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Be a Better Human

January 13, 2020

There are many things I’d like to see go away in 2020 (and I’ll write about that later), but I wanted to give this topic special attention. Lately, I hear a lot of white people bitching and moaning because they’re being called out on shit that they are used to doing all in “good fun” that is actually racist and/or sexist and they don’t want to give up their “good fun” because it “triggers” others.

For example, when I was in high school we played the dumb circle game. I know you know what I’m talking about after the dumbasses at the Army-Navy game. If you don’t, you can Google it. Back in the 80s & 90s this was an annoyingly dumb game that kids played during study hall. Somewhere along the line, white supremacists decided to adopt the circle hand gesture as their own. And I’m not so naïve that I don’t think this wasn’t done on purpose. Racist, sexist dumbfucks are pretty lazy and rarely come up with new and novel ideas to sow their hate. So now, you can’t play this game without being labeled a white supremacist. But here’s the kicker – people are mad that they can’t play the dumb game. They aren’t mad that white supremacists hijacked their game and they can’t play it anymore. Which by the way, why aren’t all y’all raising hell with the white supremacists for hijacking your game instead of the rest of us who take issue with white supremacist hand gestures?

I often hear people use the excuse that they themselves haven’t experienced a phenomenon and because of that, it doesn’t exist. Great theory, but completely flawed. See white people can’t experience discrimination because by definition, discrimination is the oppression of the minority by the majority. Here in America, white people are not the minority. And don’t you white people start coming at me with the reverse discrimination argument. This is not a thing. Perhaps you are experiencing the inability to continue being a racist ass, but that by definition, is not discrimination. Perhaps it’s an inconvenience for you, but it is not hindering your ability to make a living, find housing, maintain employment, or not be arrested or shot because your skin isn’t white.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to argue with other women that the gender pay gap is a myth or that sexism is a fallacy – because they haven’t experienced it personally. I am a woman and I have experienced both. I have worked alongside men in similar capacities where I’ve had more time on the job and more education and I have been paid less. I have had bosses rate my physical appearance on a numerical scale. I’ve heard the same boss make comments about my female coworkers’ weight or sexual appeal. I have been labeled “volatile, negative, and difficult” for speaking out about it. I have been passed over for promotion to outside candidates because I wouldn’t adhere to a harmful status quo.

And you know what? I don’t regret it one fucking bit. I didn’t sell my soul, my values, or my morals to a corrupt organization. As a matter of fact, I blew the whistle in the face of that corruption and when the retaliation was too much to bear, I quit. Yeah, I miss the money, but they weren’t paying me enough to ruin my good reputation and sell out the people of my community in the name of the almighty dollar. 

Perhaps when my grandma was instilling these values into me she didn’t mean for me to take them so literally, but I did. I don’t wish to capitalize off of someone else’s misfortune. I don’t want to get a leg up by pushing someone else down. And by the way, when did it become a badge of honor to cause mental anguish on someone? They like to call it “triggering” but I, along with most mental health professionals, like to call it emotional and verbal abuse. It’s not cool and if you’re Christian, it certainly doesn’t fall within the teachings of Christ. I’m not even Christian, and I sure as hell don’t need a book telling me that treating my fellow human beings ethically and morally is the right thing to do.

Y’all, this isn’t hard. If a black or brown person tells you that something is racist, you believe them. If a woman tells you she’s been sexually abused, you believe her. If a trans person tells you they’ve been violated, you believe them. You ask how you can help and then you take what they say to heart and you use your voice of privilege to make change. You DO NOT engage in blaming the victim or playing victim because of a slight inconvenience in your daily routine.

Two hundred and forty three years ago, this country was founded upon a community of immigrants seeking freedom from oppression. Isn’t it high time that we take this to heart and accept that our differences make us stronger?

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