Everywhere I look online — Facebook, WordPress, emails, wherever, people are screaming into the ether that if we — you, me, the lamppost — are not doing something about what’s going on in “the world” — read, if we’re not taking to the streets and marching to their tune — then we’re complicit in what they believe is wrong, and we are a part of whatever they think is “the problem”. And trust me on this, dear reader, according to my friends and family, there are many many problems in the world. And according to all of them, I am party to each and every problem because I’m not taking to the streets and shouting from the rooftops about how wrong and terrible everything is right now. It’s getting to the point that I’m afraid to read my social media anymore… So much wrong with… everything… politics, race, misogyny, &c… Why am I not outraged? Where is my soul? Was I born without one?
I, for one, am tired of being blamed for other people’s actions. I am innocent of any bloodshed, and refuse to take the blame for any wrongdoings committed by anyone else. Especially for acts of violence committed by people hundreds or thousands of miles from where I live and committed in places and times when I wasn’t present and couldn’t stop them because I wasn’t fucking there to do anything about them. Period. End of discussion. Being outraged after the fact does nothing. Less than nothing. It is a useless emotion. I refuse to participate in it.
Anyway, here’s my answer to all of the people saying “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” — so original by the way… Like they haven’t been saying that since Roman times. *sigh* No, I’m not outraged. And yes, I am paying attention. Paying attention is something I do. I watched during the 1970’s when they said the world was ending because of overpopulation and pollution, and we had a “fuel crisis” — we were consuming our natural resources! It’s all coming to an end! Soylent green is made of people! Why are we at war with Vietnam? Look at all of this racial tension! Race Riots! Nuclear war is imminent! We had drills where we ducked under our desks at school. You know, like that would help. Look at the police brutality! The government is corrupt! Isn’t anyone paying attention? Why aren’t you outraged? Of course, I was just a kid then, but I still paid attention. All of this rigmarole is nothing new or different. It’s the same ol’ same ol’ with a new coat of paint. It happens every generation, but people seem to have a short memory when it comes to these things.
I have also paid attention to how the people of this nation treat each other — and I’m talking all people of all races, religions, and political parties. But I have also studied and read sociology throughout the ages. Y’all think that everything that’s happening today is new or different? Do you think it’s unique to the United States, or to African Americans and the skinheads? Not even close. It’s as old as time and human history. I don’t condone violence nor do I condone bigoted behavior, and yes, I will speak up against it when I come across it. But what I won’t do is categorically condemn an entire race, religion, or political party based on the actions of a few outspoken or violent people of that group. Because that is bigoted behavior — which I do not condone. I’m sorry, it’s against my beliefs. And if that paints me as “wrong” in your eyes, well, that’s on you. I don’t apologize for my beliefs.
Contrarily I also will not automatically believe that a certain race, religion or political party is telling the truth because they are the underdog — which seems to be the going trend nowadays. Look what the fascist person in power did to this poor, undeserving person who clearly did not deserve it because they are a minority — pay no attention to the fact that there are two sides to every story, there is only one side from now on: our side, and if you don’t listen to our side, you’re part of the problem. Sorry, but I’m not playing that game. I always look to both sides. Always have, and always will.
But to the original point I wanted to make. I don’t condone violence. And I don’t condone bigotry. I will speak up when they happen in my presence. I have never been a silent bystander. I can and have helped people in need when I’ve been able to. What I cannot do, however, is march in the streets. I am not physically able to picket and protest. I don’t even care if someone’s 80 year old grandmother is out there protesting. That’s great for her; more power to her. We are not all built the same, and we cannot all be warriors. Just because I’m not shouting from the street corners or debating in every forum on the internet does not mean that I am complacent. And I’ll thank those who keep posting those memes or writing long blogs about being silent = being a part of the problem very much if they would stop blaming me and others like me for not being like them. We all fight the fight in our own way. Not everyone can be a warrior fighting on the front line. Some work better in the background, silently. So bugger off and fight your own way and leave the rest of us alone. So long as we’re not actively working against you, don’t assume we’re on the other side, and just leave us in peace. We are not complicit or complacent, we’re doing what we can when we can. Just because people can’t openly see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
That’s all I had to say.