It was Friday, the sun was shining. I’ve been struggling lately with a deep inner torment that is part frustration, part impatience, and a whole lotta serious yearning for the courage to totally set my creativity free.
On this day, I was definitely disgruntled. I had read a post from a facebook friend that really chapped my ass. Loosely quoted it basically said that #BlackLivesMatter is bullshit and it should be #AllLivesMatter. Yes, all lives do matter, but you cannot diminish what the black culture has been put though and continues to endure to this day. Therefore, your “all lives matter” statement is just yet another form of oppression.
Every culture has a right to an evolution. Some have done it quietly, others not so quietly. Yet some other cultures are waiting their turn. However, this Facebook meme-happy person wouldn’t readily be able to understand any of that that as she is white, from an upper socio-economic background, and was private school educated. This isn’t to say that I do understand the plight of the black man in America, but working in the legal industry I have seen system created poverty personally. In addition, I try to go out of my way to educate myself on other points of view, cultures, and the plights of humanity. I can say with full confidence that meme poster does not.
As of late, I am absolutely incapable of being around any kind of narrow mind, as such I’ve gotten stringent and diligent about who and what I subject my sensitivity to. After tossing yet another narrow mind from my social media, I was pissed on top of pissed.
Once lunchtime came, I thought there would be no better way to spend it than to walk with my brother into town for some pizza. It was his first day back at my law firm, and it was a beautiful spring day after a stretch of rain. As we walked, we come to the crosswalk in front of the pizza shop. On such a beautiful day, there are so many people milling about on their lunch hour. We pause and look behind us, but notice that we have the pedestrian sign so we proceed.
As we are half way across the tiny street, I hear a man and a women screaming at the top of their lungs for me to look before I cross. I turn around, and it’s the occupants of the black vehicle that I saw all the way up the road before I set to cross the street. They have their right turn signal on. As they get closer, they get louder and much more rowdy. The large black man half way out of his seat through the sunroof yelling at me. I actually start laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. I pointed to the pedestrian sign that showed we had the right to cross, now they were both yelling at me. Screaming in fact that they don’t care what the sign says I have to look first. Well, I did look and they were about 100 yard from me, at the time they didn’t indicate that they were going to turn and I had the fucking walk sign.
My brother makes it to the other side of the street, and as I turn around to try to explain that I did look and there is no need to yell at anyone, she rolls down her window…and spits on me.
Let that sink in for a minute. I’m crossing the street, I had the right of way, she spit on me.
Now, I know what she was thinking…white girl dressed in business attire. It’s lunchtime in preppy Trolley Square. White folks everywhere and we white folks are easily intimidated by angry black folks.
Not this bitch.
What she didn’t know is that I wrestle everyday with an 1800 pound mare who is trying to kill me. I hitch up trucks to trailers, and harrows to tractors. I throw bales of hay and unload about 300 pounds of grain on my own. Don’t let the mascara and silk blouse fool you, I’m country.
All of that processed through my mind in a nano second. And then, almost like someone else picked up my leg…I kicked the back door of her BMW X5.
The look of shock on their faces was priceless, and well worth any misdemeanor that I could have gotten. She turned the corner with a quickness because nothing scares a bully more than a bad bitch standing up for herself.
It took me a day to calm down but the one thing that always made me chuckle was the way that I stuck up for myself. There was a time in my life where I wouldn’t have done that, I would have just made peace at any cost…usually the cost of myself, and then went on to internalize the anger for about a decade. Today I’m different. If I’m angry, you’re going to know it. It isn’t to intimidate you, it isn’t to cause drama or start a fight, it’s because there is something that needs to be resolved and I care enough to resolve it.
Alas, everyone is different. While I may tell you that I am angry and we need to have a discussion, others may chose to spit on someone. Those that chose the latter path are usually very unknowledgeable on positive conflict resolution…or, they feel hopeless.
I’m going to be forthright in the fact that for about 45 minutes after spit-gate of 2016, I became very racist. I allowed the hate to get to me. I was pissed off that I work so diligently for equality as an activist and here I am getting spit. Then it hit me: how many times have black people been spit on by white people?
I soon concluded my bout of racism by coming to terms with the fact that I may have been judged by this black woman as just another white woman exercising my white privilege and this is what happens when resentment builds. Or maybe it had nothing at all to do with race and it was a women v. women thing. Or maybe it was just a driver v. pedestrian thing. It really depends on which lens you are looking at the situation through. No matter what though, this instance could have ended with cops, a court appearance, a record for assault, a riot…but someone has to break the cycle.
Someone has to say enough is enough.
We live in an age where we are being fed what the powers that be want us to be fed. If you don’t exercise your own discipline and common sense, you end up believing that you are disenfranchised. That there are no options, that you have no control, and once you feel small and insignificant enough to really hate life and all that it encompasses, the powers that be – akin to an abusive boyfriend, tell you who you can blame for all of those feelings that you have.
It’s black people’s fault. It’s the Mexicans. It’s Islam. Hate the Liberals, but I’m here to tell you something that you’re not going to like…
…if you feel insignificant, worthless, powerless, and oppressed…it’s your fault.
I’m not saying that some races don’t have more obstacles in front of them, I’m just saying that there is no human in this Universe that can make you feel anything without your expressed permission.
Just because these feelings are purposefully evoked, doesn’t mean that you have to accept it. Mainstream media doesn’t want you to know that you’re in control. You’re in control of what you do, say, consume, feel, and for how long you feel it.
“You’ve had the power all along my dear”.
I can launch into a whole preachy thing about how we need to get along and love one another blah blah blah, but people seem to tune that out nowadays. Unconditional love of others is the goal, and one day that will come to pass. But first we have some work to do. In the meantime though, tolerance is an acceptable first step. The second step to loving one another unconditionally begins with unconditionally loving yourself. When you do that, it becomes very easy to love others because when we look at someone, all we are really seeing is our own reflection. Come to love your reflection, and by default you’ll love all of humanity. I look forward to the day where we can all breathe a little easier around one another, but first we have to stop listening to the perpetual “war machines” that want to keep us apart. For they do so because they know that together, we’re unstoppable.
My dear friends, we’re all here and in this together. There’s no way around it. We don’t have to love all of any culture; we just have to understand that “good” and “bad” exist in duality inside of all things, and inside of all people. There’s nothing that anyone can do about that either, it was designed that way. It’s our test as God’s children as to how we will deal with it. I don’t have to condone the radicalism of Christianity or Islam to get along with the rest of the culture. I don’t have to fall victim to the anger that the black culture feels from centuries of oppression. I just have to understand that it exists and stand up with love against it when we see it. We have to use our minds and the power of our hearts and remember that in times of anger and struggle there is always a lesson – there is knowledge that can be used for our highest good.
Get to work.