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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 26th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! Today’s blog is going to stray from my norm again, and I will probably lose a few followers because of it, but I think this needs to be discussed.

Now, obviously, I am a white, (barely) middle class, female, so I am in no way qualified to speak of the plight of the young black, lower class, man; but with all that is going on these past few days, I do have some questions.

1) If the young man was shot by a black officer, would all this be going on?

2) How does rioting and destroying the town YOU live in solve anything, and aren’t these actions perpetuating the ridiculous stereotype?

3) Don’t people realize that when you get a man like Al Sharpton involved, he is just there to stir the pot? The only thing that man cares about is being in the spotlight. When all is said and done, he goes back to his upper middle class/ wealthy surroundings, and the people he claims to be seeking justice for are left broken and bleeding.

I’m sorry, Martin Luther King Jr he is not. Now there was a man who warranted respect. There was a man who could have truly changed the world if he had been given the chance. Do you know why? Because he realized that in order to change the mindset of the country, you needed to change the perception of the masses. Prove the haters wrong; not by violence, but by peace, love, education, and most importantly, to lead by positive example. NEWS FLASH, burning down your local bakery is NOT a positive example.

Perhaps my biggest problem is I cannot understand the concept of treating someone different than the way I want to be treated. What difference does the color of someone’s skin or the amount of money they have in their pocket make? Now, I’m not saying I do not have initial reservations when I encounter someone I do not know, and they have an intimidating presence. (I’m 5’5” and female, it’s not too hard to intimidate me.)

Example, the other day I was at the store and there was this huge white man, covered in tattoos and had several piercings. At first glance, I’ll admit, he gave me pause. Then he broke out in the biggest smile, and was oober polite to the cashier, and to everyone around him. And why shouldn’t he be? Because he expresses himself with ink and hardware? Yet, I’m sure, I was not the only one who bought into the stereotype. Thankfully, at least for me, my initial reaction was immediately dispersed, which, for the most part, is what usually happens.

Another example was when I was in college. A few of my girlfriends and I went into the city. We were taking the subway somewhere when a group of guys started harassing us. Next thing we knew, we were surrounded by an impenetrable wall of black leather. Several members of the Hell's Angels took it upon themselves to see to our safe passage. Now let me tell you, these Hell's Angels looked a whole lot scarier than the guys harassing us. Again, first impressions were false. They stayed with us through several stops and then escorted us up to the street and an additional few blocks until THEY determined we were safe.

On the other hand, I can just about guarantee, if I ever encounter a KKK member or a white supremacist, I will be giving them a wide berth. I FULLY admit to being prejudiced against those two groups. Sorry, as far as I’m concerned, they’re psycho. (and here’s where I may lose a reader or two, but honestly, I won’t miss you. Have a nice life, and I pray someday you will realize the error of your ways.)

I attribute the country’s frame of mind to the “one bad apple” principle. Until we realize every Italian is not tied to the mafia, every Irishman is not a drunk, every Hispanic is not a drug dealer, every Muslim is not a terrorist, every Black man is not there to rob or murder you, and every white person is a not white collar criminal, things will never change. Yes, there are people out there who do fit the categories, but bad folks exist in ALL races, religions, political affiliation and social stature. You can have a white, drug-dealing, terrorist who wants to rob and murder you.

Here’s another news flash. Whenever I have encountered a police officer, it raised my anxiety level as well. Granted, I did not feel I was going to be shot, but there was one instance I did feel threatened. (My bad for unintentionally surprising a state trooper.) Think back to when you were a kid and got called down to the principal’s office. Remember that churning in your gut? This is a normal reaction when confronted by an authority figure. What determines the outcome of these encounters, is the way you handle yourself in the situation. If you are cooperative and respectful, chances are things will go just fine.

Again, I’m not blind to the fact that there are some rotten, abusive, power hungry cops in the world, but it’s that whole “bad apple” thing again. 99 times out of 100, you will be interacting with the good people in the world, even if they are tattooed, pierced, huge, of a different skin color, or wearing a badge.
This sweet young thing was
Delphine LaLaurie
Perhaps I am the ignorant one. Maybe I just don’t get it, and by all means, feel free to enlighten me (just keep it PG, some of my readers are younger). I don’t see how burning down Michael Brown’s church benefited anyone. I don’t see how repeating the past over and over will produce different results. Isn’t that, in essence, the definition of insanity?

How about we give this a whirl? Start treating everyone the way we would like to be treated, stop looking at the color (or colors) of the person’s skin and take the time to look inside to see who they really are, and be willing to abandon your preconceived notions of who a person is based on the way they look. Looks can be deceiving…

I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge:

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.