Why I’m Not Fit To Comment On What’s Going On In Baltimore

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.

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2 responses to “Why I’m Not Fit To Comment On What’s Going On In Baltimore

  1. But you’re an American right? And it is happening in America. Doesn’t that mean you can? If you don’t feel qualified to speak on account of your race, that’s fine I guess. But to say that white people can’t because they’re white and can’t get doesn’t make sense to me. How can we close the gap if we relegate it to one race’s problem rather than an American one? Just my two cents.

    • Oh, it is an American problem. And I agree that everyone who has a voice should be able to have that voice heard. But I’ve watched a lot of people, on social media or otherwise, provide what they think is an authoritative moral voice. A “these thugs need to realize that they’re all awful and deserve what they got” kind of voice. I didn’t mean for this to translate as “Shut up, all white people.” I just want people to be thoughtful.

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