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It Is No Longer Enough
Posted By Scott at 7/29/2015 4:19 PM

I'm going to go on a bit of a rant here, so feel free to skip to the bottom, because I think it's important you at least get the gist of what I want to say.

I'm going to exercise my white, male privilege here, the inexplicable ease with which it is to have my voice heard, and say that it's just not enough anymore.

It's not enough to not like the racist comments your friends make, or to sit in uncomfortable silence as it happens. It's not enough to repost a Jon Stewart video and feel like you've done your part; saying something the oppressed have been screaming for decades is not brave, it's bare minimum. It's not enough to idly sit by and watch friends or acquaintances argue the merits of the confederate flag as it's inclusion in public places hurts people every time they walk by it. It's not enough to chalk up ingrained, supported and in some circles encouraged racial terrorism to mental illness and just move on. It's not enough to listen to relatives and colleagues make gay and trans jokes and not speak up; to not defend those whose only crime is being in love with whomever they want, or living their lives the way they've always known in their hearts they were. It's not enough to say how much you care about your wife/sister/daughter, then listen to someone comment about a beautiful woman, saying things like "we all know how she got the job"; to look at gender as a dividing line and that crossing that line at any time is weird or out of place. It's not enough to smirk uncomfortably at jokes about rape.

This is your chance. Call someone you love out on their nonsense, bigotry and hatred. Tell them their words are hurtful, their line of thinking is outdated and outmoded. Put them in a spotlight and let their hate show. Tell them it's enough!

This is your chance. Tell the racists in your life you can't be friends with them anymore; their stereotypes and vitriol doesn't fly anymore. Tell the homophobes who think today is a sad day to be American you don't want to hear from them anymore; their hate speech just won't register. Tell the bigots who'd rather trans people live their lives in the cages they were born into than see them freed you can't stomach them anymore. Tell the misogynists in your lives that women are the strongest, most beautiful creatures to ever grace us with their presence on Earth, and if they can't see that they're blind, and you're blind to them.

Whether I've known you since we were kids, or we passed each other in the halls at work know this: if you'd rather gay people stayed in the closet, if you'd rather black people or anyone of colour stayed out of your neighbourhood, if you'd rather trans people stayed as what they were born, if you'd rather women stayed in the kitchen? We're not friends anymore. I don't want to hear your side of things. I don't want to argue the merits of your viewpoint. I don't want to see things from your perspective. We're done. I'm not sweeping you under the carpet either. I'll gladly paint anyone that cares to see the picture that you have hate in your heart. I'll climb up on my soapbox, to my pedestal and atop my high horse to let it be known: You are wrong.

Unfriend me, unfollow me, just crawl back under your rock.

This is my chance, and I'm taking it.

** I posted this to my Facebook wall on June 26, 2015: the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same sex marriage was to be legal in all States. A good friend pointed out that I took the one day everyone on Facebook was (mostly) happy, and chose to "go for throats". It's a fair point, but this was on the heels of a year full of near constant reports of police violence towards black men and women (and children), the shooting of nine people in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston NC, and all the hand wringing, hemming and hawing that came along with doing anything but calling it what it was -- racist violence. Couple that with gamergate, white power marches and any other blatant display of crazy and I had to get it off my chest. A lot of people were faced with the true side to some of their 'friends' on social media during all of this; forced to read through "but wait a minute", "what about white men?", "#alllivesmatter" narcissism and bigotry. I loved reading about the same sex marriage ruling like everyone else, had had countless discussions with people who were uncomfortable with the idea about how they were just on the wrong side of history, but I guess I just wasn't done being disgusted with the rest of it. **

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