I’ve never been a victim of anything. I’ve had stuff done to me, like any other, but signs were there. Red flags and signals of the impending actions, but I refused to see. Blinded by love, lust, pride, you name it. Enough fog to rival a Sunday morning in San Francisco. I don’t blame myself for my mistakes of trust or character. Its a part of living and growing. Experiences that bring about a deeper, harder and stronger person. You can’t rightly survive without knowing the pain of betrayal or shortsightedness or impulse addiction. Its how it is.
Which brings me to the hard truths that so many people forget. It goes without mentioning in the Sphere that there’s a Western-wide idea that there are victims everywhere. The poor, racial minorities, sexual minorities, religious minorities, entire cultures, women, children, entire nations… everyone is a victim of everything. Not everything is criminal enough to warrant a harsh sentence, but the few acts they have cordoned off as so heinous that the law cannot apply as written. It must be re-written time and again until the very act is removed from thought through pain of a leering, liberal public.
It is these acts they froth at the mouth for that are usually the most preventable.
I see time and again from schoolmates and old friends, on Facebook feeds and Twitter timelines and from their mouths, the complete and total loss of their common sense when stories come along of a cop punching a unruly woman, shooting a threatening man or quelling a riot. I see fire and brimstone in their eyes over a media-fueled story on rape by teenagers at a party. When a politician lies, when a banker gets another bonus, when a nation is bombed by the U.S. (or isn’t, depending on the civil war). When a black kid doubled back to attack an armed wannabe cop who insulted him. When people are offended, hurt or killed by their own choices, they lose all peaceful facade and show you the reality underneath. The indignant growl that someone would scrape the thin, flaking paint off of civilized life and show the hard iron that is true humanity. They forget what it is to be human through the clouded thoughts of a “humane” viewpoint. It makes them forget a cold truth:
A victim, a real victim, is a person who has been wronged through no fault of their own.
I’ve known a few people truly harmed in their lives. Those who have pulled themselves together and and stood up, they are the most extraordinary, strong people I know. I’ve known people brutally beaten for no reason. I’ve known people molested as children. I’ve known people touched by the very worst of humanity simply because they existed. I’ve known people that took pain time and again waiting for the right time to vanish, and they did. Despite it all, despite the fists and violations they suffered, they put up and saved themselves. With knives to the throats of their kin. With vanishing acts from all they ever knew and loved. With the heaviest of hearts and no other choice. And those who I still talk to, I can’t help on occasion, or when they’re down, to remind them how strong they are and how I admire them. How much stronger than me that they’ve been.
So, when I hear this word pushed around, it doesn’t fall on sympathetic ears.
If you confront a cop, you’re going to get hit, beat or shot. Most so-called brutality is just some fucktard thinking they can convince or defeat what is essentially a solider for the city, not using their fucking head and telling the powers that be what is problem with his arrest is. Instead, he or she swing fists or spit and end up bloodied. Not a victim.
If you walk into a party as a teenager and get drunk with a bunch of strangers, or even a group of friends, guess what? You’ve put yourself at risk. Unless you trust a person with your life, you don’t drink yourself until you are motionless and vulnerable to everything an intoxicated person can do. Drunk people commit crimes. Drunk people rape. Drunk people kill. If you know the people you’re with, fine, but what fucking idiot walks into a party full of people they don’t know and basically draws a giant target on their chest, most of all a woman. Honey, you know the stories. You’ve heard the news. Had the talks with parents and teachers. Maybe even a lady officer came in and told the entire school that rape culture is not cool, and yet you STILL walk into the jaws of intoxicated chaos? What happens to you may be a crime, but you are not a victim.
I once ran into a friend of the First when I was in college. It was outside of an dying coffee house chain. This friend knew some sketchy people, but I sat down with her anyway. Within 15 minutes, I had a knife pulled on me. I knew the reputation of the people around me, but I stayed. Not a victim, just an idiot.
A victim is my friend who was beat time and again by a man 3 times her weight, a man who would pin her if she tried to run, until one night he passed out drunk and she vanished with just the clothes on her back, crossing an entire nation to find safety. A victim is another friend who had a blade to her own father’s jugular after he raised his fist to her; that knife and the piss running down his leg ended 15 years of abuse. A victim was my distant relative who while closing up his hard-earned, barely floating shop, was shot in the head by two ghetto scumbags and robbed of a few hundred dollars, if even that.
A victim is a person who has been wronged through no fault of their own. Everyone else that claims to be is just human cattle, willingly lined up and sacrificed for preachers, politicians and the 6 o’clock news. Their bodies piling up, with markers of red or blue for whatever sides profits most from their deaths. For every man who fights a cop, for every girl who walks blindly into a party of strangers to get hammered, for every single person that lets their mind cloud their instinct, there is an activist or Senator who silently smiles within when your corpse is put to ground.
Don’t be part of their blood coffers, brothers and sisters. Learn to survive like my friends have. Be smart and you won’t have to go through what they did and also have it on your own head. Learn to survive and you’ll feel more alive, and more human, than any idea or drug can give you. It won’t guarantee you won’t be someone’s target, but that’s the price of living. The price of being men and women instead of fodder.