Civility Rights

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.”

(not my artwork)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

The Primary Contagion

“Stop the madness.”

“You’re just peddling fear.”

“It’s nowhere near as bad as what they’re saying.”

“It’s no worse than the flu.”

“More people survive coronavirus than die from it.”

These are quotes copied directly from The Comments. They show that Willful Ignorance is contagious, and is a primary facto LR in the transmission of COVID-19.

Not The Flu

COVID-19 has a higher mortality rate than most flus, but comparing it to the flu is another mistake that the ignorant make: There are long-term effects.

I personally know about a dozen people who have survived the virus. Half of them are almost symptom-free months later, but the other half still suffer from symptoms ranging from chronic fatigue to recurring high fevers.

Who’s Afraid?

One argument that is prevalent among those who oppose masks and distancing is that those who practice these measures do so out of fear. They claim that those who follow the advice of the CDC, WHO, and Dr. Fauci are not thinking rationally but they’re just in such fear of the virus that they blindly follow the word of Big Science instead of “doing the research.” It doesn’t help that this argument is often backed up by such intellectual luminaries in the world of medicine as Donald ‪Tяump‬.

I don’t even know how to talk to people who think like this. I explain to them that I wear a mask, wash my hands, keep my distance, and don’t attend gatherings in part because of course I don’t want to get the COVIDs, but also because I don’t want to risk that I may already have it and may give it to someone else.

Is it that compassion and common decency are alien to these people?

The fact is that until we ALL accept the best advice of qualified scientists and medical professionals, instead of the crap spewed by politicians, this virus is not going away, and people will continue to suffer and die.

The Gun God

A gun is designed and intended for one purpose: Killing. It has no other uses, unless you’re Homer Simpson.

And it allows the user to do so with minimal effort and consideration—and from varying distances.

The accuracy depends on user skill, but also a great number of other factors. Unlike a knife, which must be used at close range to the target, a gun can be fired at the target from a distance and if is misses—or even if the bullet hits the target—it can also potentially hit others who are not the intended target.

A bullet is far more likely to kill than a knife.

Some legal firearms can be used to kill multiple targets from long-range with minimal effort put into aiming (see Las Vegas).

THEREFORE

There are only two legitimate reasons to own a gun: Sport and defense of livestock from animal predators. Any other reason—when you eliminate all false claims and statistics by gun advocates—is far, FAR outweighed by the risks to human life.

Banning guns except for the two reasons mentioned above, regulating for those two reasons, and eliminating political influence of the industry on government would save tens of thousands of lives every year.

It’s the biggest no-brainer of any issue in the US, yet we let the greed of the industry and the fear of some of our citizens hold everyone hostage.

Illustration by Tasuki Fujimoto

Guns Don’t Kill People…

The idea of owning a firearm for defense is absolute bullshit. No matter how well trained the gun owner is, no matter how secure their weapons are, and no matter how much they imagine they’re John fucking Wick, the fact is that their gun is hundreds of times more likely to be used against a loved one, a bystander, or the owner themselves.

Holding a gun makes a person more likely to be attacked—especially if the other guy has a gun.

The “good guy with a gun” myth is is the biggest pile of bullshit, though. The first reason being that no one reacts how they think they would in a life or death situation, and even if they act calmly and rationally, they are far more likely to hinder authorities and get bystanders and authorities hurt than they are to be a help.

Despite the utter insanity that the concept of owning a gun makes one safer, people buy them. They brainwash themselves into believing all kinds of crazy shit to justify it, and the reason they perform these mental gymnastics is FEAR.

And when you respond to your fear by endangering others, you are a coward.

Confiscate all guns, destroy them, and ban them. I know it’s a fantasy, but peace and sanity start with hope.

The New Math

Explaining racism to people who believe in reverse racism is exhausting. Here’s me trying it today in Facebook:

Anyone is capable of prejudice. A POC saying “all white people are trash” is prejudice.

But if we stop at that, we are being willfully ignorant and we are a part of the problem, not the solution. Prejudice is something anyone can have. Racism is not, and this is in no way a “rebranding” (this person told me that me calling prejudice racism was rebranding prejudice). These are two different things and understanding the differences is absolutely necessary for anyone who is going to be part of the solution.

Consider WHY a Black American watching the news today might say, “All White people are trash.”

Then consider why a white person watching the news today might say, “All black people are trash.”

Of course, there isn’t just one reason for each, but if you really consider it while applying sound Critical Thinking, you will come to the conclusion that—at the very least—these two theoretical people have different reasons. What you will hopefully realize is that while SOME white people have been victims of the system and have had shitty lives through no fault of their own, EVERY SINGLE BLACK AMERICAN has experienced systemic racism—at the very LEAST in the form of decreased economic and educational opportunities, and only because of the color of their skin.

It’s not this simple

Slippery Slope, My Ass

I’ve been spending A lot of time on social media lately defending the removal of certain types of statues from public places. This is not my big hot button issue, it’s just that the few conservative friends that I have left are posting more about this issue than about anything else. I suspect it’s because of all the talking points that the right is spewing about race these days, this is the one that is easiest for them to defend (“You’re erasing history!” “It’s vandalism!”)

  1. There are no public statues of Nazis in Germany. Germans and the rest of the world still learn German history during WWII.
  2. There are many reasons that statues of the Confederacy should be removed. The most relevant one would be that they were originally elected not as monuments, but as public statements of white supremacy during times of racial unrest, meant to threaten and intimidate Black Americans.
  3. The Slippery Slope fallacy in this case does not apply. What is happening is that the false history that racists have perpetuated about slavery and it’s generational aftermath are being more thoroughly challenged. The “Gone With the Wind” fantasy fades, as the truth of systematic torture, rape, and murder are exposed. The atrocities against people of color (Tulsa, etc) that have previously been kept out of mainstream history books are coming to light. As a country, we must look at the figures we look up to in the context of these centuries of ongoing oppression and abuse.

The removal of statues of confederates, known slave owners, and Columbus are not just for symbolic purposes. Children of color grow up with their history books, the shows they see on TV, billboards, and our very society telling them—in ways subtle and not subtle—that they are less human than white children. These statues are blatant and public (approved by local governments) reminders of this. The Slippery Slope fallacy here is just an excuse that racists in power are using to get their constituents to continue to resist Black Americans’ progress toward equality.

Slippery When Ignorant