1. “This isn’t what I voted for!” posts.
No, dumbass, this is exactly what you voted for. It was clear what he was from day one. Own it.
2. “You shouldn’t punch Nazis because…” posts.
The interstitial space between “I would punch a Nazi” posts and “You shouldn’t punch a Nazi” posts is filled with ignorance and privilege. Who the fuck are you to tell people what to do when threatened? You see a photo of white dudes with tiki torches and maybe think nothing. Me? I see the haircuts and the polo shirts and get flashbacks of every job interview in the past two years: “Do you have your Green Card?” “Where’s your accent from?” “Are you comfortable reading and writing in English?” “Wow, you’re very eloquent!” I recall that student of mine who almost cost me my job because he thought it’d be funny to ask the only black woman in class, a first generation Jamaican immigrant, if black folks really love chicken. Hell, I even hear the property manager at my first place of residence in Austin: “Puerto Rico? Where in Mexico is that?” These knuckles have seen a lot of blood, sometimes for stuff that now strikes me as dumb. I’ve had six cops on top of me trying to keep me from a guy who messed with my sister. You don’t know my history with anger or violence or racism. You don’t know the experiences and history of those inhabiting Otherness daily, so you don’t get to tell them what to do. Ever. And you can doubt their promises of righteous violence as much as you want, but don’t be surprised when they prove you wrong.
3. “Black Lives Matter/Antifa are the real terrorists” posts.
Neither of those groups is perfect, but comparing them to what they stand against shows your colors big time.
4. “But freedom of speech!” posts.
Freedom of speech is fine. In fact, everyone holding up a swastika and spewing hate is exercising their constitutional right. However, there are consequences. You’re free to find the hardest looking motherfucker in the bar and tell him he’s your bitch, but don’t cry when you start spitting teeth. Access to the marketplace of ideas and the freedom to say whatever you want doesn’t mean you get to keep the respect of others or your job or your teeth. Furthermore, when your entire speech is about hatred, ethnic cleansing, taking rights away from others, and the subjugation of freedom, you put yourself in a position that threatens to eliminate the free speech of others. Lastly, when people see that your speech might lead to seeing their friend or themselves end up like Emmett Till, it’s normal for them to take precautionary measures.
5. “You should just ignore Nazis and they’ll go away” posts.
Grab a history book. You’re wrong. They never went away to begin with. When there’s something poisoning your blood, you take antibiotics to make it go way. If you sit at home and try talk it out with the infection, you die. Racism is a sickness that has been a part of this country since the start, and the current political panorama is letting the virus float to the surface.
6. “Well, why don’t you just kill them then?” posts.
We’re not there yet. We were there before. The orange asshole is letting bigots get comfortable. They’re feeling good about themselves. A few well-placed punches might scare them a bit and send them back to the places they were in before. Nah, they won’t disappear, but they won’t be out and about like now. It’s not a permanent solution, but afraid and hiding is a good start. And make no mistake about it: if the violence and beatings increase, you’ll see blood and death.
7. “Yes here/no there” posts/comments.
I see you mufuckas agreeing with one post and then agreeing elsewhere with the opposite. Good to know some of you have such strong convictions.
8. “I said something and people disagreed with me so I won’t be posting my political opinions any longer” posts.
Oh, good to know you’re the victim here. Also, welcome to Facebook. People disagree with each other here like it’s a fucking sport. Last but not least, maybe your opinions aren’t that necessary when you’re trying to silence POC, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and even white folks who recognize when there’s a problem and are willing to put their bodies on the line to protect others.
9. “My discourse is flimsy, so I’ll joke about it” posts.
The best/worst thing about becoming really good at discourse analysis on an academic level is that you learn to see bullshit pretty quickly. There are many weak arguments out there, and I see them all. I also see the jokes you try to use to try to cover it up. You want to comment on the situation, so you gran a bit from here, a touch from your racist family member that you don’t want to see punched in the face, and a dash of humor and write a post that makes no sense and adds nothing to the conversation you so vehemently insist we need to have.
10. “It’s a slippery slope” posts.
When all my education fails, I turn to my inner code of ethics. There’s right and then there’s wrong. You don’t debate the merits of child molesters. You don’t defend bigots, abusers, and rapists. You want to see innocents dead or trampled? Fuck you. Those are barrio politics, and they make sense to me. That is instinctual behavior for me; to stick up for the abused, especially when he or she has done nothing wrong. There is no slippery slope and you know it, but using that excuse for your inaction makes you feel smarter and better than everybody else. Well, fuck that.
I could go on, but this is long enough as it is. And I’m not here to debate you. I know where I stand, and I don’t need you to agree or to stand with me. I don’t even comment on your posts when they’re part of the list above. And for those who agree, much love.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS (Broken River Books),HUNGRY DARKNESS (Severed Press), and GUTMOUTH (Eraserhead Press). His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist. Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbcide, and many other print and online venues. You can find him on Twitter at@Gabino_Iglesias