I once believed my home to be near Utopian. It was all I knew when I was young and I had a beautiful childhood. It was only when I had the conscious awareness of its inherent surreality that my infallible admiration started to crack.
In the past few years, I have matured into the kind of adult who seeks to give back to the community from which I come. It is not lost on me that, though I was unique, I was embraced. I cannot help but notice that so many of my peers happily claim me as their own. Most importantly to me, a friend reminded me, they trust me. Yes, I pushed buttons and boundaries.
Yes, I often satirized the, to me, blatant ridiculousness of much of our culture, but, yes, I was a part of it. And my community accepted that.
For this reason, I am hurt.
Ready for this?
We are, on the spectrum of abnormality in a predominantly white neighborhood, mild at most.
But what if we weren’t? What if our skin were a few shades darker? Our heads wrapped in cloth? What if we were anything other than a slight diversion from this privileged norm?
So, you were stopped and you are white so therefore there is a chance that a black person would also be stopped and that is racism?
This realization dawned in me a warming fury of frustration.
Relax tough guy.
I am a young, white, wealthy, cisgender American man. I was in an almost entirely white, wealthy, American town, my home no less. But I couldn’t help but feel like I had had my first taste of what it must be like to be anything else in this country.
I cannot know what it is like to be black in America. I cannot know what it is like to be gay or to be a woman or to be an immigrant or to be anything other than what I am, but I now know what it feels to be “othered.”
And it hurts.
This hurts my head.
To be accosted, however mildly, by a policeman in this country is frightening. The irony of the service they provide is that they are trying to keep their own community safe, and yet I, a former member, was filled with fear that I would be accosted again for disturbing the peace or, more aptly described, disturbing the norm.
Yes, this particular event was small. But it represents an important issue festering in this once-great nation.
If we are doing in our country to those who we fear what my former community did to me, than we are perpetuating discrimination, we are perpetuating our own ignorance, and we are postponing the kind of progress we so desperately need.
That said, Mountain Brook, I love you. I forgive you. But please, for the sake of our country and our community, let us not reject our own.
Keep in mind there is no discrimination, no misdeed by police, this is just a self-righteous moron preening for his friends.
Is this guy a tool? Or is he the world’s largest tool?
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