When an offer of empathy becomes a crime.

This is a coversation that took place on Facebook. There was a photo of three college students. One was a young man with a tshirt that said f*** Black Lives. The other two were holding a sign that said F*** Chris and there was an arrow painted that pointed to the first person. It seemed like a shock jock joke at first like something off of the Howard Sterns show. I laughed. The longer I looked the the more i saw. These kids were not poor. They were manicured. The trash on the lawn was sparse. The lawn and the shrubs were manicured. The building in the background was a college dorm. These three people were friends.

I had just watched the movie Burden with Forest Whitaker. Still taken by the urge to connect with the white supremacist (kumbaya) I tried to interject some sanity into the following conversation. It backfired so bad. This happens. It will take practice to break ice when it is this thick. I don’t always feel like it. some days I just want to see the cops and prayer boys bleed. I try to remember that the pen is more mighty than the sword. Most days it works.

Here is what happened …..

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, shoes and outdoor
  • Kyle Durkee Yeah! Fuck Chris… and whoever that douchebag in the trailer trash shirt is! I’m assuming that’s Chris, but I’m leaving the door open for other options!4Hide or report this
  • Lacie Wood *don’t* fuck Chris. 😉😂😂23Hide or report this
    • Bee Deck Lacie Wood exactly hahhaha2Hide or report this
    • Bre Webb I legit thought this post was about sex at first and he’s got a fetish she’s being supportive of D:
      Omg tired brain2Hide or report this
  • Amanda Elaine Buchelt I’m sad to see this but not surprised since there were Qanon folks there all the time.Hide or report this
  • Painted Darling Chris is foul. That darigold chocolate milk tho. dank5Hide or report this
  • Jason Loyal Ventura His account is Chris Heckler Bean2Hide or report this
    • Kyle Durkee That is such an amazing name I can’t even begin to take it seriously… that’s like such an amazing troll name…1Hide or report this
    • Jason Loyal Ventura I don’t know the whole story, or him at all but another friend posted this photo and tagged himHide or report this
  • Jessica Jasso Him sweatily using his shitty permanent marker to write this out the night prior: “yeh that’ll show em.”4Hide or report this
  • Victoria Moore My 😂 react is for the “fuck Chris” sign. 😂1Hide or report this
  • Jessica Jones At least he’s honest? Better than crying some all lives matter bs. Btw, Don’t fuck Chris, he doesn’t deserve it.1Hide or report this
  • Mustin Douch Harvest Fresh Grocery & Deli Is this your employee supporting blatant racism? Harvest Fresh Grocery & Deli1Hide or report this
  • Victor Reppeto I understand his frustration completely. At least I think I do. I am poor and I have accrued far more traffic tickets than most poc. The system has take everything from me instead of supporting me in my recovery from a truly dysfunctional family and addiction and rage and PTSD. If black people would just vote we would not have trump in the whitehouse. But there is a flaw in that argument. If I put aside my own pain and take this opportunity to bond and fight for what we have in common then my own concerns will be addressed as well. That is a very simplistic in a nutshell explanation. I do not feel any real evil coming from this guy since his friends are standing there with that sign. Made me laugh. Thiank you! I needed that!4Edit or delete this
    • Shelaswau Bushnell Crier Black people did not put 45 in the White House. You might want to have a conversation with the white women and white men who voted for him.6Hide or report this
    • Sarah L Kester Victor Reppeto wow. If black people would vote. Okay. Well what about states that have 6 polling places for the whole state? And one in predominately black areas where it takes 8-14 hours to vote.

      Let’s work on voter suppression before we talk about how black people don’t vote.6Hide or report this
    • Ariel Knox I’m sorry, did someone actually just try to argue that because they’ve gotten a lot of traffic tickets they are justifying “Fuck Black Lives”?

