The nine.

“Can you imagine them doing this to black people?”

Oh God, I wish I could stop hearing those nine words. No matter what slight is being discussed, whether superficial or serious, the person discussing it never seems to be satisfied until he or she can utter that phrase. I must be living in some alternate reality, because everyone else seems to be living in a place where black people are treated with the utmost dignity and respect while every other group from redheads to Christians are horribly discriminated against.

If you have to utter those nine words, then your best bet would be to let someone else make your argument for you. Because if you looked past your own plight for five seconds, maybe you’d see that black people are also being treated that way. Perhaps you do not observe it simply because you are too caught up in your own problems and privilege to notice.

First off, the phrase makes an individual look spiteful—as if he or she were somehow jealous or resentful due to how well another minority group has been treated. Second of all, the phrase makes an individual look foolish, because any person with access to a newspaper, magazine, or television remote can clearly see that the dignity or welfare of black individuals certainly is not a concern to the larger social group—unless black people have fought diligently to make it a concern with their words, souls, and blood. Please stop making us your debate crutches. If our issues aren’t part of the conversation, why bring us up?