My name is Daniel, and I’m a straight, white person.
I’m not rich, but I’ve been told my whole life that, with hard work and a little luck, I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to. I’m not extremely handsome, but people look me in the eye when they talk to me. They don’t waver as if they’re trying to make up some bullshit excuse for a conversation that will get them out of an ass-beating. I’m not really confident, but if I walk through a neighborhood, I can do it without the fear that someone will think that I’m going to steal something, or treat me like I’ve invaded their tranquility. I’m not overwhelmingly likable, but I can go to any state in the country, and a vast number of the people there will be on my side.
I can say whatever I want on the internet, and the worst that I will receive in return is accusations of being a troll, or an idiot. There is no online Charybdis gurgling forth to tell me that I’m uppity or a thug, nor one that says that I deserve to be raped for my opinions. And this “whatever I want” ranges from my opinions on video games to my opinions on our current president. I can say anything, and the worst that someone can do is insult me.
No one makes a meme of me whenever I say something in a colloquial fashion. No one degrades my entire existence for their entertainment. And when I do speak loudly and haphazardly, with the possibility of stumbling over my words, people listen, usually gracefully. They’re not waiting for me to mess up. They’re not waiting for me to disagree in a cartoonish fashion so that they can use it as ammo against everyone who looks like me. No one will post a video of me with the comment “SMH,” no matter how big of a tantrum I throw.
I don’t have thousands of years’ worth of hatred slapping me in the face where ever I go. Major news stations don’t use the fear of my race as a way to drive up ratings. They don’t haunt me with grisly videos of a cop shooting someone of my skin color. No one takes anything that I’ve done by myself and props it up as a point to prove that my entire culture is a wasteland.
I don’t want people to die, nor do I want to see them hurt. And until I figure out a way to stop the pain, I’ll keep my mouth shut, because I truly know nothing.