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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Is Race All We See Now

I know there are a lot of people who see race one way or the other. I am not here to change your mind, but I am here to make you think. It is important to think and call on our own perceptions when it comes to race relations. I think if we are to be totally honest with ourselves we all have been racist at one point. If you say you haven't, you are lying to yourself.

About twelve years ago after my husband was deployed to Iraq I got on a flight in Frankfurt and noticed five or six men from the Middle East. I immediately grabbed onto my daughter and went into panic mode. I wanted to run, move seats, but it was too late. They were seated in my row. As the plane was taking off my mind was going into survival mode. I thought I would charm them to death in order to save our lives. I mean they were from the Middle East they had to be terrorist, right? Well, after the plane was high into the sky, I took on operation fake it until you make it. I totally talked the man's ear off the entire flight. In my arrogant mind, I thought if I talked to him he would understand Americans were nice.

Nine hours later we made it to the airport and I felt like a fool. I felt like a racist fool. I had judged him and his friends out of fear. I think we judge people on accident. I didn't mean to turn into Lady Racist. I just didn't have the inner strength to believe things could have been different. I was blinded by my ignorance. A lot of times we want to feel justified in thinking certain things about people, but it lacks foundation.

Perhaps if we can stop judging people by their color or by things that their ancestors did, we can move forward. Danger is not always found in those who are different, sometimes danger is found in the place we least expect it. It could be a way of thinking that poisons our minds against one and other. We are all living in a box. The box is tall and dark with a simple row of steps leading to the top. If we are to get out of the box we have to find those steps and pull ourselves upward. We have to learn how to climb out of our current ways of thinking.

I promise you if you aim to see race, then you are in luck because we are a melting pot and you will see it everywhere you go. Instead of seeing the negative, start trying to see the positive. We can never undo slavery and we can never go back to Africa. We are here and I don't know about you, but I don't plan on leaving anytime soon. Don't let the media put racist ideas into your head. Take responsibility for your life. Give people a chance to show you who they are before you tell them, who they are.

In closing, a few nights ago my husband and I found ourselves in a risky area past 10 pm. My tire was on flat and I didn't have my ATM card. We were able to get a donut tire from my sister, but we didn't have a tire iron. I kid you not, we asked at least ten people and they all declined to help us. I couldn't believe we had transitioned into this society that no longer wants to help people around us. I finally found ten bucks crumbled up underneath my seat. We ran into the store and filled my car with Fix-A-Flat and prayed it would make it home. As we pulled up into the driveway the tire went flat once again. I came  away feeling blessed, but I felt sorrowful for us, as people.

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