BE YOURSELF, Whoever You Are!

This amazing video brought to my attention that I support the right for people to behave naturally, whatever that looks like, provided it doesn’t harm anyone.

Now I am advocating for groups that have not yet even defined themselves, made of people who have yet to find each other!

(Prepare your mind to be stretched farther open than you might have expected. It’s awesome CGI. Shut up, Donna! OK, I will!)

Racism During the Past 50 Years?

Well! This video. This speech. This man’s Truth.

This is hard to hear and heart-breaking. Is it true? I don’t want it to be true because it is shameful. Can I refute any of it with facts? No. Can you?

So if this is true then we should all agree that a huge injustice has taken place to systematically suppress the opportunity and success of black men. We should admit that they were not given equal opportunity to succeed for generations.

If you think what the man in this video has to say is NOT true, then what? Should you assume black men are lying about what they experience? Or feeling sorry for themselves? Should you feel angry or defensive? What will that achieve?

Do I think there was a grand white supremacy conspiracy that brought race relations to this moment in history? I have no idea, and more importantly, I don’t think I have to worry about it at this point.

We all need to choose if we believe what we hear about racism. I want to reject the message in this video because the idea hurts me so much that white people in power would be so calculating and purposeful and methodical in their racism that they would do these things to suppress people for generations. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. It makes me feel like the country I live in is full of insecure, frightened white bullies.

It is impossible to ignore the tsunami of evidence that the American game is stacked against black people, though. It is also stacked against poor people.

So if you cannot accept thinking about systemic racism at the level that is on this video, at least accept that the racism problem does exist every day. Every day people in America are made to feel like second-class citizens and even like criminals simply because of their appearance. They are not allowed to live to their full potential because people with weak characters feel threatened by them. Please acknowledge to yourself and to others that this is true and that it’s not ok with you.

Open your mind. Open your heart. Listen. Do not shut down the dialogue. Improve.

A Conflicted Empathetic Meat-Lover

Here is where I struggle to take the high road. I am a carnivore who feels guilty, so I make myself watch a video like this every once in a while to remember where it comes from. Don’t worry, it isn’t horrific slaughterhouse footage! It’s a social experiment to give carnivores a jolt. I would be a perfect subject.

You see… once you embrace the idea that one human group deserves freedom that they are being denied, if you really open your heart to that cause, you soon recognize that other groups fighting for equal rights and respect deserve it just as much. That snowballs until you feel warm fuzzy love for every person you meet. Then your sympathy rushes out to support the animals and you flatten your face on the brick wall that is your being a carnivore. Oops! That’s why I am a GUILTY carnivore. I am a conflicted empathetic meat-lover.

Perhaps that is similar to when sometimes a strong religious conviction makes one minority that is terribly judged to be prejudiced against another minority that is terribly judged for different reasons.