One Person at a Time — What We All Deserve
As a white woman born in 1953, white supremacy is not a concept or idea that I am drawn to. I’ve never felt a need to defend my whiteness, but have felt shamed by the actions taken by white supremists who defile, demean, minimize, decry, or worse yet kill someone for the color of their skin.
I admit to my mistaken assumptions about race that have at times left me feeling embarrassed, especially when I learned more and educated myself. That only happened when I chose to educate myself by reading and watching documentaries and listening with my heart instead of my opinions. But I have never felt threatened in any way by the color of someone’s skin, only by the character (or lack of character) demonstrated by their actions and deeds.
For my non-white friends, please know for those of us who are decendants of our country’s ugly history, it is hard to take personal responsibility for their actions, their ignorance, their outright stupidity. I don’t know how to claim personal responsibility for what happened to those who have been unjustly killed, abused, separated from their loved one, suppressed … the list is endless … but I know I can take responsibility for my actions and my personal education. Truth can set us all free when faced realistically, honestly.
I have so much respect for those who come through hardship to find the life they work hard for and long to have. I am keenly aware that my friends of color, people I adore and love, have often struggled harder because of the color of their skin. Fearing them is an irrational concept, an unfounded fear. The fear that white supremist’s promote is mental fear based on years of conditioning and rhetoric, not based on any rationale fear of eminent danger. There is a “Grand Canyon” of difference between grabbing your child out of the street so the oncoming car doesn’t kill them versus being afraid of all cars.
If I fear anything, I fear being categorized and defined by this movement. I fear that the people I care about no longer trust me because of the color of my skin. There is not a single person who can wake up tomorrow and change the skin they were born with, the freckles they have, the fairness or brownness of their complexion. It is a biological, unchangable fact, the color of skin we wear. What can be changed is how we see each other. That can only happen when we stop listening to and reading ideas that divide us instead of each of us allowing every relationship to stand on its own. Until then, we are all vulnerable to hatred and suspicions of extremists on both sides.
I hope for a time to come when we can meet each person on common ground. I want to see them, understand them, for who they are. I might not agree with them, or even trust them, but I would like to decide one person at a time. It’s our right. It’s my right. And my right does not belong to anyone else, especially propaganda that attacks the core of what it means to be alive.
In the end, it is the story of the wolf or the lamb, which to feed? I choose the lamb.