Because of recent events, particularly the ugly Nazi and white supremacist activities in Charlottesville, VA – and elsewhere – I really felt the need to say something. We ALL should be saying something – in whatever way we can. Please do not stay silent at a time like this. Silence is dangerous.
Your Assignment – RESIST – GO BE LOVE!
So, I read something online from someone who is tired of “all this racial stuff.” The sentiment expressed basically came down to how this whole thing is like George Orwell’s Animal Farm – where the animals are all equal, but the pigs are a “little more equal” than the rest. This person was saying that right now, black people are wanting to be “a little more equal” and that THIS is the problem. That we are all humans and things should just be the same for all of us. Period. End of story.
In some ways, I agree. I do wish we lived in a world where we were ALL treated as PEOPLE. Not black or white or green or female or male, etc. But just as PEOPLE. We are all one big human family and we should treat each other as such, after all.
But we don’t live in that world.
And the “pigs” who are “a little more equal than the rest” are actually the white people. And we all know it.
Some people like to say that all this racism stuff came up because of Obama. And that may even be somewhat true. But not in the way they say.
It is true that things were quieter before – at least, for many of us. Racism was like this rotting dead thing that we’d buried in our proverbial yard, covered with a few inches of top soil. And we planted pretty flowers over it and enjoyed how nice our garden looked…and never mind that occasional stench that burps up from the ground every now and then. It was denial, pure and simple.
And maybe, just maybe, the reality of FINALLY having a man with darker skin in office made a few people dare to believe that they could begin to hope that the rotting thing in the yard could finally be addressed and maybe be given a proper burial.
But the “little more equal” critters just couldn’t handle that. “Why are you bringing all this ugly racial stuff up? It’s because of THAT president, isn’t it?” Yeah…that president. The one people talked about lynching. Because, after all, isn’t that what the “little more equal” animals do to the ones that try to get uppity?
No, we don’t live in that world of equality yet. And if your skin color is the same as mine, maybe you have a hard time seeing it. But maybe instead of condemning people who DO see it, you should pay attention.
Because *I* see it. Loud and clear. Always have.
I saw it when I lived in Florida and became very close friends with this wonderful African man named Wally, who was a security guard at the hotel I worked at. And when we talked about going out to dinner together one day, the other security guard, who liked us both, gently suggested that we have our dinner privately, so people wouldn’t harass us when they saw us appearing to be on a date.
I saw it at another job, when I joked to a coworker friend one day about his eagerness to be at work when I saw him show up early almost every day. And he sort of laughed it off, but later admitted to me that he did that so he wouldn’t be late if he happened to be pulled over by the police…since that seemed to happen a lot, for various and “mysterious” reasons.
Or how about the dear friend who cried on my shoulder one day because she had to send her beautiful little girl off to school for kindergarten…something many of us mommies cry about. It’s hard, after all. But how much harder might it be if YOU had to explain to YOUR sweet and innocent child what the N-word is and how to handle it if someone yells it at her or attacks her in any other way for the color of her skin? (Frankly, I don’t know how I could send my kid out into the world at all in that situation. 🙁 )
Or the panic that another mom friend of mine felt when her teenage son was late getting home. And she really wanted to believe that he had just lost track of time with his friends. But in a country where so many young black men are shot just for looking “suspicious”, she just couldn’t quite ignore that aching lump of fear in her throat. And when he walked in the door, she cried with relief.
Or the dear woman who stood by my table in a karaoke bar one night, admitting that she was afraid to be there because she could never feel safe in a “white people bar” and I told her she could sit with me if she wanted and if anyone messed with her, I’d be on their asses. And I meant it. And even though I don’t go out much anymore, she is still someone I think of with LOVE.
I could go on and on. THIS is the world we live in. Whether it is comfortable for people to think about or not. It is reality. And right now, with our current administration, that rotting flesh in the yard is all dug up and exposed and stinking up the place to high heaven and a whole lot of people who have been in denial are suddenly going, “What happened? Why are these people making a problem where one didn’t exist?” But…it DID exist. It DOES exist. And until we all look at it with open eyes and open hearts, and stand up against the “pigs” that are fighting so hard to stay “a little more equal”, it’s going to just keep stinking up the joint.
Someone told me recently, “none of us have ever owned a slave or been a slave. We need to let the past be in the past.” And you know….nice sentiment. But this isn’t about slavery, folks. It’s about how people are still being treated NOW…TODAY. And denying that reality just allows it to continue.
We can be better than this. We need to be better than this. For us, for our human family….and for all of our beautiful children.
All we are supposed to be doing is loving each other. Why is this so friggin’ hard? 🙁
“Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.”
Go BE LOVE.