“Woke”: I Don’t Think This Word Means What You Think It Means

November 15, 2016 at 10:46 am (The Serious Stuff) (, , , , )

And addendum to the post of the other day, regarding safety pins.

If you refuse help from someone when you need it because they’re wearing a safety pin, you are not “woke”. If you use your situation as a weapon against others just trying to help, you are not “woke”. If you use your credentials as a writer, and your position in life to attempt to silence others who are doing their best to get out there and at least try to make things better, you are the furthest from “woke” as you could possibly be without crossing the lines into bigotry.

For those all offended by this idea of the safety pin, please explain how your lambasting, anger over your personal condition, and clear inherent distrust of those at least trying does a thing to make any of it better. You may not see the effort as grand enough, but this effort “matters to that starfish”.

Focus on being a better person yourself, and stop hating on those who are attempting to do the same.

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I will NOT Carry Your White Guilt

November 13, 2016 at 10:21 am (The Serious Stuff) (, , , )

I’m responding to Mr. Christopher Keelty, who wrote a blog post that went viral, stating “Dear White People, Your Safety Pins Are Embarrassing”. NO, I’m not going to give Mr. Keelty the page views by posting a link.  I will give you in context quotes, However.

“Let me explain something, white people: We just fucked up. Bad. We elected a racist demagogue who has promised to do serious harm to almost every person who isn’t a straight white male, and whose rhetoric has already stirred up hate crimes nationwide. White people were 70% of the voters in the 2016 election, and we’re the only demographic Trump won. It doesn’t matter why. What matters is there’s a white nationalist moving into the Oval Office, and white people — only white people — put him there.

We don’t get to make ourselves feel better by putting on safety pins and self-designating ourselves as allies.”

He then went on to say that we are all guilty, because all if it is white people’s fault.  We all are the white people voted for Trump, apparently.The ones on the internet, reading this.  And apparently, we ALL did it.  Every one of us. No matter how we actually voted, it all our faults. That’s the not so implied implication of his post.

Here’s what I have to say in return.

Who is “WE”? I didn’t vote for the man, and I do NOT appreciate being lumped into your ball of racial guilt just because you happen to be a well off white guy. I’m not going to take the blame for your situation, your voting preferences, my neighbors voting preferences. And it very much is a white, entitled point of view to think you can lay all the blame for this man on all white people, when only 1/4 of the eligible voters in the U.S. could even be bothered to vote.
 
And as for self designating to be an ally – praytell, how else do you think it happens? That they call you out of class in junior high and give you a special card, tell you what it is to be a LBGT ally, a “minority” ally, and this is your job for the rest of your life? 
You self designate. You don’t tend to plan it, it is something you do as decent human being. You stand up to the bullies in elementary school on behalf of the picked on. You don’t become a bully yourself. In high school and college, you make sure that really drunk girl gets home safe so that you don’t have to hear about her date rape later on. You make sure you treat the Goth kid, and the fat kid and the effeminate kid (who isn’t gay) and the jock (who IS gay) and everyone as if they were human beings and as if they matter.
 

Yeah, I self designated at some point way back in elementary school without even thinking about it – I stood by kids I hardly knew when they were getting bullied, and I got in trouble with the school for doing so. I got in fistfights with a couple bullies in elementary and junior high. All through high school and college, I got drunk friends -male and female- out of bad party situations, even when I was threatened for doing so.

 

I can call out specific instances  when I stood between others and their bullies, but I don’t need to.  I’m not here to be praised for what I’ve done.  This is just who I am, how I was raised, and how I raised my kids to be. I have friends from all walks of life – Gay, straight, transgender, alternatively lifestyled and religioned, all the way to white, straight and devoutly Christian. And EVERY ONE of my real true friends knows I will stand between them and the bullies. In person when I can, online when I cannot. They know our home is open to them any time.It’s been that way for decades, and will continue to be so.
 
So if I want to wear a safety pin or 10 or a thousand, I am not going to be shamed by the likes of you into not doing so. I’m not going to take on the burden of YOUR unhappiness and guilt.   And by telling everyone they should be ashamed of trying to be decent human beings to other human beings, you are JUST as bad as those people bullying and assaulting people who are different than them “because Trump said it’s OK”.
 
And in the end, if you found yourself a target of those people, I’d stand between you and them.
 

Not because of who YOU are, but because of who I am.

And oh yeah, Black lives matter.  I don’t need to be wandering about in a t shirt that says that, because by your standards, that t shirt is as meaningless as the safety pin.  It’s what you actually DO, not what you wear and talk about with your other “privilege class” friends, or a blog post shaming folks.  It’s what you do.  Stop talking and do something.  I have, and I always will, as long as I am physically and mentally able. Can you say the same?

 

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