This is a lazy post. By that, I mean, I cut and pasted it from a friend’s Facebook feed, where I did get involved in the comment warfare, and here it is, with gentle adjustments.
This friend shared a commentary piece on the inflammatory reactivity to the Black Lives Matter campaign. He is a vocal advocate for equality. His share of that post inspired divisive sparring.
Black versus blue, and I think it is lost on everyone that “Black and Blue” is how we all feel, and how we feel–in our bodies. The “too soon” phenomena, you know…touching tender things while they are still tender, is frowned upon.
Unless you are trying to debride an infected wound. Then, you must agitate the festering flesh, remove it, repack the wound, allow it to rest, and repeat it almost obsessively until new, clean flesh has filled back in.
Here is a link to that commentary piece. It is such a mess out there right now. We have to push through our reactivity and work together. All of us. And if you don’t want to, then don’t, but at least try not to obstruct growth. I say this with the softest heart.
Here is my response to some of the anger and back and forth, as I attempt to support my friend’s work:
I think our opinions are based on our experience, and our best efforts to be objective. My experiences don’t cancel out yours, and vice versa (speaking in general terms, I mean–one person’s don’t outweigh another’s).
From a psychological perspective, people either understand trauma, lineage of trauma, and epigenetics, or they don’t. And from there, people either identify with trauma, or they do not. It is a coping construct, and some people are able to function more completely by keeping strong barriers around trauma.
Others have to immerse themselves in it, in order to wash it clean. (From themselves.) We are stoic, or we are depressives, or we intoxicate ourselves to near death, to deal with traumas…our own and those around us.
Some people identify with the really long story of the history of colored folks, and that’s ok. (**I chose the words “colored folks” because I notice we are missing the whole story, of all our people of color, and that there is painful history all over–Japanese, Native American, African American, Middle Eastern, etc.) Some people don’t look, at all. Some people look at the last 5-10-15 years. We just all do our best, I think, and we have to understand that nobody is a bad person for trying.
My favorite story–a kid I was treating for absolutely horrible behavior was acting absolutely horrible, and the police were called, and his mom started to tell the officer “he has PTSD,” and the officer said “I know, we all do.”
Identifying with advocacy, by any group, does not make you a fool (or any other name you could be called). It makes you the kid on the playground who understands why we get rigid, or mean, or scared–because of trauma, or epigenetics, or because it’s in your nature.
None of this is directed at you, personally, and I have no assumptions about you at all. I snuck into this stream because I do assume white male feminists who rally for Black Lives Matter are the kids who understood how to feel all the stories, and maybe the whole long stories, and chose big soft kindness for the people who have a horrible history, and I think that’s ok, even when that guy is speaking up too, and it feels a little like a woodpecker trying to break apart the short story world view.
I see people getting hooked by our (**changed from “one another’s”) flawed logic, rather than hunting for the convergence. We really need to ignore a lot of our (**changed from “one another’s”) emotional flagrance, with grace, and hone in on the commonalities.
P.S. Rarely do I justify something I’ve written. This is one topic I feel is so delicate that I must make my process overt. Sensitivity disclaimer: If you find your hackles rising, about any statements, or over-identifying with any of my terms, you are likely getting hooked by my flawed logic. Let me know, and I’d be happy to talk it out…and specifically, when I discuss flawed logic, I am referring to our emotions interfering with our executive functioning, or our anger and fear-based, polarized responses. Kites, whipping in the wind.
Photograph: Weary, Courageous Heart. (Bedhead selfie, black coffee. By Tanya Beard)