Racism, Hatred, the White Middle Class and Oh Yeah — Thanksgiving

I woke up early this morning with the little one stirring, groggy but happy to hear his voice. It’s been a rough six months around here and with the help of family and friends there has always been a bright light.

I have missed most of the nasty politics and civil unrest due to focusing on the family. While this may not make me a good citizen this year, I have been a citizen of my family, the one I am growing and the one that adopted me with great love when I married. My family, the one I grew up with, the one that raised me has been wonderful above words and as I try to type them I can’t think of the right ones to thank them.

So why Racism, Hatred, The White Middle Class and Oh Yeah — Thanksgiving?

My interaction with those back home, my friends and people I grew up with has been relegated to Facebook — minus a few who I’ve been able to get on the phone or video chat with and what I see online scares me.

I guess I should be happy — or at least relieved that people are sharing their thoughts, no matter how disgusting I find them — but instead I find it sad. I find it sad to read the vile venom that shows up in my news feed from people I grew up with, people I shared lunches with as a child, cigarettes with as a teenager, beers with as an adult.

An off color drunk remark or an in poor taste joke is able to be brushed off.

I am finding it harder and harder to brush off the bitter, mean, vile generalizations and remarks from the white middle class community that I grew up in. Yes, we ran the spectrum of that class, but we all were there and to now see the hatred posted online for all to see and like makes me wonder what changed — is it them or is it me?

I don’t profess to know their lives and their hardships. I don’t share all of mine.

I don’t know what may have happened in the years we went from face to face time to sharing our lives online. If such horrible things have happened that these people I shared joy and laughter with are now filled with anger and rage I want to know. I want to know what we can do to make these things better — for them and for us — because as I read each mean spirited — no, vile — update I have to admit to myself that I am associated with them, for good or for bad, and do I want to be? Do I want to pretend it’s not as bad as it sounds? Do I want to pretend it’s just “venting”? I don’t know if I can lie to myself or my child like that.

So today being Thanksgiving I will be thankful for all those around me whom I love, those who I can not be with but love, those who have shared the good and the bad with me, those I have met who have added to my life.

Another day I will see if the others and I can keep up these relationships — but not today.