Ya, America… We’ve Got Some Issues.
My heart not only emotionally hurts, but physically – it’s been getting worse lately… now I know why. I don’t know how many times I have cried today. My heart finally broke. I can’t shake it anymore, can’t distract myself from it. I sprinted a two mile run I am so hurt, so angry, so baffled (and I can barely run 2 miles) in an attempt to numb what is breaking my soul, my spirit, my pride in my country, my love for people.
The UNITED States of America… has never been so divided in my lifetime (ya I’m young, but I’ve still got some damn good points, so keep reading). What is in that divide? What pushes us apart? We think, and SCREAM: gun rights, liberals/conservatives, race, LGBTQ rights, religion, terrorism… obviously, we’ve got some major issues… about time we face them, United, as we have claimed to be all my life. But really, what are these issues about, what makes them unsolvable? Judgement, Fear, Hate, Anger, Blame… I think it’s time we talk about those things when we talk about the world we are living in today… and how we can conquer that… because no matter your opinion on issues, fear, judgement, hate, anger, blame, can all be fought and conquered and solved with love, understanding, care, and compassion.
Sure, we all have a variety of different views on these issues… but why does blue lives mattering not mean black lives matter too? Why is it one or the other? Yes, I know people were offended when Black Lives Matter started because they thought it meant that those who supported it thought that black lives mattered more… but that is not what any of this is about.
In Macklemore’s White Privilege II song, there is someone quoted (sorry I don’t know who you are) using an analogy to explain Black Lives Matter… he says,
“to use an analogy, Black Lives Matter is like if a house were on burning, and firemen showed up, they wouldn’t turn water on ALL the houses, because ALL houses matter… they would turn their water on the house that was burning, because it was the one that needed it most”
Well now, we’ve got 1000 fires lit, and instead of turning water on the fires together, we are throwing gas on the flames of other’s fires, in an attempt to make ours burn slower?
We don’t talk, and when we do, we can only see one option, and those who don’t get labeled “idealists*”, a “liberal”, a “conservative”, a “democrat”, a “republican”, a “fill in the damn blank”.
*Why is striving for the ideal a bad thing suddenly? Cause it’s not your way or the other guys way?
What happened to working things out… did we stop teaching that to our children? Did we stop preaching the good Samaritan in church? Last I checked, nope. Yet, we can’t sit down and talk, about how privilege, marginalization, fear, anger, hate, are literally tearing us apart. We are repeating our ancestors history (wherever we come from)… Since when do we not want to make things better than before? Isn’t that what technology and innovation all started as? Why does that not apply to ourselves… our humanity? Where is that going?
Why not, instead of social media, sit in a coffeeshop, talk about your biases, stereotypes, fears, judgements, viewpoints (which all come from our experiences of life), and in turn, listen to another’s? Why do we get defensive? You aren’t wrong… you might just not see the whole picture. We all have life experience that has shaped what we believe, what we fight for… why does someone else’s value, take away from yours? It shouldn’t… but that is what we are doing. When we fight about whether black lives or blue lives matter more… who was in the wrong? That is just us throwing gas on one another’s burning house.
Next time, bring some water… bring some care, compassion… LISTEN to each other… arguing only does so much… everyone has lived a life that has shaped why they believe what they do. Whether you think their beliefs are wrong or not, doesn’t mean you get to try to make them someone they aren’t. All we can do is hear each other’s pain, anger, hurt, fear, and give it some care, some love, some understanding, even if we don’t agree, because we all know how anger, sadness, fear, and pain feel. Regardless of what the issue is at hand.
You don’t know what it is like to have lived another life, all you know is your own, and your view of the rest of the world’s lives. So heal, don’t hurt; listen, don’t shout; talk, don’t argue; love, don’t hate…
Because if we continue this way… well, then we’re only going to start more fires… And soon, there will be no way of stopping what we have all started.
Privilege is real, if you have any, it gives you power, if you have any power, shine light on those who don’t… cause without the privileged’s help… the marginalized will just perish.
And we all know what marginalization feels like. It hurts, it is infuriating, it is heartbreaking… it causes us to be afraid…
Look how scared we all are now…
Because, ya, you are right… your view, is based on your life… but yours isn’t the only life being lived, why not learn more about the world, through the lenses of others? How ideal would that be?
Myself included. I have my biases, my stereotypes, my fears, my pain. I like when people check me on them, respectfully, with care, because they are seeing something I’m not. But above all of my fears, is that we are destroying ourselves. We are burning our humanity to the ground.
I’d also like to acknowledge my points of privilege… and maybe help explain my view on all this, based on some of that.
I’m white, straight, have always lived in or above middle class, had a fantastic education always which was an immense privilege, can call myself a Christian without getting questioned, have people who love me, had people care about me, so ya, I’ve had a pretty ideal life, which is probably why I strive for the ideal. But my privilege isn’t my fault, or something I am shameful of, I am sad that it’s a privilege to be white, Christian, straight, well off, educated… that people are marginalized, being treated differently, sometimes horribly and unjustly, because they are not.
Despite my privilege, I also know what unfair, unjust, unequal, and just plain wrong judgement, fear, hate, and pain feels like – I’ve experienced that in other ways despite my privilege… I’m a female, I have a physical disability, and have struggled with depression (ya, sadly those three still have granted me the experience of being marginalized… And not even close to what others experience every day)…
The only belief I will never let anyone question… is “treat others the way you want to be treated”.
I wonder where you are privileged? Are you? How so? Imagine being born marginalized, in any area where you aren’t: african american, asian american, hispanic american, muslim, jewish, buddhist, atheist, poor, disabled, have mental health issues, gay, transgender, bisexual, going to shit schools, uneducated, not being american, etc. etc.
How would your life be different? Cause it would… because no life is the same.