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Forced Inclusion is Abuse

I was writing a post for this blog. It will never see the light of day. I figured out something while writing it that’s a bit too personal to share publically. It’s kinda too bad because it’s interesting, but a guy has to have his boundaries.

So, let’s go for something at least a little bit different, shall we?

So let me start with this: This isn’t directly a social justice post. It’s actually probably more of a follow on to my earlier series of posts about transactional love. So make of that what you will. It does touch on that topic, though, but oh well.

When I was a child, I was not popular. I know, me? Not popular? How could that be? Well, I guess from doing things like making posts like this. But I wasn’t. My younger brother was significantly more popular than I – he was kind of a social chameleon. Little identity of his own, but able to meld into pretty much any situation required. I was the opposite.

At one point he’d made some neighborhood friends, and I’d made none. I didn’t like this situation, but I’d come to accept it. He brought some of them over and I tried to join in. They told me they didn’t like me and to go away. My parents told them that if they were to play with my brother, they were to play with me, and, well, I guess I had “friends”. We spent the next few years doing kid stuff. I was included.

And I never, ever trusted them.

This is the problem with “inclusion”, and the reason why I really don’t like the whole idea. Inclusion is a great thing, in theory. Take marginalized people, say “you’re a part of the group now, and anyone who doesn’t like it is a ist of whatever kind”, then people have to accept them and they get to be a part of the group!

But, the thing is, they’re not.

Any truly self-aware person will wonder forevermore if they’re a part of the group because people like them? Or because they have to be? And any non-self-aware person will think they’re included, when in reality, they’re just outwardly included. They’ll always have to fight to stay included. And usually that means oppressing the rest of the group more and more, just to keep that illusion going.

This is, in reality, one of the roots of the “woke” movement. Certain people know that they’re only included because many of those who are including them are required to, and they know that this facade could fall at any time, so they have to keep being more and more oppressive to keep that facade from falling, and, well, you get what we have now.

Now, I’m not ranting against inclusion itself. Inclusion is a great thing. But I’m saying that it has to be voluntary.

Mr. Rogers, for example, was one of the most inclusive people to ever exist, and he was inclusive because he wanted to be. He said “it’s you I like”, and he would accept anyone. But no one told him to do that. No one said “You’re not inclusive enough”, and he didn’t then respond, “You’re right, I’ll do better,” and then kowtow to whatever group was angry with him. He instead just said “It’s you I like,” and everyone else said “I believe you,” and that was that. Inclusivity for the win.

But no one could have forced him to be that way.

If it had been the latter, where he wasn’t inclusive enough, some group yelled at him, and he apologized and promised to do better, they wouldn’t be assuaged, because they’d, deep down, know that he didn’t become more inclusive because he wanted to. But instead, because he had to. Who’s to say that he wouldn’t revert back to form and exclude people again, when it became socially acceptable to do so? Only option remaining is to make sure it never becomes socially acceptable to do so.

This is bullying, and abuse.

You can force people to act inclusive. You will never be able to force them to be inclusive.

I talk to none of the kids that I “played” with as a child. I met one recently. We exchanged a few words and that was it. For all of the time we spent together, I know that at its core, they had to like me. That tainted our relationship forever. And any time someone is forced to like you, the relationship will never, ever, be genuine.

And if you’re okay with that, you’ve got issues.

That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

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