This is an open letter to all my beautiful friends, of many races and sexual orientations. I love you all.
I almost got into it on FB earlier today because a friend posted an article from last November about "white people rioting for no reason". I commented that "it was old news" because I wanted to see what her point was. It seemed fairly clear that it was a touchy subject when she asked what my point was and then followed it up with "don't get me started". I dropped it because someone else's page isn't the place to air my thoughts. Here it is: I'm completely fed up with the double standard in this country in regards to racism and sexism. I would never post an article about black people looting for no reason (or something similar) because I would be called racist because truthfully, it kind of is. I hate racism because I can relate to the general idea behind it - someone else says you are worthless and takes advantage of you.
Growing up with severely religious parents, I was taught that just by nature of being a living human, I was evil and worthy of God destroying me. I didn't have a right to anything, nor were my thoughts and feelings considered valid. In addition to that I was harshly physically punished for infractions. I was also compelled to be a part time slave for my parents since fun wasn't godly and I needed to develop "character" through physical labor. If you think that I cannot relate then you can seriously, sincerely - go fuck your self.
I heard a minority on a TV show going off on the person interviewing her claiming racism for all the "judgemental questions" like "I see you have a GED, why didn't you finish high school?", "why didn't you go to college?", "You have how many kids???" Etc. You know what? It is the same attitude I have felt before from people and I'm the "privileged white man". Someone fucked me over too but because of how I look, I'm perceived as part of the problem. Due to being a "ginger", I've dealt with my share of torment but I didn't have a group of other red heads to be empowered with. Probably due to all this, I really don't know, people seem to think I'm their punching bag and I'm usually the crew whipping boy - their words not mine. It's exhausting. So when you think "he doesn't have a clue" - I get it.
I have had a black woman tell me "black people do everything better". At one point I lived in a neighborhood that was predominantly black and one day asked if myself and a couple friends could join a football game with some of the neighbor kids. They said sure and then started making comments about hurting the white boys. I didn't even have the ball but one kid lowered his shoulder and hit me so hard I cracked a rib. My point isn't to say "oh poor me, I experienced racism" but instead to say "I get it, it sucks".
Don't get me started on feminism. I love women and think they are amazing beings. As someone who respects women it's frustrating to feel like "you're damned if you do, damned if you don't" when it comes to chivalry. You don't open a door someone is going to say your are rude while others will respond out of anger "what, you think I can't do this because I'm a woman?" Getting bitched out makes it a little more difficult to be a decent person the next time (not that it lets me off the hook to be a good person). It's not about thinking you can't do something, it's a sign of respect like saluting someone in the military. I think men know deep down that women are superior in most ways and the ones that are honest with themselves try to show respect.
When I stepped away from my religious upbringing and well, basically everything I had known, I joined a few online support groups. For a bit it was helpful but then I noticed that most of the people just wanted to bitch about the past and the religious people that had fucked up our lives. I'm more interested in moving forward so I left the groups for my own health. A lot of people feel they have to act a certain way or they are betraying their culture. The problem with that is that every culture has its problems and so to stick with what your status quo is, is only further perpetuating the defects.
Like I said earlier, this isn't to say "poor me, I feel picked on" but to throw out the ideas of "it's on me now, forget all those bad folks" and also "am I doing the same thing to others that I want them to quit doing to me?" Hopefully it will resonate with someone that will take it to heart. As a young parent I wanted to lash out at my kids the way my mother did to me but I stopped myself because I want to be better than her, so my kids can be better than me. Everyone needs to get their head out of their ass, stop being full of self pity and reaction and live the person they want to be no matter what anyone else says. It's hard, but it's the only way we are going to evolve - the few who choose to be stronger than the environment: the status quo fugitives - the unbroken.
Which one are you?