Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people.
Another question I received surrounding the “Rethinking Equality” post was about the call out. Do I now believe that we shouldn’t call people out on their bigotry?
No, we absolutely should be calling people out.
I do however, believe that this is also an area that we need to adjust. There are two reasons for the call out. One, to let people know that their actions are not okay. Two, to let people know where you stand. I can’t think of a single good reason to stop the call out.
With that said, I also think many of us, myself included, have spent far to much time on the call out. We are arguing with people, many of whom, are incapable of basic human decency or logical thought. This is an important point for us all to keep in mind. There are those that you might be able to have a dialogue with and who will listen to what you are saying. Those people are absolutely worth our time. Those that prove themselves to be willfully ignorant, should be cast by the wayside. They are the people who you give one, maybe two chances to get it. They reveal themselves quickly so it isn’t a matter of “Giving people a chance.”
I think the biggest issue with the call out is that we think that if we just keep going, if we can just wear them down, if we can show them logic, graphs and statistics, then maybe-just maybe, they’ll see why they were wrong. We are the ones who are wrong. Every ounce of logic, every graph and every statistic is just as available to them as it is to you. This is particularly true if you are having this conversation online. If you think it will help you to get your point across, have at it! Show it all. More times than not, you’ll find yourself angry and frustrated and feeling like you did all this work for nothing. Sadly, you/we likely have.
So how do we handle the call out? We do it. Always. The call out will never stop being important. What we need to change is the amount of replies and comebacks that we are willing to give. Not everyone deserves 20+ minutes of your time. Not everyone deserves the day of anger that they cause you/us. Simply put, they are not worth it. After all, what it comes down to is that we are trying to reform bigots.
Bigots don’t deserve our energy. They deserve to know that we think they are wrong and that we have no problem telling them so. There really isn’t more that they should get from any of us.