Hey, ranted away on another subject, but decided I just didn't want to finish it...so..sat down and figured out a way to leave my day off housework, for just a little while longer.
Last night my youngest daughter (23) informed me she had just finished watching "To Kill A Mockingbird". Now, this amazing story was, and still is, listed in the top 3 books I have ever read (and I have read a flipping ton). Ms. Harper Lee was able to take readers right back to that nasty time, when Racism ran rampant, and as painful as the basis of her novel was, it was a lesson for me. It was a lesson for many of my fellow students when we were assigned this novel, and it came to life even more when I paid my 75 cents to watch the black and white movie.
Both my grown daughters have enjoyed this book, and my oldest asked me why it was no longer assigned for required reading. Well, it is loaded with the N word, and that is offensive, right? At the time of my reading I had never encountered a Negro, and I use that word because...that is what I learned when studying the people of the world. I am a Caucasian, there are Asian people, East Indian people, North American Indian people..and...somewhere in the list..there are Negro people. However, as I read, I understood how unfair one group of people were treated, simply because of their Genetics, and I knew I would never ever want to dislike a whole world of folks, just because they have different characteristics than my own. Cripes I am so white, the sight of my bare legs would blind someone I have duck feet, and stubby crooked thumbs, all a result of genetics, but I had no say on any of this, I am simply a result of a mix of Scottish and French Canadian DNA, that shows to the outside world, inside, I am ME.
Yes, I judge a book by the cover..I will take an instant dislike to someone, it is not because of their looks, it is because something they say or do, rubs me wrong, and in my tiny little world, 95.9% of those who rub me wrong, are Caucasian, because through no fault of my own, just logistics, they are who I meet.
Perhaps unlike the average person I associate with, I also have spent a fair bit of time with First Nations, or...as I learned in school..North American Indian. I have, in fact, spent the majority of my life with an amazing man who is Gitxsan. I fell in love and made a life with him, not because of his DNA, but because of who he is..O.K. I admit, I thought he was pretty handsome when I got hit by cupid's arrow. But, see, I never gave a moments thought to the fact that he wasn't lily white, skin colour means nothing to me. Who the heck doesn't think that Denzel Washington is a gorgeous man? I have a crush on Kunai Nayyar (Raj on Big Bang) just because I find something very appealing about the person I see on TV.
But, the saddest part of Killing the Mockingbird, is I understood. I understood that no one group of people is better. Skin colour, traditions, culture, heritage , whatever, do not encompass all within it's group. Because people of my colour have, in the past, been the explorers, and the uninvited immigrants in many countries around the globe, that does not make me less than others. I accept that wrong was done, I accept that promises must be kept, I accept that we are all humans, people of the Earth.
I do not judge by race, creed or colour, I judge by the single person. I am trying very hard to make things right, I wish only for acceptance from those who I must share space with, while I live my life out. The most difficult part..why can those who feel they were treated (and they are certainly not mistaken) unfairly in the past, not accept to stand on equal scales with me? Why, instead of fixing a terrible wrong, must so many feel they need to stand taller than me? Why, in this day and age, do I find myself, and trust me, it has happened many times, set aside, left out, not even acknowledged, because of my DNA?
Racism will never end! Generations have come and gone, since Ms. Lee wrote her book. The battle between black, red, white and yellow has not really changed. Everyone still focuses on their DNA, still thinking because through a fluke of fate, their parents, grandparents, etc, mated, and produced offspring, they are somehow higher on the species ladder. I am only one ME. I was created by two people, and I certainly didn't have a choice who my biological parents would be, no one does. Each and every one of us, become adults, through battles the rest of the world does not see. I admit, some battles are as a result of how one appears to the world, as someone who has always carried a little extra weight, that was one of my battles that everyone could see. I may not have had skin that tanned easily, or eyes that were exotically slanted, but I fought to become ME, and, sadly, when it comes to racism, I find myself still fighting, just because I was created.
A world without racism is impossible.Maybe it is pride, maybe it is a sense of pay-back, no matter what, the Caucasians are not the only race that feels a sense of superiority, they are just the ones who have a history. 100 years from now, who will be written down in history as the "bad guys". It won't be the Caucasian DNA holders, we are now put in our place, silenced because of history..however..history repeats itself when lessons are not learned, and I am afraid there are more birds that will die for naught.