We Need to Come Together, Peacefully

I made this post on Writing.com yesterday:

May I be honest? I’m white, but I can say I’m not privileged. Before you call me a racist, let me explain. If I stay silent about my beliefs, sure, I can get the privilege. However, when I was a practicing Muslim, and people knew, nope. I once wore an Iraqi band t-shirt at the air port in Toronto, DHS apprehended me, took my finger prints, tested my hands, all because I had an Arabic t-shirt on. They targeted me when I had my coat on before they knew the shirt. Maybe it was the one way tickets to other cities, but it was weird and had me unsettled.After I passed, I was seated with other Middle Easterners, this happens all the time.

I’m no longer Muslim, but I feel like if you’re not a Christian, there’s a lot of prejudice too. Sure, Christians get it too. Mentally ill people aren’t privileged either. Same with LGBTQIA.

I’ll never know what it is to be black. I’ve never been black and I know all minorities get the worst treatment. I will never know their pain on that level. However, I’ve lived through bigotry and it does hurt. I know you’re hurting and we are all hurting as a global society.

My dad is a deputy and will retire in November. I used to fear him never coming home because there are a lot of people out there who hate “pigs” and they must die. That isn’t right either. Looting and burning down places is wrong too. I get that you’re hurting, but hurting others and destroying your communities won’t help the hurt either.

Someone accused me of white washing Dr. King and he did speak about civil disobedience, but not on the scale of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. I believe Dr. King meant those words.

Hurt people hurt one another. Let’s come together, let’s heal together , put away the privilege cards, arrest anyone who threatens harm and jail those that harm. Let’s stand up against racism and bigotry because we are all human. We all have the same needs and in the end, we all turn to dust. None of us are better than one another.

But then again, maybe this isn’t a competition. I was taught to treat others the way I want to be treated and I live by the Golden Rule.

Philadelphia has been looting and is being looted. King of Prussia is being looted too. I do not agree with this and I think it’s pointless. It has devolved from police brutality to anarchy. I lost a friend because she thinks I am complicit and don’t get police brutality.

I get it, but at the same time, there are “pig” killers out there who target those in law enforcement. I used to fear for my dad, dad doesn’t arrest, but he serves those being sued or losing property to foreclosure. Those who are in the position to lose things aren’t usually sensible. Killing unarmed black people isn’t right, but killing cops isn’t right either. I’m angry and scared.

I think I also have to remember my experiences are different. Dad is just a really kind, gentle man and tends to befriend people easily. I remember going to a few events and parties from people he met at the job and people trust my dad enough to ask him for advice. He used to educate about fraud and how to avoid victimization. I get not everyone is like that.

I might be taking things too personally. I just don’t want anything to happen to good people. Every one has the right to life and happiness. Also, at least in the states, some LE have been joining in solidarity. I would like to think it’s real. I’ve been getting a lot of downvotes on Reddit because of this. Anna had to say, “remember, people are hurt right now and it’s not really all about you.”

I’ve said some nasty and violent things and I’m sorry. This is what antifa and neo Nazis want. I’m no longer playing into it. I don’t agree with the destruction of homes and businesses, especially in already tough times. These businesses may not come back. No business, no jobs, no jobs, no money, no money, no life. I agree that more needs to be done, but we have to look at injustices done to every community that feels “other.” This can’t sustain us.

Let’s come together, join hand in hand, and arrest anyone who attempts to harm, kill, or make anyone feel less than human.

I guess I am speaking from my whiteness and while I have had my struggles, I will never know what it feels to be part of another race. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but alas, I’m only human. I’m sorry if this rubbed anyone the wrong way.

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “We Need to Come Together, Peacefully”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    We live in troubled times and this is a complex issue. If and when any of us speaks out publicly, we need to remember to use words that heal or attempt to heal, not words that place blame. It pains me to think that you might have lost a friend because you stated your opinion. Poor Madonna can’t win. Every time she makes public her opinion on an issue like this one and tries to show solidarity, she is blasted by haters who call her tone deaf. Yet if she remains silent, she is blasted for not taking a stand. I don’t know what to say except to give my best advice, and that is to listen to what others have to say, acknowledge them for expressing it, try to understand where they are coming from and what they’ve been through.
    “Walk a mile in my shoes.” I am reminded of a moment permanently burned into my memory, an event that took place more than 50 years ago. I had taken my girlfriend, the future Mrs. Shady #1 to the York Interstate Fair. That year, 1968, was a turbulent year much like 2020 is shaping up to be. Racial tensions were running high in cities all across America including York. My gf and I went to see the James Brown show on the grandstand, which drew a mostly black audience. As we were leaving the fairgrounds and heading toward our car in the parking lot, an angry young black man, who was also with a date, charged at me out of the blue, cursing at me, using racial slurs and challenging me to fight. Clearly the only reason for the unprovoked attack was the color of my skin. He saw a white guy and assumed I must be his enemy. If he only knew me, knew the truth, he would have realized it was just the opposite. “Judge a man not by the color of the skin, but by the content of his character,” to paraphrase Dr. King. We cannot allow ourselves to judge a whole group of people based on the actions of one or a few. I believe in getting to know people one-on-one because, frankly, I have never met a person with whom I didn’t have at least something in common. There is always common ground to explore and the opportunity to form a bond of friendship. We all need to read the many great quotes of Dr. King because he got it right. I am afraid that today’s younger generations conditioned as they are to attacking each other anonymously on social media and drawn into the orbits of cruel, shallow and downright evil public figures, have lost sight of the principles my generation grew up with and was blessed with in the teachings of role model leaders like Dr. King.

    I fear a “long hot summer” as the old expression goes. “All we are saying…” John Lennon wrote and sang with Plastic Ono Band, “…give peace a chance.”

    Have a safe and healthy week, dear friend JM!


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