Please do not confuse my lack of outrage as a disinterest in your cause. But, then again, do not confuse vandalism, arson, looting, shooting, censorship, or fear mongering as the only viable weapons of outrage. Simple, written words can be just as galvanizing.
I passed a shop window earlier this morning. The shop owners had scribbled in a hazardous, in-your-face font, “Taking no side means you side with the oppressor!” (I think they might sell $15 subs, or $15 pints).
Siding with the oppressor.
I simply must disagree with that statement. It demands something of you even if you don’t have a dog in the fight. It actually goes even worse than that when you think about it. The statement warns that if you do not take their side of the fight, then they’ll destroy you, too.
And the first thing you do is ask, “What is it I’m fighting for….or against??? Who are you, by the way?”
It doesn’t matter what the fight is. You are culpable if you don’t chose their side. You wanna talk about oppression….? Ok, THAT sounds like oppression.
I’m sorry. But, I cannot commit to a fight I know NOTHING about. I cannot commit to a side if I have no personal interest in what the fight is even about.
To my knowledge, the actions I have taken in my life have never done harm to anyone, my actions never enslaved anyone. To the best of my recollection, none of my actions ever imprisoned someone. But, I will take a low credit score for saying I’ve done all those things to myself.
I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I’m doing my best to make a few bucks off my hard work, pretty up my home, and spend a day off with my husband crouched between cushions on a couch watching crappy cult classics. I’m itching to find a moment where any of those actions or desires left a segment of the population oppressed.
As far as I can tell, none of that ever marginalized anyone. As a matter of fact, I’m going to think that old friendships between different races have only grown stronger since we were suddenly given permission to despise people publicly.
Like many people, I’m just trying to find peace in the simple things in life, hoping to have something of my own, at no expense to someone else, and due to no fault of another.
You’re asking us to give into an anger that many of us didn’t feel before…..corralling us into compliant camps.
And that pretty much tells me everything I need to know: your fight isn’t with me. It isn’t even with you….it is whatever oppressor tells us to choose a side and hate each other.
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