For Your Entertainment

Today, on the internet:
(Harsh language ahead, also, read to the end, these aren’t my views)

“I don’t care.

I don’t care if you came from near or absolute poverty.
I don’t care if you came from a single parent home.
I don’t care if your parent worked long hours to provide for you and seemed to hardly ever be around.
I don’t care if your parent had health issues and was unable to work.
I don’t care if your parent was incarcerated and you never had a decent relationship.
I don’t care if you beat the odds.

I don’t care if you lived in the rough part of town.
I don’t care if your friends seemed like the only real family you ever had, even when they got into trouble.
I don’t care if you saw them die in violence.
I don’t care if your schools were crumbling, with bars for “safety,” and underfunded.
I don’t care if everyone thought you wouldn’t amount to much, based merely off of where you were from.
I don’t care if the only people you saw, that looked like you, succeeding, your only role models growing up, were music celebrities or sports stars.
I don’t care if you only had a .03% of making it to the NBA, or pretty much any other professional sport.
I don’t care if you saw sports as your only way out or up.

I don’t care if you were from a great area, and had good schools.
I don’t care if you had a great education, and a stable, two-parent household.
I don’t care if, despite all of that, you were still the odd one out, the lone black kid in your school.
I don’t care if you had a good head for math.
I don’t care if, since you were tall, everyone assumed you’d make a better ball player than a doctor.
I don’t care if you worked hard and got into college on your own sweat and merit; I mean, ‘affirmative action,’ amiright?

I don’t care if you never had any life-coaching for how to deal with your upended, rags-to-riches life.
I don’t care if you struggle to handle your new-found fame.
I don’t care if everyone around you wants to take your money.
I don’t care if they don’t really want to be your friend.
I don’t care if the people back in the old neighborhood have their hands out, that your success is theirs.
I don’t care if the rough kids you avoided back home still pressure you to ‘look tough’ and show a certain face.
I don’t care if you struggle to adjust and make the right decisions.
I don’t care if you don’t know what to do sometimes.

I don’t care if they guilt you for the money you make.
I don’t care if you feel guilt for succeeding while they’re still in the same ol’, same ol’.
I don’t care if you worry about the violence still occurring where you grew up.
I don’t care about the childhood friends that still die.

I don’t care that, despite your stable life in a good area, that you still get side-eyed while walking down the street.
I don’t care that the gated-community security guard harasses your visiting relatives.
I don’t care that they think you look suspicious.
I don’t care that, while driving your new nice car, you’re still a black driver.
I don’t care that that car is presumed stolen.
I don’t care that they still cross the street when they see you approach.
I don’t care that you give back to your community, to try to be a good role model to the next generation.
I don’t care that you’re still a human being and are imperfect like all human beings.
I don’t care that you worry about the tabloid nature of your life, and the resulting feeling that you can’t do anything right, that no one will ever be happy with what you do.
I don’t care that money doesn’t buy perfection or happiness.

I don’t care that the headlines concern you.
I don’t care that you know that those victims, if not for a quirk of fate, could’ve easily been you.
I don’t care how heavily it weighs on your heart.
I don’t care if you see yourself in those kids.
I don’t care if you never forgot where you came from.
I don’t care that you came *this close* to a bad encounter last week, until the cop’s partner recognized you from your team.
I don’t care that the same scenario could play out worse for your son, who has stayed out of the spotlight.

I don’t care that my grandfather threw a fit when Jackie Robinson dared to play on a white man’s team.
I don’t care that race riots erupted after Jack Johnson’s win.
I don’t care if you’re now stereotyped as more athlete than brain, no matter where you went to college or what your grades were.
I don’t care that you struggle daily on how to best use your fame to help the less fortunate.
I don’t care that you now want to use your fame as a platform to speak for those that can’t.
I don’t care that you want things to change, so your kids won’t face the same world.
I don’t care that you only want to be seen eye-to-eye, instead of less-than.
I don’t care that you want to make sure that the people around you can enjoy the same comforts of life that don’t give me a second thought.
I don’t care that your gestures are very simple.
I don’t care that my reactions to it say more about me than it does about you.
I don’t care that patriotism can be more nuanced than three colors on fabric, or that gestures can feel empty to those that aren’t just like me.
I don’t care that this is your country, too.
I don’t care that your cousin joined the military to get out of the neighborhood, just for the opportunity.
I don’t care that he died while at war.
I don’t care that politics have always been part of sports.

It’s the weekend, dammit, and I want to relax. I just want to be entertained. So dance, monkey, dance. Shuck and jive and give me a good show. You’re just there for me to watch, not to make me feel. The only feelings I should have should be about whether you won or lost, not about what it took for you to be there, or about what you go through daily. I long for the way things used to be, when you knew your place, minded, and did something self-deprecating to make me laugh. I don’t want to be made uncomfortable. I don’t want to be made to think about anyone else but myself.

Who cares about you, I want entertainment and that’s all that matters.”

Saw a lot of that expressed today, usually in 140 characters or less.

(DISCLAIMER: The author holds none of the above sentiments expressed. This is meant to be read with “sarcasm font activated,” and does not reflect in any way on the author’s views. This was written in reaction and dismay to the chatter online, as people try in vain to defend the indefensible.)