I haven’t written anything here in a while and it’s mostly because I haven’t really felt like I had anything to write about. Kelli says, “well just write about anything you want”, but then I’m like, “who the hell wants to read me rambling on about nothing?” This might get long winded, and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read the whole thing. Hell, I appreciate anyone who reads part of it.
I’ve been trying to come up with something blog worthy regarding the nationwide protesting, rioting and looting that has been happening. I’ve been trying to figure out what I have to say about the race issues that have been plaguing our nation and our lives for centuries, but I wasn’t really sure what to say about it and I’m still not…but fuck it.
I don’t consider myself a racist and never have. Do I have prejudices? Absolutely. Am I racist? I’d like to believe that’s a hard FUCK NO. But then when I really sit and think about the issues surrounding our current climate that are within me, how can I not have prejudices? And here comes the white privilege.
I never really thought much about the my fortunate upbringing and my being forced into a white family, a white body, and a predominantly white country because……well…I’m white and that’s what I was born into. I didn’t choose being white anymore than the person next to me chose to be Black, or Asian, or Hispanic. That shit was all luck of the draw, so who the fuck am I, and who the fuck are you, to judge someone because of the color of their skin? We are all just men and women, and some of us can’t decide which one we are, trying to make it, trying to survive, and doing the best we can with what we know and what we have.
I wouldn’t say that I had a rough childhood per se. I didn’t get made fun of….much. I didn’t get beat up. I always had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on the table. Even though sometimes it was spam casserole or fish sticks. I grew up primarily with my mom and we moved around a lot. From kindergarten to 12th grade I went to 10 different schools. I was never asked how I felt about that fact that we were moving to another apartment in another city. I was never asked how I felt about changing schools again, and I was never asked how I felt about the next relationship my mom was embarking on, not that she had to clear any relationship with me. I have no bad feelings towards my mom for any of that because I know she was only doing the best she knew how to at the time. And there I was, packing, unpacking, making new friends again, leaving those new friends again, packing, unpacking, making new friends again and then leaving them….again. Over and over and over. I think that’s part of the reason being a travel nurse and moving every 6-12 months for the past 4 years has felt normal to me. That’s what I grew up knowing and I believe it prepared me for various struggles, as minor as they may have been, I have faced in my life.
I grew up with a mom who considers herself bisexual, and for a decent part of my young childhood she was in a serious long-term relationship with a wonderful woman, who literally saved me from my mom more than once. When I think back to that time, to my childhood, I think I had a fairly diverse upbringing. I don’t ever remember being made fun of because I had a mom who was in a lesbian relationship, but back then at that age, did I even have a clue? I don’t have a clue now if I had a clue back then.
On the flip side, I had a grandfather who was very racist and wasn’t ashamed or scared to tell you what his thoughts were on people of different races. I don’t think I ever bought into that shit, but I’m sure that it did something to me growing up, whether I knew it or not. It wasn’t a regular thing, but if it came up he wouldn’t bat an eye at telling you what he thought. He was a extremely intelligent man, probably one of the most intelligent men I have ever known, but racism clearly doesn’t care about intelligence. I mean, look at all the hillbilly’s waving the confederate flag still. Is that prejudice?
So I went through my adolescence, going to predominantly white schools with predominantly white friends, so how diverse was it really? The diversity didn’t truly start to happen in my life until I joined the military and let me tell you….NEVER have I been part of a more racist/prejudice organization in my life. It was everywhere. Thinking back, I can’t even believe how racist it is in the military, at least when I was in. I’d like to think that most people I served with who bought into that shit have changed their tune by now. I know I bought into some fo it, due to ignorance and lack of real life experience, and one of the most common statements you would hear when essentially talking about the acceptance of black people was this……
“There are ni##ers and there are black people”. I actually haven’t sat and thought about that sentence in a long time, but basically what that statement says to me now is that the “black people” act more white and therefore they’re acceptable because they’re more like us. Us white people. Excuse me?! What?! What the fuck is that shit? That is white privilege, my friends. I am completely appalled that I would ever buy into that shit back then, but I was a young and naive 18 year old kid being taught how to kill people and I was surrounded by people, white people, who would say that shit all of the time and who believed it. Hopefully we were all young and dumb then and we have all changed our tunes. I’m sure some have not.
I think about times when I have described someone while telling a story, or times when a person in someone else’s story is being described, and many times their skin color was one of the first adjectives used in describing them. Is that fundamentally prejudice? I guess it all depends on the context of the conversation or story and the tone in which a particular person is being described. To anyone that says, “I don’t see color”. You are either literally blind, or you aren’t looking with your eyes open. We are all different colors, different races, from different backgrounds, with different perspectives, with different beliefs and different gifts to share with the world. We have to find a way to end the centuries long racism that this country was essentially founded on.
So now I’m doing what I can to educate myself about the issue, and not from a white perspective. In order to make change, we must look at it from a different perspective, if we are white. Because whether you care to admit it or not, being white is an advantage in this country and it always has been. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, you could start by watching a movie called Just Mercy, and another movie called The 13th. You can find Just Mercy for free, and The 13th is on Netflix.
But what else can we do? How can we change what is fundamentally wrong? How can we get every single person to ditch the race bullshit and just be accepting? Fuck tolerance, tolerance is bullshit. Tolerance is a cop out and tolerance is for pussies. Acceptance is what we have to do. All of us. I think it first has to start within ourselves. It has to first be a personal thing that we each individually deal with inside ourselves. We have to get scared of what we find inside and we each have to man, or woman, up and come to terms with the prejudices we each have, we have to face them, be vocal about them, and move past them. So I’m trying to do my part because as a white person, who has been privileged, through my own doing or not, throughout my entire life, it is my responsibility and I implore you to do the same. This change cannot happen until we all take part. Whether that’s reading to educate yourself, or watching movies to educate yourself, or talking to someone you have never talked to about what their non-white experience has been and is on a daily basis. We need to ditch our bullshit history they teach us in schools and learn what has really happened, why we have been fucking lied to, and come together to figure out what we need to do to change it.
It is cliche, but it’s true. You must be the change you want to see in the world because thoughts become words, words become actions, and actions become habits.
Edit: I should clarify that I don’t think the military is a racist organization. What I meant was it is full of people who are either racist or prejudice, or they joke in “fun” about it.