here it is. the post that's been about one week, or ten years in the making. i have pondered, i have fumed, i have cried, ranted, and cussed. i have daydreamed about saying things that will never sound as awesome as they do in my head if i said them out loud. or write them here. but today, i realized that while my raving may be pointless and eyeroll-worthy, i want to do it anyway. when have i been known to keep my mouth shut?
what happened was i made the mistake of commenting on the status of a Facebook friend that i don't know well. it was one of those "repost this if you believe in BLAH BLAH and BLAH. 98% of you are too chicken!!!!!!!!"
can i just interrupt myself to add that those status updates are ridiculous and most are probably written (poorly) by bored kids? write your own updates. mkay? mkay.
this particular zinger was about the tragic state of charity and how "we" send all our money overseas when there are people here who need things. troops who need supplies, and mentally ill who need hospitals. me being me, thought, oh, hey...let me shed some light. it's the nice thing to do. i politely explained that while it's true, there are MANY families in need here in the states, i feel it's important to remember that in some places, there are no programs in place to support the poor, the sick, and the hungry. there are earthquakes. natural disasters of all kinds. no matter where in the world these things happen, HUMAN BEINGS are meant to help one another.
i added something about charity being a personal decision and that i feel as long as we are giving what we can, to whatever cause we feel drawn to, then that's what will make the world a better place.
the response was all a blur except one line. to paraphrase, it said...
there are kids being adopted from other countries, while there are kids here in the US who need homes.
*pause for suspense*
*pause for you to collect yourself"
*pause for you to go find another blog to read if you agree with this statement*
honestly, i know that fellow APs i know have been told this very thing. i know all the responses that we are armed with, and yet, reading those words made me blind with anger. blood rushed to my head, which immediately started pounding. it was as if someone had told me "your son shouldn't be your son. he doesn't belong HERE."
is that not what it sounds like?
i tried to formulate a response that reflected my hurt feelings, anger, and also could provide some education on the subject. like it mattered at that point. it didn't work. i'm not going to waste any more energy reliving the conversation. basically, i was furious, she didn't seem to understand why.
here's what i came up with today. i don't live in a world, mental OR physical, where i am better than anyone else because of where i HAPPENED TO BE BORN. because NEWS FLASH you didn't do shit to get here. our ancestors did, but that's another story, that so many people obviously choose to forget when they complain endlessly about "immigrants". i love my country. i do. but it makes me so very, very sad when i see my fellow Americans take patriotism to a level that is nothing less than ignorant. and it makes me want to shout to the world IT'S NOT ALL OF US! I'M HERE! WE'RE EQUAL!
years ago, a fellow business owner in my town used to come in to my studio to chat. more than once she brought up, in a hushed voice, the topic of "black people". make sure you whisper it. "black people". i would stare blankly at her, remind her that we were in the process of adopting one of those "black people" and i would proceed to act bewildered. but i didn't speak up.
i should have said something. i should have told her HOLD UP. don't put me in your little club just because our skin matches. our hearts do NOT. please leave.
how many times have people, some my friends, made comments that made me cringe.
taking the car to the Mexicans to get cleaned.
do you know that one Indian at the BP station?
black folks can't drive or swim. it's just fact. i'm not racist.
right there. those words. here's what i'm saying, or trying to, but not making clear.
IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO PREFACE YOUR FORTHCOMING STATEMENT WITH "I'M NOT RACIST, BUT..."
DON'T SAY IT TO ME.
it's not okay. i'm not okay with being hurt every day by people who should know better. it's not about religion, it's not about politics, it's about being a HUMAN. with a heart and a soul. it hurts me so much that people have so much hate in their hearts, even if they try to hide it. even if they make excuses about it "not being a stereotype, it's the truth". you don't know shit about any one's truth but your own.
it's not okay for me. it's not okay for my family. it's not okay for our future, for the children who are growing up in homes where parents use the "n-word" and "faggot". it's not okay that a good portion of the people i have been associating with in this world would have a problem with their child dating outside their race. if you say you love my family, then ask yourself that question. could your blonde haired daughter marry my son with your blessing? if not, that's not okay with me.
i think i had tricked myself into thinking that things were not so bad. now it seems every day i am slapped in the face with ignorant comments and it scares me. my small hope, the one thing that keeps me confident that it won't always be this way, are my kids. the kids of the beautiful families that i know feel the same way i do, down to their core. our kids will grow up and prove them all wrong. they will lead the kids that were lied to, to the truth. it's not their job. it's not even going to be something they know they are doing. but it can happen.
prop 8. the "mosque" drama. tea parties. arizona. people here, that i know, questioning the way we chose to start our family. as if they have the right. i don't have to agree with all of my friends' politics. we don't have to vote the same. i can be friends with people of any religion...
...but when you dehumanize someone by making their RACE, or where they were BORN, the main aspect of who they ARE as a PERSON, their ONLY identifying factor....THAT'S NOT OKAY!!!!!!
i don't know whether to run into the streets preaching equality (as if i could ever find the courage), or retreat into my home to keep my heart, and my family safe from hurt for as long as possible.