“How can I put this in a way so as not to offend or unnerve.” Yes a Prince Song (Gett Off)
I am going to attempt to write this thought piece so I do not offend or unnerve someone. But, I am not the thought police, so in my clunky way I am sure in my attempt to articulate this and not upset someone, I can guarantee I will most definitely upset an individual. I actually may not even post it.
I would like to say firstly I am not racist, or homophobic or elitist (writing this, does this then make me all these things?). I believe in kindness and love to all. I really do not give a shit, as long as you are a good person. I also have to be honest that I am sure there are many things I do or say that are “wrong” in todays inequality era (which is much needed) I am sure I do many things like using the incorrect term, it is a minefield that is forever changing and its terrifying, because I despise making another feel inferior.
I am a white, 43 year old female, I was brought up in England (which as a country when it comes to race and equality are further ahead than America). I went to school, I was never hungry or homeless and I graduated college. I could afford to buy my first car by working 2 jobs and my parents are still together, I am straight – I am in fact a tick box of white privileges’ (a term that has been thrown at me before, as an derogatory term, by a single white male) – I understand my life has been easy, I have never experienced multiple attacks for the amount of melanin in my skin, or where I have come from, or poverty and I feel guilty, yes guilty. None of the above is my fault, my skin color, my upbringing, I was lucky, very lucky. Yes. I have to defend my upbringing not to the individuals who have never received my start in life, but other privileged white people. It is from the white people, working so hard to be correct, politically correct, to make the changes, to do the good, to fight the good fight, I get it, I welcome it. BUT, this is where I may OFFEND, what if by zeroing on what is deemed the difference, you are making the difference greater, by trying not to make it a difference you are strengthening this invisible divide, by saying I don’t see color, race, sexual orientation you are dismissing it , the thing that makes a person unique, IS them. What if we acknowledge the friend is bisexual and ask Qs, learn, love, try? What if we can joke and laugh about each other and our uniqueness. On the flip side, what if we work too hard to see it, make a VOCAL point of accepting and acknowledging, does that also make it wrong or racist, I really do not know anymore. As a kid of the 80’s life is so very different now!
I personally believe, color, race, sex, sex preference aside, we simply help those less fortunate than us. Those in poverty, the worlds greatest divide. We need to love, be kind, help, help, help, forge friendships. Yes, I admit I have never experienced true hardship, but I have been taunted and followed down the road, had fireworks set off through my letterbox due to my sex and skin color. I have had my bag snatched down a dark alley. I have been called weak due to my sex, too sensitive because of my sex. I have had my ass grabbed, been jeered and followed by men down the road in the dark. I had a “Me too’ moment.
I am now going to apologize for saying this!
Society has made me feel guilty for the lack of “bad” moments in my life. The lack of pain and poverty. I share them to say, I understand a little and it is not fucking fair that some people have a better start in life. That the world is cruel, ugly and nasty. But in amongst the forest of hurt, there are glimmers of light and hope on the horizon. See the difference, celebrate the uniqueness of each person. Love the person inside, not its shell. I have dated black men, bisexual men, straight men, I have kissed women. This is not a badge of honor, I am sure I am not formulating my point well, but I loved them, because of the person they were, how they made me feel, I saw the beauty of the soul that cared for me and loved my skinny, white ass. Am I a wrong for sharing this, I do not know anymore? I give my thoughts to say look beyond the skin, the height, the background, the sexual preference, the glasses, the hair color, dress sense, music tastes, dance moves. Love and nurture the soul lying beneath the layers of societal rules. America in particular has made this all so muddy.
I also am not writing this for some poor, confused white girl sympathy, but to formulate my feelings during an everchanging movement. I love the change, but it seems so complicated. Why can adults not look at humans like a child does, simply, open, accepting and all encompassing.
Privilege – I understand I have it, I didn’t ask for it, I do not want to apologize for it, I accept it. But, I need to use it to help others. But, I also need to know who created this, it wasn’t society, it was a higher power. What was it based on? Fear? Need? Power? Religion or all of the above. Who decided one group was better than the other and WHY ? “Stamped From the Beginning” the book by Ibram X. Kendi is a good place to start.
I will surely continue to have moments when I will apologize for my life, I will experience white guilt, I will flounder in saying the correct term, I will upset unknowingly, I will try hard to do the right thing, to say the right thing. Sadly, I can never know what it is like to be in someone else shoes, walk someone else’s life. I will never feel your struggles or pain, only my own, as we are all merely human. We are all unique packages of life, delivered on to this earth to take root and bloom. Whether it be a daisy, a oak tree, a willow, a rose, we all search for the same thing, the sun, rain, ripe earth to feed our roots. To seed and release ourselves back into the ecosystem, the ground, the soil. We can all be hurt, bleed, cry, laugh, reach for the sky and fly. In a world of individuals, I think the greatest gift I can give my boys is the ability to unite, not fight. To know there is no “NORMAL” but happiness . I always ask them, “What is normal?” who decided on those rules? Society? Religion? Pollical leaders? NO – no one, as that term is obsolete, not required, we do not need to be the same as the herd, we need to be ourselves and proud. To give the best of “us” back to others, to lift others to their dreams and fly amongst the stars searching for the magic of each other.
Unhindered by the guilt of our uniqueness or the guilt of being the same.