      GTFO of here. …See More7Hide or report this
    • Victor Reppeto Shelaswau Bushnell Crier That’s not what the president of the NAACP said on zoom during the poor peoples revival! He said we won the popular vote. We did not need that many more to to tip the electoral college our way. He said the enormous number of…See MoreEdit or delete this
    • Victor Reppeto Sarah L Kester You are absolutely right. That is a big deal. We need to be vigilant. Freedom is not free. We have to work for it. I share Mr. Brooks frustration in turn with the white people of my community. I listened to some of the most liberal…See MoreEdit or delete this
    • Victor Reppeto Ariel Knox If that is the best argument you have then I am embarrassed for you. I have a lot of tickets because I grew up poor and because I am on the spectrum and because I have coped with severe PTSD since I was four. Out of six children five of us…See MoreEdit or delete this
    • Ariel Knox Victor Reppeto nah, we’re definitely not on the same side. Don’t lump me in with you. Thanks.1Hide or report this
    • Victor Reppeto Ariel Knox Refer to the argument, not the person. You were mistaken the first time and this is the second.Edit or delete this
    • Ariel Knox Either you’re pretending to be obtuse or I’m wasting my time.

      Allow me to be crystal clear here, then, you do you, boo.

      You said: “I understand his frustration completely” in regards to someone writing & wearing a “Fuck Black Lives” shirt. That’s some seriously deranged thinking.

      Then you obsfucate by using the qualifier “at least I think I do” – stand by your words or hit back space, bro.

      “I am poor” – as if that makes racism a-ok.

      “and I have accrued far more traffic tickets than most poc.” What is this even supposed to mean? The Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t have anything to do with traffic citations. The protests aren’t against radar guns, it’s against GUNS AND MURDER at the hands of police.

      “The system has take everything from me” – except YOUR LIFE. Get it yet?

      No?

      “instead of supporting me in my recovery from a truly dysfunctoinal family and addiction and rage and PTSD.” Your point?

      “If black people would” – anything after that is garbage “All Lives Matter” whataboutism. You may as well have starting spouting off “blacks kill more blacks” nonsense.

      “just vote we would not have trump in the whitehouse” way to put all the blame on the oppressed minority while sitting there wrapped in your white privilege ignoring all the white folx who voted for Trump & McConnell & King & Scott & all the other crappy ass politicians in power.

      “But there is a flaw in that argument. If I put aside my own pain and take this opportunity to bond and fight for what we have in common then my on concerns will be addressed as well. That is a very simpiistic in a nutshell explanation.” Can I get Ranch Dressing with your next word salad?

      “I do not feel any real evil coming from this guy” – super cool. His sign isn’t directed at you, buddy and you’re in no position to be the deciding vote on how racist is too racist.

      “Made me laugh. Thank you! I needed that!” har har, racism are funnsies.

      No, we do not agree. I have no interest in further debate on this. Move on.2Hide or report this
    • Victor Reppeto “You said: “I understand his frustration completely” in regards to someone writing & wearing a “Fuck Black Lives” shirt. That’s some seriously deranged thinking.” That’s called empathy, taking the time to put some thought into what someone else might be thinking and feeling and what needs they might be trying to meet by doing something so socking. It seems so obvious to me he is practically screaming “Hey everybody! I’m poor too, effing cops love throwing me in jai! Where’s all the love for me?” that’s what happens when you go to hundreds of hours of parenting classes and communication workshops and practice groups. Some of it starts to stick. You can ask Shelaswau Bushnell Crier about that second remark. Maybe you will listen to her.1Edit or delete this
    • Victor Reppeto “I am poor” – as if that makes racism a-ok.” No I said I understand, I did not say that makes it okay. But udnerstanding makes it easier for me to stay calm and for him be disarmed long enough to listen.
      “and I have accrued far more traffic tickets than most poc.” What is this even supposed to mean? The Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t have anything to do with traffic citations. “
      yes actually it does. You have not been listening.

      The protests aren’t against radar guns, it’s against GUNS AND MURDER at the hands of police” It starts in the class room and then it is radar guns and then it is fists and batons and then it is guns. ” White privilege means I get to decide when I am a rigtht and the poc are wrong.

