DISCLAIMER: This was upsetting to me, it does include hateful, offensive language (not my own.)
There have been a lot of tragic events happening, and the saddest part is it’s not even a surprise anymore. I hear about people getting shot and I hang my head as the voices come out to argue their sides and still NOTHING CHANGES. And then I check my Facebook.
One of my friends has posted a meme that I disagree with, but can understand. It says, “How about all lives matter. Not black lives, not white lives. Get over yourself no one’s life is more important than the next. Put your race card away and grow up.” I understand the point of “all lives matter”, but I also understand the people who say this miss the point of saying “black lives matter”. I know, because I started out that way.
I remember my boyfriend first telling me about this movement called “black lives matter” and as soon as I heard that I was like well wait, we’re all human, all of our lives matter. And at first I did not understand that’s EXACTLY why people are saying BLACK LIVES MATTER. Because right now they’re being undervalued. And the reason I did not get this right away is because I am white, sheltered, and privileged and quite honestly I don’t experience much racism so I forget it exists. Until today.
I saw a comment on the meme and out of curiosity I checked it out. I was shocked and appalled. I thought it was a joke, but then I thought that’s the least funny joke I’ve ever heard.
I checked, he did remove her as a friend on Facebook, and what’s worse, his posts were more awful than his comment.
And now, I am furious, I am speechless. I said to my sister, “What is this, the 50’s?? I didn’t realize people like this were even REAL!” I was dumbfounded. This guy was verbally abusive, racist, and proud of it. He somehow has convinced himself we are about to be in an all-out race war, and you cannot protect yourself even by having black friends….okay WHAT? I wanted to respond so bad, but at the same time I know there’s no convincing someone whose proud to be racist, so I reported him to Facebook. I assumed using racial slurs and exclaiming WHITE POWER had to be enough to get those posts taken down.
I was wrong.
Apparently not one of his posts, including the one where he uses the n word, which I will NOT post here, violated Facebook’s community standards. Which really makes me question…what the heck ARE your standards, Facebook?? Because if you welcome the type of speech that comes from a raging bigot slathered in ignorance, quite frankly, I’m disgusted. There may be no convincing this person how wrong and twisted their views are, but the least we could do is teach him that the majority of people do NOT support this way of thinking. This is bigger than black lives and cops lives. You do not have to “pick a side”.
My heart is literally aching.
So while I cannot engage this kid in conversation, and I cannot get Facebook to remove his hate speech (was it not hateful enough? Really, what is your limit here?), I CAN let more people see that racism. Blatant, unbridled hatred is still running rampant in our country. It was a shock to me, but it tells me we need to fight harder for acceptance and love. We need to stand together against ignorance, and we need to let people like this (AND Facebook) know it is NOT okay.