Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm spittin' mad.

Tonight, I'm just going to write exactly what I'm thinking. Tonight, I am angry.

I was blessed enough to be born in 1985 in Southern Florida, where a melting pot of cultures, backgrounds, and national origins all come together in one, big, interesting stew.

But my own parents, just one generation behind me, can remember a time when they witnessed separate drinking fountains and bathrooms for white people and African-American people. It was only 55 years ago that Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus. How is it possible that this kind of treatment of other human beings can exist in such painfully recent history? American's were horrified by the Nazi's atrocities in WWII, and yet nauseating violence against African American's in our own backyards resulted in people simply looking the other way, while Jim Crow laws, which actually inspired the Nuremburg laws that the Nazi's used against the Jews, existed in the United States until 1965. If you ever want your eyes forced open to some of these truly horrific realities of our nation's history, pick up Uncle Tom's Children by Richard Wright. I often had to put the book down because I was sobbing so convulsively while reading it, but I'm glad I finished it. I'm glad I now know some of these hard truths.

Now, I live in South Carolina, where a confederate flag still flies over the capitol building, where many neighborhoods still seem segregated, and perfectly coiffed Southern Belles still make subtly racist remarks with a wink and a smile.

Frankly, it makes me sick.

You do realize that all human beings are created equal, right? You do realize that every man, woman, and child on this Earth is created in the image of God, right? And you do realize that God is not white, right? If you have a problem with interracial marriage, then you are guilty of sin. You see, racism is a sin. Discrimination, is a sin. Jesus was pretty clear on that during his time on this Earth. In fact, Jesus made it a point to spend time with and invest in the lives of people who everyone else thought was worthless: women, lepers, prostitutes, Samaritans, tax collectors, cripples, and the like. Jesus ignored every cultural norm and stereotype of his day and age and reached out and loved people right down to their souls. Jesus made the value of every human life abundantly clear in his every word and deed. If Jesus had been in the United States before 1865, you better believe he would have been breaking bread with slaves, salving their wounds, and showing them true freedom. And you do remember that Jesus was, in fact, a middle-eastern Jew, right? It seems like people of middle-eastern descent are the white American's new favorite target for discrimination, so I thought it was important to point that out.

It is 2011 people - WAKE UP. If you've ever made a racist or sexist joke, (even if you thought you covered yourself with a "just kidding"), shame on you. If you've ever made a comment that started with "I'm not racist, but..." shame on you.

Be better than that. The next generation deserves better.

(And if anyone would like to join me in a clandestine operation to removed that God-forsaken confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, just let me know...)

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