Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why My Opinion of #BlackLivesMatter Doesn't Matter

I can sum that one up in two words: I'm white! 

I mean, DUH. It doesn't take a genius or a great empath of high social intelligence to figure out when it's time to STFU and listen to the people whose experience actually counts in this department, a.k.a. not me or any other white person.

Because guess what happened the only two times in my life I've ever been pulled over by the cops? They let me go both times with a warning and a smile and nothing else, and I wasn't scared for a second.

Guess how many times someone has followed me around in a store, thinking I was about to shoplift something? 


Guess how often I've worried that I was or wasn't getting some job or getting into a school or not getting into a school because of my race? 

Ding ding ding! Also zero.

Guess when someone didn't want to rent me an apartment or sell me a house just by looking at me? 

Um . . . never!

I could go on and on, but no actually I can't, because the problem is I have no fucking idea what I'm talking about, because--HELLO---I'm white! There's a theme here, and the theme is, if you're white you kind of just need to STFU right now.

If you're white and your response to current affairs and #BlackLivesMatter is #AllLivesMatter you are living in a bubble, seriously lacking in the clue-having department, or both. If that's your first response, maybe it's time to just shut up and listen. Like seriously. Just. LISTEN.

Surrender your defensiveness, get over the "But I'm not a racist" and "But I have black friends" and "But everyone is eeeeeeequal" waah waah waah bullshit, which is so tempting for white people to engage in, myself included. And maybe just challenge yourself to listen to the people whose opinions actually matter because they live in this skin every day of their lives.

Every time I'm tempted to express an opinion, I just tell myself: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And that's all you need to do. 

It's really not that hard, and you just might learn something.

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