NOTE: racist posts full of offensive words for/about particular groups of people will be deleted immediately. You have the right to be an asshole, idiot, redneck, sheep-fucking, sister-marrying piece of crap, but you don’t have the right to do it in MY BLOG!! Period. Your comments will be deleted. Get yourself your own blog and spew your idiocy there.
Back to the post:
What is currently happening in Ferguson, MO is widely known. If you don’t know about it, you’ve either been on a sequestered jury or purposely had your head in the sand at this point.
I’m tired of hearing these stories over and over. I’m tired of police brutality. I’m tired of grown men being scared of little boys because on average adults of all races estimate black males to be at minimum two years older than their non-black peers. This has huge consequences when it comes to assuming a 10 year old child is a 12 year old adolescent/teen and making a decision on how to react to normal ten year old silly antics that most boys pull at that age. “Rasslin'” and rough-housing of two buddies is suddenly called into 911 as a gang war. Police react accordingly and somebody’s little boy is dead because he was playing and didn’t hear the cop yelling to freeze. Just one example.
We should be working together, not one against each other, to re-tear down the master’s house and get rid of his rules once and for all. It will take time, but enough of us are angry enough now that I believe MAJOR change is just within our reach. But we need to all team up to get it done. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to fix the problems that are destroying our safety and sense of community.
I have made a pledge to multiple friends and I will make it to my public page here as well:
1. I swear to not do anything in my knowledge or power that encourages, appears to dismiss or ignore, or otherwise condone racism in any form.
2. I also swear to listen carefully and completely without being defensive or dismissive if I screw up, and I ask that you tell me if I screw up so I can listen to what you have to say, apologize sincerely, and learn to do better.
3. I don’t ask you to teach me – that’s my job – but I do ask you to tell me if I say something that’s harmful or offensive without realizing it. (Example, I once used a horrible phrase and had NO IDEA of the origination of the phrase. In my mind I had never made the connection. It was pointed out to me that the phrase was not ok, thank God for the person who had the courage to tell me, and I did some research, found the connection, was horrified and embarrassed, and have banned that phrase from my mouth.)
I’m not talking about putting a responsibility on POC to educate the idiots of the world, but please don’t just be silent if I say something that harms people. I would never do so knowingly and want to know if I’m using a word or phrase that’s offensive. I’ll do the research, I’ll seek out the education. I’m just asking for the red flag of “hey you need to look that one up before you use it again, please.”
This for me also includes bigotry against other groups like LGBT. Hate is hate and simply changing your target isn’t enough. Young black men are being murdered at an alarming rate. Young transgender women of color are being downright genocided out of existence in front of us IN THE U.S. We ALL shrug, wring our hands, say “what a pity, how sad,” maybe write an RIP comment on a social media page, maybe not. and move on.
No more. I am done.
********I REFUSE TO BE A PART OF THE PROBLEM.***********
While I’ve done my best to deal with macroaggressions and blatant discrimination as I’ve seen them for years, the microaggressions and institutionalized racism in corporate America and elsewhere have been on the back burner with an attitude of “no, let’s get the big things first.” That’s not enough anymore. Chopping up the problem into little bits keeps it looking like a lot of little problems, and it’s hard to find a root cause if we look piecemeal. It’s time to really talk about it. Stop the silence. All of us.
It’s time to open people’s eyes to what REALLY goes on. The “small” things like a purse clenched tighter, a less cheerful greeting from the waiter, no makeup in your shade in any store in a particular neighborhood etc. Let’s call it out. Let’s –_politely_– confront. And in cases where the person we are asking has no control (store mgr with makeup stock) invite them to join us in doing our part, big AND small, to eradicate the stuff that keeps us uneducated about, ignorant of, and wary of one another.
And lest you think I’m a 19 year old comin’ wet behind the ears out of liberal arts school with a savior complex, I’m not. I’m 41 and seen it with my own eyes for my whole life. I’m tired of it. It’s crap.
My husband’s FIRST memory is of his dad being pulled over for driving while brown and the police grabbed my husband (he was 3) and said to his dad “you’re too dark to have a baby with white skin and green eyes. Where did you kidnap this child from?” Meanwhile my husband bit the officer who was holding him, bit him HARD, screamed bloody murder and used the officer’s surprise to jump down and run to his daddy and tell them “he IS my daddy and you can’t take me!” He had been taught not to go with a stranger and to fight if needed. He felt he was in danger. And he was.
He’s still terrified of cops. To this day. Despite carrying the privilege of being a white-appearing (unless you know what to look for) person of color, and despite knowing that that privilege makes him the least likely group to be harassed, he can’t drive except in an emergency because he gets panic attacks when cop cars are near. I don’t blame him.
Who will take my pledge with me?