Things Gone and Things Still Here (jette) wrote,
Things Gone and Things Still Here

The Politically Incorrect Post

The problem with special interest groups as we know them here in the Bay Area (and perhaps elsewhere, but I am talking only about what I have seen) is that these groups try to simultaneously have the rights of power and the rights of victim-hood.


Members of a neighborhood coalition Special Interest Group A hears of a pot of funding for projects for say, "at-risk youth." They meet and plot and plan to apply pressure to the City to get as much of this funding for their own projects (read: fat salaries for Executive Directors of non-profits) as possible, under the assertion that they are sooo very much more victimized than Special Interest Group B. Members of Special Interest Group B are, in the meantime, preparing their own proposals to show they are more deserving of the money than Groups A, C, and D. And so on. None of these groups will admit publicly that they have a lot of real world power, the ability to shift the focus of a limited amount of city services from one area to the next. Oh no, they are not bullies - they are victims.

This is how we ended up with a Main Library that has 14 special collections rooms - but no space for books.

All these groups are too busy being divided and conquered to become aware of themselves as being powerful. No one confronts their privilege, they're all "victims, too!" Everyone wants special accommodations for their special situations, but no one wants to admit they want power.

Meanwhile, any discourse that would enable the population of the City to come together to narrow the ever widening gap between the Very Rich and the Struggling Poor gets shut down by deep distrust among the differing factions. There is no trust, because then everyones power might come to light - and this party is for Victims Only!!

I want to live in a city that acknowledges the value of a strong middle class, and to have that middle class acknowledge their power and privilege. Then maybe the truly disadvantaged in our city could get services that would actually help them, instead of helping those who have assigned themselves in the role of their benefactors.
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