I have written about this before, but want to go into a little more detail now. So let’s link to a post that’s about two years old now. In short, it describes my past with social media and how much I used to use Twitter. The account I wrote about in that post still existed as of a couple of days ago, and I decided to finally delete it. Hadn’t seen any activity in around 6 years but still just hadn’t gotten around to it.
So I decided to go and delete it, get rid of it, make myself another +1 in Elon’s statistics about users leaving. I didn’t remember the username anymore because I had changed it to something gibberish, so had to log in with my email address. I had to log in with my ages old Gmail address that I haven’t touched in years, in favour of more private options. Okay I digress, I logged in, scrolled through to find that indeed, this is all bullshit and there’s more ads than posts. No one I knew on there even posted any more. No one, except for one person.
And it wasn’t hard to notice in between the brands and the musicians. It was my dad. My dad that I barely talk to because of reasons, retweeting every single extreme-right viewpoint and more likely conspiracy theory he could possibly find. Of course I was tempted to scroll down, so I did. Clicked on his profile and started scrolling and scrolling. Damn this dude is insane. First of all, the bio was crazy. Stating where he works, racist remark 1 and slightly racist remark 2. #2 was “I am white.” I mean. Every possible human on this planet could have discerned that from your post history but sure, go ahead and state that as the first thing people see about you anyway. reminder to myself to talk about his work stories about co-workers that were not white
When scrolling along, there were posts about some insect thing, apparently some company in the EU is allowed to put insects into food. Not knowing that some red food colouring has been made from lice (definitely a insect) for decades. And that of course there is a legal limit to how many insect parts there can be in any food, because those little creepy crawlies just get into machines and things and you can’t remove them all you know. Besides the insects, there were posts about farmers, about how our (right-wing/fiscally conservative) government sucks and are traitors and have done nothing good for the country. I somewhat agree with him on that part but don’t want the ruling party to die. People voted for them, they are doing their jobs. About how in the upcoming elections, it’s time to “Take back our land” from all the brown/woke people. His words, not mine. Other posts about how some 250 people in government get to decide many many things for 17 million people living in the country. Literally what a representative democracy does. We can’t have every single person vote for every single policy. Posts about how we are supposed to carry identification at all times but how it’s okay for thousands of “illegal” immigrants to cross our borders and get more money than we get while doing nothing at all.
You get the picture
I grew up in a house with this dude. This is a person that taught me things. I think, in the recent post about my work and culture shocks, some early childhood things I did and felt were planted into my brain by him. And that hurts. And here’s where I will talk about what I mentioned in the reminder; when my dad talks about work, he also talks about the people of colour that work there as well. These are most likely people from former Dutch colonies, like Suriname and the nearby islands. The fact that they laugh at the names he and his white co-workers have for them. When I was younger and hearing these stories, I didn’t make much of it. But now, thinking back, the (most likely) only reason they were laughing along was because if they showed any other response, they would have been shunned. It would have “just been a joke” “why are you so bad at taking a joke” “I was just kidding.” We all know the kind. These people were hurt, probably on a daily basis, by the people working closest to them and probably couldn’t share a whole lot about themselves without fear of ridicule.
Getting older has its advantages but thinking back on certain memories in different light, after learning new information, it’s confusing. As a child your parents can do no wrong, besides not let you stay up a little later to finish your game/episode. They are all you know. They are your compass, your right and wrong, your guide through good and bad, your handbook through social situations. Finding out that your parents’ compasses pointed completely different ways, and one of them straight up broke a couple of years ago is an odd realization that I haven’t fully processed yet.
My father’s an asshole, and part of the reason why I would never want to be a parent. But that’s a tale for another time.