Friday, June 3, 2016

Trying for Something More than Silence

There are no ((())) around my username. I have never turned my twitter picture upside down or sideways, or placed a filter on my Facebook portrait. Solidarity is tricky when you’re part of the oppressors the solidarity means to protect against. I like to think I care about equality, and progressive things, for women, POCs (my grammarian internal monologue advises PsoC) and those who were LGBTQ when I was in highschool and sometimes use more, other letters now. But here is the inconvenient truth that is a stumbling block for my self-inclusion in any of a dozen movements. There is no way that I am marginalized. I am and will remain a white, straight, cis, vaguely Christian shading atheist, young man, born in a city, educated at a private college. I try to be aware of biases, to use whatever privilege I’ve accrued to say the things I ought to say about people who deserve a voice. I retweet without comment, mostly, to avoid injecting myself into the conversation. But here’s my problem. I don’t really have a platform, just a few school friends and about 70 followers on twitter. I can’t signal boost, and so I fear that something like (((an echo))) is an appropriation.

I don’t want to butt in uninvited, or hitch my wagon to a star of trending social cause, or steal the spotlight, even a tiny spark, from someone who deserves a chance to speak and doesn’t get one in the normal course of things. I fear the tar of #notallmen, so I keep silent, in case my speech might be unsought intrusion into a lecture that I need to hear. I don’t want to defend that hashtag or the paternalistic explanation trope it represents, but damn, sometimes that knee jerks hard when you’re square in the demographic crosshairs of today’s new public disgrace. I don’t want credit for being a good boy. I know that’s not a prize that I deserve for whining from a place of privilege. I just want to do more than remain silent. I’m not saying I’m about to devote my life to activism, but I do have thoughts and feelings and reactions, and maybe sometimes they’re worth saying.

So if any of you know a way around this fear, a way to wave the flag without shoving someone more worthy off the stage, please, say it here, or @ me some strategies to show I’m on the side of love and not of hatred without stealing thunder from the ones who really need more love and less, so much less, hatred.

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