Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What I think in my head is not always so...

Don't you hate it when an ugly truth just smacks you in the face?

For years and years and years I have told myself I am not prejudiced. Not me. I talk fair, I believe fair, I believe in equal rights and opportunity. I believe that all were created by God and all are loved the same. We all have the same worth.

So, when I realized the other day that I was choosing white over black I was shocked!
And I started thinking. Given a choice I choose a white clerk over a black one, a white friend over a black one, a white anything over a black one. Not pretty.

And I started wondering why. Not to excuse, but to understand. I had a teacher in college that taught that prejudice is caused by lack of communication. I would agree, but I would also say it is cause by lack of understanding. I just don't understand the culture; the way of thinking, the things that are important in their lives. It's not for lack of trying - it just is. I have no problem sitting and talking to an African American. I have no problem being fair and kind and helpful. I just don't choose to watch a show about an African American family, or read a book about an African American family, or go to a movie about an African American family - I just don't get it. I don't understand the humor, the nuances, and the thought process. And so I am uncomfortable and just choose to watch or read something else. Again - not pretty.

Growing up I was raised in an all white town. There were no African Americans in my school. I remember when a black girl moved in on our street - I was the first to befriend her and we did a lot around the neighborhood...until I did something to offend Lydia and she dumped me. Over something I just didn't get. She had something to prove, she felt discrimination, and chose to prove it over something trivial.

No African Americans in my church. Or my high school. None. And in college, just a handful. I was friends with them, but it was pretty superficial in hindsight. I wasn't their friend to prove anything. I honestly thought I was unprejudiced. In my brain I was. In my thought process I was. When I talked to others, I was. I raised my children to be unprejudiced. But evidently in my heart of hearts I guess I wasn't.

The other day I was playing some dumb game on face book and you have to add friends. I found myself adding all the white friends and not the African Americans. I didn't even realize I was doing it until it hit me in the face. And then I realized I had seen an ad for a movie that sounded good. But it had an all African American cast. Changed my mind. Kinda like if it had an all male cast and a definite male slant I would also change my mind. Not because I don't like men, but because I don't understand the language, the thought process, the things that make them tick.

So apparently, I am prejudiced - maybe not in the same way that others are. But prejudiced none-the-less and it is still ugly. I'm not fooling myself. So, the question is: now that I realize it, how do I fix it? It's obviously deeply seated. So deeply seated that I was unaware that it was even there....

Friday, October 16, 2009

If you don't have anything good to say....

...say nothing at all.

Well, I tried that - and you can see the results. No blog posts.

You know how we all have one of those days? Well, I've pretty much had one of those summers. And it has extended into autumn. Sadly.

It's not all been bad - there have been incredibly bright spots, like our trip to Boston in June, our trip to Austin and Taos in July, Andrew and Carissa's visit in August, our Via Christus get together when Mike and Julie were up from Austin, and Aaron's visit and the U2 concert at Soldier Field.

Other than that - dreary weather. Cool summer. Garden did miserably. It rained - a lot. The outside hose reel connector/hose broke flooding an already saturated yard and basement. Extra people living in our house (including a one year old and a three year old from Friday through Sunday). One adult is a very extroverted extrovert that needs to talk incessantly. Carissa left for Italy for a semester.

Complete chaos has entered my life! No room. No solitude. No where to go to get away. No where to think. Noise. All the time. My safe haven became, and still is to a degree, a stressful place.

I have felt sad, angry, frustrated, stressed, taken advantage of, not heard, and used. I feel like I am living in a soap opera. Really. One where resolution NEVER comes. We have resolved some issues - but a few remain that are awkward and sensitive. sigh.

On top of that mess, as if that weren't enough (and I have just posted bare bones) school started, I got sick in September - acute bronchitis with a severe asthma attack resulting in an entire week of work missed - and I've had issues with a tooth. And our loan for Carissa's junior year got messed up and still isn't paid. Oh - and Comcast messed with us for almost 2 weeks - resulting in HOURS spent on the phone and with techs. Four of them on four different days.

And on top of all that, the sun still refuses to shine!

See - nothing good to say.

Great post after months of silence, huh?

Hopefully things will improve.... We are going to visit Carissa in Italy in November. We are going to Florida for Christmas. The loan got straightened out. As did the cable issue. I am about 80% well. The tooth - well, still being worked on. Still working on the safe haven. And finding quiet and solitude. But it too will come. Along with the sun.

I hope.