The Discourse

Dear Reader,

It would seem that discourse about that same old thing has circled around again. You know, the one where some black person or other person of color said something about the thing that you thought only you had the right to speak on and that no one can ever critique because how dare they? That discourse. They likely said the concept or the execution versus the real world struggles we are in are trash and you – arbiter of what should and shouldn’t be said on a social media platform – likely decided to jump in and got dragged immediately. I’ve directed you here because you’ve said something that was either:

  • Sexist
  • Racist
  • Ableist
  • Anti-LGBTQIA+
  • Some combination of these

This open letter serves the two-fold purpose of saving myself and potential others emotional labor and time while reminding you that:

  1. The issue you are being disrespectful about as represented in one medium doesn’t translate to other mediums for any amount of reasons. Example: tabletop games. Here’s a whole talk about that from 2018. While we’re on tabletop games. Yes, Orcs are racist. No, I am not kidding. It’s racist. So are drow for that matter.
  2. Your want to explore different world perspectives doesn’t entitle you to use our trauma (for example: racism) as a plot device. In addition, the struggle is rarely – if ever – characterized correctly because you don’t live that life.
  3. This is not your cue to suggest not consuming a particular type of media when critique is on the table. Apply this concept liberally; there is no need to silence people asking for a better world in any form.
  4. If a black person or other person of color says that something is racist, listen to them, absorb the lesson, do some research, then do better. Preferably in silence.
  5. Before you get into what you’re about to dialog, consider this set of reasons for why you might want to sit this one out.
  6. If you must say something, assume that the person you are about to speak to has read the same resources and is equally as intelligent and experienced as you unless they state otherwise. Assuming the opposite does not work out well. We are well aware of your gaslighting tactics and we will call that out before blocking you. Here’s an example.
  7. Our humanity and right to live isn’t a debate or discussion and our posts aren’t invitations to a debate. Ignore this at your own peril.

Seriously, we’re tired – I mean collectively bone weary – with having to have this conversation multiple times per day. This isn’t hard. Learn to listen to people and their lived experiences and consider that you don’t need to walk into every discussion as if you’re the only one with a valid opinion.

Especially when that opinion is that something is any of the things listed at the beginning of this post which I will likely have to edit because you might find some new way to be awful that requires another bullet point on this evergreen post.

Alternately, you can just admit you don’t have the range, not put yourself and your feelings in the center of a conversation that – quite frankly – does not involve you, and shut up for once.

A Tired Black AF Man