Searching for a safe space

“To those who would threaten their sense of safety, we are watching.”

Obviously you shouldn’t hurt people. Violence is never a rational response, rather an answer only small-minded people believe can bring about change unless they’re using violence to stifle it. But the zombies copying and pasting this message on Facebook, those who can’t find an original thought to describe the situation, need to consider what “sense of safety” means. (Oh, and that’s a nice veiled threat at the end. You’re watching? I don’t feel safe when you use words like that.)

The safe space is a lie. If the Founding Fathers were alive today — well, if they were alive today, they’d spend an hour staring at cars and they’d be mesmerized by phones. “What devil magic is this?” But then they’d have a good laugh at your safe space. People have the right to free speech and expression or, as I call it, the right to idiocy.

For example, you can fly the Confederate flag, but that won’t stop me from thinking you’re a moron. Look through the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. Hey, what’s this in Article IV, Section 3?

the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and by the Territorial government

But sure, talk to this Florida native about the war over states’ rights.

Anyway, the right to idiocy is certainly being well-exercised at these protests, clouding several legitimate concerns of the human condition and man’s inhumanity to man. There are obviously differences between my lifestyle and my daily interactions compared to students of color. I haven’t had an easy life by any stretch, but some would love to have the kind of problems I have instead of their own. Some Pollyanna writing for Total Sorority Move compared discrimination on the basis of race to sorority girls being called bimbos. That’s like getting a paper cut and comparing it to a stabbing.

I’m having a hard time understanding this as a white man. I hear about the need for racial awareness, but I thought the civil rights leaders of the 1960s wanted the opposite — that we would see people, sisters and brothers, instead of race. Maybe I’m misinterpreting Dr. King’s message.

And since there is no safe space, I can’t hide from your comments. Because — here’s a crazy thought — sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you.

One more important reminder: we’re supposed to be friends. Of course we can disagree. We can wildly disagree on several issues and still be great friends. Let’s keep that in mind too, that it’s on us to find common ground wherever we can because we’re not making this journey alone.