the many ways someone can (try to) derail a conversation

This was from a thread about the shooting of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant woman shot 7 times by police in her apartment in Seattle, with 3 of her children present, in June 2017.

As it often goes, a (white) woman offered an alternative to the fact that racism at least partially explains why black people die much more frequently at the hands of police.

She shared that she thinks people are well-intentioned, presumably based on the experience she shares about her encounter with police, during an attempted burglary of her home.

The comment and a reply from the same person are posted in their entirety, though the details are irrelevant. It's not necessary (or even necessarily recommended) to read it closely. You've probably heard or read the sort of thing before:

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Whew, that's a lot. This (white) person thought her encounter with police was relevant. An anecdote from a white person who had a nonviolent police encounter, who at no point had any fear of police violence to herself. If anything, it affirms, anecdotally, the racial disparity of violence.

Another classic deflection tactic: dragging in other possible prejudices.
The reality: black people are disproportionately killed by police.
Facing the reality: looking at the racial dynamics across the spectrum of police brutality.
The deflection: "If we look at racial dynamics, we have to look at ALL possible dynamics! [i.e., the unrelated ones] It's wrong to hate gays, Jews, and Muslims, so it's DEFINITELY wrong to look at racial dynamics! Why do you hate white people?"

The next reply came from someone else, who did an excellent job of returning to the issue of brutality:

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Ah, yes, that call to "wait for the facts." Or, as originally stated, "let's wait to see the truth." In other words, "I really, really want to ignore the facts we know, which is that the police killed yet another innocent black person."

I decided to reply because I'm not into deflecting hypotheticals. Instead, I think about facts, like that time a white guy was apprehended safely, after he killed 9 people in a church. If a domestic terrorist can be taken into custody...

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My simple return to the issue definitely bothered the person who likes deflection. In her reply, later deleted before I could take a photo, she found a way to connect Charleena Lyles (not using her name) with "that student who died after being in North Korea."

This is often the point at which civility unravels. Her comment was unrelated and, quite simply, absurd. Absurd is not a matter of my opinion; that's a reasonable assessment of dragging in a new topic.

However, I didn't want to derail my valid points. So I calmly pointed out the deflection:

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Her next response, also deleted before I could grab a photo, accused me of not having any sympathy—suggesting that I'm a heartless liberal.

Then, surprisingly, she asked for my feedback—which I assume was attempt for her sarcasm to silence me.

This is when my ego would have wanted to return the serve of veiled insults, or at least the equivalent of sarcasm. Knowing those responses aren't helpful, this is my response:

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At this point, she shifted her attention. Her response, later deleted, didn't address police brutality. Her concern had shifted to the police officer receiving due process of law.

The bulk of the reply was her lengthy explanation of how she couldn't possibly be racist. Why? Because—she meant this in all seriousness—she couldn't remember being racist.

Please. I chose my words carefully. I used "unconscious racism" for a reason. This is another point at which my ego would have wanted to fling insults. But I continued to focus on facts:

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There are no exceptions.

Her next reply, also deleted, was full of civil—meaning no SHOUTS—insults about my support for Obama and my idiotic beliefs. Not that I ever made any mention of Obama, as you can see.

My policy is to exit conversation when it has name-calling and personal insults, as opposed to factually-based criticisms. 

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And then, her final comment, which she chose not to delete:

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Yeah, kisses. I assume that means she thought it was really harsh and I was hurt by her sophisticated barbs and use of sarcasm.

Moreover, the fact that she deleted her other comments...I'm gonna take that as a win for my points.

If I preferred staying in a "self imposed [sic] bubble," then I never would have engaged with her in the first place.

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