A note from the future

This site represents things that I, Matt Dragon, though worthy of posting to the internet to be publicly consumed from age 18-27. Many of those things were, and are, wrong. I used words here at the time I hadn't bothered to educate myself about the harms of. The fact they were more widely used then doesn't absolve my use of them. Many of my opinions reek of what I now understand to be white male privilege.

But I'm not going to take those posts or this site down. For one because it wouldn't matter, the internet is forever and people would still be able to find it. But also because it's important to acknowledge that people should and do change over time. Merely changing doesn't reverse the wrongs or forgive us of what we said or did before. But the actions we take in response to those personal changes should be evaluated to see if they can offset at least some of the harms we caused. I no longer believe people are beyond redemption if they put in the work and the communities their prior words or acts hurt decide to accept their help going forward.

Taking this down entirely wouldn't address the harms nor hold me accountable. So instead I'm adding this note and asking people to evaluate for themselves if they think that 2021 Matt has done enough to offset 2010 Matt. To be honest, these were not my worst takes. Around this time I also stated less publicly that when people run from the police they should hit them with their cars to catch them. If you run you must have done something, right? I had an argument with someone about how no one who wasn't guilty would ever confess to a crime. (Sorry random dude in MegaBYTES)

Obviously those takes were bad, uninformed, and I was wrong for voicing then at the time. I share them because I feel they represent how easy it was to feel empowered as a white male teenager and young adult despite knowing almost nothing. I share them because I think they represent the rock bottom of my opinions and show how much someone's thoughts can change when you simply seek out first hand knowledge and then listen.

Those are just terrible opinions I can remember right now. I'm sure there were others. I haven't exhaustively read all the posts here so there may be similar or worse things I said here. But today, I'm writing letters to the editor about the need for civilian oversight over jails and the police and advocating for the police to be taken out of traffic enforcement. I'm speaking at County Commissioners meetings about civilian jail oversight and the need for accountability. I'm constantly trying to unlearn my bad habits and challenge my initial responses to things. Not because the world has changed but because I have learned to listen. Because people took the risk, the time, and the emotional effort to share and luckily I realized I needed to hear them.

So I leave this up, with this now lengthy disclaimer to try to push folks reading my bad takes to also learn to listen, and to be explicit, not always and only listen to white dudes like me. Where I'm at now, I'm trying to lift other voices. Folks actually experiencing the struggles I have ideas about trying to lessen or solve. Folks who's opinions I trust not because they have degrees or status, but because they're talking about their community, their friends, their family, their life, their struggles. For some of my later posts elsewhere, I chose to channel Dennis Miller when naming that blog. That decision didn't age any better than he did. He's now a racist bigot or at least he is publicly, maybe he always was. He's probably beyond redemption at this point. Andrew Gutmann is probably beyond redemption too, but it's honestly not my decision. I think people definitely can change, and they can change for better or for worse.

So I've done some more recent writing elsewhere that, if you want to read it, is definitely more informed, less self absorbed, with fewer blind spots, and just generally better all around.

My whiteness and maleness have given me all the second, third, and fourth chances anyone could ever ask for. It's up to me to prove I've changed for the better. Hopefully this is a step in that direction.

I thought I had too much free time...

posted 09/13/2008 10:01:44 by matt flesch-kincaid: 57, grade level: 9 commentscomments(0) linklink
My complaint to the FCC after prompting from the Parents Television Council. They wanted me to complain about the Today show because they aired a s**t without the bleep. Don't get me wrong, I hate Matt Lauer as much as the next guy, ;) and the Today show has nothing on the CBS Early Show, but come on seriously?

"This is a formal COMPLAINT against everyone else who's submitting you this copy/pasted complaint. These people need to stop trying to control what everyone else is allowed to see on TV and start controlling what they let their own kids watch. Maybe if their kids weren't home schooled they would have been on a bus to school when this horrible word was aired. Maybe kids shouldn't watch the Today show and should be watching cartoons instead. Maybe they should realize their kid has probably heard them say "bad" words more than they've heard them on TV. Either way ignore these idiots, they represent an extremely small, extremely niche, extremely vocal minority. They need to stop worrying about everyone else's lives and start worrying about their own."

"Documentation of the perfectly acceptable material is provided below. Should they have bleeped it? Yes, does every kid already know exactly what someone said when the hear s**t on TV? Yes."

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