Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I had a great conversation with a friend who's visiting from out of town last night, and one of the things he mentioned was how angry I seem on social media all the time: "Like, do you have to be SUCH a dick?" he said to me, probably hoping it would go down as a kind of intervention on behalf of all of the other white people in my life who're probably thinking the same thing at the moment.

He was talking about why I'm always lumping white people together in the same boat, calling ALL of us, YES, ALL of us, racist--basically that use of caps right there was what he was referring to, why I specifically and it seems deliberately opt for all caps in such situations, to strike nerves, rather than pausing and taking the time to make critical distinctions for strategic diplomatic purposes and feelings.

What I realized throughout the course of our conversation was that not even the people closest to me, people who've been like surrogate family to me, people who I know and love, and who know and love me, understand why it is that I or anyone else with a brain would ever choose to do such a thing.

So I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain. Here is what happens when you do the latter, when you make nuanced distinctions over tea with your pinky finger in the air in order to respect people's feelings: Not a single, boot-licking, phone-call-making, petition-signing, social-media-sharing, goddamned fucking thing.

You might not believe me, and such, so I'll prove it: I've already written this post. Nicely. A dozen times. I'm not exaggerating. Wrote about it in the Guardian. Wrote about it in the Boston Globe. Wrote about it on my blog and social media. Basically for the last ten years or so I've been telling anyone and everyone who'll listen that a genocide has been ongoing in our cities for 20 years, and right now, rather than thinking to yourself, holy shit, there's a genocide going on in our very own liberal ass Bernie ass Sanders ass leg humping ass cities, you're thinking to yourself that I'm merely using this post as a pretext to show off how great I am because of all of the stuff I've written, telling yourself that I'm doing it because I want a cookie from black people, because I want to be special. 

This is why I'm mad. Because much like the AIDS crisis in the 80s, hundreds of thousands of mostly young men are dying from something we've known how to stop for decades, and all you can do is sit there and point out how much of a narcissist and white savior I am for trying to tell you about it.

And it's not just me, either. Pro Publica told you. So did Leana Wen. So did Sanjay Gupta. So did a billion other others that I could cite, but it doesn't matter to you and it won't matter to you. How do I know it won't matter? Are you suddenly jumping up to do something? Are you picking up the phone? Are you donating money? Are you rushing to City Hall and refusing to leave until your mayor scales these lifesaving programs citywide? No, you aren't. You don't give a fuck. You're more mad about me lumping those of you who think you give a fuck in with those that don't give a fuck than you are about a goddamn genocide of neglect that's been underway since 1996.

This is why I'm mad, white people. Because you aren't mad. Because you haven't been for 20 years. Because I've asked you to care about this nicely a thousand times and you've done nothing but ignore me, tell me I have an agenda, call me a narcissist, a martyr, putting myself on a cross, I'm mentally ill--literally, you've said anything and everything--and I'm being literal when I say anything and everything--other than: "holy shit Batman a genocide has been going on for 20 years we need to stop it!" 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, because you are boring? Heard the same message for 50 years one way or the other. Aids a problem? Not my job to force people who should know better to use a condom. The uneducated and angry are avoided and economically left behind? Duh. I and the majority have their own life problems to solve. The little bit of time left from sleep, work, maintain myself so I can continue to sleep and work is minimal. It is kept for myself. I might contribute to someone trying to solve THEIR OWN problems. Soapbox ranters are nothing but entertainment. Tough.