Monday, November 05, 2007

Talking back

-- by Dave

A couple of days ago, while musing on the fall of Dog the Bounty Hunter due to the racist rant revealed in a video tape, I remarked:
Here's one thing about being a white guy: You hear a lot of "private" talk from other white guys who assume you're on the same side of the fence as they are and feel free to start spewing, especially when they've had a few drinks, or they're (ahem) "angry," and this is the kind of shit they spew.

Unfortunately, the only thing I ever seem capable of expressing to them is my utter bafflement why they think I would ever be on their side.

I said this, of course, as an acknowledgment that this kind of response really is inadequate. It doesn't come close to conveying the depth of my feelings about this kind of talk and what it reveals. In my youth, of course, I was much more likely to get up on my higher moral ground and lay into someone, but I also found that did more harm than good. So my default response now is milder and more hopeful of keeping the conversation going, but, I think, too tepid. Besides, this is usually the point when conversation becomes fruitless.

I know I'm not alone in experiencing this. Sara noted in the comments: "It might be worthwhile to pick at this and see what others Really Good Comebacks might look like."

Perhaps we could have a discussion here, and I can post some of the more useful responses.

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