You are JUST as F**ked as the rest of us. BE A NICE PERSON!!!

Snark and I were having a conversation the other day regarding traffic. Traffic takes up a lot of our conversations as we chat via our handsfree devices whilst maneuvering through the suburban jungles on their crowded asphalt and concrete trails, encountering dangers at every turn! In otherwords, traffic in the metro Atlanta area is completely jacked. No lie. Anyways, we were talking about traffic and we were talking about using manners in traffic. Like, if we are *all* waiting in an ungodly long line of traffic, is it really gonna hurt to let that person who is turning from the intersecting street to your right in front of you? Is that one car really going to make you later than you were already going to be? No, probably not. And that is the point.

In the case of all these assholes out there, yelling at the inconvenience of life because they have to wait in line or let someone scooch beside them to get some meds at the store or to all those who are so angry about people who don’t speak english living in our country…seriously? Are you really going to let your mouth open up and your ass fall out?

Guess what, people. We are all in this together. We will all eventually breathe the same air on this planet. We will all eventually drink the same water. Eat from the same farm. We are all connected in one way or another, despite the connection not being completely visible to us. We are all, in one way or another, affected by the same events that take place in this world and we are all responsible for being the best people we can be to each other. Doing this could make interactions so much easier.

And when this great big ball of rock decides it’s had enough of us puny humans living on it’s surface, or when we puny humans have done so much damage that this big ball of rock is no longer habitable, then we will all be in the same situation. So, when you think of all of this-and I mean *REALLY* think-then it really does make sense when I say:

“You are JUST as fucked as the rest of us.

Be a nice person!!!

Be Kind to yourself and one another,

The Grey

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#Woke

via Daily Prompt: Oversight

It was gradual. But powerful. Sitting back and watching the protests in  Ferguson, where ever there was violence against people of color, the beginnings of #BlackLivesMatter movement, I thought to myself, “Wow-how angry these people are.” And went about my own business. I wasn’t indifferent, just ignorant in my understanding of their experience. Sure, I could watch the tv news every morning and night and see the violence that people of color are subjected to daily by the government meant to protect us all, but hey-it didn’t affect me, so….I didn’t think about it too much. Am I showing how deep I was in my own white privilege?  I hope so. Honestly, I am still shoveling my way out of this deep hole I am in.

Then I spoke with people. SPOKE with them about their experiences. SPOKE with them about their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs. And it started to sink in. I wrote a piece earlier last year…about 6 months ago…and I stated that violence begets violence begets violence…but I better understand WHY there has been violence. I was still mired down in my own privilege and allowing that to influence my thoughts and feelings. But not anymore. I GET IT NOW. We have, since the founding of this country, used non-peaceful protest and actions to achieve the desired results (Hello…the American Revolution! A giant war that included an act of rebellion and governmental property damage in Boston). WE WERE FOUNDED ON NON-PEACEFUL PROTEST. I get it now, my friends of color. I get WHY there has been so much violence. I get WHY peaceful protest does not always work. And I understand that, if I want to be a part of this protest against the atrocities taking place in our country against people of color, women, immigrants, the LQBTQIA community, I HAVE to WAKE THE FUCK UP to the fact that it will not be peaceful, silent, or pretty. I HAVE to be okay with that because if I am not, I will remain in my bubble of ignorance surrounding myself with the unrealistic and idealistic point of view that just by talking about it, something will happen.

NO. I was WRONG to think that a peaceful protest will always be the best way to be heard. And it is uncomfortable. I feel guilty. I feel ashamed. I feel like I have been part of the problem. And I am going to try my damndest to correct my oversight. I am going to try my damndest to continue to be uncomfortable, because when I am feeling this discomfort, I am learning about what I have done to overlook the truth of it all. And MY truth is that I was too scared to be fully involved because I didn’t want others to think poorly of me, to think I was stirring the pot, to think that I was supporting something just to support it and not because I truly believed in the movement. I didn’t want to catch shit from my family, whom I love dearly, but I do not share the same political beliefs as they do.

