I was going to do a big ‘ol set up and gently ease y’all into this topic, but nah. I’m too old, too tired and quite frankly too ticked to extend that courtesy right now, so I’m going to jump right in:
Y’all* need to miss me with this “Oh, you understand that mindset, you must be like that or agree with it”…
Nonsense. (Not the word I wanted to use.) It’s both asinine and insulting. I’m going to start with asinine because it’s easier to explain.
The fact that I understand how people whose views you find distasteful, disgusting and even horrifying doesn’t mean (and I really cannot believe I have to actually say this) I agree with those views. It just means I took the time to try and figure out WHY these people hold these views. I’ve said this a dozen times, but what the hell, let me make it a baker’s dozen: You can’t fight what you don’t understand and you can’t win a game if you don’t know the rules.
Oh…I said baker’s dozen…must mean I agree that bakers can discriminate.
I can’t even…
When a person goes to medical school it’s because that person wants to learn how the human body works and what it looks like when said body is malfunctioning so they can fix it. Mechanics learn about engines and other parts of vehicles for the same reason. It’s why stylists go to cosmetology school. Teachers get education degrees. Accountants study and take the CPA exam. Writers study English and grammar. The point is to learn about the subjects so we can…say it with me…UNDERSTAND.
You can’t help solve a problem if you don’t understand the problem. You can’t help people see things differently if you can’t see what they see, or understand why they it. Posting on social media how horrible you feel about how things are and that you “just don’t understand how or why people can be like this” without trying to find the answer is just words. Empty gestures. Close to meaningless and just short of useless. Are you willing to do the work to get to the point of understanding? If you aren’t, then I politely ask that you take several seats and let those of us who did the work DO the work.
As for the insulting part, do you know why I learned to try and understand why and how people think they way they do? Do you think I woke one Tuesday morning and decided , “Hey today would be a great day to learn how racists, incels, and homophobes tick. Let me head to the library!”
Uh, nah, bro.
I learned because for most of my life I’ve had to quickly determine if the person walking toward me means to harm me or is just being friendly. I’ve had to quickly decide whether the house/bar/ store I just walked into was safe for people like me or not. And I’ve had to decide whether or not a person was actually my friend or was trying to set me up for something horrible later. So, if my having this understanding and ability to see things and people for what and who they are bothers you that much…
You can miss me with that too.
*Y’all = “some of y’all” in this instance, but that phrase would have ruined the flow.