I’ve been pretty quiet about things lately, most notably the Ferguson killing and the following uprising. My silence was brought to my attention by this article, which suggests that my silence equates to “white silence” and in turn results in the oppression and death of black people. This article is making me guilty for doing nothing, because people who do nothing are cowardly, and cowards perpetuate the longstanding evils in the US and the world over. It is always the coward’s fault for not acting when he or she could have. It is the coward who is to blame when someone dies, because it’s the coward who could have done something but chose not to–nevermind the rationale for the decision, it doesn’t matter. My choosing not to signal boost every post I see on the issue means I am perpetuating black oppression.
It’s not talking about firsthand witnesses who could or could not have prevented the tragedy. It’s not about that. This article is talking about plain old internet activism. It’s targeting people who choose not to post a fucking status update–choose not to like or share a buzzfeed article. It’s blaming the click of a button for the systematic oppression of a minority group. If that isn’t trivializing an issue, then I don’t know what is.
I have to clear something up. My Facebook IS my facebook. What goes in and comes out of it is also MINE. And what’s mine is no one else’s, has nothing to do with anyone else unless otherwise noted and is in NO WAY meant to reflect or influence the lives of anybody with whom it comes in contact. What I choose to post, and more importantly what I choose NOT TO POST are NOBODY’s business, and to say that my decisions are perpetuating violence and oppression is not only disgustingly presumptuous but hurtful and insulting beyond belief.
This entry is not a discussion on racism, oppression or Mike Brown. I think the incident was heartbreaking, cruel, and speaks volumes on the corruption of the police force especially in urban areas and the treatment of minority groups by them. In my heart I stand by the protesters and activists doing everything in their power to create change and move forward. But that is not what this entry is about.
The author in the aforementioned article supposes that those who choose not to discuss these topics are too busy filling their “walls with nothing but rainbows and happy talk about how much you love your life.” I’m here to say that I don’t love my life a whole lot. In fact, I’ve battled depression for the better part of it and suicidal thoughts are not something I’m unfamiliar with. I don’t think it’s fair to box me into this “white silence” corner and blame me for how fucked up our society is when I never wanted anything to do with any of it from the start. I’m not a leader like you. I’m not outspoken like you. I’m not an activist like you. I’m not oppressed but I’m not spoonfed and I’m nothing special in either case–I just want to get through my life as peacefully and painlessly as possible because the thought of conflict and pain induces anxiety attacks and these attacks lead to depression and depression leads to matters I’d rather not get into at this time. But the point being that I’d like to be nothing more than a ghost outside of people who know me. I want to drift through life invisibly. I don’t want to leave a print anywhere. In fact, unless you have a reason to remember me, I’d rather be forgotten altogether. That is who I am and it has nothing to do with white silence, white guilt, white tears or white anything that you want to label on me. It has to do with introversion, social anxiety, depression and temperamental fear. I’m not protesting because there are several tens of thousands of people who are doing it better than me. Who speak louder than me. But do not for a single mother FUCKING second mistake that with caring more than me. DO NOT. You want to talk about ignorance? Start there.
Sometimes silence is the best way for an individual to cope. Sometimes silence is the way that people choose to provide and obtain comfort. If I choose not to engage in certain discussions, do not blame that on my privilege when you don’t know who I am. If I never existed to begin with, you wouldn’t be blaming me.