As much as I like to play a disinterested fool on the Internet, I’m pretty dang sensitive and probably more than most. I’m a highly idealistic person (not like in an elitist way but in a “everyone’s humanity should be respected” way), and it’s hard for me not to get my heart broken just about every day. I become enraged when I hear about the many innocent people discriminated against, bullied, hurt, and murdered every day in this country because of the color of their skin, their sex/gender identity, or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We claim we’re better than that, but we’re not. I won’t list all of them off to you, but the past 18-24 months have been grueling in terms of tragedy in America.
I’ve got outrage/compassion fatigue. I know I’m not the only one. I’m not special.
I’ve been avoiding articles like this one all week because I can’t take anymore. I’m constantly faced with articles and videos in my various feeds on everything from bombings, shootings, murders, rape, various injustices, and the like. I wish I could set a filter in my Tweetdeck for “depressing” to be rid of it for a while, but no one tags their shit as #depressing. [Note to news agencies: Please start doing this.]
I grew up in a tough neighborhood, and for a long time I thought that gave me a special perspective on how to emotionally deal with injustice. It happened around me all the time. Family members were taken from us too soon. Mom constantly was trying to make ends meet while working 2-3 jobs. The legacy of a bloody civil war still looms over the heads of family members. Yet, I don’t think any of that has prepared me for this age of constant sorrow and hate. At least in my youth I still felt joy regularly. At least in adolescence I could still blame the problems of the world on adults. Now, I’m the problem, and I try to do as much good as I can through my work, but how can I make transformative change as one person?
We as a nation, or I guess an Internet community, rarely have moments of great joy or things to celebrate. When we do, there’s always this sinking feeling like it’s an anomaly. This won’t last, and the world will go back to being a sad place full of sad people doing hateful things to us. Someone will find a way to ruin this for us. 1,000 people will make snide, racist remarks about a beautiful brown woman that won Miss America, and they’ll get all the attention instead of focusing on a gorgeous, brilliant person that worked her ass off to achieve her dream.
This is us right now, and I when I think of my youthful desire to grow up and become a part of American society, I grow angry with myself. I am a fool for wanting this, and unfortunately, I’m not that disinterested.