Friday, July 8, 2016

I just don't understand

Maybe its a good thing I don't understand, because if I did understand then I would be a part of the problem. Why is there so much hate? Why? Why are people in 2016 who are different in any way, shape, or form being killed-tortured-beaten-maimed-threatened-hurt or even living in fear?

Why are parents in denial that their little darlings are bullying other children?

Why do we have to prepare for active shooter situations at work and school?

Why are those of any faith (Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Pagan, or any other of the bazillion faiths in this world) worried that they will be persecuted?

Why are members of the LGBT community fearful of violent acts against them?

Why are different ethnicities being shot and profiled while other races are getting away with murder, literally?

Why are protestors retaliating by shooting police who had nothing to do with violent acts that happened in other states?

Yes, if you are breaking the law and the police try to stop you from breaking the law, you should stop- don't run, don't try to escape, blah blah blah... That doesn't mean you deserve to die if you do try to run to avoid getting caught for a non-violent crime. The Police are supposed to protect us, the citizens. That is their job. There are more good ones than bad ones. However there are some that are bad. There are some that screw up royally and it costs someone their life. There are some that get so wrapped up in the power trip that they think they are above the law. But again, there are more good than bad. My hope is that all the bad ones get caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I can not for the life of me figure out why any of these things and so many other horrible things are taking place and why we as a society can not figure out how to stop it. Are we so beyond the hope of living together peacefully that we should just give up? What kind of a society are we leaving for our children? This is not what I want for my four sons.

Where I grew up there was not much diversity. I didn't know many people who weren't white. I honestly can say I didn't meet anyone who wasn't under the Christian umbrella  until I was married and moved to Central Ohio, except for a few Pagans I met in college. I only knew a handful of gay people and they were closeted for the most part. Once I met some people who were different , it was very intriguing to me to get to know them and broaden my horizons. I had so many questions and always asked their permission before bombarding them with my usually silly questions (everyone laughed in good humor at me wanting to know stuff that seemed so common place to them).

After a few years the novelty of diversity faded and I loved the fact that my four sons all had friends of various faiths, races, and genders. They didn't care if someone was gay or straight, male or female, a believer or not, what mattered is that someone was nice and was their friend, and that made me proud. Seeing them grow up in a society where everyone was equal and differences were embraced made me happy and sad. Happy for them and how lucky they were, sad at how much I had missed out on and that I didn't get these experiences until I was an adult. Better late than never.

Then one day my youngest son, he was four or five at the time, came running inside upset. He'd been playing outside with kids from our neighborhood when something went sideways. He was madder than a hornet who's nest had been busted up. He stormed into the kitchen to tell me all about it. "Mom! This stupid black boy..." I cut him off right there. I refused to let him call names, much less make comments that could ever come off as racist. But he continued all about the stupid black boy and that he had said something and done something and each time he said "stupid black boy" I chastised him. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the door so he could show me the traitor. When we went outside, there were no children that were African American. No Latinos. No Somalis. No Indians either. Confused, I asked him if the child had left and he said "No Mom, he's there!" and pointed at a little boy with blonde hair and fair skin. He was wearing a black shirt. To my son, this was the stupid black boy. He wasn't describing his skin color, but the color of his shirt. It never occurred to my son to use black as a descriptive word for race since my son is racially colorblind. I wanted to cry. Happy tears. Why can't we all be racially colorblind? His closest friend is African American. When I think of it, all of my sons closest friends are different races. Either African American, Latino, Greek, Vietnamese.

My husband's best friend is African American and Muslim. We consider him and his family part of our family. Even if they are not blood, they are still our family, maybe even closer than some of our blood since we chose them. I have very close friends who are gay. I have very close friends and family who are Jewish, Buddhist, Catholic, Atheist, Pagan, and pretty much every variation of Christianity. I fully support the LGBT community. I will never know what it is like to be
African American, LGBT, Muslim etc., but I have had crap held against me for being fat, for being female, and I am not saying that what I have dealt with is anywhere near the same bullshit that these groups have had to face and still face... but I have had a taste and it sucked so with that said, I will stand with those who are being mistreated, those who are being threatened, hurt, violated and even if no one ever reads this blog post, I at least know what I stand for.

This shit needs to stop. NOW. Stop attacking each other. Stop the hate. Stop hurting one another. Just stop it so we can hopefully start to heal.

Black lives matter. Gay lives matter. Muslim lives matter. Police lives matter.

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