*Warning - the following rant may upset some people. It concerns a very touchy topic. Just a note to my regular readers to let you know that I understand completely if you do not want to leave a comment here because you are afraid a snarky person will take offense and follow you to your own blogs to leave nasty comments. I won’t be mad if you skip over this post. Honest!*
Back in November, I had reached my first anniversary for this blog. It was a wonderful feeling to come to such a milestone. I met many wonderful people from many different countries and cultures. I learned about many different things . . . many good things. In truth, I lucked out.
Why do I say this? It is because there are people out in this big wide computer network who are very, um, let us just say they have very opinionated perspectives of the world and the people who inhabit it. This perspective involves seeing a society closed off in their respective regions, beliefs, and cultures. They believe that diversity will become the downfall of humankind and a harmonious lifestyle begins with separate racial boundaries.
I lucked out in not receiving any direct comments from these people who normally post under an anonymous moniker. The reason this might have happened is that, for 11 months, I did not reveal my racial background in a picture. For my blogger avatar, I went with a feather icon. Only in October did I change it to a photo of myself, fully accepting whatever may happen within the comments thread for both of my blogs.
I lucked out. I continued to receive wonderful conversations from my visitors and believed everything was fine in revealing my real picture. This has changed.
I will not go into any of the details except to say that someone has taken offense to my photo.
For the most part, this Anonymous has left comments on blogs I visit as they talk about how people should have pride in their own race (which I full-heartedly agree -- we ALL should be proud of our backgrounds). This person went on to remark that they had a right to speak their own minds even if they might not agree with the general observations made by other people (and this person has me nodding my head in agreement again -- we are a society that embraces, should embrace, free speech). Then the anonymous person said that their comment would more than likely be deleted because of its truthfulness but they are going to say it anyway no matter what.
Whenever I come across something like this last part, it always seems more of a dare or a sort of . . . nyah-nyah-you-don’t-have-the-guts-to-let-me-say-whatever-I-want-on-your-blog-because-you-know-that-I-am-right! Go-ahead-and-prove-I‘m-right-by-deleting-the-truth-you-don’t-want-to-accept!
Sigh. I am sure my readers have seen or experienced this already. The bully tactic. Usually it forewarns that the comment might start out with several intellectual points. Yet it will soon disintegrate into name calling, banal one-liners, and cursing with the sole purpose of spurring heated trash talk. Most of the comments start as:
I am proud of whom I am and of my race.
Then they migrate into this:
Everybody believes we should forget our roots and embrace other people’s cultures. We should not. Why can’t they allow us to hold on to what we belief in?
After this, the comments start to change:
There are people that know not to allow such diversity to soil the integrity of their societies.
and . . .
Our society went into the toilet the moment we allowed rights to the black slaves. It’s because of you Western fascist liberal nation trying to screw up the world.
And finally the one-liners, which I choose not to post because this post is starting to get long and all my regular readers know how long-winded I can get. If you need any examples of the one-liners, visit an AOL message board for a news topic involving another culture. I stopped reading such sites. Someone is always trying to light a spark for a racial debate even if the topic involves drunken elephants cuddling with Tickle-me Elmo dolls.
Anyway, you might be wondering what I do whenever I come across these remarks (and I have come across many of them this year - right after the presidential election.) So do I go into a rant of my own, loudly proclaiming that they should not believe our world would be a perfect place if we went back to the days of slavery? Do I call this person out, deriding them for being a coward who hides behind an anonymous name? Do I lecture about the virtues of living in a peaceful society that is not asking anyone to give up their cultural beliefs, but to simply allow all people to find a place to call home without worrying about any hateful retaliation because of the color of their skin?
Why don’t I say anything about it? Well, I am not going to turn someone else’s blog post into an open forum mainly dealing with this anonymous’ remarks and how much we can snipe at each other.
So do these anonymous people believe they have one-upped me with their overwhelming logic? Do they believe I could not refute their “truths” and I am a coward by refusing to engage in this? Do anonymous people believe they have called me out and I could not deliver?
My answer: Why should I care what they think?
I have grown tired with comments like this. I have dealt with racism since I was five-years-old when playing out in my driveway as a man drove by and shouted, “I didn’t know any n****** lived out here?” as a round of hearty laughter came from his female companion. I dealt with it when I was twenty and had my first job interview when the employer behind the desk said, “You know, black people didn’t have it so hard in the past as you made it out to be.” I dealt with it several months ago when a woman at the Walmart took one look at me in the parking lot and hurried to lock up her purse into her SUV while setting the car alarm. I guess she thought I might rob her while she pushed her empty cart into the cart return stall, which was right next to her vehicle.
And how could I possibly forget about all the property damage:
Four mailboxes destroyed.
Numerous vehicles keyed along with the back bumper damaged.
Yet I am supposed to get upset over a comment made by an anonymous person who doesn’t like my blog photo? Yawn . . .
Okay, my post is becoming too long and digressing fast. So I will wrap things up and get to the point. First off, I don’t plan to change my picture back to my feather icon. I have no reason to feel uncomfortable with whom I am or to be worried about what other people might think of me based on the color of my skin.
Secondly, to all those anonymous people out there who might have a problem with me, please feel free to EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS DIRECTLY TO ME! Don’t go all hell’s bells on someone else’s post all because the blogger has a black reader who stops by.
Third, to all my readers, I do apologize if you have had to deal with someone like this all because they saw my photo in the comment thread. If it makes you too uncomfortable, please drop me an email and let me know. I will restrict my comments there although I will continue to read and enjoy your blog. I am not there to create waves for anyone. I am just being myself.
Fourth, to reiterate again to those anonymous people, EMAIL ME DIRECTLY.
Thank you for allowing my rant today. I needed to vent again. As a special treat, you can read this. Yes, it is long. Didn’t you read Friday’s post?