30 June 2010

Tina Darragh on "tolerance"

Here's Tina's super interesting response to my question about tolerance and coalition building...

Brenda (Iijima) and Evelyn (Reilly) also questioned using Cloud Gate as an example of an active form of tolerance that is bearing "to do." When I wrote the essay, I hadn't seen it. I learned about it when I heard Martha Nussbaum give a lecturea rare eventI don't get out much with my long commute and all. Anyway, one of Newt Gingrich's gang was therehe sends people to lectures to both check on what is being said + to be provocative.  This guya Big whatever-number-is-left accounting firm execwas going on about how the founding fathers did NOT want the separation of church and state, and Nussbaum was able to counter his argument by pointing out that there was no "state religion" at that (or any) timebeliefs overlapping a bit on the edges, but not set in stone plus are always changingthere is a flow! So this conversation was the companion piece to her essay in which she talks about Cloud Gate and the spitting screens in Millennium Park. When I finally got to see them, it was amazingthe images of people aren't those composite "we-are-all-one" montages, but slowly changing faces that flowand then they spit!!  It is so much fun. So the passive form of tolerance is based on distinct identities frozen in the past making a claim for respect based on the past and valuing distance, but the active formbuilding somethinginvolves overlapping identities bearing action as a flow across various points. That was my experience of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate. So it is not consensus formationin my experience the agreement of expertsbut a recursive, collaborative process across different kinds of groups with a variety of experiences. One good example is the association of various groups who have come together to fight gene patenting and have filed a suit against Myriad Genetics (who has patented the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2) using the argument that because genes interact with the environment and do not function as distinct entities, to own them is unconstitutional because it prevents freedom of speech. That is just so brilliant I can't stand it.  The plaintiffs are all sorts of groupsconsumer advocacy, basic scientists, the ACLU, etc. Oh, it is wonderfulgene patenting as an environmental issue!!  Then, in another way, Cloud Gate counters the "disaster mode" of environmentalismwhere it overlaps with the "culture of terror."

No comments:

Post a Comment