It’s 6 AM on the day before Dragon Con here in Atlanta. I had a crappy night of sleep due to some poor dining choices I made yesterday, and I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee yet, so there’s a very real possibility that this post is going to get a little cranky.
But the subject makes me cranky, so it might have gone that way regardless.
After doing a major pruning of my friends list I started using Facebook again about a month ago. For the most part? It’s been a pretty pleasant experience. I no longer have to skim through pages of updates and posts that I really didn’t give a crap about to see updates from people who I actually want to stay connected to. That’s cool. Thing is, I still see some things that get my blood boiling. One of those things can be summed up in the use of the #AllLivesMatter hashtag (or the general attitude that is represented by that hashtag, even if it isn’t being used).
I want to say I get it, and that I understand the frustration, but I simply don’t. I can’t see how, with the massive amount of information we as a a people we have available to us in the information age, it’s not possible to see how there are major issues in our country regarding race that simply can’t be wiped away by insisting that people “stop playing the race card.”
What really bugs me about this is that more often than not this quiet racism is cloaked in comments about (primarily) African-American and Latino culture here in the country. “Those people” would do so much better in their lives if they would just “pull their pants up”, “learn how to speak properly”, and “stop acting like thugs.”
So, in other words, they should act more like a proper white person.
Ironically, these same people never seem to make those kind of comments about other whites unless said caucasian acts “ghetto”. I mean, while there are certainly exceptions to the rule you don’t often see your typical trailer park redneck contribute much to the betterment of society. See a picture of a white guy holding an assault rifle and standing in front of his pick up truck? Many likes! Yay, America! See a picture of a black guy holding the same rifle in front of his BMW? OMG THUGS!!
I guess I’m speaking up about this now, and in a very public way, because I’ve had a bit of a personal epiphany. Not too long ago I had a relative refer to an African-American woman who was in an old velvet painting as a “jungle bunny.” He did this in my house, within earshot of children, and I said nothing. I’ve been disgusted with myself ever since. I’ve put up with this kind of thing from people I know for far too long, and I simply can’t ignore it any more. Which means I’m likely to continue having some very awkward conversations with people who I genuinely care for if I continue using Facebook.
Or I’m just going to unfriend them…or leave the service altogether.
I frankly don’t know.
What I do know is that I can no longer sit by while the pigs take over the farm.