As much of an asshole as I come across as, I always try to empathize with people in news stories. I was raised Quaker from birth, and it’s what we’re taught. “There is that of God in everyone,” is a lofty way of saying, “Everyone else has feelings just like you do, asshole.”
The thing is, after decades of performing this exercise with every single person in every single news story, there are people that—when I still my mind and do the Deana Troi thing—block the empathy wave with a selfishness so great that no amount of positive vibes can pass. These creatures are ready, willing, and often eager to let thousands of people suffer and/or die for any amount of gain. It could be like, “I hate that black guy, so I’m gonna undo this legislation he enacted,” even though there is no reason to do so except spite. As a result, thousands of people can’t get some crucial medication, and their lives are fucked up or ended.
Why Not Just Fake It?
I am past that need to appear like I have some angelic moral high ground by saying shit like, “They are human beings, and they deserve our sympathy!”
Fuck that. We’ve given them enough energy. Now, I say fuck them. They don’t deserve any more of it. Let them suffer and die. My energy is going to the people who are going to make things right.
I constantly make efforts to empathize with others—though it may not seem like it.
When I attempt empathy for Tяump over the past 24 hours, I get to “This is an old man suffering, and possibly fearing the worst,” and I feel it. I do. It’s frightening.
As I proceed in my journey, I am impeded by obstacles like hateful words where there should have been comforting words, lies that cost thousands of lives, and a constant onslaught of selfish bullshit that leaves destroyed families in its wake. Children raped, parents grieving over lynched children, people suffering long-term damage from a virus that could have been stopped…
I cannot wish him well. I have tried. Truly. As a yellow person with a brown child, two girls, and a job that involves helping some of the most vulnerable Americans, I am unable to reach that point.
I do not wish him dead, because I still have that shred of my Quaker upbringing. I DO wish him to experience a lot of what he has done to others.
And when he finally dies, I will celebrate. Because fuck him.
“I know that if you are in any way likely to vote for David, you don’t give a hoot about blacks, illegals, liberals, the environment, your children’s future, democracy, freedom, the constitution, or ANY of that weak stuff.
David Perdue will pander to you and your fear of brown people, the gays, any kind of change, and the boogeyman of socialism, as if you even know what that is beyond the garbage you hear on Fox.
He knows what an absolute coward you are, so he’ll let you buy any kind of guns you want—40,000 lives every year is a small price to pay for you to live out your action movie fantasies! Objectively, you’d be waaaaaay better off with Ossoff, but then you’d actually have to start thinking for yourself and dealing with less black people getting murdered by cops and Nazis—and we know you don’t want THAT! (I’m David Perdue and I approve this message. Heil Cheeto!)”
I’m not mentioning the name of the person who killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. He needs to be locked up and his name should be “inmate.” For this post, he is “the killer.”
This case is going to be important, as the actions of the killer are being taken by many as inspiration—or even license—to murder BLM members, protesters, and anyone who disagrees with Tяump.
There are already many who are crying “self-defense!” but there is no self-defense case here. The defense will definitely try to argue points such as the defendant’s age relative to gun ownership, whether he already had the gun or not when he crossed state lines, and whether or not he perceived an ongoing threat after a plastic bag was thrown at him and the person who threw it was fleeing when shot. Each of these arguments has within it the potential to cast reasonable doubt upon the charges, but they will be brought up to obscure the underlying truths: The killer had the motive to kill (intense hatred for anyone who goes against police), he had the means, and he had the opportunity in the form of first a plastic bag, and then people trying to disarm him.
The killer’s background hurts any defense that he was a good citizen who went to Kenosha to “protect property.” In addition to his far-right views he’s posted on social media, days before he murdered two men, he and a friend (likely the same friend, Dominic, whom he called seconds after shooting his first victim) brutally assaulted a teenage girl.
Is the killer a product of horrible parenting? Probably. Was he in over his head? Definitely. But you know what? Tough shit. He went to Kenosha with a weapon of war—a weapon designed to kill human beings quickly and efficiently. He went with his rage issues. He went to confront people who were protesting police violence as an advocate of those police. He made premeditated choice after premeditated choice, and when that split decision came whether to kill or not, he chose to kill. It was murder, without a reasonable doubt.
When anyone speaks up for this murderer, every bit of truth offered to counter that defense will help to keep people like this killer from emulating him.
