But You Already Knew That...

If you’ve spent any time arguing on the internet, you’ve come across somebody like Van. Somebody so convinced that they’re right, that they assume anybody who disagrees with them is a liar, and there’s absolutely no possibility that they’re the ones who are missing something.

Van’s comment piggybacked on another reply to my article “The Rise Of The Racism Industry” in which I pointed out that Daunte Wright’s death, as tragic as it was, wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t resisted arrest.


Van:

“But what we know for sure is that he wouldn’t have died if he hadn’t resisted a lawful arrest.”

Really? For sure? How’d that work for Philando Castille? You sure know your target audience.


Steve QJ:

“You sure know your target audience“.

Yup! My target audience is people who can think.

The fact that Philando Castille's murder was absolutely inexcusable has nothing to do with Daunte Wright's. But you knew that already...


Van:

Your target audience is those you can make comfortable. Daunte Wright’s murder doesn’t happen if he’s a white woman, but you already knew that.


There’s an awful lot of mind-reading in online conversations in general, but especially when it comes to race. We’ve been so conditioned by the narratives we see on the news that it doesn’t even occur to us the there might be more to the story. Unarmed white women do, of course, get shot by the police. Not as often as black men (or black women), but it happens.

And officer Potter’s reaction in the moments after she shot Daunte should make it clear to anybody that as incompetent and inexcusable as her actions were, they weren’t motivated by a desire to kill.


Steve QJ:

No, actually I don't know that. Do you? Harmony Wolfgram, to pick just one name that I've seen in my research in the last few days, might beg to differ with you.

That's the difference between us you see? This isn't a hobby for me. I don't get my kicks by writing snarky, ill-informed comments on the articles of people who genuinely care about and understand this stuff.

I spend hours of my day, almost every day, reading and researching and learning. Scoring cheap points on the internet with sarcasm or by assuming ill intentions as soon as I hear an argument that doesn't fit the narrative I've seen on the news, doesn't give me a sense of acheivement. You do you though dude.


I’m sure I’ll hear back from Van as soon as he finishes doing his research…

The problem with our discourse isn’t that we’re wrong sometimes. It’s that we’re far too certain that we’re right. An underrated feature of intelligence is a recognition that we might be wrong. That the person we’re speaking to might know something we don’t. That conversation might be an opportunity to learn, instead of to win.