I normally don’t write about political or social issues because people get so locked into whatever their beliefs are that they can never hear what the other side is saying. The whole racial tension in our nation saddens me. So, I want to challenge everyone who reads this to open their hearts and minds and be willing to be willing to broaden our horizons on how we treat our fellow human beings.
I’ve never been black, my Dad’s side of the family never owned slaves. They immigrated from Ireland just a few generations back coming to America to start a new life where they were treated so poorly, they changed the family name from MacAdams to Adams so they could get jobs. My Mom’s side of the family is a “Who’s Who “of generations of slave owners. I find that deplorable. So, as the umpteenth direct descendent of Patrick Henry, I apologize to all decedents of slaves.
So now the whole nation is arguing about #bluelivesmatter, #whitelivesmatter, #alllivesmatter. People are getting all up in arms about who hurts the worst and are missing the big picture…….Listening with an open heart and open mind. I see a lot of people creating counter arguments without listening and by listening, I mean not just the words, listen to what’s really being said which is “We been hurting and scared for a long time and we just want to be heard”.
If I could wave my magic wand, I’d give everyone a cup of “shut the fuck up” sit all walks of life in a room and pass a talking stick around. The first person I’d give it to is the black groups. There is nothing worse than having your trauma become a pissing contest.
Right now, there is a reason black people are hurting, angry, and scared. They’ve been fighting for generations to be heard. Dave Chappelle does this hilarious routine about letting the white people do the talking when getting stopped by a cop. What’s sad is I’ve been in that situation with more than one black person. One of the scariest experiences was driving through a small town in Oklahoma with my partner at the time who was black. I’ve been pulled over more than once for what I believe was having a black person in my car. Both times it was decided I should do the talking…it was nerve racking and sad. So now here’s where everyone else jumps in from other races saying, cops kill _____(fill in the blank social group). So, here is why I’d pass around a talking stick.
When I was young, I was tortured, molested, raped, poisoned, beaten but I grew up in an upper middle class family. I left home at 16 because I knew it was the only way I would survive. I had gone to treatment to get help and when I tried to tell my story, some women told me I was a spoiled brat born with a silver spoon in my mouth and what do I have to complain about. Everyone else had it worse, yet none of them had been poisoned and molested by a mother who probably had Munchausen by proxy. I was passed around a table by a relative and his military buddies around 7 years old while all these men violated and humiliated me. I was raped the first time on my 5th birthday and that wasn’t even the worst of what happened to me. No one wanted to hear me because I should just “get over it” because I was a “privileged rich bitch” and they had it so much harder. I felt so alone, I had no voice, and my experiences had been minimized because people made a judgement of who they thought I was. Suddenly, everyone’s ego of who had it worse kicked in and coming from that energy, it’s really hard to heal.
I think we need to listen to each other’s struggles without making it a “ Who had it Worse” competition. So, let’s pass the talking stick to our black brothers and sisters and open our hearts to them even if they are angry. Angry is just hurt and there’s no greater healing for hurt than compassion. We start with the biggest wounds and then we can work on the others.
I never understood why we can’t see people as people. I always had friends of all races, religions, and sexuality. As a little girl, the Iran hostage situation was going on and there was a little Iranian boy who would ride the bus. I was in second grade. No one would sit by him on the bus, so I did. I guess I felt I was a kindred spirit because the other kids at the time always made fun of me being different. The boys name was Sa’eid. The kids would pick on him and call him a terrorist, so they started calling me a terrorist lover. I also had a really good friend who was a black girl and I got called a nigger lover. It was extremely hurtful, but I took it and I would sit on the bus with him everyday until he moved away. I would go home from school and cry almost every day because of how mean people could be.The little black girl stayed my friend. I remember being in kindergarten with her and she was the first little black girl I had met and the teacher told us all to hold hands. I remember grabbing her hand and in the innocence of a child I was fascinated by how her skin felt different and almost scared to touch her, but once I felt her hand in my hand, she was my friend. I felt her beutiful energy and spirit and neither of us had any clue that color should make us enemies. It was really scary for her to be the only black girl. I can’t even imagine, but they were my friends and they made my life bearable considering what was going on behind the scenes in my house. I hope I made them feel loved, because I loved them with all my heart.
My ex husband was at one time an undercover cop. He quit because he couldn’t tell the “guppies from the sharks”. He was half Asian, but could pass for anything. When he had long hair he looked native American. He got pulled over by a cop who thought he was an “ Indian” punk and they slammed him on the hood of the car and beat him. I’ve had friends raped by cops and I had the kindest cop in the world show me compassion at 17 that changed the course of my life for the better.
As I got out onto my own, I fell in love with a wonderful woman, it was late 80’s and gay bashing was rampant. I can’t tell you how many times a man threatened to rape me because I just hadn’t been fucked by the right man. I had one corner me in a walk in freezer at work and tell me how he was going to bend me over and fuck me. I told him he could try, but he better be ok with being a eunuch. I was blessed that I worked with some actual good men who made his life a living hell until he quit. At the time being a woman reporting that to the police, we were still at fault, it was still the mindset a woman did something to deserve a sexual assault.
So the last group I’d give the talking stick to is the white people. Most white people really do give a shit. As a society, we tend to focus on the atrocities or hate speech and give very little attention to the little white girl or boy who stood by someone who was different and was persecuted themselves for it. The majority of my black friends don’t put me in the “white privilege” box, but I have had my feelings hurt because of a minority of blacks who think I’m the enemy because I’m white or get mad at me because I had “white privilege”. I can’t help that I’m white or that my mom’s side of the family had servants and slaves. In fact, my Mom grew up in an abusive home and they had black servants and cooks. Those black ladies gave her the love her parents could not and she would get beat for hanging out with them, but the love they gave her was so strong, she’d take the ass whooping. I’ve taken my share of beatings and had rocks thrown at me, and even been shot at for standing by a human being who happened to be different. I’ll do it again in a hearbeat.
I really hope people evolve past this. I hope someday, we can quit putting labels on people and judging a whole group of people and the truth of the matter. We are all human and deserve compassion and forgiveness. It’s not the race, gender, orientation, religion, or anything else. I hope we evolve to where we can see beneath the skin, beneath the wounds, and start assessing by the heart and mind of the individual we are dealing with. We’ve all hurt each other enough and the real reason everyone is so upset is that we all think we are listening, but nothing will ever be heard unless all sides can quit listening through the filter of old ideas on all sides of the fence. We have to lose out investment of “being right” at the expense of healing