My plan for this post was to tell you about our wonderful family trip to Red River, New Mexico, but then El Paso and Dayton happened. In good conscience, I cannot ignore these devastating actions—the hurt and pain and loss.
I cannot ignore the despicable, hurtful actions taken against innocent people.
Who are we to be silent in the face of ignorant, racist, white supremacy statements and actions?
Except for the Native Americans, we are all immigrants or the descendants of immigrants.
As a white person, I feel a special responsibility to speak out against any and all discrimination. About a month ago, I read a post on Facebook written by a black woman named Lori explaining to her white friend what was meant by the term, “White Privilege.” Here’s the link: https://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/my-white-friend-asked-me-on-facebook-to-explain-white-privilege-i-decided-to-be-honest-20170809?fbclid=IwAR21uYVXVN_w5Z3oZOx-qQ4XNydtZNwllHiA3fojPM5NII3uZYVHilEDh7M
Please take time to read her post. I know I’m privileged, but this article made starkly clear all the things I take for granted.
As a beneficiary of white privilege, it’s incumbent on me to speak out for those who have to work harder, fight longer, struggle more just because of the color of their skin, their place of origin, their sexual orientation, or their religion.
In the United States of America, anyone is supposed to be able to get ahead if they give an honest day’s work. That is the American Dream. This concept is worked into the fabric and ethos of our country.
But, and there’s always a but. Some people are threatened by folks who look or think differently than they do. Some people have a scarcity belief rather than one of abundance. So, if one person gets ahead, for the person with the scarcity belief somehow, they feel diminished. The only way they can feel good about themselves is to put down others. Sometimes with words. Sometimes with acts of violence as we’ve seen this weekend and earlier. Now, we are all under attack. Minorities especially, but anyone who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Common Sense Gun Laws are supported by 90 % of the public. There is a bipartisan bill that has passed the House and sits in the Senate where Senator McConnell refuses to let it come forward for debate. I don’t know if it will pass the Senate. Maybe not. But maybe now is the time. Maybe this was the “tipping point.” Why wasn’t Sandy Hook or any of the other domestic terrorist acts the tipping point? I don’t know, but maybe this is it. For McConnell to have so much power is wrong. The bill deserves to be debated.
Words have power. Unlike our old childhood rhyme: Sticks & stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me, they do hurt, and sometimes those words morph into violence that physically hurts and even kills. Repetitious words have even more power. Even if they are untrue.
I challenge you to learn more about the white supremacy movement. If you saw videos of the August 2017 march in Charlottesville, VA, you saw evidence of it in all its ugliness. These are people who believe America should only belong to whites. As a white person, I denounce that belief.
I challenge you to get involved in the upcoming elections. They do matter. I challenge you to speak up if you overhear a person you know making derogatory comments about a minority—or anyone. Silence condones that behavior. I challenge you to speak up if you have a friend or acquaintance whose behavior worries you. For most of the perpetrators, there was someone who was worried, but they never spoke up. What a heavy burden that must be.
Together, we can accomplish anything. Division will tear our country apart. Then we all lose.
We can do better. We must do better. For our children and grandchildren. God have mercy on those who’ve lost loved ones to these killings and forgive us for not doing more to stop them.
I have a book signing Saturday August 17 at Monkey and Dog Books 3608 West 7th St. Fort Worth, TX from 1-3 pm. More about this next week.
Amazon Kindle http://amzn.to/19TAB4B
Amazon Print http://amzn.to/1NiKvcb
B & N http://bit.ly/1YKCq8S