I’m well aware that some of my recent Facebook activity has offended a lot of people and I should apologize, but I’m not at all sorry about it.
In fact, I think it’s great that so many people are offended at the moment. It means that the serious message that has been playing on repeat for (at least) the last decade is finally starting to get through.
I changed my profile pic to Aldous Snow holding the “Sodomize Intolerance” sign from Forgetting Sarah Marshall because I found it both timely and in very questionable taste. I didn’t mean for anyone to take it literally. But seeing all the butthurt rants from my racist friends has been a pleasure.
Honestly, there are people I never thought were racist until they started posting their “All Lives Matter” rubbish. If you really think all lives matter why are you so angry about someone saying “Black Lives Matter”? Would you be that pissed off if someone said “Asian Lives Matter,” “Inuit Lives Matter” or “Merpeople Lives Matter”?
And I don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way, I’m a horrible person to criticize anyone about this type of systemic racism because my hands are far from clean. I can see some of these sayings and remember believing this bullshit myself. It wasn’t that I was mean-spirited or hateful, I just didn’t realize how different my life would have been if my skin color was different. I’ve come to realize that’s part of systemic racism. It’s so ingrained in our culture that we don’t even notice it.
For all the things I’ve done, said and left unsaid that helped perpetuate this I’m sorry. I’m truly grateful that I was able to keep an open mind, grow as a person and understand the error of my ways. I’m finding out that a lot of people never get that far in life. And I mean A LOT.
I think that if I lived somewhere else in the world I wouldn’t believe how racist people in Ohio are. It’s not exactly something we’re known for. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cedar Point, Football, Flammable Rivers. These are the things Ohio is known for. But that didn’t stop our congress from voting down a ban on Confederate memorabilia. (For those of you unacquainted with US history Ohio was never part of the Confederacy.)
But at the same time, I’m a great person to criticize because my hands are far from clean. I can look back and remember sharing these toxic ideas. If only I could remember the exact thing that helped me change my mind. I would be really valuable, but I don’t think it was ever any one thing. I think I just kept my eyes open and at a certain moment noticed that something really wasn’t right.
There was a video or a white school resource officer dragging a black girl out of her desk and slamming her on the floor that I found particularly jarring. I’m well aware that teenagers can be some of the evilest creatures in existence (I was one once), but I don’t believe there is any excuse for this type of behavior.
I’ve also enjoyed many enlightening articles from the Atlantic for at least the past eight years.
I can tell you that people don’t like to be called out for their racism. They don’t like to have to see that they are racist. They get defensive. They get angry. But you didn’t need a hopefully recovering racist to tell you this.
We need to keep having the difficult discussions. And I don’t just need to talk to others; I need you to call me out. Even though I’ll get defensive and angry and hate seeing how my views are contributing to the system I despise.
There is no comfort in growth and there is no growth in comfort. The best thing that can be said about the world in 2020: We sure ain’t fucking comfortable.