because all convos should center around their experience, B) they wish to be a part of the conversation, but they do not really have a good grasp of the terminology being used, and/or C), because there is a lack of facts and reasoning to back up their arguments, they are trying to appeal to emotions. In the latter, the appeals to emotion almost always mean (for me), a reliance on traditional negative stereotypes of the “angry black male.” I do not speak for women, but intelligent women who speak out labelled as “angry” is also a sexist stereotype. But there’s nothing wrong with anger, a person’s concern should be the application of said anger, not the emotion itself.”
In short, Tone Arguments most of the time come from persons who don’t want to hear/read what others have to say, because everything has to be centered around THEIR experience. Now, this same class of Tone Police are the same group of writers and bloggers who work to brand themselves as the spokespersons of the future of U.S. Christianity. The calls to “simma down, simma down now,” are all part of the game, they come with the territory, with the creation of this brand, because they are leaders, and they determine who gets to be at the table. Last time I checked, Scripture has only a few things to say about anger, one mostly being that people do not go to bed angry. Other than that, it doesn’t say anything against using anger constructively, say writing passionately and persuasively as a form of nonviolent resistance.
It seems that an elite, loose network of Tone Policing Post-Evangelical Christian Writers/Blogger have replaced Pastors as the shepherds of our souls; instead of congregations and denominations choosing these persons, they have chosen themselves. While seeing themselves as calling out others for their “hyper-individualism,” it would seem that the shoe is actually on the other foot.