I was going to write this week about my youngest son’s last two weeks. He has had a rough time of it..getting into trouble at school. I asked him what he thought might be the source of all this turmoil…he suggested his race. I countered his jerkish behavior.
And then Paris happened.
It seems that I will be writing about racism after all.
We do deal with some racism in this family. When we go out to eat, my African daughter is asked if she would like a separate check, if she and my son’s leftovers are going in a different bag. I understand this…sort of. They are darker…we are whiter.
I have friends that swear they aren’t racist, and yet make racist comments when we go out to very mixed clubs, joking that all they saw were “teeth” on the way back from the bathroom. These friends would swear that they are not racist–they have close friends that are African American!
I was dismayed to see a comment by a friend on Facebook today that said something along the lines of how this friend went out to dinner this weekend and saw a Muslim person and now feels they must worry.
I have many close Muslim friends. I have never felt unsafe in their presence. I have felt love, acceptance, kindness–qualities I look for in a friend.
I knew when the attacks happened that people would have a knee jerk reaction and blame a religion, and not radical jihadists. The people that did this were assholes.
They want us to react with hate and fear. If we do this, then we also become assholes.
Can we stop being racists? Can we stop the xenophobia? Can we stop judging people by their religion? By their sexual orientation? By their anything??
Can we instead choose kindness and love, compromise and acceptance?
Let’s fight darkness with light.
Let’s stop the assholes.