Sometimes the world feels like it’s in a tailspin. Pandemic. Murder. Racism. Right now there’s a loud plea to not only understand, but to be understood.
I loathe politics and the hiding behind idealism. I’m writing this because after bearing witness to the murder and degradation of George Floyd I too would be marching in the streets. I would encourage everyone to search their hearts and make your own decisions about how you feel. These are my opinions.
I will preface this by saying that I’m Canadian and white. I have American family and friends who reside in various parts of the United States. I love the people of the USA–the warmth, the passion, and the pride. I don’t like the divisive politics, the guns, or the racism. I suppose you’d probably call me a liberal and that’s okay–I’ve been called worse.
I’ve never been about labels or restrictive boxes that you have to fight to find your way out of in order to express a personal opinion and not spout rhetoric. I’m more but about the listening and learning and making up my own mind. I’m a little of this…a little of that. No one leader or side is absolute in their truth. Each side has good and bad. Right and wrong. It’s up to the individual to make a choice and pick and choose what they’re willing to support and live with.
I grew up watching Oprah, The Cosby Show, The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, and Dynasty. A mishmash of people, ideals, and discussions.
Many years ago I remember telling someone about a recent Oprah show I’d watched. I wanted to discuss the topic and get her perspective. I don’t recall the theme of the show but it was something that resonated with me (as they often did).
I loved the Oprah show. The openness of the forum and how it got my mind thinking about different things in life–I learned a lot and took away a lot of good information.
Anyway, the person said to me that they didn’t watch the show because Oprah was racist against white people and did not represent the ideals of America.
The answer confused me but I thought maybe it was an American thing. I had no idea. I never discussed that with my friend and I continued to watch, learn, accept, and in my opinion, grow and thrive. Being open to others ideas and not shutting them down immediately because of your own beliefs is not only more respectful but also a learning opportunity.
I believe in an open mind and an open heart. Difference and diversity are not a negative thing. I will not follow just for the sake of following. I need a reason and those reasons need to touch a part of me.
What I can’t handle is the overt hatred and hypocrisy. The violence and the marginalization of an entire group of people simply because of the color of their skin.
Others have said everyone is equal in the USA and can fight for the American dream. It’s hard work and dedication that makes you rise against the odds. A handout from the government is not the answer many say…but neither is oppression and marginalization.
But what about equal education? medical care? a social safety net?
Why doesn’t a country take care and ensure these things for it’s own citizens? Who decides the when and where?
The following was copied from FaceBook. I don’t know who wrote it but it sums up what I see. I know others will see different things or have different arguments–that’s okay.
Hey, yo, ummmm… Black people. So, we really don’t think you should be looting and rioting as a way to protest against us murdering you guys
But we are angry
Yeah… we get that, we really do, it’s just, we just don’t want you breaking our stuff, is the thing.
So what do you want us to do?
Maybe you could find a way to peacefully protest us killing you?
Like kneeling during the anthem?
Nooooo… not that. It’s like a sacred song… and the troops and all that
Could we wear tshirts with the victims names on them?
Are we going to have to see you wear them? Like, are basketball players going to wear them for warm ups on tv and stuff?
No, we really don’t like that idea either
Could we storm the capital building with AK 47s?
No. That’s just for us when we can’t go to the hair salon. We’d probably kill you if you tried that
So what do you want us to do then?
Maybe you could like march around some streets together with each other like MLK did in The 60s.
But you killed MLK and those marches never stopped our people from being killed
Sounds great. I’m glad we could clear this up.
Well, I have nothing more to say today. Be kind. Treat others as you’d like to be treated.