Things We Lose In The Fire

Back in the day, when Matters did have some consequence and I was writing on a blog that spared no one, I had a default reply to anyone who threw down on me with a nasty comment. It went something like this.

Go fuck yourself. 

It didn’t end there. Because I’m nothing if not respectful to those I hurl insults at, as dichotomous as that sounds. I feel that if you’re going to engage in name calling with me, Imma clap back with my particulars in bold faced detail. This is because I want to make clear that I refuse to be sucker punched by someone looking to bully me with words.

And let’s face it, social media is a greenhouse for peeps who wish to hit and run. They shout you down as being an -ist and then they flee the scene of the crime because they don’t have proof of assurance. Who needs to be pliable when you can be libel? And get away with it. Sweet deal.

I want to share an exchange I had with a reader of my blog back in 2007. He replied to a post I wrote about Michael Vick after the Atlanta Falcons QB was arrested for his involvement in a dog fighting ring. As happens with peeps who do bad shit, Vick “found” God in the aftermath of his crimes. So I wrote a post in which I speculated on what a phone call between Vick and God would look like. Needless to say, it didn’t end well for Vick.

I’ll narrate the exchange, starting with his comment to my post.


The “culture” thing I agree has been misused by some so-called black leaders to the point of boredom. However, one has only to look at the “Jena 6” to realize that the spectre of racism/cultural double-standard is alive and well. Instead of talking about Mike Vick’s depravity against dogs, how about spotlighting the foul shit that’s going down in the back bayous of good ole’ Louisiana. PLEASE Don’t get “tired” to the point of being blind. Like you stated “What’s wrong is just wrong.”

I know we all want to live in the Utopia States of America, but the fact is the racial/cultural bias in some parts of this country is alive and well. I wonder what your take on this case is, and will you write a “funny” little vignette about it? By the way the lack of national (around the clock) coverage for this case, as opposed to the Vick case, is what’s really insulting to the black community.

Okay, now at this point I could have Napalmed his opinion. But he wasn’t name calling or engaging in sophomoric assaults. His was an opinion that differed from mine. Simple as that. So I responded with this.

The difference between the Vick story and the Jena 6 story is that one involves high school kids and the other involves a grown man. Vick should have known better; his horrible judgement leaves him wide open to satirists and Op-ed junkies. His newfound relationship with God (sic) notwithstanding, I believe Vick is simply a bad guy who will hide behind anything- from the law to God and back again- in order to work his way out of the hole he dug in the first place.

Those kids in Jena? Just a little different, don’t you think? There is nothing in the world I could do to “funny” up what those kids went through as a result of a racial chasm they did not ask for nor deserve to be victims of.

Hypocrisy is fodder, and I’m an equal opportunity offender. Last I looked, Larry Craig was a white Senator from Idaho. He hid behind family values while living a lifestyle he supposedly abhorred. He gets slammed. Vick gets slammed. It’s my blog, my opinion.

We don’t believe in sacred cows here. No one is beyond our reach; black or white, man or woman, Dem or GOP. And what we’re really tired of is a homogenized news cycle that shows a brilliant propensity for missing the point. We want the point, as I believe you do, to be driven home. Why Vick over Jena? Indeed.

And as far as the bayou is concerned, we both know it’s not necessary to travel to the swamps to find the depths. It’s everywhere.

I appreciate your comments, I really do. And believe it or not, I offer no wisecracking comebacks to you, because I believe you are coming at me from the heart. I like that, I respect that. And I invite that.

I don’t feel as if you’ve called me out on this one; but rather, you’ve asked me to see another side. And I do, I try, and where I fail, please let me know. The worst I will do is disagree, but I won’t ignore a thoughtful attempt.

And he came back at me, not with vitriol, but with this.

Thoughtful response. Much appreciated and respected. I think I’ll continue to read your blog.

True to his word, he read us and he would comment from time to time. And like . . . wow, right? Two people, one black and one white . . disagreeing with each other in harmony. And to think, back then we used to wonder where the world was going to?

Now I wonder where it went.

32 thoughts on “Things We Lose In The Fire

  1. B,

    Excellent share from back when. It is so true that the Internets has “given permission” to peeps to insult, lie, attack, etc.’behind closed doors’ so to speak.

    What a brilliant way to put it: “And let’s face it, social media is a greenhouse for peeps who wish to hit and run. They shout you down as being an -ist and then they flee the scene of the crime because they don’t have proof of assurance. Who needs to be pliable when you can be libel? And get away with it. Sweet deal.” You do have a gift, my friend.

    As to your response. Perfection. Imagine that? Disagreement that didn’t end in bloodshed. What a novel idea!

