I’m so upset right now. I lost a friend today over a post I shared on Facebook. The post showed two dark-skinned men wearing black t-shirts with white lettering that say “White Lives Matter Too.” I admire the two men for wearing these shirts when it will most likely get them into some heated waters with others, so I shared the post.
Let me state right now that I am not a racist. I am a personist. I could care less about the shade of your skin. If you are good to me, I see the good you do in the world, for yourself and for others, and you don’t grab on to this issue or that to define the core of you in any way, then we are probably going to be great friends for many years to come. On the other hand, if you are egotistical, self-centered, judgemental, gender biased, bring in hate instead the ‘love’ you proclaim you are trying to bring into the world, then I really don’t have the desire to include you in my life.
The fact that I am no longer friends with this person that I held closely as a friend, someone I hand-picked to be in my wedding party, truly, deeply hurts me. I’m sorry, but I just don’t have room in my life anymore for anyone that is willing to tell me “Fuck you” based on my view-point being different from theirs. That’s not a friend, in my opinion. “I disagree,” “I’m feeling judged by what you are saying,” I completely disagree with your standpoint,” “I think it’s better if we don’t talk about this subject because we obviously view it differently” are all things I could imagine hearing from a friend in a similar situation. And you know what sucks the most??? The fact that I don’t necessarily disagree with what he is saying but the extremes to which he is unable to hear anything except what he is decided the only, right way.
The whole thing got started today over a reply I had given him on his comment to my post. Part of it was along the lines of “Hey! You seem really argumentative lately. What’s going on?” He hopped on his soap box, bashing white privilege, not changing the focus back to the sniveling white privileged by supporting such a post, etc. The back and forth went from there, his side ending with a “Fuck You Very Much” to me. I responded with letting him know that I thought we had a friendship based on acceptance, not judgement, and a good-bye. I doubt he saw it, though, as I believe he had unfriended me before my reply. Oh well. I guess that reply was more for me than him, anyway. Processing that I did not want to maintain a friendship with someone who can only see his view and will be brutal with you if you don’t agree with him.
So, that brings me to this whole Black Lives Matter thing going on.
It pains me to see that there is STILL a major level of inequality in regard to skin color in this world. It’s absolutely ridiculous to me. How skin color still matters in society or the judicial system, anywhere at all, eludes me. I know that hate is a taught thing and I am appalled to know that there are still parents out there teaching to hate other people based on things such as skin color, intelligence, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, who you vote for. Its disgraceful, in my opinion, that these things are still a source of separation, judgement, violence. What is even more appalling is that some of the people who still believe that skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc should factor in make it into positions of power over other people’s lives, such as law enforcement and the judicial system. How does that happen?!?!
Then there are the stereotypes. One must truly look at the definition of a particular stereotype, what it is truly based on, and realize that it is not something that can be randomly or broadly applied just for the sake of it. Definitely put the thought of the idea in your mind, if needed, but only to be used as another important piece of information to the whole, and not the whole itself. Another thing that should be considered is whether or not the stereotype you are looking at is even a valid one, anymore. Do the statistics hold up and support it? If not, it is time to throw that one away.
You also have to consider that some stereotypes set the bar, in a way. Sort of like, if you tell a child all its life that it will never amount to anything, the chances are they will never strive to be more. It’s really unfortunate, but studies show it to be true. The only way that doesn’t happen is if that child grows up and rebels against what they have always been told and makes a life for themselves that they are proud of, that anyone could be proud of.
In the end, I think we, as an entire species, need to take some lessons from our youngest members. Very young children do not go into a playing situation automatically excluding others based on skin color, what their parents do for work, where they live. Very young children see other young children as friends, often before they even know them.