Yesterday I saw a video in which two white women struck a Black man, because, I believe, he wasn't wearing a mask, and then upon striking him, preceded to say "Black Lives Matter" over and over again. They were not doing so sarcastically. Their eyes were wild and crazed. One woman, desiring, it seemed, to better get her hate out sans any barriers, pulled down her mask, then remembered what she was doing. She was a mask obsessive, and an actual racist. (A mask obsessive has no actual concern with personal or public safety. Their interest is control and power. The issue at hand could be anything, so long as it provided them with an opportunity to try and police other people. Most humans are no more sophisticated than they were at six-years-old when their goal was to tell on their sibling.) The women were intoning, as if they were a couple of psychotic cultists in the middle of some incantation. The manner in which they said Black Lives Matters was such that it was a magic verbal talisman that showed how good they were and that they would would be protected from the evils of society because they represented the cause of the just.
They made me think about a kind of person I see all the time now. Not a lot is worse than a rich, white suburban woman who knows no Black people, has no Black friends, segregates herself from anything but the most homogenized activities, viewpoints, and groups, clad in a BLM shirt for her social media profile picture and/or her dating site bio.
There are so many in publishing.
What they then do is select Black authors--and people from other minority groups--like they are outfitting an ark, from the surface on out. They make the selections like I imagine one does for a zebra at the zoo. "Oh, this is exotic, this will bring them in, this will sell." It's not about how fast that zebra runs, or anything but how it looks. Its skin.
A staggering number of academics are this way, too.
But you have a T-shirt.
In the history of humankind, I would say that if you feel a need to represent a viewpoint on your T-shirt, then what it is you are trying to project could not be further from anything you really think, feel, or how you've lived your life. I'm not even talking about BLM. I believe in people. Who they are. As people. That is all I care about and all I will ever care about. But these women of whom I speak are trying to position themselves as these humanitarians, when they are the opposite, and they are a goodly chunk of a culture/society/sanity-eating problem. Unless one is Roxane Gay. And then they are the chief demographic. They'll buy a book of Amanda Gorman's junior high doggerel for the same reason. To have it and say they have it. Not to partake of it, and certainly not to believe in any of it, even if there were anything there to believe in.
Life as a T-shirt.