A Place for Abuse at the Table of Diversity?

We’ve all heard of the apalling abuses within certain religious and cultural (and subcultural) circles, from coverups within the Roman Catholic Church to executions on ridiculous grounds in the most extreme radical Muslim areas in the world. More recent events include exposure of Fundamental Christian (non-Catholic) sexual and psychological abuse/oppression of children and women and, of course, Gamergate.

There are some contradictory reactions to abuse in certain contexts, and I’m not sure what to make of it. One one hand, many people will decry all manner of abuse in our Western culture and will “out” the groups and the mindsets that contribute to these abuses, and all manner of debates will follow. I’m happy to see this increasing level of awareness in our society.

However, it’s what’s on the other hand that has me somewhat baffled. While we’re over here essentially overhauling our culture into something more tolerant and, dare I say it, better, we’re simultaneously defending the sick, twisted practices of other cultures on the grounds that it’s merely a “different culture.” I’m not saying everyone is doing this, but I’ve seen enough of this to make me hit my head against a wall.

On one hand we’re listing extreme “black and white” “us vs them” mentalities as signs of being in a rather harmful cult. On the other hand, our super-subjectivity and super-tolerance has some of us defending extreme “black and white” “us vs them” ideologies in other locales, because “who are we to judge” another culture for being “different than ours?” Some of us are so conscious of standing up for the rights of others, that they’re now standing up for the right to strip certain citizens elsewhere of their rights based on a differing ideology in that area..

There’s a disconnect somewhere, a certain inconsistency, and it’s making my head spin. Are we really setting a place for abuse at the table of diversity in the name of culture?

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