You know how they say that people have their online persona, and then there’s who they really are?
Well, I’m the opposite. My online persona (and those that know me both on and off line can attest to this) is my real life persona…once you get to know me. My real life persona before you get to know me is rather…aloof…shy…guarded. I don’t say much, I often have my default resting bitch face going on…I’m just sitting back, taking it all in.
I’ve never had someone who first met me online and then met me in person tell me I was different. I can’t tell you how many people who first met me either didn’t like me or thought I was strange…until they got to know me. Or probably more to the point, I let them get to know me.
It’s just one of my little quirks. I tell you this so that I can explain another quirk of mine: inappropriate reactions to situations. Again, those who know me, are used to them, but they are strange and confusing to those who don’t.
Case in point: this article came through my Facebook feed yesterday. Basically, a <strike>silly white</strike> woman was mad that she lost an election to a black woman and made her feelings known during a Facebook conversation. By throwing out the dreaded n-word.
And by “n-word,” I mean nigger.
In a public conversation. Like on her wall.
All of my friends who shared it were outraged. They called her names, denounced her, you name it. It was nice to see that people were appalled.
My reaction? I laughed and called her a silly white woman. When I shared it, I added the comment, “Aww…you mad sis? LOL”
Confused? I find racism such as that hysterical. Not hysterical in the same vein as, “OMG…did you see Chris Rock’s new act yet?” hysterical. Not, “You have got to watch Sad Cat Diary on YouTube!” kind of hysterical. More like, “If I don’t laugh at this foolishness I’m probably gonna cry and there will be no stopping the years in this lifetime,” hysterical. It just comes out in laughter.
Inevitably, someone will comment, sometimes publicly but usually in a private message, that my response seems “off.” They mean “inappropriate, but they can’t bring themselves to call me out that much about it. Which I appreciate. To a point.
So, I’m going to take a moment and explain briefly why A. I react that way and B. Why I don’t really care if you like it or not. I’ll start with B.:
If I’m the one being called the name, I get to react to it any way I want. If I want to laugh about it, if I want to cry about it, if I want to go to my basement or my attic and scream and break things over it, that’s MY prerogative. Your approval is neither requested nor required.
I know that those who call me on my reaction are really just confused and don’t understand. These are also often the same people who make the comments that we’re all human beings and we should treat each other as such. I agree. But there’s one problem.
Most racists don’t see US as humans. We’re animals to them. We are to be contained, trained and controlled at best, put down like a rabid beast at worst. I haven’t found a way to combat that yet, since it an internal issue that a person has to work through on his or her own. So, I steer clear of it and I laugh at the sheer idiocy of it.
Sidenote: No, I don’t know why it’s okay for black folks to say nigger and white people can’t, because black folks don’t say nigger. It’s nigga. No “ER,” with an “A.” You’ll seldom hear me say it because I really don’t jive with the idea of “taking it back.” It was never ours to begin with.
Anyway, back to my original point. A. I already said why. If I don’t laugh at the utter laziness of a person who can’t be bothered to find something to criticize past the color of my skin, I might lose my mind. It’s common knowledge that I am an acquired taste. Not everyone likes me, and I’m okay with that. Ask anyone who doesn’t like me and she or he can list several legitimate reasons. But a person who can’t be bothered to know me well enough to find a legitimate reason to hate on me (seriously, five minutes, that’s all it will take!), well they don’t deserve tears, they deserve a laugh, a shake of the head and me forgetting they even exist.
I don’t know if you’re more or less confused about me, but hey,we’ve got time. Maybe I’ll make complete and total sense to you someday. My apologies in advance. ;-)