WHEN DID IT BECOME OK?
April 3, 2017Am I color blind?
I used to say I was colorblind, that I didn’t notice such things but I’m not colorblind and I do notice. I notice color just like I notice size, shape, and other visual details. Does that make me racist? Nope, thank you very much. Actions-words-sentiments make people racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, and all kinds of discriminatory.
Now some of you may have already assumed the eye roll position and are wishing I would just shut up (and maybe I should), and you might be wondering when all these people are just going to shut up and get on with it-get on board.
Maybe these people won’t ever shut up again.
Maybe that’s why we’re seeing a flash flood of discriminations.
So, here goes this post. “When it did become OK?”
When did it become OK
- to reduce a black, congresswoman to a comparison of a singer with the identifying features of race and hair. “I didn’t hear a word [Maxine Waters] said,” O’Reilly quipped, according to Media Matters. “I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it’s the same wig”. Nice job, O’Reilly, admitting you diminished her to a visual and didn’t listen to one word out of the congresswoman’s mouth (and your so-called apology was a joke as in not the funny kind.)
-for the White House press secretary to order a black, female journalist to stop shaking her head? What’s next? Send her to her room without dinner?
-to have a Vice President and spouse who manage their marriage with a set of public dining and alcohol rules, which would be totally their business except that he’s- HELLO- the Vice President of the UNITED States ( united, adjective joined together politically, for a common purpose, or by common feelings) There are a lot of professional women out there awaiting an opportunity to have your ear, Vice President. Oh, GROSS-not to nibble on it-geez-get your mind out of the gutter- they want to speak with you, reason with you, and implore you to consider their unique perspective and expertise as women.
-for the black server from last week’s blog to have to deal with people constantly expressing shock that she had a nursing degree and was actually highly educated?
-for that earlier television personality to spout off about forehead tattoos or some such idiocy?
-to reduce someone to the sign on the bathroom door-dress/no dress?
-for the politician who said they could never vote for someone who would reduce a woman to a grab-able portion of her body to then go on and support that person?
-for the guys on the sidewalk I am passing to act more territorial than when my pit mix spots a squirrel, and force me to pop into the street or deal with a body check? Such manli-less, oops meant manli-mess, oops I meant manliness so they could feel powerful for the split second it took to decide sharing the street was not an option for them.
-to refer to a women by a grab-able area at all then go on to lead the country?
-to be told women can’t play as well as men because we don’t have the stamina or lung power?
-to be told we’re confusing because we look like women but play like men?
-for the talk radio host to attack our recent presidential candidate for having cankles, elephant knees, that voice, and to express sympathy that her husband had to endure looking at that ugly face every day?
-for the guy in the gym who made such a point of not moving a muscle as I squeezed through a small, awkward pathway he insisted on maintaining only to see him stand at quick attention and jump out of the way when my husband appeared?
and on and on
Now, this post could be about SO many things-
But it’s just about feeling bad when this ugliness rears up, and, wow, is it rearing up a lot lately. Maybe it always has but right now it is in full glory mode (or desperation mode depending on how you look at it.)
When does the adorable black boy everyone fawns over in the checkout line become the most feared enemy? When does the adorable black girl everyone fawns over in the checkout line become the visual doormat?At what exact age do these prejudice shifts happen cause I can tell you when they do they hurt like a ton of bricks.
I didn’t even realize I was darker than some kids when I was young. I didn’t notice. I had to have a jerky neighborhood boy inform me so that he could make sure I understood that my brown made me less than him.
Or how about the time when some random guy came up to me in the grocery store when I accidentally got into the express lane with a small boat load of groceries to ask if I was “one of them Syrians cause I must not be able to read English and he wanted to explain the US check out line policies to me.” His unnaturally loud and booming voice spoke as if I was a moron. I didn’t realize my tanned skin made me stupid and hard of hearing. See, you learn something new everyday.
When we reduce people in these ways we devalue them as whole beings so it’s no wonder they react with a wide range of expressions, acts, and emotions. I keep saying it’s like 40 years ago again with all the bullying but truly it’s been going on all along. It’s just that I’M 40 years older and can’t believe some grown people still have the playground, bully, taunting mentality. Sticks and stones break bones and names can really hurt.
And for the record, yes, All Lives Matter. I mean, seriously, DUH!
But sometimes Black Lives must matter more because that’s what it takes to get a modicum of respect and feeling of worth and value back.
Oh, and reverse discrimination, sorry-it’s just discrimination.
Don’t like it?
Well, neither do we.
When did this behavior become OK?
Can we share a sidewalk?
I hope so.
But it’s your turn to step aside on the street. If you think my words are sharp you ought to see my strange and dagger like elbows.
And for the record, I’m not afraid to use them.