I used to be the one who said, “I don’t mind.”
”I’m Asian and I don’t mind”
"I’m a woman and I don’t mind"
"I’m queer and I don’t mind"
- So why don’t the rest of you just lighten the fuck up.
In fact, I’m Asian and I think it’s funny.
It’s just a joke.
You say it because there is a place inside of you that hurts and it shouldn’t.
You think it’s weak. You think, who the fuck cares?
Maybe you say it because you’ve heard it so many times that you’ve become desensitized to hurt, and you accept it as normal.
Or maybe you say it because you’ve made yourself blind to injustices so you never hurt at all.
I laughed. I laughed at the jokes and the stereotypes. I laughed because I made myself laugh, and the sound of it covered up my discomfort, and my shame.
When you laugh enough, laughing becomes second nature.
Not caring becomes second nature. And then, you eye everyone who does care with disdain. They have no sense of humor. They’re too sensitive. You’re better than them. They make the rest of us look bad.
They’re being a bad minority.
They’re so annoying. They’re the reason why people hate feminists.
What I actually meant when I said “I don’t mind” is:
Please accept me
Please think I’m special
Please make me one of you
And what they heard when I said “I don’t mind” is that it’s okay.
It’s okay to laugh at someone for being Asian - my mother, father, my grandparents; my cousins, my aunts, my uncles.
It’s okay to laugh at women - my mother, my sisters, my friends
It’s okay to laugh at queers - my friends, my lovers
Because they’re friends with a PoC, you see, so they can’t actually be racist, especially if their friend is okay with it.
I said it was okay. So it must be.
Everyone else is just oversensitive. Everyone else is just uptight.
What they heard when I said “I don’t mind” is that if you mind, you don’t matter. Your experiences don’t matter. Because they have this friend who said it was okay.
What I meant when I said “I don’t mind”:
I want to laugh with you; I don’t want to be laughed at.
And what I didn’t know was that just because I didn’t mind, it didn’t make me special. When you laughed at those people, that included me, too.
And what they don’t tell you when you say “I don’t mind,” is that from that moment on, you will be championed as a representative of an entire race/gender/orientation/identity. And your words of “I don’t mind,” or “I think it’s funny” will be used as an example, to put down countless others of other races/genders/orientations.
To say “I don’t mind” is not what makes you strong. It takes far more strength to care, and address the issues. It takes courage to look unpopular, to look “humorless” or to be a “bad minority.”
We should mind. It does matter. If more people minded, instead of feeling like they didn’t have to, then maybe people would start seeing that there is a very real problem.