Stuck Being White

I feel bombarded by news stories and current events where people are demanding many things.  And though I may agree with what they want I don’t agree with their demands.  I don’t think you can demand equality for your self and not extend it to someone who disagrees with you.  And the on-going, seemingly never ending call to arms because we don’t agree, is unsettling to say the least.

Where is our humanity.

I am all for supporting and loving my fellow human counterparts.  I don’t care what ethnicity you are.  What shade of any color you are.  What gender you identify with.  What your sexuality is-which-by the way-isn’t really anything you need to feel obligated to share with me.  Some things should just be private.  Not because I would be bothered or offended by your sexuality.  But because I am a prude.  There are some things I do not need to know about anyone.

I support your expectation to be treated as anyone else in this world should be treated.

I don’t know that I support your reason.

I know my perception is very limited.  Very limited, to only my perception.  So my views may be considered narrow and ignorant.  No worries world.  I know that my views are narrow and ignorant.  I’m not capable of seeing your perception.  I will certainly listen to them and discuss them with you.   But I am not going to claim to be capable of seeing ‘the’ world from anyone’s vision other than mine.  I own my ignorance of your experience.

I’m stuck being white.  I can’t take pride in it.  It’s just what I am.  I didn’t do anything to be white.  I just am.  I’m also stuck being female, heterosexual (TMI-I just broke my own expectations there).   Again, these are things that I just am.  I don’t get to claim responsibility for these things.  I just am.

I just am.

I can say I am very proud of many things I’ve done in my life.  There are actions I’ve followed through on.  There are behaviors I am proud of displaying.  There are words I  have said in support, in friendship, out of concern or compassion or empathy.   Words I have spoken to be truthful or supportive.  Or truthful and difficult to say, but I felt a responsibility to say them.

These things I can be proud of and take responsibility for.

In writing that I feel I  must also take responsibility and carry the burden of shame for things I have done that I do not feel proud of.  I’ve done things I’m embarrassed for having done.  I’ve done things I wish I hadn’t done.  I’ve said things I regret and know caused pain.  For these things I should take onus.  And you, my human counter parts, do not ‘owe’ me respect for these behaviors.

We all demand to be treated well and respectfully.  I do believe that in making these demands we have a responsibility to be well behaved and to act respectfully as well.

But I don’t believe we should make these demands.

I believe we should live these demands.

Quite honestly I don’t think you should make demands for equality in life because of your skin tone, your religious beliefs or non beliefs, your sexual preference, etc.

You are born.

You exist as a human being.

That, and that alone, is your right to be treated as human.

You don’t need any other reason.

You don’t need to prove anything else to me.

You exist-your equality exists.

Now…how you choose to live, I do care about.  I do care if you act with hate or maliciousness.  I do care if your negative behaviors impact me or the ones I love.  Or the ones I like a little bit.   As a matter of fact I mind if your behaviors of hate or maliciousness impact negatively any of our human counter parts.  Whether I know those impacted by your actions or not.  Regardless of your skin color, religious beliefs, gender, ethnicity, etc these things are no excuse for bad behavior either.   Just as they are no reason to be excluded from human decency and acceptance.  If you act wrongfully, hatefully, with intent to harm others-I don’t blame any of these things for that behavior.  I blame you.  I hold you accountable .  Not your sex, or color, or religion, etc.    Raising your fist (literally or metaphorically) to me does not make your demand any more powerful or valid.  It makes it a threat.  Which then takes what you are demanding and makes it null and void in my humble book.  Once you become the bully or the oppressor (threat) you are part of the problem.

 I can’t take responsibility for what humanity did before my existence.  I cannot. It’s not possible.  Despite some opinions that “now” can apologize for “then”, we cannot.  I can only take responsibility for my actions, my thoughts and behaviors, and my words.

 I can’t wave a flag proclaiming my whiteness.  Or my heterosexuality.  Or my other things I am stuck being.  And I don’t feel a need to raise one or wave it.  But if I did  I would quickly be criticized for raising it and waving it.  Because my white, female and heterosexual existence is nothing to be proud of.    And full honest disclosure here, my oppositional defiant self thinks if ‘everyone’ else can claim pride in being born to what they are, why can’t I?

My point here, long winded as it is.  Is that I exist.

And that alone automatically qualifies  me to my humanity and equality within all of  humanity.

Just as your existence automatically qualifies you.

Peace, my fellow human counterparts.   We are in this together.