Have rhetorical questions gone out of style? Rhetorical questions in my status on Facebook has caused me to unfriend two very specific people, and because they were acquaintances and not close family or friends, I decided to get rid of a lot of 'friends of friends' as well. Just in case my style of expression is out of their cultural experience or at worst, goes over their heads. These two people in question I felt were and are very woke to today's issues. As people of color they have been woke far longer than I. BUT they are not woke to how I express myself as a writer or a human, and grossly misunderstood a post I had shared about a young black man trying to play the race card on me, as prejudice. I had mentioned in the post 'the readers digest' version of the events, knowing that most of the people that know me would know that I am first and foremost an ally. Of many if not all of the groups of people that have, in this country, been abused, jailed, beat up, and murdered for expressing their God given rights to civil rights. Yes it's a God given or whatever you believe runs the universe, right. It's not a law, it's a basic human right. And in this young man's situation I believe he had/has a problem with authority, not the fact that I'm a woman and he's a man or the fact that I'm white and he's black. ANYONE that would have turned him in on the train for breaking the rules and being loud enough to be disturbing, he would have come down on. And when HE tried to play the race card with me, by accusing me of it being 'personal' well, I laughed. Out loud. In shock. No one had ever accused me of that, and I was at a loss for words for a moment. His using this lame excuse to try to get out of breaking posted rules and being rude and uncaring, (a statement that he said, "I don't care." over and over to anything I asked) was probably what pushed me over the edge.
I posted the event, and at the end closed with three RHETORICAL questions. Here they are, as well as I can remember: "As he left he turned it back up and called me an ugly bitch. Was I an ugly bitch because I'm white and he's black? Or was it because I'm a woman telling a man what to do? Or was it because he was young and I'm older? We may never know." These are rhetorical questions. Not meant for information or needing an answer but just posted to make my readers think. And perhaps to stop the mansplaining before it starts. As a woman I find that over explaining things helps with that, sometimes. So I've gotten in the habit of it.
After these two people, one a man and one a woman of color, jumped on me about my post saying that if I wasn't trying to claim reverse prejudice why would I even mention race? Did not understand that since he tried to play that card, not I, that it was important to the story. I tried to explain to which the man then said, I don't even know why this is a status just delete it. So I did. I actually deleted it because they asked me to...my own words, about my own experience, on my own wall. And all my friends responses. I honestly think she was more upset that I didn't call out my 'mostly white audience', as she put it, for expressing and sharing their personal stories of similar things happening to them, by people of color. They weren't trying to bash people of color, they were trying to make me feel like I wasn't alone. You know. Like friends do. It's not my fault what my friends choose to say to me. And in all honesty, I didn't even notice. And this is where I was wrong. I didn't notice.
I should have. It's a subtle way of allowing negative talk about people of color, on a mostly white wall. And this is an area where I need to be woke more. It's very subtle. Like a headline I read on this topic recently on my feed. Where it said, "We don't even realize the racial profiling that is going on around us because it's so subtle, but once you see it you can't unsee it. For example: The shooter was a white male, a loner, or mentally ill. Where the same situation if a person of color did the murder would be, The killer was a black male, or the thug, or terrorist." Notice how not just the descriptive word of the suspect is much more of an attack and 'fake news' but the verb...shooter vs killer. The media does this on purpose to keep us scared of each other. White murder is mentally ill while a black one is just a terrorist. Doesn't make sense to me. And that's just the tip of the ice burg. Most of the murders in this country are mentally ill. I don't care what your color is. If you take someones life that isn't attacking you, you are crazy. Not a terrorist, not a thug not a loner (how lame is loner as an excuse??) You're crazy. Period.
So now I'm back to posting my blog every week, and perhaps NOTHING else on my wall. Because I don't want to risk upsetting the fragile people out there that look to me for compassion and understanding. Has the Facebook world shut me up? Nope. They just proved their level of ability to deserve my complete thoughts.