“No Skin Off Of My Back”

Throughout my 50+ years of living, I’ve encountered situations that made me want to say “Wow!” After a while, my expressions of surprise morphed into eye rolls and feelings of frustration.

I have concluded that mental illness is becoming the standard of living in this country, in which what a person feels has taken the place of practical morality. It has become standard to point out the faults of one group of people while ignoring those same shortcomings in others. Men and women have become confused about their genders because they feel as if the sex they were born with is a mistake, DNA be damned. Feelings and emotions have become the norm for making judgments, especially in issues of love and hate. In what I call hater’s syndrome, it is possible to hate a person to the point where one ignores even the positive aspects of the person. That person is evil, no matter what, and no good deed emanating from him will redeem him to those who hate him, even when the jury concludes that he isn’t evil at all.

Let me get this train back on the rails.

As a black man who also happens to be a Christian, I have had to come face-to-face with all kinds of adversity. In all honesty, it has been a lot easier being a black man than it has for me to be a Christian; and being a Christian is not something I take lightly. As a follower of Jesus, the truth is something I take very seriously and I’d rather look into a situation than to jump to conclusions based on feelings, albeit I haven’t always been perfect in this aspect. I understand that I will fall short quite frequently and I realize that’s okay as long as I acknowledge my errors and alter my course in order to learn from them. In other words, if I’m wrong about something, I will admit it no matter how much pain is delivered through my pride.

We all have opinions and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I seriously believe God has given us the ability to form an opinion as a way for us to learn about the world around us. An opinion can be right or wrong and I believe it is our personal duty to find the truth through study, observation, research, or whatever. When we do this, we set ourselves on the path to discover the truth about our point-of-view. If the truth reveals our opinion to be correct, we have confirmation of our viewpoint; if it’s the opposite, then we need to ditch our opinion and hold on to the truth.

However, there are some of us who are so mentally and intellectually lazy, we either:

A. Passively receive our knowledge, so we’d rather someone spoon-feed it to us. Or,

B. Refuse to search out our opinion for fear of finding our point-of-view is wrong. Or,

C. Once the truth is revealed about our opinion, we still latch onto it like a starving tick gripping onto the backside of an water buffalo. This is called cognitive dissonance, or, in my opinion, a fancy way to define stupidity. This can describe those in Category B as well.

I have come across people who hold a politically liberal mindset who refuse to read anything written by a conservative. Don’t get me wrong, there are conservatives who refuse to read anything written by a liberal (both are stupid). However, it has been my experience that liberals far (and I mean far!) outpace their conservative opposites when it comes to this mode of thinking.

Because of this, certain sensitivities have developed among various groups over the years. Instead of looking into how someone with a differing point-of-view really thinks, we begin to define right and wrong based on our feelings instead of on logical observation. Our “truths” become subjective instead of objective. People who think like this believe science and logic to be advocates arguing their case, but this is only because they distort the facts in their minds. It becomes necessary to shut down someone’s opinion because their language is full of terms that some find “offensive”, and in some aspects of our modern thinking, offending someone is akin to committing an act of horrific violence against the offended. You can’t ask someone where they are from because you are curious about their accent or you will be accused of committing a “micro-aggression”, whatever that means. Folks have to walk on proverbial eggshells so as not to “offend” others who are members of certain groups. On the other hand, these folks are cricket-chirping silent when someone makes an outright and apparent insult or commits actual violence against groups they hate, i.e. Christians and conservatives.

“Slave” is a term some in the black community find offensive despite the fact that none of them were ever slaves. Add to that the fact that black people weren’t the only group of people to have ever been enslaved and the offense to that word becomes quite ludicrous. I own a pair of bluetooth earpods that I use to listen to various podcasts, games, Bible, and video on my iPhone. When looking for a hook-up, a voice will say “Searching for slave.” I also own some photography equipment which include several speedlight flashes that can be operated simultaneously using a remote shutter release. The shutter release is known as the “master” and the flashes are known as the “slaves.” I’m not a betting person, but I’d be willing to wager there are folks in the black community who would get offended at either situation.

Which leads me to explain the title of this post. A few days before this writing, my supervisor (who is white) gave me some instructions on work he wanted to get done. After receiving the instructions, I said “No skin off of my back” which is my way of saying “No problem,” though it would seem easier to say the latter rather than the former. This was a response I would give from time to time in similar situations at other jobs for several years. A few minutes later, my boss came to me concerned about my statement. He would state to me to use caution in using that phrase because certain black folks might take offense to my expression because it may remind them of the days of slavery when the white masters would beat their black slaves across their backs with bullwhips. I told him I would try to be more careful but, inside, I felt my frustration boiling. My quip was harmless as a drop of water on a blade of grass. Not once did I think my statement would be seen as offensive. The problem I see in all of this is we could get rid of every term or phrase deemed “offensive” to black folks and they’ll still find something to get offended about.

As I’ve stated in an earlier post, there are folks who have taken offense to the name of this blog.

What I see in all of this are many of us sliding down a slippery slope to fall into the river of political correctness. Some may realize their mistake and make it out alive, while others will get caught in the current and eventually drown.

The Apostles of Blackness and their liberal contemporaries love to point fingers of blame at those they dislike. I think it’s high time they stop ignoring the fingers that point back at them.

You all have a good day and I’ll see you on the rebound. (Hopefully, this phrase doesn’t offend you)

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