“Unsavory people should be allowed to say unsavory things. If you make it illegal to say racist things that doesn’t stop racism, it just hides it. I don’t want my racists to be hidden. I want them out in the open. I want them to be able to speak loud and clear and then I can see them and I can hear them and I choose to either ignore them or to challenge them.” – Jonathan Pie (link to the video here)
Recently, 97 illegal immigrants were detained from a meat packaging facility near my town. And ya know. I find the whole thing pretty repulsive. A bunch of families were just torn apart without even the opportunity to say goodbye. It sucks. Fucking sucks.
But that’s not the particular reason why I’m posting on this. Going along with this quote, things like this (i.e. the gun debate, the wall, planned parenthood, etc.) do serve one good purpose. People really show their true selves when shit like this happens. And, as shitty as this sounds, I feel fortunate. Not because these things aren’t directly affecting me, but because I have the opportunity to see the racism. To see the bigotry. The sexism. The hate in general.
One day you wake up and see a really crazy post of why someone agrees with <insert shit post here> and the next second you’re clicking that sweet, sweet unfriend button. And I won’t lie. I don’t normally challenge the hate. Not alone anyway. As a black man, I have dealt with my fair share of hate. And I’ve just learned that, more often than not, fighting it normally adds fuel to the fire. Not saying people can’t change. But something pretty significant normally has to happen for said change to occur. I don’t feel have that within my power so I just keep my mouth shut.
For example, other day I was playing Fortnite with a dude I’ve known for a pretty long while. All of a sudden he calls the dudes that killed him niggers. Now. The word itself doesn’t necessarily bother me all that much. It’s the way people say it that gets under my skin. If you say literally anything with hate, there’s an underlying issue there somewhere. But this guy says it like clearly pissed off, right? So I say, whatever. I live in the South. Probably a good amount of the people I talk to have said it at least once. But then he says it again and then I’m like “Alright peace.”
I feel kinda shitty for saying it, but I’m thankful that bad, controversial things like this I.C.E. raid happen. Obviously, not because of their results, but because of the lessons they leave behind. People are entitled to their opinions and I’ve got no cause nor the means to stop them from offering said opinions. But I’m glad we’ve the ability to ignore them or challenge them.
Going along with that, here’s an opinion: I have a philosophical issue with conservatives. It simply does not make sense to me. Conservatives favor everything staying largely the same. Liberals favor change. It just does not compute in my brain that anyone would ever be opposed to change. I mean I get being afraid of change but not when it’s for the good of humanity. I don’t even particularly care all that much about politics unless it directly influences me most of the time (well I guess I cared a lot about this last election). But I pretty much always vote Democrat just because they typically embrace change. Unfortunately, my vote matters very little because my state of Tennessee is predominantly Republican, but I still vote because I want that change to happen. Every time I see another bigoted post or another “Don’t you dare take my fucking guns” post, I just keep my mouth shut and look into the politicians in my area campaigning against said bigotry. “That’s the way it’s always been done” does not always mean good. Original does not always mean good. Both sides have flaws. I just don’t want that flaw to be patriarchal racist bullshit.
If you don’t like my opinion challenge me. Or don’t. I probably wouldn’t. Probably too much work to fight someone you barely know over the Internet. But if you do decide to challenge my opinion, I hope you won’t feel offended when I ignore it. Because honestly, where is that going to get us? I don’t have enough of a web presence to make real change at the fundamental level and what does it matter if you yell at a black liberal in his twenties? Let’s not waste our time. But we can debate. Let’s use our time to forward our own agendas. My one post won’t really get much of anywhere on its own. But I figure if I can influence the few people who give enough of a crap to read my blog, maybe I can make a difference even if I can’t see it. I may typically keep my mouth shut, but in talking about me shutting up, I suppose I’ve spoken up. How about that?