This is an amalgamation of actual letters in my actual inbox:
Dear Captain Awkward, I’m dating someone wonderful who really loves me, he (IT’S ALWAYS HE, DON’T @ME) but he has terrible political views, like, he thinks immigrants and black people and women and gay people and trans people aren’t really people something something about biological inferiority and it’s okay to violence them but only when they deserve it? I know it’s just how he grew up, he has a good heart and doesn’t really mean it, Confederate flags/”traditional” views are just part of his heritage. I’ve tried discussing this with him but he always talks over me. Can you help me explain my views better? I’m sure I can convince him if I just try hard enough? Can this relationship work?
Go look at some photos from Charlottesville right now.
BTW there’s one with the Confederate flag right next to Nazi flags that really rung some bells after last month’s discussion.
(Nazi flags and Confederate flags are best buds they like to go drinking together and talk about wars they got their asses kicked in and remember the good old days of being giant fucking racist losers.)
The heart wants what it wants but I gotta ask what would it take for you to break up with a dude who talks about “many sides” and “yeah but free speech is important” and “we can’t waste time with identity politics” right about now? I guarantee some of those tiki torch Connors and Trents and Wyatts are going home to cuddles and pie tonight. Maybe with you.
I know how you got here even if you don’t. They know how to hide this stuff in “polite” company and save the nastiness for anonymous forums. They use dog whistles. They make jokes that aren’t jokes. They play the Devil’s advocate. They say ridiculous things on purpose so that you can think to yourself “He can’t really believe that, can he?” They trick you with occasional actual orgasms and doing their fair share of the dishes and decent hygiene and god, you were alone for so long, and you finally found someone who is not repulsive in the shallow dating pool where you live, do you really have to dump this living, breathing human being who likes the same geeky stuff you like and who holds doors open for your mom and who probably is just doing his best, all to prove some abstract point? How can these people know better if no one will teach them how to be better? Can’t that be you, and in return you get to keep this nice boyfriend who smells good and who has a decent job and who and checks all of your other “don’t be a giant racist turd” boxes? There’s good in him, you’ve felt it, surely this can be fixed?
They wait until they’ve charmed you, until they’ve met your parents, until things are all comfortable between you, to show their true colors, betting on the fact that you’d be too far in to leave.
I know you’re embarrassed and it’s embarrassing as fuck but it’s not too late to get out of there. I know it’s not fair. Cut. Your. Losses.
I’m not making fun. I am deadly serious. It is only getting worse. At least one person died today behind this. We can’t lose you, too. Make a safety plan. Go quietly, but go.