Maurice-&-Chesya-798317I really admire writers like Nora Jemison and Chesya Burke.*  They continue to discuss issues of racism, sexism, discrimination of all kinds online.

I just can’t do it anymore.**

I used to talk more about race, political, and spiritual issues online a lot more.  I just don’t have it in me much these days.  It’s tough.  It’s exhausting.  It’s time consuming.  You make a well thought out point, hit the post button, then watch a good part of your day get away from you:  you have to educate new people to the discussion (because Google is broken for them and they can’t look up “feminism 101″ or “anti-racism 101″), you have to babysit your posts to guard against trolls, and you have to come up with new ways to express your point sometimes to well-intentioned allies.  Rinse and repeat.

All of that takes its toll:  emotionally (most times it’s not just 1s and 0s out there, but friends you thought you knew), mentally (your mind gets consumed with formulating rebuttals), and creatively (unless you’re great at compartmentalizing, a post gone wrong can cost you a day or more of writing).

I don’t see how they keep it up.  I know they both have lives, careers, and writing to do.  They have friends, they have interests, they have other things they could be doing.  But they’re there, rolling their Sisyphusean boulders up their hills over and over again.

I’m out though.  Sometimes just reading their posts makes me want to punch my screen.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still happy to discuss issues of race with folks.  I’ve been heavily involved with my Cities of Refuge project, so I welcome you to come down to the community I work in.  You call talk to me all you want about the inequality of education, the salvation capitalism offers, the fair and equitable treatment of the police, your rights to stand your ground, the practical realities/necessities of profiling, the socialism of health care, and so on, all to your heart’s content.   While you’re talking, be sure to take a good look around, because that’s as close as I’m going to get to arguing with you.  Cause I’m tired and I’ve decided that what time and energy I got left I’m pouring into the community.

But I thank God for the Noras and Chesyas of the world.  I don’t know how they keep doing it, but I’m glad they are.

 

 

 

* I’m taking a real chance here:  the Internet is forever and Chesya has already screen-captured that statement

**Btw, this is my favorite picture of me and Chesya.  I know it drives her absolutely insane.