STFU means Shut The Fuck Up. I feel like I live somewhere between a world where people have engaged conversations and a world where people talk only to reaffirm their belonging in some particular in-group.

I made the mistake of taking a joke about “white people” personally this morning. This is a mistake I’ve made before – you should never take jokes meant to establish an in-group status by poking fun at outsiders personally, because you only reinforce your identity as part of that outsider group. I was heckled and criticized for my comments, and at the end I looked like a two-bit “white person” – an ideological zombie. And I suppose the reason I engaged in the first place was because the person who posted the joke is also against Hillary Clinton’s Presidential bid. And that’s a place where I think I will see a lot more of the same kind of “us vs. them” rhetoric, and the racial angle of it will be especially tumultuous. Clinton has the support of the older generation of civil rights activists, and the enmity of the younger generation.  When the general election gets started in a couple of months, I expect there to be considerable tension over the issue of race.

It seems to me the way to be an “ally” to many of those in younger generation of anti-racist movements is to shut the fuck up. It makes me want to embrace cynicism, to say “Very well, I will go back to my little white town and just stay quiet.” But that’s not really what I want to do. It reminds me, however, that change is disruption.


Published by samuelbarbour

Besides writing a blog, I also teach, farm, cook, and play music. I live in the Illinois River Valley with my partner, Molly Breslin, who sometimes posts stuff at

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