Walking & Thinking #6

We often stop to think, contemplate, plan about and for our child’s future. But do we do the same for the future of others from the standpoint of how our children will affect them, affect the rest of the world? If not, why not?

I remember being bullied as a kid by a jerk down the street for years — he was such a mean kid, by “mean girls” in my neighborhood, and by some in school who just didn’t like the way I looked or who my friends were. I struggle to believe that their parents didn’t know how mean and even abusive some were, and I often wonder how some of them are now as adults. In the workplace I would imagine which employees and managers had been bullied as kids or were the bullies. We see and hear about abusive relationships with spouses, with children, even with elderly parents. I can recall even a few teachers that definitely were. Can you imagine — the people responsible for educating our children? We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like to ask about it or get involved. Sometimes we even shame the victim (another abuse). We even deny it when we’re the one with the personality problem (so it continues). We don’t want to admit when it’s an issue in our families or how we might be affected by it. So, when does it STOP? Where does it END? No type of abuse is acceptable, or so we like to say. Verbal, sexual, physical, and even schoolyard bullying — all types are VIOLENCE.

When does one finally look at it honestly and squarely and say, “THIS ENDS WITH ME RIGHT NOW?” We don’t have to be the abuser, necessarily, to change it and turn it around. You know how some of us like to pretend that there’s nothing wrong in our family dynamics. We might have responsibility because we know it’s happening. Yes, if we know, we are responsible. And if you are the abuser — how miserable you must be stuck in that way. Don’t you want more for yourself, for your kids, for others that you affect?

The saying goes, “Hurt people hurt people.” I prefer, “Miserable people make other miserable people who turn around and make other people miserable.”

When "Just Love" Is Just Words Instead of a Verb

ūüíó

There’s a lot of requests to “just love” in the past couple days.

This is popular when there is a tragedy, whether it’s a large scale disaster, or something that just hits local or home. Notice the word “just” is put in front of the word “love” to indicate that it really is a simple thing, that it really needs to happen, and that it will really make all the difference.


I don’t think it’s surprising that this request comes in droves when a major tragedy occurs.¬† Not at all.¬† Nor do I think it is somehow wrong or inappropriate. We are touched and moved in various ways by these occurrences, and so it seems natural o reach out in this way.


But why aren’t we doing this every day regardless of circumstances? Why aren’t we doing less talking and more listening in the first place — and in all places and for all people? Why do we wait until a terrible thing that showed us what a lack of love and conscience looks like, to remember to “just love?”¬†

What does your “just love” look like? What does it mean?¬† Are certain individuals or groups left out? You see, if our “just love” is meant to invoke a loving change or a change for more love, then it begins with you, me, the person stating it — not “them,” or over there somewhere. If your “just love” is meant as a plea or a reminder for people to change their hearts and minds, this must also apply to you. Otherwise it is an empty plea.¬†

“Just love” doesn’t mean that you have to start agreeing with everybody. What it looks like (if you actually want change) is the willingness to hear people that may think or act or look differently than you. It’s real easy and a cop-out from your statement to “just love” the same people that you just loved the day before the tragedy. There is absolutely no change in that. So when the dust settles from the current tragedy, guess what we have! We have the same thing we had before the tragedy — the very thing that we said we didn’t want to see any more of.

Is your “just love” just words, or is it a jump into action?

Do you have a plan to include those you left out before? I think that most of us know that one of the best ways we can show love and respect for another is to give them our attention and consideration. When we minimize, ignore, or ridicule another person’s experience based off of the simple, and simple-minded, fact that it is different from our own, that is absolutely not “just love.” It is, at its least, thoughtless. At its most, it shows up as tragedy in various forms and depths.

 

So the next time you broadcast “just love” as a mend, please make sure it’s not “just words.” Love is, after all, a verb, too.

ūüíó

Outside Inside My White Skin

An Invitation and a Challenge

Yep, here I go again!  Buckle up!

Yes, the timeout is first!

