Words of a Smiling Man

Some thoughts, spurred by passion and a fire in my soul. The language may function as such.

Very recently, I have seen a divide in the online community which I have been calling home for some time. The divide is between the methods on how one should deal with online harassment whether it be in the form of racism, sexism, hate speech, etc. Never do I think it escapes the minds of us who respect other people, but this harassment is unnecessary, indecent, and unwanted. This is always clear to me and I would hope to others. The means by which we handle this varies. More and more, I have found that I am able to ignore such harassment. Not always. But there is a flaw which cannot be ignored- It does not address what is happening. Ignoring it means it is still occurring.

I have ignored obvious jabs and unwanted comments with a smile- It’s what I do. I feel I’m terrible with confrontation of virtually most kinds. Most recently, when I streamed, I had individuals who thought it was a great idea to try and hurl racial slurs at me. In the way I usually do, I was calm. They were banned and I didn’t tear into them. I gave a reminder to chat- This is not okay.

For me, I think the point of simply letting this pass by calmly is gone. Perhaps I am keying in to my martial arts training and how that has helped to change me and how I approach problems. Please forgive this tangent.

We know this behavior is asocial. It is not (or rather should not be) normal. Not just racism. Not just sexism. Not just homophobia. All of it. This should not be normal. It is not the norm. In a physical or martial sense, this is what you cannot prepare for. You are being hunted, stalked, preyed upon. You do not have any choice in that. This is in the extreme. What we, the social people, have to remember is this: Anything less than an extreme response can leave you or others broken or worse.

This may seem far-fetched to some of you, but it is how I am beginning to process confrontations, both physical and verbal. Your attacker will not back down if they have a chance. It’s either you or another target. I feel awkward writing this as this is not my standard MO. If we let it slide simply, it does not go away. It can slither away to some dark corner and come back. If these folks want the attention, give them the spotlight. Show them warts and all. Show them and those around them their actions are wrong and indecent. Burn it out so there are no dark corners to slither into.

I write this in many half thoughts as I address the extreme- the negative which doesn’t belong. From now on, I feel I must, in the service of myself and those around me be willing to cut down the asocial harassment and bullshit and expose it, denounce it, remove it as it should be. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

For many of us it is this: Stand and fight.

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