I got into a brief internet dustup with someone about something. The original Facebook post was about 47 millions people going hungry in America, but one of my friend’s friends responded with a barely coherent comment that can be distilled to “I have a job, quit complaining and go out and get yours. Man up!” Believe me when I say that the original comment wasn’t as concise.
I asked me if he was seriously saying that 47 million people should rise up and take what they wanted. Something of that level would seriously overpower the current armed forces and law enforcement agencies, even if the people were weakened by hunger.
Instead of treating what I said either seriously or as a joke, instead he responded with something that I won’t distill because it should stand on it’s own. “I wrote an eloquent response. I am tired of arguing. Do you think if every rich person gave up all of their money to let’s say you, mr. coward…we’d have peace and prosperity? We’d have a bunch of Lexus dealerships hitting the orgy button…and your people would be in the same boat tomorrow as today.”
I want to point out that at no time did I advocate rich people (or poor people) giving up ANYTHING. Just like the original post about hunger in America and the guy changed it to a discussion about unemployment and personal responsibility (I think), my comment was asking for a clarification about his comment and instead he changed it to a discussion about class warfare.
1) If every rich person gave all of their money to me, I still would never be caught driving a Lexus. I know a lot of people buy them, but they have never appealed to me. Then again, even though I have lived most of my life in Southeastern Michigan, car culture has never appealed to me. Cars are tools to get from Point A to Point B and I don’t fetishize them the way a lot of people do. I also don’t understand how my getting all of the rich people money results in car dealers assuming they would have a huge payday coming.
2) I don’t want to be obscenely rich and have never wanted to be obscenely rich because I am the type of person who regularly puts the adjective “obscenely” in front of rich. Again, money is a tool. I only want enough money so that I don’t have to worry about not having money. Also, I never asked for anyone, rich or otherwise, to give me their money. I’m not a salesman, moneylender, or a con man for a reason.
3) As soon as someone from a different ethnic classification uses the phrase “your people” (or “you people”, whichever is apropos for the situation), then I leave the conversation knowing that any ill impressions I had of that person were probably justified. I don’t think racism automatically invalidates every point that a person makes, but it definitely makes me much less likely to take their points at anything other than face value.
4) I cannot tell the difference between someone who is unemployed by circumstance and someone who is unemployed by choice just by looking at them. Therefore, I would not say one should not be able to put food on their table because of the actions (or inactions) of the other. I was brought up believing that if someone needs help, you help them. Does this mean that I have gotten “scammed” by a sob story? Yes, it has, but I would rather help someone who didn’t need it than turn my back on someone who did.
I could have been really nasty and pointed out how he kept changing the conversation instead of answering what was asked, but then he probably would have changed over to gun control or some other nonsense. Instead, I got a pretty decent sized blog post about of it and he gets to live his life afraid that everyone is out to take what he has.