I’ve been reading various blogs and participating in a couple of online communities for quite some time; as a matter of fact long before there was a facebook and twitter. I’ve always come to the same conclusion. The internet is not your friend.People get mighty bold behind a computer screen. I’ve witnessed racism, sexism, and all kinds of isms from these online communities. People are so good with technology manipulation you really have no clue who is on the other side of the screen. As intimate as some bloggers get, you only get a glimpse into their reality, a small piece of their greater self. Most importantly, once you’ve hit the publish button be prepared to get judged.
I recently read a post (one of many) that fueled an angry mob. They said they were angry in so many words and,”rightfully so”. I couldn’t help but wonder if many of the issues people of color (I’m coming from this perspective as a black woman) deal with on a darn near every day basis would ensue such a passionate response. I cannot help but wonder if these same people would stand up for a cause that they didn’t understand because they couldn’t relate to it. I really took a deep look into myself and wondered would I? I was most upset not by the post, nor by the upset responses, I was upset because when I read posts about the quiet injustices faced by marginalized people, these posts get brushed off, belittled, or completely ignored. What I’ve been noticing is that people don’t want to hear about our hurts and our frustrations, the reasoning’s behind our reactions to blatant disrespect, ignorance, and plain old fashioned self-centered thinking thanks to certain privileges (that are still denied).
I can’t begin to understand how someone’s suffering is old news. I know that I took a “generally speaking” approach with this post; I wish I had the writing ability to really express the inner workings of my mind. I wish I was more knowledgeable on certain topics that I read about that spark a fire in my thoughts and fuel my interest to be a little more open-minded and less ignorant. I’m sure I’ll evolve with time.
But after reading that post and many controversial posts, seeing the aftermath of it all, I wonder if I would have the courage to stand up for my belief system the way many of the peers I respect do. Would you? Would we do the world a disservice if we don’t?
Is open dialogue truly welcome in world where everyone takes a side, and if you’re not on my side then you are against me, you are the enemy?