Tuesday, August 18, 2009

late night lunacy...

Ok - so I've been dealing with a major bout of PMS (sorry guys) so what do I do? I watch a movie I've never seen before about Apartheid called "The Power Of One" Have you seen it? What a CRAPPY trailer for a great movie. I will admit the last 3 minutes of the movie left me with a "what?" but....WHAT WAS I THINKING? As great as it was - it was a real heart wrencher. I'm on a spiral now of non sleep mental obsession about everything.

Race being at the top of the list (as usual). I don't get and could never get and never will get why a color of someones skin makes a bit of difference anywhere. Of course history doesn't agree with me. And neither do so many people in this world. No matter how much I read, see, learn or hear I just can't wrap my head around it. Am I ignorant? Hell yeah! Of course I am.

In my quest to "learn" more so I can better understand what the future holds for my biracial daughter, I have been told many things - the worst of which was "you'll never know because you live with white privilege" and then I got jumped on by a bunch of people who really just wanted to hate the white girl in the room - and teach her a lesson. But you know what people - TELLING me why it is what it is, and how things got to be this screwed up, and why I am part of the problem because I'm white and I have a job (yes, someone said that - I suppose I'm not the only ignorant nut on the tree afterall) it's somehow my fault is NOT A SOLUTION. This is treating in some thick, greasy, tar-like, deep as the ocean water. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm ignorant to many things - but I'm open to learn and better myself - are you? How can bitching and complaining be a solution?

I'll expose myself here because, well, if you know me you know I have no skeletons in my closet - and if I find one it's because my children have eaten my brain and i just plain forgot it was there... but let me ask...

Have you ever been pick pocketed?
Have you ever been mugged at knife point?
Have you been a victim of sexual harassment?
Have you been a victim of a sexual assault?
Have you ever held the hand of a good friend while he cries about a terminal diagnosis?
Have you been accused of racism?
Have you ever picked up a loved one off the floor after a sexual assault?
Have you been laid off?
Have you been a complete outcast in 3rd grade? So bad you considered suicide in 4th?
Have you ever prayed that something would kill you so that people would notice what the truth was?
Have you ever brought a loved one to the ER for a severe PTSD episode and had armed guards watch you?
Have you been divorced?
Have you sat your child down and explained why Daddy isn't there?
Have you been a single Mom?
Have you seen your parent die?

If you said yes to any of these things - there is a SLIGHT chance I may know where you are coming from, and you me - and you know what? These things effect everyone differently so the slight chance becomes even smaller. My list could be longer - and yours may be longer than mine - but WE ALL HAVE LISTS. Out future is carved by how these lists effect us, what we hold onto, what we let go, what we use to grow from. (What we spend thousands of dollars in therapy to stop obsessing over)

So - telling me because I am white I have no idea what pain is - and discounting my honesty in wanting to learn and understand just plain pisses me off. (I'm tired and can't think of a nicer way to put that) No, I have never once in my life had skin darker than a fish belly. But Have you ever had fish belly skin? Takes one to know one? Walk in my shoes? Spend a day in my life? Sound familiar? How long can we go on with this one? Another couple of centuries maybe?

So what to do? Who decides it's time to draw a line in the sand and step over it? To stop drowning in the past and make a better future for everyone?

On the radio the other day a talk show host said something to the effect of: "we try to teach our children everything we have learned so that they don't have to learn those lessons the hard way - to have a head start - and hopefully be better than we are".

Teaching kids to hate, supporting their hatred in any way shape of form is what I can not understand. Why can't I be in the generation that makes a change? (I won't get all Obama on you trust me) But seriously - If we constantly look back how can we move forward?

Now, back to the program - the MOVIE (remember the movie?) This movie struck me so hard because this boys life was in turmoil because of race - and because he was raised "colorblind" he is somewhat like me - never understanding why. I certainly wasn't raised in a mixed community - but my classes were - I, once again, being my ignorant self, just thought kids who lived in Boston were black - so what? People in my neighborhood were Italian, and the people on the other side of the pike were Jewish, and so on, and so on... But the bottom line is I wasn't raised to hate. I'm not quite sure how my Dad would feel about that, but he's been gone for so very long and my Mom was a big influence for me. She was honest when I told her I was dating a black man (not the first time) and told me she was worried about how people would treat us. And I have seen some of that. My husband tells me the best way to handle people like that is to be a loving happy family and people will learn. Words of wisdom.

So, now that I've got all of that out of my system - I'm going to let you all weigh in. If you want. Tell me I'm ignorant - it's OK - I can take it - and I already know I am EXTREMELY ignorant in many ways - but I'm open to change and grow with my children's interests at heart.



  1. There's a lot of people out there who just need to hate. If we were all the same shade then there would be something else. Skin color is just the easiest way to categorize your enemies. This neck of the woods is much more racist than out there. I was once accused of being racist by the black guy that I hired regarding a black guy I fired, like I like to hire people with brown skin just so I can fire them. Anyway, I have no smart answers. I am hopeful that it will get better slowly but surely, thanks to people like us who hate everyone equally.

  2. hey Maria....your "have you ever..." list really...really...moved me. I don't want to write my own list... Yes, I know that was not the angle you were going for. But that angle really struck me.

    I have often said that I wish we could wear our emotional scars on the outside so that people would know...oh, she is still recovering from something REALLY traumatic...let's be gentle with her. But having those HUGE scars has led me to try to be more gentle with others because I just don't know what kind of scars they have on the inside too.

    Take care. :) K

  3. Teacup my darling that is so absolutely wonderful that you GET IT. We all have our own lists - this is true. I doubt there are many who can say they have noting to list.

    It takes a huge heart to see past our own and to be, as you put it so eloquently, "more gentle with others"

    love to you.
    We still need that playdate...