Saturday night we went to a 7-Eleven to pee. As we were walking up, a man held the door for the woman who was with him. She was wearing a hijab. As she started to walk into the door, she saw Art and I coming and ducked back out with her head down, saying “I’m sorry,” and shrinking back behind the man. I said, “No, please go ahead,” but she didn’t move, so we walked in and I thanked the man for holding the door.
And then it all hit at once. All the dangerous rhetoric intensifying in this last month and the way it is impacting the lives of real, good people. The psychology of feeling like a second-class citizen and the implications of being a little less safe if you look not white. I was holding in tears until we left the gas station, and then I couldn’t hold them in anymore.
This is not the country I want to live in. This is not ok. We are not ok as long as this is happening to any of us. It is the absolute worst of humanity to treat any person as less than because of any one thing that makes “us” see a “them”, and the absolute worst of humanity to stand by or condone that treatment. Yet it is happening everywhere, all the time.
What do we have to do to end it? To unite completely in the conviction that it is never, ever ok to condemn or hate a group of people for ANYTHING that is an unchangeable part of who they are?
I am including this image of a painting by Ben Griffith because this is what it should look like to be a part of humanity. Taking pride in ALL of our differences. Every race, every gender identity, every religion, every sexuality, feeling equal and equally safe in the world. Walking into the coffee shop as strangers and walking out as friends. It’s so, so possible for this to be reality. For anything else to be a rare exception. And it’s so, so past time.
I don’t know what to do, but I do know that making a post about it is not enough. So I’m asking myself what else can be done. I want to do everything I can. Join me?