Playing The Victim
When I started this site I was well aware that there would be a direct correlation between an increase in traffic and an increase in negativity toward the subject matter. Sure there's vitriol and angst in the geek community, but the section of the site that deals in social justice and injustice is a whole other ball game. Even long before the site I'd never engaged with trolls or in "aggressive disagreement". That's just my desire for peace. But peace is often confused with quiet.
While conversing with a couple friends on twitter, congratulating me on the site, some guy decides to jump in to shit on the social awareness aspect of it. I stared at the tweet for a few seconds. I had already decided not to respond, as usual, because I "don't care about people like him". They seek attention by highlighting the worst in themselves, hoping to bring out the worst in others. But something kept me there, staring at the tweet.
"Victimhood mentality garbage". The words just played over and over in my head. Had he said "begging for attention" or "stick to comics" or "go fuck yourself you loser", I'd have literally laughed and carried on. There's something about that phrase though. It bothers me. It's not because it's a knock against my site in any way or even that he doesn't agree with me. That phrase, in one fell swoop, completely infantilizes everything that has happened, is happening and will happen regarding injustice against minorities.
The idea is that the concept of inequality is completely baseless. Not only that, but anyone who feels otherwise is playing the victim. What does playing the victim even mean? From wiki: "...is the fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such as to justify abuse of others, to manipulate others, a coping strategy or attention seeking." So not only is the idea of inequality baseless, but anyone professing otherwise is fabricating the condition in order to manipulate someone else in some form or fashion. I suppose that's why it bothered me so much. To think that every PoC who has been victimized by a country steeped in systemic racism, sexism and classism is merely trying to "pull one over on ol' whitey", is absolute horseshit. It's people like that guy that perpetuate the problem. Not every form of racism is overt. Certainly, not every form is even known to the abuser when they engage in it. "Pull up your bootstraps and suck it up. I never needed any handout". That's the mindset. The mindset that completely misses the point of all of this.
Many of us can't change our situations not because we don't try or because we're lazy, but because the system was designed to keep it that way. Stop swallowing what you've read in school as gospel. Go see life through the eyes of someone else. Ask questions. Find out the "why". Please. For the sake of the future. I promise you, if substantive discourse doesn't make any headway, if we keep getting gunned down by people who fear us just because we look different than them or ostracized because of our gender, I promise you: The revolution will not be televised.