These past few years have been a struggle for America. You can’t deny that. It seems every day there is a new riot or a new person shot by a person of authority. You see it every day on Facebook, Twitter, the news . . . everywhere. There are African American people who are upset. There are Caucasian people who are upset. I’m not sure about the Asian or Latino communities, but I’m sure there are some who are upset as well.
When we aren’t looking at race, there are Christians who are upset. There are Muslims who are. There are homosexuals. There are heterosexuals. I did miss a few people, but basically, you can say everyone is upset. And we aren’t all upset about one side or the other. We are upset with each other.
America is like the parent and everyone within its borders are her children. We are having sibling rivalry. We are jealous of each other or think that there is jealousy. We hate each other or think that there is hate. Whatever the truth is, we are blinded by these emotions and aren’t looking to embrace one another.
Over many years there has been great change, but not enough. I know this. You know this. You may not agree with what I’ve said and what I will say, but know this: I only want people to acknowledge that not everyone should be lumped into one category.
For instance, I am a caucasian and asian pacific islander mix. I am not comfortable in my racial background. I don’t know anything about the Fillippino culture except that pancit, chicken adobo, and lumpia are amazing. I don’t know who decided not to enrich my life with the culture. I don’t know if it was an ancestor when my grandmother’s family moved to America. I don’t know if it was my father’s decision. I don’t know if it was my own. Whatever the case may be, I’m not comfortable about that part of my racial heritage.
On the other side, I know more about my German, Welsh, and Danish background. I have some traditions passed down. I love that part of my heritage. I understand it. But, do I feel comfortable in a pure white setting? No. I still feel like an outsider no matter the case.
Where do I feel comfortable? AMERICA. There are political views I dislike greatly. There are choices made for our futures I dislike. I do get upset and sometimes say what a terrible country we live in. But, ultimately, I love America.
I love it for its diversity. I am not a typical white/asian straight woman. I’ve had crushes on girls. I’m not Christain. (In fact I don’t have a religion. I have faith.) I have a sister who is a lesbian and married who had a kid before she found her wife. I have a brother who lives with his partner. I have a father, a stepfather, and my best friend’s father is like my own. I say I have three mothers: my biological one and two of my best friends’ mothers. I am not typical. I should not be lumped in one category or the other, EXCEPT for AMERICAN.
What you need to understand is, you are not a typical white or black or hispanic or whatever. You are you. It is beautiful. Enough shaming yourself when you look in the mirror. Enough shaming others when you get upset about how your background is being represented. The representation isn’t the majority. It’s not even the minority. It is a representation. It is a visual to help depict something. It’s not the truth.
The problem is . . . we rely too much on our political views and on the views of the media to do the thinking and love for us. I’m not saying they are inadequate tools. They are great tools, but tools shouldn’t determine a person’s view. We shouldn’t have our Media “teaching” us about race or have our TV shows depict one race as better or racial shaming of any kind.
Instead of getting upset when someone doesn’t understand your struggles, we should try and teach with our whole heart. We should all educate each other. No two people are the same. We need to be proud of our background, but more proud of our union as a nation. Race shouldn’t be the end all be all. It should be a celebration for our nation.
What needs to happen is change within the home. The home is where everything begins and everything ends. The government isn’t going to change personal views. The media isn’t going to change personal views. It is how you raise your family or you are raised that will change the views of the future. I propose a more culturally diverse school system. Instead of job days, it should be culture days. Schools should welcome various expressions of culture and allow children to ask the hard questions. Those children will then be able to educate their parents or peers. Every school needs this. Every child needs this for a better nation.
I don’t want people to forget that AMERICAN CULTURE is the broad term of all the cultures. I view the word AMERICAN as an embrace of every culture around and wanting to be educated. You can be (and should be) proud of your heritage, but that heritage isn’t the only building block of AMERICAN CULTURE.
I’m not saying there aren’t civil issues that need to be adressed. They do. However, we need to work towards education and embracing one another in order to make the country we want.
I saw a picture today of a police officer helping a protestor. The police officer probably didn’t care for the protestor’s opinions, but he helped a man out. I don’t know if the protestor said anything to him, but I hope he thanked that officer. The protestor probably didn’t know that a black man could ever want to help a white man who actively dislikes anyone not white. If he did thank the officer, I’m sure the black officer would never have thought that his action would bring out a piece of humanity.
You would never have known that the actions of the police officer and protestor were color related if I let it alone. You would have seen a good man doing his job despite the political differences. Despite the cultural differences. That needs to be celebrated. It doesn’t need to be seen as a black man once again showing patience in the midst of chaos. It should be seen as a man being a man. It needs to be seen as a human being helping another human being despite differences. That police officer wasn’t being patient because it’s expected . . . he was being human because he believes in treating people with respect.
Education. Love. Respect. That is what our nation needs to stop racial distress. We don’t need “reality TV” to teach us. We don’t need our senators to teach us. We don’t need our news to teach us. WE NEED EACH OTHER TO TEACH US. I need you and you need me.
And, once we’ve started that revolution, maybe, just maybe, our government and media will follow.