My usual mode of operation is to bury our head in the sand, tell my colleagues to "not bring unwarranted attention to the issue", given my position and desire to keep Chaos and Staff apolitical.

....but some things wear on you. If you're looking for solace or comfort, or even good leadership, hit the back arrow please.

We live in a world of labels. Milennials, Zoomers, Boomers, Gatekeeping, LGBT, White, Black - on and on. Right now my Facebook is filled to the brim of people including #blacklivesmatter, #alllivesmatter, changing their profile pictures to support whatever endeavor they support, focusing on looters to back their arguments, or focusing on feel good protestor stories to back the opposite point of view. It all... feels a bit fake, to me. It echoes the same sentiment we Americans have on social media every time a kid dies at a mass shooting. "Oh, that's terrible, better go change my profile pic." It's all identity driven, it's all virtue signalling. It's all more labels. It's all about me, me, me.

So, here's all about me, me, me. I'm a white guy in his early 30's now. I was born in Oxford, Mississippi. For you non-Americans, that's what we call "the dirty South". My grandparents were from Alabama and South Carolina. Yeah, my fellow Southerners are probably already painting this picture to conclusion. My grandfather served in the Navy during WWII - my dad put himself through college at USC by scraping nickels together at a gas station in the 70's. My family was pretty nuclear - I had a good upbringing, for the most part.

They were all pretty relaxed with dropping racial slurs at the dinner table. Y'know, those private moments we don't discuss, those words we can't say.

And that's just how it was. I don't think it came from a place of hate - and it never interfered with my childhood, as I had several children my age of different skin tones and colors come play at our house, or spend the night. Most people love their families, unconditionally. These people are your family, you often only get one. And it's not like I was living in this fear, this grip of terror that my old man would go running off my friends from school or say awful things. It was just there, on occasion. Enough to notice, sparse enough that you just shrug it off. But as you age and grow, you learn these thoughts in their heads.

We know racism is wrong. But you can see how this problem becomes diluted quickly in a family such as my own. My grandfather was a @#$%ing hero, man. He survived a kamikaze attack early in the war. This man was one of a million reasons why I'm alive, and why our country even has it's freedom to carry this hatred. And... I can only assume many of you suffer through similar circumstances or situations in your own personal lives, regarding these issues. I can only imagine what a man goes through who's blessed with different pigments in his skin. I've had a lifetime to imagine it, because I know what happens on my side of the fence... and I can only imagine an equal and opposite force of hatred, of shame, of fear and regret occurs on yours.

So what is there to do? I think my personality, my attitude isn't well equipped to really lead in that department. I have absolutely no clue. I know during my time serving in the U.S. Navy, exposure to other cultures and humans erodes those feelings and offers zero "safe spaces" for racial divisiveness - and it's generally accepted that better education can distill that sort of hatred as well. But I don't think there's any definitive cure-all.

But I do know this.

Any man or woman who uses those racial slurs to disparage those of a different color or tone of skin, regardless of their reasoning, connections, or popularity - they're losers. If they deserve anything at all, it's to be pitied.

No matter the meme, no matter the troll, no matter how big a smile they wear.

They're losers, and it's likely they've been losing for quite some time.

I don't know who George Floyd was. I don't know what he did. I don't have the facts nor any evidence. But I do know the punishment shouldn't have been public asphyxiation.

Stay safe, and be kind to each other.

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."
- President Lyndon B. Johnson