I hastily wrote the following in response to an evangelical friend of a friend who commented that BLM is Marxist and uses violent tactics. She asked me “where have you been?” I started off listing the things I do for my fellow humans on a daily basis, then continued…
Where have I been? I’ve been ingesting multiple reliable news sources (so no OAN, Fox, or InfoWars) to make the most well-informed analyses of what’s going on in the world.
I’ve been fact-checking anything that seems incredulous.
The arsons in MN and GA were started by white agitators. Protests in MN were turned to destructive riots by white agitators. The overwhelming majority of the violence in this years’ protests and riots were committed by police and by white people. These are the facts.
Black Americans have been treated as sub-human for generations. Parents worry if they are going to lose their children to a police bullet on the way back from school. Unarmed black people are murdered for being suspected of maybe doing something wrong in the near future while white murderers get a bottle of water and a fist bump.
And when they and their allies protest peacefully, they are humiliated, demonized (see: Kaepernick), assaulted, and murdered—all with the overt approval and encouragement of the POTUS and millions of their fellow Americans who are so entrenched in their selfish privilege that they refuse to open their minds to the reality of Black lives, and choose only to have empathy up to a shallow degree.
And then they (you) have the gall to invoke names like Jesus Christ and MLK, whose words they (you) cherry pick to fit their (your) worldview, rejecting any of the words that make them (you) uncomfortable.
If you think that Jesus or MLK would publicly condemn ANYTHING that BLM is doing, especially in light of WHY they are doing it, then your values are antithetical to those of Jesus and MLK.
Oh? Am I Harsh?
“Can’t we be civil? Can’t we disagree? Can’t we blah blah blah?” you (and other seemingly well-meaning people) will insist.
No. Let me tell you why.
As what you would call an oriental, I have experienced racial harassment and violence (I got scars to prove it) from whites throughout my childhood. I believe that I maybe, possibly have a small understanding of of what it MIGHT be like for Black Americans. But in truth? Nope. Not even close. What my experiences have given me is eyes to see racism where it exists—and it exists in far more places than even the most woke white person can imagine.
Throughout my life, I have listened to whites’ POVs, I have been civil in the face of unrelenting bigotry, and I have allowed them to label their hate speech as mere “disagreements.”
But no more. I’m done being civil to people who insist on perpetuating the subjugation of people of color, no matter how much they smile, go to church, and use nice words. The velvet glove over the iron fist trick won’t work any more.
So I’m going to say this to you, knowing that you’ll take offense, but also knowing that no matter how nasty my words are, they couldn’t possibly equal the hatred and the damage that YOUR beliefs and words have done to others: You are morally corrupt, you are culpable in the suffering and deaths of children and adults of color, and no amount of denial or prayer will clear you of your crimes. 🖕🏽
I’m going to keep repeating this until people wise up.
Once again, there have been many posts and comments (seriously, like dozens) in FB groups, and on friends’ walls—all from moderate-to-liberal folk—asking for their own to be more civil, understand the other side, and/or some other bullshit that implies misbehavior that should be corrected.
Made-up Examples: “Maybe if we considered that the people we disagree with are human beings, we can find some common ground.” “If we respond to their hatred with hatred, we are no better than them.”
It SOUNDS nice, right? But when you’re talking to anyone but a straight cis white male, it’s not. It’s ignorant and offensive, and it needs to stop. Either that, of the people who post this kind of thing need to preface it with “Dear straight cis white males…”
Here is why these sentiments are offensive:
The people who are targets of conservative hatred have been civil toward conservatives for generations. We have bent over backwards to be civil in the face of their hatred. We protest, use our words, and occasionally resort to aggression in response to hundreds of years of oppression and violence. Understand who is the civil group there? Many of us are done being civil. We’ve turned so many cheeks, we got no cheeks left to turn.
The people who say these kind of things are lacking in empathy, yet they criticize others for lacking empathy. We DO have empathy toward conservatives—we feel their fear. It’s just that we have learned that responding politely only provokes their hate. If you work on your empathy toward conservatives’ targets, you’d see that we are actually being unreasonably accommodating of their hatred.
It is offensive to be told by people of privilege how people without that privilege should behave toward other people of privilege.
So please just stop that shit. We know that you think that you’re working to make things better, but the hard reality is that these kinds of statements make things worse.