    Would that we could all learn to do so.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      I felt it was appropriate to “respond” in a way that kind of highlights what can happen when peeps unleash on someone. Because the more I think on it, the more I am really pissed about it. But to what degree, you know? If I unleash in kind, I say things that are untrue. And to just engage in the same manner as was thrust upon me seems an ill conceived strategy. And I’m not a hater.

      Thank you lovely.

      It happens all the time. Problem is, our news peeps don’t cover it because it doesn’t generate ratings.

      We need to find a better way. For everybody’s sake.


      Liked by 1 person

      • I apologise for hitting “like” and running without finishing my comment! Was gonna be late for work!

        It was appropriate and you responded brilliantly. He didn’t unleash on you but brought an argument, so to speak, that spoke to him and this created a discussion. And you are absolutely right. When we unleash in kind, without taking the time to think about what to say we all turn into haters.

        Most welcome.

        True dat. New ain’t newsworthy unless it’s full of fear and hate.

        We do!

        Liked by 1 person

        • So you engaged in a like and run. Which is not the same thing as a hit and run. You are completely forgiven since you had a note from work. 🙂

          To paraphrase Martin Luther King, combining hate with hate makes the whole world blind. There is no value in hate, so it stands to reason that when you compile the stuff, it creates a powder keg.

          Fear and hate sells. Sad to say.


          Liked by 1 person

          • That I did! So glad my note passed 😉

            Martin Luther King was a very wise man… of course. That’s why they gunned him down. All those who try to spread love instead of hate, compassion instead of misunderstanding, growth instead of remaining stale – seem to meet the end of a bullet…

            It does. Very sad.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Welp, you have a special exemption seeing as how you have the keys here.

            King, the Kennedy Brothers. Yep, shake up the establishment and you put yourself in the cross hairs. But I fear what might have been if these three men had never come along to set us on a better course? Because it seems as if there has been a vacuum ever since they left us. Incremental changes have happened, but almost if not all of it has been the result of what they started.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sweet. Feeling particularly privileged 😉

            Yep. Exactly what who i was thinking of when I made my comment. And oh no… They had to be – they definitely had a role to place, no matter how short a time they were here.

            Liked by 1 person

          • As you is. As we are to have ya here!

            To think of all the good they did in that short period of time. Because the painful question then becomes, how much better off might we all be if they’d lived?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Aw shucks.

            Exactly. They all did so much good. And that thought I’d rather not have… because it is filled with “coulda shoulda woulda”…

            Liked by 1 person

          • I know. It’s just that, on the other side of those three? We got Charles Manson, Nixon, Watergate, Vietnam, Inflation, Son of Sam, Ted Bundy and the Iranian hostage crisis. And that was only the first decade after! Ugh . . .

            Liked by 1 person

  2. that is awesome – two have the differences and engage the mind exchanges with dignity.
    and this post has your usual dense sentences that are layered with social intelligence richness –
    like this
    “social media is a greenhouse for peeps who wish to hit and run. ”

    oh and one more thing about Vick –
    he was not just an adult – he was a superstar in the limelight – and that adds more to it – eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prior,

      Intelligent discourse is possible, still. I hope. It just feels as if people are so afraid to have disagreements anymore, and that is dangerous.

      It angered me beyond belief when the Eagle gave him a shot to return to the game after his release from prison. Their coach at the time, Andy Reid, played as if he was Father Flanagan. You hit on a big point here. These NFL players that get “second chances” are really on their third chance, or more. In Vick’s case, I don’t think he should have been allowed to play again, but that’s me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder too, Marc. I was gratified in that post being a dog fighting scumbag and post arrogant asshole, Vick was finished. I know he doesn’t have to collect aluminum cans to survive but dignity and honor went out the window. Of course, a guy like that wouldn’t know the meaning of those words. Thanks for showing that folks can disagree and remain civil. You are the best Pilgrim.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s true, I looked up social media in my Thesaurus and it says: “hit and run.” People facing one another, more than likely, would NEVER hurl most of what gets shared on social platforms which seems like a good thing. Still I can’t help but wonder if the ratio for gun purchases has gone up significantly since social media is the way we tend to {cough} communicate. For the record, whether on a platform or in person, I doubt there is anything merit worthy to say about the Vick, be it finding God or anything else. The man is a terrible stain on humanity. Period. Kudos to you for remarkable and admirable self restraint. In my mind, I lost my sh*t just reading the exchange.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As I like to say, there is a difference between right-wrong and agree-disagree. I must admit that in almost 11 years of blogging, I never had an exchange that ended like that. Meanwhile, in our world of partisan hacks, social media, reality TV, and the promotion of fake news, no wonder discussions are few and far between.

    A bit late on this one – but hey – Reds still in last (5h) place – but only 4.5 GB out of first. A win today would be HUGE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a refreshing change. To have a dialogue in which two people debated without name calling. How novel . . .

      A win by the Reds today would be the biggest win in the history of big wins!


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