No, not football. Not quite. I’m talking about the recent dust-up at Mizzou.
I lived in CoMo for about 15 years. I’m even a Mizzou alum, sorta kinda. Okay, just one semester, and it really stunk, GPA-wise, but still.
I’ve also been called a lot of names over the years. But I guess that’s okay, because I’m white, right? And I have this “white privilege.”
I’ve certainly been “privileged” in my lifetime, and it may have been because of the color of my skin, but it’s not like God said, “Hey, what color do you wanna be when you’re born? Have any preference?”
Besides, if people are complaining because they’re being “offended” by comments due to their skin color, but then turn around and accuse me of “privilege” because of my skin color, isn’t that a little, well, unfair?
I get the slavery thing: black folks sold other black folks to white folks, who worked them to death and held them against their will and usually treated them like crap.
And then came Reconstruction and the black folks were still treated like crap, even when free, and in many cases it’s still happening.
I get that. I really do, even if I, personally, haven’t experienced it.
There’s always a but.
If a black person is treating ME like crap, because I’m white, that’s not okay either. Even if—and they didn’t—my ancestors had “owned” this person’s ancestors.
Because I am not responsible for what anyone did 150 years ago. I wasn’t there.
Neither were you.
So, back to Mizzou:
Some people insulted some other people. This happens all the time. Everywhere. In this case, the insulters were white and the insultees were black. This, too, happens all the time. No difference. None.
I’ve been insulted, and I’m sure you have too.
Do you call on everyone to give in to your so-called demands? Do you call for the resignation of anyone?
Of course not. You fume and stew and maybe even toss an insult right back. You might blog about it.
That’s it. The End. Move on and take care of your own life.
And what’s up with this “safe space” garbage?
On a college campus, or anywhere, you should be safe from physical harm. You cannot legislate or demand that other people stop thinking or saying things you don’t like.
That’s your safe space. The rest, it’s what you make of it. How you react. Wait, what’s that? How YOU react. No one can “make” you think or feel something; not bad, not good, not anything. Your feelings are YOUR choices to make.
Someone once told me that there are four basic feelings: sad, mad, glad, and afraid. If you’re insulted, you’d probably feel mad; even sad. Glad, of course, is off the table. Maybe you’d feel afraid.
Let’s talk about that for a moment.
Why were you afraid? Did the insulter have a means at his disposal, right then, to physically harm you? Probably not. That’s why he was insulting you. If he’d had a weapon and actually threatened you, you could and should call law enforcement.
But words? Meh. Get a grip. People will keep calling you names your whole life. You won’t like most of them. But it’s not legally actionable. Or even protest-actionable, IMHO.
All it says that you’re a big wuss and too tender to be allowed to be an adult. You need a padded room with zero input or stimulation. Do you really want to live like that?
Oh, you want change? Don’t we all. But change isn’t affected by stomping around and screaming about how unfair things are. Change comes from, trite as it is, one act of kindness at a time, one person at a time.
Change happens with conversation and getting to know people—think about it: you’re probably much more forgiving towards your friends, people you know, than you are to a stranger, right? One of your friends can piss you off, and usually, eventually, you get over it. If you don’t, you have bigger problems than I thought possible.