I remember this one time, a girl on here made a post about how she didn’t believe in gay marriage because civil unions were good enough, or something like that.
I saw the post because people I followed were reblogging it and calling her really horrible names, like homophobic cunt or bigoted piece of shit, and telling her to go fuck herself or throw herself off a bridge and die, and stuff like that. It was pretty vicious.
So I went to her page and those same type of things were being sent to her askbox and she seemed really overwhelmed, and most of all, utterly confused.
I went to her askbox and instead of telling her to kill herself, I calmly explained to her the difference between a civil union and a marriage, and why it’s not fair for gay people to be denied marriage equality. And - shocker - she had previously not known any of that! After a few more questions, she understood, and completely changed her position on the matter. She promptly made a post apologizing to people she’d offended and stated that she now understood why gay people should be allowed to get married.
But still, people kept harassing her, saying she only changed her position because people got mad at her, and that she was still homophobic and terrible and a bad person and all sorts of other really awful things that I don’t want to repeat.
I was so confused, because I saw some social justice bloggers, people who purport to desire this kind of social change, ignoring her shift in position; ignoring the great change that had taken place when someone, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, had bothered to try and educate her. What I saw then, and what I still see all the time, makes it clear that some so-called social justice bloggers don’t actually care about educating the uninformed and bringing about social change. They just want someone to scream at.
And while it’s not your duty, or anyone’s duty, to educate the uninformed, as a person privileged with education and information, doesn’t that seem like a more productive thing to do than berating the ignorant? Doesn’t that seem like the right thing to do?
This ^ There is a huge difference between people who go out of their way to be jerks or who fight for their ignorance and people who just happen to not know any better, but who mean well and are willing to learn.
Even less than a year ago when I first joined tumblr, I had a lot of opinions about certain topics that I now see were misinformed and potentially incredibly hurtful. I never spoke up about any of them, but I absorbed information through my time here when people DID explain things calmly and rationally. I am now rather ashamed of those old opinions I used to hold but I can take pride in the fact that I know better now and that I have grown as a person. I can’t see the help in simply tearing someone down when they are willing to learn when you could help them instead.