The millions, the movement,the madness…
It’s 3:30 am. I’m awake because Bryson is awake.
I’m laid back on the chocolate brown recliner in the living room rocking him from left to right without ceasing. He’s lying on my chest, his belly to mine, with his legs legs spread out and hugging my hips. His arms are wrapped around my neck like limp spaghetti noodles. My first failed attempt at heat therapy (a heating pad) lays folded beside me and it’s touching my left elbow just enough to singe it. My right hand is rubbing his back and my left is holding a mountain dew bottle (that prior to my panic in the kitchen moments ago, when it seemed nothing would work, housed a delicious 20 ounces of sugary soda) that is filled with hot water against his aching ear. With each sway from left to right, I am almost certain the bottle’s weight increases. My arms fallen asleep and the baby hairs that have fallen from my messy bun are itching my nose.
But I dare not move. You see, some how or another his emotions are directly proportional to my sanity… and for the first time in thirty minutes he’s stopped crying. I watched with overwhelming relief as his little eyes close just above his tear stained cheeks. I just keep rocking. I grip the bottle for dear life, try not to cry myself, and rub his back like there are wrinkles needing to be smoothed. I just keep rocking. At this point all I can do is hope the pain doesn’t wake him again. I just keep rocking. And all the while I am rocking, I’m praying. I just keep praying… praying for peace…
But not the same peace most of America is praying for tonight.
I am overwhelmed with emotions.
With complete and utter helplessness.
All very similar emotions to those I felt trying to soothe Bryson, but for a completely different reason. One I have been struggling with all day. One I have been struggling with since I first watched the #AlstonSterling video, and then the #PhilandoCastile video, and now the #dallasshooting videos. The only word that consistently comes to mind is “how?”
1: How can I shield my four-year old, who knows no pain much worse than the earache he has tonight, from all of this?
2. How did we, as in America, get to this point?
3. How are we so naieve and blind to the charade, that has become news and media, to sway public opinion?
4. How is it possible that, in a country full of people eager to help and serve, there is so much hate?
5. How did the gift of co-exsistance in this FREE country become such a nightmare?
How can I, a 25 year old, white (since it apparently matters), mom, daughter, sister, and friend help? How can I sway the court of public opinion on the matter? How can I show millions of people, all around the world, that I’ll likely never come in contact with that the only way any of this can be resolved is through exactly that – resolution?
JUST stop. For yourself, for your family, for your fucking RACE (be it whatever it may be), for the sake of absolutely everyone involved, STOP.
Stop ranting, stop raving, stop protesting and rioting, stop judging and bullying, stop ignoring, stop slandering, stop recording, stop lying, stop seeking attention, stop the ignorance, stop the hate, stop hurting, and FOR GOD SAKE, please STOP SHOOTING.
There are so many important issues in today’s society that warrent a need for serious concern and correction. I’ll grant you that. But, viewing them all from a racial perspective is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE.
I have a very close relative who came out to friends and family about his sexual orientation awhile ago. But before all of that, he came out to me. My advice to him went something like this: ” I love you. I love WHO you are. I love your heart and your spirit and you kindness and your eagerness to do what’s right. I support you but please know and undertand this: You are You. You are not Gay.” What I meant is….. what you do, what you wear, what you identify with, and what you do in the bedroom may all shape your personality and ideals but it doesn’t DEFINE you. Don’t allow it to do so.
All to often we let one little piece of who we are define our entire perspective in a situation. We dive in, head-first, to societies ideas about what we should be and completely lose sight of what makes us unique. I.E. ‘Because I’m gay I must like ___insert sterotype here____.’
When you do that, YOU ARE PROMOTING racism, predjudice, and sterotypes. When you do that you’re saying… forget about me and what makes me a unique individual but instead define me by this one thing!
The same could be said about race. I am white. But I rarely, if ever, do I define myself as such. When I tell someone about myself the last thing I identify with is the color of my skin. It’s such a miniscule detail of my person. I am so much more than the color of my skin.
NEWSFLASH FOR EVERYONE.
YOU ARE MORE THAN A SKIN COLOR.
I’m so frustrated with this idea because no matter what I project on this issue someone returns the idea that I am just saying that because I ‘don’t understand.’ But that’s not the case at all…
Am I black? No. Have I ever been discriminated against or mistreated or denied justice or SHOT at because I am black? That goes without saying… no. But are there people who look at me and see a white female before they see anything else? Absolutely. If I cave into that sterotype and project that image and promote that fact, I am then allowing myself to be defined as such. That’s not ‘pride.’ That’s ignorance. That’s not promoting change or helping my circumstance, it’s feeding into it.
So STOP. Go look in the mirror. What do you see? If you can only identify yourself by a race or orientation or sex… YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. You are #AlstonSterling and #PhilandoCastile and #DallasSho ting and #PulseOrlando and #_insertrecenttragedyhere_.
To assume that everyone will take a long hard look at themselves and drop the sterotypes they are ALLOWING to define them is naieve. I know this.
But perhaps, just maybe, if some of us did… if just a few of us did… and we paid it foward… we began to identify ourselves as something much more appealing.
AMERICANS. HUMANS. PEOPLE.
Unified, free, and proud. Workers and leaders and dreamers. Moms and dads and brothers and sisters and friends and family.
Maybe not, but this WOMANS’s heart is full of pain AND hope for everyone involoved. This DAUGHTER/GRANDAUGHTER is thankful for the freedom to have been able to say all of this. This HUMAN is fearful for the madness that has become of her country. And this MOM is praying her sweet, innocent, little four year old boy, KNOWS he and everyone else he meets is more than what meets the eye.
And now, this MOM has a crying baby waking with an earache she needs to go soothe…