I called him "Default"

That's right, he'd say,
They don't call you minorities for nothing.
You need allies like me
to bring reason, logic and objectivity to your movement.

You can't possess these qualities yourself, he'd explain,
because you're too emotionally invested in your fight;
too angry,
too combative,
too close.

Who wants to listen to someone who's so enraged all the time?

Default always knew how to direct the conversation:
Lived experience? he'd say. I think you mean anecdotal evidence;
The plural of data is not lived experience.

You need me as an ally, he'd remind me,
if I raised my voice,
frustrated.

You need me, and don't forget.

Default was quick to point out when I was being unfair:
You disproportionately focus on systemic and institutional racism,
he'd say,
We need to focus on racism as a concept,
as a whole;
the dictionary definition of racism says nothing about power,
or privilege,
or oppressors versus the oppressed.

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If you had your way, he'd say,
racism against me and everyone like me would be ignored,
excluded,
discounted because of our skin.

Now who's the racist?

After all, we are all humans;
there is only once race:
the human race.

Default always did have a way with words.

The last time I heard from Default was on a Tuesday,
sometime last March.

I tried to help you as much as I could,
he wrote,
be a good ally, advance your movement.
But I got tired,
tired of being muted,
of the vitriol directed at me,
someone who is only trying to help you all.
I am moving on, friend,
to help people who are receptive to my wisdom,
my objectivity,
my logic.
I will be silenced no longer.

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Perplexed, I forwarded the email to a friend.

"Oh, that guy?" she said. "He sent me the same email after I replied to him with a White Tears .gif on some forum or another."

Goodbye, Default.

Goodbye.