We’re going to start this post by overlooking the amount of time that has lapsed since I’ve written on this site…
Ok, fine, I can’t quite overlook it, but we’ll just summarize it by saying a lot has happened. So much of it rendered me quite literally unable to cope period. There have been too many days in the last few months where just getting out of bed took all I had. So suffice to say writing took a…not even a back seat, but another car altogether.
So what changed today?
Well, today I am feeling and living a bit better, but more than that, a thought struck me. And as those of you who have been with me forever in my writing quests, a thought striking me is what always leads to my pen flowing.
What is it today?
Inward groan…how often do you talk about this??
I know, race is one of my favorite topics…usually to make fun of. But here’s what happened.
I was going through my normal morning websites – Facebook, Twitter, and The Washington Post. In doing so, there was nothing “new” (or at least not new since November 8th), but it suddenly hit me how many headlines were about race. Not race exactly…discrimination perhaps. Or otherwise social-unacceptable behavior.
Socially unacceptable until now that is.
“After this KKK banner came down, the real story began” The Washington Post
“GOP Congressman Makes Openly White Supremacist Tweet” Slate
“DC LGBT community center vandalized; worker assaulted” Fox 5
“Man in Suit Humping ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue Is Why We Need Feminism” Huffington Post
So what do all of these have in common? It’s not racism, so perhaps that’s not what my post is about. It’s the fact that all of these stories – and hundreds more every day – are showing the ugly underbelly of this country.
Since the November 8th election, the one thing that has bothered me the most of everything is how overt hate has become. How what used to be hidden from view, talked about in whispers, is now openly “acceptable” in society.
Now I say “acceptable” in quotes because I personally don’t think it is acceptable at all, but it seems that whatever used to keep those thoughts, ideals, and actions at bay has been removed, and people have been emboldened to let their hate flow freely.
Now here’s the thought that made me write:
Is this necessarily a bad thing?
Don’t get me wrong – the actions that are being done around this country that are both overtly violent and more subtly harmful on a mental/emotional scale are horrifying.
There is a small part of me that feels good knowing precisely where the bigots in my life are.
I have zero wondering at this moment as to who in my circles needs to not be in my circles.
There is a big difference between people who have different political or ideological leanings than me and those who are just straight out evil in my book.
For example, I have a woman who I consider a good friend. We were neighbors for years, and she and her husband moved. Now I’ve always known that we view certain things, in particular the subject of abortion, very differently. Yet we are friends because that one subject does not define either one of us as a person. She and I voted differently and view things from opposite perspectives. However, she is still today the warm, friendly, awesome carrot-cake making woman I’ve always known. We simply agree to disagree, and that’s great.
Then there’s the waste of carbon and molecules guy I used to work with who saw fit to go toe to toe with me about me needing to get over racial discrimination and that what I described as reasons for fear for my family were fictitious. That over exaggerations of racial violence is what’s wrong with this country, and black people need to get over slavery because that stuff never happens any more… Suffice to say he’s gone from my circles.
My point is that there is something about knowing with absolute certainty how people really think that is a silver lining to the hate.
You see, you can’t battle what you don’t know. It is very difficult to put an end to, or address in any way, bigotry you can’t see or that you only have anecdotal evidence of. But when it is this out in the open, in your face, bold, and blatant, there can be action. There are consequences. There are repercussions. There can be justice.
So, yes, I abhor so much of what this country is right this second. We are seeing the worst of the worst in some of our fellow man, and it is ugly to say the least. But at the same time, the rose-colored glasses are off. None of this is new, it is simply in view. And that spotlight shining down on the now exposed facets of society enables those of us who just want to live happy, productive, peaceful lives, to actually find the weeds in our garden of humanity and remove them, roots and all.