Before I continue and dig into what I am really here to say today, let me take a timeout and acknowledge the elephants of the day in the room — first, the horrific terrorist mass murder in Charleston, SC a few days ago. ¬†Here is my simple statement on that and all the blind rhetoric flying around: Every act of violence is NOT a mental illness. Crazy… likely. But a TRUE mental ILLNESS, no! Face it, some people are just blinded and ruled by hate. Hate (fear in an ugly, dangerous form) will make us do crazy things! Stop making excuses for scum because it makes you feel better. ¬†I am proud of the people that are willing to forgive, and I wish for the day when I can also feel that way. ¬†I am working on it. ¬†Currently, I hope that little murdering flea and his ilk rot in Hell… s l o w l y.

Next, is Rachel Dolezal, the woman who was a local President of an NAACP chapter who is a white woman that attempted to be black… or as one of my sons said, acting in blackface. For the sake of space and time to read, let me just say that she has unfortunately made herself and her just causes a non-issue. ¬†I can’t know what her deep, true motivations are that caused her to perpetrate this lie, so I won’t even touch it. ¬†I feel sad. ¬†I feel sad that she did some good things under a lie, and she did some other things that are contradictory to what she says her cause is. ¬†Someone in an article postulated that she probably did it out of being tired of not being heard because of her white skin. ¬†I actually totally get that – in real time! ¬†However, I am white and I can sympathize, use my brain and heart to see and feel, to reason, and even to empathize in some ways. ¬†But at the end of the day, well the beginning, too… I am white and I don’t and won’t attempt to pretend otherwise. I hope she comes to one day. ¬†As for her family, they are suspect in my eyes. ¬†WHAT family throws their daughter under the bus as they did, regardless of what she’s done? What a bunch of losers.

The Confederate Flag needs to be taken down and put into the annals of “things that are just wrong in our history and other losers.” ¬†If you think it should remain up because “it’s a piece of our history,” you are lying and I am calling you out on that. ¬†I won’t even get into how streets, buildings, and other public and government properties are named after Confederate figures. ¬†Yes, it’s a piece of our history, but so is murdering innocent indigenous peoples, no seatbelts, banning Filipinos from entering the country, women and blacks being prohibited from voting, segregation, etc., etc., etc! ¬†You get my point. ¬†And if you are one of those that wishes those days back, then YOU need to leave this country, not me. ¬†Next!

Now, here’s the meat for today.

In my experience in my skin, rarely does anyone want to hear this white woman’s thoughts about the struggle for and by black people in this country. ¬†There are white people that roll their eyes or check out when I talk about my thoughts, and there are black people that think I don’t have a clue and think that my thoughts on the subject are meaningless. ¬†Waaaaaaay back when I was a school kid, there were others that thought I wanted to be black (As if!), and they gave me a terrible time about it. ¬†What these idiots didn’t realize was that they were only assisting me in my ideals that there was something wrong. ¬†Thanks! ¬†I hope some of you have become more enlightened since then. ¬†And no, I haven’t forgotten who you are.

I have more than a simple vested interest in the treatment of black people in this country. ¬†A large part of my family is not white, and a very large portion of that is black. ¬†I am a part of this multicultural, multiracial family, and they will always be a part of me, who I am, and how I think. ¬†I love my family and am proud of it, just as I am sure you love yours and are likewise proud. ¬†Your disinterest in what I have to say, your scoffing at my personhood and my knowledge and feelings, your racial brush-off to me translates that you think that somehow my children are less important to me than your children are to you. ¬†Read that last sentence again; I suspect a few of you digested it incorrectly the first time. ¬†It also means that somehow I have lived on this Earth for 50+ years and have spent it with my head in the sand, and my heart in my sequestered white ego. ¬†First, let me bulldoze that pile and let you know that nothing is further from the truth. Next let me save you the personal time of denying it. ¬†You haven’t realized that is what your dismissal means, but that is what it means whether you admit it or not, whether you want to examine it or not. ¬†I learned a very long time ago that my kids and I are on a particular island that not many really care to visit. ¬†Whatever color your own skin, if you think this is solely a “black” issue, then you are not only a part of the problem, you are ACTIVELY CONTRIBUTING to the problem.

