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Doing the “write” thing…

I probably have already addressed this situation enough as it is, but I wouldn’t feel like I was complete or that was it resolved without writing my specific peace on it. So. Here I am. Unscrewing the top of my head and pouring out the contents of my heart and soul.

For those that don’t know, I posted something a couple days ago that suggested women who have been victims of rape or sexual assault share their stories for others to see, IF they felt “brave” enough. My intent was to not only highlight the problem, but also put faces to the problem. For the most part, the status moved along just fine and people shared their stories or chose not to share, which was also fine. And truthfully, from the mouths of the women themselves, the post REALLY did shed some light for many – including myself.

But then the bullshit began to happen

Apparently, someone felt that my phrasing of the post or the use of the word “bravery” or the fact that I even posted it at all was completely wrong, therefore, they called me out on it directly in the post.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a little checking – but when you start making assumptions and saying shit like I’m “pretending to be shocked” and that I’m “demanding women prove themselves” – I’m going to get pissed off. And I responded exactly how I would respond to anyone who would come at me hostile: I told them about themselves then booted their ass off the post.

Some people simply lack TACT.

It’s a word that some people don’t understand, don’t believe in, or simply don’t give a damn about. For some reason, people think that because they are a victim of an issue or because they have a story to tell or because they have been through some hardship – it automatically gives them a license to be rude to others and others are supposed to just take their shit.

For those that think that, NO, you don’t get to talk to anyone any ol’ kind of way because you are sexual assault victim. And NO, it has nothing to do with silencing you because you’re a woman and everything to do with demanding the respect that you’d want in return as a person.

In the same token, being Black and angry doesn’t give you the right to walk up to white people and rudely, tactlessly berate them and tell them, “No, you’re advocating wrong!” or tell them, “Stop pretending like you’re shocked by the racism that exists in this country.” Nobody owes you shit – regardless of what you may think.

For one, that’s not how you talk to people in general. And two, that’s certainly not how you talk to people if you want your voice to be heard. Considering my personality and my knack for being defensive at times – mostly because of my experiences in life – I reacted harshly, which in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have done. But needless to say, it didn’t go over well with the person I reacted to.

Rather than the person simply ending communication with me about the subject, they instead decided to use their own platform to not highlight my misstep (even though they masked it that way), but instead to form a raging witch-hunt to allow their followers to invade my social media space and attempt to correct me in the same manner that pissed me off in the first damn place.

Again – you don’t instruct or coach or correct people by berating them or questioning their intentions.

But that’s exactly what they did – and they got that ass cursed out too.

For most the day, as more and more people shared the woman’s post which was a screenshot of my post and our conversation and my picture, more and more people commented on the post and via inbox and even other non-related posts. The further they were from the original conversation, the more brazen and outlandish their comments were.

People accused me of jacking off to the women’s assault stories (which not only pissed me off more, but also hurt the women themselves – showing that these people didn’t give a fuck about sexual assault in the first place).

People called me a dog, devil, niggerroach, and a bunch of other names.

People implied and flat out said that I was only trying to make money off of women’s hurt.

If their intentions were to affect me and make me feel like shit, they succeeded – initially. I became emotional at the thought that I was really trying to do something for the good, but yet being attacked for it.

 

Was I tone deaf in my approach? Yes. And after really thinking on it, I even apologized…and I don’t do public apologies…unless I mean them. Because I feel apologies are only to save face and not repair relationships. But I really wanted people to understand that my attempt at highlighting sexual assault was not a business transaction.

It got to a point where people started distancing themselves from any association with me. Which didn’t hurt me, if I’m being honest, but it did show me that my gut feelings about people are always right…and yet, instead of acting on them, I let them linger. In my head, I always said, “I know these niggas are cornballs, but…Imma ride with them.” And instead of getting rid of them like I should have, they showed their hand as cornballs always do. And for that, I got something for them – I don’t like fakes. That chapter is not finished.

Either way, I quickly shed any sadness or heartbreak or any other negative feelings when I started to look at things from the bigger perspective.

For one, this community of people that shared the post and found major issue with me and the status itself, are a close knit community. It’s a small percentage of the overall Black population (and their allies) that is mostly made up of millennials and “activists” and “advocates” and people that generally don’t live or think within a realistic spectrum of society. They are extremely far left.

Their demands and expectations of people toward issues they deem important are over-the-top and simply not realistic. In Layman’s Terms, they find a problem in every little mothafuckin’ thing. They are the kind of people that shoot down white allies. They basically make an enemy out of everyone and the chances of you pleasing them are small.

This group energizes itself by basically cosigning each other’s statuses and reinvigorating each other’s circles. Everyone knows everyone…and because many of these people are bloggers or podcasters or writers or speakers, they have large followings which they want to keep happy – so they give them content they want to see.

Even though it seemed like an awful lot of people saw the post were complaining and talking shit, the reality is that I was only getting a concentrated attack by people of this small community. That’s not to say that people outside of that community didn’t find issue with my post, they did. But the way they addressed it was totally different. Regardless, the fact of the matter is the people that were upset were far outnumbered by the people that supported the post and supported me.

For every one person that bitched and moaned and found issue with my stance, 10 people backed me up and defended my intentions – and I am forever thankful for that. It shows me who my real friends and supporters are.

And though there were people that found nothing wrong with my post, there were a couple that pointed out to me in thoughtful, private conversations on how my language and reactions might have been taken wrong and could have been handled better. To those people, I want to truly apologize for my contributions to the problem, while also using questionable language to create the post in the first place – no matter what my intentions were.

I didn’t mean to challenge ANYONE to share their story of assault and hurt.  Though the word “bravery” may have been correct in usage, it was NOT correct in context or consideration to one’s feelings or personal battles with their deepest painful secrets. For that, I ask that you accept my deepest apologies.

Yes. I am a man. I have privilege as a man. I also have privilege as someone with a platform. My only intentions, as with anything in life, was to do something worthwhile.  I don’t think me being a man means I don’t have the right to ask about people’s stories. It’s not about me believing. It’s about understanding from a personal point-of-view.

To assume someone can empathize based solely on their awareness that something is happening is not what it means to be human. But to hear stories from our friends and family is how we see the affects of sexual crimes and misdemeanors. The casualties of war never seem real as statistics on the news report, but as folded flags in a widow’s lap. That reality applies to all things human.

There’s an ongoing war of intent vs impact, but sometimes, we put too much thought into things and give imperfect people too much credit and confidence in that they will always do the right thing the right way. Sometimes, more times than not, we…as people, do the right things the wrong way. And that doesn’t make us bad people, that makes us potential students of life. The art of instruction is delicate. And your feelings don’t have precedence over any other person’s feelings regardless of your issue.

You should teach and correct people in the manner you’d want your criticism of them to be received. Yelling. Berating. Cursing. Commanding. Degrading. Then expecting people to just accept it and take it because YOU are hurt is just – wrong. It happened to me yesterday. And my reaction created an issue when there didn’t need to be one. But I accept my portion of the fight…and only hope the other person ever recognizes their contribution to the fault too. Until then, I’m going to continue being the change I wish to see…and continue doing the “write” thing. Because more people need me than not. And I can’t let them down twice.

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About Halsted Jones

I’m a #Writer not a fighter ■ Joyously kicking down pillow forts on my quest to do the write thing.

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