So I just found out about this whole “stop the parade” thing, and frankly, I am disgusted.
First of all, speaking from the standpoint of someone who has been a performer and an event organizer at one point in my life, I can understand how much time and effort go into organizing, preparing, and practicing for an event this huge. The people who construct the floats spend weeks to months getting them ready. The bands who are chosen to march consider it a huge privilege to be picked for the most well-known parade in the country. They raise money on their own to be able to travel to New York. The dancers, the singers, the Broadway performers, even the people who march with the balloons. There are thousands of people who come together to make this parade what it is, and millions who watch every year. And you want to ruin that for them. Children look forward to this parade every year. Children participate in this parade every year. Children of all races.
But more importantly, what does this accomplish? Awareness? Because you’ve got awareness. There has been Ferguson all over the news for weeks. Tumblr has been talking about it incessantly for months. Everyone knows what’s going on, and if they didn’t, they certainly know now after the Grand Jury announcement. All you are going to accomplish is interrupting a traditional part of a holiday that is supposed to be about family and togetherness. Doesn’t this country need something good right now? Can we just have the holiday to sit down and be thankful for our own families? Or does the world have to stop for this tragedy? Surprisingly enough, people are allowed to be happy despite a tragedy. Are you going to stop the football games, too? Maybe storm the fields? Or how about the dog show?
You have the world’s attention. Stopping the parade (which has nothing to do with Ferguson; it’s just a big event that you feel like you can hijack for more awareness) is just an extension of this weird mentality I’ve noticed recently that no one is allowed to do anything they enjoy while a tragedy is happening. Not wanting to talk about Ferguson does not make you a horrible person. Wanting to take a day to watch the parade and appreciate being with your family does not make you a horrible person. A holiday is not going to change the amount of awareness that has already been raised. No one is going to forget about Mike Brown because they’re watching the parade.
So calm down, think for two seconds, and let people have something good in the middle of these shitty times.
I think part of what bothers me about how social justice-y tumblr has gotten in the past two years or so is that there is literally no escape from it. Ever. It doesn’t matter how many things you blacklist or how innocuous your interests are, there is always going to be something.
For example, I have a few mutuals who are wonderful people. I like the things they post. But occasionally they post social justice stuff (one in particular likes to every once in a while reblog those post whining about how awful men are), and bless their hearts I have asked them to tag that shit repeatedly and they just keep forgetting. They don’t post it often enough to unfollow, but at the same time, I can be just going about my day and then all of a sudden I get “Why do men get so offended when women talk about rape?” in the middle of my dash and I just groan with disappointment. And the one mutual in particular has already shown that she doesn’t bother to listen to me when I try to talk about these things with her. If she doesn’t just stop replying outright, she tells me flat-out that she won’t change her mind. That post about sexualizing and misgendering Frisk the other day came from her, and when I said something about Frisk not having a canon gender, she went into “but all the monsters call them “They” and why can’t we just have a nonbinary protagonist???” Which, of course, is completely missing the point of Frisk not having a canonical gender, which is so they can be whatever the player wants. That means boy, girl, nonbinary, whatever. And when I pointed out that monsters might not even know what gender Frisk is and that pronouns do not always equal gender, she just never responded. (It also doesn’t help that A) Frisk is like ten, so who cares, and B) It doesn’t add a single thing to the game or story, so who cares?
The other thing is that I can’t search any tags anymore. I was trying to search “contouring” because I’m painting a picture and I’m trying to get my faces to actually look like faces, you know with bone structures and proper highlights and stuff. But goddamn I can’t even go in the tag and look for examples in makeup without running into “Using foundation darker than your skin tone is racist!” and “Contouring is fatphobic!” and “Contouring promotes Eurocentric beauty standards!” And I’m just back here on the other side of my laptop, scrolling in frustration because I just wanted a decent reference image, not The Discourse. It’s so irritating, and it still seems like it’s not going to change anytime soon.