As a result of discussion regarding racial profiling and racism on social media it has come to my attention that I am immediately judged by my race ,age and sex in nearly every interaction.
A stranger sees a photo of a female , blonde “older” white conservative on my profile and assumes I’m racist,homophobic, and elitist. I do espouse mostly “conservative” political views but those have been developed over a life time and were not foisted upon me by media pundits or politicians.
My family was not wealthy. My Dad was a mailman and my Mom was a secretary. We lived frugally within our means in a 2 BR/1 bath home and I was taught to delay gratification by saving my money until I could afford to buy something. I started working at age 15 and later went to college on loans that I paid back in full by myself.
I had 2 black kids in my elementary school and when the time came for school plays or dances I volunteered to dance with the only black boy in the school because I didn’t want him to feel left out. It was awkward for both of us at first but we ended up laughing at ourselves trying to do the Virginia Reel.
My Mom routinely took me to a local orphanage to give away clothes and toys that I no longer needed . She wanted me to see for myself that some kids were much less fortunate than us.
I am a child of the 1960’s in the South during the time of desegregation . I served on a student committee to help with the transition of black kids to our school. I received threats from both black and white students who were against desegregation but I did not let that deter me from trying to help. We had daily fights and “race riots” during school and sometimes it was quite scary. White girls learned not to walk the halls at school alone or go to the restroom alone in order to avoid confrontation. My parents were afraid for my safety but deep down inside I knew these new kids at school were just scared and not inherently mean.
As a young adult I participated in prison ministry and shared Bible study with men convicted of violent crimes hoping to encourage them to make better choices once they were released from incarceration.
After I married and had my own family I supported my husband’s daily work with disadvantaged teenagers. Over the years we have provided money, clothing ,jobs, transportation, emotional support and anything we could manage when we saw a young person in need. We encouraged and expected the young people we helped to be good citizens and to stay out of trouble just the same as our own daughter… sometimes they listened.
For years I volunteered at my local food bank prepping food to be cooked for after school programs and elderly home bound individuals.
I have a gay family member who I love more than I can put into words. This person has taught me the meaning of being truly open and accepting of lifestyles that differ from my own.
The point of sharing all this about myself is to demonstrate that my conservative Christian values lead me to be of service to others NOT to judge them by their appearance or circumstances.
Don’t judge me as female/white/politically conservative and assume that makes me intolerant and hateful.
I judge those around me by their actions and not their words.
Anyone can “talk a good game” and tell me what everyone SHOULD
be doing but if we are not “hands on” trying to help in our own community… then words are useless.
So enough already with the self absorbed demand for “starting a dialog” about how to make this country less racist ,better,fairer or whatever the term of the day may be - stop talking and get off your ass and help someone!