Not that long ago, I had a rather insulting “question” posed to me via a Direct Message. It really didn’t enter into the realm of a question, but did fire off the accusation that I just wasn’t “woke enough”. Which, to be honest, in retrospect, is not that damning of a thing to say to me. But I’ll get into that in a just a bit.
The statement was meant to be a damning perspective of who I am. Apparently, since I am not standing at the court-house or legislature steps screaming and yelling over the idiot legislation that takes place, I am not “woke enough” in this particular person’s perspective. A perspective that they have every right to make, in my opinion.
Wha? I’m taking a stance to protect someone’s right to be insulting and demeaning towards me? Of course I am. I live in the United States, where the right to free-speech is protected. Even when its “incorrect” or “insulting” or what have you. Everyone has a right to take the perspective that they wish to. But taking that perspective doesn’t mean that one has the right to make everyone else believe the same way. That flies in the face of that protected freedom. People have a right to say what they want, just as others have every right not to pay attention to those voiced opinions.
The idea of free speech is something I completely believe in. Free speech allows me to say the things that I do on this blog. Free speech also allows me to gather the facts and find my own conclusions to various things, such as the 9/11 conspiracy theory that the government demolished the North and South towers, and then pinned the demolition on Al Qaeda. Now, I’ve seen the facts concerning the destruction of the two buildings. I’m not a structural engineer, but the explanation of how two jetliners felled both towers seems plausible to me. To others, not so much. And that’s just one singular example.
I have learned to keep my ears open and my mouth shut over topics like this. I listen to the perspective of other folks, use that to help make up my own mind/opinion, and then move on. Dwelling on the topic, arguing with others over the topic….well, none of that solves anything, in my opinion. Its just easier to listen and then move on. Which brings me back to what was stated about me.
Looking back, none of what was said really matters to me. The insinuation was that I don’t value the lives of others. That as an old white man, I could care less about others. All simply put because I don’t fit into one person’s paradigm of what “woke” really is. Sure, its insulting, but its also a perspective I don’t have a ton of time to really mess with (aside from writing this blog to explain my point). There are so many other moving parts to my life, so many other ways I contribute to the “cause”, and so many other ways to deal with issues related to the down-playing of the perspectives of others. I just don’t have the time or energy to educate every fucking human being on the planet to what I do or how I do it. Besides, I would postulate that the huge majority could give two shits about what I do or don’t do. After all, they have their own lives to live as well.
I’m not really insulted by what was said, because the perceived insult just doesn’t figure into my world-view. What I am is saddened over the entire incident. Because someone felt the need to judge me against their own personal moral character or code without getting to know me better than they had at that point.
I do know who the individual is, as none of my private questions were completely anonymous. However, I don’t feel the need to out them to the rest of the world. The reasoning? It would be counter-productive, since it would paint a bulls-eye on the individual and provide a silent incentive for others to attack this person. None of that is conducive or productive, in my mind. So I choose not to say anything.
My personal belief is that an individual can be judged for their moral character by what they do and how they react to various issues. I can only hope that the manner in which I have approached all of this provides an example of what I would prefer to see in the world around me – people not responding in kind to attacks, slanders and slurs. I am far from perfect, but I can hope that this singular moment in time can be an example of what I would hope is a better response to that type of communications issue.