Respect - I do not think it means what you think it means

/via Pale Green Things
Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”
and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”
and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.
Its a wonderful rhetorical trick - switch up the meaning of the words mid-stream, and all of a sudden that which was unreasonable is now rational and coherent.
"If you won't respect me I won't respect you" - think of this in the context of police-interactions (in particular, if you are non-white), and the casual-ness with which these get justified in our society.
Restating this as  "If you won't be courteous with me, I won't be courteous with you" really gets to the heart of the matter - this is explicitly what authority figures do not want to happen.  They'd far rather deal with it as "If you don't treat me as a god, I will treat you like a footstool

Further discussion on this here

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