Jeremy Kappell finally blocked me. I’ve been sending him Martin Luther King speeches that flesh out the shallow Martin Luther King memes he’s been posting since he was fired for (accidentally) calling him a “coon” on live television. I’ve also been sending him essays from James Baldwin and Angela Davis. I sent him links to books like “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism”. I sent him a few articles that explicitly articulated how lazy and boring it is to continue to depict Martin Luther King as some sort of saintly figure that everyone loved, when the complete opposite was the case. I highly doubt he paid attention to any of that information.
It seems the breaking straw was when I responded to him (finally) meeting with a prominent black person in the community, and his takeaway was that she was "over-sensitive" to racism and and blind to "REAL" racism. Because what the world needs is another oblivious white man to tell black folks how and when to react to HIS definition of racism.
His actions spoke to that. He did everything that every white person does when caught doing something egregiously racist, accident or not. So here is a list of things you should NOT do, should you find yourself in a pickle because you transposed the first letters of “Neil Rigger”:
- DO NOT claim that the people who heard/saw you do the racist thing didn’t hear/see what they heard/saw. We are not idiots, and we can detect your gaslighting a mile away. DO learn how what you did is problematic, and own that.
- DO NOT make your apology about you and how you are hurting. We don’t give a fuck. Also, DO NOT use terms like “if I hurt you”. The second you put “if” in an apology, you make your apology conditional, and you cast doubt on the people to whom you owe an apology. DO tell the people affected by your words that you are sorry.
- DO NOT expect things to go back to “normal” just because you apologized. If you break a vase, you may be able to glue it back together, but people will still see the cracks. Even if someone forgives you, no one owes you shit. DO make strides to be better THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS.
- DO NOT try to get “forgiveness” from people outside the community you hurt. It does not matter how famous representatives of a minority group you got on “your side”. Minorities are not a hive mind, and their opinions are based on what you gave them to ponder. So one or two of their opinions mean nothing to what you did. DO seek out people IN your community and see what you can do to be better.
- DO NOT think that boasting about a bunch of interactions with the minority group you slighted is “building bridges”. This is what I call “pulling a Lonsberry”. Bob Lonsberry regularly finds a negro with whom to take a selfie. Light negroes, dark negroes, faux negroes, real negroes, rich negroes, poor negroes, house negroes, field negores. All negroes he can. That doesn’t erase the horrible things he has said about Puerto Ricans, or the condescending tone he uses to talk about black folks, or the pictures of urban squalor that he takes during his “runs”, ot the fact that HE CALLED A BLACK MAYOR AN ORANGUTAN. It speaks volumes to what you think of people that you believe they would fall for such a vapid action. We are not props for your redemption tour. DO engage in discussions with people, and learn about what they need and how you can help.
- DO NOT think you have ANY business telling a member of a minority group what “real oppression” is. You have their oppression, so you have no business speaking on it. Perhaps hearing about the myriad of ways someone experiences racism/sexism/homophobia/ableism is painful to your delicate ears. Good. It is 100x more painful to experience it day to day than it is for you to hear it. Sometimes a small thing like someone screaming “nigger” at you will snowball into you on the ground with a bruised abdomen and a gun to you head. You never know. But listen. You might learn something. Railing about “political correctness” inevitably makes you look like an asshole who doesn’t care. Try respecting what someone tells you.