The amount of emotional labor that my friends of color and my friends in the LGBTQIA (of which I identify as being a part of, btw) have put in to educate cisgender, heterosexual white people has been tremendous. They are the ones experiencing the violence, condemnation, anger, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc and then they have to EXPLAIN WHY they are upset?? No. Not okay. NOT OKAY AT ALL. I should not expect them to go through all they do and then do MORE work to try to explain why things need to change. So, I plan to stay uncomfortable. And I plan to make other folks uncomfortable as well by talking about it.

So, my friends of color, my friends in the LGBTQIA community, stay angry. Keep protesting. Keep speaking out. I am going to be a better advocate for you. I am going to be a better listener. I am going to pay attention to the ignorance that is around me and try to educate people as best I can. And I may come to you from time to time to help me use the right words so I am not furthering misconceptions or passing along unhelpful and ignorant information. I am going to stay #woke.

A Country On Fire

#BlackLivesMatterToo

#StopTheHate

#BeAnAlly

#PhilandoCastile

#AltonSterling

#NeverForget

I am in fear.

But not for myself.

I am in fear for my friends of color, fear for my family members of color, fear for all children of color who are being raised to know that, despite all the “progress” in the civil rights movement, there is still SO much further we need to go before their parents can sleep at night knowing their kids, their family members, THEY are safe.

Our country is on fire. We are being consumed by it. The flames of hate and violence are feeding on our fears, feeding on the intolerance, feeding on the blatant racism that is still so prevalent in this country. Yes, I see it. I live in the South. I see the looks my black friends get. I see the differences in treatment in the justice system. I see the differences in treatment by the law enforcement agencies.

I never thought, in my lifetime, I would see this. I never thought my children would have to see this. I have always taught it is not the color of the person’s skin that is important, but what is in their hearts. That we are all equal and that we are better than no other person around us.

I have never felt more naive in ALL MY LIFE.

I am a white woman, living in the South, married to a white man. I have white kids. I have never had to experience racism. I have never had to fear for my life because I am white. I have never had to worry someone would assume my teenage son was a threat and take his life before thinking twice just because he was a male with a certain skin color. I have never lost a family member to violence based upon their skin color. I have never experienced ANY of the atrocities that black people have because I AM WHITE. And that is what makes me naive, that is what makes me ignorant. My white privilege has made me blind to the world around me and this wake up call, this sudden thrusting of the realities of this world and how things really are sickens me. How could I be so naive? How??

HOW?!?!?!

I wish I knew. So, I am apologizing. I am sorry for anything I may have said that was naively racist. I am sorry for any assumptions I may have shared that were blatantly wrong. I am SO SORRY.

I hate this. I hate this violence. I hate that people are dying because they are black. Yes, that is what is happening. People are dying, being KILLED, because they are black. And then the protesting…the peaceful protesting of these terrible acts…shattered by more violence. More deaths. More anger. More protests. More violence. More deaths…..its this terrible vicious cycle that we keep playing out over and over and over again and it is solving NOTHING.

SHOOTING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE BLACK IS WRONG.

SHOOTING COPS DURING A PEACEFUL PROTEST IS WRONG.

SHOOTING PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE THEM IS WRONG.

SHOOTING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE GAY, OR MUSLIM, OR CHRISTIAN, OR WHITE, OR LATINO, OR ANY OTHER REASON IS WRONG.

SHOOTING PEOPLE OUT OF FEAR BECAUSE OF THEIR SKIN COLOR IS WRONG.

SHOOTING COPS IN RETALIATION IS WRONG.

Violence begets violence begets violence. It’s a dance we, as a human civilization, are so very familiar with and we can dance it in perfect rhythm and honestly, it’s a dance I wish we would forget sooner rather than later.

But what I will not forget are those who have lost their lives to this violence, due to the obviously ingrained racism that is so pervasive in law enforcement agencies all over the country. And I will not forget the officers that have also lost their lives to this racial violence-in retaliation or in the line of duty. I have learned something important from this, though. The Civil Rights Movement is FAR from over. FAR FROM IT. In fact, I think we have only begun to scratch the surface.

I am going to try and be a better ally. I am going to try and teach my kids to be better allies. I am going to check MY privilege if I start getting complacent. Because becoming complacent about this is a direct result OF my white privilege. I have that luxury-people of color DO NOT.

So this is me. Checking my privilege.