That is what I said after a friend told me of their attempted suicide.
They asked me why I said that, as it was not my fault.
I explained that this is what people say, and was at a loss for anything else to say.
They stated that we were close enough for them to share this information. That was enough.
This was in high school. Since then I began to apologize solely for things that happen due to my direct action or lack there of.
So what could one say, when faced with a recently bereaved friend?
How about nothing. Say nothing. Listen. It is something that happened to them. You are someone there for them.
Words should mean what they mean.
This should go without saying, but as there are languages and there are dialects within languages; Personal experiences that could make one word positive to one and negative to another, clarifications should be in order.
A forecast of rain may please farmers and dismay 20-somethings planning a night on the town.
I am somewhat traveled. Within the USA you can move a few miles from neighborhood to neighborhood and have native English speakers use different words n pronunciations to identify similar things. In Kenya, with 42 tribes, a few miles can be complete inability to understand.
In these rAnts, I will identify certain words and terms, present my understood definition and discuss the usage I may misunderstand.
Have you seen Sherlock? Great show. The second film of the great JJ Abrams Startrek reboot? KHHHHAAAANNNNN!!!!! How about 12 Years a Slave? Mr Benedict Cumberbatch has been in those great productions and many more.
A week or so ago, I considered a short rAnt about how mundane things are drummed up into ‘headlines’ in the 24 hour 365 infotainmentnews culture we find ourselves sludging around in. There was an article on how Mr Cumberbatch (some names just lend themselves to Mr. and Mrs. more than others, I feel it would have been appropriate to call him Mr. Cumberbatch from birth, ‘The wee babe Mr Cumberbatch*’) had apparently finally made it acceptable for men to use makeup by admitting to using concealer on the red carpet.
Some time after that, Mr Cumberbatch was on the Tavis Smiley Show. Though he was most likely in make up, as has been common for pretty much everyone on television for over at least over a decade, his favorite foundation-blush combination was not one of the questions. A question about his fellow actors did come up. Specifically about diversity in the US and UK industries. In answering he used the word “coloured”** when referring to said actors. This lead to the expected media coverage of the social media uptick of how offended the spokespeople for society are. Demands for Apologies – followed by the apology – and now this rAnt.
v. of·fend·ed, of·fend·ing, of·fends
1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in: We were offended by his tasteless jokes.
2. To be displeasing or disagreeable to: Onions offend my sense of smell.
1. To result in displeasure: Bad manners may offend.
2. a. To violate a moral or divine law; sin.
b. To violate a rule or law: offended against the curfew.’
Google/Yahoo! Benedict Cumberbatch and see the titles of the articles. See how some spell the word coloured and some color. The very spelling of the word is not agreed on, yet people jump to conclusions about his intention to cause displeasure, anger, resentment or wounded feelings.
Let’s say he actually DID do that with intention to offend. Mr Cumberbatch accepted the invite from that particular host, after working with those particular people and in these very butthurtish, special snowflake times, decided “f-it, time to offend some folk.” Then his intention would have been a success. In this case I would find an apology for something they did successfully, somewhat disingenuous. Have I painted myself into a corner here. If successful intent means no apology, they should be in order for a unintended results, correct? Arguably, yes. Is this the case here?
My contention is with people demanding apologies for an offense not given, but taken. I demand that you apologize for something we feel! You spoke about someone else, but I (who am actually everyone) take offense on their behalf. In this case the mindset would be, I am black like the people he called coloured. Since we are all the same and I have taken offense, Mr Cumberbatch must apologize to all of us. I am repeating myself to try and make sense out of this mindset.
Is my lack of offense and this rAnt more of the same? Expecting others to share my ‘meh’ opinion of the coloured indecent? It may be. I will add that many comments and certain celebrities have come to the defense of Mr Cumberbatch (as they did when Sia apologized for the Elastic Heart video, go watch it, get her album, she is amazeballs, rAnt on that coming soon) the following quote may be all you had to read instead of this long rAnt; “To attack him for a term, as opposed to what he was actually saying, I think is very disingenuous and is indicative of the age we live in where people are looking for sound bites as opposed to substance.” (source) Well said.
NAACP still use the term colored***. In south Africa Coloured usually refers to those of mixed parentage. In America that mixed parentage makes you a Black president.
Words are words. They should mean what them mean. Very often the perceived meaning of words results in very tangible things. with this knowledge we find ourselves far more comfortable around people that see the world in the same language that we do. Modern technology has the ability to bring these disparate languages together, something I still consider to be a positive thing.
I first came across the POC acronym (Person(s) of Color) from it’s usage in Tumblr. Certain Social Justice Warriors have taken this term and used it to defend apparent slights to POC. In general they demand that POC should be treated in certain ways because the current ways are not right. A central part of peoples sense of self may be as a POC.
I do not.
I do not care if you do. Many may look at me and ID me as such. I do not care.
Call me colored, coloured, Black, of African descent, or whatever else you can glean from solely my appearance. I do not care.
Start advocating for separate treatment for me based on that?
No, thank you.
- *Wee Babe? thas racist no? I’m just assuming someone would have said wee babe because of where he was born right? Would it have been offensive if a Brit was writing this about lets say… Mr Neil Degrasse Tyson, and said “that yung’un Mr. Tyson”?
- **quick pen sketch. Will try create some form of creative visual to go with every post. Will try to make them better than this.
- ***If the NAACP and other social justice movements cover other ‘minorities’ are they included in the #blacklives matter hashtivism? Are Black people a mascot of sorts for the movement?