America Needs Marriage Counseling

Left: you’re yelling and your rhetoric is terrible.

Right: you’re not even trying to listen.

The Left is just so fucking sick of racism that when they think about, they get pissed off.  Pissed off enough to think that getting rid of the Confederate flag and Confederate memorials is a good thing.  They’re not entirely wrong if you look at it this way: racism is systemic.  If it is built into the system, then removing objects that the system put in place would be a positive statement made by the country that most of us (like we already know) aren’t racist.  The Confederacy, though having many reasons for their succession that included a very valid stance that state’s rights trump federal law, also stood for one of the most racist acts our country committed.  It’s a painful part of our history.  So the thought of tearing down a statue or defacing one that belongs to a slave owner seems reasonable.  This is the admirable part of the anti-racism movement: getting rid of symbols of racism like its an act of good faith (it probably is).

Now let’s consider the fact that often, when a person does not feel they are being heard, they yell.  The left is yelling.  The problem is that because the Left is yelling, they aren’t hearing the response of everyone who is not racist saying that they aren’t.  Trump has said it and continues to denounce David Duke and the KKK.  He obviously does not support racism, or Nazism in our country.  They also aren’t paying spectacular attention to history: not every Confederate memorial is a symbol of our country’s slave owning past.

Now the Right (and those in between) are saying: “Come fucking on.  Quit acting like children.”  They are making a mockery of the Left’s insistence that racism is still a thing (it is) and that it is systemic (it is).  The message isn’t being heard because the messengers appear to be throwing a tantrum.  Think about when the anti-slave movement started, and what that looked like.  People wrote articles, published pamphlets and circulated them, called community meetings where local people spoke out against slavery (and women’s rights- these things were coming about around the same time, interestingly, a time in which we had our own Enlightenment, which opened many doors for women).  It was peaceful (on the side of those looking to create change), it was powerful.  It was good rhetoric (even though in the case of Ida B. Wells, it resulted in the lynching of three of her closest friends, which was legal at the time).  Good rhetoric is what the Left lacks and why the Right will never listen, even if the Left is absolutely right.

A lack of good rhetoric is what makes today’s activist groups unbearable.  If they want people to truly listen, they need to approach the subject of racism with intelligence, a thorough knowledge of U.S. history to inform their approach, and dignity (not violence or hatred of their own).  They have to stop being so damned critical, so loud.  If the Left began to whisper (but whisper prolifically), others would lean in to hear what they are saying.  Instead of good rhetoric, they do this:   Their actions are making them a joke and impossible to take seriously.

If the rhetoric of the Left included calm, lucid arguments, people would be more willing to grant their requests.  At the least, maybe there could be a conversation about racism in our country.  One where people aren’t denying that it exists and where they are focusing on the solution rather than the problem, then maybe we could get somewhere.  What the Left wants is less fucking racism.  We all want that (with a few exceptions).  Yelling is not going to reduce racism or change the minds of those who deny it exists.  A conversation might, though.  A conversation could bring people together instead of tearing them apart.




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