I’m Done With The Flag Issue But Not With The Racism Issue
Too much name-calling, character-assaulting and division, too much unwillingness to understand each other.
For the record: I respect the military service of my family members and all those brave men and women in our country’s history who have fought and died to defend our democracy. Please accept this truth about me and do not assign your own judgment in order to disregard this truth.
I also support the peaceful people who exercise the rights guaranteed for all US citizens to protest and try to effect positive change in our young country, which would not even exist had it not been for massive protest.
All social progress in this country has been made on the shoulders of those brave enough to stand up for their brothers and sisters who were being treated in less than an equal way.
Suffrage. Civil rights. Women’s work and health rights. Marriage equality. And on and on.
Now, we have brave young men who are silently taking a knee — not shouting boisterously, carrying torches and guns, ramming people with cars or rioting — to try and change the social truth in this country that people of color do not have the natural rights of those of us who were born with the illusory privilege of being fair of skin color.
Vilifying them for their method of protest, which we whites do no matter how they choose to try and gain some attention to their plight, to stop the slaughter of their oft-unarmed young men, mass incarceration and other prejudices, only shows our ignorance of their plight, our unwillingness to sit in the discomfort of asking, “How can WE make this country better?” “What can WE do to help lift up the black communities?”
Yes, the black communities must help themselves. Yes, black men should set good examples for their young men to help them escape a life of poverty, drugs and crime. I hear your cries. This is what you always say.
What do you think these wealthy, successful, hard-working BLACK players are doing? They are doing exactly what you keep insisting they do. They are working their asses off to better themselves, to become successful, to give back to their communities, to set an example to the young black men in poverty- and drug-riddled communities.
And what do we do? We are still not satisfied. We still put them down. We point out the bad apples among them, as if there are none among us.
We call them “sons-of-bitches,” support a leader who calls for them to lose the jobs they worked so hard for, and ridicule them for being “spoiled millionaires” who should “give their money to black communities instead of [acting in any way that displeases us.]”
They can’t win with us. Do you understand WHY?
It is because we insist there is an “us” and a “them.”
(By the way, that is the definition of racism.)
It is because we do not trust one another.
It is because we do not listen to one another.
It is because we fail to see that we are all on the same side.
It is because we forget that we are all citizens of the same great country.
More importantly, we forget or ignore the fact that we are all members of the human race, a planet filled with personalities, though varied and diverse, who simply want a better world to leave for their children. Humans who want to be happy. To be free. To be prosperous. To be safe. To be loved.
To be equal.
We were all created by the same God, Source, Universe, Love — no matter what religion we practice. And no matter what country we live in. And no matter what color our skin is or what our political views are.
These are words that unify. Encouragement to seek understanding. Compassion for those who are working for positive change for those less fortunate. Inspiration for learning, for growth, for unity of Spirit.
It would be a much more peaceful, prosperous and joyful global society if we had leaders who followed these words and shared them with their citizens and their communities.
It is unfortunate that we have a leader in this country who inflames, denigrates, threatens and dismisses multitudes who are working for this good.
If you are a leader, or someone who has the courage to stand up — or kneel — for the power of peace, compassion, understanding and Love, please step up and help with this work. Join your local community’s efforts to promote peaceful inclusion of those less fortunate or marginalized. Donate money if that is more palatable to you.
But whatever you choose to do, do it for good, not for greed. Do it for unity, not division or false pride. Do it with the force of Love, not in a hateful way, putting other members of our human family down.
If you see someone doing something — like kneeling — that you don’t understand (you’ll know because it makes you uncomfortable), ask why. Find out what the need is. If it is something you don’t understand, dig deeper. Don’t just jump to judge or condemn based on your own personal beliefs about symbols.
Where do we go from here?
We unify. We speak up for those who are truly suffering. We look in the mirror and ask our deepest selves to face the truth behind white privilege.
I’m a white woman in America — one of the most privileged humans on Earth. On a large scale, regardless of my economic, marital or health status, I am blessed to automatically have a ticket into the winner’s circle by birth, by sheer luck.
It is my responsibility to show humility in that, to acknowledge the racism that still permeates the fabric of American society.
So I will defend these brave black men. Years ago, I had a boyfriend who played for the NFL, and he happened to be black. I saw how hard he worked, how he defied the odds for young black men, how he gave back to the community and stood for rising above the circumstances that many young black men are born into.
I respect his efforts equally with the respect I have for our veterans, many of whom, by the way, are people of color. This is my truth, and it is my duty to speak up.
If you were moved by this story, please let me know with the clapping thing, as that will help it reach others. Thank you! ❤