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.

Guys, 

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.