Maybe all year even.
Dear Ms. Pavlich,
You don’t know me, and I certainly don’t know you but I wanted to say some things to you since we’re currently occupying the same mile radius as each other.
Today a group on our campus here at the University of Delaware invited you to speak on issues of the Second Amendment and gun rights. As a firm believer in honoring differences in opinion, I welcomed your visit with open arms and looked forward to hearing what you had to say. I’ll admit I don’t watch Fox News, and I have certain preconceived notions of what someone who works there might say, but I’m always willing to be proven wrong.
And then, on September 2nd, you posted an op-ed on the conservative news site “Town Hall.com” entitled Exposing The Black Lives Matter Movement For What It Is: Promotion of Cop Killing. And that op-ed really upset a lot of my friends across the racial spectrum. When they said that you called them terrorists, it upset me too. I decided to read for myself what you said and try to figure out where you were coming from.
First of all, Ms. Pavlich, we are only eight years apart. While that may seem like quite a long time to both of us, I know that it really isn’t a great deal of time. A few years ago you were in my shoes, at a university, forming your own ideas about how the world works and trying to understand your place in it. That process isn’t always easy, I know, but we’ve got a few things going for us. We’re both pretty well off. We have the financial freedom to consider a wide variety of career choices and life paths. Our bank accounts, though not on a Donald Trump scale, are still enough to give us more choice than some of our peers. I think we can both agree that this makes us very lucky. Clearly you’ve got some intelligence. To be twenty-seven and work for a main news outlet is remarkable, and I admire your career advancement. I can only hope to rise as quickly through the ranks of my chosen profession as you have yours.
With this in mind, I wonder what you think when you see someone our age getting killed. Do you put yourself in that person’s shoes, wonder what it would feel like to have that bullet enter your body? Would it hurt? Would you feel intense pain, or a dull ache? Would death be quick, or painfully slow? In some of my more morbid moods I ask myself these questions. I’m sure we’ve all thought about them. But Ms. Pavlich, the thing is that if we’re being honest with each other the people getting shot and killed today don’t look a lot like we do. Their skin is darker. Their natural hair doesn’t look like ours. They might not talk the same way we do. Do you see yourself in the face of Sandra Bland? Or are your physical differences so great that you find yourself unable to perform the basic thing that makes us human – empathizing with someone other than yourself?
I understand that you’re scared, Ms. Pavlich. When I read your op-ed, I found one thing that stood out: fear. When you talk about activists reading from the words of Assata Shakur, you’re afraid of the power that those words have. You’re afraid that those words might become real someday. You’re afraid that a black woman could be as strong if not stronger than you. When you write about hearing protestors chant “pigs in a blanket”, I can almost hear the fear in your words. You are afraid that they are going to treat you the same way that you have treated them: like animals.
Let’s talk for a minute, one white person to another. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the paleness of your skin? Do you see the pink tones in your cheeks before you highlight them like women all across the country? Or do you just see a woman? A person? Can you see your whiteness, Ms. Pavlich? Does it reveal itself to you? I’d imagine that it has to. Every white person has their whiteness revealed to them at some point in their lives. The difference between you and me is that I chose to continue to see it. You, perhaps, did not.
When you ask for the adoption of the slogan “All Lives Matter”, you’re not really asking for that. What you see when you read the words written on the chests of my black friends, neighbors, brothers, sisters, and fellow Blue Hens, is the phrase “Black Lives Matter*” and, further down their chests, “*More Than Yours”. Ms Pavlich, that asterisk is not there. I know you see it. I know because of the way you talk about how scary it is to see black men and women across this country standing up for the first time that you and I have both been acutely conscious of and saying “You can’t ignore me”. You’re scared that by looking them in the eye that they will take something from you. You’re scared that they will take your guns, or your skin tone, or your dominance. You’re scared that they will take those things and declare that you and they are equal to each other.
Ms. Pavlich, you and I have never had to be equal to anybody but each other in our lives. We can look at each other as transparent people, a collection of organs and tissue and bones covered by skin that is so light you can see right through it. We have the ability to look at each other and not see anything other than what’s in front of us. But when I look at people of color, I cannot see through them. Instead I see rich histories of African kingdoms with some of the most advanced civilizations the world has ever known. I see the marks of chains where my ancestors enslaved their ancestors and forced them to do the work they did not feel like doing. I see the scars from bottles and bullets and dog bites their parents and grandparents endured during marches through Selma and Montgomery and Washington, D.C. I see power rooted in melanin and strength in taut chocolate and caramel and ebony and beige skin. And that power is intimidating. But it’s also beautiful.
I don’t think you’re a terrible person. I think you’re a scared little girl. I think you’re realizing that the world is not a beautiful place where everything goes the way you want it to. You see others falling in front of you, felled by bullets, poverty, disease, rape, and racism and you feel scared that you’re next. You’re trying to survive. But pushing other people in front of the barrel of the gun does not make you safer, Ms. Pavlich. It makes you an accomplice to murder, and to racial genocide. And it does not mean that you’re not next.
Harry Lewis at 5:41 PM
There are no words. I weep for our future.
I posted the whole thing because I didn’t want anyone thinking I must have left out the part where he admits he is trying to do satire. This is word-for-word what Harry Lewis wrote, in all it’s glory.
The worst part is that Harry and Sarah are both inordinately proud of themselves for the reaction they provoked, like a toddler showing mommy he went poo-poo all by himself like a big boy. If you have any children attending the University of Delaware, get them out of there before the SJW zombies eat their brains.