When You Can’t Say Nothing

Man, there’s a lot of bad shit going on. (Understatement acknowledged.)

I try to stay off Facebook because I can’t stomach it but I keep going back and reading how my gay friends are scared and my black friends are scared and everyone is pissed at everyone else because of guns or #BlackLivesMatter or people just trying to use the freaking bathroom.

I want to comment and say something, anything, so that my friends will know I stand with them and so I think and type and erase and type again… but I end up saying nothing.

Because if you think I’m nice or that I’m a lunatic or that I’m racist or that I’m not a racist- it matters not at all. These struggles are not my personal struggles.  I can only watch and try to sympathize and try to help but oftentimes I think any comment I write would ultimately be dismissed. Not because people fighting inequality are dismissive of support but because I can’t add anything constructive to the conversation besides: I’m so sad for you. This is awful. I hope it gets better.

And while it’s nice to have someone say something nice, my “I’m sorry” sentiments aren’t helpful when two black men were just murdered… back-to-back… etc. (etc. because this isn’t an isolated incident.)

Now, does my recognition of this (larger and more systematic) inequality mean I haven’t faced discrimination or had issues because, say,  for example, I’m a woman? No. Of course not. Acknowledging another group’s (larger and more systematic) struggle doesn’t diminish your own struggle. It’s not either/or. You can care about yourself and your rights AND care about other people and their rights.

Still though, I just read and try to understand.

Because of this, I want to share something I read today and a comment that followed. Reading it literally stopped me in my tracks, like… Jesus. I can’t imagine feeling that way. (I only sort-of know the person who posted it, and I’m blurring out the names, because they might not want me throwing their opinion out there.)

And if you don’t agree with me, or them, then you are entitled to your own opinion. I’ve never understood why some people can’t figure out that the only person who agrees with you 100% of the time… is you.

But you really should try to keep learning and growing and understanding. I don’t say this to sound holier-than-thou or to insinuate you’re a bad person (whoever you may be.) I say this because we only have one life here. Just the one. If you’re not trying to become a better, well-rounded, informed, and all-around good person…what are you doing here?

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I’m not going to offer any insight or words of wisdom (mostly because I’m not wise) but it does take everyone speaking out to cause change. I am not going to say nothing this time. And I hope that by speaking out this way, by sharing someone else’s heart-wrenching words… well, I just hope it makes someone else, at least one more person, really think about what’s going on in this country.

MKJ

 

 

header image from here. 

 

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