When I read Anna Redshaw’s “On Unsolicited Advice” on her blog, M.E., Myself and I
( https://the-slow-lane.com/2021/04/16/on-unsolicited-advice/), it hit home for me, but different reasons.
Like Anna, I have chronic illnesses, but unlike Anna, I don’t mind suggestions about how to deal with the pain and disabilities and know they are sharing their ideas because they care. I recently changed the focus of my blog to include current events, including Black Lives Matter. Immediately I received a bit of unsolicited advice from someone who decided she needed to “educate” me on life’s reality.
It was clear by her comments that she was a conservative Republican and probably a Trump voter. She hated CNN, so I’m guessing she only watched Fox “news”. She told me that black people only had themselves to blame because they run, fight and resist arrest. If they would submit and obey, they wouldn’t get shot. You know, they should act like a slave, according to this woman. She said white people don’t run, which isn’t true. And also, white people are not racially profiled like black people, Asian people, Hispanic people, Native American people, Jewish people, Muslim people… anyone who is not white and Christian. This woman’s white supremacy mentality was so evident.
I didn’t approve her message on my blog; I deleted it instead. I also didn’t interact with her. I knew it would be like talking to a brick wall.
I find all of this sad and frustrating. I am a white woman who was born and raised in the Northwest. In my little town, black people are a minority, but Asian and Hispanic population is growing. I hope more black families will move here. We need a better spread of diversity here.
When we moved here from Seattle, it was a tiny conservative town with 42 churches and one tavern. Twenty years later, the town’s population has tripled and more of balance between conservatives and progressives. And a lot more Atheists who live here and are not afraid to admit it. This all was pretty obvious with the 2020 election. Many more Biden-Harris voters that I expected now live here, and there are older people (my age) standing on corners in the center of town holding signs that say “Black Lives Matter”! Progress!!
I don’t pretend to understand what people of color… black, Asian, Hispanic, and others, have had to deal with in their lives. I have black and Asian family members, and I try to learn about the history their ancestors have had to endure. We need to listen to what black writers and speakers have to say. If you are like me, we didn’t learn a lot about black history. Even having a month dedicated to black history doesn’t mean we were taught the actual story. It was like a sugar-coated version, and from what I’ve read some states are teaching an even more false narrative of black history, such as black slaves came here for a better life. They hint that coming here from Africa and agreeing to be slaves for wealthy white plantation owners was their choice, not that they were kidnapped and brought here against their will.
The woman who decided she needed to force her unsolicited advice also urged me to learn the truth. I suspect that the false narrative of black history is her form of truth. It’s too bad that’s what she believes.
Supporting the rights of others, no matter what their differences, helps us all. Discrimination against others helps no one.