Why Do I Talk To Racists? Why Not?
What am I losing by talking to racists particularly online? Could I possibly make them more racist? If I am talking to a racist, the very worst that can result from our conversation is that they remain a racist. Oh well. If they rethink a couple of their positions, then that’s cool too. Either way, I’ve lost nothing and gained perspective on a person I have nothing in common with. What’s wrong with that?
Why Do You Waste Your Time With Them?
To waste (use or expend carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose) is arguably the purpose of social media. What makes online social conversation with people whom agree with you and think like you any less careless, extravagant or purposeless than conversation with people who don’t agree with you nor think like you? It all goes towards the same end. I am the same person I am on social media as I am off; but more importantly, the people who I am talking to have the same effect on my life as they did before.
They Don’t Respect You
I don’t believe social media is a proper means for people who have only had brief interactions with one another to measure the respect participants in a conversation have for one another. Respect can only be measured by what is said in the context of the conversation. Disrespect from a racist is no worse or better than disrespect from anyone else and is dealt with in the same manner. I have been told I have a condescending tone so this is especially easy for me if I perceive to be slighted. The respect or lack thereof from a racist is of little import to me.
You Know They’ve Called You A Nigger
I don’t know that, but I think it’s probable that a racist I have a conversation with online has probably or is probably going to call me a nigger. This is no more or less true than teachers, co-workers, classmates and other people who I have had to interact with in life. Any black person who has graduated from high school, college, graduate school and worked probably has had daily interactions with someone in a period of their lives who probably called them a nigger. My response is so what. I can only deal with the literal in an online forum. I’m not concerned with what the other person theoretically may or may not have done because I have no control over those actions whether they have actually happened or not.
You Are Doing What They Want
No, I am actually doing what I want. Again, no one forces me to talk to anyone I don’t want to especially online.
Why Would You Invite Racists Into Your Life?
What am I inviting into my life? If I didn’t want to engage, I could ignore, delete or block comments. With that bevy of options, you can only conclude that I engage because I want to as I certainly don’t have to.
Racism is a Very Real Thing
You can run away from it by claiming that it’s still not a problem or by shielding yourself in delusions that it will never find you. I choose to engage in it and my reasoning is two-fold.
The first is that as the conversation develops or as people read it, they get to formulate their own opinions on topics they would not or did not speak on though they have interest. I am a big believer in letting people decide the value of a person’s arguments or positions.
Secondly, I am genuinely curious as to how in this day and age how someone can still be racist or bigoted against another group. I mean we all have biases and prejudices, but to genuinely be accepting of lower or lesser treatment of another group because of their race is fascinating to me.
I talk to racists because they have little effect on my life (real or online), to expose arguments or positions that should be met with derision noting particularly when they are not, and to engage with people I never normally would during the course of my life.