As for the next person that says “Slavery ended 150 years ago; get over it!”, well you can go crawl in your teeny tiny dark corner and just rot away, because you are a waste of precious oxygen on this planet. ¬†Are you really that NARROW MINDED, that BLIND, that UNAWARE that you think unfair treatment and practices (and much worse) ended with slavery? ¬†WAKE UP! ¬†If you want to know why black people hate, distrust, or are afraid of the police and other people in power, just research OUR AMERICAN HISTORY! ¬†Someone said to me the other day, “But why do they run when they are stopped by the police?” ¬†Now this is not a dumb question. ¬†If you have not had the experience of a black person, have not been exposed to the experiences of a black person, AND you don’t have family that can tell you stories handed down of decades of abuse in an effort to warn you about these abuses, then I expect you really do not know. ¬†However, what I would hope is that we can ALL have a listening ear and heart when someone (anyone!) is speaking on their experiences. ¬†By the way, thank you to that person who heard what I said about that question.

My reasons for anything and everything worthwhile.  9/2011

My personal rainbow. And this is only part of my family and wonderful people
I choose to surround myself! ¬†ūüôā ¬† 9/2011

Those that cannot or refuse to admit how things really are in this country are just afraid to.  You are afraid to admit it because you think it will mean something personal about you, your actual person, your family.  You may be right if that is the way you feel, if you take it that personally.  Do you want to know the best way to stop feeling like that?  Step OUT of your tired skin and make a difference for your fellow human beings.  You would do it for your own family!  Have you forgotten that we are ALL of the human RACE?

The human race is the ONE and ONLY true RACE, by the way. ¬†Race, as a category, is a man-made concept. ¬†Yep! ¬†Go research it. ¬†I am not going to hold your hand on this one. ¬†WE MADE THIS SHIT UP! ¬†There is no biological, scientific backing for separating us into color categories. ¬†NONE. ¬†It serves only to separate us. ¬†That is it! ¬†Well done, wouldn’t you say?

With that said, I am here to tell you that it is, however, important that we do recognize each other’s race at this time in our history. ¬†It speaks to the essence of who we are individually, where we have been, our probable life experiences, AND it does NOT define us in totality. ¬†Confused yet? ¬†Color blindness does not serve anyone, and is a myth anyway. ¬†It is a way of pretending that “I don’t see who you are and it doesn’t matter.” ¬†The melting pot is just something we throw people into that tries to melt others into what “we” want them to be, to assimilate into our own ideas. ¬†I would rather have a salad chock full of all the flavors that you can see and taste individually that are wonderful each on their own, and are just as wonderful when thrown in together. ¬†Yes, I’m laughing at my corny self right now, but that is really how I feel.

If you are feeling injury right about now and are making this monologue mean that I don’t like white people, that I’m abandoning my own (Yes, I’ve heard all this before.), that I’m prejudiced or racist against white people, that I don’t care about the bad things that happen to whites… well, you have missed the point entirely then, and/or you still aren’t listening. ¬†I give you one last chance at this juncture to hop down off your high horse and experience more of life, a life that has nothing to do with your individual skin. ¬†I invite you to try on some new ideas and ideals today. ¬†I invite you to stop being afraid. ¬†I challenge you to step out of the masses and the cog thinking.

I suspect that there are still some that are wondering just what my deal is. ¬†If I sound angry, I am. ¬†Besides what I think should be the obvious reasons for having humanity in my heart, there are people that want to kill and do other horrible things to people that look JUST LIKE MY CHILDREN. ¬†NOW DO YOU GET IT? If you still don’t, then all I can say is I hope you get help for your blindness and willful stupidity.

Complicated? ¬†Confusing? ¬†Yes! ¬†And I say, “So what!” ¬†Wake up and stand up, or please just shut up! ¬†White privilege is a real thing. ¬†Mistreatment of people of color is a thing – to put it all lightly. ¬†I will no longer be sporadic with my voice on this. ¬†So either be prepared to deal with me, get on with me, or exit from my life. ¬†I have ushered others out before you. ¬†Consider that your experience is not the template for others, and consider that other experiences contrary to your own are actually real. ¬†We don’t have to agree, but I insist on respect. ¬†Try on acceptance vs. tolerance.