While my posts focus on the “inner voice” and managing our critical chatter, today I want to focus on our “outside” voice or how we speak to the world.
In light of the events in Charlottesville, it is critically important to state that I do not support white supremacy or any of their beliefs. It sickens me that there are 917 identified and active hate groups in this country (Southern Poverty Law Center 2017). How is hate a driving force with thousands, actually millions of Americans?
I spent last week observing more than acting. Don’t get me wrong, I am livid. I am sickened, saddened, enraged, threatened and shocked. I felt a shift too. I came to the conclusion that my angry vile words are not going to do anything but contribute to the problem. Let me explain…….
You lose your power and credibility when you spew hate.
Self-righteousness, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, racist language is HATE TALK. Who has the right to diminish the worth of another individual!! I am ashamed that so many Americans feel they are more worthy than another based on the color of their skin, sexual orientation or their religious affiliation.
It’s emotional pollution. Hate comes out of their mouths like smoke from a factory chimney — acrid and heavy.
No one has the right to inflict harm on another. This includes financial, physical and emotional harm.
Arm-chair activists may not realize that posting another article on social media is not enough. We have to do more without entertaining those looking for a fight – confrontation — violence.
Vote with your presence.
Vote with your support.
Vote with your dollars.
Instead of silence, question mistreatment when you see it take place. Instead of walking away, question the water cooler talk that sounds racist. Question everything in an intelligent, determined, curious voice. I want you to ask, “WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?”
As angry as I am, I can’t give in to name calling, shaming and hatred. This is how we will impact the world. Our collective voices WILL make a difference.
Use your voice. Use your words whether written or spoken. Contact your representatives. Participate in your community. Support organizations dedicated to this cause. Act now from a place of compassion, not hate.
Shaming is a catalyst for divisiveness. Let’s inhibit this reaction with peaceful conduct.
Stop the hate. Question everything.
This is not a fight between political parties- it’s a fight for human decency!
“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” Heather Heyer, 32, posted on Facebook before she was killed by an alleged Nazi sympathizer in Charlottesville.
I feel insulated because I live in a very diverse and liberal part of the world. I hadn’t even heard the term “white privilege” until two years ago. I don’t like it one bit yet I...
I just returned from my first trip to the amazing city of New Orleans! What a place—a city rich in history and culture.
On the final leg of the trip home I sat reflecting on the warmth of the NoLa people and the pride associated with excellent products and services, when a man also traveling home from the South, made the following comment, “The only good thing about the South is the manners. People there really know their place and respect white people. They don’t have attitudes like these Mexicans over here.”
Maturity or maybe aging neurons provided me with the ability to pause before I engaged my mouth. My first thought. Did I just hear him correctly? Yes, I am wearing my glasses. (I swear I hear better when I am wearing my glasses!) But this was someone my age or even younger…….hmmmm.
My second thought was why should I waste my energy responding to such a complete idiot? But….. I can’t just stay silent, can I? After all, communication is what separates us from apes…..
My neurons finally started firing on all cylinders and I managed to say this with a touch of icy calm, “Excuse me but everyone has a story and you cannot know the perspective of another person until you have walked in their shoes.”
May I point out I didn’t use any expletives? I zipped my lip. I gave him no fuel to further engage me on any topic whether it is race, immigration or even the weather. I am comfortable with my beliefs and I so much wanted to change his perspective but I deemed him a lost cause. I also deemed him a racist moron in case you thought I had gone soft in the head.
My choice is to expend my energy where I CAN make a difference but driving home I could not let go of that conversation. Isn’t this 2012? Don’t I live in one of the most progressive areas of the country? Why are we still judging people by the color of their skin? Where is his compassion for a fellow human being?
People!! Let’s not forget that the United States was founded by immigrants. Furthermore, we displaced the native people and exploited the cheap or even free labor of many others.
The beauty of this country lies in our diversity. Celebrate it!
The color of someone’s skin does not determine whether or not we engage with them in a kind, honest and respectful manner. For that matter, neither does their gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and socioeconomic status. All people deserve respect. It’s really that simple.
“Treat others better than you wish to be treated yourself.” That’s what my Grandma always told us and that is what I wish to share with you.
From the heart,