• Further Diagnosis Of The Underlying Terminal Illness.

    When it comes to blogs that cater somewhat to black American audiences, you'll always have people who feel the need to espouse their opinion on issues that largely involve black Americans, without giving any thought to the context of the discussion or recognizing how they overestimate their own understanding of the discussion at hand. The only thing that matters to such people is that they have their opinions "out there," as they believe they are entitled to under the concepts of free speech.

    A number of blogs have suffered from individuals who stumble in said discussions and dictate their own opinions, drawn from experiences that may be alien or inapplicable to the situations alluded to in the discussions. They expect everyone else to stop and listen, thereby becoming the center of attention by presenting themselves as a sage bearer of advice. Such advice usually comes from a perspective that's had zero experience with the discussion subjects or anything remotely similar.

    Then there are those who have no intention but to disrupt the flow of normal discourse or to bring the discussion so far off track that any hope of coming back to the original discussion is soon lost. Killing debate through noise keeps people from discussing, sharing and generating ideas and solutions to problems that plague the black community, especially on blogs, forums and other relatively open mediums for discourse.

    Ankhesen MiƩ lays out the ground rules for her blog and even goes so far as to patiently explain why her moderation policies are set up the way they are. Below is commentator M. Gibson's explanation as to why certain individuals feel duty-bound to stumble into conversations with nary a clue:

    I think some whites stay to appropriate the words and the sentiment behind our frustration. But they absorb nothing, so it changes nothing. They learn to speak the language of diversity but its life-changing effect is lost on them. They’re overly opinionated; believing their words come strictly from an ‘Objective’ point of view. Because they know how we POC tend to allow emotion to cloud the issue. Blind to their own conditioning they will call you a race-baiting so and so for calling their so-called conditioning into question. You’re nothing but a minority in their eyes and therefore your opinion really doesn’t matter.

    To them you obviously have a chip on your shoulder and should be approached in that light. Their privilege/ignorance hangs on every word; it seasons every point they try to make. They cannot empathize with the person of color (the beginning of wisdom) and frankly they can’t understand why they should. It’s why I asked Jas0n why was he here because he consistently failed to step beyond the white narrative. With each new argument he always seemed to take the side favorable to the very thing you called out. It wasn’t about agreeing with you, it was about his lack of empathy. He couldn’t put himself in the shoes of POC and so he was always on the outside looking in.

    "So when white people come here and give me their opinions on issues they cannot fully and usually don't want to understand, comment deletion is often imminent. This blog isn't for them. It's not here for their benefit, and 90% of the time, what they have to say doesn't help the cause."

    “Why is it always about you people?” they'll ask. "Don't just focus on race all the time," they insist. Sadly, they fail to see the forest for the trees, for they can’t understand why any blog would focus on POC when there are more important issues to explore. In this way they can control the narrative to suit their ends. Pretty soon it’s all about them isn’t it.

    To put it in a not-so-polite manner, it's a manifestation of "Attention Whore" syndrome on a digital scale: the drive to dominate the discussion regardless of the topic, combined with a lack of desire to understand the subject matter. It's the "pretty white girl shedding a tear in public after being embarrassed/corrected/shamed by a peer of color" ploy -- enter with several casually flung tone-deaf assessments of the situation with "solutions" for the poor people in the discussion to faithfully follow, only to cry bias and "reverse racism/black racism/whatever admonishment towards blacks" when you're asked to stop hijacking the discussion.

    "Slavery, racism, and segregation are in the past. We shouldn't talk about them anymore. Talking about racism is what keeps it alive."

    Boilerplate dismissals such as the one above are what keeps racism alive. Dismissal fosters apathy, which in turn fosters an environment where people can marginalize and discredit other voices with ease, without consequence. Telling someone they shouldn't talk about racism anymore because it makes you feel uncomfortable is the height of tone-deafness.

    Remember the words of John Cole. Sometimes, it's best to simply step back, shut the fuck up and listen. You might learn a thing or two.