I pull back and get quiet. Perhaps because I’m an artist, an introvert, independent, intelligent, and prefer long, deep conversations over wine with one or two people. I don’t need the world to shout at me to “get it.”
Growing up in Orange County, California in the 60s/70s, I lived in neighborhoods filled mostly with White people, a few Mexicans, a couple of Asians, but no Blacks. In high school, there was one Black girl, who was quite popular. It was during that time that I was exposed to the book Black Like Me and that’s all it took for me to be touched in a big way. But, as the author says, “Whites will probably never fully understand the Black experience.”
My mother was proud of me for my attitude, maybe because my step dad’s family was from the Central Valley via the South and didn’t speak well of Blacks (I won’t say what they called them). As an adult, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and was exposed to cultures from all over. Often I would talk about my friends to my mother and when she met them, she’d say, “You didn’t tell me she was Mexican” or whatever. I never saw my friends that way.
But let’s not deny that in certain circumstances, we also become afraid of people who are different than us. When you’re afraid, that’s when you notice the differences: race, culture, gender, class, etc.
I totally dislike the mob mentality, and the bullying that goes along with it on social media. Half demand you “stand” with them or you’re complicit. And if you do “tand up,” then the other half say you’re doing it for show. I’m starting to see pressure on YouTubers to “stand” with then and not post. And then people on Twitter, well, nobody’s happy with how you’re doing it if you’re doing it or you’re not doing it.
I hope when we come out of this, we realize what a waste social media is. It’s all just a bunch of noise. And that makes everything worse.