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Aug 2017
Quiet White Boys
wearing awkward glasses
sporting clean haircuts
and boring polo shirts

keep to themselves,
don’t know how to draw boundaries,
don’t know how to reach out,
and don't know how to reach inward.

They eschew the material world
in favor of a false digital one,

and there, in the simulacrum,
they find a modicum of validation—
a reinforcement of a kernel
of a horribly flawed idea:

that they have somehow been more victimized
than the victims all around them—

the women,
the racial minorities,
the people afraid to practice their own religion,
the people afraid to live as their true gender,
the people suffering with mental illness,
the people suffering with domestic violence,
the girls who were sexually molested,
the girls who were *****,
and so on,
and so forth.

The Quiet White Boys
learn that they are victims
from other Quiet White Boys,

and together they conclude
that, because they have been victimized,
they may therefore
act heedlessly, aggressively,

hatefully, mercilessly

in furtherance of
what they view to be justice.

But it is a distorted, fractured
version of justice
that they seek—
fetishized by the red, screaming faces
with loud megaphones
and debilitated, sickly hearts
in the digital basement
where the Quiet White Boys have chosen
to live.

A torch-carrying mob
has never delivered real justice—

not once in the entire history of human civilization, in fact—

and a slate gray Dodge Challenger
barreling into a crowd at fifty miles per hour
is not an instrument of justice, either—

it is just a reflection
seen through a shattered mirror.

And shattered mirrors
don’t come unshattered
simply because other
Quiet White Boys
are gazing into them with you.
for Heather Heyer and the other victims at Charlottesville
Ira Desmond
Written by
Ira Desmond  35/M/Bay Area
(35/M/Bay Area)   
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