As a veteran
I truly and genuinely loath each and every thing that I read, hear, and see that starts with the line “as a veteran”. This includes offshoots and parallels such as “as a service member”, “as a Soldier”, “as a Marine”, and pretty much any line that is used to preface an opinion by first directly linking said opinion to the military (be it as a whole or in part). By doing this, you are implying that you hold the same views as the majority and as such you are now speaking on its behalf. Until you have actually spoken with (and agreed with) at least 51% of whatever group you are claiming to represent you should not portray yourself as their spokesperson. More often than not, the words that follow “as a veteran” are of an opinion that was influenced more by events and experiences that occurred outside of the military than in it.
Stop using my groups or labels to validate your opinion.
As a matter of fact, stop using labels in general to justify your thoughts and actions. You belong to a group (well, multiple groups, but you get the point), that group does not belong to you. You do not “speak for” a group unless you have that groups permission to do so, and even then you are walking a fine line. Let me also go ahead and drop this little gem while I’m at it. Just because you claim to have “fought for the rights” of someone does not mean that you are now allowed to dictate what that person does with those rights. Your standing as a veteran does not give you the right to tell a civilian… Well… Anything. Get off of your high horse. On the flip side of this.
Stop forcing people to represent a group that they belong to.
If you want to know my opinion on something please ask. But do not take my opinion as that of all veteran African American thirty one year old fathers in the U.S. We hold a position in a group, we are not the group. Groups do not share one brain (damn this Borg thing won’t go away, I’m sorry… Nah, I’m not sorry), and it is flat out ignorant of us to assume that one person thinks a certain way or believes in something based off of the opinion of another member in that group.
Now, I realize that it’s hypocritical of me to say that we can’t tell people what to do as I am telling you what I believe you should do. I don’t care. People are hypocrites, I am no exception, hate on hater. I definitely jumped around a good bit in this post, sorry, I suddenly got the urge to YouTube some of those “as a veteran” videos and had them play in the background. Might have thrown me off of my game a little. Well, that’s all for now folks.
Until next time, live and let die.
P.S. How sexy is that truck!? Look at it, take it in, let it marinade. You are welcome!