      “The system has take everything from me” – except YOUR LIFE. Get it yet?
      No? Yes, actaully they did take my life. My children were my lifer. I was a mom dum dum. Death would have been more kind.
      “instead of supporting me in my recovery from a truly dysfunctional family and addiction and rage and PTSD.” Your point? You need to ask some one you will believe when they answer you. . All the mature people reading this already understand my point.

      “If black people would” – anything after that is garbage “All Lives Matter” whataboutism. You may as well have starting spouting off “blacks kill more blacks” nonsense. You realize those were the words of the president of the NAACP just a couple of weeks ago, not mine?
      “just vote we would not have trump in the whitehouse” way to put all the blame on the oppressed minority .” You are chrry picking again. What did the next sentence say?

      while sitting there wrapped in your white privilege ignoring all the white folx who voted for Trump & McConnell & King & Scott & all the other crappy ass politicians in power.” Ignoring them? Those people put me in jail for defying them.

      “But there is a flaw in that argument. If I put aside my own pain and take this opportunity to bond and fight for what we have in common then my on concerns will be addressed as well. That is a very simplisitic in a nutshell explanation.” Can I get Ranch Dressing with your next word salad? ” I do not understand your remark on this one. I think you are saying you dont understand my argument and you think a personal insult will ipress your friends since you can’t come up with a real objections.
      “I do not feel any real evil coming from this guy” – super cool. His sign isn’t directed at you, buddy and you’re in no position to be the deciding vote on how racist is too racist.” Thats a big stick you be shakin’ . Sounds like zero tolerance and you are proud of it. But isn’t that what we are fighting against?

      “Made me laugh. Thiank you! I needed that!” har har, racism are funnsies. ” I see in that picture three friends who got together and published a thought provoking photo with no hate for each other or for black people. all the hate in this conversation is coming from you.

      No, we do not agree. I have no interest in further debate on this. Move on. ” I hope you mean it. i hope you are done because I am. If you have more questions go talk to your sponsor.Edit or delete this
    • Adrien Lockhart Victor Reppeto don’t use being on the spectrum for your racist bullshit coming out of your mouth. Don’t try to get a Black woman to speak for you. If you can’t show that you’re not racist on your own, you are racist. You still don’t get why what you said is wrong. Nothing you went through was because of the color of your skin. None of it. Throughout it all you were still lucky because you got a ticket instead of a bullet to the head. You have no idea how many traffic tickets most POCs get and it doesn’t matter. You got it because you were either doing something wrong or you were driving a shit car and got pulled over. Not because of the color of your skin. You’re just way wrong. It’s best to stop talking and start listening.2Hide or report this
    • Victor Reppeto Adrien Lockhart Nope. Too late I’m done coaching angry adolescent for today. Maybe Fridy. I am taking tomorrow off.Edit or delete this
  • Victor Reppeto Racism is murderously difficult to fight because it is buried so deeply in our culture. We have to inspect and deconstruct everything n order to find the roots. Privilege is a good word, it points us the right direction. The privilege of authority is so ingrained in our societal psyche that black and white alike will jump to the defense of an abusive employer. The thin blue line is everywhere I look in one form or another. I was truly shocked how cruel women could be toward a man in the role of home maker and primary care provider of three children.Edit or delete this
  • Victor Reppeto Do you wonder why I can so calmly respond to such vapid language? Because 30 years ago that was me. Now it is my turn to coach and educate and meet the needs of those who will be ostracised. They are female so they will not be shunned like me but still, it will hurt. It is the responsibility of those mature in recovery to be understanding and patient. Especially when that is what we ask of the courts and school administrators and teachers and parents and aunts and uncles and white people and black people. Many of us have every reason to want our pound of flesh but if our children are to inherit a more perfect community then we must forgo temptation to lash out and instead model compassion and empathy. If I can do it (most of the time) then.most anybody can with a little help from their friends.

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