Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I have a zero-tolerance policy for racism. But I also have a zero-tolerance policy for anything that unwillingly takes me out of my comfort zone or makes me think about bad things. I mean, it’s a really scary time to be doing nothing from the comfort of your own home. So as we settle into what looks to be another night of protests, here are a few simple steps those taking to the streets can do to make me, the white lady watching at home, more comfortable.
Stop the destruction of property.
I fully support peaceful protests that don’t make me have to think about the centuries of contributing factors that could cause disenfranchised people to reach such a breaking point. This way I can pretty much ignore them entirely. So when I see images of broken glass at my local shopping center that has already been closed for months due to the pandemic that has disproportionally affected people who do not look like me, how am I supposed to feel? When will it be safe for me to go back there now and buy a shirt that says “Good Vibes Only” while I scream at customer service? I’m tired of paying for shipping! This needs to stop, and I will continue to ignore the actual problems to focus on that part. This is what I call “the comfort zone.”
If a cop tells you to do something, do it!
I was pulled over last year for driving recklessly after having a few too many apple martinis at my local Outback and GUESS WHAT PEOPLE. After I gave the cop my PBA card and told him all the officers I’m related to, he let me go scot-free! He even escorted me home and told me to tell my Uncle Pete what’s up. And if anyone in my family still talked to Uncle Pete after he beat up Aunt Cathy I totally would have! You see, pleasant interactions with law enforcement are totally possible as long as you are born into a type privilege you make zero effort to try and understand. So don’t tell me the protestors aren’t to blame! That would make me feel weird!
Accept whatever minimal or out of touch input I am willing to give.
Let’s focus on what really matters, and that’s congratulating me for whatever share button I am willing to press so I can return to not giving a shit ASAP.
Do not make me look at graphic images!
It feels like I can’t even log in to Facebook these days to share a low-res meme or important quiz results without seeing an unpleasant image. Do I need to see images of peaceful civilians being teargassed while exercising their rights or journalists whose job and safety is vital to democracy being attacked before my very eyes? If you want to look at that stuff that’s fine, but you shouldn’t make me, a white lady using a free platform and making her own rules for what should be on it, uncomfortable. Sure my husband might be in the basement watching violent porn on a shared computer, but at least we never speak to each other!
Keep politics out of it.
We have a rule in my house. No politics at the dinner table or ever around Uncle Pete. I mean, this is about something else entirely anyway isn’t it!? Wait, isn’t it?
Above all else I’d just like the protestors to stay focused on the issue at hand, which is keeping me, a white lady who posted incessantly against the peaceful protest before her violent sports game a few years ago, comfortable. My life while sitting on this couch matters too! Even though literally nobody has ever said it didn’t. BLM!