November 22nd, 2021
Sometimes I think I’m making a mistake.
I’ve written a lot about how I think the world would be a much better place if everybody was more honest, in real life and on the internet here. I actively encourage it.
But there’s the ugly side of that.
There’s the moments that reveal the parts of people that maybe the rest of the world didn’t need to see, the things that can’t be taken back.
They run the scale of being minor bummers, hiccups to character, to major, irreversible reveals that end relationships (or, at least, the way they used to exist) forever.
I want to say I don’t know if someone’s opinion on Kyle Rittenhouse says anything about who they are as a person.
The part of me that wants to say that is the easier, softer part of me that wants to believe that every human is at least decent on the inside. It’s the part of me that wants to avoid conflict.
I’m afraid that part of me — that part that exists in most of us — is wrong. It’s one of the reasons we are where we are.
I don’t have strong feelings about Kyle himself. I think that he is a perfect product of the system that raised him, a system that identifies him and his “ideals” as something to protect.
I see the dissonance as certain people are discussing the “gray” moral area of the case, when people of color are not afforded the same benefit of doubt.
I find it unsettling that we, as a “progressive” culture, have moved past victim shaming — unless we can find a reason that the victim of anything subjectively deserved what was coming to them, in our deeply biased opinion.
And I am never surprised, but severely distraught, at a system that can find teens of color who have killed the people who have abused, raped, and trafficked them guilty, but can find no charges at all to pin to a good ol’ white boy who found himself exactly where he put himself with the exact ingredients he needed to murder and did just that, twice.
As I see these hot takes take over my feed, I find myself questioning my stance on honesty. How much do I really want to know? Every opinion and feeling on the internet is a door to be explored. And as I find myself opening them, the distance between me and my idea of radical empathy widens, and it hurts in every way to be further separated by my true north star.