In speaking with a lot of progressives and conservatives about social and racial issues(particularly my caucasian brethren) I've noticed that often times the conversation tends to go one of two ways. If I'm talking to a progressive it often goes one way. If I'm talking to a conservative it often goes the other way. What's interesting though is that both paths have the same point of origin. Both paths seem to lead back to what I can only describe as a God complex. Yes, a God complex. An innate sense of superiority that far too often is injected into the discussion. Curious? Let me explain.
With many conservatives, the God complex is a "superiority complex". Many conservatives will quickly talk down to you if the discussion is not going their way. They will speak at you and not to you. They become prideful and arrogant when proven wrong. They will deny and deflect while almost dogmatically asserting their viewpoint. In their minds they are, in short, better than you and if you are suffering or being oppressed that's why. They don't wish to hear about inequality, injustice, or anything related to these things. In their minds you are the author of your own suffering, they exist at the top of the food chain, and you are simply a burden on society. If you were as good as them you wouldn't be suffering. But you can't be. Because again...they're better than you. Poor? That's your fault. Nevermind their ill-gotten gains. They got them and that's all that matters. Racism? They'll tell you there is no such thing and the reason that you're suffering is not because of an broken, bigoted system but because you aren't working hard enough. They are superior and they will reject anything that speaks to the contrary. No matter how poor they are, how ignorant they are, how unsophisticated they are, they are better than you.
With many progressives, the God complex is more of a "savior complex". Those poor, poor minorities. Wont someone have mercy on their wretched souls? On the surface it may appear that many of these people are allies. But once you start to dig a bit it becomes crystal clear that it's more about their egos than it is your suffering. They quickly start to speak for you. They tell you what they think is good for you. They tell you how you should feel about social and racial issues. They are easy to spot too. You'll find them on the nearest soap box screaming about whatever social issue is "in". They should not be confused with true allies. You see true allies know when to speak and when to be silent. They know that their role is one of support. Those with the "savior complex" have no desire to support. They want to be at the forefront. They want to be seen. They want to be praised. They're whole set up is basically "look at me!". They want you beholden to them and in a state of perpetual gratitude. Try to exclude them, try to speak for yourself, or try to place them back in the role of support and they will quickly lash out at you. Their attitude is one of "how dare you be so ungrateful"? Thou shalt not bite the hand of thy savior.
Now it should go without saying that not all progressives, or conservatives for that matter, are like this. But they are out there. Odds are strong that you are going to encounter them sooner rather than later. Systemic racism and white supremacy has them by the minds. They have a God complex. In their minds you are just a humble mortal soul, either to be saved or ruled over. Beware these people. Thanks for reading.
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