The spillover

I just watched an SNL skit, "Can I Play That?", that's making fun of people's reactions to actors playing characters of another race or ethnicity or whichever-bucket-you-want.

When the internet came along, the floodgates opened and we could all communicate with each other and see all of that communication.

With that came a restructuring of values.  We could see what other cultures cared about and what norms they respected.  Some of them didn't make sense to us.  Some of them offended us.

But we all got swept up in this sea of new ideas, looking for ways to rise above the rest.  "I'm offended" became a prime candidate, and this influx of information offered plenty of opportunities to be offended.

Not everyone has had the same experiences you have.  Not everyone has even grown up in a non-homogeneous environment.

Try to take the perspective of an innocent who's new to this planet and doesn't know the conventions when considering whether to take offense.  Did that person just not know the racial history behind the word they used?  Did they act that way out of malice or out of ignorance?

Assume other people have good intentions.  You may be wrong, but if everyone adopted this strategy, we wouldn't be triggered so easily.

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