Friday, August 16, 2013

Low enough to hate.

 

I’ve been thinking about this one for a while, but didn’t want to say anything while all the Martin/Zimmerman stuff was going on, because this has nothing to do with that. But even if I did write what I think about that, people on both sides would hate my guts and whatever, so you know…not that I don’t want to say anything controversial, but I think that horse has been beaten to death. A thousand million times. But um, anywho, moving on.

To the people who cry ‘racism’ to everything done wrong to a minority: shut up.

To the people who say racism doesn’t exist in the US: shut  up.

You’re both wrong.

See this photo:

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That’s probably the coolest toddler you will (or won’t) ever meet. We’ve got a lot in common, like our love for french fries.

So we like to hang out and whatever.

Oh, but if you hadn’t noticed, he’s black. And I’m white.

So the other day, him and I were just hanging out at McDonald’s (with another brother who missed the photo) being crazy, eating French fries, trying not to climb up windows, that sort of stuff.

And people. Ugh, people.

They look at him, they look at me, they look back at him, they look back at me. Pass sort of a judgmental glare and walk along. This happens all the time.

Thanks guys, next time I need a stupid opinion--I’ll know where to ask.

And no one ever says anything, because you know, people are too kind for that. Though if someone did, I have a few good answers tucked in my pocket.

But it’s written all over their faces.

You really should be careful, because people can pick up on what you’re thinking a lot more than you think.

And maybe they’re just busy judging me ‘cause I look like I’m 13 and lugging around a baby. Maybe that’s it, I don’t know. But that’d still be rude, in my opinion, so racism or not, still wrong.

And not everybody is judgmental about it, but the ones who are make sure you can see it all over their faces. And I think it’s kind of funny. You’re judging me for walking around with a black baby, which last time I checked, was a totally moral thing to do. And you’re the one passing judgments on people you know nothing about. huh.

But do you want to hear something I heard one time?

“What is the difference between a black man and a park bench? A bench can support a whole family.”

You know where I heard this?

At church. At freaking church.

This was a teenager, and there were supposedly mature adults who either heard that, or are deaf. But I’m pretty sure it’s the first. And they just stood there. Are you kidding me? I whipped my head around and said, “Seriously?!” I didn’t say anything else because I was too angry—and whatever came out of my mouth was not going to be sweet, so I shut up. But I wish I hadn’t. I wish I would have stood up, told this person off, and walked out of that building. I would have been just as well off that way, considering I spent the rest of church thinking about how stupid I thought this person was. And everyone else, all these mature adults, just stood around.  And before anyone tells me I shouldn’t be pointing people out, well I don’t even remember who exactly was there (maybe anger causes memory loss), but I do know it was 4-6 “men.”

“Well you’re a bit bitter, Bekah.” Yes. Yes, I am. Should I be? Probably not. But when people who are supposedly good Christian church people sit by in silence while people say this crap…yep, yeah, that does make me angry.

And then, here’s one, I heard this from someone at my house…which is even classier, considering two black people live here.

This is supposed to be a joke, apparently.

“What do you call a bunch of white people running down a hill? An avalanche. What do you call a bunch of Mexicans running down a hill? A coal mine. What do you call a bunch of black people running down a hill? A jailbreak.”

Ah, yes, but this time I could not hold my tongue. I yelled at this kid, told him to shut up, get out of my house, and to quit being stupid. Among other things, which I don’t remember entirely. I went to my room to semi-calm down/cry. It wasn’t exactly the most tactful thing I’ve ever done (tact has never really been my strong point), but I don’t really regret it. My friend Emily says it’s the angriest she’s ever seen me. It’s actually probably the angriest I’ve ever been. It’s one thing to say stupid stuff like that, it’s another to say it in the home of the people you are demeaning.

And I’m sorry that your self esteem is low enough that you have to put down an entire race. That must be an unpleasant way to live.

But I don’t think that’s the way to stop racism. Actually, I don’t know how. Because on one side, you get to the point of crying ‘racist’ at everything, and that’s wrong in and of itself. And on the other side, just ignoring it entirely. And it goes every direction. There are racist whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Indians, whatever. And it’s not right for anybody.

But I do know this, a lot of it starts with kids parents. No kid is born and thinks, gee, I’m going to hate this group of people because their eyes are slanted. That’s ridiculous. No, kids are taught. And I have read stuff where people claim to be racists because of a bad thing this person of this race did to them one time.

Seriously?

So if I get robbed by a guy with blue eyes, I should hate all blue-eyed people.

Good thinking.

I could ramble on all day about what I think is or isn’t the end-all fix everything answer, but I don’t know. I really don’t.

What I  do know though, is that whether or not you can change anyone else, you can start with yourself.

And I do know that hating people who seem to be racists does nothing. I don’t think we can just waltz up to people and scream “LOOOVE EVERYBODY, YOU IDIOT!” No, that won’t work. And I don’t know what will, I don’t, and I don’t think there is an easy answer.

I don’t know, I really don’t, but I do know that everyone, on both ends of the racism spectrum, myself included, need to take the advice of basically the coolest civil rights activist, ever.

“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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