The End of Lent: Good Friday

Cross on a hill

The end of Lent kind of snuck up on me. I kept thinking I had more time, more days, because there were more stories I wanted to share with my readers, but this is it. The wrap up of my Lenten Challenge 2016 series.

I’d like to say I will do it again next year, and maybe I will. But admittedly it has been rough going. I’ve had a few people who made nasty comments on Facebook about my posts, which clearly showed they neither read my words nor the articles I shared. And they certainly didn’t honor the idea that the purpose of this exercise was to learn from the viewpoints of another, rather than debate their own opinions.

And really, those are the people who truly need these posts. Not that I expect them to agree with every word, but rather when your heart is calcified by the vitriol of a certain kind of viewpoint, I think it is beneficial to step back, listen, learn, try to understand the people you are vilifying so vehemently. But that doesn’t happen. They just go right on hating what they don’t know.

It really is disheartening to see so much hate and prejudice in the world. And these are often “good” people. They go to church, believe in charity, consider themselves Christians. But then they pass heinous laws, or block LGBT non-discrimination policies in North Carolina, or they call for all Muslims to be banned from the USA, or vote for a candidate that uses hate and fear mongering to further his efforts. I hear things like, “With Gay Pride and Black History month, I feel lost in the shuffle. Why can’t I celebrate being white?” Or “That’s reverse discrimination.” Or “I grew up poor. Don’t talk to me about white privilege.” Or “Black lives matter? I think all lives matter.” All of which skirt the issues and ignore the pain that comes with discrimination in its many forms.

So what’s the cure for this disease? Because I really think it is. It’s a disease of the mind and the heart that spreads through well-meaning people who just don’t understand what it’s like to be “other,” because they’re not other. They are straight, white, cis-gender, Christians in a world that treats them as “normal” or the status quo. Which means if they (and me) are normal, then everyone else is “different.”

And that’s what I’d like to change. Stop thinking of yourself as the main character in everything. Start thinking of yourself as another piece of the immense puzzle that makes up this world. And in order to understand how your puzzle piece fits into the next one, you have to step away from your comfort zone and learn about someone else.

It’s simple really, though it will take time. And Google is there to help you along. Just type in “Growing up _______ in America.” Fill in that blank with whatever seems other to you: black, poor, LGBT, trans, Muslim, mentally ill, disabled, autistic, etc., etc. The list could go on forever. And don’t just read one first hand story. Read several, because every Muslim has a different story. They are not universal. Every person of the LGBT community has a different story. They are not universal. Do this everyday until maybe, just maybe, people stop seeming other to you, and just seem like people.

Post #35: We All Do It: Ableist Prejudice Against Disabled Persons

Blogging against disablism

I just read this interesting post by David, a young man with cerebral palsy who writes a blog that shares stories of disabled people in America. He actually took a year off college to interview and write stories and he has a lot of meaningful posts. Today I’m sharing his thoughts and examples on how we, in our everyday lives without meaning to, project an abelist attitude that is discriminatory against people living with disabilities.

We All Do It

*New readers may wonder why I’m sharing these posts and why they’re numbered. Here’s a link to my post I’m Giving Up HATE, PREJUDICE and INDIFFERENCE for Lent.

And here are my latest 5 posts in the series:
Post #30: Intersectionality
Post #31: Almost Asian (But Not Quite)
Post #32: Accurate Representation
Post #33: 13 Tweets That Define What Growing Up as Lesbian Was Really Like
Post #34: Growing Up Black and Jewish in America

*Please remember to leave the sites I post clean. We are here to learn, not debate. Even if you disagree, we need to learn that just because we have an opinion, doesn’t mean we need to share it all the time.*

Post #19: Beyonce in Formation

beyonce

I’d like to share a post that followed the release of Beyonce’s Formation video and her Super Bowl performance. I know many though that was no place for a political statement, regardless that the white performer (lead singer of Coldplay) literally wore his political statement on his arm. The problem wasn’t the political statement, but that it wasn’t a statement for the white masses.

This post puts Bey’s Formation in context. The context of what it means to Black America.

“. . . this critique is just further proof that African-Americans can’t have anything or express ourselves fully without first considering if we’re “race-baiting” white America.” – Priscilla Ward

It’s time for White America to take a step back from their outrage and take a cold hard look at racism in this country. Start by listening to Black Americans. You don’t have to agree, but it is imperative to fix the problems in this country that we attempt to understand where others are coming from. We, White America, have had the front of the stage for so long, it’s time we listened to other voices.

“The backlash to “Formation” is proof that even in 2016, black artists have to make anything, especially something as wildly popular as a new Beyoncé song performed at the most mainstream of all TV events, the Super Bowl, about white America’s feelings and politics — even when the song is about anything but that.” – Priscilla Ward

Maybe, just maybe, this song wasn’t for White America. And you know what, that’s okay.

Priscilla Ward: White Beyonce haters don’t get it: “Formation” isn’t “race-baiting” – but it is unapologetically about race

 

*New readers may wonder why I’m sharing these posts and why they’re numbered. Here’s a link to my post I’m Giving Up HATE, PREJUDICE and INDIFFERENCE for Lent.

And here are my latest 5 posts in the series:

Post #14: #DisabledTwitter Needs to be Dominated by Disabled Voices
Post #15: #BuzzWordsBeDamned
Post #16: Listen and Learn . . . 
Post #17: Comprehensive List of LGBTQ+ Term Definitions
Post #18: Discussion: Body Positivity in YA – Where’s the Love for Curvy Women?

*Please remember to leave the sites I post clean. We are here to learn, not debate. Even if you disagree, we need to learn that just because we have an opinion, doesn’t mean we need to share it all the time.*

Post #9: Growing up Muslim in America

Interesting read on growing up Muslim in a country that is taught to hate you . . .

Anna Fifield: Growing up Muslim in America

Lenten Challenge 2016
Post #2: Coming Out Again, and Again, and Again . . .
Post #3: Dalia Mogahed and why she wears a hijab
Post #4: Why diversity in Children’s Literature really Matters
Post #5: The Emotional Toll of Growing Up Black in America
Post #6: Picture from the Box
Post #7: Diversity 101
Post #8: Study examines television, diversity and self-esteem

Motivational Monday: Same Love

Holy crap! Every musical post this month has been inspired by Neville Girl this month! Check her out on Musings of Neville’s Navel. Here’s the next one. It’s a cover of Mackelmore’s Same Love performed by Angel Haze. Warning: a few swear words, but so powerful and so true. Please listen. Please. Please!