Help! Am I writing about BIPOC or Social Distancers?
I’m a white man battling to avoid infection while most of the US stops giving a shit about my health and safety. Boy do I have it hard. Maybe other people can empathize with my story? I started writing an article, but I confused myself. Now I’m not sure who I am.
Here are ten struggles from my life. Is this list what it’s like to be me, a conscientious social distancer in 2020? Or is this what it’s like to be black, indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC) at any time in history? Please help! I’m losing my mind!
1: Living even the most basic public life means risking deadly harm, or at least intense bodily damage with lifelong aftereffects.
2: If you’re walking in public, people cross the street to keep distance. Some jerks expect you to do it for them.
3: The only way to meet your needs for comfort and safety is to find allies who take your boundaries seriously. Dating is much harder than it should be.
4: Anybody in your community who exposes themselves to an opposing faction puts the entire community at risk.
5: Certain neighborhoods are pocked with ignorant white people who belligerently flaunt their disdain for the common good — often gathering in the front yard. You avoid them to keep safe.
Bonus: Loneliness and isolation are crushing you. You think you might be depressed.
6: Selfish assholes swarm your social posts to say you’re actually trodding on their rights. Then they go outside and make things worse for you.
7: Your concern for the welfare of marginalized people makes you a nuisance to established power.
8: Federal and state governments swear it’s not as bad as you think. They’re actively campaigning misinformation about current events to bring you under heel.
9: People in your social network gaslight you with misbegotten data and faulty estimates. Media reporting on public safety comes from unreliable, possibly even corrupt, sources.
10: It’s almost impossible to hold a job without staying silent about issues of health and human dignity. Employers want you to shut up and get back to work. You just want rest.
1–10: Either? Both?
Bonus: Definitely both. God (or local community) help us.