Sometimes the biggest decision you make is whether or not to hit "Send":
Former state Sen. Erica Smith, a Democrat who is running for the U.S. Senate, sent an email to supporters Tuesday after the murder conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, a Black man. “I’m thinking about the literal millions of Black men and women who’ve been murdered, who were lynched and slaughtered with disregard, and never had their day in court, let alone a just ruling,” Smith wrote.
“Exaggeration doesn’t help. Gross exaggeration is worse. It makes you look bad,” wrote Schaul, who is one of more than 800 members on the committee, including 66 from Wake County.
Honestly, I hate getting involved in these things, but I'm also a precinct officer who struggles every year to get people to step up and help organize. Diversity is our superpower, and condescending stuff like this is our Kryptonite. If he had left it with the above, it would have been bad enough. But he didn't:
“Since the first African was brought to what is now the U.S., if there had been 1 million murdered, that would have been 6-7/day, everyday, for 400 years,” Schaul wrote. “’Millions’? How many? 3 million — that’s 20/day. Were there that many at the height of slavery, when murdering a slave was, in effect, destroying valuable property. In the absence of serious data, I don’t believe it. 20 or even 6/day now, or in my lifetime? Unlikely."
“So, as terrible as things have been during those 400 years, let’s not make it seem so much worse. It doesn’t help anything, much less your cause.”
Schaul, who is white, later sent the email to others, saying in part: “Once again, I find myself having to write to Erica’s campaign telling them how bad their emails are.”
So, let's break this down, shall we? An attempt to use math (of some sort) to call into question Erica's numbers is didactic in nature, a maybe subconscious effort to elevate oneself above the person who needs to be "taught." Erica is an engineer for god's sake, she doesn't need to be taught anything from a mortgage banker.
But this is also what's known as "concern trolling." If Schaul had been a genuine supporter, such criticism might be considered poorly delivered but with good intentions. His inclusion of, "It doesn't help anything, much less your cause" appears to be an effort to imply that.
But when he e-mailed a bunch of other people to show them what he did, that false concern was exposed for what it is.
Understand, we are in the middle of an incredibly important discussion about "implicit bias" in policing, and a monumental societal shift about how to stop the centuries-old stifling of Black voices. White people (men especially) need to check themselves closely before speaking out on this subject (Erica wasn't talking about tax policy, she was talking about systemic racism), because even with the best of intentions, we can (and do) exacerbate the problem instead of easing it. And when your intentions are not so good, there's simply no way to make that turd smell like a rose.