I bleed Dodger Blue. Similarly to Major League Baseball’s general response to neo-racialism in the pandemic era, I am not an activist.
A frenzy of finger-pointing and guilt-tripping has pervaded society since May 2020. It has taken the form of an oppressive tidal wave of groupthink. Your apathy or reasoned skepticism may subject you to condemnation. The condemnation is a deviant form of “reverse” generalizations and stereotypes of a sort the very people slinging them make pretentious displays of opposing and speaking out against.
Accusation: You don’t think Blacks are oppressed?
Accusation: You don’t think POC are systemically abused and exploited?
Accusation: Surely you’re not arguing immigrants are not enslaved by bad White man’s institutional power structure?
You are racist. Canceled!
I, Bartleby, yours truly, am a POC.
I am a person of brownish tint; I am a darker tone that your typical Nordic specimen. I don’t do ethnic identity, it bores me. I’ll just say that the national flag of that familial territory I call the land of my forebears has an eagle on it. And if you are autistic enough to search this out, you’ll note several countries have flags with eagles on them. My ancestral home’s flag displays an eagle that is holding a reptile in its beak. Enough hints?
Regardless of my background, you will never hear me whine about my mistreatment at the hands of White people. I simply to do not care. I prefer to believe there is a saintly dignity in self-reliance and resilience in the face of [whatever slight you perceive is denying your rights].
Stoic persistence squaring off against perceived (and real) adversity offers a greater measure of accomplishment than the virtuous ego-stroking bled from the trite commiseration by White people who don’t have the gonads to dispense with hard truths. Namely: chin up, gather your delicate ego and barrel on. As a dissolute poet once wrote, “do not go gentle into that good night.” Many people settle into a darkness of a good night’s enveloping self-pity and cushy victimization because they are lazy. Puzzling as it seems to me, many find the energy expenditure from wagging accusatory fingers is less exhausting than shedding hyperbolic tears at every perceived slight.
In the year 2020, I was introduced to a novel consideration of myself: an evil racist. Why did this happen? It was the George Floyd effect. I was unapologetic in my lack of sympathy. He was the most ill-suited symbol of racial repression imaginable. If he symbolized anything, it was the perils of unemployment, drug abuse, poverty, and rootlessness. There was nothing explicitly “Black” about that. There was no sane reason to deify the man as anything other than what he was. A shiftless street dweller, a drug addict looking to get everything for nothing in order to buy drugs. If the Black community chose to align with the Floydian archetype as its tormented representative, good on them. I can’t concern myself with their “plight” when it is reduced to such a mundane context.
This is Thoughtcrime, circa 2021.
Twenty-twenty-one’s culture is suffused with racial platitudes that sound like regurgitated human resources handbook consternation. So long as only the NFL and NBA bantered such social campaigns, it didn’t concern me. I despise football’s plodding boredom and I practice an avid disinterest in basketball’s gimmicky celebrity culture, so those leagues’ laments were far removed from my field of vision. I saw the racial shenanigans of some of the overpaid crybabies in those sports as a quirk “they” had. Not something that affected my precious MLB which was unable to collectively conjure the butt-hurt quotient that the NFL shamelessly exploited.
The MLB has been comparatively resistant to that peculiarly jock-minded Woke virtue, but all things must come to an end.
Friday, in the wake of Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal in the Wisconsin courtroom at 10am (PDT local), the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, the team’s charity appendage, released a meandering statement that was posted on Twitter and Facebook (then curiously removed from Twitter shortly thereafter).
Almost 4 hours after the verdict, the Foundation posted this.
In such a blathering social justice-minded marshmallow recursive pile up of talking points, the Foundation parrots tired concepts that have nothing to do with Kyle Rittenhouse even though the implication, coming so quickly on the heels of the acquittal, points to the Wisconsin trial.
Perhaps the opening sentence can be construed as such, though it unironically supports Rittenhouse.
Today, we are further inspired to advocate for a judicial system that protects the population that we serve.
If Rittenhouse was found guilty, this opener would have led to entirely different connotations of a more culturally palatable flavor. With Rittenhouse’s acquittal, the context shifted to a more dissenting narrative. The judicial system did protect the population it serves which, incidentally, includes people of all colors and inclinations, including right-wing Whites. The Foundation’s pre-fabricated statement covers all possible outcomes, but rapidly flies off the rails with passages intended to reflect a narrative painted by Rittenhouse’s fictional conviction.
As the nation focuses on how justice is unfairly distributed, we will continue to tackle the most pressing problems facing Los Angeles, especially as it relates to access and equality.
Maybe we should focus on how it is fairly distributed. Social commentary must be balanced if our agenda is to be consistent and sincere, but one must wonder if the social justice industry considers such pursuits worthy of its time and balance sheet.
Through a social justice lens, we will continue to run and fund programs that aim to level the playing field and invest in community-driven solutions.
There is so much work to do. No matter how painful, we’re fueled by unwavering empathy and compassion.
This is semantic busywork that had little to do with the Rittenhouse verdict. Instead, it expressed an overarching hollow philosophy that resembles default PR lip service you’d see in a typical corporation’s public definition of its social justice strategy. The formula is established and tired: feeble concern for everyone, everywhere, but especially for those that the social justice industry compartmentalizes into appropriate victim classes in order to perpetuate a dialogue that group A suffers most.
A hierarchy of suffering defined by a complacent, spoiled society.