Hi Guys, Welcome to my blog, sorry I’ve not posted in a while I’ve been unwell but hopefully, I’m on the mend!
Ok so warning first: I've have no doubts that some of the contents of this article may be offensive to some, but please understand this is not my intention, My intention is to make people think for themselves, open their hearts and minds and form their own opinion. This world is becoming too Orwellian and causing hatred due to fear of what is and isn't socially acceptable. So please sit back and read, form your own thoughts and try not to be offended.....
Well so this happened I saw an article in the Daily Mail online and it kind of riled me up a little. It was about how Students at York University got upset because a lecturer used a word now deemed offensive to the black community, The thing is it was a class on race and included quotations from a book by called The Philadelphia Negro by William Edward Burghardt DuBois, an African-American sociologist and civil rights activist. You can read the article here:
It got to me that rather than focusing on learning about race and the particular struggles of African Americans some of these students got offended and struggled to understand that at the time W.E.B DuBois wrote this book it was socially acceptable to use the word “negro” by the whole world, Jeez William was a black man after all so why get offended by an historical text written by a man who chose to use this word as the title and subject for his book? These students couldn’t get past the current state of affairs in the world and chose to get offended without pausing to think about the past and what was or wasn’t socially acceptable at the time, they failed to see that DuBois who in 1895 was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University deemed this world socially acceptable and instead of learning from his work and their lecturer these chose to close their minds and just focus on how offensive this word is today in 2019, they should be thinking about why is was acceptable then and not now, about why Dubois chose to write this book and about how the human race can learn and grow by learning from such academics and texts. What a waste of time to go to university and fail to learn anything because you find everything so offensive.
You can read about W.E.B DuBois here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._E._B._Du_Bois
I was that riled up by The Daily Mail Article that I posted about it on Facebook and three of my friends commented, The first is a man I’ve known a short while and only met once, but he is funny smart and not afraid to speak his mind, the second is a man I’ve known many years, he’s had his struggles and is very opinionated about many things and can be quite offensive, he also has some good points and I know I can rely on him if I need a friend. The third person is my dear Annie, she’s a young 20 something trans women who for some crazy reason is head over heels in love and in a relationship with one of my brothers (sorry Jono, you know I love you but it takes a strong dedicated woman to keep you to heel lol, so look after Annie she is possibly the best thing that ever happened to you). I asked all three if it was ok to post screenshots from the thread in my blog and they all said yes.
Marc was the first to make a valuable comment, his words gave me food for thought. He’s not a man who is easily offended but like me fears being branded offensive by what we say or post and made this point in is comment.
Then my friend Christopher whom I’ve known for a while now posted his comment, Christopher doesn’t seem to care who he offends. Upon replying to Marc’s comment, he simply wrote “I'm 'anti-trans' and proud.” To be honest I wouldn’t have expected anything less from him, he’s very intolerant of many things, even me at times. But like I said he does have his good points. At this point Annie saw his comment and reacted with a angry face, so I thought I’d better phone her and make sure she was ok, she was a little annoyed but wasn’t too angry as she has faced worse abuse personally because of her transition, she asks me a very good question and peaked my curiosity. She asked me why this man is so “Anti-trans”, I couldn’t give her the answer so suggested she go to the source and ask him directly. So, she did……
Christopher gave us some silly answers but nothing viable, now Annie was a student at York University last year and studied history, she’s a font of knowledge when it comes to history and I sometimes ask her to help me with my work. But still Christopher gave us no viable answer. After reading the comments between Christopher and Annie I though maybe it’s not that he hates certain minorities but fears them and fears change has he used words such as….. “normal - folk” and “Socially acceptable”.
So, I decided to say me piece, I wrote….
