First of all, I want to say ‘Sorry’ to those of you that clicked on this post hoping to lash out at me. This is not a post written to impose my ‘white privilege’ ideology on anyone. Rather, it is an attempt to explain why we, as humans, need to really evaluate why we say, and choose, the words and actions we do to explain ourselves.
My husband arrived home today with a question for me. Do I think people are inherently malign, or benign, in their views against the human race? My elaborate response did not appease my husband, and he told me I was worse than a diplomat and should start calling me Joan Kerry!
(I can’t always explain myself in a single word – Wink.)
Well, I dug deeper into what he was asking. (How often do we do that?) He believes people are not malicious in their behavior, nor do they inherently hate on one another. We started out the conversation talking about how the media uses current events to not only bring awareness, but to incite a reaction from the public. Click-bait, if you will.
Once we really got to the core of the issue, though, I realized the problem is not one of hate / love. Humans do not just hate on one another. After living in five different countries and traveling to more than three dozen other ones, I’ve had a wide variety of interactions with different cultures and philosophies. I’ve had several point to me on the street and call out my ‘differences.’ Sure, some of them out of curiosity, and some of them out of, well, I don’t know what.
I truly believe that the core of this issue is NOT a race issue. It is NOT an issue of hatred. Rather, it is an issue of FEAR. Fear of change. A feeling that threatens our inner peace, our understanding of the world around us, and how things are ‘supposed’ to work.
After living in Germany for two years, and being up close and personal with the influx of refugees around the country, I see this issue as one in the same. As we grow and mature through the years, we come to understand our neighborhoods, our way of doing things and everything else as the ‘norm.’ The way it’s supposed to be. New groups, ideas and actions are brought in and we don’t always like the new way.
People don’t always behave rationally, or even logically. We are emotional beings. And once that feeling of our way is being threatened, sometimes, just sometimes, we lash out in unhealthy ways. We try so hard to maintain that status quo we’ve come to find comfort in. It’s not because we hate. It’s because we fear.
We fear that what we know is not true, it is not reality. We are arrogant. We think we are right. When we are shown something different, we must ask our ourselves to evaluate our ‘reality.’ This is not easy. So, we protect ourselves. We protect our way of doing things and we protect our identity.
We protect who we are. Because really, we are unwilling to humble ourselves to be real with ourselves.
Until next time,