Fighting With Friends

Fighting With Friends

Hello Rebels, and welcome back to my life.

So my last few videos have been…a bit different.

They’re different from my normal talk about geekdom and art and being a writer. Instead I’ve been focusing heavily on the #BlackLivesMatter movement and racial inequality in the U.S.

A lot of people—hopefully not you—have been a little bit annoyed that I’ve been posting about this so much. I mean, to a degree I get it, it’s not what they “signed up” for.

Some people have gone further, attacking what I’ve been saying in the videos, and unfortunately this has included some friends, both online and in real life.

There’s the contingent of people saying I’m just trying to get clicks and views, as well as the people who say “We’re on the same side! You’re just doing it wrong.”

Though if we’re on the same side, I don’t know why they’d feel like my videos are a personal attack on them.

I knew this would happen going in. It was pretty much inevitable. Here’s why I did it anyway.

First of all, nothing that I go through in terms of online argument or even harassment or being called names compares to what people in this movement go through as they work for racial equality.

They are arrested, threatened with violence, some of them end up dead. Mean YouTube comments just don’t compare.

Second of all, there is a strong tendency to NOT talk about things that make us uncomfortable.

When speaking with friends we usually try to avoid topics that will get us into an argument with them because that’s not what we want our friendship to be about.

And that’s not what friendships SHOULD be about, but it’s very easy to let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction so that we never have our viewpoints challenged on things about which we desperately need to change our minds.

We all have a tendency to surround ourselves with information that agrees with what we already think. It’s called confirmation bias, it’s easier than ever in today’s social media world, and it’s deadly to critical thought.

Others might not initially appreciate it when you start to speak up about uncomfortable topics, but if it’s never thrust into their thought process, they will never critically analyze it, and that just helps perpetuate ongoing situations of injustice, especially when you or they aren’t suffering from that injustice.

Now please understand that I’m not saying you have to talk to anyone about any topic you don’t want to—nor do you have to LISTEN to anyone about any topic you don’t want to.

The people who rant and rail when they get blocked on Twitter because they’re being rude, harassing douchebags, are just that—douchebags, and you don’t OWE it to them to listen to them, nor does anyone else OWE it to you to listen to you.

But to answer the question you might be wondering about, no, this is not going to become the main point of my channel. First of all, as I cannot stress enough, there are many more important voices than mine on this topic and I hope you have taken my advice in past videos and followed them.

Second of all, I am not a news network. It’s time-consuming and frankly exhausting to do all the fact-checking work I have to put into these videos and I still sometimes get it wrong.

I will try to continue to be active in talking about this on social media, however it’s not going to be the majority of content on my YouTube channel. Tomorrow’s video, in fact, is going to be a rather optimistic one about America.

Yeah, who knew I could be optimistic about America, right?

However, because I am not talking about this every day on my YouTube channel does not mean it’s something I won’t be talking about, or that YOU shouldn’t be talking about. Please continue the conversation, find out what you can do to help, and do that.

Continue to have conversations with me, if you want, whether here in the comments or in other spaces. I prefer to do all this stuff online where we can look at links and stuff together so that when I hang with my friends in person we can just hang out.

But do what you can to be a voice for what you believe in, and remember that the best way to make things change is to, every once in a while, inject a topic into the conversation—even if not everyone wants to hear it.

Thank you for watching, Rebels. An extra special shoutout to my supporters on Patreon, who make my YouTube channel possible—especially my sponsors. I will see you tomorrow. Byyye.

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at garrettbrobinson.com.

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