“Thing is Christopher Phobia means fear, so it's not that people hate certain minorities, it's that they fear them. trust me Annie Partridge would never try to change your perception or beliefs, she just wants to know what makes you fear these minorities and why? I'm tolerant of all life, choices, views, beliefs and opinions. What I fear is violence in any form for no good reason and sheep I fear sheep. I fear violence because I was a victim a few years ago as you know, you saw the aftermath and how it broke something inside me for good, I never want to be in that situation and feel like that ever again and I still don't know why it happened it just did. I fear sheep because they look kind of alien and had a bad experience with one as a child. So why do you fear these minorities Christopher? X”
Before asking outright why Christopher was afraid, I offered up two of my fears and the reason why I have them, the first is Violence, I fear violence of any kind because of an event that happened to me 7 years ago I did this because I thought showing him it was okay to be afraid and admit it and thought he might actually open up. In this thread it’s the first time I’ve actually spoken deeply about it since it happened, people still don’t believe me when I say I can’t remember much about the attack or who did it including Christopher, but honestly I don’t and perhaps it’s best not to remember I’m healing now so what’s the point of opening up old wounds?. Now I do view Chris as a good friend and he saw the aftermath of this event up close and personal, he knows how it has affected me and how it still does so his next comment really pissed me off for two reasons one, he said “you got yourself in that situation and refused to talk about it” Two he ended his comment with “I fear nothing except failure and have no animosity to your queer friend: happy Christmas xx”, now back in the day the word queer had a whole different context, it meant strange or odd, but I know full well what context Christopher was using it in and he didn’t deny it when I called him out.
At this point I think Christopher realised he’d majorly pissed me off made a couple of other comments and didn’t comment for a while later but still didn’t give a viable answer.
Annie also added her own comment on the article and York University, as a recent student of this university she informed me “this is only the tip of the iceberg regarding a university snowflake subculture which seeks to find offence in nearly every sphere of life. You are totally correct in defending the work and academic views as well as the academic overall merit of this particular sociologist. Having been at this university to do my bachelors, people who seek a fight over every little thing can be found by turning over any chosen rock on campus”. So, I guess that going to any university at this point in time would be utterly useless for someone like me who likes to form my own thoughts and opinions and learn freely. I feel I would be mentally and spiritually suffocated and perhaps persecuted because I don’t easily become offended and do like to speak my mind and ask the hard questions.
Now even without a viable answer from Christopher I realised it’s not hate that drives racism or division of minorities, it’s fear (I guess it was in the terms Transphobia, Homophobia and Islamophobia, Phobia or fear is what they all end with but when I see any of these terms I ways think it means hateful first). Until this thread I never thought to ask what makes a person fear a particular minority and why. I myself don’t see any particular race or minority I just see humans, not skin colour, not gender, not sexual orientation just people, to me what counts is who you are, how you treat me and how you treat those around you. Some are good, some are bad, some or saints and others a just pure evil but in the end, we are all human. We all think and feel things differently, we have free will to make the choices we do. To me all humans are beautiful and potentially deadly it’s just sad that fear drives us to do a say terrible things at time, fear of change, fear of what is socially acceptable and fear of truly opening our hearts and minds to the world and becoming a better race. As for university’s it seems that there is an Orwellian Culture seeping in as with the rest of the world and it’s not the kind of world I want to live in we should be able to speak our minds and our hearts without fear of violence or persecution. I don’t condone any form of hate or violence but I’m not green I know that the human condition makes us fearful, hateful and violent as a whole, so as much as I’d love world peace and for everyone to just get along I also know this will never happen.
Well after stewing and thinking about the Facebook thread and all involved, with it being the season of good and the fact I didn’t like the thought of animosity between friends I offered an olive branch in the form of a pint to Christopher which he accepted. I know some of you reading this will ask why I’m friends with someone who is openly racist and transphobic well the fact is he’s only human and perhaps one day he’ll overcome his fears and open his heart and mind and apart from the mentioned flaws he is a good friend and does have a good heart. Annie and Jono are spending their first Christmas together I can’t wait for stories and photographs and hop it’s the best so far and the first of many. Marc well, he’s skint but I hope to catch up soon and me well as you can see the subject of alcohol as come up a few times throughout this post, so I guess you all know what I’ll be up to.
Please feel free to add your thoughts and comments on any of this article, but please be polite and don’t get so easily offended. This article is intended to induce free thinking and reduce fear.
Merry Christmas to all, fight the fear and open your hearts and minds.
©Lisa Varty for The Derbeian Magazine